Barron recorded Brian Keith’s speech at the Boomershoot 2016 dinner. Unfortunately his video camera also collected a lot of glare from my bald head. Still, the speech is worth listening to if you look away or wear sunglasses:
This morning I completed the last major (two people still haven’t paid for their last minute changes, but this is relatively minor) work item for Boomershoot 2016.
Barb and I named one of of the blobs of mud on the hood as we drove home after Boomershoot. I was almost getting attached to them. But the droppings in the garage were not nearly as endearing.
The difference on the inside was comparable.
The guy at the car wash said, “I’ll bet you are here for the coffee, right?”
Nice try but not really. I don’t drink coffee.
Last Thursday, as we were doing preliminary setup, the weather was great. Blue skies and comfortable temperatures. Friday it was cloudy with occasional showers so it was pleasant enough that I couldn’t really complain about the weather. But Saturday it rained. We had mud. It turned the farm fields and some of the dirt roads we used for movement around Boomershoot into greasy mud. That morning Barron got his pickup stuck attempting to get to Mecca and help make targets:
I was able to pull him out with my vehicle without much effort.
I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to get my vehicle, pulling a trailer with about 900 pounds of targets from Mecca to the Taj. David offered to bring his 4-wheel drive pickup with mud tires over to help if needed. I agreed and he made it past the place where Barron got stuck but then we got his pickup stuck a before we reached my vehicle. I should have tried getting out before putting him at risk. And I could have had him park in a safer place rather than guiding him to a spot that was potentially unsafe. It was really greasy.
I, with some difficulty, was able to claw my way away from Mecca and get the trailer to a safe spot, unhook it, and connect up to David’s pickup. I was unable to move him.
Brother Gary brought another 4-wheel drive pickup and couldn’t even get up the hill to get into position to perhaps help. I came up with a way using a hoist and a long tow-strap/chain/cable and a tree and Brother Doug brought the tools for that endeavor over and helped until he had to leave to meet a mechanic who came to help fix a broken tractor.
I lost about 2.5 hours getting David unstuck when the original plan was that he was going to help me. Ahhh… the irony.
I was able to get the trailer to the Taj, unload it, unhook it, and get into Orofino for the dinner on time. Thanks to Barron running the Saturday High Intensity event while I was delayed!
Here is what my vehicle looked like after I made it to Orofino:
These are my coveralls and shoes (I deliberately rotated my feet outward to show the mud on the insides of my legs):
Six o’clock the next morning, in preparation for the Sunday long range event, Barb and I connected my SUV to the trailer at the Taj then loaded the trailer with over 1000 pounds of targets and slid down the greasy chute from the Taj to the Boomershoot tree line. There was some sideways sliding toward a small tree but we made it out without serious problems.
We delivered the targets to the tree line and hillside right on time at 7:00 AM when Jacob showed up to help place the targets on the stakes.
About 11:45 on Boomershoot Sunday I heard Barron call out over the radio, “Bill Waites, are you on the radio?” I knew that Bill had left for the day and answered back telling Barron that Bill wasn’t there. Barron answered back that they could use my help in his camping trailer. I told him I would be right there. I was in the car with Barb and had just finished eating lunch. As I was opening the door I started to express my wonderment at what was going on when things clicked into place. Bill is a physicians assistant. Barron must be dealing with a medical situation. I told Barb Bill’s day job so she could put it together too and ran to the trailer. My first thought was Barron’s father-in-law who has had problems with his heart over the years and has a tendency to overexert himself despite the objections of his family and doctor. But as I approached the trailer door the FIL was standing outside the door with a concerned look on his face but in no apparent distress. I opened the door and stuck my head inside.
One of the Boomershoot participants was standing there and reported that a bullet had fragmented in the compensator (muzzle brake) and a fragment came back and hit him in the leg and it was under the skin. I said, “Let’s call 911 and get you out of here then.” He insisted it wasn’t that big of a deal and didn’t really want an ambulance. I said okay, but we have an EMT (actually an emergency room nurse, but my mind couldn’t find the proper words right then) on site with their emergency kit and I would get him. I ran to get Peter. Peter ran to his car to get his kit and then to Barron’s trailer.
I couldn’t think of anything more for me to do and I went back to the car to sit with Barb and update her. A minute or two later Barron radioed me again, “Get an aid car.” I called 911 at 11:53 and told them what I knew. Someone, I didn’t know his name, had a bullet fragment in his leg from a bullet coming apart in the compensator (as the patient had described it) and coming backward and penetrating his leg. I had an EMT with him and they had requested an ambulance. The dispatcher didn’t understand all the subtleties and concluded someone had been shot. And she wanted to know if he was breathing. I corrected her saying it was a bullet fragment from an accident and that the patient was standing, talking to me, and insisting they didn’t need an ambulance a few minutes earlier and I had not heard any updates other than the EMT (as my addled brain struggled and failed to remember Peter’s job title) other than they now wanted an ambulance. I thought it was the patient shooting his own gun and told them this, but I found out later the patient was actually the spotter. The dispatcher wanted to know the caliber and all I knew was that it was a rifle. The dispatcher said it probably would be about 30 minutes before they made it to our site.
I updated Barron with the ETA on the radio and gave Barb a few more details. Barron, at some point, asked for a couple of the 18” surveyors stakes we used for mounting targets on. They wanted to use a couple for a splint. I ran a full bundle of 25 over to the trailer.
Then at 12:00 noon I called the noon cease fire for everyone. I told my staff what was going on and directed them to do the usual target inspection and resets while I waited at the end of the driveway for the ambulance to arrive so I could direct them to the trailer. Brother Doug called and said he heard we had a medical emergency and that the sheriff deputies were unsure about what they were getting into. He said I should call them and clarify the situation for them. I called the sheriff’s office directly. I told the woman who answered I understood there were some questions about what was going on. She said yes and I explained that the patient hadn’t really been shot. It was clearly an accident and that it wasn’t a direct gunshot wound it was a bullet fragment that came back from the muzzle brake (I started using muzzle brake rather than “compensator” in the hope it would sink into them what happened). She seemed to understand and asked about the EMT on site. What was their name? Was it someone from Clearwater County? I told her it Peter V., an emergency room nurse who used to work at Gritman in Moscow. But that I thought he is now working someplace in or near Spokane. With those things clarified she said she would update the deputies.
Here is the view I had while waiting:
Barron’s white trailer is about 275 yards away at the top edge of the picture about three fourths of the way from the left side of the picture.
A sheriff’s vehicle arrived about 12:20 with two deputies and I directed them to the trailer. They confirmed with me it was an accident not an intentional shooting, and again I, erroneously, told them I thought it was the patient’s own gun.
The ambulance arrived about 12:30, I directed them to the trailer, then I walked back to the shooting area to wait for word on the status of the patient. The deputies left a few minutes later and probably after 10 minutes the patient was loaded up and the ambulance took him to the hospital in Orofino. Barron, Peter, and Jennifer B. came out of the trailer and were talking so I approached and listened for a while. It became clear that Jennifer, new to Boomershoot but not new to long range shooting, had medical training and her medical kit with her as well and had helped patch up the patient.
Peter caught on that I wanted to say something and interrupted the conversation to give me a chance. I told them that I actually wanted to listen, but I wanted to hear what exactly happened and what the status was. The patient was spotting for the shooter and sitting a little to one side when there was a bullet strike on the muzzle brake of the gun. A fragment came back and struck the patient on the anterior thigh about midway between the knee and hip. There was some bleeding but nothing to indicate significant concern in regards to blood loss at the moment. Neurologically everything looked fine. They were concerned because they didn’t know where the fragment(s) were. Bullet fragments are sharp and if one was next to an artery physical movement could cause a nick and a life threatening situation where seconds mattered. The patient needed an X-Ray and probably a surgeon. They immobilized the leg to prevent movement and shipped him to the hospital for appropriate evaluation and care. Probably he would be fine, but, “You just don’t know for sure.”
That evening Barb and I talked to Brother Doug. He asked, “How many deputies showed up?” He was out dog training for search and rescue when one of the other trainers heard the radio chatter on the sheriff’s band about the incident. The report the sheriff’s department got was unclear as to what was happening and the deputies concluded they had better take backup. Doug then ran back to the house to call me, find out what was happening, and to let me know I should get things straightened out before we were surrounded by deputies with the wrong impression.
I talked to the patient today and he was near Boise (I think he lives in the Seattle area) doing some more shooting. He has a bruise about four inches long and bullet fragments which are about 1.25” to 1.5” inches under the skin. I don’t know the size of any of them. The doctor decided to leave them in his leg. They tried to remove one closer to the surface via irrigation but were unsuccessful. Everything is going to be fine.
I’m glad I have been giving Peter a free shooting position every year for the last eight or ten years. That was a very good suggestion by my ex-wife who was a co-worker of Peter’s at Gritman.
Barb said that when Peter checked in this year he was expressed some guilt that he shoots for free every year and has never done anything in return. He earned it this year. I told Jennifer she can shoot for free next year if she brings her medical kit. Bill Waites is part of the Precision Rifle Clinic staff and already shoots for free. More medical staff could come in handy in various situations.
I usually announce at the shooters meeting that we have medical staff onsite. I didn’t do that this time. I’ve added it to my shooters meetings notes. The patient, or someone close by, should have told a nearby range officer to radio for help rather than walking probably 175 yards to get help.
Medical staff should have had a radio. It probably took an extra two or three minutes from the time Barron got my attention until Peter was with the patient. Had Peter been in radio communication he could have cut that time at least in half if not a third.
The first official day of Boomershoot 2016 went well. There was a little bit of rain at the very end of the High Intensity and during the Private Fireballs (we had four this year). But all the fireballs worked well. And the detonation rates were very good. For the Precision Rifle Clinic and Field Fire event we had over 95% of them detonate.
We had a minor glitch with the private fireballs. The road flares wouldn’t burn for more than a few seconds. I think they had gotten damp. Brian and I made a run back to the Taj Mahal and grabbed another box which worked well.
Below is one of the four fireballs. You can see from the top of the fireball moving to the left that we had some moderate winds:
Here are some pictures from the High Intensity event. 224 targets:
Some of the shooters as viewed from the targets:
I bought some more Boomershoot direction signs this year and we have all the appropriate intersections marked.
Tim got a flat tire on Thursday and we were short handed for setup but we got it all done anyway.
Kim got a flat tire on Friday and missed out on most of the target production. Barb took over most of the management of the production for the morning with Cindy and Bill doing the mixing for the first time. Barb and I credited the good detonation rate to their mixing and Tom doing the boxing.
It must be the year for flat tires and Boomershoot. Kevin Baker also got a flat tire Friday on his way to Boomershoot.
I overheard Brian giving Karen an overview of his speech for tonight’s dinner. It sounds really good!
Yay! We love pounding stakes.
April 21, 2016
While putting stakes in the hillside for Boomershoot 2016.
[There may have been a note of sarcasm in her statement.
Okay. There was a note of sarcasm in her statement.
Well, actually, there were many notes of sarcasm.
Yeah, I think we heard a whole symphony of notes of sarcasm then.
We usually have about six or seven people. Today we had four, then Tim got a flat tire and went to Orofino to get it fixed. It was just Terry, Barb, and I to pound 284 stakes in the ground on the hillside (this was just in the 575 to 700 yard area, we will put hundreds more at the 375 yard line on Saturday evening or Sunday morning). We also put a rubber band on each of them and put some steel targets up.
We got it done but it took a lot longer than usual.—Joe]
We now have a speaker for the Boomershoot 2016 dinner this Saturday. It will be Brian Keith. I’ve mentioned him here before:
- Quote of the day—Brian Keith (January 1, 2015)
- Quote of the day—Brian Keith (December 24, 2014)
- Carrots versus Sticks?
- 594: Rally For Your Rights
I just read his outline and I’m okay with it. He includes me in a list of “gun rights heroes” which makes me uncomfortable but other than that I think it should be excellent.
I spent all day Saturday and Sunday morning at the Boomershoot site. The ground was a little wet in places but with just a couple days of sun it will be in fine shape. The daffodils Barb and transplanted almost three years ago look better than they did last year. Maybe I will transplant a few more sometime this summer. I would love to have the entire front of the shooting line berm covered in daffodils for Boomershoot each year.
I tested three different Wi-Fi antennas (you can see one of them which appears to be poking up out of my car in the picture above). I wasn’t happy with the one I had last year and I have replaced it. It gives coverage over a much greater area and gives faster download/upload rates as well. The only part of the shooting line without coverage with my cell phone are a few positions on the west end of the shooting line. If those people really want coverage I can put something up pretty quickly on the day of the event.
I put the target boxes on the shelves, cleaned off the target assembly tables, swept the floor, filled up the generator with gasoline, started it up (it started on the first pull!), filled up the spare gas cans, filled up the water barrel, and did a final inventory of all the target materials. I started to make some sample targets and found the ethylene glycol dispenser had a serious leak. Better now than we are trying to start full production! Barb picked up a replacement today.
I took the new rubber bands for holding the targets on the stakes to the Boomershoot Taj Mahal and cleaned up the scraps of foam insulation left over from when it was applied last summer.
On Sunday I made a ghetto ice chest out of a cardboard box and some 1.5” thick foam boards I had laying around:
That is for transportation and temporary storage of the dry ice we use to keep the targets cool between manufacture and use. They degrade and become inactive after a few days at normal temperatures. This process is slowed down at lower temperatures.
I think everything is ready for Boomershoot until the day before the event when we start pounding target stakes.
There is still time to sign up.
I received an email today from the Boomershoot Precision Rifle Clinic Instructor. He wanted me to post this guidance about the clinic and Field Fire:
30 March, 2016
Fellow Clinic and Field Fire Shooters!
This is my 18th year running training at Boomershoot and want this year to be as safe and enjoyable as past years.
Most of you have read this many times but for those who are new, please pay heed.
This year the Clinic will be using firing positions 60 and 61 which are mine for Boomershoot so the Field Fire people are free to set up on their reserved firing positions.
Field Fire will start at around 1030 on Friday. On Saturday it will start when I can ensure it is safe to shoot which should be around 0930.
Clinic Shooters need to arrive by 0845 and Field Fire shooters can come and go as they please. Do use the back way into and out of the firing line when we are hot so we can avoid having to cease fire continually.
Field Fire shooters must check in with us and get a wrist band showing they have registered and paid. If you want to shoot Field Fire but haven’t registered, see us and we will get you registered. If you show up and want the Clinic, we may or may not be able to take you but do ask.
We will have a cease fire for an hour starting around 1200.
We use a air horn to start and stop firing. One long blast means cease fire and two short blasts means you can load and shoot.
When you hear a cease fire, put your rifle on safe, unload, and come off the rifle.
In the past, people have seen something to warrant a cease fire and have been good enough to call ‘Cease Fire!’. If you hear someone call a cease fire, do so, put your rifle on safe, unload and come off the rifle. We will figure out what is happening and when it is safe to shoot again, we will blow the air horn twice. No one ever got in trouble for calling a cease fire on their own.
If you want to put out paper for a short range zero, please get me or one of my cadre to inspect its location before you blast. Your bullets must go through the paper and into the side of the hill where the steel targets are placed.
No tracer or incendiary ammo unless you get permission from me. I will have to get permission from Joe.
My steel targets are for .30 caliber and under. If you want to shoot your .338 and .50 cal at steel, you will need to bring your own steel.
Of course, soft lead black powder rounds are fine on any target. Blast away.
Before you go blasting at steel at the top of the hill (700 yards), ensure you have a zero so you don’t shoot over the hill top. In addition to our safety road guard, there are houses and farms down range on the other side of that hill so please, know your zero before shooting at those targets. If you shoot at those targets and your spotter sees no trace or splash, do not add elevation and try again. Go back to a shorter range target and make sure you are hitting it before going back to 700 yards.
At about 1500 each day we will do a cease fire and Joe with his assistants will place two small and one large explosive target along the 375 yard berm specifically for you and where you want them placed. We will bring spray paint so you can mark your targets. When I have ensured everyone is safe, we will shoot our targets. I give 15 minutes for you to shoot YOUR targets. After 15 minutes I will inform the firing line that any target left untouched can be shot by anyone (poaching). After about another 15 minutes I will call a final cease fire and we will walk the line ensuring everyone is completely off their rifles. Once I am convinced the line is safe, Joe and his assistants will put in the targets for the High Intensity shoot.
When you see how many targets are along the 375 yard berm, and that despite being painted, many look like yours. Please play by the rules as best as you can before I allow you to poach.
If you want to remove your rifle from the line; make safe, unload, visual inspection, then put it in your rifle case and remove it from the line.
If you want to maintain your rifle at your car or truck, remove the bolt and maintain your rifle at your car or truck.
If you are new to the Field Fire, you are in the minority. About 90 percent of Field Fire shooters have been to multiple Boomershoots and Field Fires. If unsure about something, ask one of them or one of us.
If you have questions, please feel free to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are still positions available for Boomershoot 2016. Sign up here.
For the first time ever I’m placing an advertisement in a local paper for Boomershoot. I have placed few classified ads in the past and one with Western Shooting Journal in 2013 with, as near as I could tell, zero return on my investment. This time it is with the Orofino Idaho paper the Clearwater Tribune.
Orofino is the closest town to Boomershoot and this is where the out of town participants find their hotel rooms.
Here is the ad which will be running in the weekly paper for the next three weeks:
I’m hoping to get some local people to participate. It’s rare than anyone closer than 50 miles away attend and I find that somewhat odd.
Barb and I were out running errands this morning and we stopped at Walmart to pick up what I think is the last remaining components for Boomershoot targets (we should have also picked up some rubber bands but I’ll get those sometime this week during lunch). As we were approaching the checkout counter I told Barb, “This is sure a strange combination of stuff. I wonder if they will notice and say something.”
People noticed. They said things:
Clerk : What are you going to use all that <baking component> for?
I hesitated and thought about it for a second or two. He was still ringing stuff up and I hadn’t paid for it yet. If I told him the truth it could delay our departure. Before I could decide what to do he continued:
Clerk (with a smirk on his face): Are you going to use it with the anti-freeze?
Guy in line behind me: With all that anti-freeze, you could make quite the <dessert component>.
Joe (addressing the clerk with a big smile): Actually, I am going to use them together. I make explosives with them.
Clerk: Excuse me?
Joe: I use them to make explosives.
The clerk’s hand froze in midair over the keypad and the smile on the face of guy in line behind me disappeared into blank, ashen colored, stare.
Joe: I have a license to make high explosives. I put on a shooting event each year with exploding targets. People come from all over the country to shoot at them.
Clerk: Where do you do this at?
GILBM: You come all the way over to Washington buy this?
Joe: I live over here but put the event on in Idaho because I need a lot of land and tolerant neighbors. I have the property and the right neighbors over there.
Clerk (hands moving again): Oh. I was thinking maybe Mount Index.
I finished paying for the components then Barb and I quickly loaded up the car and left before the cops could get there.
Barb put together a Boomershoot 2016 flyer I have been emailing to gun clubs and leaving at gun ranges.
I think she did a really great job on it. If you know of a venue where it might be of interest to people please share it.
I just completed the Boomershoot 2016 section at Café Press. It has over 100 items all using this image:
The products include various styles of shirts, cups, mugs, water bottles, tote bags, a baby blanket, a teddy bear, diaper bag, calendar, posters, framed print, hoodies, and, of course, the ever popular Boomershoot classic thong.
There is a President’s Day sale on until midnight tonight (PST). Use the code POTUS25. So get your order in today!
I just realized that Boomershoot 2016 will be at the same time as Earth Day 2016. Which, of course reminds me of something Michael Justice said while participating in Boomershoot 1999, “Celebrate Earth Day by blowing up a small part of it”. You too can participate, sign up here.
And while we are thinking about Earth Day here are some wonderful predictions made on Earth Day 1970:
“Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”
• George Wald, Harvard Biologist
“Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.”
• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist
“By… some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.”
• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist
“It is already too late to avoid mass starvation.”
• Denis Hayes, chief organizer for Earth Day
“Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions….By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.”
• Peter Gunter, professor, North Texas State University
“Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support…the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half….”
• Life Magazine, January 1970
“Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”
• Sen. Gaylord Nelson
“The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”
• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist
I have a prediction of my own about Earth Day 2016. The people who attend Boomershoot and blow up a small part of the earth in Idaho with us will have a great time.
Final Boomershoot 2015 statistics:
|Total||Average per position taken||Average per total positions|
|Friday Field Fire participants||13||0.25||0.17|
|Friday Clinic participants||17||0.33||0.22|
|Friday High Intensity participants||23||0.44||0.30|
|Private Fireball participants||3||0.06||0.04|
|Saturday Field Fire participants||45||0.87||0.59|
|Saturday Clinic participants||18||0.35||0.24|
|Saturday High Intensity participants||19||0.37||0.25|
With nearly four months to go and only about 10 days worth of entries we have the following statistics for Boomershoot 2016:
|Total||Average per position taken||Average per total positions|
|Friday Field Fire participants||11||0.25||0.14|
|Friday Clinic participants||3||0.07||0.04|
|Friday High Intensity participants||15||0.34||0.20|
|Private Fireball participants||1||0.02||0.01|
|Saturday Field Fire participants||40||0.91||0.53|
|Saturday Clinic participants||3||0.07||0.04|
|Saturday High Intensity participants||16||0.36||0.21|
I find it interesting that for 2016, even though we have 29 fewer overall participants so far, we have almost as many Saturday High Intensity participants. And that the Precision Rifle Clinic participation is so low (three on each day) for both Friday and Saturday. Yet the field fire participation is nearly that of 2015.
I made a Christmas Day pilgrimage to Boomershoot Mecca. The things I do for this event…
The county road was compact snow but that wasn’t a real problem. The road into Mecca was more problematic:
If I had really wanted to drive in I probably could have shoveled the berm away and made it in and probably back out again. But I had snowshoes with me and didn’t really want to risk getting stuck. My best option for getting help to get unstuck was brother Doug who was 40 miles away and wouldn’t be back until late. I went the snowshoe route.
Even though it was very cloudy and snowing it was pretty:
I installed the last coat rack, warmed my toes, dug the foam insulation out from around the 2500 watt inverter, tidied up, and did an inventory of supplies.
The temperature inside when I arrived was 32F. After an hour or so the 1500 Watt heater warmed it up to 39F. It was pretty nice in there.
We have another fantastic Boomershoot event planned for 2016. The long range event will be Sunday April 24th with the Precision Rifle Clinic and High Intensity events on Friday and Saturday the 22nd and 23rd.
Boomershoot 2016 registration will be open on the following dates and times:
- Registration opens for staff 12/20/2015 5:00:00 PM Pacific Time.
- Registration opens for 2015 participants 12/22/2015 5:00:00 PM Pacific Time.
- Registration opens for everyone 12/26/2015 9:00:00 AM.
Registration is only online. You sign up here. You should sign up as soon as you can to have a better chance of getting the shooting position you want.
If you have pictures, stories, or quotes regarding Scott, please email them to me with Scott’s name in the subject line so I can add them to the slide show.
I keep getting asked about Boomershoot 2016. Yes. There will be a Boomershoot 2016. I’m (occasionally) working on the software to handle payment by credit card. I used Google Wallet for most of last year’s event but they discontinued that. I’m converting to PayPal but I just haven’t found the time to make much progress. I’m hoping that I will get it done over Thanksgiving vacation.
When I have it finished and tested I’ll let everyone know the registration dates.