Well it’s over! The Cajun Classic 2017 is over for this year. Paul and the rest of the club did their usual great job of putting on another stellar event!
There were no flooding, rains, or heavy heat conditions to contend with this season. In fact, beautiful weather…There was the ominous threat of severe thunderstorms and tornado weather set for Sunday. The BOG agreed to allow the two-day match to be played out on Saturday, for all the competitors safety. Thus, having to shoot two matches in one day….!! This proved for the best, as 2 people were killed in a tornado 2 hours north of Baton Rouge on Sunday. Prayers to their families….
We started our journey to Baton Rouge from North Carolina on Thursday morning, meeting in Florence SC. I met my shooting partner from last year’s GP southern circuit Chris Cory, and another club member Joe Magarelli to park and load my truck. We had an uneventful trip to BR and our hotel suite that Joe’s wife wrangled for us through her business.
We woke Friday, and had a good breakfast, then headed to the range. Our fellow club member Will Piatt, (Air gun tuner extraordinaire) was coming down later Fri eve. After greeting old friends and competitors, we all checked our guns and waited for the pistol match to begin at 2:00 PM. Joe brought his beautiful HW100 that he just purchased, and needed to update his holdover card. He declined an invite to share either of our pistols for the match. He wanted to concentrate on getting his holdover right.
I brought my 28” egret target I make, to let Paul and the BAC club see if they wanted to add one to their stable of targets.. Boy, did it go over big with them. They ordered one and another shooter wants one and the big fox… Can you say trip paid for…lol
The pistol match started, and I was partnered with Mike Vredenburg from Texas. He was switching to hunter this year for something different. Mike is an excellent pistolero, as are all the “Texas Boys” as the end results show…My club buddy Chris Cory is also… He should move to Texas……
Well I did a 20-last year with the Cajun’s being my first GP pistol shoot. I just wanted to beat my old score as I am not the pistolero I am in my mind… Success! I shot a 27… To my defense, I did have trouble seeing the half hash mark on the new glass etched reticle…Mike had the same issue with the light conditions and the realy dark target/kill zone comparisons. The BAC does a great job of putting the targets in uncomfortable positions to test your skill. Mike rose above the sun in the scope and I didn’t …
Well Chris took the 2nd position in Open pistol behind Paul Plauche…Great job Paul! And Leo Duran placed 3rd…. Good shooting all.
The other Texas crew dominated the hunter class with Bob Dye doing his usual job at 1st place and Kevin Enzian pulling up in 2nd with honoree Texan, Mike Niksch Of Colorado getting third with one of his own Thomas pistols.
Many of us ate dinner at “On the Half Shell” restaurant. A good meet and greet and BS session ensued. I must say that if David Slade ever needed a second vocation, he could excel as a standup comedian anywhere. He has so many quick responses that crack you up, and stories that make you spit out food and drinks, laughing your butt off. Unfortunately, his wife, lovely Dottie Slade could not be with him and she was sorely missed. She usually keeps David in check…Also if she was there, David not have forgotten his knee pad and hat…. Lol
Will and his lovely and gracious wife Ginger, were able to meet us at dinner just after getting to their hotel. Ginger sat with me at first until someone moved to allow her to sit next to will. She begrudgingly moved with Will as she said she was obligated too. lol
After a light breakfast at I HOP for the three amigos, we set off to the course. The day started with the shooters meeting, and then we had photos taken of the group. I was captured looking like a drunk but holding a half-eaten banana instead of a blue moon….. Ginger challenged me to find Will in the picture, prompting a game of Where in the world is Will Piatt!. I found him next to Chris C’s head but you could only see the top of his head and his eyes. Sorry Buddy, Next year squeeze to the front…
After the shooters meeting, we were paired off. I got Will, which I was thrilled with. I glean all the advice and methods from Will whenever we are paired. I nick named him Mr. 58 at our club about a year ago, as he was always getting a 58 out of our 60-shot course. Lately he has been Mr. 60 as he cleared the course at the club and at the Mark Wulfekotte’s Deep Woods match…
Will started off clearing the lanes as usual, I dropped the 4th shot on the first 4 lane-5 lanes before I started to come together. Not nervous, but anxious for some damn reason!
At the Offhand lane, I ended missing the first and hit the second, and then missed the far target twice. Will stepped up and where he usually clears the standing, he slammed the front target twice, but missed the far target, that was, In all fairness, up in a tree. It took you out of your position. I think that, and some conversation going on behind us, threw him off. IMHO.
After that I settled in and started to clear some lanes but it was too little too late. Will actually dropped a couple of sitters but still ended up with a 46 and I settled at 39. Chris Cory shot the same as Will with a 46 so they started off pretty good for the morning course.
Joe was on the Lagniappe course and shot a 40 with his new HW100. Not bad for the first Grand Prix and its pressures, not to mention he never shot PCP before. Also this was the first time he even shot this gun in a match, working on his holdovers right on the sight in range the day before the match…Way to go Joe….!
It was a little warm in the Morning on the Belle Terre course (Phonetically pronounced” Bell Tear”) However, it is in the woods and not unbearable. A breeze flowed through the area so it was not bad.
The afternoon we all shifted to the Lagniappe course (Phonetically pronounced” Lan Yap”) Most thought was the harder course with the odd winds over there. We did not get to shoot this course last year due to flooding.
I was paired with Kevin McKlveen, a newer member of BAC who was shooting a Marauder, He shot a 34 the morning. He is a big tall fellow and a super guy to be paired with. He is definitely a very good shot. The wind over on the Lagniappe course got him a little, and he could not repeat the score from the morning. To his defense, he had a homemade, tall knee riser, that had the gun a bit high for me. It allowed the gun to be a little top heavy and wobblily IMHO. But he is a big guy and controlled it well. I could not have shot anywhere near him if I was sharing his gun. He really was putting them down with his Maurader… He tried my Steyr after we were done with the adjustable riser and dropped a far target with it…. UH someone call his wife as he expressed he knew what he wanted for Christmas…..LOL
I started this course with a clean lane. Then the next lane a tree target up close.. Dropped the close and pulled the string for the far, but it looked like it went down the center to nothing. Kevin said the only target out there was the gray squirrel in the tree! I assumed the string was some way attached to the target by an eyelet or something. I ranged and started to squeeze and was distracted at the shot, as I saw the string below the KZ pull hard left! What? I missed the KZ….
We both were bewildered. I pulled the string again and followed it to the side of the tree the squirrel was in and saw nothing. I moved over to the right and there was a small tree in front of the Squirrel tree ,and the target was behind it!. I tried to go over as far as possible and ended tight up against the post before I could see the entire kill zone!. I pitied the left handers as half my body was half out of the shooter box… I tried to go to the left but there was a bush in the way that you could not shoot through.. So right it was. The only problem, was that I could see about all the KZ, but with the left to right wind I could not shoot directly.. I needed to hold off the Kz I little to the left.. Not! Tree was there. I tried and the pellet buried in the tree… Oh well.. With timers I could not wait out the wind ..Dennis Todd was a lane behind me and I warned him. He managed to hit it, so no protest…
After that I missed a couple due to wind. I missed one on the Offhand and cleared the kneeling,, ending up with a 43…
All said and done, Will Piatt ended up in 2nd place in Open, Chris Cory took my position of last year at 3rd place, Plus he was in 2nd place in Pistol. Joey Mags had a great showing for the first time out with his new rifle. He normally shoots Hunter Piston with a Gorgeous HW97, in a LP Turkish Walnut stock from Poland. Great job JOE… (This is the guy who placed with a trophy at the Pyramid Cup, but refused it, as he felt his performance did not measure up. A guy with some pride and honor ….. A rare Dude…
All in all, NC represented again at this event. Ohh! and Kudos to friend Ron Brown of the Atlanta Boys…Shooting lights out for the overall win in WFTF PCP and the top overall score of 96 out of 104 ….Wow, only dropped 8 shots all weekend … Great job Ron!
We hand a great time as usual in BR. The food is out of this world. The company was superb so another great time in LA.
Thank’s to Paul, Jennifer, Griff, Wayne, Rick, and everyone I failed to mention at BAC for a great event and super hospitality….
OH BY THE WAY ! NEXT YEAR IS THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CLUB AND PAUL EXPRESSED THAT THEY WILL BE DOING SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR THE EVENT…If you never have shot here, get your plans ready and come on down. You won’t regret it…..
A side note, The Next GP in the South, is at Heflin AL for the Southern Open…This a great course with plenty of difficulty… Lots of up and down hill shots, This is another top shelf event to shoot. This year they have added a pistol match that is a GP pistol qualifier… Bring you pistols and give it a go>>>Paul