Target Practice on a Winter’s Day
The weather in Colorado this time of year can be very unpredictable; earlier this week it was sunny and in the 70’s, but still cold at night. It teases the brain to make me think that spring is just around the corner, and it actually is, but we have our snowiest months ahead of us. Early in the week I made plans to go shooting with my son Kyle today, and despite the snow and 28 degrees, we went to do some target practice with my .30-06 rifle. We brought the .22 rifle along for some extra shooting fun, although after today I know we need a new .22 rifle.
We go shooting in the mountains not far from home, but the usual place we go to has a pretty sketchy drive up a steep mountain side with zero room for two trucks to pass in some spots, and the drop off when you are going up hill is a 20 degree angle down several hundred feet if you happen to go over. As the weather deteriorated on our way with heavy snow falling, I was thinking about calling off the shoot for the day. As we got to Nighthawk Hill in Spruce Wood, I asked Kyle what he thought about taking the road to the left. I don’t even know what it is called, but I have taken it before and knew that there may be a place to shoot closer than our usual spot as it was mostly National Forest land. We took the road to the left, a snow-covered dirt road that wound around the mountain sides up the South Platte River basin.
Snow was falling hard and the road was icy, I was getting a little nervous on some of the hair-pin turns, unable to see clearly ahead of me. I really didn’t want to cancel our shoot for the day, but I was beginning to think we should. Just as I thought that, we came to a curve in the road with a nice valley below that looked like a great place to shoot. I parked the truck, we loaded up our gear on our backs and headed down about 400 feet in elevation to a valley that had a wide, flat opening to shoot across. There was a dead tree stump about 6 feet tall and 250 yards away that I stapled a target to, and another dead log about 20 yards away that I put up for the .22.
It was cold, but we had a good session of shooting. You can see a video of Kyle shooting by clicking here , and another video by clicking here. It was a great day to be in the mountains with my son, doing something that we both love to do. But what happened today was more than just shooting, it was another opportunity to build the bond with my son that keeps us so close. It was an adventure, time spent in the wild together, time spent as a father and son, time that will never be forgotten by either.