Camanche Hills Hunting Preserve

Located in Ione, CA

This year over 300 shooters attended the California Sporting Clays Championship held at the Camanche Hills Hunting Preserve in Ione, CA.

The State Association tries to alternate the Championship between the northern part of the state one year, and the southern part of the state the next year. This format works out pretty well because it gives everybody a chance to participate.

While Camanche Hills is certainly off the beaten path, it’s well worth the drive. The road from Hwy. 88 to Camanche Hills is spectacular. You start in the vineyards of Lodi, then go through the grass-covered foothills of the “gold country”, finally ending up on the north shore of the Camanche Reservoir.

Camanche Hills is a huge facility and was able to do a GREAT job with this year’s State Shoot. They made good use of the gently rolling terrain by setting up two separate and challenging 12-station courses. In addition they had five 5-stands, a Make-A-Break, a FITASC course and small gauge events. All the machines worked and the wait times were minimal. There were workers constantly making the rounds checking and loading machines. You could tell they put a lot of planning and effort into this event.

Friday’s Prelim was held under bright sunny skies, with temps in the mid 70’s. Whoever set the targets did a pretty good job. The targets were butt-kickers and more than a few people walked off the course shaking their heads. There weren't any short windows or eye tests, just good, clean, tough targets.

As nice a day as Friday was, Saturday wasn’t.

There was a light rain falling when I met my squad on the Blue course. Nobody was happy about shooting in the rain, but luckily we all brought our rain gear. Bruce Barsotti had set one of the courses and after shooting a few stations, I figured these were his targets. Bruce’s targets are always doing something. They’re either curling at the end, falling right when you want to shoot them, turning on edge, something. Even with the rain I was able to shoot a 75 and I felt good about it. About the time the 11:00 am squads were finishing up, so was the rain.

Saturday evening was the BBQ and the money shoot-off. The organizers drew names out of a hat and three groups of five shot a round of 5-stand for the prize money. Some people watched the shoot offs while others were more interested in the BBQ. No matter which one you chose, you weren’t disappointed.

Thankfully the skies were clearer on Sunday because today I was shooting the Red course. Even though the Red course was the harder of the two, I didn’t find it that bad. For some reason I was breaking targets and doing OK. I even managed to break the 70-yard teal four times, unfortunately two of the times were when the out-goer broke, so they didn’t count. Some of the targets were really challenging but I still enjoyed shooting them. With the nicer weather and a score of 71 I was having a much better time.

After stowing my gear and checking my scores against the scoreboard I figured that the “High Over All” trophy probably wouldn’t fit in my car anyway. So I packed up my stuff and headed for home.

All in all, the 2005 California Sporting Clays Championship was a GREAT event and Camanche Hills did an OUTSTANDING job of hosting it. If you ever get a chance to shoot with them, take it. You won’t be sorry.

On to the pictures  |  Link to Camanche Hills  |  Back to my home page


This work of art was created by me.
All rights reserved.