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Sporting clays, sporting chance

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In many places, outside of the workplace, business is conducted on the golf course.

But, of course, the Brained lakes area isn’t most places. Sure, world-class golf tracts abound here. But so do, say, sporting clays courses.

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Enter the Sporting Clays Summer Fling.

“Golf is great, but there are a lot of people (in the greater Brainerd lakes business community) who aren’t golfers,” said Jeff Fitch, regional manager at SCR-Northern of Brainerd, who has participated in the Summer Fling since the start. “It’s for outdoors enthusiasts who wanted to do something different. So we said ‘let’s try it and see how it goes’ — not as a big function but as networking.”

The fifth annual Summer Fling is scheduled Tuesday, June 19 at Rice Creek Hunting & Recreation near Little Falls. It’s an afternoon event, and registration, lunch and the warmup station are available from 12:15-1:15 p.m., with a 1:30 p.m. shotgun start at the sporting clays course. The day also includes the Team Flurry Shoot at 3:30 p.m. and wild game hors d’oeuvres and prizes from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Random prize drawings also are scheduled and feature a CZ Model 912 semi-automatic .12-gauge shotgun and two 10-bird pheasant hunts at Rice Creek.

Participants are urged to sign up a team of four or network with others by signing up as an individual and being teamed with three other shooters. Brainerd Lakes Chamber members, whether men or women and regardless of skill level, are encouraged to participate in the 50-target shoot. Traveling trophies will be awarded to the top shooters in the Rooster (men), Hen (women), Clutch (team) and Flush (Flurry shoot) divisions. As of Friday, about 12 teams were entered, according to Ruth Ann Hanson, programs and event director for the Chamber.

“There were multiple women’s teams last year,” Fitch said. “The first year there were just a couple of ladies, but it grows every year. They’re getting the word out. There are some very good (women) shooters. And there are some good community people involved. It’s just gained strength.”

Cost is $60 for individuals and $225 for a team of four. Registration deadline is Wednesday. For a registration form or more information, contact Ruth Ann Hanson at (218) 822-7119 or rhanson@explorebrainerdlakes.com.

“It’s networking and sporting clays. It’s a nice time to get out and do some fine-tuning,” Fitch said. “And smelling the gunpowder. How can it get much better? It’s a stress reliever. That’s the way the chamber looked at it. It’s a different concept.”

Sponsors will enjoy networking opportunities throughout the afternoon while promoting their business.

“It has revitalized old business and brought in new business,” Fitch said of the event, which, as usual, will end with a flurry.

“You network at each of the stations and there’s a big flurry shoot in the end,” he said. “There’s a lot of people around that.

“We’re out there to have fun. It’s not a competition. It’s meant to be fun,” Fitch said, adding, “But everyone’s a little competitive.”

BRIAN S. PETERSON, outdoors editor, may be reached at brian.peterson@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5864. To follow him on Twitter, go to www.twitter.com/brian_speterson. For his blogs, go to www.brainerddispatch.com.

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