By Lars Dalseide | September 5 2012 10:39

Harrah's sets up shotguns, rifles and more for POMA's 2012 Media Day shoot

On the shotgun range at the 2012 POMA Media Day Shoot at Harrah's in Tunica, Mississippi

Tunica, Mississippi - Wrapped in a soggy blanket that is the Mississippi heat, a few hundred members of the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) headed off to the Willows Sporting Clays at Harrah's Casino for the 2012 Media Day shoot. That's where those of us who write about the shooting sports and great outdoors take a little trigger time with the latest and greatest from a variety of manufacturers.

For those of you who don't know, POMA is an association focused on the outdoor writer/photographer/television professional. As they say on their website, POMA's mission is to:

To foster excellence in communications at all levels, help members build their businesses, connect media and industry, promote fair and honest communication of the traditional outdoor sports and conservation stories, and mentor the next generation of traditional outdoor sports communicators.

Brownells president Pete Brownell on a bolt action rifle at the 2012 POMA Conference Media Day shoot

Once a year, we gather for a business conference to do just that. This year it was down in Mississippi. And this year, like every year, it was the Media Day shoot that had everyone smiling.

First on the day was a collection of rifles and handguns. Pete Brownell, President of Brownells (the worlds largest supplier of firearm accessories, gun parts and gun smithing tools - to borrow their tag line), was one of the first to sit down at the main stage. After putting a dozen rounds or so through the bolt action rifle, it was time to see a few of the other attractions.

POMA attendee tries out a compound bow at the 2012 Media Day shoot

Like this compound bow. With an instructor on hand, novices and experts alike were provided with a quick master class to ensure that all knew the basics before releasing a string of arrows upon the targets beyond. Let's just say the target bags and paper were pretty well worn by the time the day was done.

Kevin Reese from Just Hunt with a semi-automatic rifle at the POMA Media Day shoot

Also on the prowl for another addition to the arsenal was Kevin Reese of Just Hunt. Kevin is an outdoor writer down in Texas with a propensity for hog hunting. Though more of a bowman then a rifleman, he did express a tab bit of interest after firing a few rounds from this rifle.

"That felt pretty good," Reese said with a grin. "Now I just have to talk my wife into it."

A faux bear stands 30 yards down range of a Havoc crossbow with a Hawke Sport Optics scope

All in all it was a good day. Everybody had the opportunity to try out a few products and punch in a few holes. That bear in the distance, for example, stood a good 30 yards or so downrange of this Havoc crossbow. Between the bow, and a Hawke Sport Optics scope mounted on top, even yours truly was able to zero in on the sweet spot.

Alas, we were eventually pulled away. More time in the conference rooms for seminars on writing, photography and syndication efforts to expand our reach to the outdoor readers.

But in our hearts ... most of us were still back on the range.

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