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Firing Range

Post by Phillip Gross on May 26th 2014, 12:28 am

Thinking of building a firing range at the new place. I need to get a good feel of the proerty to decide the best location, but I'm not sure how long of a range I can actually construct. It may only be good for pistols, but I'd love to have a 100 yd range for rifles too. I'm hoping to find a down hill area without anything behind it. Obviously a pushed up burm for the bullet stop. Anything else I should consider? I'm thinking running north/south would be the best so as to minimize sun in the eyes, or am I mistaken for some reason?

I'd also like to set up a shooting lane or two for deer hunting. Would a firing range on the same property be a pro or a con for deer hunting? Will deer move out of the area due to target practice, or will they become accustomed to gun fire?
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Re: Firing Range

Post by Phillip Gross on May 26th 2014, 9:43 am

Found a pretty good guide to outdoor ranges in PDF form. Link Here
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Re: Firing Range

Post by Claymore on May 26th 2014, 3:41 pm

Phillip Gross wrote:Anything else I should consider? I'm thinking running north/south would be the best so as to minimize sun in the eyes, or am I mistaken for some reason?

I'd also like to set up a shooting lane or two for deer hunting. Would a firing range on the same property be a pro or a con for deer hunting? Will deer move out of the area due to target practice, or will they become accustomed to gun fire?

Most good ranges face north for the exact reason that you mention.

However, in order for me to have a 100 yard range on my property, mine had to face southwest (and I'm an "afternoon" shooter).  But because my range faces slightly downhill into the base of a ridgeline, and the ridge has 40-foot pine trees along it, I do not have the sun in my face too much.  However, I am shooting into the shady side of the target.

Insofar as deer, the range can be a plus.  They like "browse" (young tree shoots, corn, oats, ryegrass) alongside of a woodline, so that they have easy ingress/egress.  You can easily cultivate your range and turn it (or part thereof) into a "green plot"that will do an even better job of attracting deer.

I have shot on my range, walked down to check the targets, and had deer run past me 25 yards away, literally while I was pasting up the bullet holes.

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Re: Firing Range

Post by Phillip Gross on May 26th 2014, 9:18 pm

I've heard that deer can be pretty adaptable. I guess the biggest thing is to not over hunt it so they don't move out?
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Re: Firing Range

Post by Claymore on May 27th 2014, 1:40 am

I think that "over-hunting" deer is pretty much a thing of the past. There is so much Posted Land that deer have plenty of safe refuges.

In Wisconsin, the deer became so over-populated that they developed Chronic Wasting Disease (the deer version of Mad Cow Disease). Here in Mississippi, they get something called "Blue Tongue" that makes their tongues swell up so much that they cannot even drink water - and die.

So what I'm saying is, if we don't keep their population down to reasonable levels, Mother Nature will; and she's not very Humane in her methods.

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Re: Firing Range

Post by Phillip Gross on May 27th 2014, 4:17 am

Oh I agree with you on those points, but I was concerned with them leaving my land if I killed too many.
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Re: Firing Range

Post by Claymore on May 27th 2014, 12:07 pm

Deer are like a fluid.

If a portion of an area has a decreased population, but the food and cover are good, they will flow in from the denser (higher pressure) areas because of less competition.

I have never seen a running deer stop at a Property Line and say, "Oh, that's Phil Gross's Land. I'm not going there!"

Think about it.  Gun & Bow Seasons are about 3 months total.  The deer then have the spring birthing and summer maturing seasons to move back in; and they will, if they find the conditions to be desirable.

I have seen areas (gulleys, ridge lines, along streams) where I always find (and have often taken) deer.  Well, if I have taken deer from an area and find them there again next year, it must be because other deer are finding what they like, and move in.

Bucks are especially territorial.  So where do these 1 and 2 year-old bucks (from the last fawning seasons) go to find a territory?  They look for a place where the "old buck" has died.  So by taking a buck off of your property, you are inviting a younger one (or two) in.

Don't worry.  You're not going to drive them to extinction by being a good hunter.  It's not like the Commercial Buffalo Hunters killing fifty per day - all year.

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Re: Firing Range

Post by Phillip Gross on May 27th 2014, 9:12 pm

Years ago I hunted with a friend of mine at his hunting club. They drove dogs and as soon as the dogs would hit a trail, the deer would head straight to the state park that bordered the hunting club land. They came to the food, but they also knew where safety was.

My dad has nearly 30 acres that hasn't been hunted in years other than me and my boys sitting in a ground blind a couple seasons ago (never shot anything). The people around his area drive dogs too and they say that the deer always make a beeline to dad's property as soon as they start driving.

That was the only thing that I was thinking that deer may start to know where they do or don't get hunted. I don't know for sure as I'm just a novice hunter at best! Maybe I'll kill my first one this season.
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Re: Firing Range

Post by Claymore on May 27th 2014, 9:42 pm

If a deer is chased in one spot, but not another, they will go where they feel safe and unmolested. The deer don't remember where they went last year to be safe, but they relearn REAL fast.

There are seasons for hunting with dogs here in Mississippi. I don't use them, as I think that it's a young man's game (running over gullies in a 4-wheeler to keep up with the dogs). But I do hunt in my stand. If you don't molest them on your property, they will stick around.

And sitting in a stand taking one with a single shot isn't molesting, it's just a temporary disturbance to them.

Again, I have shot a deer, and while I was field dressing it (15 minutes after the shot) I heard a "snort", turned around, and saw another deer.

Chasing them with 4-wheelers and dogs; that's molesting, and they may-well find somewhere else to go until things quiet down.

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Re: Firing Range

Post by Phillip Gross on May 27th 2014, 10:06 pm

I agree. I haven't hunted with dogs except when I was a teenager with my friend at his club. I prefer still hunting.
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Re: Firing Range

Post by RRCmdrBennett on May 27th 2014, 10:36 pm

Claymore, did you take any cellular biology? What you described as an area of low density population causing more deer to come in sounds like osmosis. Cellular osmosis is where cells want a balance of water inside and outside of the membrane. It attempts to balance itself out. Same way in nature.

I think we imagine the deer being personified with our logic and reasoning skills to know what land is safe to run to.

I'm learning a lot here. I want to be a better hunter too.

Using dogs for ducks and other small game seems reasonable. Having a bird dog would be handy when fowl and ducks are killed in water and you don't want to fetch it yourself. Large game would imho drive the deer to run hard and long wasting a lot of time, increasing distance from base camp, and burning a lot of fuel in an atv.

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Re: Firing Range

Post by Phillip Gross on May 27th 2014, 10:39 pm

Not to mention getting a lot of adrenaline pumping through their bodies to make the meat nice a tough!
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Re: Firing Range

Post by RRCmdrBennett on May 27th 2014, 10:45 pm

If you want deer pop to increase and flow in pop coyotes every chance you get. Here coyotes and wild boar are always in season.

Just try explaining the mad deer disease and blue tongues to anti-hunters who think deer pops should go unculled.

Btw, what causes the mad deer disease or blue tongues when pops get too high?

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Re: Firing Range

Post by Claymore on May 27th 2014, 11:58 pm

RRCmdrBennett wrote:Claymore, did you take any cellular biology?  What you described as an area of low density population causing more deer to come in sounds like osmosis. Cellular osmosis is where cells want a balance of water inside and outside of the membrane. It attempts to balance itself out. Same way in nature.

I think we imagine the deer being personified with our logic and reasoning skills to know what land is safe to run to.

I'm learning a lot here. I want to be a better hunter too.

Using dogs for ducks and other small game seems reasonable. Having a bird dog would be handy when fowl and ducks are killed in water and you don't want to fetch it yourself. Large game would imho drive the deer to run hard and long wasting a lot of time, increasing distance from base camp, and burning a lot of fuel in an atv.

I learned a lot about deer disease and game management from Annual Update Training for Hunter Safety Instructors. It's kind-of like going to church: sometimes I didn't always feel like going, but I was always glad that I went, afterward.

I think that something good about running deer with dogs is that it can move some out of their "Safe Zones", if you ever need to get the population down. Wisconsin went from being downright stingy about allowing a hunter to take more than 1 deer in a season to almost begging hunters to get bonus permits, because of Chronic Wasting Disease.

The only problem is that, if you have a bunch of people from the city with 100 acres of recreational property "Posted", the deer will stay there, and the diseased population won't be reduced. So a good thing about dogs is that they can get those deer moving (dogs don't pay attention to "Private Property" signs either). In Mississippi it is a State Crime to shoot someone else's dog.

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Re: Firing Range

Post by Claymore on May 28th 2014, 12:08 am

RRCmdrBennett wrote:

Btw, what causes the mad deer disease or blue tongues when pops get too high?

Without going into the biology of the diseases, when too many deer get crowded together, the frequency of disease transmission increases.  They are also foraging for the same food, so they may not have the first-pick for nutrition.  They may be nibbling at stems and corn cobs that have already been visited by sick deer.

At a recent Hunter Safety Class, a Game Warden/Biologist talked about "carrying capacity" of land for wild game. In talking about it, he mentioned that putting out feed for deer is bad, because it increases the likelihood of disease being passed on by multiple deer coming to the same food source to eat, and infecting each other.

Deer get sick more often when they are crowded together, just like we get sick more often in the winter; when everyone is together inside.

Tuberculosis is another disease that deer can get.  I think that it is transferred by coughing.  So deer get close enough to cough onto each other.

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Re: Firing Range

Post by ccm2361 on May 29th 2014, 7:34 pm

Phillip Gross wrote:Thinking of building a firing range at the new place.

I am so jealous  Wink 

love to have my own range


I think the deer would adjust

recently I saw 3 deer standing in the ditch along a busy interstate highway. they were grazing away as if they didn't have a care in the world, with semi's roaring by 10' away

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Re: Firing Range

Post by Claymore on May 29th 2014, 9:40 pm

Well, I only had to wait until I was 58 years old to get my range.

When I grew up on the farm, I could shoot if I had ammunition, but I didn't have money for ammunition.

I remember picking up my Grandfather's 8mm Mauser, pulling 2 or 3 shells out of the box, climbing the fence, then walking 1/4 mile to pasture with the gravel pile.

I would shoot my 2 or 3 rounds of ammunition, then walk back to the house and put the Mauser away. Big afternoon!

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Re: Firing Range

Post by Phillip Gross on May 29th 2014, 10:15 pm

Claymore wrote:Well, I only had to wait until I was 58 years old to get my range.

When I grew up on the farm, I could shoot if I had ammunition, but I didn't have money for ammunition.

I remember picking up my Grandfather's 8mm Mauser, pulling 2 or 3 shells out of the box, climbing the fence, then walking 1/4 mile to pasture with the gravel pile.

I would shoot my 2 or 3 rounds of ammunition, then walk back to the house and put the Mauser away.  Big afternoon!
They had cartridges when you were growing up???   
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Re: Firing Range

Post by Claymore on May 30th 2014, 12:33 am

Phillip, you just blew my Cover Story.

When people asked me what it was like when I was first in the Army, I told them that we had to chase the Mastodons off the Range before we could qualify with our weapons.

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Re: Firing Range

Post by RRCmdrBennett on May 30th 2014, 8:13 pm

I've noticed deer don't get get scared of automobiles. Only when you step out of the vehicle they begin to fear you.

Claymore, does no shooting law apply to citizens defending against a dog attack? Can cops pop dogs whenever they want?

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Re: Firing Range

Post by RRCmdrBennett on May 30th 2014, 8:16 pm

One tactic would be for hunters to go in posted land as hikers a week prior (no guns) and get deer moving playing sounds of dogs running and barking.

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Re: Firing Range

Post by ccm2361 on May 30th 2014, 9:06 pm

Phillip Gross wrote:They had cartridges when you were growing up???   

Good one! LOL 

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Re: Firing Range

Post by Claymore on May 31st 2014, 10:31 pm

RRCmdrBennett wrote:
Claymore, does no shooting law apply to citizens defending against a dog attack?  Can cops pop dogs whenever they want?  

No.  It's illegal to shoot PEOPLE here in Mississippi, too.  But if one threatens your Well-Being, then Pop-Away.

The law is just meant to keep people from shooting hunting dogs that wander onto their property.  And deer hunting dogs are not attack dogs.  Most are Beagles or other members of the Hound Family.

Insofar as Cops shooting dogs, I was most often involved in "Employment of Lethal Force Against Dogs" when I was doing Drug Entries authorized by Search Warrants. Those dogs were trained by their owners to Attack and Defend the Dope Dealer's Property. We didn't go in with the intention of killing dogs, but if we engaged in a Dynamic Entry and the dog challenged or attacked, then he just became another line on the Incident Report.

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Re: Firing Range

Post by RRCmdrBennett on May 31st 2014, 11:36 pm

I've seen and read of incidents where cops just pop family dogs for practically nothing. A friend at work used to be a city cop and they got calls on a particular loose dog an owner never kept secured. Him and his partner tracked it down to the railroad and his partner told him to pop the dog from the vehicle. Which he did without provocation.

I definitely understand a guard dog attacking you during a raid you must defend yourself.

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Re: Firing Range

Post by Phillip Gross on June 1st 2014, 12:14 am

RRCmdrBennett wrote:I've seen and read of incidents where cops just pop family dogs for practically nothing. A friend at work used to be a city cop and they got calls on a particular loose dog an owner never kept secured. Him and his partner tracked it down to the railroad and his partner told him to pop the dog from the vehicle. Which he did without provocation.

I definitely understand a guard dog attacking you during a raid you must defend yourself.
Do they "pop" cats too like that? I'd personally be OK with it if they did... Laughing
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