Standing atop a small hill and shrouded beneath low-lying branches, a hunter looks out over a pond. A thick expanse of brush lies on the far bank, and he knows that once his target flies, he'll only have seconds to shoot before it disappears beyond the foliage. The hunter, however, isn't actually hunting. He's warming up on one of Rio Brazos Hunting Preserve's two sporting-clays courses, which integrate the preserve's habitats of prairie grass, shore brush, and tree lines that are home to quail, chukar, and pheasant. Instructors lend insight to all levels of sport shooters, and hunting guides bring along trained bird dogs to recover downed game and feral squeaky toys. The preserve also allows fishing on its 15 lakes, each stocked with largemouth bass, catfish, and crappie. A more than 5,000-square-foot pavilion lends a resting place between adventures in the field. The preserve's team can also help coordinate lodging with discounted rates at nearby hotels.
For live-fire tests, San Jac CHL's instructors use the range at Pasadena Gun Center.
Instructors rent semi-automatic handguns to students who do not have their own firearms. They also supply safety gear; students can purchase ammo at the range.
San Jac CHL's owner Wes Geddes knows how to safely handle firearms. His career as a deputy constable for Harris County depends on it. When not on duty with the police department, Wes teaches classes that qualify students to apply for concealed-handgun permits. These sessions start in the classroom, where lectures touch on topics such as weapon safety. A live-fire test follows, before students return to the classroom for lessons on gun laws and assistance in completing the required application, with Wes available for help with followup questions.