Vail Today: Experience the outdoors while shooting clays at Sage Outdoor Adventures
By Tricia Swenson
As we send our kids back to school, we also send back our summer interns. This year, the Vail Daily was lucky to have Lindsay Bribiescas research and write articles for our arts and entertainment section as well as capture snapshots of valley life for our photography department. In a few short months, this 20-year old California girl was immersed in many activities she had never tried before we sent her back to the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, where she is starting her junior year. One day, Lindsay was going through her bucket list of summer activities with long-time Vail Daily reporter, Randy Wyrick. As she came to the end of her list of things to try Wyrick said, “let me make a phone call” and minutes later he told her he had signed her up for clay shooting the next day. Of course I wasn’t going to let her experience this all alone, so I volunteered to join her. Off we went to Sage Outdoor Adventures, which is owned by long time outfitter Darryl Bangert and his son Cole. Although Sage Outdoor Adventures is approximately three miles north of I-70 and three miles west of Highway 131, it feels like the middle of nowhere and the views of Castle Peak are amazing from that vantage point. After donning the safety glasses, headphones and listening to the safety talk we were ready to go. I hit the first three clays right out of the trap. I had no idea where the skills came from, but realized I was just listening to instructions. Clay shooting is more of a mental game rather than a physical one. I took a break so Lindsay could get into the 5 stand, which is a wooden shooting platform with different stations for each shooter. She didn’t have quite the beginner’s luck that I had so I let her shoot a few more times. Sporting clays reminds me of golf in that it is what I call a “frustratingly addictive” sport. It’s a challenge, you are striving to reach a goal, sometimes you hit that one good shot and you are hooked and obsessed with achieving that feeling again. “It is a lot like golf or tennis, it’s a somewhat complicated move. If you relax, you do better, and it’s incredibly satisfying to watch the clay break. It’s hard to pull people away after the session ends. A lot of people buy extra rounds,” said Bangert. Lindsay and I may have left with a little soreness in our shoulders from the recoil, but we definitely had smiles on our faces. She will return to St. Andrews with many tales of adventures in Colorado and clay shooting will be one of her top activities. Whether it is a relative, friend or even an intern you are working with, those guests remind us to stop our routine and do something different. This fall, get out and do something you haven’t done in a while or have never tried before and be reminded of why we live here. To start your own addiction with shooting clays, book a trip at to Sage Outdoor Adventures at http://www.sageoutdooradventures.com.