Our final morning was spent wrapping up classroom discussions on shot angle and trajectory before we celebrated my “graduation” with some long range rock chuck hunting. I could hardly wait to get in the field and apply all of my newly acquired long range skills on real targets.
The Rock Chuck- A football sized target, is the perfect marksman challenge, at any range.
My first opportunity on a rock chuck came with a steep uphill shot into a quartering wind at 211 yards where I quickly sent this chuck flying through the air with a terminal first round hit. Needless to say, I was beyond ecstatic!
The next rock chuck appeared at 270 yards on the edge of a rock face with a slight uphill angle. Making the needed adjustment for elevation on my Swarovski Z5 BT scope and holding slightly to the right of the rock chuck, but still on fur, to account for windage, I made another first round terminal hit on my target!
At this point in the day, I felt that my graduation gift had been delivered and I had already exceeded my expectations in marksmanship. After watching Tim and Ben terminate a couple of rock chucks at 650 yards, I was appreciating the value of an accurate shooting rifle, quality optics and good technique as they are all important at ranges under 400 yards, but there are additional considerations that come into play that are invaluable at ranges outwards of 400 yards.
Ben, Tim and I with our rock chuck harvest of the day at the following yardages: 211, 270, 450, 450, 650, 650, 650, 650, 650, 650.
Information is one of the biggest keys in long range success. Using tools like the Kestrel weather data center to attain the current temperature, level of humidity and windage, and having an reliable program like Shooter to attain the solution to long range shooting is a must for success.
With some degree of urging from Tim, I set up to take my ultimate test….650 yard rock chuck. Taking into account all of the needed factors for success, my first shot was sent down range and ending up passing slightly over my intended target. Tim was my trusted spotter, and urged me to dial down my turret for the second shot as the rock chuck had not moved from his position. My second shot was sent down range and still slightly high.
At this point, I played the mental game remaining focused on my target that was still standing in the same place. With another slight turret adjustment, I sent my third shot down range with the final words of wisdom from Tim “aim small, miss small” when my bullet slipped into my target launching it into the air.
Before the day was over, I am proud to say that using the Kestrel weather data center information and inputting it into my Shooter program to attain the solution for a successful first round 650 yard hit on a rock chuck, once again launching it into the air!
Thanks to Tim and Ben Titus, with all of their patience and generosity in sharing their infinite wisdom with me, in three days, I was able to successfully and terminally connect on a football sized target at 3/8 of a mile, graduating with honors.
The more I learn, the more I learn how little I know, so I have registered to attend the Magpul Dynamics Precision Rifle 1 course in July and can hardly wait!
To book your first class varmint or predator hunt in Eastern Oregon with Tim Titus visit the No-Off-Season Website at:
No-Off-Season Predator and Varmint Hunting.
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