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Lewiston Morning Tribune
P.O. Box 957
Lewiston, ID 83501
Phone: (208) 743-9411
Advertising Fax:
(208) 746-7341
Newsroom Fax:
(208) 746-1185

'Geeks with guns' gather for big bang; Fifth annual Boomer Shoot at Cavendish set for Friday, Sunday

Eric Barker

Calling it the Magic Kingdom for long range shooters, Joe Huffman, 47, of Moscow will play host to a boomer shoot at Cavendish for the fifth straight year Friday and Sunday.

The concept is simple. Gun enthusiasts shoot at long-range targets. When they hit the targets -- ranging in size from a fist to half-gallon milk containers -- a ground-shaking explosion is unleashed.

Huffman and his two oldest children attended a similar event at Blanchard, Idaho, in 1996. It's an understatement to say they loved it.

"We were driving away from the first one and we said 'We have to do this ourselves. We can't wait for another year.' "

To that end, Huffman began looking for the perfect mixture of explosive materials. First he tried to buy some but found it expensive and extremely difficult to obtain the necessary permits to transport explosives. Instead he found it was much easier to make his own.

"It was less of a hassle for me to actually manufacture the material myself. So I got the license from ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms), which was relatively painless and made my own reactive targets."

Huffman writes cyber security programs for "various three-letter agencies and the military," at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratories in Richland and commutes home to Moscow on the weekends. He is an avid shooter and once a year puts on the event that melds shooting with fireworks.

His children continue to help him organize and run the event that attracts people from all over the country. Past attendees include truck drivers, farmers, teachers, a libertarian candidate for Congress, a retired oral surgeon and even the director of a Shakespearean theater in Michigan. Members of the Seattle-based Microsoft Gun Club have been regulars at the shoots and this year Huffman expects members of the Boeing Pistol and Rifle Club to attend.

"The Boomer Shoot is a gathering of geeks with guns," he says.

Sunday's shoot has sold out but there are eight slots open on Friday. There is an entry fee of about $50 to participate.

The shooting begins at 10 a.m. each day at property near Cavendish. Those who are interested can find extensive information about the shoot, including directions to the event on Meridian Road, on Huffman's web site at http://www.boomershoot.com


Barker may be contacted at ebarker@lmtribune.com

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2003 Tribune Publishing Co. Inc.