Five hundred yards downrange a steel disk caught 140-grains of copper and lead at the FTW Ranch in Texas. We saw it swing, then heard it ring like a church bell, signaling Tim to start counting. “Five, four, three, two…”
Master Instructor Doug shouted as the plate chimed again. The shooter, Rei, ejected her 6.5 Creedmoor brass with an enthusiastic flip of the Bergara rifle bolt. She rolled onto her elbow to watch the next shooter.
“John, you’re up,” Tim directed. “Give me the big plate on the left at 550 yards followed by the little plate on the right at 350 yards. You’ll have five seconds.”
The wind picked up speed, right to left. I felt a powerful gust and saw oak limbs bouncing far downrange. I hoped my old hunting partner was sensing the same things.
“In all that excitement, I forgot the wind,” my friend, John, confessed later. “Yeah. I overcompensated for it on two of my earlier targets. You’ve gotta really stay on top of it.”
Boy howdy. “Kind of like hunting” is one of the main reasons to indulge in long range shooting training. Whether it’s casual with family and friends or at an official school like FTW Ranch, a session or two of serious long range training, under pressure such as a time limit, can spell the difference between “call the taxidermist” and “maybe next year.”
For several decades, Ron Spomer has been writing about his passion – the outdoor life. In his attempts to connect with this natural wonder, he has photographed, hiked, hunted, and fished across much of this planet. He says that he has seen the beauty that everyone should see. According to Ron Spomer, hunting is our heritage, but also our responsibility and the bridge back to our roots. Through photographs, videos, and texts, he is inspiring people to discover their roles and responsibilities as nature’s hunters/conservationists.
FTW Ranch is located near Rocksprings and Barksdale, Texas, USA. It is situated on over 12,000 acres of rugged hills and valleys where you can engage in SAAM (Sportsman’s All-weather All-terrain Marksmanship) training. Hunters of all levels can prepare for their next adventure under expert guidance. In order to shoot competently in extreme situations, hunters need to know their gear, firearms and rifle scopes, very well. FTW’s motto is: “It’s the hunter’s job to kill an animal instantly with the first shot.”