June 16, 2001We had nine competitors to start todays Creedmoor Match but a couple of early casualties dropped the number of final shooters to 7. Dont ask David Pierce how much he likes wasps any time soon. David had gone down range to man the hide at 821 yards with Dave Higginbotham after clearing some troublesome weeds.
After the first shooter rang the 900 yard targets a number of times, it came time to repaint. Hawkeye went to the 1000 yard target and came back the 900 yard target. Unfortunately, there were 2 wasp nests, those ornery red & black wasps, and they were apparently unhappy with their "home" being pounded by big bore bullets and took their frustrations out on the back of Davids noggin.
Apparently David is now somewhat allergic to bee stings now and suffered the consequences with dizziness and other unpleasant feelings. Thanks to O. J. & Liz Riddles for driving David back home since he didnt think he would be able to drive.
That just brings another safety issue to the forefront. If youre allergic to bees, please bring your medication as we can get "popped" at any time. This type of wasp is very happy to build heir nests on most man-made structures and you need to maintain your guard walking down through the woods around the long range structures. As it turns out, there were wasp nests on both the back and front sides of the 900 yard target.This match was shot in a slightly different format. Each competitor shot each of the distances in turn, i.e., if you started at 800, you proceeded in turn to 900 and then 1000. We had one competitor start at each distance, and then rotate to the next position. So, each group of three would finish the entire match in a little more than an hour.
I would anticipate that once everyone has sight settings for this game, we can reduce the total relay period to 15 minutes. If we get everyones cooperation in shooting at the 900 yard target instead of the buffalo, we can get finished quite a bit faster.
O. J. Riddles had what he described as a "Senior Moment" when starting on the 900 yard targets. Seems that "Whitey," the venerable 821yd buffalo made a much more inviting target that the actual 900yd Creedmoor target. As a result, O.J. didnt discover his error until Liz asked him "just what in the world are you shooting at?" Seems that O.J. had remembered a conversation where we talked about putting "wings" on the Creedmore targets to assist in determine misses that were just wide and made the assumption thats what had happened on the 900yd Creedmoor target.
Its Sunday morning as this is being written and Im pleased to report that Hawkeye has made a full recovery from his wasp encounter. Just remember, those pesky little insects seem to believe they have as much right or more to be hanging around our targets, so look for them. There has been a nest built between the buffalo bullesye and the target body so it makes finding them difficult. But, after a few hits on the gong, it seems to antagonize the little critters somewhat. Just be aware that they seem to take exception to us rattling their homes.Our next Creedmoor match will be the final one before Raton and is scheduled for July 21st. So, if you want to get some final preparations made and loads tested prior to the Nationals, be sure to come out for that match. Its awfully hot in the hide behind the ram line this time of the year so we may attempt to cut the time frame down at this match. If you shoot at the right target, it should make things go a lot faster and be somewhat more satisfying.
Remember, we have an actual buffalo match once in a while so shoot at him then. Shooting at the buffalo during a Creedmoor match can only reduce your overall score. Yuk, Yuk!
By the way! Gary Krutilek won the match on the strength of having only 1 miss at 900yd. As with Raton, a miss at 800 usually spells doom in the overall scheme of things, and 2 or more usually knocks the competitor out of the running for the top 3 spots at the Nationals. A score of 6 points for just clipping the target is a lot easier to stomach than the big goose egg you get for a complete miss. The Nationals allow you 30 minute relays so it allows the shooter to really take their own sweet time. Seems like an eternity sometimes, though, when waiting for a wind condition to return.
Until the next match,
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