I think the level of exertion at sporting clays courses should extend beyond the trigger finger. The name “sporting clays” implies a certain level of physical activity. But, a number of courses have paths for vehicles and even golf carts for transporting shooters and their gear from one station to the next. Distances between each shooting location are generally 40 yards and up. For us, upland hunting is an active sport that involves a fair share of hiking. So when we shoot sporting clays to practice bird gunning, we prefer not to drive a vehicle from station to station. We walk. And we don’t push a glorified stroller with a gun rack that some courses provide, either. We lug the gear and guns between volleys, just like we would in the field. This also allows for a healthy dose of banter, and time to keep a close eye on the score.
There’s no monetary wager between my nephew Zach and I when we shoot clays on this Off-Season Odyssey. The stakes are simple and immediate: lose the station and you lug the shooting bag to the next.
Big whoop, right? Well, Filson’s Sportsman Bag can make that lugging a bigger deal than you might think. In the main compartment Zach and I stash 300 rounds of 20-gauge shells, because even if the course is only 100 clays you still can never have enough ammo. It looks as though we’d easily be able to stow 16 boxes of 20-gauge and still have room for our two cameras, mini-tripod and various POV video accessories that we pack to chronicle the round.
In the rear outside pocket we put all our gun cleaning gear: rags, oil, cleaning rod, grease and barrel snake. And during the round we stash our shotgun socks in this compartment for safe keeping too.
In the front zippered pocket goes hearing protection, shooting gloves, eye protection, choke tubes and wrenches and cell phones for two shooters. In the pockets on either end we place keys, drinks and the scoring clipboard. I’m pretty certain we’ve intentionally made this bag as heavy as possible to inflict the worst punishment for poor shooting.
With the hefty bridle leather strap, thick canvas and beefy zippers you just know this Filson bag is built to take a beating. I’m not real certain what it weighs when fully stocked, I just know the added heft never stings quite as much as the reason you’re carrying it in the first place. So the best course of action is to get a Filson Sportsman’s Bag and make sure your shooting buddy carries it the entire time.
When the round is complete we remove the cameras, restock the shells and there’s room to stow two Filson shooting vests for the next outing. I suppose one could use this Sportsman’s Bag for any sort of travel or adventure, but why would you want to when it’s perfect for shotgunning?