Author Topic: Hernando County, FL - Oct. 4,5th  (Read 1315 times)

Offline ItsanSKS

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Hernando County, FL - Oct. 4,5th
« on: October 06, 2008, 10:44:43 PM »
Where to begin? 

This was my first Appleseed, and as such, I had high expectations, both for myself, and for the weekend in general.. Overall, I have to admit that I was not disappointed. 

I have been reading the AAR's for about a month now, and it seems that more and more people are stepping up to the challenge.  This event was no different- we had over 50 people on the firing line first thing Saturday morning, with over 40 returning for Sunday.  Mediocre turnout by some standards, but it seemed like a great turnout to me. 

The range we were using, the Hernando County Sportsmans Club, was an excellent choice- the staff was very friendly, eager to help with anything, and all expressed great interest in the program. The amenities provided made for an enjoyable weekend- hot meals served for both breakfast and lunch, along with an air-conditioned club house to eat in, covered firing line, 200 yard range, real-for-real bathrooms, and the list goes on..  How could it have been better?

I'm pretty sure PHenry was able to secure the range for future Appleseed events, I know he at least secured it for the annual April 19th shoot.   No arm-twisting required at this range, with the range staff approaching him about future events, rather than the other way around-  I think they understand just how beneficial to the nation this program is, and how beneficial to their range this program could be in the future.

Prior to this event, I thought I was a pretty good shot- I could group fairly consistently from a bench, and had even made some 'difficult' shots whitetail deer hunting in Northern Michigan.   Let me tell you, that first AQT was more than humbling- it was flat out humiliating.  Rather than a group from off-hand, I was shooting what appeared to be a shotgun spread.  From sitting and standing, I could barely keep my shots on paper, let alone on-target. (lack of NPOA, breathing) I think my first score on an AQT was a whopping 57.  Then the instructors turned loose with the fire hose.

It's one thing to read about how to get into the field positions, looking at pictures helps a little too, but nothing can compare to the effectiveness of having a coach there to point out exactly what you are doing wrong, and to help you maintain the (few) things you are doing right.   

Its one thing to know and be able to recite the six steps- its another thing altogether to put them into use, each and every time you take aim and fire a shot.  The repetition, and the constant drilling by the instructors helped to drive home the fact that if you are lax on even one step, you WILL NOT shoot as accurately, or as consistently as you and your rifle are capable.

Come Sunday morning, everyone was feeling humbled from the day before, some more sore than others.  Watching PHenry pop right down into the sitting position, after all the sore muscles from the day before brought an audible groan from the whole mass of attendees- we were all thinking the same thing- "there is no way in h*ll I'll be able to do that today"  but do it we did, and we all shot better for it.

As the day wore on toward Sunday afternoon, two more Rifleman, and a Riflewoman, earned their patches.  for a total of four for the weekend.  Many more showed vast improvement- my own personal best was 157, which is just about triple the score I started with.  With more practice, I'm sure many of the shooters from Sunday will be able to bring their scores to Rifleman standard- persistence pays many dividends.

Near the end of the day Sunday, we were able to setup and shoot 4 MOA targets at two hundred yards.  I surprised most everyone on the line by making 4 out of 5 shots in the black with a lowly, inaccurate, commie-garbage Yugoslavian SKS.  A number of shooters had previously mentioned that the SKS was 'alright' for close work, but wasn't worth a grain of salt past 100 yards.. I was ecstatic to serve up some southern-fried crow for their enjoyment.  I've known ever since I bought this rifle that it was far more accurate than it has been given credit for, and it was nice to be able to actually prove it. 

I've got some pictures for your enjoyment:

IIT's Going over the six steps:
PHenry exhibiting the prone position:
Firing line mimicking PHenry's example to the best of our ability:
Our first strike at the Redcoats:
Sitting Stage of the AQT:

Many thanks to the instructors and range staff; the level of dedication our instructors showed this weekend was impressive, to say the least.  Hats off to you!  Hope to see you all again soon- Nov. 1st/2nd anyone?
"Those who would trade an ounce of liberty for an ounce of safety deserve neither."

"To save us both time in the future... how about you give me the combo to your safe and I'll give you the pin number to my bank account..."

Offline ponger

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Re: Hernando County, FL - Oct. 4,5th
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2008, 06:48:38 PM »
Greetings all. 

PHenry had approached our club about hosting an Appleseed event many moons ago.  Like most clubs, Hernando Sportsman's Club is run by volunteers.  And like those clubs, the volunteers that are carrying the load are often overwhelmed and reluctant to take on one more thing.  However, the goals of Project Appleseed, to Teach marksmanship and respect for the tradition of such, and to preserve the knowledge of our Revolutionary War history  resonates strongly within our club.  So telling PHenry our club would sponsor his efforts didn't take a lot of arm twisting.

After this weekend, our club knows they made the right decision.  Project Appleseed is typical of the type of event our club enjoys putting on.  It fits closely with how we want to present ourselves in our community.  And, it allowed the club to realize a good income sponsoring a professionally run and organized group of instructors that placed safety first.  Project Appleseed instructors arrived Friday with all the tools they would need for the weekend.  As the weekend progressed, it was evident the instuctors also arrived with all the skills necessary to pass on marksmanship training.  Several attendees left with rifleman patches.

I don't ever remember our club opening it's doors to an outside entity like this.  But they will be welcome at our club in the future with open arms.

Good work guys, and a heartfelt thank you for reminding me what our forefathers sacrificed on our behalf.


Offline PHenry

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Re: Hernando County, FL - Oct. 4,5th
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2008, 07:48:40 PM »
Atticus should be first here, as he was Shoot Boss for this event, but as I too am self employed I know that he is busy and will get to this when he can.

What an event! I had high hopes for the Hernando event, owing to the excellent venue, demographics and central location. It turned out even better than I had hoped - mostly as a result of the excellent support that we received from the range and of course, the caliber of the attendees.

This was the longest line I have ever worked (51 shooters in a row) and that certainly provided the instructors with some excellent challenges. I am glad that Hawkhaven was able to make it down, as his competent presence was a real blessing.

The weather was good to us and kept the tarnish off of the Sunshine state's rep.  8)

We got off to a late start from some late arrivals and the sheer number of attendees at check in, but hit the ground runnin' and caught up as the day went on. Atticus did his usual low key - high quality job as Shoot Boss. We were lucky to have him.

I owe several words of thanks and praise to the attendees that pitched in to get the line finished (all 250' of it!). To Joe and Dave and Eric, and several others - my thanks and kudos to ya'll for pitchin' in - most without even being asked.

Then there were the club's ROs who came out to help us keep it safe - Mark (who also "sponsored" us with the club and did a lot of promo), Jim, and the "strappin'" younger fellow (please forgive me for not getting your name sir). As they did not have to engage the shooters, they were able to stay back and keep an eye on the entire line and that was great! My hats off to ya'll as well.

To my old and dear friends, Doug and Tom - thanks for givin' up your trigger time to help us keep the line safe - I owe you both huge.

And of course there were the attendees - I miss you already. What a great bunch. From John and Julie who both made Rifleman to Eric who got 4 shots out of five (one missed by less than an inch) into a 4moa square at 200M with an SKS. There was Noni, who persisted despite back problems and about zero experience with a rifle - way to go girl!

There were Alicia and Robin - trust me when I tell you that you would not want to be on the "south end" of either of them when they are holding a rifle!  :o  Kimberly and her man - ya'll were great. The fellow that I lent a 10/22 to that actually cleaned it - u da man!

There was Rick and his sons - always a pleasure to see yous guys. What I want to see next is Rick in an orange hat!  8) (Sure, you look good now, but the orange hat would be "dead sexy")

And so many others - I may not recall all of your names, but I remember every one of you and I am proud to have met you all.

There wern't a man, woman, or child on that line that I wouldn't be happy to work with agin - so come on down to Myakka (Homassasa) or back to Hernando next year and we'll work on gettin' you that patch.

I can only hope that my efforts to pass on the traditions of the Founding Generation to every one present were worthy of your efforts in coming and sweating it out on the line for two days. As a former attendee - I know all too well the toll an event can take on the body and mind (and at the cost of ammo - the wallet as well).

I have been told on more than one occasion that what Project Appleseeds is attempting to accomplish is "crazy" or "hopeless" or "impossible". To those naysayers, I would simply point to the men, women and children that attended this event. They are decedents of men, women, and children that excelled at doing exactly that which they were told could not be done, and on October 4th and 5th - it showed!      Huzzaaaah!

I was sorry to leave and I look forward to coming back. To be surrounded for two days by Americans that care about America enough to show up and learn the traditions of the Founders is a cleansing thing for me - good for the soul for sure.

Feel free to PM me for any info regarding this or any other Florida event, or if you are interested in some "7th. stepping". Florida is in dire need of instructors in training, promotional work, and ambassadors to spread the word of Appleseeds. The program is growing faster than we can staff it -which is a double-edged sword. It's great to grow, but frustrating to have to hold back owing to a lack of staff.

My primary reward for what I do for Appleseeds is the people that attend, and after last weekend, I am rich beyond measure - thanks to each and every one of you that attended!  ;D

Para ser Libre, un Hombre debe tener tres cosas. La Tierra, una Educacion, y un Fusil. Siempre, un Fusil!  Emiliano Zapata

Offline colycat

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Re: Hernando County, FL - Oct. 4,5th
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2008, 09:58:31 PM »
I have been really looking forward to this AAR.  Nice turn out!!!

ITsanAKS,  Imagine what it would be like with a rifle made for free men, not slaves.  Buy a M1A! By the way I will be bringing my SKS to the Lodi shoot this weekend, not for me, but as a loaner.  Bring what you got is the first rule of AS attendees.  Unfortunately, some guys around here have only hunting rifles, and at 2 bucks a shot, it would be a very expensive weekend.

PHenry,  your post really sums up the whole AS experience of the instructors.  Its why I cant wait to do it again.  Who ever thought saving the Republic could be so much fun?

"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value."   T Paine


Offline DragonWood

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Re: Hernando County, FL - Oct. 4,5th
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2008, 11:04:07 AM »
Sounds like this was another great AS in Florida. Sorry I couldn't be there!

BTW, Rick...I think PHenry is on to orange hat?! :o  I think you would make a great instructor, give it some thought.

Keep up the great work there in Florida!  Keep spreading the word and bring friends and family to the next AS!

Perseverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages. (George Washington)

Offline PHenry

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Re: Hernando County, FL - Oct. 4,5th
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2008, 07:58:10 PM »
That's it buddy - you're stuck now! Once DW puts the "hex" on ya - ya gotta step up.

That's how it went for me!  8)

So much for my diving career and any other hobby!  ;D

Come on in - the water's fine.

Para ser Libre, un Hombre debe tener tres cosas. La Tierra, una Educacion, y un Fusil. Siempre, un Fusil!  Emiliano Zapata

Offline PHenry

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Re: Hernando County, FL - Oct. 4,5th
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2008, 07:43:14 PM »
This is what real IITs look like - they study!:

This is how long all Appleseeds lines should be!

Para ser Libre, un Hombre debe tener tres cosas. La Tierra, una Educacion, y un Fusil. Siempre, un Fusil!  Emiliano Zapata