SHARK wins "2nd Battle of Broxton Bridge"
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2012:
SHARK wins “2nd Battle of Broxton Bridge”
EHRHARDT, S.C.–Showing Animals Respect & Kindness on February 12, 2012 routed fewer than two dozen pigeon shooters at the second Battle of Broxton Bridge–but the shooters, in retreat, allegedly gunned down a SHARK drone helicopter camera platform moments after takeoff.
Celebrated for decades by Civil War re-enactors as one of the last stands of the Confederacy, the first Battle of Broxton Bridge on February 1, 1865 ended with fewer than 200 malarial Confederate troops abandoning 12 cannon and their outflanked fortifications. Union military history records it as a transient skirmish. Slavery at the Broxton Bridge Plantation effectively ended that day.
The plantation today is a “canned hunt club,” explained a January 17, 2012 SHARK news release. The club had promoted a four-day pigeon shoot for February 9-12. “Not only will we take pictures of all the shooters,” SHARK pledged, “but we will identify many of them and ask them, rather publicly, why they enjoy slaughtering animals in such a barbaric manner.”
The SHARK challenge attracted the notice of Field and Stream blogger Chad Love. “Animal rights activists, a remote-controlled helicopter, and a bunch of guys with shotguns. Now that’s a combination with some definite potential for the creation of a brand-new shooting sport,” Love mused in a February 9 posting.
“Attendance was low,” SHARK founder Steve Hindi observed on arrival. “We know Broxton Bridge invited 120 people– but only about 20 showed up!”
For three days high winds kept the SHARK helicopter grounded. On the fourth day, Hindi recounted, “As soon as we began to prepare to launch our aircraft, the pigeon shooters ran away. And we mean that literally. They got into their cars and left Broxton Bridge rather than be caught on video! First they tried to intimidate us by sending out the police and a lawyer. We ignored them, as what we were doing is perfectly legal. Once they knew nothing was going to stop us, the shooting stopped and the cars lined up to leave. We decided to send the copter up anyway,” flying it on the far side of U.S. 601 from the Broxton Bridge Plantation.
“Seconds after it hit the air numerous shots rang out,” from shooters apparently firing across the road, Hindi said. Crashing on the road, the helicopter was quickly retrieved by SHARK volunteers. SHARK filed a complaint with the Colleton County Sheriff’s Department, Hindi told ANIMAL PEOPLE, and “will follow through on charges,” he promised.
The incident was the fourth time a SHARK drone has been hit by gunfire since January 2, 2011. That drone remains caught high in a tree above the Wing Pointe Gun Club in Hamburg, Pennsylvania. The other damaged drones were recovered and repaired, with their video payloads intact.
The Broxton Bridge retreat was the second time in two months that pigeon shooters fled from SHARK exposure. “December 18, 2011 was supposed to be another Wing Pointe shoot,” Hindi recounted. “We had our cameras set up for when the would-be killers started arriving. A Wing Pointe employee came out in a tractor to prepare the slaughter area. He saw the bank of cameras waiting for him, made a phone call, and then left. Shortly thereafter, carloads of cowards starting heading home.”