A few days ago there was a break in our cold snowy winter weather and it warmed to about 40 degrees. Along with two friends, Ray and Carter, we decided to enjoy it with a round of sporting clays at Hopkins Hunting and Sporting Clays. It is conveniently located in Kennedyville, a centrally located town in Kent County.
They have 28 automated stations overlooking ponds, fields, ravines, and woods. We like that you can shoot without having a guide to pull the traps. At the front desk Linda gives you an electronic device you plug into each station to throw one clay at a time, or two simultaneously. Shooting on report is also fun; that is when you shoot at the first target and as soon as the report is heard, the second target is released.
We do not keep score and just enjoy the outdoors, the day, and a good long walk with friends. Hopkins has a good mix of all types of flying clay targets. That means the clay birds can be different sizes, come from left-to-right, right-to-left, overhead, and from behind or at you. The speeds of the clay targets also vary from station to station. There are lots of variables. It makes each station a challenge. The owner of Hopkins changes the stations regularly so the station may be in the same location but the clay targets flight characteristics differ.
The weather also makes the clay targets fly differently on different days; wind from different directions really makes things interesting.
Carter brings his own golf cart so we pile our on our ammo and guns and hitch a ride or walk to the different stations. They also rent golf carts at Hopkins if you choose not to walk. It really is a nice place to shoot. The whole farm encompasses about 30,000 acres and there is a paved path from station to station. We usually shoot 50 targets which takes us about 2 hours as we do not hurry. Usually during the week Hopkins is not crowded so we go at our own pace.
I have a number of clients who join me in shooting sporting clays. When my son is home for the weekend we often go. It gives us time to talk on a one on one basis without distractions. I gave him a good Beretta 12 gauge sporting clay gun a few years ago that he is enjoying. I shoot a Caesar Guerini 12 gauge shot gun and it works well for me.
I do not hunt but Hopkins also offers deer, pheasant and goose hunting parties. If you haven't tried shooting sporting clays they do offer lessons at Hopkins to get you started.
I am not great at shooting sporting clays but enjoy the activity and being outdoors with friends. This is the beauty of living on the Eastern Shore. Your friends are close and accessible, just like the outdoors. Hopkins is a member of the National Sporting Clays Association and hosts tournaments regularly. It is open year round and of the many Kent County Activities offered.