What’s In Your Range Bag, Dana Farrell?

posted on October 6, 2020

Dana Farrell is the editor of ClayShootingUSA magazine and an avid sporting-clays competitor. Spending most of his time with a shotgun both for fun and work, Farrell was kind enough to share what he keeps in his range bag.

What are your first memories of handling a firearm?
When I was around 11 years old, I picked up my first real firearm. I begged my dad for a Marlin .22 LR. He finally gave in and bought me a Glenfield Marlin Model 60 Automatic. My older brother and I had been shooting air guns for a few years and were dying to progress to real guns. Dad hunted as a younger man, but my mom talked him out of having guns in the house while we were young. When my brother and I showed an interest, they relented and allowed us the chance to shoot and hunt.

Dana Farrell, editor of ClayShootingUSA magazine

Tell us how you began in competitive shooting.

At my home in Michigan, I started hunting small game—mostly squirrel and some pheasant. I have fond memories of those days. Eventually, I progressed from a .22 LR to a single-shot 20-gauge, which was a lot of fun as well. This was back in the late 1960s. Life was a little different then. I used to have a subscription to Sports Afield magazine as a 12-year-old. I would literally read it from cover to cover sitting in an easy chair, fantasizing about all the article subjects in each issue. I wanted to bear hunt, elk hunt, shoot trap and get a bird dog for upland hunting. It sparked my imagination. Later on, when I started writing, I set a goal to be published in the same type of magazine that sparked such imagination during my formative years. That dream was fulfilled when I published a Sports Afield story about a horseback spring bear hunt in the Frank Church Wilderness of Idaho.

Please share with us some of your major shooting accomplishments.
Before life got in the way, I shot and hunted for a while. Until around the year 2000, I wasn’t doing a lot of shooting. Having sold most of my guns, I bought a shotgun and started shooting recreational skeet at a local gun club. I heard about this game called sporting clays and just had to give it a try. I found a local club throwing sporting clays targets and became engrossed in that, shooting it recreationally for a few years, until finally advancing to NSCA competition around 2004.

I’ve oscillated between AA class and Master class in NSCA sporting clays for the past several years. I really enjoy the camaraderie the sport provides. Because of my editor job at ClayShootingUSA magazine, I meet a lot of industry insiders and professional shooters, which is very satisfying. I love the shooting industry and the honest people in it.

Dana Farrell with Beretta 694 O/U 12-gauge shotgun in Italy

What firearms and other gear do you use for competition?

I currently shoot the new Beretta 694 sporting-clays gun, the 30-inch version. I love this shotgun, and it moves really well. I’ve got some other shotguns I’m also very fond of, including a Browning Grade III Citori that I sometimes use for casual shoots and preserve bird shoots. I also have a CZ-USA Model 612 pump gun that is great, as well as a number of vintage A.H. Fox side-by-sides I grouse hunt with and use for side-by-side competition.

Tell us about your range bag and what you carry in it besides your firearms.
My range bag is in dire need of updating. I plan on purchasing an Orvis Battenkill range bag very soon, which looks to be a great tool. As far as what I keep in my bag, it’s my shooting glasses, lens spray, ESP electronic ear protection, spare batteries for the ESPs, some painkillers (in case of a headache), spare pencils (I’ve handed them out to trappers in a pinch), a spare set of foam plugs or two and a bit of Velcro tape. The Velcro can come in handy when securing my bag on a shooting cart—I’ve seen a lot of bags tumble off carts on the sporting-clays course.

What do you do in your free time?
My free time is spent working my hunting dog and ruffed grouse hunting in Michigan. I also shoot a lot of 5-Stand at my local club, the Ann Arbor Moose Sportsman’s League. We have an awesome set-up, with 11 traps and Long Range LLC remote trap releases. The club sets good, challenging targets and have a nice local following.

What would you tell someone interested in finding out more about your sport?
I recommend that a new shooter latch onto a seasoned shotgunner who shoots sporting clays. I really love trap and skeet, but sporting-clays shooters are typically more well-rounded. A good sporting-clays shooter can usually adapt to the other disciplines fairly successfully. Besides ESP ear protection and Long Range LLC controllers, I really appreciate my SGS Performance shooting glasses. Frank Robertson of SGS takes very good care of me.

Check out Dana Farrell’s work here.

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