Duck Shoot is a blast
John Montes blasts away during the Rod and Gun Club Duck Shoot, Sunday. Photos by Ralph Stewart
The action was fast and furious at the MV Rod and Gun Club Duck Shoot, Sunday. For most participants, hitting a speeding black disc in a stiff northeast wind proved more difficult than it may have appeared.
Two-man teams took turns attempting to hit as many birds, clay targets used in skeet that were sent hurtling in front of a simulated duck blind, as possible. Each shooter was provided with a box of 25 shells and could only load two shells at a time. Shooters had to remain sitting in the blind.
Although the game was new to the club, shooters quickly realized that success required teamwork, with one person loading while the other was shooting, and quick reflexes.
Aaron Beck, a duck hunter and carpenter from Farmington, Conn. who is working on the Vineyard for a few months, arrived at the rod and gun club looking for a partner. John Durfee of West Tisbury was glad to partner up. It proved to be a good match.
Aaron Beck and John Durfee were winners at the Sunday duck shoot.
The Durfee-Beck team took the first round by breaking 29 targets, followed by John Montes of Edgartown and Spider Andresen of Chilmark with 25, and Cooper Gilkes of Edgartown and Nelson Sigelman of Vineyard Haven at 23. During the second round, open to the top three finishers, the team of Durfee-Beck tied with team Montes-Andresen.
In the shoot-off tie-breaker, each man was provided with five shells and each team up to 15 targets. The Durfee-Beck duo shot 8 targets out of ten to take first place.
Off to the side of the adult action, Brett Stearns, director of the Wampanoag Tribe Natural Resources Department, and Jeff Day, a Chilmark police officer and state hunting instructor, provided a group of Island youngsters with a simulated shooting experience on an electronic range.
The youngsters also received safety tips, outdoor maps, book, and hats.
Inside the clubhouse, Matthew Stackpole, director of the MV Historical Society, displayed duck hunting objects that make up part of the society's rich collection of Vineyard decoys and fowling pieces.