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Antioch Chamber shooting event a blast

Instructor Steve Beer Fox Lake shows Deb Porter Antioch how aim shotgun during Antioch Chamber Commerce Turkey Shoot event held

Instructor Steve Beer of Fox Lake shows Deb Porter of Antioch how to aim a shotgun during the Antioch Chamber of Commerce Turkey Shoot event held at Richmond Hunting Club. Members would take 10 shots at sporting clays at 5 different stations. | Thomas Delany Jr.~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: December 17, 2012 1:58AM

ANTIOCH — Michelle Resetar-McDowell usually spends her time exterminating bugs at the family- owned Pest Control Services.

But on Wednesday, she got a chance to exterminate some orange clay pigeons.

She was at an Antioch Chamber of Commerce & Industry outing which wasn’t like your usual chamber get-together.

The Antioch Chamber put together a Turkey Shoot and Steak Fry where everyone shot sporting clays, then lunched in the clubhouse of the Richmond Hunt Club surrounded by walls mounted with dead animals.

“I got eight,” Resetar-McDowell said afterward. That’s eight out of 50 and not too bad for someone who never shot sporting clays before. Shooters go to different stations and the clay pigeons fly out from different angles.

“They gave me a 20 (gauge). It wasn’t bad. The 20 didn’t really kick that hard,” said the 49-year-old describing the 20-gauge shotgun the Richmond club gave her to shoot.

“It was a beautiful day, too,” she said. “I also got to meet a lot of people I haven’t met before or haven’t seen at the chamber meetings.”

And that was part of the point, according to Barbara Porch, executive director of the Antioch Chamber.

“We had been looking for different types of events that would take people out of the business environment, a more relaxed event. That increases the amount of networking people do,” she said. “We hope to make it an annual event.” And so do a lot of the participants.

Lorrie Ferguson traded in the prim-and-proper tea shop and restaurant she owns in Antioch called infini-tea on Main Street. It was her first time and she got five out of 10 at one of the stations. “See, even tea ladies can shoot,” she said with a laugh.

Letty Rodriguez from Grande Jakes Restaurant said she shot about six years ago and she was excited about doing it again. “I was so excited I didn’t go to sleep last night. The time was going too slow,” said Rodriguez, who ended up getting nine out of 50.

Porch joked that as they walked to their station to shoot, a pheasant walked right past them. “He wasn’t worried about us,” she said.

Tony Barucca, manager of the club, told all the first-timers that they really should consider icing down their shoulders afterward. “You might not feel it tomorrow, but you will the next day. It’s worth it,” he said.

The Richmond Hunt Club offers upland bird hunts for pheasant, quail, turkey, chukar (partridge), and ducks through memberships or one-day guided hunts. There is a full-service restaurant and bar on site and they also do pig roasts. The club also sports 30 different stations for sporting clay enthusiasts, including one tower station where clay pigeons fly out from underneath you and one where you shoot from a raft in the lake.

“This is hard,” said Michael Ano of Colette & Ano Plumbing Co., after coming off the raft at one station where the clay pigeons were smaller than regular ones. “Hey, I think you got a fish,” he joked as another shooter missed the target and hit the water.

Everyone agreed that Brian Shaughnessy was the top gun. At the tower station, he got two clays with one shot (and so did Jim Keim, Antioch village administrator) and ended the day with 46 of 50. “I used to shoot a lot,” he said.

“I still get the jitters when I go to the first station. But it’s a big adrenaline rush,” he said. The key to success? “Don’t think too hard.”

Chris Shkyria, who owns the Lawn Doctor, went with his father, Ernie, and it was a first for them. At one point, they weren’t sure if they were going to go. “It was actually a lot of fun,” said Chris, who could feel it a little bit in his shoulder.

They didn’t hit too many. “It’s like golfing or anything else, you need to do it a lot,” he said. “It was fun and I met some great people.”

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