The first morning did start cold. So cold in fact that I had to get hot hand warmers. I didn't think to get rain pants, but I had my rain jacket though. I wound up borrowing some XL FrogToggs (that really made me look like a hobo). Those Tyvek Frog Toggs really cut the wind off my legs though and were a welcomed addition to my wardrobe. I just kept warm thoughts going through my mind when I was waiting on my turn on a stage thinking how warm it was back in Georgia!
I have a lot of people that ask me how I prepare for a shooting stage. Well right before approaching the stage, I try to clear my mind and focus intensely on the course of fire. I mentally go through the dope needed for each target and rehearse each shot in my mind. I also watch the competitors before me and see how they approach the stage. I note what works for them and try to apply it where I can benefit when it's my turn to shoot. I look to see if he/she misses a target and watch the bullet splash, so I can kind of gauge of how fast the wind is blowing at that particular distance. I have all the confidence in my rifle and gear, it's up to me to make sure I make the right wind calls.
In my last two years shooting competitively, the SHC has proven to be both challenging and fun. That is what I love about Frank's matches he likes to be creative, but does not over complicate a stage of fire. We had 4 stages that morning to complete, then we broke for lunch. I always bring a loaf of bread, peanut butter, jelly and Cheezits to tactical comps, as it provides me with plenty of energy! It was so cold and rainy outside we all decided to stay in the truck and I made sandwiches. I think Matt Peterson and Travis Bankston enjoyed my mean PB&J sandwiches!
Our next four stages in the afternoon were the D stage. D Stage had a lot of long range targets that were set as far as 1230 yrds. I dare say they may have been in another zip code! D Stage I believe was the longest distance we had to shoot. The weather kind of cooperated that afternoon and it definitely was not as cold as in the morning!
One of my favorite stages, was the tower. You had 6 targets at various distances and 3 minutes to complete the stage. Your time started when hit the tower, which you had to climb a couple flights of stairs, jump in prone and put 2 rounds on each of the targets. Once completed, you jumped up and ran up another flight of stairs, back down in prone position and shoot the same 6 targets again. How cool was that!
This year, the Snipers Hide Cup honored USMC Sgt. Josh J. Robinson, Bronze Star Medal with combat distinguishing device posthumously with for heroic achievement in connection with combat operations against the enemy while serving as Assistant Team Leader (Scout Sniper Team 2) SST2. As an Army wife I personally appreciate all American citizens that help, support and assist US Armed Forces veterans and their families. My sincerest appreciation to all involved with this worthwhile effort.
That evening, I and my teammates from Ashbury Precision Ordnance, Matt Peterson, Travis Bankston Hubby Jim Gilliland, and Tom Fuller all gorged ourselves on Mexican food in a local restaurant. The Cadillac Margaritas were out of this world!!
Day Two and the weather seemed a bit more cooperative. Though still chilly and yes, "Hot Hands" weather to me, we began early again to head out to the ranges. Have I mentioned how beautiful and serene Colorado is? The T3 ranch is really a great place to come shoot. You can just see miles and miles. Just breathtaking......okay, back to the match....
We started the day at Range E, which involved the Jeep stage with pistols (the RO's were spectacular by the way), the "Stage Rifle" (a .308 with iron sites) and two other stages. Lunch was provided but I stuck with my PB&J sandwiches with Cheezits (a mainstay must at every match and no I'm not superstitious!). Luckily on Day 2, after completing the 4 stages on E, we were able to head on over Range A. These stages included shooting off-hand then getting in any position other than prone to shoot 4 targets. We shot weak side/strong side on one stage and ended the day with "Know Your Limits".
This was set up pretty cool. You have 5 targets hanging in a row at 300 yards. You start with the large target, upon impact you had to shoot the "Turkey" target at 600 yrds in order to get the point. You could stay with this point, or move on to Target 2 which happens to be smaller. If you hit it, you had to shoot the Turkey to get the points. If you miss, you lost your point you got from the 1st target. I jumped down on the line, and hit the 1st large target then the turkey. I went ahead and hit the 2nd target then turkey. I went on to the 3rd with an impact and same on turkey. I asked the RO my time, he said 56
seconds. I asked for my score, he told me. I could hear my teammates mumbling in the background. I rammed the bolt shut, took a nice deep easy breath, and struck the 4th target then the Turkey. I was then done;-) And might I mention, I dialed for my 300yrds and did a holdover for my 600 yard turkey shot.
We ended that evening with a nice steak dinner at Mavericks which was located in front of our hotel. We had one more day to shoot and I needed some rest!
Sunday morning started early. Our last few stages were on Range B. The day was gorgeous, with the temperature around 65F. My squad shot through the four stages and when we were all done, some of us got to "pop" some prairie dogs! I had my DOPE dialed in at 400 yrds. It was so much fun! I'm looking forward to big prairie dog hunt in the future!!
A "Huge Thanks" and hats off to Frank Galli who pulled off one of the largest PRS matches in the USA to date! 236 competitors ran smoothly through each stage of fire, it was cold, rainy and everyone enjoyed themselves. Damn that was fun!! To the RO's, thank you for your time and patience with each competitor. You weathered the storm with us all and there's nothing else to say but "Thank You".
Thank you to my sponsors, Ashbury Precision Ordnance, Bushnell, Armageddon Gear, Hoppe's #9 and GunGoddess.com. You all have helped me become a better shooter and I thank you for allowing me to be an Ambassador for your brand. To all the sponsors who donated to the Prize Table, Thank You. You may not hear it enough, but there are quite a few us competitors out there who really appreciate your generosity. Congratulations to all the competitors who competed! And of course Jake and are looking forward to shooting SHC 2016... booyah! Shoot safely! Missy