.22 Jungle Lane, Fortrose 2019By Harry Hoover
- 19th Dec, 2019 Dec 19, 2019, 12:00 AM
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I’d like to share several contacts I’ve had over the last few days. It’s Wednesday evening and I’ve just had a phone call – “Harry, I can’t stop thinking about the shoot last weekend, I’m still buzzing. I can’t believe how much fun we had.”
Tuesday evening I had an e-mail - “Fan-bloody-tastic. Had a blast, am on my way to check out gun shops for a new scope”. Or the text saying - “...we are already booking time off work for next year’s event.” Comments like this tell us we must be doing something right...
Hilary and I have recently emigrated to Southland, and to set up my .22 Jungle Lane event, with a huge stroke of luck, a local farmer offered us the use of a couple of fair-sized paddocks amongst the sand hills bordering the southern ocean. We’ve previously run this event in both the North and South Islands, and regular NZGUNS (NZ Guns & Hunting) readers will be familiar with the concept.
It’s a field shoot for .22 rifles, with reactive targets at all sorts of distances, 20 yards out to 300+. Shooters spend an 8-hour day out on the course, followed by dinner. The Fortrose Café did the catering, allowing us to focus on running the shoot to make sure we got everything right.
“The targets either swing, turn, fall, or flash a light when they’re hit. Some have a cunning little hand that pops out and gives you a “thumbs up”...”
In squads of four, the shooters, often mum, dad and two juniors, follow the course with everyone having a go at the targets on offer at each position. This year we had 24 shooting positions, six of which were for fun only (i.e; no score). Every squad started the day on a “Fun” position, allowing shooters to establish a zero and check out the wind, etc., before tackling the scored targets.
The targets either swing, turn, fall, or flash a light when they’re hit. Some have a cunning little hand that pops out and gives you a “thumbs up” when you’ve put a shot through the correct hole. Our closest target this year was a small fish at 20 yards, an amazingly difficult target to hit, based on the score sheets.
Shooting standing unsupported, a first shot hit earned 20 points, a second shot hit earned 10 points, and a third shot hit earned five points. Our furthest target this year was a set of four swinging pigs of varying sizes at 254 metres, laid among some nice sandy backstops.
This of course makes it reasonable easy to spot the fall of shot, and most shooters were able to achieve hits on at least one of these little critters.
Quite a few targets are made from ¼ inch aluminium plate, and while they can’t be used closer than about 120 metres (bullet damage) past this distance they work fine, providing a clear ringing sound when hit.
The weekend started with some cold blustery squalls rolling in off the ocean and quite a few shooters found that their fancy waterproof gear wasn’t up to Foveaux Straight weather. The cold and rain came and went, came and went, and unfortunately some junior shooters weren’t kitted out as well as possible - several were turning blue within a few hours.
Back to the clubhouse for a warm up, drying out in the car with the heater going, and a hot cup of cocoa soon fixes the problem. Fortunately the weather turned for the better and from midday on we had clear blue skies with plenty of warm sunshine, although there was still enough wind to make for a few shooting challenges.
Technology is catching up with us, and we are in the process of developing an app that record scores onto your smartphone and then straight to the website score sheet. This tech wasn’t quite ready for this year’s event - hopefully by next year. The 2020 event will be over the 4th weekend in February - 22nd and 23rd.
There will be just one of each of our events in 2020. We’d love to see you and your family or team there. We all know the value of getting young people out there actually doing it instead of playing the electronic version in the comfort of their bedrooms.
Once again we had a novelty fundraiser, a small blue swinging steel cat, hiding in some grass, at 165 yards. Shooters paid $5 to “have a go”, standing unsupported. Anyone who managed a hit went into a draw to win an NZGUNS (NZG&H) subscription.
“There will be just one of each of our events in 2020. We’d love to see you and your family or team there. We all know the value of getting young people out there actually doing it instead of playing the electronic version in the comfort of their bedrooms.”
Nine shooters managed at least one hit; some had multiple hits that got their name in the draw multiple times. There’s still a bit of luck involved in winning this, and we raised $130 for the local branch of Search & Rescue.
We had a great lineup of sponsors for this event, our sincere thanks to Scott and Chris for providing the venue, Brian at Seathru Windscreens, Richard Munt at Serious Shooters, Amanda Tiffen at Gunworks, Nik Maxwell at NZGUNS (NZ Guns & Hunting), Colin Nicol at CNI, Nelson Collie at Status Guns, Gerard at Hunting & Fishing Invercargill, and Thales Australia (ADI).
Most people don’t realize that to run an event like this now requires substantial Public Liability insurance, covering both the landowner, the organisers and the shooters. Each event has to be able to pay its own way. So without the support and assistance from the sponsors this wouldn’t have been possible. Thank you all for being so generous.
A huge thanks to all the volunteers who generously gave us their time and travel, without which the event couldn’t have happened. Thank you Keith, Gilbert, Jane and Chris.
Thanks also to the Fortrose Café for an excellent meal on Saturday evening, and an equally good lunch on Sunday (which we ate on the range).
For further details visit the .22 Jungle Lane website:
Be sure to join the .22 Jungle Lane Facebook page:
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