I used to be really anti-gun and never dreamed that one day I’d be pulling the trigger of my very own shotgun. That being said, a few years ago my Dad got into hunting, mostly as a way to connect with clients on random “Boys’ weekends.” I watched as he slowly built up his gun collection and various hunting paraphernalia. Being a vegetarian, it wasn’t really my cup of tea, but hey it made him happy and everyone should have a hobby.
So for his birthday and mother’s day this year, my five siblings and I got my parents tickets to see Riverdance. My mom was super psyched, but my dad… not so much. Kinda didn’t make him feel like Riverdancing.
So cut to my mom getting some new clothes, and my dad getting to go shooting with my brothers. Everybody wins! Except, I felt a little short changed. My other sisters may not have wanted to go, but I wanted my Daddy bonding time regardless of the barbaric blasting of pigeons, clay or otherwise. It wasn’t that I wasn’t invited, I just hadn’t said I wanted to go. So I brought it up to my dad, and he was thrilled that I showed an interest.
So after a quick safety briefing from my Pops we were on our way. I was excited as I pulled up to the range with the boys. After checking in, getting my special ear protection and eyewear, we were on our way to shoot clay pigeons. Having never shot a gun before, I was worried at the thought of having to shoot something while it flew through the air right out of the gate. My dad had my brother go first since he had been shooting with him a couple of times before. The showoff hit three of the first five pigeons making it look like a breeze and all of a sudden my dad said I was up.
I loaded the gun the way he showed me, removed the safety and took aim, making sure to keep the butt of the gun up against my shoulder so as not to get too much of the kickback. My legs and arms were shaking in anticipation and the adrenaline was pumping. I yelled, “Pull!” and for a quick second waited nervously for the pigeon to fly out of the booth. I quickly shot in the general direction of the flying object. Needless to say… I missed. My brothers applauded and then laughed at how much I was shaking, and my dad yelled, “Load her back up.” I was at it again. By my third shot, it felt like second nature and my stance was looking pro, but I still hadn’t come remotely close to hitting anything. We rotated guns every five shots and at last, around shot 22 I hit one! I jumped up and screamed, startling my brothers who then affectionately gave me the praise I had been secretly craving all day. I was in. No matter what happened for the rest of the day, at least I hit that one pigeon.
We went on to shoot handguns, which looked badass, but was not nearly as fun as the shotguns. All in all it was one of the most fun experiences I’ve had with my father. He got to teach me something new, and I got a great father daughter day out of it, even if my brothers were there (kidding). I can’t wait to do it again.