10/24/2005

Entry Twelve: Sitting in the Stand

[A story in many parts: Part Four]

Since everyone else had already arrived at the camp, I was introduced to everyone then dad and I took a tour of the facilities. In the build-up to the weekend, the term “lodge” was frequently invoked to describe our living quarters for the weekend. It was obvious from the moment we drove on to the property that the lodge was "in progress." It was a cinder block house with a large great room on one side and a small kitchen on the opposite end. There were two separate bedrooms, each holding three stacks of bunk beds, plus one room with a single bed. I guess that room was reserved for royalty. Possibly for The King of Hunting. I hoped he was there. The great room held a big-screen television and the Prime Star satellite system with a VCR, as well as several sofas and chairs. There were two full bathrooms and since the owners hadn't gotten the carpet in yet—“its on order”-- all of the floors were concrete slab. I would guess that Seven Oaks Plantation was working off the fourth or fifth definition of the word “lodge” found in the dictionary.

The first order of business, after we picked out our bunks, was to "sight-in" our guns. The front yard of the lodge had a sturdy, wooden table with some sandbags on it and, roughly 100 yards away, at the edge of the woods, was a paper target attached to some hay bales. The "sighting-in" procedure was pretty simple, in theory. You sat at the table, put on ear protection devices, rest the gun on the sandbags, line-up the sight on the bulls eye of the target and fire. If you hit the bulls eye, your sight was fine. If your shot was high/right or low/left or you missed the target completely, you adjusted the sight accordingly and tried again until you got it right or it was determined that no matter how good the sight was, you couldn't hit a house from the porch. This was a serious spectator sport because everyone wanted to see how everybody else's gun was shooting, so everyone gathered in the front yard to watch dad and I check our guns. A lot of things went through my mind as I prepared to "sight-in" my gun. With everyone watching it almost felt as tense as having to tee off at the first hole in front of the country club restaurant. The only difference was that I had actually hit a golf ball a few times in the last 20 years, unlike my experience with shooting a gun. I quickly determined that the sandbags would keep me from dropping the gun if the kick did nerve damage on my arm, so my confidence wasn’t totally drained. I sat on the bench seat at the table, nestled the stock into my shoulder and concentrated really hard on hitting something near the target, knowing full well that I could blame the first shot on the gun and the "lousy sight." I finally squeezed the trigger and nearly blacked out. In my high state of concentration I had neglected to notice how close my head was to the scope and when the gun fired and kicked back, the scope, attached to the gun, jumped backwards and hit me square in the temple. I blinked a few times, eyes watering, and tried to regain some sense of consciousness and was able to clear enough cobwebs that I could pretend all was well. In deference to my dad, no one laughed nor mentioned the half moon bruise on my forehead the entire weekend.

All words and images ©2005/J. Colle

1 comment:

the little one said...

that is awesome.....nothing like slicing on hole one..that's why I make it a point to use the rental clubs..always good to leave yourself an avenue of escape..plus the neon yellow bag usually matches my ensemble..another perk