Dog Day Blues


Throughout most of the country, temps are approaching or exceeding 100 degrees now. Heat indexes ensure the effects of triple-digit temperatures. Such conditions can bring about the same type of cabin fever we get during the winter. Question is: What can we do about it?

Well, over the past several days I made a short road trip to the Silver Spur Ranch near Encampment, Wyoming, for a run at some varmint shooting as the guest of Smith & Wesson, SureFire, Trijicon and Birchwood Casey. In terms of the heat, the ranch is about 3,000 feet higher than where I live so it is considerably cooler than the Big Horn Basin. The real draw is, of course, the opportunity to get in a few days of varmint shooting.

We were blessed with near-perfect weather and a plethora of guns to try out—everything from Smith & Wesson Classic revolvers to Performance Center revolvers and M&P15 rifles. Thompson/Center had some very cool bolt-action rifles to tempt us. I tried my best to wear out one of its new Venture Predator rifles in .22-250. If there was a complaint, it was that there just wasn’t enough time to shoot each variation of firearm available.

We had the opportunity to get in a little range time with some SureFire suppressors, including a prototype can for .22-caliber rimfires. That little can renders a .22 pistol or rifle quieter than a pellet gun. Getting an opportunity to shoot without having to wear ear protection was a cool experience!

Anyway, if your schedule and whereabouts permit it, get high—in terms of elevation—and shoot some varmints. It is the single best field practice I know of. If you can consistently tag a prairie dog at 300-plus yards, a deer or pronghorn at 400-plus yards presents no problem.

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