Small Talk


A Great Experience
by Don Bekeleski

A Great Experience 

I thought I would write something about my experience working at the ISRA Open House in June at the ISRA range. 

I arrived about 7A.M. It was about a two hour drive for me, but it was nice and cool on the way down and I enjoyed not having traffic to deal with. 

A gentleman named Tim was handling the checking in. He told me to take an orange vest and get a donut & some coffee they had for us. 

I met one person named Ron who had rode on my IGOLD bus and we talked and he informed me of a few things about the range. He also ended up at the shotgun area where I worked the day. 

Joe Hill had this area organized very well. He knew exactly where everything should go. I would venture to say with all the guys pitching in and him directing we were all set up in about 45 minutes. 

All the guys I worked with were really friendly and made me feel welcome. I had never been to the range before. It really felt like a great group effort. 

As I looked at the area that we set up for the waiting line, I thought to myself that it seemed unusually long for what I thought the crowd would be.

I was totally wrong! The first group of people stated showing up around 10:15.

It only took about 30 minutes more and I would say there were 60 people in line waiting to shoot. 

The amazing part was that line never shrunk till 3: 30 in the afternoon. I could not believe how many people showed up just at our area. It was non-stop for all the RO’s all day. When we finished with one person, the next one was waiting. 

I really enjoyed teaching all the people I had as students.  All were very friendly and listened to all the instruction I gave them. There is something inside that makes you feel great when someone you are teaching breaks a number of birds. It tells me that my instruction was very helpful. 

 I had about 6 little tykes that I helped shoot the 410 shotgun. A lot of them could barely hold the gun up, but that didn’t stop them. I remember one little girl who was able to hold the gun a little better.   They took 6 shots with the 410 and after telling her what to do she busted three out of the six birds she shot at.

The first bird out she powdered and it was so cute when she turned to me and asked, “Did I hit it”? I told her you sure did and there aren’t any pieces left either. 

I also remember telling the parents that starting them out young is just great. I said as she grows older, she will find fun in the shooting sports and it probably will steer her straighter in life because of it. The future of shooting lies with these young people. 

I had some shooters constantly shooting to the left of the bird. I stopped them and had them do an eye test; just to find out they were shooting right handed with left eye domination.  After they shut that eye and broke some birds they were happy to find out their problem. 

It is very gratifying when people finish shooting and they shake your hand and thank you for the help. It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside. 

I didn’t see anyone walk away not happy. Some were a little despondent if they only got a few. Those people who told me they knew how to shoot, I kind of let them be and shoot.  If they are missing you try to tell them why, but some just nod and continue to make the same mistake. Those were far and few between. 

Most wanted instruction so that they could do well. Most left with a grin on their face! 

The pullers we had were great too! These people were right on the spot the minute the shooter said pull. They were busy as bees too.  They not only pulled the birds, but policed the area on both sides of their trap from the hulls lying on the ground. 

This was not an easy task because as I said as fast as a spot emptied it filled, so if they weren’t pulling, they were picking. These people worked their touché off. 

It was a long day and by 4:30 my feet felt like they were about a size twelve, but it was worth it.  I loved helping, especially with those that had never shot a shotgun.  The day was very rewarding and I enjoyed working with all the guys at shotgun!! I heard about 2500 guests showed up. 

That is super just realizing how many were first timers. That’s what the day was all about—introducing people to the shooting sports in a very friendly and helpful atmosphere.

This article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the official position of the ISRA.

Webmaster's note:
Have you ever questioned whether you can actually give the gift of a firearm? Is that a straw sale? We found the following text in the ATF 4473 form helpful, pertaining to question 11a:

Question 11.a. Actual Transferee/Buyer:
For purposes of this form, you are the actual buyer if you are purchasing the firearm for yourself or otherwise acquiring the firearm for yourself (e.g., redeeming the firearm from pawn/retrieving it from consignment, firearm raffle winner). You are also the actual buyer if you are acquiring the firearm as a legitimate gift for a third party. ACTUAL BUYER EXAMPLES: Mr. Smith asks Mr. Jones to purchase a firearm for Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith gives Mr. Jones the money for the firearm. Mr. Jones is NOT THE ACTUAL TRANSFEREE/BUYER of the firearm and must answer "NO" to question 11a. The licensee may not transfer the firearm to Mr. Jones. However, if Mr. Brown goes to buy a firearm with his own money to give to Mr. Black as a present, Mr. Brown is the actual buyer of the firearm and should answer "YES" to question 11a. However, you may not transfer a firearm to any person you know or have reasonable cause to believe is prohibited under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g), (n), or (x).

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