As a guest blog contributor for Jumping Targets, I happened to show my husband, the ever-avid hunter, the video of this burley walking steel target. It immediately piqued his interest and with his birthday fast approaching, I sought advice from his best friend and brothers about which jumping targets would suit his needs. The advice was unanimous: the 4.75” AR500 steel target. Not only does this target work exceptionally well with rifles, but also with handguns.
My husband is an avid pheasant, grouse, duck, dove, elk and deer hunter. Every September through January, as the Washington hunting seasons vary between fowl, waterfowl and big game, he spends every spare moment and weekend dedicated to the sport his grandpa taught him as a young child. His dedication to preserving this hobby is an ode to his grandpa, someone who is and always will, remain his father figure.
I set up a surprise mid-afternoon shooting party on my husband’s birthday, complete with brothers and best friend in tow. My husband opened his present and looked from the U.S. made steel target, to me, back to the target, with his mouth agape. The men in the house were envious and all commented on the heavy gauge steel and uniqueness of this walking-style target.
The only debatable subject in the house seemed to be which weapons they could try out on the target. Nearly an hour later, and after much debate, the truck was fully loaded with an array of weapons – all contributions between his friend and brothers.
A short distance nearby our home is privately owned property with access to 15 acres. As the men set up the target, the array of weapons unfolded, ranging from .40 calibers, 9mm and .22 pistols to .22 rifles.
With the first piercing shot, hitting straight into the bull’s-eye of the one of the legs of the target, the metal barely dented, yet the distinctive “tink” of the metal bullet colliding with the high-quality U.S. steel targets, affirmed the hit. Excitement and adrenaline swirled to combine a mixture of rhythmic-filled euphoria. Everyone lined up to take turns, the scene panning about in hand-held-like camera movements.
As I watched the growing excitement, I imagined a dolly shot taken atop the speeding bullet, ripping through the air faster than the speed of sound. Perfect hits one after another, the sounds of crashing metal breaking the silence of the ever-still forest.
As the stillness of the trees and branches once again settled in, and everyone packed up the weapons into the bed of the truck, preparing them for their short journey back home, the gleeful sounds of men recalling their best shots echoed through the air.
Though the target was a challenging feat, even for the experienced hunter, it was a memorable day, one not too soon to be forgotten. Moreover, the target is still in pristine condition, though it still has minor remembrances of a day spent amongst friends and family.