Shooting Range Design
The story starts back in 1982 on a small farm in Scotland. I was asked to go duck hunting with a local farmer. One cold November morning I started out across the wet fields of Challock farm, a shotgun slung over my arm and a pocket full of shells weighing me down. I walked for around six miles in the rain, trudging through ponds, mud, and cow pats and became more miserable every minute. Every now and then a duck would take to the air and I'd hear the shots from my "colleagues" as they took aim, fired and shot before I'd even raised my gun. We eventually returned to the farmhouse, had Irish stew and talked about the "fun" of the day. "Are you ready for another day tomorrow?" I was asked.
My reply was - "There has to be an easier way to learn to shoot?"
"Well why don't you make a simulation game, you could use your computer skills and adapt it to clay targets."
I never looked back!
The Shooting Academy
"Best Shooting Facility in the US if not the World" Mike Hampton, NSCA
In 2009, my latest design will lead the World in Shooting Destinations.
A note of irony: In 1998, ten years after Blackcraig was defeated, I realized my dream designed:
Sporting Clays Course design by Mike Davey of The Shooting Academy. Sporting Clays Course Design is an art similar to designing a golf course, only Sporting Clays Course Design has to accommodate safety and noise considerations. Compak Clay Design or Sporting Clays Course Design is undertaken by many designers, but only a few have the recognized ability to design a "Sporting Clays Course design", that will rank amongst the top in the country, possibly the world.
The Shooting Academy has been involved with Sporting Clays Course Design since 1982 and has completed numerous top designs. These include The Shooting Academy at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and Spa, and The Abu Dhabi International Shooting Club in the UAE.
Back in Scotland, Mike Davey and The Shooting Academy completed the first Sporting Clays Course Design in Galloway. This shooting complex would incorporate all disciplines of shooting, Skeet Shooting Design, Rifle Range Design, Indoor Shooting Range Design and all Shotgun Shooting Range Design.
However, the complex would be appreciated for its Sporting Clays Range Design being the center of the Shooting Academy project.
SUPERSPORT was born..... You can see in my Badge, the two shells each side of the shooter, have the words - Super Sport -
That Badge was cast in bronze 20 years ago and has been the symbol of the Shooting Academy ever since..
SUPERSPORT used computers and state of the art clay pigeon traps (not then available), plus radio transmitters and receivers, to simulate a live - walking game hunt. Over three years, I wrote the software and control logic for the "game". I used greatly modified Farey and Laporte traps with fractional, linear motors to accept analogue signals from the computers. Shooters were fitted with pre-programmed pagers and would walk through a random course, triggering the traps in response to their unique code being transmitted. Their requested level of difficulty had been previously set into the controlling computer, and as they approached the traps, the receivers would recognize them and relay their code to the computer.
This in turn would adjust the traps to present a variety of easy or hard targets from a selection of traps..
The system worked fine - only problem - 20 years ago computers were expensive and the project became a very expensive "toy". Only the most affluent shooters would be the customers, so the project was shelved in 1989 - The Shooting Academy still holds a World patent on the game.
However, my interest in shooting, now covering many disciplines, had peaked, and the modifications I had introduced to the traps of Farey and Laporte, set a new standard for
Sporting Clays and "fun" shooting..
I purchased a 200 acre farm overlooking the Solway Firth in Scotland and planned to open the finest shooting orientated resort in the World, featuring all shooting disciplines designed to Olympic standard, based around a resort facility similar to International Golf destinations. Taking the image of shooting away from muddy fields and providing support amenities rivaling those of International Vacation destinations, the Shooting Academy at Blackcraig would have led the world.
Despite being supported and funded by the Scottish Tourist Board and the EEC, I lost my appeal to overcome numerous unjustified objections and the project died.
But...... interest in my ideas and for the new Sporting Clay Traps I'd developed came from around the world, with exciting new interest from the USA. This is where Sporting Clays was in it's infancy, so I sold my computer business, houses and farms in Scotland and moved to Arizona, and as they say - "The rest is History."