Stag Dining: Shot and a Beer: The Shoot — Last weekend, I got the opportunity to revisit an old experience and try a new one, too. Through the Stag Dining group, I spent a Sunday afternoon and evening shooting clay pigeons, consuming a six-course beer and food tasting and meeting several new people with interesting stories of their own along Lake Merced in southwest San Francisco.
The event was hosted by the Pacific Rod & Gun Club, which has a long-standing tradition of being the Bay Area’s only place to shoot trap and skeet. Despite its sterling reputation, positive contributions to the community and historic significance in the city for more than 80 years, the club faced a series of hurdles from city bureaucrats, which almost resulted in the club’s lease not being renewed. For now, the issue is resolved with the club having a month-to-month lease agreement.
But after spending the afternoon at the club along the lake, I felt fortunate to shoot there, especially after learning how close they came to being forced out (and they’re still operating without the security of a long-term lease). I saw a wide range of people shooting at the various fields and the group that gathered to shoot and dine reflected the same diversity.
Granted, it’s probably not hard to gather together people around the idea of shooting guns, eating great food and trying new beers from a local independent brewery — Almanac Beer Co., whose 4-packs I sought out at the Whole Foods on the drive back home. But the experience felt like something special.
There were a lot of first-time shooters there and plenty of trained and experienced staff on hand to not just keep everyone safe, but also help you hit your targets. If you’ve never shot before, then it’s hard to describe how much fun breaking clays can be until you’ve done it. It’s really satisfying seeing orange discs burst into pieces.
It’s been about nine years since I last shot. In college I sporadically joined the Illini Trap & Skeet Club, but never got serious enough about it to the point of going regularly or buying my own gun. I wouldn’t consider myself a good shot, but I did manage to shoot 80% for the day, so I felt pretty good about that.
Stag Dining also provided a cheese and prosciutto spread and (non-alcoholic) drinks for the shoot before the dinner.