May 2013 Club Newsletter

Upcoming meetings: May 2 & June 6 (all meetings are at the Griggs Hunter Ed room @ 7pm)
Upcoming work parties: TBA (maintenance chair Greg Hagen 545-4705, work parties start @8am)

General Announcements

As discussed in the last newsletter, the officers will be meeting with the American Legion in early May to discuss the possibility of setting up an air rifle program. This program would be a cooperative effort between the American Legion and TCMSA, and could include youth programs, an adult league, and maybe more. We don’t know all the particulars yet, but if you are interested in participating, contact Gaylord Baker at 628-9044.

We are glad to see that the new steel targets on the range are getting a lot of use. Unfortunately there is already a hole in the 50 yard popper. The cost to replace the target will be around $100, so we will be leaving it in place until we know that we don’t have a problem. We would like to think that this was done by accident, so we will remind everyone to make sure at all times that you know what type of ammunition you are shooting. Steel core bullets can cause damage to the targets, and can cause sparks that can start a fire. Steel core bullets are common in imported ammo, as well as some domestic ammo such as Wolf. To test for steel core bullets, touch them to a magnet, if they stick, they are steel. There is a magnet on the range master’s stand near the flagpole.

Armor piercing ammo can go right through the steel targets. These are typically military surplus, and often have color coded bullet tips. NATO surplus ammo with black, red or white tips are usually armor piercing, or a combination round that is both armor piercing and incendiary or tracer. Bottom line, if it’s military surplus and has a colored tip, it’s probably banned at our range.

We have not yet received our NRA Foundation grant money. With this money we will be putting on an event called ‘Introduction to Competitive Shooting.’ It’s currently scheduled for June 2, but it looks like we will have to postpone it for a while so that we have time to arrange for everything after we get the money. We may want to wait until fall when the weather is better, we will set a firm date sometime after we have the money in hand. If you are interested in helping out with the event, or would like to shoot, contact Dave Baalman at dpbaalman@msn.com , he will put you on an email list to be updated when we know more about the schedule.

If you receive the newsletter by US Mail, please take notice: it costs $150 each month just in postage to send the newsletter out, not to mention the cost of printing it. We would like to have you sign up to receive the newsletter by email, you will receive it days earlier than you do now, and there is the added benefit that if we need to get in touch with the club on short notice, the easiest way is to send out an email to the entire club. An example of this is when we installed the steel targets, we had less than a day’s notice that the range would be closed for several hours to install the targets, but we were able to get word out to over half the club by email. So we will make you a deal, if you send us your email address, we promise not to give it to a bunch of spammers, and we promise we will do our best to send out club wide emails for important notices whenever we can.

Another notice if you receive the newsletter by US Mail: if we have an email address attached to your name in the club database, we will begin using that email address for you starting next month. This will include the newsletter, special announcements, etc., and you will no longer receive the newsletter by US Mail. So if you gave us an email at some point, but it may have changed since, be sure to give us a new one. You can send an email to the Membership Coordinator at tcmsa11@gmail.com, be sure to include your name so that we can attach your email to the correct person in the club database. And don’t forget to check your junk or spam folder until you receive an email from us with the newsletter. If it does show up in your spam folder, be sure to add the webmaster account to your trusted email list so you don’t miss out on any special announcements.

Special Board of Directors Announcement

If you have been to a meeting lately you have noticed that we have a lot of new members. Many of these new members have never shot at an organized facility before, and can be a bit overwhelmed by the amount of info we try to teach them in a limited time in new member orientation. Because of this, and because of increased range use, the board is recommending a new program to help new and old members alike, and increase safety at the range. We don’t feel that there is a safety issue at the range right now, but with the number of members we have now, and no end in sight to the new members showing up every month, we feel we should be proactive and set this up before there is a problem or incident.

Our proposal is pretty simple, but before everyone gets too excited, realize that this is NOT a move toward going to range officers like Rattlesnake. Instead what we are proposing is to have a volunteer at the range during peak hours only to act as an advisor. All members will still have to go through orientation, and all members will still have the gate combination and be able to shoot during any daylight hours after they complete orientation. The volunteers would just be another member at the range, however we would ask them to walk the line on occasion, talk to other shooters, and help them understand the rules when needed, answer any questions, and generally just help everyone follow the rules and be safe. We will be making an official recommendation to create the program at the May meeting, and will be passing this off to the Safety Committee. We will be asking the Safety Committee to come back with a formal proposal on how to run the program and a list of what costs if any will be involved, and will put it up for discussion and a vote of the membership at that time. We would like to keep the discussion on this topic to a minimum at the May meeting, since we don’t really know what the Safety Committee will come up with for a proposal right now. We will have an announcement in a future newsletter to let everyone know which meeting we will be discussing this at, so please hold your comment for that meeting, or better yet , if you have an opinion or an idea, we would love to have you volunteer for the safety committee so you can help shape the program. We will need several volunteers to help get this program off the ground, so if you are interested in helping out, contact Greg Hagen at 547-4705, or talk to him at the May meeting, or send an email to the club address.

For now we will be starting this as a pilot program, and hope to have it in place by fall, when range use gets heavy right before the general hunting season. After that, we will revisit it to see if we want to continue as is, make any changes, or drop the program.

Safe shooting, see you at the May meeting!!!

April 2013 Club Newsletter


April 2013 Club Newsletter

Upcoming meetings: May 2 & June 6 (all meetings are at the Griggs Hunter Ed room @ 7pm)

Upcoming work parties: April 21 (maintenance chair Greg Hagen 545-4705, work parties start @8am)

General Announcements

The list of officers & board members has been moved to the club website to save space on the newsletter. If you need to contact an officer, you can find their phone numbers there as well. www.TCMSA.org

Our new reactive steel targets have been installed. Thanks to Sam Kniveton for spearheading the project, thanks to JC Steel Targets of Prescott, WA for building them for us and giving us a great deal on them, and thanks to everyone who helped install them. These targets are there for your use, so enjoy them, but please do not abuse them. NO steel core or armor piercing bullets are allowed on steel targets. Also note that the targets in the pistol area are for pistol calibers only, so no rifles on them please.

We have been informed that our application for an NRA Foundation grant has been recommended for approval. We don’t have the money yet, but we will be preparing for it so that when it arrives we will be ready. Our intent is to host an introduction to competition shooting on June 1, starting at 12pm. This event will be open to anyone who wants to attend. Several of our members will be donating the use of their match quality firearms for attendees to try, the club will be donating targets and other equipment, the Touchet Gun Club will be donating the use of some of their 3-gun equipment, and all the ammunition will be paid for through our NRA Foundation grant. This event will be free of charge to anyone who attends (shooters need not be members of the TCMSA, all are welcome), however we ask that shooters limit themselves to disciplines that they have not competed in previously. We will also be needing some volunteers to help put this event on. Match shooters are especially needed to act as coaches, but we can use anyone who wants to help, we will need people to help with advertising, signing shooters in, and overall coordination of the event. Anyone who wants to help should contact Dave Baalman via email at dpbaalman@msn.com or at a general membership meeting.

The club has recently been contacted by the local chapter of the American Legion regarding a possible cooperative effort for an air rifle range. The American Legion has a national youth air rifle program, and the local chapter has plenty of space in their meeting hall to set up an air rifle range, however they don’t have enough members interested in participating to sustain such a program. They have asked if our club would be interested in setting up the range, and having some of our members act as coaches for youth air rifle training and competition. Our club would also then be able to set up some adult leagues shooting the National Match Air Rifle course. At the April general membership meeting, the club voted to authorize the officers to meet with the Board of Directors of the local chapter of the American Legion to work out the particulars of this arrangement, and we will have a final vote on the project once we work out who’s insurance will be covering the events and who will be paying for the range equipment. In the meantime, if you are interested in shooting air rifle in an adult league, or have a youngster who would like to try the youth program, or simply would like to offer your opinion or help out, contact Gaylord Baker at 628-9044.

With the better weather comes heavier range use. If you see any trash laying around, or targets that are not being used, please do us a favor and put them in the trash barrels.

Fire Prevention Reminders

Attention smokers: please remember that smoking is not allowed beyond the firing line. Also please note that we have set up several butt cans for you, one in the pistol area, one near the flag pole, and one near the CMP firing line. Please use them for your butts, and if you feel we need a few more, feel free to bring out a metal coffee can or some other appropriate container, put a shovel full of sand in it, and put it where you think it needs to be, just make sure it’s against one of the canopy poles or something so it isn’t a tripping hazard, and make sure it has enough sand in it that it won’t move around in the wind.

We have reached the time of year when the fire hazard can be extreme. Don’t smoke down range, don’t shoot steel core bullets at steel targets, and don’t do anything else that can cause a fire. If there is a fire at the range, call the fire department immediately, and make sure to send someone to open the gate to let them in.

Range Safety Reminders

With the heavier range use during the good weather and our ever increasing membership come more opportunities for people to forget or violate the range rules. Remember that the rules are posted at the range, so there is no excuse for not knowing them. We are all responsible for range safety, so if you see someone violating the rules it is your DUTY to speak up. There is no need to be belligerent, most likely they have just forgotten the rules. Please just take a moment to nicely remind them of the rules. If they don’t straighten up, you need to fill out an incident report form. The forms are located in the rail car near the sign in sheet, get all the info you can and then call an officer, bring the form to a meeting, or mail it to the club address.

The rules that seem to be the ones most likely to be broken are (paraphrasing for space and clarity):

Rule 26: Don’t handle firearms AT ALL while the range is cold. This includes cased firearms. If the range is cold, don’t touch it at all.

Rule 27: No one will be beyond the firing line while the range is hot. If you brass falls beyond the firing line, you will have to wait until the range goes cold to pick it up.

Rule 23: All firearms should remain cased when being carried to/from the firing line. If it’s in a case in your car, leave it in the case to carry it to the line. If it’s not in a case, point it in a safe direction.

Rule 2: Don’t point a firearm at anything you are not willing to shoot. Keep those muzzles pointed downrange. Don’t put your firearms on the shelves behind the firing line pointing at other shooters.

Membership & Renewal Info

If you haven’t renewed your membership, you are locked out! The gate combination changed on April 1, and you must pay your dues for the 2013 club year to get the new combination. Dues are $50 per year, or $25 if you attended at least one work party in the last renewal cycle. You can renew by mail (PO Box is listed above), or come to a meeting (meeting info is listed above). If you come to a meeting to renew, please arrive early so we can take care of you before the meeting starts.

We have had a lot of new members in the last few months. It’s also renewal time, so the membership committee has been very busy. If you joined or renewed recently, please bear with us, it will take a while to get your membership cards mailed out. If you mailed us your renewal and have found yourself locked out because you haven’t received the new card, send an email to the club address (listed above), we will confirm that we have the correct address for you and get you the combination ASAP.

If you have moved recently, changed your phone number, or changed your email, please make sure we have your up to date info so we can keep in touch with you for special announcements etc. Just send an email to the club address listed above and we will update your contact info right away.

The range will be closed Thursday April 4, 2013 from 7am to 10am

Attention TCMSA members,

The range will be closed Thursday April 4, 2013 from 7am to 10am for installation of our new reactive targets. We could also use a few more volunteers to help install the targets. If you are able to help out, show up at the range around 7am, be prepared for digging & heavy lifting.

Thanks,

TCMSA

REMINDER

The March 10th Clean-up is the last chance to get work party credit before the renewal deadline on April 1st.

February 2013 Club Newsletter

GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS:


Upcoming meetings: Feb 7 & March 7 (all meetings are at the Griggs Hunter Ed room @ 7pm)

Upcoming work parties: March 10 (maintenance chair Greg Hagen 545-4705, work parties start @8am)

At a recent general membership meeting, a member brought up a safety concern that we would like to pass on to everyone. The member’s concern was related to shooters who were shooting more than one rifle, placing the second rifle on the shelves that are located behind the benches, mounted to the back side of the rain canopies. The member’s issue with this is that when the guns are sitting on those shelves, they are pointing along the firing line at other shooters. We realize that most people who are doing this are waiting for the barrel to cool off, so they don’t want to put the gun in the case and put it away, but we consider this a violation of rule #2 (Don’t point a firearm at anything you are not willing to shoot or destroy). Also consider that when you pick that gun up to bring it back to the line, you are violating rule #23 (All firearms should remain cased or holstered secure while being carried to and from the firing line. If not cased, they will be carried with the actions open and the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.) The bottom line is that we want everyone to realize that if you were shooting at Rattlesnake or another RO controlled range, you would not be allowed to place a gun in a position where it was pointing at anyone. We want the same level of safe handling to occur at our range, so please keep them pointed down range! If you are shooting more than one rifle and need to move one off of your bench, you can use the bench next to you if it is not occupied and no one is waiting to use it, or you can put it in your vehicle, or use one of the vertical racks so that it is pointed up instead of along the line.

Officer & board elections are complete. All the existing officers will be continuing for another term. Steve Schlegel will be continuing on the board for another term, and Wayne Rowett will be taking the open board seat. Thanks to all the officers, board members, & other club volunteers, we couldn’t run the club without you!

The 2013 club schedule has been completed, and is up on the club website. It will also be posted in the sign in trailer, and there is usually a copy at the general membership meetings each month. Please check it out and pay special attention to when the range is open to general shooting and when it is not. We don’t want you to waste the fuel and time to drive to the range and not be able to shoot, or have to wait around for a match to end before you can shoot.

There will be a work party on March 10, this will be your last opportunity to get your work credit before renewal time, so if you can make it, join us! If your physical abilities or work schedule prevent you from attending a regular work party, contact one of the officers, they will be happy to assign you some work that will fit your schedule or abilities so you have the opportunity to get your work credit.

We notice that several types of polymer sphere shaped target balls are becoming popular. We want you to remember that these types of targets are only authorized at our range if there is a proper backstop for EVERY SHOT. This means that you will most likely have to go cold every shot to reset your target. Also please remember that clay pigeons are limited to the shotgun area only, and golf balls and other trash type targets must have a proper backstop, and must be removed from the range when you are done, and finally glass and other non-removable targets are banned. We realize that there is an ever growing interest in reactive type targets, and we will try to add some more soon. In the meantime if you have your own swinger or other reactive target, you are welcome to use it as long as it is placed at the base of the berm, or even on the face of the berm. Remember that any bullets that hit in front of the berm will ricochet and could clear the hill and exit the facility, so make sure your targets are set so that the bullets hit in the berm. If anyone has any ideas of how to build reactive targets that will last longer we are all ears, or if anyone would like to volunteer to help with the maintenance of the reactive targets so that Greg isn’t constantly working on them, please volunteer.

It’s renewal time! Your membership expires on March 31, so if you don’t want to be locked out, get your membership dues in ASAP. Renewal is $50, or $25 if you attended at least one work party in this renewal cycle. Also please make sure we have your NRA membership info, and also that we have your current address and phone number. You can renew at a meeting, or you can send your check to the club PO Box listed above. We will mail a card to you with the new gate combination ASAP. If you intend to renew at a meeting, please show up a few minutes early so that the membership committee can get you taken care of before the meeting starts. If you wait until after the meeting, the committee can’t start new member orientation on time.

If you need to renew your NRA membership, there are several NRA recruiters in the club, and there are usually a couple of them at each meeting. You can save some money on your NRA membership by renewing with a recruiter, so seek one out when it’s time to renew with the NRA!

December 2012 Club Newsletter

GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Upcoming meetings: December 6 & January 3 (all meetings are at the Griggs Hunter Ed room @ 7pm)

Attention Match Directors, Hunter Ed Directors, and Event Coordinators: the deadline to submit your schedule requests for 2013 is December 15. We have the same system set up for schedule requests as last year. You can send an email directly to calendar@tcmsa.org with your requested dates, or you can place your request through the website at TCMSA.org (Open Formatted Submittal | Pre-Formatted Submittal.) Established patterns (such as CMP on the first Saturday of the month) will be given first choice, and club sanctioned events will be given priority over outside users of the range. After that, it’s first come first served, so get those requests in early. In your request, please include the name of the event, the name of the match director or event coordinator, the date(s) you are requesting, the start time, and your estimated end time. Also please let us know if general shooting will be allowed during your event. If general shooting is not allowed, please also let us know what time you need to close the range for set up of your event. And finally, for all events that are not TCMSA sanctioned competitions or events, we must have a form on file stating who’s insurance is covering the event. The officers will be contacting you regarding this if we don’t have a form on file for you. Please be aware that the schedule has gotten very busy over the last couple of years, with 5 match disciplines, 2 hunter ed groups, NRA instructors, etc. There may come a day when we have to deny some groups use of the range, or combine days / times between several groups, so be prepared to be flexible. We must keep time open in the schedule for general shooting or we won’t have any members at some point.

One more announcement for match directors & event coordinators: when the gate is left open on public use days, please take a moment to make sure you aren’t locking anyone in before you close the gate at the end of the match or event. If people are staying to shoot after you leave, make sure to talk to each of them and ensure that they are all members or guests of a member who is at the range at the time. Also make sure that they sign in on the normal sign in sheet. And finally when you go past the police range on your way out, take a look and see if anyone is there. If there is someone there, stop and talk to them, make sure they are with the PD and didn’t just wander in off the highway, and let them know you are going to lock the gate so they can make sure they have their gate key and aren’t locked in.

The January meeting will be our annual meeting, where we will hold elections for all the officer positions, and two of the six board positions. We will be accepting nominations for all positions at the December meeting. We have had basically the same group of officers and board members for several years now. New people in these positions would be a welcome opportunity for a new perspective on the leadership of the club, and many of those currently in office would love the opportunity to take some time off, so if you are interested in leading the future direction or current operation of the club, step up and volunteer. Or if you know someone who you think would be a good addition to the leadership of the club, nominate them for a position.

We are beginning to see a lot of damage to the pistol area target frames caused by shotguns. People are using some heavy loads and firing repeatedly at the frames until they are literally cut in half. Remember: intentional destruction of target frames is a violation of the club rules. We understand that tactical shotguns are becoming very popular, and we currently don’t have much of an opportunity to shoot them at our range (except for three gun, come on out and compete). The officers & board have been discussing various ideas of how to set up a tactical shotgun area, if you have any suggestions of what type of targets you would like to see or how to set it up so that it will last, please come to a meeting or give one of the officers a call.

It’s almost time for renewals, but please don’t send in your money just yet. Your membership doesn’t expire until March 31, 2013. The new gate combination for 2013 won’t go into effect until April 1, so there is no hurry. We won’t even assign the new gate combination until after the first of the year, so if you do send your money in right now, we won’t be able to mail you your new card until sometime in mid-January. We are also busy throughout December with setting the schedule and elections, and we don’t want your renewal to slip through the cracks, so wait until January to send us your money. After that, send it in and we will get you a new card right away. Remember dues are $50 a year, or $25 if you participated in at least one work party during the year. You can bring your renewal to a meeting, or send it to the club address shown on the top of the newsletter.

The irrigation district sent a bunch of water our way during November. There was no damage to the range facilities, but the culvert under the road to the 200 yard target line was almost washed out. There is a little settling going on around the culvert now, so be careful if you drive out to the 200 yard target line, watch for sink holes or washouts. We will do a little maintenance on the culvert when we can.

September 2012 Newsletter

GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Upcoming meetings: September 6 & October 4 (all meetings are at the Griggs Hunter Ed room @ 7pm)

Upcoming work parties: TBA (maintenance chair Greg Hagen 545-4705, work parties start @8am)

We have our annual hunter sight in days on September 15 & September 23. If you haven’t been to a work party yet this year, this is an excellent opportunity to get your work party credit. We need members to act as coaches / spotters for people sighting in their hunting rifles, as well as people to help with advertising the events and with setup and teardown. Contact Ray Vollert at the September meeting or by phone to volunteer. If you plan on helping out, bring whatever equipment you can to help get people sighted in, such as sand bags or benchrest gear, spotting scopes, gunsmith’s screwdrivers, bore sighting equipment etc. It also helps to bring your own rifle so you have something to do when you aren’t coaching.

Due to unforeseen circumstances involving the availability of the Touchet Gun Club’s personnel (and therefore their equipment) we will have to cancel the September and October Three Gun Challenges. They will be available again for the Veteran’s Day Three Gun Challenge on November 10th.

Please remember that the horn & strobe system is only a communication device. It is there to make it easier to get everyone on the same page quickly to go hot or cold, and so that anyone can determine at a glance what the condition of the range is (hot or cold). The instructions for use of the system are on a sign next to each switch, so if you don’t remember how the system works, take a moment to read the sign. Also please remember that the strobes can be hard to see in the bright sunlight. Most importantly please remember that the safety system doesn’t unload anyone’s gun, so before going downrange take a moment to make sure everyone’s guns are clear and that everyone is ready to go cold. Also before resuming fire, please take a moment to make sure that the strobes are off, that everyone has returned from downrange, and everyone is ready to resume fire.

When you go through the gate, it must be locked behind you (except on public use days). Be sure to spin the numbers on the lock, and please give the lock a little tug to make sure it is truly locked. The lock gets a lot of wear between the amount of use it gets and the blowing sand throughout the year, so it sometimes gets a little sticky. If it isn’t fully locked, it can spring open when pulled or when the sun heats the metal up a bit, leaving the gate unlocked.

Hunter Education classes are still going on at our range. Members are welcome to shoot while classes are being conducted, but remember that the Hunter Education Director is the Range Master. They will let you know if there is a certain area of the range that is closed to general shooting, and they will determine when the range goes hot or cold. They are always willing to accommodate general shooters as much as possible, but remember that they have a lot of students to work through the class in a limited amount of time.

Thanks to Sam Kniveton for putting together our new spectator benches at the range. They are portable, so if you would like to watch a match, Hunter Education class, or just watch someone shoot, feel free to move one of the benches to wherever you would like to sit. Remember though that if you are sitting in front of the parking pipe, you still need your eye & ear protection while the range is hot. Also note that the backs of the benches pivot, so if you need a large table, place two of the benches back to back, with the backs tilted, and you have a picnic table.

MATCH NEWS:

Hunter Bench: (Match Director Wally Ruff 967-5087)
Upcoming matches: October 12 (club match @ 100 yd, 10am start, range closes to general shooting at 8am)

CMP Highpower: (Match Director Gaylord Baker 628-9044)
Upcoming matches: September 6 & October 1 (7:30 set-up, start shooting at 8:00)

Three Gun: (Match Director Mark Perkins)
Upcoming matches: November 10 (9am start)

NRA Highpower Sporting Rifle: (Match Director Marlee Parks)
Upcoming matches: August 29 (start shooting at 6pm) September 8 (start shooting at 8am)

The August 29 match is a Wednesday evening. We will start setting up around 5pm, and have a quick bite before the match (bring something you can throw on the grill). The September 8 match is our second league shoot. Anyone is welcome to attend and shoot, the league members will be shooting for official scores, anyone else can join in for fun!

June 2012 Newsletter

GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Upcoming meetings: June 7th & July 5th (all meetings are at the Griggs Hunter Ed room @ 7pm)

Upcoming work parties: No work parties planned for June (maintenance chair Greg Hagen 545-4705, work parties start @ 8am)

If you have been to the range lately, you probably have noticed that the old office trailer is gone. The last work party finished the demolition and removal of everything except for the aluminum and steel that we are going to sell as scrap. All money from this sale will be returned to the club. The snake that had been residing in the trailer was not seen, but numerous mice that were made homeless were seen fleeing the destruction.

Safety reminder for this newsletter concerns the use of steel core ammunition. Ammunition with steel core bullets is most often imported from Russia in the form of 7.62×39, 7.62×54, 7.62×51 (308 Win), 9mm Luger, and other calibers. The use of this ammunition is restricted to paper targets only, with impact in the dirt berm. NEVER use steel core ammunition on any steel target. We are rapidly approaching the summer fire season, and steel core projectiles striking steel targets starts fires. If you are not sure if you have steel core ammunition, there is a magnet on the range master stand next to the dud box to verify what you have.

A new feature at the range is four wood and plastic benches that were purchased by the club and assembled by Sam Kniveton. These were purchased for use by the Hunter Ed groups, Women and Youth Days and other events at our range. Also the backs of these benches fold over to make into tables for reloading and future barbeques.

Hunter Ed classes have started again for the year. We also have some NRA instructors using our range, and we have our usual compliment of 5 different match disciplines. The schedule is getting pretty busy, but we are trying to accommodate general shooting and keep as many days open as we can. Remember that general shooting is always allowed during Hunter Ed classes, NRA instructor classes, CMP matches, NRA Sporting Highpower matches, and Cast Bullet matches. General shooting is NOT allowed during Benchrest matches and Three Gun matches, and remember that the range is closed during work parties. We also want to remind you that additional time is needed for setup before the matches, and all this info is on the club schedule. You can see the schedule on the club website, and it is also posted in the railcar above the sign in sheet.

MATCH REPORTS:

Hunter Bench: (Match Director Wally Ruff 967-5087)

Upcoming matches: June 30th and July 28th (both are registered matches @ 100 & 200 yd, 7am start)

Match results: May 19th 100 yds Glenn Sampson 249-16x, 200 yds Dick Hohstadt 237-0x, 100/200 yd aggregate Glenn Sampson 483-17x.

Highpower: (Match Director Gaylord Baker 628-9044)

Upcoming matches: June 2nd, the regular match starting at 8:00, with a bolt gun match to follow from 11: to 2:00, and July 7th (7:30 set-up, start shooting at 8:00).

April results: Gaylord Baker 750-14x, Dave Baalman 723-12x, Cozy Baker 696-5x. May results: Gaylord Baker 742-9x, Dave Baalman 716-12x, and Ryan Bongers 710-17x.

If you are interested in joining us, we have a very relaxed match, where we stress the safety rules and have a lot of fun. The bolt match is for any military bolt action, but again, very relaxed so bring your Garand for this one if and join us.

Three Gun: (Match Director Mark Perkins 509-301-9407)

Upcoming matches: September 1st (12 pm start)

May results: Mark P. 98.15 secs, Bob B 105.13 secs, and Adam 119.09 secs.

NRA Highpower Sporting Rifle: (Match Director Dave Baalman 528-0813)

Upcoming matches: June 13 (that’s a Wednesday night, 5pm start)

Cast Bullet: (Match Director George Damron)

Upcoming matches: July 1st

Hunter Education Policy Concerns

April 10, 2012

Sergeant Carl Klein
WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
600 Capital Way N.
Olympia, WA 99501

Re: WDFW Hunter Education Draft Instructor Policy Manual

Dear Sgt. Klein

This letter presents the Richland Rod and Gun Club (RRGC) Hunter Education Instructor Team’s concerns about the proposed “WDFW HUNTER EDUCATION DRAFT INSTRUCTOR POLICY MANUAL”.

Its general tone, when combined with specific points, impugns the integrity, skillfulness and dedication demonstrated in the volunteer work currently performed by certified hunter education instructors and registered hunter education volunteers throughout Washington State.

The Richland Rod and Gun Club initiated Hunter Education Training in the Tri-City area in 1957, shortly after the original law mandating firearms safety training was enacted. Instructors associated with the club have taught classes every year since, successfully training more than 17,000 students, one member has taught for 56 years. There has never been an accidental firearm discharge in our classrooms. Neither to our knowledge has there ever been any accidental firearm discharge associated with hunter education firing range or classroom instruction in Washington State. Overall, the changes proposed in the draft Manual substantially reduce realistic, “hands-on” experience with firearms, compromising effective training to the students’ detriment.

This “Policy Manual” demonstrates a complete lack of trust in certified instructors to teach firearm usage in a safe manner. Additionally, it proposes to confiscate property without just compensation. This is not public property that the WDFW can arbitrarily usurp. These firearms, and related educational materials, have been acquired over the years by the various hunter education teams. They were paid for out of the instructors’ personal funds, other private donations and/or grants from a variety of charitable organizations. They are not the property of the State of Washington

The “draft policy manual” needs to be completely rewritten and a new one developed consistent with common sense and realistic application. The proposed mandates (presented as policies) preclude more than they include. It is a manual of what one may not do when teaching, and what one must do, regarding reports and organization. The “draft policy manual” effectively precludes vital interaction with students. If interaction is necessary or desired the instructor must first reduce the request to writing, have it signed, and then have a second instructor on hand to witness the interaction. Such restrictions are clumsy, impractical, and insulting, needlessly undermining instructor/student trust.

The “draft policy manual” states that the Hunter Education administration will provide all the materials and additional policies and instructions in the next few months. Unfortunately, we have heard this one too many times. We (the RRGC instructors) cannot envision ourselves being able to effectively teach safe firearm handling in the environment that will result from these “draft policies”. Hunter Education is not a “for credit” university semester course. It is a 10 hour program tightly focused on safe firearms handling. The “draft policy manual” proposes to micro-manage and control everything from what may be worn, to what may (and may not) be said. It is a draconian solution in search of a problem!

The restrictions and limitations proposed in the “draft policy manual” will result in under-trained students. They will have substantially less “hands-on” experience; less “muscle-memory”, and inadequate opportunity to build safe gun handling habits. This will result in increased – and entirely avoidable – frequency of accidents with firearms.

In 2010 the RRGC Hunter Education program boasted the largest team-teaching group in SE Washington: 17 certified instructors and 25 registered volunteers, who were supported by four private organizations and two conservation groups. Since the start of these policies, and the subsequent meetings to include the most recent IST, 10 instructors have already resigned. The registered volunteers feel exposed and decline to participate, the organizations that have supported our team threaten to cease providing critical facilities and materials, including classrooms and firing ranges. Unless the “draft policy manual” is thoroughly revised to be more realistic, practical and oriented to safe firearms handling practices, the members of the RRGC team will withdraw from the Washington State Hunter Education Program as will the RR&GC, the Connell Gun Club, and the Tri-City Metallic Silhouette Association

We (the RRGC instructor team) have attached several proposed revisions. These are intended in good faith as just a few examples of the most important kinds of practical, “real world” changes that will need to be made. We have many other recommendations, but they are too numerous to address in the context of this letter.

Conclusion:

Because the proposed draft policy manual is so controlling and unreasonable it will lead to the resignations of many more hunter education instructors. This will result in the substantial loss of hunter education opportunities for students. The wholesale departure of experienced, qualified instructors will leave many areas of the state without any program. This in turn will lead to the reduced sale of hunting licenses, reduced grant income to the State and reduced support for the conservation and wise use of State resources. Eventually, it will be easier for many to travel to Oregon, Idaho or Montana and take their hunter safety program, receiving better, safer instruction, while obtaining the same certificate. This entirely avoidable loss would be a profound shame!

Appropriate, effective hunter education is too important to our community for us to stand idly by and allow it to occur. We remain ready and willing to help improve the hunter safety education program.

Sincerely,

Jeff Gardner, President
Richland Rod & Gun Club

Gaylord Baker, President
Tri-Cities Metallic Silhouette Association

Don Board, Instructor
Hunter Education

//Original Signed//

Full Text of Letter with Attachment

The policy draft can be found at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/huntered/instructors/index.html for your reference.

April 2012 Club Newsletter

GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Upcoming meetings: April 5 & May 3 (all meetings are at the Griggs Hunter Ed room @ 7pm)

Upcoming work parties: April 22 & May 6 (maintenance chair Greg Hagen 545-4705, work parties start @ 8am)

You may have noticed some changes at the range. We have moved the sign in sheet to the Southeast end of the rail car (nearest to the restrooms), and consolidated our storage into the other end. We are now working to dismantle the old clubhouse trailer & remove it from the range.

At the February general membership meeting, the club voted to pursue the sale of our competition metal silhouettes, since they have not been used in many years. We have an inventory of what the club has, and are working on determining their value and searching for possible buyers. We may have an offer to consider at the April meeting. Proceeds from this sale would be used to purchase some other reactive targets for general use.

We are aware of that some members pick up lead at the range. We don’t have an issue with this at all, in fact the more lead members pick up, the better the range looks. We would however like to keep track of how much lead is removed each year. We have added a spot on the sign in sheet for you to tell us how much you have removed. You don’t need a scale, just give us an estimate of the weight, or an idea of the volume so we can keep track. And remember, you pick up lead at your own risk.

Starting with this newsletter, we are going to try to remind everyone of some of the more important safety and range rules each month. If you have a suggestion of an item you think should be included, send it to the contact us page on the club website or give an officer a call. For this month, we will mention hot & cold conditions at the range. Remember that when the range is hot, no one is to be beyond the firing line. When the range is cold, no one is to handle a firearm in any manner (this includes cased firearms). Also remember that when the range is cold, this includes the entire facility, from the CMP firing line all the way to the shotgun area. And finally remember that before the range can be declared hot or cold, everyone on the range must be notified of the change in condition. The horns & strobes are useful for this communication, but don’t assume that everyone heard you unless you get a positive confirmation from everyone.

The Friends of the NRA banquet was another great success this year, and the club again won something. This year it is a hard sided double rifle case, with the NRA logo. This will be raffled off free of charge to a member in good standing at the April general membership meeting, but you must be present to win. So come to the meeting for a chance to win!

March 31 is the last day of the club year. If you have not renewed your membership, you are about to be locked out, the gate combination will change April 1. You can come to the April meeting to renew, or you can renew by mail. Send your check to the club address listed above, ($50, or $25 if you participated in a work party this year) along with proof of NRA membership. We will mail you a new card ASAP.

Hunter Ed classes have started again for the year. We also have some NRA instructors using our range, and we have our usual compliment of 5 different match disciplines. The schedule is getting pretty busy, but we are trying to accommodate general shooting and keep as many days open as we can. Remember that general shooting is always allowed during Hunter Ed classes, NRA instructor classes, CMP matches, NRA Sporting Highpower matches, and Cast Bullet matches. General shooting is NOT allowed during Benchrest matches and Three Gun matches, and remember that the range is closed during work parties. We also want to remind you that additional time is needed for setup before the matches, and all this info is on the club schedule. You can see the schedule on the club website, and it is also posted in the railcar above the sign in sheet.

MATCH REPORTS:

Hunter Bench: (match director Wally Ruff 967-5087)

Upcoming matches: March 31 & April 28 (both are registered matches @ 100 & 200 yd, 7am start)

Results of the February match: HBR: Glenn Sampson 244-6x, Jim McConnell 244-5x, Paul Gylling 239-3x. VFS: Matt Muhbeirer 245-11x, Marlee Parks 245-7x, Mike Fowler 240-2x. The February match was fired in extreme winds, but the scores were excellent! March is the beginning of our registered matches for the year. If you are interested in joining us, please do!

Highpower: (match director Gaylord Baker 628-9044)

Upcoming matches: April 7 & May 5 (7:30 set-up, start shooting at 8:00)

February results: Gaylord Baker 753-12x, Dave Baalman 733-15x, Ryan Bongers 713-9x. March results: Dave Baalman 751-19x, Gaylord Baker 745-11x, Ryan Bongers 728-8x. March Garand match results: Gaylord Baker 451-10x, Dave Baalman 408-3x, Paul Werner 403-2x.

We are back to our usual earlier start time for the spring. If you are interested in joining us, we have a very relaxed match, where we stress the safety rules but little else, so come join us!

Three Gun: (match director Mark Perkins 509-301-9407)

Upcoming matches: April 14 & May 26 (9am start)

March 17 results: Steve: 159.63sec, Dave: 169.13sec, Cliff 272.43sec.

We shoot an interesting version of three gun, where you are just out to challenge yourself, and the times only decide who gets bragging rights, so come out and join us. If you don’t have a needed gun, the Touchet Gun Club has them to loan out. Special thanks to the Touchet Gun Club for co-sponsoring these events.

NRA Highpower Sporting Rifle: (match director Dave Baalman 528-0813)

Upcoming matches: June 13 (that’s a Wednesday night, 5pm start)

February results: Marlee Parks 302-8x, Gaylord Baker 299-6x, Dave Baalman 298-7x. March Results: Marlee Parks 308-12x, Gaylord Baker 306-11x, Dave Baalman 299-4x. This is a new discipline at our club, and we are very impressed with the scores so far. There is also a postal-league in this discipline, which starts in June. Registration ends in May, unlimited teams of 4-6 shooters for each club. If you are interested contact Dave.

Cast Bullet: (match director George Damron)

Our first match of the year is April 8, start setup at 7am. Bring your hand cast ammo & join us!