Ok, so you're not a sniper and don't want to be. You are a hunter and always wondered whether could you make that "long" shot with confidence. Or, are you someone that doesn't want to hear all the "tactical" stuff you would get from most courses and just want to "reach out there"? Well have I got the course for you!
BadLands Training Facility in Grandfield, Oklahoma, has a four-day training course that is specifically geared to the hunter who wants the ability to safely take game at longer ranges. During this course you'll have classroom training in: Selecting your weapon, Care and Maintenance of your weapon, Scope selection, Range estimation, Wind estimation, Use of the Mil-Dot system (yes many hunters have "discovered" the mil-dot system for accurate ranging), and on and on! This training is crammed with useful information for ANYONE interested in long range shooting. Yes, there is a great deal of classroom; but they sure haven't forgotten the range!
The first range session is geared specifically at zeroing your weapon and gathering data to allow you to shoot to 1,000 yards! The first time you hear the DING of the bullet hitting metal at 1,000 yards is a REAL RUSH! No, I wouldn't take a "hunting" shot at 1,000 yards; but it sure is nice to know you COULD if you wanted to! We shot from 100 to 1,000 yards daily over the course.
Now I must add a disclaimer here. My understanding is that during a "normal" long-range hunting course, the maximum distance shot is usually 600 yards. The reason I say normal course is this was a "special" course conducted for a major television program. I don't know exactly when the show will air but I'm really looking forward to it. Anyway, most of the shooters at the course where not the "newbie" shooters that would normally be attending. Most of us had been shooting for years, so we pushed the ranges to 1,000 yards.
During the course you'll also get the chance to shoot at movers! Now, if you've never shot at a mover before this is a REAL challenge! But once you've got the hang of it, popping balloons at 100, 200, and 300 yards as they move down the track is a blast! They also have a tower where you can practice angle shots as high as three stories!
This all sounds like a lot of work-and it was! Hey, more than one evening it was 110 degrees in the SHADE! And WIND! OH BOY! Storm Mountain ain't got nuttin' on the wind at BadLands! Anyway, the folks at BadLands - Bobby Whittington, Steve Suttles, and Mike Duncan - run one hell of a great course. The one thing that was always placed above everything else was safety and plain old FUN!! Nobody was going to bust your chops about anything unless you needed it. (YES, Steve! I know: two seconds on follow through before I come off the trigger!!) I wish I had the means to tell everyone how much FUN this was, as well as one hell of a learning experience!!!
You can read all about any of BadLands courses as well as the qualifications of the staff by visiting their website.
BadLands is expanding and things change very quickly. The staff does after-action reports DAILY with the students covering what they liked what they didn't and how to improve anything about the course. This alone is refreshing!
Will I be back? YOU'D BETTER BELIEVE IT!!! - September, as a matter of fact, for the Basic Sniper Course. Do I recommend the facility? YES, WITHOUT qualification!! Want good training? Want great FUN? Do yourself a favor and attend ANY course offered by BadLands!!
And for everyone west of the Mississippi that complains about not being able to get to SMTC because it's to far away, don't sweat it. Come to BadLands!!!!