Work Day at the BRGFA Range – Sunday October 7th
Bob Austman organized our small group into a work crew for this holiday Sunday. We put up the green flag and did some much needed repairs and restorations before the winter set in, so the membership can enjoy another year at the range.
We had a successful day fixing and reinforcing our two 100 yd. bunkers, demolishing and rebuilding the handgun gong area; and restoring the 22 rifle gong house. What could have been a full 2 day job turned into a mere 5 ½ hours (even with a short lunch break of coffee, sandwiches and donuts).
This was due to a very smart invention called the skid steer. Curtis Rossman, our Bobcat (skid steer) operator, was our white knight in shining armor I tell ya. Bob contacted him, and for that we are grateful. Curtis came in with his Bobcat and made the difference between a hard day of labor or a fun afternoon that involved a lot of work, but not the back breaking work it could have been.
The chain gang had to move around the railroad ties, shovel some sand, install braces and do a lot of brainstorming while Curtis expertly hauled and maneuvered all the material into bunker/gong house locations, removing all debris, even leveling the ground around the boxes and in our parking lot.
A major hat tip to Curtis who did his job in great style and with a nice smile! Couldn’t have done this without you. (Check out the history of the bobcat and you’ll find a turkey farmer in MN needed a small machine to maneuver inside a pole barn, yet light enough to operate on its upper level. The skid-steer loader was invented in 1960 which is when ‘Bobcat’ became a trade name). Man’s inventions never cease to amaze me! But that’s me. I love taking things apart to see how they got back together again.
*Curtis did a test drive on our first bunker project not with a rifle and ammo but with his bobcat bucket. We did a darn good job on that bunker and knew that if it could withstand the bobcat’s bucket, it would hold for the ammo that will come flying in its direction during the next year. The bunkers are solid folks*
Mark Loeppky who constantly fixes our gong houses and restores the gongs provided his expertise; and with Jimmy Claire, Jerry Marr, Bob and I, we got all the work done in 5 ½ hours so the membership can enjoy another year with the range in working order.
PLEASE NOTE: The handgun and 22 rifle gong houses are built, but the gongs are not in place yet as of this writing [October 8th]. Being a holiday weekend we all had to get home for supper. Mark is getting the gongs ready for both these target areas so IN THE MEANTIME, please do NOT shoot at either the 22 rifle and handgun gong houses. There is a pallet to the north of the handgun gong house, so that you can staple your paper targets onto that pallet and shoot.
As you can see in the before and after photos the gong houses took some extra abuse with targets being stapled to the gong house itself, resulting in the ties being shot to ‘H, E, double hockey sticks [L L]’.
So don’t shoot our gong house structures. If the gongs are down and you know how to reconnect them with straps do so, or else let us know. Otherwise, bring your target stands and post paper targets on your stand in the area just north of the handgun gong house. Same goes with the 22 rifle gong house. Either fix the gong if you know how, or put up your own target stand next to it and shoot paper targets. Don’t blast our gong houses away.
Members are NOT to bring rocks onto the range to weight down their targets. When the range gets mowed rocks can shatter and can potentially injure someone.
So, wait for the gongs to be installed which should be very soon. Let’s take care of our range [clean up your brass, garbage, broken targets, etc]. Review our BRGFA Range Safety Rules and Operational Guidelines
With all this said, enjoy the target shooting at the range, sighting in your rifles for the winter hunting season. Ah, Manitoba – winter IS coming. Don’t you love it!