February 2018 3-D Shoot

Our second 3-D shoot for 2018 will be Saturday, February 17th. Registration begins at 9am and we start shooting at 10am. We shoot 20 targets, break for lunch, and then shoot the same targets again from a different stake so you get plenty of shooting. We also have two complete new targets and numerous replacement midsections so who knows what he had planned to make the day challenging.

3-D Shooting Fee Change. The new 3-D shooting fees are $10 for members, $20 for non-members. We hadn’t changed the fees for our 3-D shoots for many years, and have been discussing ways to add value to your BTB membership so lowering the shooting fee for members seemed the best solution. As always, lunch is included for your registration fee. Youths 13 and under still shoot for free although there is a $5 charge for the kid’s lunch. Lunch consists of hamburgers, brats, and hotdogs with chili, chips, drinks, and cookies included. Trophies will be awarded for the top 3 finishers in each class.

This year we are selling raffle tickets for a Mathews Z3 from Rocky Mountain Archery in Ft Collins. The tickets are $5 each or 5 tickets for $20, and we’ll have the drawing at our April 21st 3-D shoot. You need not be present to win. Check out the pic and links, and we’ll have the bow at each of the shoots so you can take a look at it.

Well, that’s about it for now, except that we really appreciate your support and help at the range.

January 2018 3-D shoot

Our first 3-D shoot for 2018 will be Saturday, January 20th. Registration begins at 9am and we start shooting at 10am. We shoot 20 targets, break for lunch, and then shoot the same targets again from a different stake so you get plenty of shooting. I know we usually have our first shoot after the Big Game Banquet, but maybe this will just get everyone in the mood for the Big Game Banquet. Also Dennis just informed us that everything is ready with two complete new targets and numerous replacement midsections so who knows what he had planned to make the day challenging.

3-D Shooting Fee Change. The new 3-D shooting fees are $10 for members, $20 for non members. We hadn’t changed the fees for our 3-D shoots for many years, and have been discussing ways to add value to your BTB membership so lowering the shooting fee for members seemed the best solution. As always, lunch is included for your registration fee. Youths 13 and under still shoot for free although there is a $5 charge for the kid’s lunch. Lunch consists of hamburgers, brats, and hotdogs with chili, chips, drinks, and cookies included. Trophies will be awarded for the top 3 finishers in each class.
Well, that’s about it for now, except that we really appreciate your support and help at the range.

I hope to see you at the banquet and at the first 3-D January 20.

Will Thomas

2018 Big Game Banquet

At our November meeting we finalized the plans to make some changes for the 2018 Big Game Banquet. There were numerous comments from folks who wished we would change the date so it wasn’t quite so close to the holidays. We thought that the first part of February might work out better so this year the Big Game Banquet will be on Saturday evening, February 10th at the Chilson Rec Center in Loveland. Yes, we’re moving the location too because we wanted something with a little more room, easier access, and better parking, without draining the club’s bank account. Matt and Jenean Hansen have everything set up so we’re good to go for Saturday, February 10th ad the Chilson Rec Center in Loveland. Yeah, I put it in orange, twice.

As usual, doors will open at 5;30 and registration will start at 6. We’ll eat at 6:30 or close to it. Dress is casual and there will be raffles, a silent auction, gift packets for the kids, and great guest speaker. There is always an amazing variety of dishes and an incredible amount of food that disappears by the end of the evening. Great stuff!
If you were fortunate to kill something this year, bring a meat dish AND a side dish, dessert, or salad. If you didn’t harvest anything this year, just bring something! Plates, utensils, and drinks will all be provided.

Raffle Donations.

We currently have a few donations lined up, but not nearly enough for a great raffle where lots of attendees go home with something. If you are a business owner, or know an owner who might wish to donate, please help us out here. If you are good with your hands and want to make something to donate, please, don’t be shy. Some of our best items are made by our very own members. We also need good, used hunting, fishing, or camping gear for the silent auction. If you have something to donate please call Dennis. (970-218-1047) He will pick it up, if necessary, or you can drop it off at his place, 2629 Hayden Ct in northwest Loveland
You all know that this is the club’s one big social event of the year and we like to have as many members and potential members attend as possible. Also, each year we have a large number of new members who have never been to one of these banquets. I know you’ll make them feel welcome. There will be great food, and lots of hunting stories so also bring your pictures to share.
The Big Game Banquet is also a great time to renew your BTB membership and talk to someone that you might only see a few times a year. Also, if you know someone who is just interested in archery or new to bow hunting, invite them too. Please come join us for a great meal and a fun evening.

Outdoor Buddies Make Lasting Memories

By Dennis Smith. This article was originally published in the Loveland Reporter-Herald, you can view the article here.

(Picture on Right) Doug Connor is pictured on his last antelope hunt, with a huge grin and his tricked-out rifle. The Smith family met him through Outdoor Buddies, a program that helps people with disabilities hunt, and found him to be a remarkable guy. (Dennis Smith / Special to the Reporter-Herald)

“I complained I had no shoes ’til I met the man who had no feet.”

When I recently found out Dennis Hansen had spent about 12 years volunteering with Outdoor Buddies back in the ’80s and ’90s, I asked him if he’d be kind enough to share some of his experiences with me.

My sons and I had helped the group with an antelope hunt three years ago and found ourselves going back every year since. It’s become the highlight of our hunting season.

Over breakfast at a Perkins restaurant last week, Hansen told me how he’d served variously as an archery instructor, hunting/fishing guide and all-around handyman with the group, setting up archery ranges, building goose blinds, rigging fly rods, baiting hooks and that sort of thing for mobility-disabled men, women, children, war vets, and others with disabling injuries or diseases.

“It was enormously gratifying and inspirational,” he said, “but could be emotionally taxing too.” He admitted being moved to tears on several occasions, and remembered being almost overwhelmed by a tsunami of emotions ranging from incredible admiration to waves of survivor’s guilt the first time he was assigned to guide a young man with no legs on an elk hunt.

“This kid insisted on doing as much as possible by himself,” Hansen said. “He had a special permit from the Colorado Division of Wildlife allowing him to shoot from a vehicle, but he wanted no part of that. When we spotted a small herd of elk across a meadow, I got the truck as close as I could without spooking the herd and, stealthy as a Ninja, the kid slid head first out the passenger side door and belly-crawled across 30 yards of fallen pine cones, cactus, tree limbs and rocks, cradling his rifle in the crook of his arms the whole way. He pulled himself along by his elbows, closed the distance to under a hundred yards, steadied his rifle on a short, homemade monopod and squeezed off a perfect shot.”

Hansen remembers being stunned to the core at watching the whole thing unfold. He was wiping tears from his eyes as he recounted the story.

Last year, the boys and I were paired with the victim of a severe, neuromuscular disease. Doug Connor greeted us with an infectious grin from a motorized, high-tech wheelchair mechanically locked behind the steering wheel of a radically modified van that he operated by way of levers and buttons.

His rifle was a marvel of engineering technology, too. Euphemistically called a “sip and puff,” its trigger was pneumatically activated by breathing through a length of surgical tubing connected to an electronic switch on his wheelchair.

One of us would support the rifle for him on a special monopod, while another flipped the switch on his wheelchair at his command.

“I’m hot!” he’d declare with that infectious grin. Then he’d line up his sights, inhale through the tubing, and release the trigger with a deliberate puff of breath.

It was a tricky process but after some practice and good-natured coaching, Doug declared us “rifle ready” and off we went in search of antelope, Doug driving his crazy van over the prairie roads, laughing all the way.

After we prepped and packed his antelope for the trip home, we sat around camp with him sharing jokes and hunting stories and promising to do it all again next year.

We didn’t know it then, of course, but that was Doug’s last antelope hunt. He died later that fall, never knowing how much he had taught us.

Dennis Smith is a Loveland outdoors writer and photographer, and his freelance work is published nationally. Smith’s Home Waters column appears on the first and third Thursdays of the month. He can be reached at Dsmith7136@msn.com.