Just back from a new products seminar put on by Weatherby. We spent three days at the La Fonda ranch in south Texas a few hours west of San Antonio. It was tough but somehow we survived the gourmet meals, constant opportunities to shoot doves, unlimited range time with a variety of Weatherby rifles and ample opportunity to shoot skeet, both night and daytime. They also offered photo sessions in the area where the exotics are raised, both from blinds and from the vehicles.
Had never experienced quail hunting with dogs, got a kill with my first shot through an incredible 20 guage O/U Weatherby shotgun. Got to shoot a few rounds of skeet after dark, then participated in an ellimination game where you could put a guy out by blasting a bird he had missed. Now I am NOT a shotgun shooter, but I won the first game [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img] Came down to me and a superb shot named Wayne Van Z and somehow I smoked one of his birds. Now that is never going to happen again, but I enjoyed it a bunch. Wayne is a hell of a shot with rifles and shotguns, I really enjoyed hunting and shooting with him.
That was really funny since I had no idea what in hell to do, was not even sure how the safety operated and the barrel selector switch - my long range rifles don't come with barrel selector switches. Weatherby shotguns and Federal ammo combined to make me look good, hitting had very little to do with skill.
Anyone looking for a new rifle should check the MOA Vanguard series, those are hot shooting rigs right out of the box. I shot a 1.0 inch three shot group with a brand new Vanguard in .300 Weatherby mag with Weatherby factory ammo - at 200 yards. The Vanguard is a hell of an action, and amazing deal for the price. Look for fancier Vanguards that shoot very well, cosmetic changes that improve handling on the shotguns, a re-intro on their pistol, lots of neat stuff. Got my bells rung fairly nicely by a great shooting .30-378 - might be that I feel the need...
I got a lot of interest in the 500 yard steel on the rifle range. Matter of fact this was probably the first writer show & tell where significantly more ammo was fired at 500 than at 100 yards. Superb rifle range on the ranch, it might even get better as a result of some ideas I suggested.
Got rolling at 6.30 am in Houston yesterday, got home at 12.30 pm - air travel is a necessary evil.
Was very fortunate to get the invite - spent some great time with the top writers and editors in the field. Eating meals with Ed Weatherby on one side and Jim Carmichael on the other makes for an interesting experience.
As for quail hunting over dogs - very impressive and a fine experience, but I will stick to four-legged critters.
Saw a very interesting new scope from Leupold - 50mm objective with a bit of an upward curve in the very bottom of the front objective, looked like someone had banged it to fit and follow the contour of a barrel. Lower stock weld is the bottom line. Shot the varmint reticle from Leupold, got far better accuracy by clicking the turrets, might just be me. Five hundred yard accuracy was significantly better clicking the turrets.
La Fonda ranch is incredible - the manager and his crew are tops for making your time there really fine...