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Great Shooting Getaways

In my travels through the west Iíve come across some unique and interesting shooting facilities, and some which are great fun. I almost always travel with a shotgun packed away in my vehicle, so I can enjoy clay bird shooting wherever I may be traveling. No matter how good your shooting skills, they can always be improved upon. The only way to stay proficient in any shooting sport, is to practice.

The most unique facility Iíve ever visited is the Greystone Castle Sporting Club located west of the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. As you drive west on I-20, and approach the Thurber exit, youíll see an imposing sight. Sitting atop a twelve hundred foot high hill overlooking the whole area is this medieval structure called Greystone Castle. Itís the centerpiece of a 4,000 acre shooting facility and hunting preserve. At the base of the hill they have a complete gun shop where you can purchase shells, clothing, guns or other accessories, and where you have to check in before proceeding up the hill. Itís highly recommended you make reservations for shooting or hunting at the facility.

The castle creates a memorable setting for individuals or groups in search of a exciting sporting adventure. The castle provides sleeping and eating accommodations for up to thirty people, while itís courtyard can easily seat larger groups.

They have two sporting clay courses which I had the opportunity to shoot. The manual course is spread out over a large area, and your driven around in a jeep to the different shooting stations. Itís a very enjoyable course of moderate difficulty, with the presentations being very realistic of typical bird flights. The automated course is set up very close to the castle, and some of the presentations even come off the castle walls and towers. This course is more difficult and the birds are faster. This course is much more difficult and challenging, and your score will reflect that. The crossing birds are seen only briefly as they come out from behind some trees and disappear behind another set of trees. The overheads drop quickly into trees that are constantly being pruned by the shooters. They also have a unique 5-stand setup which they designed. It consists of a normal type 5-stand operation, but you end up standing at different elevations at the five different shooting stations, which changes your angles on the birds. It makes it a little more interesting. They also have a combined skeet and trap facility to round out the shotgun shooting possibilities.

Aside from the great shotgun shooting available, they also offer a variety of hunting. There are Upland Game Hunts October through April (Pheasant, Chukar and two species of Quail), European Style Driven Pheasant Shoots, Flighted Mallards in addition to big game hunting and fishing. They also run special hunts from time to time such as horseback wild boar hunting along with duck and geese hunting.

Greystone Castle would be a great place for a corporate retreat, conference or sales meeting. You should call or write for information on the various activities and rates.

Also in the Dallas area, Sporting Clays International of Dallas is situated just 15 to 20 minutes north of the metro area. They advertise their facility as shooting Pheasant like the British, Red-legged Partridge like the Spaniards, Grouse like the Vermonters and many, many more. They do have some great presentation which are very realistic. They also have some very unusual presentations which will tax your shooting ability. One combination I wish I could forget was a battue and regular bird thrown nesting together on the vertical rather than on the horizontal. They split apart each going their own way, with the battue dropping very rapidly. A very difficult pair. Most of the presentations they threw were interesting and very challenging. A nice place to spend an afternoon shooting. They have two sporting clay fields along with a trap field and a five stand field. It has a comfortable club house and small shop for shooting supplies.

The Silver Lake Gun Club is centrally located and only four miles SW of the DFW Airport. They have one 15 station sporting clay field, one trap field, two skeet fields (lighted), a five stand field and a wobble trap. They have a nice club house and offer formal instruction. You really get the feeling of being out in the boonies at times, with a lot of the presentations being over or near water. They threw some interesting presentations that required quick reactions along with some typical duck and geese overheads and landing incomers and crossers.

A great place in San Antonio is the San Antonio Gun Club. They donít have a sporting clay field, but they have one of the best five stand operations Iíve ever seen. They also have five trap fields and eight skeet fields. And itís very convenient and close to the metro area. The five stand threw everything from miniís to battues which is the first time Iíd run into that. I thought it was quite impressive and challenging. Itís a very friendly club with a lot of the shooters shooting all three disciplines. They have a great native stone club house with all the facilities, supplies and conveniences you could think of. A very nice and impressive shooting facility, one you shouldnít miss on your next trip.

Shooting Getaways Information

Greystone Castle Sporting Club
P.O. B. 158
Mingus, TX 76463
817-672-5971 Fax.
Hours 9-4, Closed Monday
Reservations strongly recommended

Sporting Clays International of Dallas
Rt. 1, Box 118
Allen, TX 75002
Hours W-F 11-dark; Sat/Sun 9-dark
Reservations not required

Silver Lake Gun Club
3300 Euliss South Main
Euliss, TX 76040
Hours W/F 12-dark; Sat 9-dark, Sun 9-6,
other days by appointment.
Reservations are recommended

San Antonio Gun Club
928 E. Contour
San Antonio, TX

For additional information on lodging, restaurants and other shooting facilities contact the following:

Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau
1250 East Copeland Rd., Suite 650
Arlington, TX 76011

Irving Convention & Visitors Bureau
3333 N. MacArthur, Suite 200
Irving, TX 75062

Sherman Convention & Visitors Bureau
POB 1029
1815 S. Sam Rayburn Fwy.
Sherman, TX 75091

San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau
121 Alamo Plaza
San Antonio, TX 78205

For Flight Information:

Southwest Airlines Reservations
POB 36611
Dallas, TX 75235
800-435-9792 or 800 I FLY SWA

Jerry Sinkovec