About a year ago when we were brainstorming ideas about the Silver Mountain Target electronic targets, one of the questions someone asked was; “Just how will these targets benefit members who are not High Power competitive shooters?

It was a valid question, so in the proposal I included electronic target Range Days that would be open to members and guests as well as a Deer Rifle Sight-In day.  Our first Range Day in May was cancelled because of the WooHooFloo, so Saturday June 20th was our first opportunity to have open shooting on the electronic targets for members and guests.

Our High Power luck held out again and we had a nice day to shoot.  It was hot, but not “pass out in your coat” hot.  Ten shooters took advantage of the opportunity, about half High Power shooters and half members and guests.

Electronic Target Range Day; Relay 2

The electronic target system worked flawlessly as we continue to work out issues and make fewer human errors.  Everyone’s phone, tablet or iPad logged in with no issues and we had no target dropouts or interruptions.  One guest shooter made the comment that the range at Roanoke needs to get one of these systems!

Thanks again to the people who help these events happen; Glenna, Mike, Marty and Aaron and Gary who stayed and helped us put things away.

Our next Range Day will be a Deer Rifle Sight-In on October 24th at 10:00.  We will offer sight-in targets at 100, 200 and 300 yards.  As an example, if you sight in at 200-yards, you can then  shoot at 100 and 300-yards to get exact hold under/over for the other two distances.

Now – just a couple of stories:

About 9:30, Marty and I were going downrange to start setup.  I was coming up on the ditch when a critter ran across the road in front of me – right to left.  Rabbits, groundhogs, dogs and the occasional cat are pretty common visitors to the range, but this was a solid black, low slung, slinky critter that looked like it had a leash on its neck.  It was gone in a flash, but after a second or so, I realized that I had seen a mink!  Minks hang out along ditches where they find frogs, crayfish and other delicacies and they are really not uncommon – just reclusive.

But, what about the leash?  It took another second or so and I realized that, of course, a mink would not have a leash.  This mink had caught a small snake and was dragging it out of the woods.  It just looked like it was trailing a leash.  After he crossed the road, he dashed into the weeds and went back down into the ditch to enjoy his breakfast.

There is another critter story too.

Marty called my attention to a very strong, musky odor around the dirt pile down by the pits.  Now we know that is a ground hog hotel, but this was a lot stronger odor than ground hog.  After a bit, we both agreed it was definitely the smell of fox urine – the scent we use to cover our scent when we go deer hunting.  We’ve seen foxes at the range several times, so we have a resident fox; maybe even a litter of fox kits; just something to keep an eye out for. Maybe the foxes will discourage the ground hogs!