A few months ago I was rung by Murray Shearer of the Napier DA – would we be willing to host some of their members for a weekend? They had seen Graham Sinclair’s Gone Fishing on TV and were keen to see the Parkvale Hall and hear some of the stories behind the heads.
After a few calls the idea had turned into a shooting competition, lunch at the Gladdie, a tour of the Hall and a BBQ and lies over a brew or two.
Saturday morning dawned wet and cold, by 9am it was sunny …..and cold and by 10.30 at the start of shooting it had clouded over again. Heat haze was not going to be a problem.
Seven Hawkes Bay members made the trip and after a hearty breakfast in Masterton arrived at the range. Introductions were made and the banter began – mainly featuring the weather. Twelve Wairarapa members fronted, with 8 shooting.
Alex gave the briefing, read the range rules and outlined the shooting positions – the standard 5 shoots each standing, kneeling, sitting and prone. Targets were set up, a few sights were thrown down range and the competition began. 8 lined up for the 22 shoot, with one nameless person being dropped from the results for too many shots. Wairarapa Branch won with 314 to 236 – but HB had only 2 shooters who were 1st and 2nd and they argued we should average the scores – yeah right – a win is a win. Results: 1st John HB 120; 2nd Kevin HB 116; 3rd Aidan Wai 110.
14 lined up for the full bore – including an open sighted 303 jungle carbine, 7 from each branch so game on. The odd rain shower fell to make things more like bush hunting. A range of calibres were used from the good old 303, 270, 222 and many other variants. HB won with 584 to our 541. Results: Kevin HB 119; John HB 118; Steve Martel Wai 108. One notable result was that Savannah Smith beat Martin Amos by 4 points – with the same rifle.
A few stayed on to test rifles and loads as the rest headed to the Gladdie for lunch. Late afternoon at the Parkvale Hall saw Howard giving an informative tour of the displayed heads and a few more yarns exchanged around the heater. The BBQ was fired up and more venison was consumed with a couple of very nice Hawkes Bay reds, a box of fresh HB apples finished the meal off nicely.
Three HB members headed home with the remaining four staying at Martin and Tracy’s. A very successful event with an invitation for us to head north for a return match – including F class shooters.
Many thanks to Alex, Martin , Tracy and Howard, and all the club members who attended and shot and the Hawkes Bay team for making the trip.