Missouri State Coordinator Casey Bergthold welcoming everyone to the 2021 Missouri Shotgun Showcase, presented by Runnings.
By Tanner Bruse, Ag & Conservation Programs Manager in Minnesota
I don’t so much remember the heat, though it was hot, or the sunburn, and it was a good one.
What I remember of the 2021 Missouri Shotgun Showcase was the energy, the laughter and the smiles of over fifty friends from across the state, gathered at Midway Farms to share a May day shooting clays and making connections for conservation.
As we rolled down a dusty gravel road and pulled into Midway Farms, bobwhite quail whistled from all directions as a testament to the habitat work that the farm’s management team has done over the years.
As our team carried supplies into the lodge, the farm’s master-of-the-smoker was finishing up the perfect sear on lunch’s main course, Johnsonville’s bratwursts, while we iced down the after-shoot drinks from Bur Oak Brewery and made other preparations. The course area would have historically been a patchwork of open woodlands and savannas on the exposed slopes with closed canopy forests on the wetter, more productive soils. The thinning and burning the crew had done in the area had restored that beautiful park-like scene.
After lunch, a safety conversation and sponsor recognition, shooters were off to their stations. At almost every station sat a brand-new shotgun and boxes of Federal shells. Guns from Benelli, Beretta, Browning, CZ-USA, Franchi and Weatherby all made the trip. After the participants shot their sporting clays station, they could test the showcase guns, admiring their fit and finish.
Back at the lodge, the chatter was electric as we tallied scores, poured drinks and handed out awards. High scores and low, everyone had a smile, a beverage and a new favorite shotgun to dream about. As more than one shooter jokingly lamented the fact that the Thorogood had only sent right-footed boots for their display — a smart move on their part — our biologists made connections with landowners looking for quail management recommendations.
Here’s to seeing you at the 2022 Missouri Shotgun Showcase Conservation Shoot. Cheers!
This story originally appeared in the 2021 Fall Issue of the Pheasants Forever Journal. If you enjoyed it and would like to be the first to read more great upland content like this, become a Pheasants Forever member today!