Two weekends ago, the MKFF crew saddled up in the old FJ riding up to Orvis Sandanona Grounds in Millbrook, NY. The Sandanona Shooting Grounds is the oldest permitted shotgun range in the United States; it was built during the presidency of Thomas Jefferson. We like to keep our readers apprised of trade shows and other industry developments; the 6th annual Orvis Game Fair and Country Sporting Weekend presented an excellent opportunity to explore the fishing and wing shooting community in more depth.
Wing Shooting Training
Orvis hosts a world renowned wing shooting school at their flagship store in Manchester, Vermont and the Sandanona Grounds. Visitors were able to experience an abbreviated version of a lesson. There were two stations with instructors; they assisted students with shooting form and tactics.
Generally, when test driving a brand new Land Rover, you are not expecting a very advanced or technical course. I figured, we would go over a few bumps and roll over a log or two. The MKFF crew was pleasantly surprised, the off road course and training was borderline “expert level.” There are several pictures in the gallery for you to browse through, I’m pretty sure we had multiple wheels of the ground in a few places on the course.
An Orvis event would not be complete without Fly Fishing. Complimentary casting lessons were available for the revelers. Further, check out the Striped Bass one of the exhibitors had preserved caught off of Chelsea Pier.
The event was geared towards the upscale shooting and hunting community; this segment representing the Sandanona Ground’s target market. Several Orvis affiliated Fly Fishing Lodges were represented with their guide staff. We met up with and immediately took a liking to the Glendorn Lodge in Pennsylvania. Mark and I were promised that they could hook us into a Walleye on the Fly this spring! We may have to take them up on their offer in the spring.
A week or so has passed since our last full blog update. There is so much Fly Fishing, shooting, Hay making and exploration occurring, it is summertime and the living is easy! We have been carefully chronicling all of the adventures for your weekday amusement.
Hunter Safety Course
Mark and I successfully passed the New Jersey Hunter Safety Course on Saturday June 9th at the Clinton Wildlife Management Area. It is an excellent course with very useful infield instruction.
On Sunday, Mike, Deb and I shot the Remington 12 Guage at clay targets out on the MKFF Proving Grounds. The weather is significantly better than last week for outdoor activity. Check out the pictures of the fun.
Again, on the MKFF Proving Grounds we have been pounding the water for Bass quite hard lately. At this point in time it appears the Sunfish are building their nests near the shore. The Bass fishing dynamic has been altered. The biggest Bass are circling the pond surface while the smaller guys are hiding in the weeds.
The weather is finally winterish here in the northwestern New Jersey forests; with Christmas fast approaching we are hoping for some ice cover to support a serious hard-water fishing trip. In the meantime the crew at Moose Knuckle had near incurable cabin fever over the weekend.
In order to beat the boredom and withstand the cold weather a quick trip to the sporting goods store was in order. I prefer to purchase my ammunition and clay pigeons at the Skylands Sport Shop in Newton, New Jersey. Now I know you may be thinking that this is a fishing blog, and it remains primarily that though at times we like to introduce various aspects of the outdoor recreation scene into the portfolio here.
Now for the anti-gun readers out there I have a nice little firearms quote here from my favorite man of all time George Washington, “The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.” Like them or hate them I firmly believe every American should know how to safely wield a firearm and that is what we set out to do at the Moose Knuckle Proving Grounds on Sunday.
As you sit there nursing your beer tonight or sipping your coffee tomorrow morning at work reading this blog check out our pictures and either shout or quietly mouth under your breath (depending on the setting), “‘Merica!” Enjoy the pictures while we encourage you to go to the range and practice the safe operation of firearms.