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March 24th, 2020

40th Annual Hickory Groundhog Shoot Moved to June 6, 2020

Hickory Groundhog Shoot

More shooting match postponements caused by the Coronavirus…

The 40th Annual Hickory Groundhog Shoot was originally scheduled for Saturday, April 4, 2020. Due to “stay-at-home” public health precautions, the North Carolina event has been re-scheduled for June 6, 2020. The hugely popular match will be going ahead — just a couple months further out. Organizers still expect a highly-attended event. 2020 will mimic 2019 in rules — one man, one rifle, and it’s expected that there will be no practice week (so make sure your distance come-ups are dead-on).

North Carolina Hickory 40th Annual Groundhog shoot match postponed

This being the 40th Anniversary of the event Larry Willis and the folks at BullsEye Sporting Goods came up with a few ideas to make the 40th more like a hunt than a F-class match. We’ll provide more details later. As in recent years, we expect the Hickory Shoot to be one of the biggest events of the year in the Southeast. 2018 had over 200 shooters, and Terry Brady’s long-standing match-record 99 score was tied. Then, last year, Jeff Godfrey (shown below) shot an amazing record-breaking 101 score in 2019. It takes a great shooter and a great rifle to drill a target like that…

North Carolina Hickory 40th Annual Groundhog shoot match postponed

Hickory groundhog shoot groundhogRelays Run Like Clock-Work
The Hickory Groundhog Shoot is run very efficiently, with one relay shooting while the next relay waits outside the shooting area, ready to go. Once a relay is done, shooters grab their items and exit on one end of the shooting platform while the next relay comes in from the other end. The relays move through in rapid succession.

You must quickly set up and get ready because as soon as the target pullers get back they are ready to shoot. When the fire command is given you have two minutes to get your three shots off at that distance. When the cease fire is called you quickly grab your gear and get off the shooting platform because the next relay is coming in.

Permalink Competition, Hunting/Varminting, News 1 Comment »
March 3rd, 2020

40th Annual Hickory Groundhog Shoot in NC — April 4, 2020

hickory groundhog shoot vail north carolina larry willis

The Hickory Groundhog and Egg Shoot, the richest varmint shoot East of the Mississippi, is one month away. Now in its 40th year, the popular Hickory Shoot will be held starting at 8:00 am on April 4, 2020 near Hickory, North Carolina. For four decades, the event has been hosted the first Saturday of April each year by Larry Willis of Bull’s Eye Sporting Goods, (704) 462-1948. The basic entry fee is $40.00 per gun. That gives you a chance to win a bundle of cash, plus valuable prizes such as Shehane stocks and Nightforce optics.

The Hickory Groundhog and Egg Shoot is the best event of its kind in the Southeast. Yes, conditions can be challenging (with mirage and switchy winds), but you can win big. In years past over $7,000 worth of prizes and cash has been awarded. Shooters can also compete in an Egg Shoot for cash and prizes. With a mere $2.00 Entry Fee, the Egg Shoot is a popular highlight.

hickory groundhog shoot vail north carolina larry willis

Hickory Groundhog Shoot Course of Fire
The normal course of fire consists of three sets of paper groundhog targets at 100, 300, and 500 yards, and NO Sighters. They do have a bench for handicapped shooters not able to shoot from the prone position. Most competitors will shoot at the head at 100 yards because the points are higher. At the longer distances, 300 yards and 500 yards, most shooters go for body shots on the paper groundhog target. The Hickory employs “worst-edge” scoring, meaning if you cut a scoring line you get the next lower score.

Anatomy of a Hickory-Winning Rig — Brady’s Record-Setting 6BR
If you wonder what kind of rifle can win the big money at the Hickory Shoot, have a look at Terry Brady’s 42-lb 6BR. In 2010, Terry won the Custom Class in the Hickory Shoot, setting a match record with a 99 score, which was only broken last year. Terry was shooting a straight 6mmBR rifle, purpose-built for Groundhog shoots, which have no weight limit in Custom Class. Terry’s rifle, built by smith Mike Davis, featured an experimental 1:8.7″-1:8.3″ gain-twist Krieger barrel. The fiberglass Shehane Tracker stock was stuffed with lead shot from stem to stern, so that the gun weighs nearly 42 pounds with optics.

hickory groundhog shoot vail north carolina larry willis

Hickory groundhog shoot groundhogRelays Run Like Clock-Work
The shoot is run very smoothly, with one relay shooting while the next relay waits outside the shooting area, ready to go. Once a relay is done, shooters grab their items and exit on one end of the shooting platform while the next relay comes in from the other end. The relays move through in rapid succession.

You must quickly set up and get ready because as soon as the target pullers get back they are ready to shoot. When the fire command is given you have two minutes to get your three shots off at that distance. When the cease fire is called you quickly grab your gear and get off the shooting platform because the next relay is coming in.

How to Get to the Hickory Shoot

Permalink Competition, Hunting/Varminting, News No Comments »