Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sporting Clay Review of Old Hudson Plantation

It's been a long time since I've done a review of a sporting clay facility. Too long. I've been shooting locally at my two great "home" ranges of Hermitage Farms in Camden and Palmetto Outdoors (formerly Live Oaks) in Swansea, so I haven't traveled anywhere far away to do any shooting worth reviewing. Until this weekend, that is.

Over the weekend, I had the chance to go shoot at Old Hudson Plantation, near Lake Oconee in Georgia. Old Hudson Plantation has been owned by the same family since 1779, it's a full-services facility for anything you want to hunt or shoot. From quail to deer hunts, from trap to sporting clays, this place has it all. They even have their own hatchery where they raise game birds.

Our group was there to shoot sporting clays, which is sometimes referred to as "golf with a shotgun". Since we were mostly experienced shooters, we had our own guns, ammo, gear, and all we needed was a gas-powered Kawasaki mule that the folks at Old Hudson let us use.

The course was wonderful. The sporting clay course is little over a mile loop through the tall Georgia pines and rolling hills. You could tell that the folks at Old Hudson really took care in setting up the course, as the target presentation was very precise, well-done, and challenging for an experienced shooter, but accessible to newer shooters.

The most creative bird presentation was one station where the trap dropped the clay target into a metal chute that was essentially two rails which made the target roll on its edge until it dropped out of the chute where it immediately fell downwards, forcing you to break it on the fall. I'd never seen that before.

The owner, instructors, and staff at Old Hudson Plantation were friendly, made us feel like old friends coming in for a shoot (as opposed to customers) and were generous with taking care that we had everything we needed without being overly pushy in the way some veteran instructors can be.

I had a wonderful time, and my only regret was that I had to leave. If you're ever around the Lake Oconee area (about halfway between Augusta and Atlanta) I highly recommend you stop by Old Hudson Plantation for some shooting. They'll treat you right.

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