Monday, April 18, 2016

Olympic Bunker Trap Clubs (USA & Canada)

Continuing my revamp of various Lost Target pages I threw out the Olympic Bunker Traps club links page I was maintaining and made a Google Map that list all Olympic Bunker Traps in both the USA and Canada (that I'm aware).  To my knowledge, all 15 machine bunkers.

Going through the links when making the map I find, as I had in my old club links page, a number of clubs that either changed URL and/or moved to Facebook.  A few clubs had no information available.  Web page no longer available.

The posted map and on the same page, current and past YouTube posted Bunker Trap shoots.


If you see a club missing or no longer in operation, drop me a line.

Lost Target Web Site Updated

I'm nearing the end of reviewing and updating information pages associated with the Lost Target website.  Long overdue.

I deleted the "Club" link page that listed clubs in all 50 states and Canada. It was almost impossible to keep current with resources on hand.  For whatever reason clubs not maintaining sites (or letting them die), changing URL every few years, and / or moving to Facebook and such.   I replaced with a page that list search engines links to gun clubs.

The general Link page listing various companies and services deleted. It was needed before the event of Google, but no longer.  Replaced with individual pages of services that include links that Google may not rate highly and might take multiple searches to find.  

As I mentioned in a previous posting I reposted and revised Northeast Florida Clay Target Clubs links with a Google map.  I also updated all general Florida links page in regard to clay target clubs in Florida that I continue to maintain.

I took a serious look on pages in regard to American and Canadian gun laws.  Both countries in my experience have a history of changing links to information with no notice. 

A serious pruning to FFL's who will do imports/exports.  If your aware of someone in the international import/export business, especially in regard to Canada, let me know.

I'm at a lose at what do in regard to Canadians visiting the USA with a firearm.  I have information overload on border crossing, but my thinking is no need for someone to get turned away at the border because of a lack of information.

The main problem....

The law changed a few years back.  Those not needing a VISA to enter the USA (many Canadians), no longer require a shoot invitation or hunting license (any state) to support the required ATF Form 6NIA. This is the pre-approved form they must have in there possession when crossing the border.  It's submitted to ATF West Virginia prior to a planned visit and may take anywhere from one to six weeks for approval.

Question FAQ - ATF Website:
What documentation does an alien need to show U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) when entering the United States with a firearm?
When entering the United States, an alien must show CBP both the approved Form 6 NIA (5330.3D) permit, and if admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa, appropriate documentation demonstrating you fall within an exception to the nonimmigrant alien prohibition.

[27 CFR 478.120]  Q&A Category:  Nonimmigrant Aliens     Last Reviewed February 10, 2016

If a VISA holder you would need to provide in most instances either a hunting license (any state) or a shoot invitation.  A non-VISA holder would not be required to provide either.  For whatever reason U.S. Customs and Border Protection has a problem with this.
It's hit and miss.  Some U.S. Customs and Border Protection crossings refuse to acknowledge non-VISA holders no longer need the supporting documentation and insist on seeing supporting documentation even if the approved form shows not needed.  Unless something has changed, the ATF Firearms Branch has not been willing to do battle with U.S. Customs and Border Protection over this. 

All I can do is post current law and give warnings.  I suspect not all agreed in the government with the change in federal law and playing games in regard to not updating the laws referenced by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in regard to firearms, as too many years have past for anything but that.  The approved form itself should be the final word, but not always the case.

The Lost Target

Friday, April 15, 2016

Northeast Florida Clay Target Clubs Map

I blew up the web page I was maintaining on club locations in Northeast Florida and put the clubs on Google Maps.  A much needed conversion and easy to get directions via Google.

If you have a question I may be able to answer, as I've visited a number of the clubs, but not all. For recent information best to contact the club directly.

The Flagler club is best visited by contacting the club (or a member) prior to a visit, as entry is gate controlled via a member issued gate card reader. 

The St. Augustine Skeet Club is private, but in my experience most receive permission to shoot if you talk to whoever is running the club that day.  If they have an event or membership function you will most likely be turned away.  A beautiful looking club.

The Jacksonville club sporting clays course can be busy on weekends. They have golf cart rentals and recommended you take advantage, as a long course.   Rumor is they may open a second course.  Non-member skeet and trap rates in the $9 range per round.

The Volusia club is busy in the winter months.  Very difficult at times to shoot two times, back to back. We try to game arrival time to miss waits.  In the winter, this club could be the most active Skeet & Trap club on the east coast.  The also have 5-stand.  Very reasonable shoot and membership fees.  A large staff of volunteer workers.

The Amelia club has loaner guns.  New shooter friendly.

If you have never shot Olympic Bunker Trap, the Gator club is the place to visit.  Contact the club prior to visit to ensure the bunker will be open.

* I've been informed after this posting the Gator club has loaner guns and in addition to the Olympic bunker which will be opened anytime anybody comes, the club has completely redone the 5 Stand.

The Okefenokee Sporting Clays Club is in Georgia, just over the border.  I last shot at the club maybe 7-8 years back.  I paid a visit this year on a weekend and no one was at the club.  The clubs web site did not indicate a closure.  Recommend you call before travel. 

The Saltwater's club in St. Augustine is west of the airport.  Recently opened to the public.  Two courses, one for the big boys (and girls).  Only shot there a few time and enjoyed are visits.

Bradford has two sporting clays courses (but can expand to three).  A fun friendly course and one for the more experienced.  Also, two 5-stands.

The Palatka club is a club we usually shoot in the middle of the week.  Seven skeet fields and you can usually get one to get in some serious practice, even if you just want to stay on one station.  A PAT Trap has supposedly been purchased to replace an old Winchester on the clubs lone trap field, but it had not been installed as of are last visit.  Your responsible for opening individual fields and if your the last shooter on the field, your responsible for filling the machines, policing the field, and closing the field.

Northeast Florida Clay Target Clubs

Thursday, March 17, 2016

UPDATE: Saltwaters Gun Range "Sporting Clays" (St. Augustine)

Located west of the St. Augustine airport at the end of Big Oak Road.

 Hours of operation.

Flyer at the club (Mar 17)

The flyer will shortly be outdated, as we saw six brand new machines waiting to be installed and was told six more were on order.  We shot both courses, but cut down the numbers on the West course so we could take some targets on the advanced course. 

Interesting targets on the advanced course.  You have to pay attention!

I was told then end game is two 14 station courses, maybe 15.

The club now accepts credit cards.

The piston seal broke on my wife's Remington 1100.

I carry enough parts in my shoot bag to rebuild an 1100 and she was up in running in minutes.  I was just thinking the other day when cleaning the gun that it's been three months and no broken parts.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Soros Funded Takes Credit for Violence in Chicago

Ilya Sheyman, a failed Illinois contender for Congress and the executive director of Political Action, has taken credit for the violence at a cancelled Trump event last night in Chicago. He promised similar violence and disruption will occur at future Trump political events leading up to the election. 

“Mr. Trump and the Republican leaders who support him and his hate-filled rhetoric should be on notice after tonight’s events,” on the George Soros funded MoveOn web page. “To all of those who took to the streets of Chicago, we say thank you for standing up and saying enough is enough. To Donald Trump, and the GOP, we say, welcome to the general election.”

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

March 9, 2016 - Lost Target Odds & Ends

We had flames exiting the chamber of a Remington 1100 and a Beretta A400 on are last outing.  Three times in all.  Shells came from the same box of Nobel Sport shells.  I assume unburnt powder.


Knock on wood.  Heide's Remington 1100 has been working flawlessly.  Religiously upon returning home I remove the bolt and give the firearm a cleaning with Breakfree.  Letting it sit overnight and wiping down the next day. Something I started doing a few years back is using two (2) O-Rings.  If either one starts to look beat up I replace it.  Haven't dropped the trigger for cleaning for a couple of months and overdo. 


We shot sporting clays practice the other day.  Not a good idea as I'm nursing a bad back, but the weather is too nice to not shoot.   Didn't shoot a full 100.  On some stations just took a couple of shots.  Definitely no registered shooting for the time being.  And, add a bad left knee that needed to be injected with cortisone back in early February.  I can shoot all day and the left knee doesn't bother me, but if I go shooting the next day without taking a day or two off I can feel it when I lean forward on the leg. 


Not going to name the club, but I suspect a long time club in Northeastern Florida will be closing.  Was disappointed in its condition when we visited.  Doesn't look like a dime has spent in the last few years.  Machines throwing good targets, but the overall impression was rundown.  It use to be on my recommend list when asked.


I heard a rumor that Jacksonville Clay Target Sports will be adding a second sporting clays course.  A club long known for skeet that last year added a sporting clays course.  A huge success and very busy on weekends.


I was told the Saltwater's gun range in St. Augustine (west of the airport) purchased six additional sporting clays machines.  When we last shot at the club we shot a 19 station sporting clays course.  I left with the impression once all machine buys had taken place, at some point the club would have two separate 12-14 station courses


If your local member run club isn't hosting charity/fund raising type shoots it's missing out on a sure money maker.  Can't get over the number of such functions held at various clubs.  Not uncommon for a local business to hold a shoot midweek for it's workers or association.  Sporting clays shoots first caught my eye, but when I started paying attention, skeet and or trap fun shoot fund raisers not uncommon.


After seeing it in action we purchased a MOJO Magnetic Shotgun Hull Retriever.  Shooting semi-autos we leave a number of shells on the ground, especially when shooting skeet.  Seems to pick up more shells at one time then other products out there.


The sole came off my hiking boot in the middle of a hike.  Ten years they lasted and beyond repair.  I purchased a pair of Moab Mid GORE-TEX boots, as the brand that failed is no longer available. We did an eight mile hike a few days ago and used the new boots without break in.  Comfortable and no blisters. 


Was having issues with the backpack I use for hiking.  Looked locally but didn't see anything that fit my needs.  Ordered a  L.L.Bean Continental Rucksack.  Fits like a glove and very comfortable.  I wanted a bag where you could pack two (2) one quart bottles in side compartments (one on each side) of the pack.  No longer common on many brands of packs.


We hiked a trail we hadn't done before. The second time I was a little confused along a trail this year.  Had to use the map constantly.  Some trails should be adopted by a local hiking club.  Do you really need to come to an intersection and don't know if you need to take a right or a left?  As always I set a turn-around time incase we have to back track and still have time to return to the vehicle in day light hours.  I guess the smart thing to do, especially on the out of the way trails that your not familiar with is to use a GPS designed for hiking.  Garmin has a nice one $$$$.  Download the map you need, mark your vehicle location, and no worries.

A few photos and several short videos from the last hike.







Saturday, March 05, 2016

March 5, 2016 @ Okefenokee Sporting Clays

Okefenokee Sporting Clays, Folkston, GA

Saturday afternoon (1pm) and no one at the club.

Empty, none, nobody!

I checked the clubs web site just this AM to verify hours and to see if anything was scheduled.

Posted on the site; Saturdays and Sundays from noon to dark.

A two hour drive and........

I looked around but no closure notice, nor explanation.  I was hoping to see a note, "back in 15 minutes", but nothing.

In the old days this would be the point where I go off, but what's the point.

I had two clubs in the GPS that were an hour away and along the route home.  We choose one and were able to get in some shooting.  If I known we would be driving for a little over three hours to shoot clays we would have driven to Tampa Bay Sporting Clays and made a day of it.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

2016 Florida Challenge @ Bradford

Bradford Sportsmen’s Farm, Graham, Florida.

I wore a warm shirt the first few days, but Saturday afternoon and Sunday saw warm temperatures, with Sunday temps in the 70's.  Halfway through the course on Saturday I removed the warm shirt and just wore a T shirt.  A number of shooters wearing jackets.  Sunny and very little wind on the three days I attended.  My friend shot FITASC on Thursday and said they had wind.  Not effecting the birds unless they went above the tree line.  I think he ended up with a 78.

The weather can be tricky this time of the year and if thinking of attending a future shoot, warm jacket and shooting gloves, even throwing an extra sweater into the bag is recommended.  In past years I wore rain paints to keep cold winds off the legs.  Just because it's Florida, it can get cold!

The club normally runs two 14 station courses.  For major shoots they convert the 800 yard rifle range to a sporting clays course.

Well run shoot as the norm.  We didn't experience any issues when on the course and I don't remember any backups.  Refs were up on the rules and didn't allow themselves to be bullied into given someone a target (you see a lot when running around with a camera).

Targets weren't over the top.  I saw Bill McGuire miss the "easy" target and break the most difficult.  I didn't shoot the FITASC (4 parcours) but what I saw, fair targets.  Never did get over to the small gauge course.  5 Stand targets looked fair.

The club was running two (2) practice 5-stands.  A nice variety of practice targets.

I stayed for Saturdays dinner and needed a jacket once the sun went down. 

As usually at shoots, had very friendly and supportive squad mates for both the preliminary and main event.

I had a bad time on Sunday.  Bent down to tie my sneaker when getting dressed and couldn't stand up, the back went out.  I should have withdrawn, but thought I could work through it (must be a guy thing).  First station went well, 6x6, but down hill fast after that.  It's now Tuesday and still walking hunched over and pain pills making it bearable. The way it usually works is I'll try to stand up at some point in the day and no pain and walking like nothing ever happened.

Very happy with the A400 Beretta I started shooting mid 2016.  Three hundred and fifty shells shot over the weekend without issue.  Shot RIO shells.  The only thing I did when putting it away was wiping down the barrel.  Would never think of not cleaning the Remington 1100 I use to shoot each night.

A third video named Breakin' Targets is just that, targets being broken.  May not be for everyone.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Little Big Econ State Forest Hike

Was suppose to be in the mid 70's, but 83 degrees when we returned to the vehicle.  I brought two quarts of water and maybe one pint left at the end of the day.

The trail map I downloaded was confusing once we were on the trails (several different trails) and a lack of trail information signs added to the confusion.  We ran into a couple of hikers that had the same problem.  The worst thing is to have to backtrack when your suppose to be hiking a loop.  It all worked out, but I set a drop dead time in my head when we would have to backtrack instead of keep going foreword in order to get back to the vehicle with plenty of day light remaining.

The start of the hike was through dense vegetation and a number of stream crossings.  One stream was wider then we could jump.  I assume at some point there was something to cross over on, but it was long gone.  The water was at least knee deep in the middle.  Ended up finding an old log and moving it into place, crossing without getting are feet wet.

An adult water moccasin. Resting right next to a two board wide walkway we had to take to get over a small stream.  It can strike maybe half it's body length, so just walking by was not an option.  Long story short, I took a 5 foot long dead palm tree branch and irritated it enough to the point it hit the water and swam away.

 This guy was waiting to cross the trail.

Lost half the sole off my right hiking boot at the halfway point.  Had them for over 10 years.  It was flopping around, so took a knife and cut it off.  By then we were on the easy part of the trail and didn't cause a problem.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Paid workers at a Non-Profit gun club

At several member run clubs that have obviously outgrown there volunteers or at the point where those still volunteering are at the point of burn out, I've asked why not hire retired people or local collage kids to lesson the burden.

The answer I usually get is; were a non-profit club and can't hire anyone!

Not true. 

Rules on how much money a non profit can make in excess each year, but they can hire people. 

The club is to not have a conflict with officers of the club being paid by the club, nor paying workers who also volunteer at the club. Can it be worked out? Anything is possible, but keep it simple with rules regarding pay that won't get the club in trouble with the IRS.

You have to watch it when the paid worker is also a volunteer and putting in extra free hours.  An easy line to cross.

Many nonprofit organizations offer some monetary benefit to their volunteers, such as stipends, reimbursement for out of pocket expenses, discounts on services, and so forth. “Bona fide” volunteers are those whose compensation is limited to reimbursement for expenses, reasonable benefits and/or nominal fees for services. The club member that volunteers to mow the lawn would fit this bill.

Written job descriptions needs to be available on the role of the paid worker and hours to be worked.

Obviously, for most clubs your looking at keeping it under X hours per week, thus the need to hire a retired person or a collage kid looking to pick up a few bucks on a steady bases, but keeping it where your not paying health care benefits or what have you.

I've given a broad overview and if considering hiring a lawyer, consult with one that deals with non-profits.  You could start with a Google search and see if its something that would be workable at your club before seeing a lawyer and to also have information available before broaching the subject at a club meeting..

And please, don't listen to the advice given by club house lawyers.

Sporting Clays @ Saltwater's N.E. Gun Range (St. Augustine)

The club is west of the St. Augustine airport and open to the public.  Only a few minutes after crossing over the railroad tracks.  One of the newest clubs in Florida to offer sporting clays.

We paid $40 each for 100 targets and the use of a cart.  Cash only but shortly will be accepting credit cards. I'm not sure if your guaranteed a use of a cart, but if available you get the use of one.

 Owner (l) and Quebec shooter André Garneau.

 Hours of operation an address.

I ended up using modified choke at this station. 

Heide hitting a few targets.

For the majority of the course you would be comfortable using IC choke.  On the back part of the course at a few stations you might want to consider a tighter choke.

I was told that some of the stations we shot on were not there the previous week. 

How many stations?  We shot at 19 stations, but don't expect that as changes are coming if I heard correctly.

I talked to several people.  I come away with the impression the end game is two (2) sporting clays courses.  One a fun course for those out to have a good time, to include a place for holding charity and benefit shoots.  A second course (most likely in the back part of the club) would be for the more accomplished shooters.

People we talked to were friendly. 

Ammunition available.

Clean rest rooms.

The club also has a place to shoot pistol and rifle.  Your charged a fee, but you can use the facilities for the whole day. 

The club is not currently on line.  They will be shortly.  I asked about a Facebook page that I saw, but was informed not officially associated with the club.

The club is still evolving but all signs are pointing in a positive direction. 

Recommend you pay them a visit.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Feb 20, 2016 Trap shoot @ Volusia

Volusia County Skeet & Trap Club, New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

Friday, 300 target ATA trap shoot. 

The club in the last few years has been offering ATA Big 50 shoots twice a month on Fridays.  I'm told this was the clubs first effort in offering a 100 target singles, handicap, and doubles ATA Shoot.

The shoot was held on a Friday.  If you've visited the club on a weekend during the winter months you know it's a busy place when opened to the general public and a shoot on a weekday is the way to go..

The club uses a credit card size voice release system that you attach to the vest or shirt.  No speaker stands, no cords.

The wind picked up and targets started heading for the heavens.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Feb 13, 2016 @ Jacksonville International Skeet Open

Sunny, but cool with temps fighting to get into the low 60s, breezy.

Just my own observation, but on the whole the women seemed to have better technique going to the target then many of the men.  A girl from China looked very good.  Don't know how she ended up, but she had good form.  Technique isn’t everything, but…

In doubles saw several shooters beating themselves.  Hitting (or missing) the first target way too late, then chasing the second.  Maybe they weren’t picking up the first target quickly enough.  A very blue sky, lens change in order or a lack of concentration (focus)?

I was talking to one shooter and he said he shoots IC and Mod choke.  Shot is limited to just under 7/8 ounce, so a tighter choke then used in NSSA shooting is something that has to be considered.  I read that Kim Rhode in both International Skeet and Olympic Trap Doubles observes the distance where she is hitting targets and takes her gun to the pattern board and test various chokes at that distance.  She doesn't assume that what works for others is going to work for her.

Posted a YouTube video and photos.  Targets hard to see on the video.  Fast targets on a blue background just not compatible with my camera.


Friday, February 12, 2016

Feb 12, 2016 @ WW Sporting Clays

WW Sporting Clays (West of Jacksonville, Florida, off I-10).

We had been waiting on a warm day to visit and 76 degrees fit the bill.

A Friday afternoon and except for a couple shooters we had the course to ourselves.  We heard a few guns going off but never saw anyone.

14 stations.

One broken target and other then that machines worked flawlessly.   A easy course to walk.

A young man named Tray was running club.  Very friendly and welcoming.

I got in a conversation with a shooter who called me over as I was departing.  He was aware of the "Lost Target" and my YouTube postings.  We were talking about some of the clubs we had shot and he mentioned a new club that opened in St. Augustine.

Last year I was told of an unofficial course, run by a private individual near the airport. I was told the owner was undecided on making it a business or just allowing friends to use.  I never got around to checking it out.  Anyway, I was told their open five days a week, 9-5. 

We drove to the club, but it was after 5pm and the gate was closed.  Did see a sporting clays course.

Punched it into the GPS and sometime soon will be making a visit.