Jun 07

Buffalo Butte Ranch, Gregory South Dakota

20170602_164412So let’s rewind to July 2016. My Husbands birthday was quickly approaching and I am the type of person that loves giving “different” kind of gifts. After hearing a few friends of ours talk about Prairie Dog Hunts, I thought to myself “Now this could be epic”.  I researched out places for this epic adventure and came across Buffalo Butte Ranch in Gregory South Dakota. It was all inclusive which meant lodging and all meals were included in the hunt price. After I made contact with them, I reserved a date for this great Birthday present. The only catch was that Jim had to wait 9 months for it!

After the long wait, the time had arrived. Jim decided to drive since we had alot of rifles/ammo and going through the airport just seemed like a headache. I decided to fly out Thursday evening with Jim picking me up and then us heading to the Ranch on Friday. We had quite the adventure on Friday.  20170602_122352We visited Sioux Falls (which was beautiful) then stopped off at the world famous Corn Cob Palace. This little place was very unique. Inside it smelled of buttery popcorn (no surprise, right?) and yes, it was decorated with corn cobs everywhere! 20170602_143437A very unique place to visit if you are ever in South Dakota.  Also on our way was the great Missouri River…..yeah, we had to get a few selfies along the way 😉

After arriving at the lodge, we met a few other lodge guests who were extremely nice. After being shown to our cabin, Jim and I took our rifles and made sure we still had good zero’s on all.  Dinner that night was absolutely delicious and the company was just as great!  Jim and I knew from the moment we met the owners, Marshall, Colleen, Dillon and Rachel, that this trip was going to be special.

We got up early the next morning and joined some fellow hunters up on a hill by the lodge to shoot at some of the steel targets that were scattered throughout. Target ranges were from 500 yrds out to 1500 yrds. Jim and I both plinked around the steel with those guys until breakfast was ready. After a full belly and couple cups of coffee, I was ready for the day.

20170604_202110Dillon Springer brought Jim & I out to some private land for our adventure. We parked our truck and jumped in with Dillon so he could show us around. Dillon knew I wanted to break the record at their lodge for the longest prairie dog shot. We were up on a hill that overlooked a valley of prairie dog towns. We took my Bushnell Fusion 1 Mile Arc laser range finder and ranged a 1400 yard spot. Dillon brought us back to our truck and since the wind was kinda still (2 – 5 mph) we knew I had to get started to break the record. Jim drove back to the spot Dillon brought us to but Jim parked a little higher up on the hill. After grabbing my Bushnell Fusion 1 mile arc laser range finders, we ranged a berm full of prairie dogs at 1,644 yrds. I just shook my head. Go big or go home, right?  I grabbed my GA Precision custom built 6mmCreedmoor along with some ammo that I had loaded for the previous weekends match, and climbed up on the shooting tower on top of our truck. On a side note here, I wasn’t too keen of this shooting rack when the truck was being built. After shooting for 2 days off it and not having chigger bites….I love this thing! Thanks Carolina Custom Towers & Down East Offroad! The wind was pretty calm so I knew I had to work fast in order to accomplish some shots. With my Kestrel in hand, I put the target distance at 1,644 yrds.  My elevation was 17.3 mils.  I dialed this on to my Bushnell Elite XRS 4.5 x 30 scope. With some freshly reloaded ammunition, I knew I could do this. My ammunition consists of Gold Match primers, Alliant Reloder 16 powder, and Berger Bullets 105gr Hybrids which I personally load myself on all my RCBS equipment.  From where I was prone, wind speeds were between 2 – 5 mph from 3:00.  My Kestrel showed my wind holds from .6 mils to 1.2 mils. 20170603_114935We set up my Bushnell Elite Tactical Spotter and Jim told me he was ready. After adjusting my Armageddon Gear rear bag, I gazed through my scope and was excited to see that this particular berm stretched out and had multiple prairie dog holes all over it!  I spotted a prairie dog and put my first shot down.  I was 2/10ths low.  I adjusted my elevation to 17.5.  I watched patiently on this berm until I spotted more prairie dogs. I sent another shot down by holding for wind right of the prairie dog at 1/2 mil.  The shot impacted about another 1/2 mil to left of my target. Ugh, I didn’t give it enough wind. I was on this berm for probably about 15 minutes sending shots down until I impacted one! At this point I had my wind call (with fingers crossed it wouldn’t change much) and walked Jim on to the mound that I was over-watching. We really wanted to get this on video so Jim used his phone to try and record a shot by using the video/camera while looking through the spotter.  It took a few more shots (due to wind holds) until I successfully impacted another one!  I set the new record for Buffalo Butte Lodge for the longest prairie dog shot at 1,644 yards! What was pretty cool about all this was, when I pulled the trigger you had to wait quite a few seconds before that Berger Bullet met its target! That was one of the coolest! Jim got a few of my impacts on camera and I was stoked to be able to tell everyone about this!!  Jim was itching bad to get his rifle out and start hunting.  We loaded in his truck and drove another few hundred yards away to get settled in a spot to start the hunt! 20170603_123309We were on top of another small hill and there were prairie dog mounds EVERYWHERE!  I put my competition GA Precision 6mmCreedmoor away and brought out my custom built GA Precision .223 trainer rifle. This rifle is set up exactly like my competition rifle. They both are set in a Manners Composite Stock, Bartlein Barrel, APA Little Bastard brake, Timney Trigger with the GAP Templar V2 Action. I have an identical Bushnell Elite XRS 4.5 – 30 on top of this little beast. I had several rounds of Federal Ammunition .223 73gr Berger Bullet BT so I knew these little rats were not going to get away.  Jim and I spent the rest of the afternoon slaying these little rodents from 100yrds out to 600 yrds. It was really an awesome day!

20170603_120714Another great thing about Buffalo Butte Ranch was that they pack you a stocked cooler. We had waters, Gatorade, sandwiches, chips and candy bars to snack on all throughout day.  I brought along my Hoppe‘s Lead-B-Gone wipes so we had clean hands before chowing down!

That evening we met back up at the lodge and had another wonderful dinner prepared by Rachel and Colleen Springer. They were so sweet and knew I bought this trip as a Birthday present for Jim. They had Birthday cake for dessert.  20170603_190958

Another full day of prairie dog shooting was upon us on Sunday morning. Jim and I was brought back to the private land that we were at the day before. We thought we slayed alot of prairie dogs the day before but it seemed like there 1,000’s more!!  We spent all day shooting. Not only was prairie dog hunting fun, but it was also great as a training tool. I would look through my scope and see some 400-500 yrds out. I would then watch the mirage to get a wind hold. Not only was this great for mirage training, your target was really small as well!

This was an absolute wonderful trip and one that Jim and I will be taking annually for years to come. Go check out Buffalo Butte Ranch at www.buffalobutteranch.com … Not only do they offer prairie dog hunts, but they are really known for their Pheasant hunts too! Thanks Marshall, Colleen, Dillon and Rachel Springer. Your hospitality was beyond anything we have ever experienced and you guys definitely have lifetime customers in us!  20170604_194940

Permanent link to this article: http://thelifeofmissy.com/2017/06/07/buffalo-butte-ranch-gregory-south-dakota/

May 23

South Dakota Steel Classic 2017

20170505_174728Mark this as one of my favorite and “have to go to every year” match! This destination hot spot is nothing short of amazing.  I flew into Sioux Falls late on Thursday evening. After awaking the next morning, I met up with Tom Fuller and we headed over to our fellow GAP Teammates house, Jeff Badley.  After Kenny Lin and Bryan Sikes arrived,we all enjoyed a team breakfast then headed out to Orient.

We arrived at the range early afternoon and after we all got sited in, we headed over to the big barn for the shooters brief. Did I mention the name of the ranch that was hosting this match is “Mean Woman Ranch”? How freaking cool is that?  and did I mention there is also Mean Woman Taxidermy? I met both Ray and Becky Martinmaas who own Mean Woman Ranch and Taxidermy. Both are really super sweet and great folks. And really super sweet for hosting this PRS match. 20170507_152712 (1)

Match directors were Cody Kinsley and Michael Kane. These guys ran a flawless match. I have attended many matches in the past few years and this was one of the smoothest. They had a good mixture of different size of targets, challenging stages and with those South Dakota winds, you knew it was going to be challenging.

Day one started bright and early with the singing of the National Anthem sung by Shelby Berg. She has such a beautiful voice. We all broke up into our squads and headed out to our first stage. I was on Squad 9 with a great group of guys and I couldn’t wait to get started.  Day one had 13 stages to complete with Day two having 12 stages.

A few of my favorite stages from Day one are:  Stage 07 – Owens Armory Fenced In. Shooter will start port of arms with magazine in and bolt back. On “start”  command shooter will move to first position. Shooter will choose a total of 5 positions engaging the target with two shots from each position. 1 point per impact. No prone positions and rifle must rest on or touch barricade. No equipment limitation. Time Limit: 2:00, Max Round Count: 10, Max points: 10.  Target was 426 yrds, 12” square.  So basically, this was a cattle fence that you were shooting off of. The fence/gate had a bar going down middle. You could shoot from top bar and move down. Or you could shimmy yourself in one side corner and then use the middle bar that went straight down as a corner (you could have 4 positions on one row). I grabbed my Armageddon Gear Gamechanger and chose to use the middle bar as 2 positions (one right one left) then quickly slid the bag with my rifle to the far corner. Success!  I was able to go 9 out of 10 on this stage. I rushed the one shot that I missed.

20170506_130607My other favorite stage of the day was Stage 01 Long Peak Arms Troop. Shooter will start prone behind the rifle with magazine in and bolt back. On “Start” command shooter will chamber round and engage targets. First round impact is worth 2 points and shooter will move to next target. First round miss the shooter must re-engage with second shot worth 1 point and then move to next target. Time limit: 2:00 minutes, Max round count: 10, Max points 10. Target 1: 532yrds, Target 2: 573 yrds, Target 3: 635 yrds, Target 4: 709 yrds, and Target 5: 789 yrds. The South Dakota winds were kicking up a bit on this one but I managed 8 out of 10. My Bushnell XRS optic is so perfect. The G2 reticle in it made it a piece of cake to use holdovers. There were other stages that I cleared in all first round hits and other stages on 2nd round hits.

Day 1 ended around 3 in the afternoon. After catching up with my other GAP teammates, we all headed back into the little town we were staying in. I have said it before and I will say it again, I love being on Team GAP. The comradery is just awesome and fun. Everyone just encourages each other and is there for you. After we all grabbed dinner at a quaint little restaurant and talked about the day, it was bedtime for this girl!  20170505_212046

Did I mention that I reload my ammo with Alliant Reloder 16, Berger Bullets 105gr hybrid and I use Federal Premium Gold match 210 primers using nothing but RCBS reloading equipment? What a partnership between all these components and not to mention the explosive collaboration when this stuff is screaming through my GA Precision custom rifle!  I am so in love with my equipment.

Day 2 began a little chilly! Thank goodness I packed my XGO layers. This clothing kept me toasty warm. We basically shot the same stages (with the exception of a few ) as Day one but time frames were 1 minute 30 seconds. Wind on day two was gruesome though. 14 – 17 mph winds with gusts up to 30mph. There was your kicker. 20170507_121050 (1)

End of Day 2 I knew I had shot strong, but not as strong as day one. The last two stages of Day 2 just kicked me in the gut. On one stage I was holding for 18mph winds, must have been a huge gust of wind so I made quick corrections and dang it if the bullet didn’t go right where I was aiming. The wind died. This was the story of my life for those last 2 stages.

I placed 12th out of 96 competitors. Congratulations to Jon Pynch for taking away 1st, Tate Streeter for 2nd (and who was great to shoot with in my squad) and to Nick Streder for his 3rd place finish. I seriously loved shooting this match in South Dakota. Thank you to all the RO’s who selflessly gave their time. Huge Thanks to Cody Kinsley and Michael Kane for running such a great match and to the land owners “Mean Woman Ranch” Becky and Ray for letting all us play on your beautiful land. You all will definitely see me back next year!!

My equipment was flawless. Thank you G.A Precision, Bushnell Tactical, Hoppe’s 9, Armageddon Gear, Federal Premium, RCBS, Berger Bullets and XGO. I stand proud while representing each brand. I always said that I believed in Quality…not quantity. These are my 8 sponsors, they are all the best of the best here in the firearm industry and again, I couldn’t be more proud to wear each brand.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://thelifeofmissy.com/2017/05/23/south-dakota-steel-classic-2017/

Mar 31

Long Range Shooting Experience 2017 at RockCastle

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The Long Range Shooting Experience is definitely a match I look forward to every year. Ryan Castle and Scott Satterlee are the match directors of this infamous match. Actually, my first ever match was one that Ryan and Scott put on back in the fall of 2012 in Cookeville TN. I definitely have a fondness for these two and how they run a match. Three years ago, they moved their location to RockCastle Shooting Center in Park City, Kentucky. I have shot this match every year and it just keeps getting better. 2015 I placed 67th (and the first time I ever beat my Husband in a match!), 2016 I placed 56th and 2017 I placed 32nd!!

Another great thing about shooting here is the facility. Everything is on-site. Your rooms, the range, the restaurant and a bar with their own wines!!  RockCastle is a very unique and fun place! Where else can you shoot all day, eat dinner then walk down the hall to your room? I love this place. Plus the atmosphere and the people are wonderful too. Another huge thing I love about matches is the ability to meet new people. I was excited to meet this little cutie Rei Hoang. She has been training and competing in long range matches on the West coast, so it was definitely a welcoming site to see other females out here!  IMG_20170324_204842_272

I was on Squad number 4 with my other teammates from GA Precision:  Bryan Sikes, Tom Fuller, George Gardner and Charles Roberts. Of course I brought along my custom built GA Precision 6mmCreedmoor I named the “Blackwidow”.  I topped off this beauty with none other than my Bushnell Elite XRSii with the G3 reticle. This freaking scope rocked it throughout the whole match. Can we say “love”?!!

I reload my own ammunition using nothing but RCBS equipment. I have been trusting RCBS for a few years now and the equipment has never let me down. I was really excited to use Federal Premium 210 match primers. I noticed my groups were a little tighter and my SD’s improved. There was definitely consistency in using these primers.  Of course, ammo couldn’t be complete without the bullet. I only use Berger Bullets 105gr Hybrid in my 6Creedmoor and lets just say, with this combo, the Blackwidow eats everything alive out there.

The first morning was chilly, so I layered up with my XGO base layers. Day 1 started on the Golf course with my favorite….prairie dog targets! Round count 10, Time 1:45. Prairie Dog 1 – 295yrds, Prairie Dog 2 – 330 yrds, B/C IPSC1 – 765yrds, B/C IPSC2 – 785yrds and 12×20 – 890 yrds. Winds were not really tough at this point but definitely switchy!  I scored 7 out of 10….not bad for first stage jitters and shaking off the dust. Yes, this was my first PRS match of the year.

20170326_104138One fun stage was the Tank Trap….If you don’t own a Reasor/Armageddon Gear GameChanger bag and you ever see these two words (tank trap) in a match book, EXPEDITE shipping on this unique bag!!  Round Count – 10, Time: 1:45, Targets: IPSC 1 – 455yrds, IPSC 2 – 548yrds, IPSC 3 – 652yrds, IPSC 4- 770yrds, IPSC 5 – 925yrds. Attempt each target with 2 rounds then move to next target. You just place the Gamechanger slap in the middle of the Tank Trap, place your rifle on top of the gamechanger then Boom! Instant stability while you shoot!! 6 out of 10 hits wasn’t bad at all!!

This is just a sample of a few of the stages that was in this match. Total stages were 16. Day two required me to wipe down my bolt and use some Hoppe’s Gun medic on it! The wind really got to alot of people the first day. It was crazy switchy out there, plus we had a little bit of rain and mud to contend with on Day 2.

All in all, I was pretty excited how I shot. Keep in mind that in Precision Rifle competitions, there is not a separate division for women. Sure, some matches might recognize a Top Female, but you are just another shooter out there and I love it! Out of around 125 shooters, I placed 32nd. Thanks to Ryan and Scott for yet another great year on a successful match. HUGE Thank You to all the RO’s who selflessly gave their time to be at the match and help make sure it ran smoothly. Another Huge Thanks to all the Sponsors that donated to the prize table!!  Congrats to Matt Brousseau for taking away 1st place. I am proud of all my teammates on GA Precision as they all had great finishes.  Congratulations to our Charles Roberts for his 1st place in Tac Division.  20170326_134656

Thank you to all my sponsors and everything you guys do to help keep me pushing forward!  G.A. Precision, Bushnell, Hoppe’s 9, Armageddon Gear, Berger Bullets, XGO, Federal Premium and RCBS.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://thelifeofmissy.com/2017/03/31/long-range-shooting-experience-2017-at-rockcastle/

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