Back from 8 days in Las Vegas setting targets for the Ducks Unlimited Western Continental Shoot. Congratulations to all of the winners as they had their hands full with the changing winds and colder than normal temps all week. For those who set targets, you know the challenges of setting targets that will be basically the same for all shooters all day. The West has had it's share of weather issues this year and Las Vegas is no exception. The weather forecast for the area was pretty much never right for the gun club location. As a target setter, I have to find a way to set targets that can be shot for all rotations over the course of a day or two days depending on the event. From Thursday through Sunday, I set 57 different shooting stations with two traps per station. Had great help from the Clark County Shooting Complex staff. The courses are set in the Mojave Desert, so there are no trees. You can only imagine what the wind was doing to those targets.
The Prelim and Small Gauge events were scheduled for Thursday and Friday so you can only hope that you get consistent weather so the targets are shootable on both days. Same with the Main Event, which was shot on Saturday and Sunday. Here's what we had for the shoot: Thursday's forecast was for winds 12-15 from the Northeast and then North. Friday's weather forecast was for calm winds from the East. Well, the wind blew 30-35 on Thursday from the North and 15+ from the East, then Northeast, then Southeast, then South on Friday. Every Friday rotation had a different wind.
In the Main Event, the forecast was for winds 22-26 mph from the South and then Southwest on Saturday and Sunday. They even mentioned gusts up to 40 mph on Sunday. Well on both days the wind was East at 15 each morning of the Main until 1:00 or so and then it changed to 20+ from the South.
I'll let those who shot the targets, braved the wind and COLD on the courses talk about the presentations. We got the scores that DU wanted and I think the shooters enjoyed the different speeds, angles distances and combinations of the targets I set for the Small Gauge, Prelim and Main Event. Would have loved to have some target color variety other than orange and a few all black birds. Some of the early morning lighting and reflective lighting of the brown and grey landscape makes all orange target a challenge to see. Setting them to be shootable for three rotations each day for two day events with totally different strong winds each day was truly a challenge.