Hot brass and cold weather, that's what makes a Winterseed.

So if you're one of those who think that there's no better way to spend those chilly weekends between November and March than shooting in the company of warm friends, old and new, then read on!

Winterseeds take place anywhere in the country, but only between the first weekend of November and the last weekend of March. In addition, a Winterseed also requires the "cooperation" of Mother Nature, which means that the weather has an unmistakable wintery feel to it. That way, you really earn every one of those icicles on your patch the hard way, by proving to yourself and your friends that the worst sort of weather is no obstacle to your marksmanship.

Tell Me More About These Winterseeds

When the temperatures start to drop, many shooting organizations retreat to the warmth of their clubhouses. "Get that wood stove going," they say, "and let's thumb through some catalogs until the snow melts." Not at Appleseed, however! When the weather turns chilly in your part of the country, we're rarin' to go.

What things might distinguish the Winterseed experience from a regular `Seed?

Well, the winter months often bring precipitation, so you might find yourself learning to prevent ice and water from getting in your receiver and barrel. And when it's cold and dry, you'll be able to learn how the performance of your rifle and favorite ammunition change with much lower temperatures and relative humidity. So a Winterseed is really the opportunity to shoot "on the margins," that is, in some environmental extremes that will test your rifle and equipment.

But what you'll really learn at a Winterseed is more about yourself.

Are you really the kind of a person that doesn't let a little thing like physical discomfort get in the way of your marksmanship? Can you do what must be done to shoot safely and effectively in bad weather? Or will you be waiting for you friends to finish from the warmth of the clubhouse? We think you'll join us on the firing line, but you'll never know `til you sign up.

How Should I prepare for Winterseed?

Check the forecast. Dress in layers, select clothing from suitable materials such as wool or polypropylene, and wear a waterproof outer layer. Make sure you have a hat that covers your ears, trigger-finger gloves, and warm boots with extra dry socks. Consider picking up some packages of chemical hand and toe warmers, as well. Finally, bring water or something warm to drink because cold weather does not preclude dehydration.

What about your rifle?

You need to keep it as dry as possible, and to prevent ice build-up if that might be a challenge in your area. So bring something to make a waterproof cover for the rifle, and a towel to wipe off the excess water once it does get wet. In addition, you'll want to keep your magazines free of ice, snow, and mud, so bring a couple of small plastic sandwich bags, as well.

Can You do it?

If you think you're up for some real winter fun, and especially if you want to try out that new rifle you just got for Christmas, you can register here. It's not for everyone but for those who dare to venture from the warmth it will yield another new facet of experience and expertise with excellent rifle marksmanship.

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