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 Post subject: Shooting and Hunting Jamaica
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:29 pm 
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Location: Decatur, AL
I was corresponding with a forum member from Jamaica. I was surprised by the following:
"Yes sir, born and raised! The clay shooting community is not very big relatively speaking (200+), but those shooters we do have are very dedicated and the competition is pretty fierce! Several of our shooters also compete concurrently in the US, and we have more than our fair share of NSCA AA and Master Class shooters. I'm a lowly C class shooter myself but I'm quickly accelerating through the ranks. Our ranking system goes from E-A.

Our major clay shooting club is the Jamaica Skeet Club, and despite the name, Sporting Clays is by far the most popular discipline. In fact, our national champion each year is determined largely by a 200 target sporting clays event, with all the other disciplines (skeet, 5 stand, FITASC, Olympic trap) being represented as "sub-events". We don't shoot any American trap. Our 2011 national champ Shaun Barnes is actually competing in the trap event at the PanAm Games. So far results haven't been wonderful, but he'll have the coming year to practice up for next time.

Our Clay Shooting season runs between October and July, ending in time for what most of us shooters consider our Christmas come early: pigeon and dove season. It lasts 6 weeks, 3 shoots per week (2 on Sat and 1 on Sun) and we shoot 4 species:

Bald Pate (aka white crowned pigeon)
White winged dove
Short tailed pea-dove (aka mourning dove)
Long tailed pea dove (aka zenaida dove)

The method is pass shooting, with very few hunters shooting over dogs. This may strike you as strange, but in Jamaica the work ordinarily done by dogs (the picking up part, no flushing necessary) is done by rural residents affectionately referred to as "bird men". The Bald Pate is the most sought after bird, it being the biggest and most elusive. They are the only one of the 4 that will not respond to a baited field, preferring to feed on naturally occurring seeds and berries. Shooting Bald Pate typically means a hike into the hills as they prefer to feed and roost at altitude. There is a combined bag limit of 20 birds per shoot, with bald pate constituting no more than 15 of the 20.

I've done many kinds of bird shooting, including pheasant, partridge and ducks, but I have to say I still find Jamaican "bird bush" to be among the most challenging and adrenaline inducing. There's also a very distinct camaraderie and friendly competition that really adds to the experience."

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