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How about the biggest class...... Hunter Field Target?


Bill Day
(@bill-day)
Joined: 3 years ago
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I know this is going to sound selfish from my platform but I really think The American AFFTA Hunter class could really sweeten the Pot for the club in Minnesota Club (Although I really didn't know they were still a org. Sorry my bad for the mistake!) and the organization that would be hosting it in Yankton, SD

What would anyone think about hosting a World USA Hunter Field Target Match at the same time? From playing the game now for over 15 years I think it would be nice to let the Hunter Class into the world game and play by our rules! We use to feel like the adopted foster child but because our numbers are so strong I feel we should be recognized as part of the future of Field Target in American. I have no problem with the other two classes in our AFFTA org. However, most of us long time members will never be able to shoot from the ground or bum bag. The longer we stay in our class the harder it will be. Thanks to the bucket and bipod most of us are still here. We have tried to grow our selves by asking for the some of the same equipment as our brothers in the other classes. Even a freestyle in our hunter class which has been denied again and again! 

Now I think it is time to think Big. Some of the money from our club dues and National auctions have raised is used to share with the WFTF class with subsidies for their world registrations and team clothing. I'm all for it but this is a plea to let all of us share in the fun of a World Championship. It may also be time to allow us members to share in the AFFTA membership by paying annual dues. I think this was mentioned earlier by Wayne Burns and it makes sense to me. Most likely unless our American Hunter Field Target can make a big impression to the rest of the world (Here is our chance) this may be the only opportunity to we have to display our popular game in a World environment. I would really not like to see the Hunter Class start its own thing like they did in the UK and personally at 74 I don't think I would be a world class contender but I do think we have the talent in this country to challenge all other countries playing our rules. When our Open PCP brothers wanted to play the world game they had to change a few of their rules to play but only one real big one (12 ft/lbs) and they were only a small group of about 10 shooters at their first trial National in Texas in 2009. 

I'm sure there will likely be some comments on this idea but it's still to cold up here in the Northeast to get out and shoot. So lets start a fire and see how inclusive every one feels about the AFFTA Hunter class being part of the USA Hunter World Field Target Championship. The 2022 Worlds are still over 2 years away. 

 


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(@rich177)
Joined: 3 years ago
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Bill.

I do not shoot in the Hunter Division but I do think that creating that division perhaps saved field target in the US.  While it is the most popular division here I think you might find that if you combine WFTF and Open Divisions that the numbers would be very close. That's kind of a moot point though.  I don't think the rest of the world cares too much about how we shoot FT here in the US.  FT using AAFTA rules is truly an American version of FT with more inclusion and flexibility than found elsewhere but that is not what the Worlds is.  The Worlds is FT following WFTF rules which are different than even our AAFTA WFTF Division rules are.  I would think that a World match would need to follow World Federation rules.   I don't believe that WFTF rules would allow us to run anything else at the World Match.

Even if we/they could run a side shoot or a Hunter Division at the Worlds it would still be problematic because Hunter field target in the rest of the world is not just a separate division within the sport but rather an entirely different sport with its own set of rules which again is different than AAFTA rules.  Forcing the rest of the world to follow our rules could be as distasteful to the rest of the world as it could be for us to follow theirs.

I do understand your concern that following WFTF rules for the World Match would keep the Hunter FT shooters in the US from competing.  It also eliminates the Open class shooters as well!  So given the fact that the majority of FT shooters in the US are eliminated by WFTF rule, why are we even trying to host a World Match? 

Respectfully submitted,

Rick Bassett

 

 


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Dave Cole
(@airgunsoftulsa)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 86
 

Bill ol' buddy I couldn't agree with you more. HFT should take more of a firm stand and dig in their heals. 

I think I can summarize the popularity of HFT in one sentence;

"It is the least expensive and easiest field target class to participate in." 

And what would FT look like in the US if not for the Hunter Class? An airgun novelty and not a sport IMO. 

I'm hoping (and praying) there is a HFT class as defined in the US at the potential upcoming Worlds in SD. I want to go and participate. I can't afford the equipment, nor will I buy, to shoot in a class that has the least amount of popularity in the US for just one event. 

IF it were my call and the Worlds Field Target Federation wanted to me to host such an event, there'd be a US HFT class. It's what we do here.... Or they could find a third world country to work out the logistics and host it there. 

We don't allow folks to drive on the other side of the road just because they ain't from around here... 

No one wants to have a leisure time activity that's expensive and challenging to do. It's not a job for most of us; it's a hobby.. 

My first exposure to FT was a little over 5 years ago. I was looking for a shooting hobby/sport where my 16yo son and I could have some father/son time. Found the closest club to be about a 10 hour round trip but decided to look into it. I quickly surmised the cost of each class and the participant count and determined HFT would be the best class for us considering I would have to come up with TWO rigs to shoot. NO WAY I could, or would, spend THOUSANDS of dollars to shoot airguns once a month. The one other thing I noticed was the participant count was two to three times higher in HFT than the other classes. This told me we would surly have a class to shoot in and our meager investments would not be a flash in the pan.     

Jump to 2019. Oklahoma City gun club had a group of airgunners who shot BR. I came to know several of them and they traveled with us to Dallas (6 hours round trip) to try their hand and shoot a couple of FT matches. They were so taken by it, in less than six months they had organized and built a FT club on their archery range. They currently have no fewer than 15 shooter and as many as 23 shooters show up at their monthly matches, and 2021 they will undoubtly see a 50% increase in shooters. The irony of the OKC club is it's made up of 99.99% HUNTER CLASS shooters. Now, there are some members that have Thomas', RAW's, Styer's but they shoot with sticks and buckets. Even when we go to the matches in Texas now, it's almost all hunter class. 

With just this one club startup, it's easy to see if not for HFT there would be no FT class in OKC. 

Something else, we are starting to see a new spin of FT with the introduction of Xtreme Field Target. One should note there isn't a WFTF or Open. No jackets, knee risers and other required support equipment.  It's pretty much buckets and sticks. But, I don't see XFT ever being a World's class. At not least in the near future. 

 

 

 

 

 


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Bill Day
(@bill-day)
Joined: 3 years ago
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Topic starter  

@rich177

Dave and Rich, I appreciate your comments.  Not in my lifetime do a really think AFFTA or the WFTF would go along with this idea but It's a expression of Love for the game and we need to have this conversation if we ever want to have a World class Hunter FT game over here. Most likely we wouldn't be allowed to play at Yankton with them but it doesn't mean we can't start at some time and some where. A sport that is fun and inclusive can gain popularity even if we had to shoot 12 ft/lbs. The way high power airguns are gaining populararity all we need is have some nut to kill some body with one and we could end up like the situation the rest of the world is in.  It doesn't really matter to me if we shoot at 12 ft/lbs, 20 ft/lbs or 50 ft/lbs. It is the fun of shooting that is most important. The old "Nothing ventured Nothing gained"  applies here. I would wager that if we ever hosted a American Hunter World FT game here we would have many WFTF, and Open shooters shooting on buckets with sticks. There is nothing to say we couldn't do it at another time and maybe get some support from AFFTA with it. If I ever was lucky enough to win a lottery I would have the resources to make it happen but don't hold you breath on that. 🤑 Again, Thanks for your comments and I hope we can hear from a few more of out bucket brother out there. Remember, This game is for both our PCP and Piston fans.  


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Motorhead
(@motorhead)
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Not to beat a somewhat dead horse here .... If we as the SVFTC look at our ranks, yes indeed nearly all the new shooters these last 5 years or so are shooting the hunter class.  YES it has been our growth as a club no doubt about it.

The dead horse aspect i think most clubs around the country face ... that being Club shoots / matches every ones having a great time with many regulars month to month. BUT and big but is that VERY FEW are willing to travel or even shoot outside the "Fun Match" Environment for many reasons.  Most being there out for the day to be social and shoot with like minded buds but don't see themself as competitors or good enough etc .... Small fish in a small pond suits many in the field target game we play.

Biggest issue I see is that when we take those in the FT sport THAT TRAVEL, INVEST in the skill set and Equipment are a LOW percentile to the total who play the game for fun and otherwise give little care to whats happening in the politics / growth / future of this game we play with airguns.

 

 The few in many sports and hobbies do most of the work !!! This is never going to change unless we get more FT shooters who look at this sport as more attractive to what else they could do with there time and money.

The cliche of there being Power in Numbers still rings true and we lack numbers .... There is our growth to bridge the gap we would all like to see happen  GROW THE SPORT OF FIELD TARGET !!!!

If this miens breaking ranks with the AAFTA so be it !!

It's already happening with EBR, EFT and other spin off Air gun games being promoted by non AAFTA organizations be them distribution, retail shops etc ....

 

Just thoughts and nothing more .... Sorry for the rant

 

Scott S


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John In MA
(@john-in-ma)
Joined: 3 years ago
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WFTF is a World organization that has 40+participating countries. As a group, rules and procedure are voted on. Each country gets 1 vote(GB 2). Here we ask those who participate in Worlds event how to use our 1 vote when asked. As for AAFTA putting the screws to 40+ other countries to get what you want will lead to the event failing.

After a holding a side shoot in Wales(I think) it was decided, by vote that side, shoots were too much of a distraction, and work to continue being held at future events. So no side shoots. 

As for man power to hold the extra event(s) it won't materialize. We(I and 2, 2 other shooters) put together a program to host Worlds in the North East. It was turned down. Ron Carlson's club was granted hosting duties. They have 5 or 6 people working on it. 

So first if you want a say in how Worlds Events are held, participate in them regularly. If you want a say in how the event is run in the USA, well, you should have helped when asked 2/3 years ago when the choice was made to host the event.

As for an American Hunter Field Target Event, the floor is open to anyone who desires to host it. I will give warning though. Regardless of the many who say they will help, most of the work will fall on the Individual that takes on the task.

 


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Bill Day
(@bill-day)
Joined: 3 years ago
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Topic starter  

@motorhead

Scott, I always enjoy your thoughts and comments because the all usually make sense. Thank you, Bill


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Bill Day
(@bill-day)
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@john-in-ma

John, Appreciate your thoughts also. I am aware that the World FT Org have a strong hold on the AFFTA but everyone knows America is a leader in many games.  Some prefer to think "Not" and some "Why not".  I have already admitted that it would never happen without AFFTA or WFTF help. It hurts no one that would like to "Dream" of someday seeing a American Hunter Worlds and opening it up for thoughts.  I am sure many of us do not expect our present FT leaders to suggest the idea, but sharing likes and dislikes at the keyboard can pass some time before we can get out there and shoot. 

Bill  


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Citizen K
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@bill-day

In the rest of the world HFT and FT are considered cousins at best. While some national FT and HFT outfits are run by one umbrella organization their respective events are run very separately. This is most definitely true on the international level. At international level there are two competing bodies, World Hunter Field Target Association (Heavily UK centric) and World Hunter Field Target Organization (more Euro centric). If the Hunter Field Target cohort comprises the larger contingent of AAFTA shooters one wonders why AAFTA does not consider affiliation with at least of the international HFT outfits where the US version of HFT might find a more *receptive crowd.

*Bucket and sticks will be a hard sell though regardless.


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Motorhead
(@motorhead)
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So we "Grass Roots" grow the game we wish to play, what we feel would garner the participation from a larger audience to come play our game etc ....

Sounds like conversations tossed around a few years back.  The writings on the wall for where the growth is at for U.S.A. based field target, so why are we unilaterally not reading it and acting in this countries best interest of this sport ?

 

I mien really !!! ... playing the world game is novel and for a VERY FEW who travel abroad satisfying, it does nothing for the Majority of FT shooters here in the U.S.A. who have by in large Zero interest in "There" game.

 

This is my perception and a semi solid indisputable fact of the current domestic FT mind set.

 

Again .. just sharing thoughts respectfully.

 

Scott S


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(@hector-j-medina-g)
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Just a few notes, my friends:

From the WFTF front:

WFTF is still looking for a host country for the 2022 match.

South Africa has requested it for 2023

USA will probably host it in 2024. 

Latvia is putting forward its intention to host the 2022, but we'll see if the WFTF "powers that be" and the Latvian FT RGB reach an agreement.

 

From the US perspective:

Once the WFTF/USA group has decided where and how to host the WFTC's in 2024 (I assume it will not be the same place/cadre that had been decided for 2021), it would be RELATIVELY easy/inexpensive (as far as organizing international events goes) to use the SUBSEQUENT week/weekend to organize a "World's Demonstration Match" of the AAFTA Hunter Division game.

No one can argue with that. The venue would use the same course and perhaps a reduced manpower team so the additional cost / price should be relatively low; perhaps targets would have to be supplied, as the WFTF targets will be a specialized batch for 12 ft-lbs.  OR the AAFTA Hunter division has 3 years to converge to the 12 ft-lbs limit (which is almost universal now, BTW). After the WFTC's, there would be a ton of shooters that practice BOTH WFTF and HFT disciplines present, but perhaps some of them would like to try the seat and bi-pod version.

Up to this date, ONLY the Heflin, Mount Cheaha, Airgunners is doing anything under the "International" version of the HFT game in the USA, so it would seem to make sense to get some initiative going to learn from their experiences and "propagate" the concepts, so that some form of "Hybrid" version could be developed with the express intent to hold that "Demonstration Match" in 2024.

 

From the PRACTICAL perspective:

I think that some things from the HFT rules need to be kept, like the "peg" and the high number/proportion of forced positions, but some sort of "Veterans/Old Guards" class could be enabled to allow persons above certain age to use seats and bi-pods.

I also think that some "meet me in between" strategy could be useful in the scope department. Allow focus, but not focus ranging. At 16X anyway, few scopes resolve consistently the differences between the 45 and the 50 yard shots. And HERE is another factor to push for the idea of allowing focus: At present the longest shot in HFT is 45 yards, so some of their restrictions make sense. BUT, in the same way that the hunters of the Old Continent found necessary to evolve the Jaeger into the Kentucky, the organizations could recognize that we Americans deal with a more "Open space" than the restricted farms and ranges that Europeans do. So, adjusting the focus could make sense with those 5 additional yards.

The challenge then is to have a game ready for when the opportunity arises, have the people committed and the equipment (mainly targets)  needed, and have a basic 40-50 shooters committed to participating under those "hybrid" concepts/rules, and to have FUN doing so with a lot of other shooters from all over the world.

Apart form the UK, HFT has gained traction because it is a more "relaxed" atmosphere than the WFTF version (that, IMHO, lost its bearing/direction long ago). VERY FEW countries in Europe allow true airgun hunting, but HFT is accepted as a "skill-honing" sport for real hunting, and that is what drives it in Europe. Because of this, to be quite honest, any attempt at showing the carts/strollers/wheeled devices that some AAFTA Hunter division shooters use would be shooting ourselves in the foot. We need to be VERY sensitive to the differences and stress the similarities.

 

Would that change the AAFTA Hunter Division forever? Maybe yes, maybe not. In reality, it will be the shooters who define where their new game goes.

 

Just some ideas.

 

Keep well and shoot straight!

 

 

 

HM


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John In MA
(@john-in-ma)
Joined: 3 years ago
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Of course I would shoot in a USA HFT Championship. It's the discipline that got me started in FT. I look forward to a sanctioned USA HFT organization with all the fixins.

I shoot WFTF because it seemed more suited to how I wanted to compete. And it affords me the chance to travel the world, with a gun, and shoot in the countries I visit.

Lot's of fun.

 


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Bill Day
(@bill-day)
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Hector, Your thoughts are always welcomed and always well thought out.  I wouldn't have a problem shooting at 12 ft/lbs for something like that but I would hate like heck to give up the luxury of a bucket to sit on and bipods to shoot off from. As then say "When in the UK do what the Brits do" and I feel the same about the USA. Our way is considerate of the older shooters and adapts well to everyone. From what little I know about the HFT rules I would say their rules are created more for belly floppers. Hey, I could be wrong for I was once before ... ERRR Maybe twice. 🙃 

Regards, Bill


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Wayne Burns
(@wayne-burns)
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Oh what fun!  I always enjoy "Creative Thinking".

Our club had a match one time years ago, where we let Hunter class use any power scope if they shot at 12fpe.   It was received well and they had fun.

If I remember right, and I seldom do, LD had that idea.  I think he was proposing a sliding scale of fpe vs power of scope, allowing say 12fpe with any power scope, 14fpe with up to 30 power scope, 16 fpe with up to 24 power etc, even going back to 12 power scopes for those shooting at the limit of 20fpe... something like that.. but I can't remember.. 

I personally don't think there is any advantage shooting off a bucket and sticks over all the gear and stability gained in WFTF class sitting on a bum bag.  Now, if you sit on a bum bag and use a bipod, then there IS a real advantage because you can get better support for the rear of the gun.  But if shooters HAVE to use a bucket at least ... say.. 12 or 14" high, then that advantage goes away in my opinion and from my testing.

Food for thought..

and thinking is a good thing.

I bet one could find a lot of support for a Hunter class like that and enough support for growing enough folks to actually have a World Championship in a few years..

Wayne


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(@knobs)
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Posted by: @bill-day

I know this is going to sound selfish from my platform but I really think The American AFFTA Hunter class could really sweeten the Pot for the club in Minnesota Club (Although I really didn't know they were still a org. Sorry my bad for the mistake!) and the organization that would be hosting it in Yankton, SD

What would anyone think about hosting a World USA Hunter Field Target Match at the same time? From playing the game now for over 15 years I think it would be nice to let the Hunter Class into the world game and play by our rules! We use to feel like the adopted foster child but because our numbers are so strong I feel we should be recognized as part of the future of Field Target in American. I have no problem with the other two classes in our AFFTA org. However, most of us long time members will never be able to shoot from the ground or bum bag. The longer we stay in our class the harder it will be. Thanks to the bucket and bipod most of us are still here. We have tried to grow our selves by asking for the some of the same equipment as our brothers in the other classes. Even a freestyle in our hunter class which has been denied again and again! 

Now I think it is time to think Big. Some of the money from our club dues and National auctions have raised is used to share with the WFTF class with subsidies for their world registrations and team clothing. I'm all for it but this is a plea to let all of us share in the fun of a World Championship. It may also be time to allow us members to share in the AFFTA membership by paying annual dues. I think this was mentioned earlier by Wayne Burns and it makes sense to me. Most likely unless our American Hunter Field Target can make a big impression to the rest of the world (Here is our chance) this may be the only opportunity to we have to display our popular game in a World environment. I would really not like to see the Hunter Class start its own thing like they did in the UK and personally at 74 I don't think I would be a world class contender but I do think we have the talent in this country to challenge all other countries playing our rules. When our Open PCP brothers wanted to play the world game they had to change a few of their rules to play but only one real big one (12 ft/lbs) and they were only a small group of about 10 shooters at their first trial National in Texas in 2009. 

I'm sure there will likely be some comments on this idea but it's still to cold up here in the Northeast to get out and shoot. So lets start a fire and see how inclusive every one feels about the AFFTA Hunter class being part of the USA Hunter World Field Target Championship. The 2022 Worlds are still over 2 years away. 

 

I've come to loathe the word "inclusive", hopefully,  you're not saying we need to be more woke. Gag!!

Otherwise, if you want an AAFTA Hunter Worlds,  organize it. You could call it the US Hunter Field Target Open and set it up as a worldwide open event.

To me the key is to avoid piggy backing onto an independent event like the Worlds. It's probably worth the trouble to call MAFTA and find out if the NFAA might be interested in supporting the event.

It's also my opinion that if you're hoping that AAFTA can come to the rescue & make it happen, you've sorely missed your guess. That's not a criticism of AAFTA. You've got to find a club willing to do it. You can't expect the BOG to point a finger and see people leap into action.

Good luck & I wish you success.

Knobs


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Frank in Fairfield
(@frank-in-fairfield)
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From an old curmudgeon: 

I shot FT the first time just before 911.

I had the R1 with 2-7x Beeman 66R scope.

It was the first time I saw the “space guns”.

It was in Concord, CA and the sport was in it’s infancy.

They had the various classes but Hunter Class was divided by your scope power. I was the only one with a low powered scope so I was (I still am...) in class by myself.

I think when the concept of Field Target began, it was designed to provide an avenue for shooting during non-hunting seasons.

Like when Fred Bear started Archery Field Target.

I do not think the air gunners in England or the archers ever envisioned the types of equipment,  and the cost of that equipment, that would be used on the courses of fire.

That is fine. To each his/her own.

I shoot FT a couple of times a month throughout the year. I am not competition for anyone. I can achieve the same results in my backyard (where I shoot Pistol Silhouette, now.).

The wanting of HFT in world competition is not going to happen for the reasons mentioned above.

That is a good thing....IMHO


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(@hector-j-medina-g)
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Posted by: @bill-day

Hector, Your thoughts are always welcomed and always well thought out.  I wouldn't have a problem shooting at 12 ft/lbs for something like that but I would hate like heck to give up the luxury of a bucket to sit on and bipods to shoot off from. As then say "When in the UK do what the Brits do" and I feel the same about the USA. Our way is considerate of the older shooters and adapts well to everyone. From what little I know about the HFT rules I would say their rules are created more for belly floppers. Hey, I could be wrong for I was once before ... ERRR Maybe twice. 🙃 

Regards, Bill

Dear Bill;

 

I am with you. That is why I wrote:

 

Posted by: @hector-j-medina-g

some sort of "Veterans/Old Guards" class could be enabled to allow persons above certain age to use seats and bi-pods.

And I think that the "hook" to attract the other shooters is to lengthen a little the ranges.

By going form 45 to 50 (or 55) max ranges, there is now a reason why focusing (and bracketing, but not focus rangeing), as well as seats and bi-pods would be allowed.

The other argument is that the prone position allows just as much, if not more, stability during the shot cycle, therefore the seat and bi-pod position should not be discriminated in favour of the prone. The seat and Bi-pod also allows more people to participate. Not only those physically fit ones that can kneel and get up from getting down 30 times.

I am sure it would be an uphill battle, BUT, IF you think that you ARE going to have a few hundred shooters taking the time off , spending on the airline tickets, the meals and hotels, etc. to come for the WFTC's 2024, then at least 1/3 or 1/4 would stay a few days more to try this challenge. It would just be an "afterparty party". A good program has to be put together and some traction has to be gained from the AAFTA clubs that are interested in this.

In the end, if they do not like the whole enchilada, then at least we tried and we can keep on shooting however we want WITH the argument that we showed/demonstrated it was not as easy as they thought/make it out to be.

JMHO

 

 

HM


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Bill Day
(@bill-day)
Joined: 3 years ago
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Topic starter  

@hector-j-medina-g

Hector, You really have great thoughts and talk reality. I think we all know by now that there would be no help from AFFTA. We couldn't even get the        Freestyle class that many clubs still have in one form or another. I was promised by a former chairmen that we would have a Hunter Freestyle class the year after the Arizona Nationals. I really do believe he would of liked to see it happen but the "Old guard" was not for it. I also do understand that we would need to grow it and that's the biggest problem. How do we grow something that org. does not want to happen? Frankly, our FT in America is a pretty small community overall. Maybe it was designed that way, but it 2006 the Hunter Trial class was suppose to bring more new shooters into the sport which at that time was Only PCP and Piston. They were expected to migrate into the other classes. It took on a life of its own and very few shooters have migrated to the open class or WFTF. There is multiple reasons why, but the main fact is it helps keep us old guys in the game longer and a great class to start out in.   


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Bill Day
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One last Thought! I agree that maybe a World Hunter Game will never happen because of lack of support from the WFTF and our own org. If wanted bad enough to host a big game for American Hunter FT the way to go about might be to host a North American Hunter FT Championship. The first year not open to shooters that don't reside in North America. Most likely it would be much more affordable and we wouldn't be taking away from the WFTF game.  Maybe a three day event with the day one shooting the Extreme Hunter game that is gaining interest. Then maybe 50 yard benchrest match on day two and finishing on day three with our American FT hunter game, or just the last two days our FT Hunter game. I'm sure this might interest the Canadians, and some from Mexico. Just something to chew on. Still to cold and windy outside up here to do any serious shooting. 🙄 

 


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(@hector-j-medina-g)
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@bill-day

That's a great idea!

I would spend a week or two at some place shooting the WFTC"s and then the NA Hunter C's, LOL!

😉 

My point, Bill is that IF we pony-ride the tail of the WFTC's whichever venue is doing it will do it for the MARGINAL cost of keeping the people on board and changing the targets.
It is usually the SETUP of the organization at the venue what costs a rather large sum of money.

Spreading the setup costs between more days/more events is always a smart choice for the venue.

For us (FT shooters in general)  would allow us to showcase more "variety" of the game. For the news/social media outlets, it would be a greater incentive to be there.

Lastly, it would ALSO provide the locals with an opportunity to get hooked! Oops, I meant to "test their skills" LOL!

All in all, I think it is  a win-win-win-win situation.

Keep well and shoot straight!

 

 

 

HM


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