TRBPS Event – Blanket Prize
by John White
Mr. Mike Westervelt graciously created and ran our little shooting event today. Mike had chosen some unique and fun targets for us, but Mike did you have to add in the 25 mph crosswinds that gusted even more to challenge us? It was estimated that the roundball at 50 yards was moving sideways pushed by the wind eight inches or more. Add to that, in the standing unsupported group, we were blowing side to side like a sail in the wind trying to hold our rifles up. I mean targets are flying off the tables, target stands blowing over, blowing off the cardboard. We had to take the range cold nine additional times just so folks could go out and stand their target stand back up. They kept getting blown over by the wind gusts. It was a rough day to shoot. Probably the most challenging event we have ever had.
Our shoot started a little after 9:00AM after check in, signing forms and shooter guest log. And our first relay got done about an hour later. 10 shots five per bullseye, “unsupported” or off hand as it used to be known as shot at 50 yards a double bullseye buffalo. The wind was blowing so hard out there you could see the hair blowing on the buffalos back. The “supported” known as bench shot the bottles target at 25 yards. 5 bottles with a 6th for practice if you wanted to. Two shots each bottle.
Our second relay the groups switched targets. Supported, bottles at 25 yards, unsupported buffalos at 50 yards. It did not get any easier later in the day with the wind and dust bowls blowing up.
In spite of the wind, dust, flying leaves to distract all of us, we succeeded in no one shooting another shooter’s target! I mean you may have tried but the wind made ya miss everything, target, cardboard backer, wood frame so thanks for the misses.
Both relays were added together for placement within the appropriate shooting category unsupported (off hand) or supported (bench).
Charles E. and Billy T. were the first place shooters in each category. We had eight shooters total with four observers. Attendance a bit small with anniversaries, York shoot, Brushy Creek spring shoot, gas prices, weather, birthday parties conflicts. So they selected their blanket prizes in the order of finish.
We did have the proverbial dry ball. Same shooter last couple shoots. We had a guest who wanted to try and shoot but, wrong size balls, no ramrod, plugged powder channel. So we all helped but in the end advised to try again in a more peaceful setting when you get all the necessary equipment. We had the loose flints, lost flints, flashes in the pan of course but in the end we completed the most difficult shooting course of fire environment that we have had to date. Congratulations guys on sticking it out. I think for all of us it was shear stubbornness that got us through it.
To those that came out, thank you for accepting the challenge. To those that did not come out, hindsight do not blame ya! We were done, cleaned up, range organization restored and headed out at 12:05 and we can say we survived. I know of no one who was happy with their score or shooting but they were happy with finishing the course of fire.
This was the most challenging day for us as shooters. Some may have seen worse, I say no thanks. But I do say thank you all for your patience, understanding and cooperation. Also a huge shout out and thank you to Mike for taking charge this month! We will see you next month so watch for our announcement of the course of fire and surprise relay.
Thank you to all that braved the elements and attended. We’ll see you next month or sometime in between.