The season is off and running and we are off to a good and fast start. So far this year I have shot in three matches. The first was on my 18th Birthday, which was March 15th at Miami Rifle and Pistol club. The second and third match were just this last weekend at Camp Atterbury.
The first match at Miami was a bit of a surprise when we showed up. On my calendar, I had written that it was a midrange match so I thought I would be shooting all at 600 yards but when we got there, we were thrown for a loop. I learned that the first two strings of the match were 20 shots with two sighter shots at 200 yards in the offhand position. It was a surprise but also a lot of fun. I got the opportunity to shoot my 6BR match rifle in the offhand position, which I have never gotten to do before. I was very nervous to do this but it was still a lot of fun and I even got an X or two! After the offhand match, we moved back to the 600-yard line and got ready for 20 shots prone. For me this was the main event because I have been doing a lot of dry firing and I was very excited to get out and shoot in my first prone match of the year. I ended up winning the 600 yard match with a score of 198-10x and my favorite part about it was my elevation for the whole string was amazing and every shot was perfectly on call. It was an amazing match and the best way to spend my birthday, after the match we went home and had a group of people from the match and some family friends over and we all sat around, ate food, and talked. Looking back over the day, I had a great time and an amazing birthday.
This last weekend I was at Camp Atterbury and it was a very cold windy trip filled with lots of laughs, new memories and inside jokes. On Saturday after waking up at 5am to make it to the range by 7am to help with setup and registration we shot a midrange match at 600. I had relay one so I was up first in the 3-stage match. Each string had its own challenges and curveballs to throw but at the end of the day I ended up with second place overall and high Jr. On Sunday we attempted to shoot an across the course match, I say attempted because it was very windy and we ended up calling the match at the 600 yard line before everyone had the chance to shoot cause our targets broke out of the frames and went for a trip around the range from the wind. We did get through the offhand stage and both rapid-fire stages, which was good because those are my favorite parts anyways, especially the rapid fires. I finished out again in second place at the end of Sundays match.
Apart from shooting all weekend, I also had the chance to do a few more things. Not only did I find a deer antler on the range, which is by far the coolest thing I have ever found on the range, but I also had the opportunity to work with a young Jr. from Indiana on his across the course shooting skills. I have worked with many people before kids as well as adults and just like with any coaching for any sport or activity it is always easier and nicer when the “student” listens to you and this kid probably made my entire weekend with how well he listened. Seeing him take the things I was telling him and really try to apply them was such a wonderful experience for me. I have always enjoyed helping new shooters grow in the shooting sport. Some people ask why do you love helping others so much. What do you get out of it? I always tell them my reward is their smiles and joys from shooting their new personal best or winning the match for their classification or just anything that makes them happy with their shooting is a win for me. When I first started shooting, I had a few special people who came into my life and guided me in my first steps in shooting. They were my lantern through everything and even if I just hold the lantern for a little bit for someone else it always helps because many people held the lantern for me.
So here’s to an amazing start to the season and I’m looking forward to everything else to come!