They do things differently at the Higgins and Higgins Country Club. Not for their members
the mindless slaughter of wildlife, not for them the organised massacre of half-tame pheasants
or grouse. Feathered creatures are held sacred in the hallowed halls of H&H.
No, members of the venerable Higgins and Higgins Country Club test their sharpshooting
skills and their reactions to sudden surprises in a different way altogether at their annual
'Goose Busters' shooting contest.
Over the years it has developed into a major event, packed with humour and attended by the top
guns in the land.
This year, you've secured an invitation to compete.
The challenge is simple enough on the surface: each contestant has an unlimited supply of
ammunition and competes against the clock in each round in order to qualify and move on to
the next round, a contestant has to score a specified number of 'hits' within the time limit.
As the contest progresses, the rounds get more and more difficult, and the contestants starts
failing to qualify.
The last gun in, the person who does survive for the most rounds, is declared winner. According
to tradition, this person is known as the 'Goose Buster' for the following year.
When the members of the club first decided to go shooting, their championship took the
form of a straightforward clay pigeon shoot. Clay busting, the took the form of a straightforward
clay pigeon shoot.
Clay busting, the members decided, was much more fun than animal splattering. As the years
went on, the stewards of the shoot became more inventive, launching additional targets from time
to time to surprise members.
This year, the 'Goose Busters' contest is really special. The stewards have obtained a supply
of helium-filled balloons and have made some anarchist-style fizzing bombs to launch in the air
along with the more mundane clays.
For a change, standing targets have also been introduced to give a flavour of the shooting
range. And the stewards have excelled themselves with their 'piece de resistance', as the
It really captures the spirit of the Goose Busters shoot-you see the stewards have spent
most of the year building a flock of radio-controlled geese!
So there's plenty of variety in the skies at this year Goose Busters shoot. Clays, balloons
and standing targets all count as 'a hit', if you down them with a well-aimed shot. But
beware the surprise bombs, and whatever you do, don't blast away at the mechanical geese.
- shppt a bomb or a goose by mistake, and 'a hit' is removed from your tally.