Patrick, congratulations on your big win at the Predator Tactical Lone Star Challenge! Tell us how you prepared for this event?
I would say I prepared physically for this event just like I have many others. I had actually just gotten the rifle from Surgeon Rifles about 2 weeks before the match. So after I got a load worked up, and checked my dope, I just continually shot the rifle at distance. I think having PERFECT dope on a rifle is key. I also shot off of lots of barricades and practiced getting in and out of positions quickly and smoothly.
How does it feel to get your first major match win and first PRS win of the Season?
Absolutely unbelievable, it was actually my first major match win, and the first PRS match. So it was twice as cool as I could ever Imagine.
Going into the competition what was your mind set and what were some of your goals?
Over the last few years of shooting matches I feel like my mental game has changed drastically. Going into this match I had shot the first 3 stages clean, that has never Happened to me. When I walked back to the line, Wade Stuteville told me to "forget about that stage, shoot the next one like it was the first one." I don't know if he even remembers saying that, but I kept telling myself that for the next two days.
What type of gear were you using, and how did it help you during this match?
I was shooting a Surgeon Scalpel chambered in 243, with a S&B 5-25 PmII on top. I cannot say enough about the confidence this particular rifle and scope combination has given me. I walked into this match knowing that the rifle was capable of shooting as good or better than anything else on the line. I also knew that if/when conditions got bad, I had a bomb-proof system that would keep running no matter what.
Describe some of your favorite stages and your overall strategy for them.
Picking a favorite stage in this match would be tough, overall I guess I would say any of the chaos drills were right up my alley. But I left every single stage in this match grinning like a opossum.
How do you feel the the Lone Star Challenge compared to other matches you have shot?
This match would definitely go into my top 3 favorite matches I have ever shot. The targets, time, and positions were perfect to have a fun match. No one hit every target. But the targets were very very hittable. That is what makes a match for me.
How do you feel about the PRS and what would you say to shooters that are on the sidelines or new shooters wanting to get into some of these matches?
I think the PRS is a great new venue for the long range tactical shooter. It is already proven that the PRS is making more matches pop up around the country. Including the east coast which was scarce on matches in previous years. For new shooters, I can't say it enough, get out and shoot! I read about guys on the internet all of the time that shoot a lot at home, but never venture out into the competition world. I think if those guys ever took that first step into match shooting they would be hooked. Of all of the matches I have ever shot, I have never ever, ever seen any new shooter come to a match and be embarrassed. The most common phrase I have heard after a shooters first match is "I learned more today than I could have in years of shooting by myself!".