I'm approaching this in a variety of different ways: I'll be refreshing my knowledge of the theory of windreading (and will probably write a couple of posts about it over the next few weeks), trying to shoot a decent amount of long range for obvious reasons, and making an effort to shoot on a variety of different ranges. On this last point, I've not made that much of an effort to get out there and experience a wider variety of ranges since I moved to NZ, but I did at the weekend and it was well worth the effort for a variety of reasons, not all of which were wind-related.
Over the Auckland anniversary weekend - that's the last weekend in January for non-JAFAs - I traveled up to Kauri Mountain Range to shoot in the Northland Championships. The range itself is set on farmland outside of Whangerei three hours north of Auckland and has space for four targets, with electronics having been recently installed.
|Kauri Mountain Range. It's a range which backs on to a mountain covered in Kauri trees.|
Being very near to the sea, the weekend's shooting fulfilled my desire to experience a wide range of wind conditions. While it was millpond calm shortly after dawn, the wind soon picked up and started by blowing off the land out to sea before reversing as the land heated up. While the wind could be steady in either condition, the transition between the two took a while and produced a very finicky, tricky wind with significant changes sometimes required between subsequent shots. I coped acceptably with the wind for four of the six ranges, but really should have done better at the other two.
Quite apart from hitting my goal of shooting in some interesting winds, the welcome from the members of the Whangerei Rifle Club was great. We shot in an informal atmosphere but with some good competition. We did something that can sometimes be forgotten in the chase for good technique and possibles: we had fun on the range in good company and glorious weather.
|Day 2. Beautiful weather with a great bunch of folk|
Get out there and shoot away from Bisley, Trentham or your home range. It'll make you a better windreader, a more rounded shooter and hopefully give some much-need support to a smaller club or range under threat.