|Buffalo Match Results
September 25, 2004
Five hearty buffalo hunters stayed after the silhouette match was completed to try their hand at “Tonk.” For the unitiated, “Tonk” is the sound you hear when you hit the 2 foot gong attached to the buffalo’s heart area. On days where the wind is blowing from the south, you hear that rewarding sound almost 4 seconds after releasing the shot.
The 821 yard range doesn’t sound like much until you have to wait on the flight of the bullet and then the return of sound. All you have to do to get a feel for the distance traveled is to go down to the buffalo and look back to the firing line. It’s almost impossible to make out the firing point without field glasses.
In his email to me with the match results, LeRoy Tanner noted that those competitors using ground scopes have a distinct advantage over those who do not. This is an extremely valid observation. When I fired the match in August, both Steve Ueckert and I used ground scope to watch the target and what the mirage and wind were doing. There were a couple of shifts and speed changes which occurred during that match that would have completely moved the shooter off of the target if the change were not caught.
This “self-spotting” technique is extremely valuable when applied to the Creedmoor matches and can be used in silhouette as well. If you have access to a ground scope, I would strongly recommend using it during a couple of matches. While you’re blowing tubing for your next shot, lean over and take a look at what the mirage is doing. Compare it to your previous shot. This is a fantastic method to teach yourself the effects of mirage on your shooting.
For those of you who don’t think mirage makes a difference, I caught a shift during silhouette that would have meant the difference in Matt Carter hitting 10 vs 9 rams. We had been just right of center with a mirage running right to left. It shifted, running left to right and in my judgment was at least a 2 minute mirage. We corrected 1 minute, and hit a little further right, towards the rump. Without the change, the bullet would have just missed the ram.