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June 30, 2008

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A Win At Orvis

The Gunshots were invited to attend the second annual Orvis Media Day about 10 days back and we did so. It doesn’t take much to get us to come out for free food, free shooting, free cigars and free scotch. (Which were provided to us in that order.) We are professional journalists after all.

The event, held at Orvis’s Sandanona Shooting Grounds, included a sporting clays competition and we managed to defend our shooting title for the second year running. In honor of our victory the folks at Orvis very generously offered to donate $1,000 to the conservation organization of our choice and we picked a local hunting club with a long history of conservation efforts to receive the prize. That after learning that the Gunshots Custom Gun Fund didn’t meet the award criteria.

Sandanona is a jewel of a gun club. I shoot there every chance I get. It is a public course (the oldest in the U.S., in fact) that meanders through some very lovely woods and has 17 different stations, each with multiple traps so that shooters of every skill level can be challenged with different presentations. On top of that the people who manage the course change up the presentations on most stations every couple of weeks. It is a top-notch operation.

We also got a sneak preview of some of the goodies that Orvis is rolling out in the coming year, which includes some particularly lovely fly rods including a new 6-foot, 2-weight that tips the scales at less than an ounce (0.9 ounces in fact) that would be ideal for some of the brushy brook trout streams I like to fish. Sadly, I couldn’t get them to agree to part with the rod as it is the only one they’ve made so far.


There were also some good-looking shooting and fishing accessories on display. One bag that caught my eye was a lightweight rolling duffle that has a bottom compartment designed to fit a single-gun breakdown case. With the increasingly restrictive baggage policies the airlines have decided to beat us up with I’m always on the lookout for items that make it easier for the traveling sportsman to get around. This bag looks like a winner.

—John Snow



30 some years ago I was an intern news-photog at a Syracuse, NY TV Station. Our reporter and the team photog made certain one story was cover just before noon or during a brunch so we'd get a free meal. :-)

The news job didn't pay much, but it was educational fun.

Drove fast, took pictures.