Holding up the rifle, I pressed my cheek against the cool metal – as Butt nestled into my shoulder.
This, my first opportunity to try Clay Pigeon Shooting and I’m really pleased it was part of my stay at Kinnaird Estate. A luxe B&B in the Scottish Highlands.
A quick dip in the River Tay, another option I’d considered. Instead, Clay Pigeon shooting was what I wanted to experience, on a showery Scottish Sunday morning. After a hearty breakfast overlooking Ben-y-Vrackie mountain. Seeing my first ever red squirrel, enroute to our shooting location, a few minutes car ride away. This topped off the magical feel of the leafy green location I was staying in.
“What do you think to yourself – when preparing to shoot?” I asked Jimmy. My octogenarian instructor.
“You will die.” His response. To which I really had no reply!
Health and safety instructions were given. The realisation that I held something which could kill someone, reminded me of the first time I tried shooting on Koh Tao, at the Rifle Range, but this was and felt different. Ear defenders and goggles were supplied, although I wanted to hear what it sounded like without wearing them. Ending up with a ringing in my ears and checking out the hearing aid, Jimmy wore. Best to wear them always in the future, was my thought.
At the second pull – I hit the clay but alas it was all downhill from there. The more my head became involved in attempting to follow and hit the next shot – the worse my performance became. I began to feel frustrated and at one point said to Jimmy – as I followed through too fast and overshot the target once again. “I know what I’m doing wrong but am thinking about it all too much.” A common theme in my life!
“I know you’re trying to help me.” Jimmy was steadying my arm and attempting to slow down my rushed attempt. “I’m sorry.” I said. Glancing forlornly toward him, for which I received a kiss on the cheek. He made it fun and I felt we connected, just for a moment.
I felt defeated. Wanting to give up.
The challenge of hitting a moving target – offset by the ache in my shoulder at holding the rifle aloft. As much as I had wanted to master this. I knew I would have to try again on a different occasion.
For now, I needed to shower and change out of my jeans which smelt of sheep dung. I’d knelt in somewhere whilst taking a photo. Ahh, the smell of the scottish countryside. It didn’t half whiff!