Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Gary Prisendorf
We as hunters and shooters need to set a good example so non-hunters and non-shooters see us for what 99.9% of us are, responsible gun owners.
Until about three years ago, I did most of my target shooting at public shooting ranges, where, on occasion, even the strongest pro-gun supporter would see things that would make them frown. I’ve seen everything from microwaves and TVs to Igloo coolers left discarded at a public shooting range, riddled with bullet holes.
Now it’s obvious that the people that do these things are only a fraction of the shooting public. But to non-shooters/hunters that witness the littered up landscape there is always the possibility that they will assume that gun owners are irresponsible.
For years now, I have had a rule for myself. Leave the range looking better than I found it.
I always bring a garbage bag with me when I go to the range and pick up what others have left behind. I’ve picked up cans, bottles, wood, glass, cardboard, shot up targets, shotgun hulls, just about anything you can think of, including a stuffed “Barney” the purple dinosaur.
I have to admit, it makes me angry when I see that someone has shot holes in the shooting bench or shot up the posts that hold the target backing. Shooters have to remember that public ranges are provided by the tax payer and if the cost to maintain these facilities becomes too expensive that privilege can be taken away.
Today I mostly shoot at a private gun club, paid for and maintained by the members. It is usually left in pretty decent shape, but occasionally I still have to pick up some cans, milk jugs or targets that someone has left behind.
If you ever see someone doing damage to one of our shooting facilities or littering up our ranges, I strongly encourage you to report them to the appropriate authorities. Why let the fraction of one percent mess things up for the rest of us who appreciate having a place to shoot?
I challenge each person that reads this to please help leave a good impression when we go shooting. Let’s all be safe ethical hunters and responsible shooters and leave our shooting ranges looking better than we found them.