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Boomer Shoot 2002 Pictures and Stories

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Sound -- by Ry Jones.  (First 38 seconds of the event -- as heard from 350 yards down range). 

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A few 'stories'.

Some email:

From: 'anonymous'
Sent: Monday, May 06, 2002 9:30 AM
Joe Huffman
Reflections on another Boomer shoot

Just a few "anonymous" thoughts to add to the web-site about what this year's was like, and the things I remember about it.

The many pinging "thwank"s of the metal sides of the ammo can's sides flexing with the constantly changing altitude and air pressure.

Sticking around long enough to help with "clean-up" duty, so I could set them off from 25 yards or so away.

Shooting light bullets in a heavy wind. Next year, I'm going to have heavy *and* fast bullets.

Pleasant media-types. Wow, what a concept!

The weather: rain, wind, sun, hail, light dusting of snow overnight, steaming fields when the sun came out on wet ground. Overall rating: Challenging shooting!

No black dog playing in the field this year!

As always, the caliber of the people was high, even if there were an awful lot of different calibers present!

Sent: Monday, May 06, 2002 9:23 AM
Subject: boomer shoot

Hi Joe. Just wanted to say thank you for a wonderful day. To say the least, it was a BLAST!!!! even with the cold wind on Friday. Everyone we talked to was having a good time.

Looking forward to next year, 

Gene & Pat Archer & Todd Stobie

Sent: Monday, May 06, 2002 10:15 PM
Subject: Thanks

Dear Joe,

My family and I had a wonderful time again this year at the shoot. I did not see any safety concerns this year and the targets were great. The people I talked to at the shoot were very friendly and helpful. I am sorry to see see that the weather did not cooperate 100% but it could have been worse.

The large quantity of targets and friendly atmosphere more than made up for the weather. I look forward to seeing you next year. The only thing I would like to see change is some targets at 900 yds plus if possible. I understand that your space is limited. I again thank you for a wonderful time. 

P.S. someone told me you could have bigger targets if we could split an atom. Is this possible with a .300 Win mag? Thanks again.

Scott and Gera Clemenson and family.


All previous Boomer Shoots combined had a total of almost exactly 700 targets.  This one event used over 600.  All previous Boomer Shoots used a total of about 450 pounds of high explosives.  This one used 400 pounds.

The weather was marginal at best.  Snow, rain, hail, wind, and enough sun to get burned Thursday during setup.

Thursday evening several shooters showed up to check things out and make sure they could find the place the next morning.  Kevin B., from Illinois, found it unbelievable that another person there that evening used to live in his hometown.  His experience with the 'twilight zone' was to be further enhanced on Sunday. 

Thursday night I spent sleeping in the pickup on-site.  The wind was vicious.  45 MPH winds rocked the pickup all night long and blew away a shelter I had purchased just for this event.  It slammed into the side of the pickup at 12:13 AM on it's way east.  This was a very, very low point for my mood.  My thoughts were on how it would be so windy that no one would want to shoot the next day.  They traveled all this way and there was just no point in even setting up.  In my mind the event was a complete disaster.

On Friday the cold weather probably contributed to some of the targets not being as sensitive as they should have been.  I also relearned a lesson I had learned in previous years.  I put the targets too close to the ground again and bullet fragment tore them up without detonating them. This was fixed on Sunday and there were not nearly as many targets that failed to detonate.

Friday morning Ry arrived at daybreak and by 5:30 we were putting out targets.  With Ry's help and the winds in the 10 to 15 MPH range, my mood improved considerable.

The targets were distributed Friday morning in record time with the help of the three-wheeled ATV and Ry.  The rubber bands and stakes worked well too.  The wind and the rain were a problem, but not so bad that things were impossible.

The shooters arrived and were in a considerably better mood than I was.  Shawn C. delivered these words with a huge smile and a laugh, "These conditions are for experts and I'm an expert -- these conditions are BAD!"

Dennis N. started shooting at the more distance targets and nailed a 675 yard target on his second shot.  Amazing for the amount of wind we had.  Despite the high winds those distance targets took a real beating in the first hours and about half were taken out before lunch.  Shawn C. claimed his share at this range too.

Jason M. borrowed my AR-15 and went through 300 rounds to claim just three targets.  He was shooting 70 grain bullets but the wind really pushed them around and he didn't have much spotting help. 

The reporter and photographer (Vince and Tom) from the Missoulian showed up and did their job.  They were pleasant to work with and I was very happy with them.  Tom took a bunch of pictures and VInce wrote a very nice article.  You might also want to find a hard copy version because there were five pictures that made it into the two page spread.

Saturday I got lots of help building targets.  So much help there wasn't much for me to do and they built targets so fast I couldn't keep an accurate count of them we ended up with a few too many of some types and not quite enough of some others.  No big deal, I don't think anyone noticed or cared.  They built all the targets for Sunday, in less than 1/2 day.  This usually would take me several days.  Thank you Lyle, Jason, Ry, Stephanie, and Will.  Great job!

My wife Barbara took two of the wives, who had husbands occupied with other things, out sight seeing.  They all claim they had a great time at the Nez Perce Indian Museum and looking through the antique store in Clarkston.

Gene and John did their class without the aid of my cousin's shop for the classroom portion.  The weather was pretty good, low winds, but a bit cloudy and cool.  We had to work around some field work that needed to be done, but it turned out okay.  The only big down side was a 'spectator' that wanted to watch from the road next to the bullet impact area.  I called the sheriff's office and a nice deputy came out to help "keep the peace".

Saturday morning also resulted in 'independent writer' Sarah Downey showing up from Chicago.  Said she was following Stephanie's campaign for US Congress.  We thought it a bit odd, especially since Sarah didn't even know who Stephanie's opponent was.  Sarah was cordial and asked reasonable questions.

Sunday morning it was snowing and hailing.  The wind wasn't too bad, but the rain came and went all day long.  Ry and Stephanie helped put up the targets and again it went as smoothly as could be expected.  

The weather was bad.  Several shooters didn't show up and some that did show up didn't bother to setup.  They watched and took pictures.

Kevin B. asked how things were going and I told him they were going okay.  Kinda neat that the reporter from Newsweek was there.  He was shocked and I told him that we were told it wasn't so much the Boomer Shoot as she was following the campaign of our candidate for US Congress.  I deliberate held back that it was someone running for congress in Illinois.  He asked who the candidate was and I pointed out Stephanie and Sarah talking.  He asked what state Stephanie was running for.  I don't think I was able to conceal my grin when I told him Illinois -- his home state.  I think Kevin came close to dropping his video camera.  He told me he this had to be some sort of "Twilight Zone".  First he ran into someone that used to live in his hometown in Illinois, and now he finds out that two other people are out here in the middle of North Central Idaho from Illinois.  One is a writer for Newsweek and the other is a candidate for US Congress.

The worst injury I have seen so far -- Ed Y. with the blood dripping down his face from, you guessed it, the rifle scope hitting him in the forehead.

A few random things I was told that I would like to share with people.

"I promised I would go shoot that cute guys rifle again."

"I connected with more targets in my first six shots after taking Gene's class than I did all day on Friday."

After I asked a guy (#2) if he got his ear protection back, this little exchange occurred:

Boomer Shooter #1, "He's been licking them."
Boomer Shooter #2, "I HAVE NOT!  I've been hugging them."

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Unless otherwise stated all pictures are by Stephanie Sailor

"Steaming" fields.
Photo by Joe Huffman.

One of the pictures Newsweek was going to buy -- but didn't when the story was chopped.

The other picture Newsweek was going to buy... but didn't.

Joe Huffman
and Ry Jones.  The two people that did the most to make this event possible.

Shooting at Boomers.

Shooting at Boomers.

Rolf in the background with Precision Rifle clinic instructors John Blackstock and Eugene Econ.
Photo by Joe Huffman.

Ry shooting at boomers out at 675 yards.
Photo by Joe Huffman.

Spectators Sam Samuelson and Sarah Downey (Sarah is a writer for Newsweek).
Photo by Joe Huffman.

Ry shows Sarah Downey how to look through a rifle scope.
Photo by Joe Huffman.

Stephanie Sailor (2000 and 2002 candidate for U.S. Congress) dusts off a boomer while Sarah Downey (Newsweek) watches.
Photo by Joe Huffman.

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Email: Joe Huffman
Last updated: March 07, 2012