Sporting clays shoot in Gay

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The Georgia Cup Registered Sporting Clays Shoot is coming up Sept. 18-20 at Big Red Oak Plantation in Gay, and proceeds will benefit those affected by brain cancer and brain tumors.

Sporting clays shooting has been compared to “golf with a shotgun,” and participants in the Georgia Cup at Big Red Oak Plantation will shoot clay targets on a 2,500-acre shooting preserve. The Quail Course will benefit Can’t Never Could, and there will also be a second clays course, the Pheasant Course, as well as a separate course for FITASC shooting, a more challenging form of clay target shooting. The Georgia Cup is a qualifying event for the National Sporting Clays Association (NSCA).

According to the NSCA, the sport dates to the early 1900s in England when trap shooting used live pigeons. Clay targets were introduced, and the sport took on the form it has today. Rather than using standardized distances, target angles and target sizes, sporting clays courses are designed to simulate the hunting of ducks, pheasants and rabbits.

President and CEO of Big Red Oak Plantation is Rob Estes of Newnan, a seventh-generation family member to work on the land. Estes and his wife, Christi, are also the founders of Can’t Never Could, Inc., the local nonprofit which was established in 2013 as a result of Rob’s diagnosis with Grade IV glioblastoma, an aggressive and incurable form of brain cancer. Rob has successfully undergone radiation and chemotherapy, and it was early in his own battle with cancer that he and Christi decided to start a nonprofit to help those facing similar challenges.

The name “Can’t Never Could” was inspired by Rob’s mother. He said that when he was growing up and complained about something he couldn’t do, she would always reply, “Can’t never could.”

Since its founding almost two years ago, Can’t Never Could has helped 20-30 individuals, according to Christi Estes, and has distributed $61,000 in donations, including a $25,000 gift to establish the Piedmont Brain Tumor Center. CNC makes its donations “with the desire to glorify Christ, who provides strength in all circumstances.”

Rob and Christi are enthusiastic in getting the word out about the Georgia Cup shoot, and at the same time they remain open and honest about the struggles of living with Rob’s cancer. Rob himself likes to shoot sporting clays, and he noted that now, when he’s feeling sluggish following a round of chemo, he might shoot in the fifties where he once shot in the nineties. Just a few short years ago, “shooting in the fifties would drive me insane,” he said, but these days, he knows his limitations and has learned to expect “down days.” However, he remains positive and said he is just happy to be able to get out into nature and enjoy the sport.

While there will be no formal program about Can’t Never Could at the Georgia Cup, Rob noted there will be an educational display and other materials about CNC on hand, and members of the organization will be on site during most of the event to answer questions and greet guests who are participating. Even some of his own doctors are planning to participate in the shoot itself and have a friendly competition discussing who will be the best shot.

Christi noted that several international trips will be auctioned off during the event, including a dove-hunting trip to Argentina and three trips to the Caribbean.

Those interested in participating in the Georgia Cup can visit iclays.com and find the event at Big Red Oak Plantation listed under September events.

Can’t Never Could continues to seek volunteers and sponsors to help with its work for this event. Information on sponsorship opportunities is available by visiting cantnevercouldinc.com or e-mailing cantnevercouldinc@gmail.com.