As we went after the elusive prairie dog, it struck me as interesting that we were, among others, a paramedic, a police officer, a biologist, and a salesman. Two of us at any given time were bouncing around the back of a pickup truck, rifle in hand, looking for destructive varmints to send to prairie dog heaven. We had two AR-15-based rifles; three bolt action rifles (one .22LR, one 17HMR, and one .223 Rem); and a 10/22. Between the six of us we managed to end the ground-busting careers of at least a dozen pests, six men united in their quest to rid the field of the disease-ridden vermin.
Professionals, college-educated men and blue-collar alike; one immigrant; one alternate lifestyle; our differences did not matter. We gathered with friends bound by a single love of that which goes boom, and came together with a common goal. We had two experienced hunters and four new hunters, and the success was shared by everyone. Out in the field, we were equal; we were one; we all shared in the process: spotting, ranging, shooting; our individual skills were used in harmony to assist in the hunt. With the knowledge obtained from this shoot, next year's varmint hunting should be even more successful.
It doesn't stop on the hunting field, though. We had several different ranges set up, from close-in pistol work to intermediate rifle to long and longer distance rifle. At each station there was at least one accomplished shooter willing to share their experience with the new and inexperienced alike. And, not for nothing, we had an inordinate amount of fun, too! Whether knocking over steel poppers with a handgun at 10 yards, putting holes in a steel cylinder at 75 yards, or hitting a refrigerator at 800 yards, there was much help and encouragement along the way.
The hardest part of all was leaving - and I'll be making plans to do it again, you can be sure of that...
That is all.
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