09/18/09 — Mallard Cove course ready to go

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Mallard Cove course ready to go

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on September 18, 2009 1:46 PM

FAISON -- As the dew thickens and first threats of frost creep into the early-morning air, a majority of avid outsdoorsmen think about finding a big buck or bagging a prized gobbler.

Those who pursue waterfowl are a different breed. Thoughts of ducks launching out of local marshlands make hunters quiver with excitement weeks in advance of opening day.

The preseason preparation has already begun at Mallard Cove.

"It's coming up quick," said preserve manager Hunter Capps. "The nice thing about our site is that it doesn't take a lot of work to get ready because most of the stuff stays in place year round."

"I will go out and re-brush some blinds, and do some routine maintenance, but other than that I think we are pretty much all set."

With less than three weeks left to get equipment in order and get some shooting practice in, the sporting clays range at the hunting preserve has been busy. For $20 per round, potential shooters can make their way through the Promatic shooting range that features 12 stations and 24 throwing machines.

"It's a great course, and lately it has been wide open," said Capps. "We have had quite a few people coming out to get ready for the season and take advantage of the opportunity to shoot early."

Mallard Cove offers a sporting clays membership which gives participants discounts on round prices, ammunition and cart fees. Corporate memberships are also available and include a sponsorship sign along the course.

As part of the preseason practice schedule, Mallard Cove will be hosting the Mount Olive Rotary Club's fall fun shoot on Sept. 26.

"That is going to be a really nice event," said Capps. "We are hoping to get 200 people out for that shoot and have a lot of fun. There will be some games set up so shooters can practice before their round comes up."

In lieu of a fall golf tournament to benefit the club, the Rotary approached Capps with the fall shoot idea and he immediately jumped at the opportunity.

"We are proud to sponsor that event because it is really a great idea," said Capps. "We'll have all 12 stations set up with 400 targets loaded and we'll be ready to accommodate the folks from Mount Olive."

Anyone wishing to take part in the Rotary Club's fall shoot can buy tickets at the WP Martin store, Mt. Olive Gas or by contacting a Rotarian.

The North Carolina waterfowl season -- including ducks, coots, mergansers and Canada geese -- runs from Oct. 7-10 and Nov. 14-Dec. 5. For a full list of dates and regulations, visit www.ncwildlife.org.