Unsafe And Stubborn

Dear Bruce,

While recently shooting a round of clays, a top shooter (and professional involved the sport) poked his gun barrel over the top rail of the safety cage to shoot high targets. When another member of the squad (A regional competitor, as well) asked if this could be done during a competition, the top shooter replied “Sure! For example, when XXXX was shooting at YYYY, he shot an “overhead from the back” target by turning around and facing towards the trapper. He then shot the next going-away bird of the pair by gracefully re-inserting his barrel through the cage uprights. He ran the station, too.”

I was aghast, and said so. I pointed out that the shooter was gaining an unfair advantage by sacrificing safety, and that I would never allow a shooter to do this if I was ‘reffing the station. If a top shooter can disregard the limitations of a safety cage, can a C Class shooter? I don’t even want to be around. The top shooter pooh-poohed me, and further said that “The ref has no say in the matter”.

What do you say?


Dear Jim,

People like that “top shooter” just go to show that the ability to shoot well has nothing to do with brains or sportsmanship. Low safety standards, ignorance and stubbornness are a dangerous combination.

Clearly, it is the ref’s duty to stop anyone shooting “outside” the cage, or even from within the cage if it is in an unsafe manner. Your top shooter didn’t know any more about reffing than he did about safe gun handling.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid

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