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As I noted here, I got to spend Friday afternoon shooting sporting clays with Gov. Rick Perry and a small group of conservative bloggers (who were in town for the Red State Gathering). We all piled onto a chartered bus from downtown Austin and headed out to the Cypress Valley Preserve in Liberty Hill for a little friendly shooting competition.
On the bus ride there, I was lucky enough to sit with my friend and fellow Austin blogger (and independent film maker) AnnaZ, who is currently shooting a documentary on Austin Liberal-provocateur-turned-good-guy Brandon Darby.
Once at the ranch, we got a warm welcome from Gov. Rick Perry and a safety briefing before splitting up into teams of 4 (or 5 in our case) to head out onto the sporting clay course:
Our team consisted of:
- Michael Quinn Sullivan — president and CEO of Empower Texans, and its premier project, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility
- Drew Ryun — Executive Director of the American Majority Texas and Oklahoma, and (more interestingly to me) son of Rep. Jim Ryun (R-KS), who is also the former WR holder in the mile, 1500m and 880yd.
- Raz Shafer — the New Media Manager for American Majority, and a self-described Singer/Song-writer, Cigar/Fly-fishing/Gun Aficionado. Oh, and a helluva shot, as Raz was the eventual overall top-scoring individual shooter.
Gov. Perry was at several different stations, and was there to “guest shoot” for somebody on your team (he shot for AnnaZ at this station):
And of course, yours truly:
More after the jump (including me trying to sell Gov. Perry on the merits of barefoot running):Gov. Perry is an avid and quite accomplished runner, so when he saw my choice of shooting footwear, he told me to sit down and talk to him about running barefooted. Here’s the post I submitted to BirthdayShoes.com (not yet posted):
On Friday I had the opportunity to go shoot sporting clays with Texas Governor Rick Perry at a private hunting ranch in Liberty Hill, TX.
I knew the area would be hilly and rocky, with a lot of hiking between shooting stations. Additionally, having a solid and balanced stand is essential to shooting sporting clays.
Which means that I knew my new KSO Trek Sports would be the ideal footwear for a little competitive shooting in the Texas Hill Country.
If you’ve never shot sporting clays before, it’s a lot like playing golf. With shotguns. Each shooting station presents a pair of clay pigeons thrown from various heights, directions, and trajectories, and you have two shells in your shotgun to shoot down each target. You typically shoot each pair of clays 3-4 times, and score the number of “killed” targets.
I had a lot of interesting comments and subsequent conversations with people about my shoes — to include Gov. Rick Perry. When Gov. Perry first noticed my shoes, he was sitting on a bench waiting his turn to shoot, and looked down and said, “Whoa — what the heck is on your feet? Oh, I’ve heard about those…are they comfortable?”
Gov. Perry asked me to sit down and tell him more about my toe shoes. He even asked me to take one off so he could examine it more closely. For those that don’t know, Gov. Perry is an avid and very good runner, often competing (at a fairly competitive level) in local 5 and 10k races. He said, “I could never run in those because I need more cushioning.” To which I responded, “No you don’t.”
Anyhow, I gave him my 2-minute testimonial on how VFFs have changed my life and enabled me to start living free from the knee pain that has plagued and hindered me for the last 10 years. He said the wanted to get a pair to give ‘em a try in his running.
As for the shooting, the Trek Sports were perfect for hiking the rocky terrain, and the balance while setting up and shooting was remarkable. So add, shooting clay pigeons with the Governor of Texas as something else you can do in your VFFs.
And a few more random pics from the event:
I was lucky enough to sit next to one of my very favorite Conservative bloggers and good friend Kathleen McKinley (RightWing Sparkle) on the way back to Austin. We compared our tastes in funky footwear:
Anyhow — a great time was had by all. Only one person got shot in the face (ok…so she wasn’t really shot, but she was hit in the face by the falling shards of an exploded clay pigeon from a station where you took a near vertical shot, resulting in what looked like birdshot in the face).