Pontiac Sportsman's Club - April 12, 2009
It was a beautiful spring day, a little cool, but nice and sunny. We would be shooting at Pontiac Sportsman’s Club, in Pontiac, Illinois. This was my first 3-D shoot of the year, and I was really looking forward to it. This was also my first effort on uneven ground since my Achilles tendon surgery in early January. My surgeon has just released me from my walking boot two weeks earlier. I was a little nervous about the amount of walking, but it turned out to be about the perfect first time out.
We were welcomed to the club by the Club President Jerry Newkirk who also serves as the club archery director. Jerry and I had the opportunity to chat a bit and share our love of still hunting and stalking the elusive whitetail. The shoot fee was very reasonable and the club members we ran into were very friendly. There were bag targets set out at twenty, thirty and forty yards, although, my range finder found them a couple of yards longer.
The 3-D course was laid out with ten stations around the perimeter of the property with three separate targets at each station. Each location provided ample variations in shooting opportunities such as elevation, heavy cover, tree stands and even over water. The stations were laid out in such a way as to assure no interference between one station and the next. However it was somewhat confusing on occasion as to where the shooting positions began and which stations were the right positions. Maybe I am just getting old, but I had to ask for clarification. The targets were a mixture of Rinehart and McKenzie and were in really good shape. The placements provided variety and occasionally some interesting challenges. In fact, some of the target placement did not offer any honest shots at the target. But that’s okay, from my perspective, because that is the reality while hunting as well. I was reminded of that notion when I tried to snake an arrow to a deer target only to have it deflected by the tinniest of branches, something that has happened to me on more than one occasion when hunting deer and elk.
Many of the targets were located downhill from the shooting position, and I liked that, because all too often these shoots are mostly flat terrain. Steep downhill shots, like treestand shots, make you think before you loose that arrow. Another nice part of this shoot was the river backdrop. Twenty one of the targets were located with the river as a backdrop. It was a dangerous river too! At one point the river jumped up and snagged one of my arrows on the way to the target!
The Pontiac Sportsmen Club sits on a contoured piece of land and a large pond just west of the I-55 overpass on 4-H Park Rd. in Pontiac Ill. This perfect location for a sporting club is surrounded on its outside boarders by a flowing river and embankment. There is ample open space for activities as well as range shooting for archery, pistol and rifle. One of the highlights of this Club is a beautiful pond running the length of the property. Currently there are at least three pair of nesting Canada Geese in straw filled containers, provided by the Club, that are floating on the pond. The Geese appear right at home there and undisturbed by the visiting sportsmen. There are four large well maintained fishing docks situated around the pond that has been participating in a 5 year stocking plan. Although the assessments are not all in yet, the water hosts Bluegill, Crappy, Smallmouth Bass and Channel Cats.
The clubhouse consists of a large main room well illuminated by big windows overlooking the water, as well as a full kitchen and facilities. Jerry says they have just installed a new walk in cooler in the kitchen and they are looking forward to additional new improvements in the near future for other areas of the club. Jerry is effusive in his expression of the congenial type of club members.
Oh, how did I shoot? Well....like I said, it was a beautiful spring day...
You can contact the Jerry, the Pontiac Sportsman’s Club President by email - firstname.lastname@example.org. Or take a drive out that way. It's worth the trip.