Event held in October 2018
November 11th Event photos etc to follow soon
Well, I can't believe that the 'Trifecta British Driven Wing Shooting' opening season event has come and gone so quickly.
Created and hosted for Green Acres Sportsman's Club, Illinois, it was a truly outstanding three-days of Driven Wing shooting with one of the best team of Guns I have had the privilege of Captaining since my time at the Dunira Estate in Scotland back in 2008.
This tailored three day shoot was produced as the annual flagship event that opened the British style Driven Wing shooting season, put in place for Green Acres and run in the format and style of a traditional Estate Shooting Party.
Guns Of The Shoot Party - Left to right:
Greg Widrig, David Dyer, Bob Watson, Mike Pence, Dillon Drahota, Dr. Larry Drahota, Bill Mathis & Austin Cangelosi.
"Following is the event Album covering all three shoot days, the wonderful hospitality, Sporting Camaraderie and the people that joined together to make it such an outstanding success".
Day 1. The Downton Day Simulated Driven Shoot
The first day of the Trifecta is our "Downton Day" Driven shoot which simulates the four British Bird seasons.
Our first drive was August Driven Grouse, next we moved onto September/ October driven Partridge/Early Pheasant, then onto High Flying November Pheasants and the final drive being December/January 'Sky Screaming Pheasants'.
Here are some short videos of Drive 1: The Grouse Butts, Drive
I will be uploading further videos soon of Drive2: River Tree Bend and Drive 3: High Pines West,
Unfortunately we don’t have one of our last drive no.4 Northern tree Tops as the clays (midis) were so high the camera couldn’t catch them!
It was at the end of the River Tree Bend drive, that Larry 'The Doc.' Drahota very generously gave me the privilege of shooting his magnificent matched pair of 1910 Purdey S X S’s double triggers’, it's only when you hold and actually shoot Guns of this quality do you truly understand and appreciate the incredible craftsmanship that went into their making, I won't forget that day for a very long time to come.
Day 2. The Grand Battue Tower Shoot.
Day two of the Trifecta is the Grand Battue (Driven). This begins with a warm up Simulated Drive off the High Tower so the Guns can get their “Eye In” before moving off to the first release at “Prairie Tower”. Here we started the first drive with a traditional Line of Guns which got the day off to a high flying start.
Then for the following drives we circled the tower to take full advantage of the varying wind direction
The Grand Hospitality
The shoot hospitality is a hugely important part of the day and the weekend shoot party. In the UK an Estate is judged as much by its food as it’s shooting and we pride ourselves in providing the very best hospitality you will find on either side of the Atlantic.
Each day starts with a hearty breakfast, followed by traditional “Elevensies” snacks, a “Wee Nip” of something, generally Port and of course the warming “Bullshot” broth, always a house secret recipe and guaranteed to keep you warm regardless of the weather. Then at the end of the day it’s back to the lodge for the post shoot Dinner.
However the Grand Battue Saturday is a little different, as the evening meal is a traditional Dress Diner with gentlemen in jackets and Ties and ladies in Cocktail wear. As dinner is served later in the day, the Guns are treated to English “High Tea” around 3pm to keep them going; this consists of sandwiches and cakes:
The evening begins with the traditional “Piping Of The Birds” where the Guns toast the Birds with glass of Champagne, for providing them with such great sport, then Guns and guests take their seats to enjoy a true Gourmet 5 Course dinner, during which our resident Piper plays “The Black Bear” as the Entrée is paraded for the Guests to see before carving.
This is my lovely Wife Brenda who plans our menus and heads up our Kitchen Brigade that includes Nell and Cindy Ihrke, she starts cooking on Thursdays for the evening meet and great casual Dinner then it’s a full on, nonstop three days. Brenda does the cooking and I run front of house as shoot host and match the Wines with the menus, it’s a tough job but someone has to do it!
This year was our second Trifecta event and I am delighted to say that the first Gun that booked a Peg for this year was Dr. Larry Drahota (who shot last year) and subsequently added 3 more Guns that included his Son Dillon, one of the nicest Young Chaps I have had the pleasure of meeting for some considerable time and what an excellent shot he is.
In a conversation running up to the event Larry had mentioned to me he had a rather special gift for all the Guns that he would like to give out at the Saturday Diner. This generous gesture turned out to be a Saint Hubert’s medallion that had actually been dipped in the Holy Waters at the Vatican and a Stags Head Broach, symbol of St. Hubert for the Ladies. I received a very special Hunt Masters medallion that I shall now wear with pride on all future shoots.
Day 3. Full British Driven Mallard Shoot & Grand Finale’
Following yet another hearty breakfast, which on the last day is traditional “Kedgeree”, the Guns moved to our superb Water Flyway where they took station on their Pegs in readiness to shoot a bag of 260 Ducks. Our outstanding High Flying mallards provided some magnificent sporting Shots for the Guns with the highest shot of the day, a clean kill at some 160’ went to
Austin Cangelosi. The weather gods had been on our side all through the weekend and Sunday was so glorious we took “Elevensies” in true British style in the field which added that extra little bit of sparkle to the day.
After some truly outstanding shooting the Guns achieved a full bag of 260 birds and brought this amazing event to a Classic Finish. After enjoying a final post shoot lunch (you don’t get a meal off for good behavior here!) goodbyes were said and promises made to all meet again next year, which we are already starting to plan.
This Trifecta has truly been one of the very best shoots and the best team of Guns I have had the privilege of Captaining since I was the manager of the Dunira Estate, Perthshire Scotland back in 2008, roll on next year!
The Green Acres Piper in Residence.
Special mention must be made of our Piper, Tom Hinrichsen. Tom plays for the Springfield Championship Pipe Band, he did an absolutely brilliant job for us, and is now our Piper in residence.
Before closing this Shoot album I would like to say what a fantastic job our superb Team of retrievers did over the two Live driven days and supported the Guns .
The Guys & Girls did and always do an absolutely brilliant job and are a vital element in making all our Hunts and Shoots the success they are, on behalf of all the Guns and myself "Thank You Very Much!", regards Keith.
The Hunters Prayer to St. Hubert.
The Photo Gallery.
Great Shooting, fantastic hospitality, wonderful camaraderie and many laughs along the way, why not join us for next year
Till next year as the Scots say:
May the best ye hae ivver seen be the warst ye'll ivver see.
May the moose ne'er leave yer girnal wi a tear-drap in its ee.
May ye aye keep hail an hertie till ye'r auld eneuch tae dee.
May ye aye juist be sae happie as A wuss ye aye tae be.
Best regards from myself and all the team here at Green Acres.