Five-stand will humble you quickly

You’d think I’d learn. Every time I start getting a little cocky about my shotgunning abilities, I find myself missing every single shot.

My first exposure to five-stand shooting was at the Game and Fish Department’s Wyoming Hunting and Fishing Heritage Expo in Casper. I was working at the shotgun station, and between groups of kids who came through to get a quick shooting lesson, we had plenty of time to shoot targets of our own.

It was one of those days when everything was working right. I didn’t hit all the targets by any means, but I did better than I thought I was capable of. And that unexpected good fortune on the trap line started to artificially inflate my ego.

I try to keep from getting cocky when I’m shooting well, but for some reason, I never can. The only difference between that Expo weekend and the other rare occasions when I get on a lucky streak is that most of the time, when I start getting a big head, I start missing shots. At the Expo, my burgeoning arrogance didn’t cause me to miss. At least, not until we moved to the five-stand.

Five-stand is a lot like sporting clays, but instead of moving from station to station, there are five cages, and you shoot three rounds from each. The first round at each stand is a single, the second is a report double, meaning the second target is thrown when you fire your first shot, and the third is a true double. That’s where both targets get chucked at the same time.

And they don’t stop there. They make some roll along the ground, and they’ll take a random bounce when they hit uneven ground. Or they throw tiny targets the size of a poker chip.

If you think skeet’s humbling, go give five-stand a try. Out of the 25 targets, I probably only hit 8 or 9. It was mortifying. But at least it deflated my head before it got too big to fit in my truck for the drive home.