Club Shoot and Hunt Guidelines
1. Club Shoots/Hunts are available only to RW-RM members.
Patti Beasley, Larry Boram,
Dennis Campbell, Robert Campbell, Denny Conklin,
Luke Garcia, Robyn Garcia, Steve Gaskill, John Groves, Randy Justus,
Randy Kantner, Cindy Leonard, Jonah Leonard, Josh Leonard, Mike Leonard,
Barbara Mann, Scott Merz, Jack Moran, Kim Polizotto, Skip Powers, Joanne Randall,
Andy Robinson, Phil Robinson, Gary Ruston, Tom Siddall, Barbara Simpson, Eric Simpson,
Jeff Trefz, Mike Tolley, Steve Walker, Rudy Zeigler
Come shoot with us!
Contact Randy at: 317-935-2747
or e-mail at: email@example.com
Pics of the Month
Don't make him open this jar of Whoop Ass!
Blast From The Past
Boomer in "Pheasant Mode"
Reloading Advantages - Real Or Imagined?
The debate of the merits for reloading ones own ammunition has gone on for many years. Pros and cons can be seen on both sides of the issue and have probably created more passion than actually deserved. I have been reloading shotshells for over 50 years and my view is simply that it is not for everyone. Some folks could spend that time practicing their shooting, or hunting more, or just doing other pursuits they enjoy. Others, like myself, consider it another enjoyable hobby, an extension of the shooting sports I love. If a person is patient, focused, and a bit mechanically inclined, then reloading can be a happy pursuit. If on the other hand, a person is impatient, lacks attention to detail, or has a short fuse, then reloading would make at best an unhappy marriage and at worst cause harm to property or person.
The number one reason to reload shotshells is to save on the cost of ammunition. There are good savings to be had especially in the 28 gauge and .410 bore. The second reason to reload is to produce loads which are not available in factory offerings. A third reason is to improve the performance of a specific shell for a particular gun or for a particular purpose. All of these goals cover a lot of ground, so this particular article will focus on the first reason - to save on the cost of ammo.
The best way to purchase reloading supplies is to buy in quantity at sale prices. The shelf life of primers, powder, wads, and shot is not a concern if properly stored. You should avoid shipping costs and hazmat fees if at all possible. The costs used to produce this article were current from July 2019 and include Indiana sales tax. Therefore, one should include sales tax to any retail factory shells purchased for a fair comparison. The component costs herein were in effect at the Indiana State Trap Shoot at Indiana Gun Club and that is an excellent time to stock up!
I have included a range of prices for comparison. There are components both lower and higher priced than those shown. It should be noted that the slower burn rate powders for hunting loads are more expensive, as are specialty wads and plated shot. Powder costs and weights listed are for standard target loads of 1200 fps with a standard shot weight for that gauge. I included one 20 gauge hunting load for comparison purposes. One can reduce the standard shot weights to realize additional cost savings. Or one can substitute a lower cost primer or wad. None of the reloading costs here include empty hulls, which can be picked up at most clubs, obtained from friends, or saved from your once fired factory shells. The Remington Gun Club is an excellent choice in 12 or 20 gauge. The Winchester AAHS is a great 28 or .410 choice for reloading.
Component Cost Per 25 Shells
Alliant Red Dot $135.89/8 lbs. 18.5 gr. = $1.12/25
Hodgdon Clays $136.89/8 lbs. 18.2 gr. = $1.11/25
Alliant 20/28 $147.66/8 lbs. 15.5 gr. = $1.02/25
Hodgdon International Clays $136.96/8 lbs. 15.5 gr. = $0.95/25
Hodgdon Long Shot (hunting) $155.15/8 lbs. 18.6 gr. = $1.29/25
Alliant 20/28 $147.66/8 lbs. 13.0 gr. = $0.86/25
Hodgdon Universal Clays $147.66/8 lbs. 14.0 gr. = $0.92/25
Alliant 410 $147.66/8 lbs. 11.5 gr. = $0.80/25
Hodgdon Lil’ Gun $155.15/8 lbs. 13.5 gr. = $0.94/25
Winchester AA12 $28.89/1000 $0.72/25
Claybuster AA12 $20.23/1000 $0.51/25
Winchester AA20 $28.89/1000 $0.72/25
Claybuster AA20 $21.33/1000 $0.54/25
Winchester AA28HS $39.59/1000 $0.99/25
Claybuster 28HS $21.40/1000 $0.54/25
Winchester AA410HS $39.59/1000 $0.99/25
Claybuster 410HS $21.40/1000 $0.54/25
Winchester 209 $139.10/5000 $0.70/25
Fiocchi 616 $116.63/5000 $0.58/25
Magnum lead $39.06/25 lbs.
½ oz. = $1.22/25
¾ oz. = $1.83/25
7/8 oz. = $2.14/25
1 oz. = $2.44/25
1 1/8 oz. = $2.75/25
Using the costs per 25 shells for the components listed above, one can now “assemble” a load and obtain the cost per box of shells. For a 12 gauge target load we add the following:
Powder - Clays $1.11
Wad - CBAA12 $0.51
Primer - Fiocchi 616 $0.58
Shot - 1 1/8 oz. $2.75
TOTAL COST $4.95
If we reduce the shot weight to 7/8 ounce then the cost per 25 drops to $4.34. Great for skeet! At the other end of the spectrum is the .410 bore. Here we can really save money over the factory shells.
Powder - Alliant 410 $0.80
Wad - CB410HS $0.54
Primer - Fiocchi 616 $0.58
Shot - ½ oz. $1.22
TOTAL COST $3.14
It is possible to reduce costs even more. Primers are available for as little as $98 per 5000 producing a per box cost of $0.49. Wads can be had for $63 per 5000 equaling a cost of $0.32 per box! Lower priced powders are also available in the marketplace. It is possible to produce a 12 gauge target load for under $4.00 per box and a 410 bore under $3.00.
In conclusion, it is still possible to save money by reloading even in 12 gauge. The savings are substantial in the smaller bores. However, if you do not have the free time needed, or are a casual shooter that does not fire a lot of ammo per year, or shoots only a 12 gauge gun, then reloading is probably not a good option for you. As for myself, I enjoy it nearly as much as shooting itself. It fills my free time during the winter months and gets me ready for the summer clay target season. I continue to learn new aspects of the craft each year and that keeps me hungry for more experience and understanding of shotshell ballistics and performance. That point brings one to the other benefits of reloading which were enumerated at the beginning of this article. Those points concerning custom loads and improved performance will be discussed in a future post.
Posted by Randy
2019 - The Road Ahead
Greetings RW-RM Shooters,
We have just concluded another great shooting and hunting season. This year, we enjoyed a mild winter and little snowfall. Unfortunately, rain cancelled our Ladies Hunt this season. Despite the weather challenges, you turned out again and again to enjoy excellent hunting and camaraderie with fellow members. A mild summer clays season made target shooting even more of a pleasure. Thank you for your participation and support of all our shooting and hunting events in 2018.
Our Hunt Deposit will remain at $50 for next year. We place no more than 4 hunters per field and if 5 or more hunters sign on we will book 2 fields and guides. It is only when a late cancellation eliminates the need of the second guide and field that a Hunt Deposit is forfeited. 48 hours notice prior to the Hunt is required to safeguard your Hunt Deposit. If a late cancellation does not change the number of guides/fields required, the fee will not be lost provided the preserve will adjust the bird count. All Hunt Deposits are refunded in April.
We awarded 8 of our very generous End of Season prizes in January. Cabela's of Noblesville, Kokomo Izaak Walton League, Royal Flush Enterprises, Terre Haute Sporting Clays, Indiana Gun Club, and Maier Pheasant Farm provided terrific gifts to our lucky winners. Members receive a token in the drawing for each event they attend throughout the season. The following were our winners for 2018:
Skip Powers - $100 Indiana Gun Club gift card
Steve Gaskill - $70 Kokomo IWL and Terre Haute Sporting Clays gift card
Rudy Zeigler - $70 Kokomo IWL and Terre Haute Sporting Clays gift card
Joanne Randall - $100 Royal Flush Enterprises gift card
Randy Justus - $100 Maier Pheasant Farm gift card
Mike Tolley - $100 Cabela's gift card
Dennis Campbell - $100 Indiana Gun Club gift card
Mike Leonard - $15 and DST Appreciation Award
Good luck to all our members in next year's drawing! Thank You to our partners who make this possible!!
The following events are deserving of our club’s time and effort. Please help out if you can. The rewards will last more than a lifetime!
March 10 - Pheasants Forever Youth Hunt at Crooked Creek - volunteer to help young men and women get started in the field sports.
June-August - Fundraiser for ICOO Karl Kelley Youth Camp - You do not need to be a shooter to raise pledges for this wonderful youth program.
August 17 Pheasant Forever Sporting Clays Shoot - Participate in the Shoot and/or volunteer to help out at the Shoot. Always a fun day and for a great cause!
October 19 - Pheasants Forever Family Day - mentor the next generation on shooting, fly fishing, or other outdoor activities.
Please contact me for additional information on any of the above events. Thank You!
We are a club of doers and there is a lot to do this coming season! Here is a list of scheduled events to date. A few will be added as we move along. I am always interested to hear your feedback, suggestions, and ideas to improve what Reel Women-Reel Men are doing.
April 6 - Clays & Hunter’s Feast
After shooting the Kokomo IWL sporting clays course, we will dine on fabulous game dishes from last years hunting season. This will be a sub-gauge event for those who dare!
May 11 - Indiana Gun Club Sporting Clays
A different setting and course layout is a great way to improve your shooting skills. It is also more fun! Added stations and 3 traps per station make for new challenges!June 15 - Terre Haute Sporting Clays Fun Shoot
Terre Haute provides yet another twist to challenge us with fun stations along with great food and support at the club.
June 22 - Pheasants Forever Member Appreciation Pitch-In Luncheon
Come out for food. friends, and fun at Indiana Gun Club. PF #642 will be celebrating their 10th annual Sporting Clay event and RW-RM will be kicking off our 9th annual fundraiser for the Karl E. Kelley Memorial Youth Camp. Join us!
July 13 - Tag Team Skeet Shoot at IGC
Our annual classic fun with a gun has been moved from August to July. Come out and help your fellow club members “fix” their misses! Steve Gaskill and Kim Polizotto are reigning Team Champs.
August 17 - Pheasants Forever Sporting Clays Shoot
We will once again field squads for this great day of camaraderie and sporting clays. This annual event funds the efforts of the Central Indiana Pheasants Forever Chapter #642. This will be our 9th year of partnering with PF #642.
Fundraiser For ICOO Karl Kelley Youth Camp
In conjunction with the PF Shoot, we will again raise pledges for this wonderful youth program. Last year we raised over $9,700 which will send a record number of kids to camp in June. It will also fund the purchase of needed equipment to enhance the campers educational experience. RW-RM has raised over $47,000 in support of the Karl E. Kelley Youth Camp to date. That is a very large feather in our cap!
September 14 - Club Clays Classic at THSC
Our seventh annual Club Championship features 4 different games and friendly competition. Steve Gaskill and Randy Kantner (tied) are the reigning HOA Champions.
October 19 - Chili & Clays at Kokomo IWL
We usually wrap up the clays events in October with a chili dinner. Fall colors are a part of the tradition. A great day in the "north" woods!
When November arrives bird hunting begins! We will start with a BANG at Maier Pheasant Farm in pursuit of bobwhite quail. Next, look for our Tower Shoot at Royal Flush.
December 7 - RW-RM Ladies Hunt at Royal Flush
We hope all our women shooters can turn out for this fun event created just for them. This will be our fifth year and we hope to keep it growing!
Please join us as we begin another shooting and hunting season. The stories and the times we share grow more precious with age. I look back with a smile and ahead with the hope that these times can go on and on. I look forward to seeing you this year... In The Field!
Farewell, Free Spirit Friend
The passing of a friend always spurs one to reflect not only on their life, but on our own life as well. How those two lives intertwine can often evoke every emotion and feeling known to humanity. Love and hate, good and evil, pride and shame, joy and sadness, just to name a few. When the recently departed happens to be a four legged Free Spirit, many of the above feelings come into play from time to time between dog and master. As an outside observer of that 12 year partnership, I hold on only to the smiles, laughs, and warmth that partnership gave to me. A Free Spirit has that effect on those around them. Life is for living and loving your life. This was the mantra of the Free Spirit called Boomer.
Fourteen years ago Mr. Don Snelling purchased a tri-colored English setter pup and named him Boomer. Home was a 300 acre farm near Waynetown, Indiana. Boomer grew up free, running those 300 acres from sunup till sundown. There was no training or routine. He became a Free Spirit quite naturally and for 2 years all was well. Then sadly, Mr. Snelling passed away. He had stipulated in his Last Will and Testament that Boomer was to go to Denny Conklin. There was just one problem- neither family nor friends could catch Boomer! A call to Denny and the problem was solved. Boomer ran straight to Denny when called and went right into the crate for the trip to his new home. Thus began a partnership that would span the next 12 years.
Training began at once to rein in Boomer’s Free Spirit ways. Denny had some help in this regard from his awesome English setter named Scooter. Boomer had an excellent role model on what he was supposed to be doing! After a few months of training and yard work, Boomer moved into the hunting field working on quail. It was quickly apparent he had a great nose for birds. In fact, Denny vows that Boomer had the best nose of any dog he ever owned.
In Boomer’s first year of hunting he would point, then run to a downed bird but would not pick it up or retrieve it. After watching Scooter do retrieves each time, he began to follow suit the following year. This annoyed Scooter to no end and she would often grab a bird from his mouth so SHE could deliver it to Denny.
During all this progress and learning the Free Spirit was still alive and well. Boomer always remembered those 300 acres of his youth. Given the opportunity he would run off to explore them at a moments notice. This strained the partnership nearly to the breaking point through the early years. I can recall an early hunt with Boomer and Scooter when he completely disappeared into a woods along the river. We left the field without him. Denny found him the next day- tired, hungry, dirty, and covered in burrs. Bad Dog!
Fortunately, as the years went by, Boomer’s walkabouts became less frequent. He became focused on competing with his new four legged hunting partner, a Brittany named Spanky. The name of the game was find the next bird first. He also began to excel on pheasants. He understood their running ways and became very good at tracking escape routes through the cover. Boomer also had no aversion to water, and water retrieves were in his tool kit.
Speaking of WATER…
Boomer loved to lay in the water bowl. It did not matter how big around, how deep, how hot, how cold, he would climb in and get comfy. Denny carried 2 water bowls, one for drinking, and one for Boomer to lay in! He always made us laugh by diving in!
There were so many great moments with Boomer in the field. I recall one of our group taking him about 300 yards to the levee after an escaped bird. Boomer pointed it, Mike shot it, and Boomer retrieved it to hand. We all cheered from afar!
Then, there was the time 2 birds went down on the flush. With the first bird in his mouth and headed back toward us, he came across the second downed bird and stopped, unsure of how to complete his mission. Classic Boomer!
Boomer was also adept at pointing another bird with one in his mouth. Now that is multitasking at it’s finest. His super nose no doubt played a role. I can remember him pointing birds from 20-30 yards away many times. He would get into “pheasant mode” by lowering his head and body and slowly slinking along the scent cone to the bird. It was magical to watch.
Only the passing of time could slow Boomer down. At the age of 12 arthritis began to take a toll. Medication helped him cope for some time, but the days following hunts were difficult to recover from. In March of 2016, I was privileged to share Boomer’s last hunt. It was a fine day, a fine hunt, and a fine way to celebrate ten years of memories with a four legged Free Spirit. It is one hunt I will always cherish and never forget.
Boomer’s retirement was filled with walks around the yard, naps in the sun, the occasional trip to the vet, and loving care from Denny. He kept his appetite as before, making a daily appearance at the gate at suppertime. He also never lost his wandering ways. One afternoon he disappeared from the yard in an instant. Hours of searching revealed no trace of Boomer. The next morning a neighbor called to report that Boomer was asleep on his front porch. Denny had to wake him up when he got there. Apparently, our Free Spirit had one Hell of a night!
On the morning of January 27, 2018 Boomer did not wake up. He passed peacefully in his fourteenth year. That’s 98 years on a human timescale. He ran thousands of miles, pointed thousands of birds, and produced thousands of smiles for those who hunted with him. He certainly held up his end of the partnership. And he loved doing it for all those years. He did it so well, for so long, that he spoiled us. And we loved him for it. He now rests alongside Duke and Scooter in the field he loved to roam. Thank you Boomer, for the wonderful memories. Thank you for your Free Spirit way of life that you gave us.
Denny and Free Spirit Boomer forged a great partnership!
2021 Pheasants Forever Sporting Clay Shoot
and RW-RM Kelley Camp Fundraiser
August 21st marked the eleventh annual Pheasants Forever Central Indiana Chapter #642 Sporting Clay Shoot at Indiana Gun Club. From a modest beginning in 2009, the event has grown year by year into a hugely popular and highly successful fundraiser for the chapter. Generous support from a variety of sponsors and a grassroots appeal from the shooters who participate, make this annual event a shining example what passion for a purpose can accomplish. The time and hard work expended by the chapter's members should be applauded by all.
This year the following RW-RM members participated in the PF Sporting Clay Shoot: Joanne Randall, Phil Robinson, Robyn Garcia, Luke Garcia, Jack Moran, Mike Tolley, Keith Ingram, Scott Mertz, Rudy Zeigler, and Randy Kantner. You paid your registration fee, bought your mulligans, shot the fun stations, bid on silent auction items, and played the board games. All to support your local PF chapter which uses the money here in central Indiana. Thank you so much for your support!
Even though the PF Shoot took place on August 21st, the planning and work began in June. The Sporting Clay sub committee met numerous times to discuss and decide the who, what, where, and when of the entire event. The group was engaging, open to new ideas, and enthusiastic about improving the event this year. Thanks to Nick Brewer and Tim Smith- it was a pleasure to work with you this year.
While all the work and planning was taking place for the PF Shoot, our club's annual fundraiser was underway for the Karl E. Kelley Memorial Youth Camp. Our efforts began in 2011 with modest success, but with persistence and effort, we now enjoy amazing generosity and support each year. With more effort by all, I am sure we can continue to reach even higher goals in the future. Getting kids outdoors and supporting their interest in nature is key to insuring that our generation is not the last to know the great outdoors all around us. Our RW-RM members who donate are paying it forward by investing in this terrific program by the Indiana Conservation Officers Organization. Thank you to the following RW-RM members for your contributions to the 2021 Kelley Camp Fundraiser: Dennis Campbell, Jack Moran, Keith Ingram, Kim Polizotto, Larry Boram, Meredith Wilson, Mike Tolley, Phil Robinson, Randy Kantner, Rudy Zeigler, and Scott Mertz.
Since 2011 we have sponsored over 110 youth to attend the camp and provided needed equipment for the campers. These efforts are a great way to instill our love and passion for the outdoors into the next generation. In passing on our dreams to those that follow, we can take some comfort in the fact that they too will know the joy of watching a setter busting through cover on a crisp, cold morning. Or to feel in their chest the thrill of a covey rise on Opening Day. Or to watch an eagle glide silently above a river on it's quest to survive. We can make it happen! I thank you all again for your support!
RW-RM raised over $6,400 for Kelley Campers this year!
Spanky takes a break after the Ladies Hunt!
Chris looks on as Mila and Terra track a flushing Chukar!
Kim took a lot of hardware at the Tag Team Skeet Shoot!
"The Bunker" at Fairfield Sportsman's Club!
New Member Phil with lots and lots of roosters!
In the woods at the Kokomo Izaak Walton League Chili & Clays Shoot!
Mike T, Rudy, Steve(observing), Patti, Luke, and Skip shooting bunker trap at Fairfield Sportsman Club!
Phil fires away at Terre Haute Sporting Clays. Ejected shell in mid flight!
Randy, Patti, and Mike T took the podium at International Trap!
Steve was our top prize winner at Fairfield!
RW-RM Tower Shooters at Royal Flush!
A memorable Hun Hunt at Green Acres!
Mike T, Alan and Waylon, Mike L, Randy, and some big pheasants at Maier Pheasant Farm!
Patti braves the cold to be In The Field!
Patti with a smoker at Terre Haute Sporting Clays!
The KING and his Throne at the Fun Shoot!
Mike T at the ready during the Clays & Hunters Feast Shoot at Kokomo Izaak Walton League!
Mike L, Mike T, Joanne, Rudy, Patti, and Randy with some
beautiful birds after a successful hunt at Royal Flush!
Boomer's retirement hunt - he went out on top!
Spanky got down and dirty on the pheasants!
Joanne smokin' targets at Terre Haute Sporting Clays!
Patti, Denny, Boomer, and Spanky with the bounty of the Hunt!
Muzzle blast, wad, and shot cloud heading for target!
Make some memories...
enjoy a life In The Field!