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Borrego Springs, CA

Thursday, November 19, 2015

I’m no Annie Oakley

After taking Emma to the dog park before 7:00 this morning, I checked Jojoba Hills’ website to see what kind of activities were going on today.  It turned out it was Ladies Day at the air gun range.  Now I don’t know a thing about guns and certainly am not a hunter, but it sounded interesting so I hopped in my golf cart and blasted over to the other side of the park where the gun range is located.

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The range is located just past the not as popular dog run (as opposed to the very popular dog park).  There is a sun shelter with places to sit to shoot at the numerous targets.  The close ones are for pistols, and the more distant ones are for rifles.  See that orange target in the middle?  It’s made out of sewer pipe, and if you shoot the pistol just right into one of the two round holes, the metal pellet goes around the bend and rings a bell on the way out.

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Since it’s Ladies Day, there were plenty of experienced guys there to help us learn about air guns.  I think they provided all the weapons, but I’m not sure.  Some may be provided by the park.

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I started out trying the pistol first.  Had to use both hands to try to keep the gun from shaking as well as the holder to lean it on.  Gritting my teeth seemed to help.  I rang the bell on the first shot!  Ha! Beginners luck!  Matt Dillon has no worries.  Confused smile  That was the only time I rang the bell.  Those are the tiny pellets in that can in front.  With most of the guns, you have to load one pellet at a time (in the right direction).

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After an hour or so, shooting stopped so that the guys could set up a competition for us ladies.  By this time, I had gotten instruction on using one of the rifles.  I had much better luck with that as I could hold it steadier.  It had more of a kick than I expected.  My biggest problem was reloading.  You have to bend the barrel down in half to put in one pellet.  Pete, the guy in shorts, showed me a way I could do it using both arms.

The competition consisted of each of us ladies having one minute to load and shoot up to five pellets in order to hit three balloons that were waving in the wind.  I only competed in the rifle challenge.  The balloons were much further back for that.  Three of us got ready for the first round.  When the bell sounded, we all began.  My two competitors knocked off their balloons in short order.  I wasn’t so quick.  I decided to try to take out my hardest balloon first.  The wind kept blowing it behind that smiling face in the middle of the field.  I got it!  By this time, my competitors were finished with their three balloons.  Sad smile  I struggled to get my tiny pellet seated in the barrel with my shaky hands, but everyone in the background was cheering me on telling me I had plenty of time.  How great that was!  I hit all three balloons with just three shots within the allotted time.  Yahoo!

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Turns out no matter how we did, each of the ladies got two roses to take home.  What a fun morning.  I’m thinking I’ll probably return for next month’s Ladies Day.

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If you’re Annie Oakley, you probably wouldn’t be too happy with these results, but for a beginner, I’m just glad I hit the target most of the time.  Who would have guessed I’d enjoy shooting a rifle?

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Of course, after all that hard work this morning I just had to take a dip in the pool this afternoon.  See that circle in the back?  That’s the swirling hot tub.  Had to relax those arm muscles from all that loading, don’t cha know…

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

31 comments:

  1. You go girl!! We should all know about guns.the safety and the shooting...You just might have found your "nitch"..

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  2. Its a sport, just like any other.. It takes practice to get good. Go back next time and you'll do better...

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  3. Practice makes perfect so definitely get back out there and try again.

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  4. What a hoot! This is one activity I would have never expected at Jojoba Hills, but it looks like you all had a real fun day! Giddy up, Annie, sounds like you're off to a great start with your new hobby!

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  5. I wish I could find a gun range that had a Ladies Day so I could shoot. I've only ever shot a tiny pistol once in my life, and never even held a rifle in my hands. I'd love to try it, although I don't know that my mac degeneration would let me focus well enough. If anyone out there has a tip for compensating for macular degeneration, I'd love to know it.

    You did really well, and I'm so glad Jojoba Hills offers this type of activity for women.

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  6. I can see you getting hooked on this fun sport:)

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  7. I think I'd take a pass on the shooting and just hit the pools! :- )

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  8. As long as you are open to life, you never know where you'll find fun. I think the only time I've shot a gun was while I was in college. My boyfriend and his roommate entered me in a turkey shoot. I didn't have to shoot the turkey - only the target but I won a turkey, that was ready to bake.

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  9. I'm looking forward to trying that next winter when we return for another stay.

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  10. What a great experience for you. Nice that you are getting involved in the activities. Pretty soon they'll have you out on a 4-wheeler :=)

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  11. What fun! I like the part where you load the pellet in the right direction... not sure if you meant the way you hold the gun or insert the pellet... but my imagination went wild. You sure did good... maybe all those shots you take with a camera give you good aim ;-)

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  12. How fun Judy! And that pool is gorgeous--wish North Ranch had one.

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  13. This would have been something I would have fun doing. My first time, my eye was real good, would like to try again.

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  14. With shooting like that Uncle Sam may come knocking on your door seeking your services:))

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  15. Well well, that's something I too wouldn't have expected you to like. Congrats on your success Annie. Really happy to hear that you are enjoying the amenities of your park. A nice relaxing and fun winter is just what you deserve.

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  16. You are as close to being Annie Okley then anyone else I know. Amazing that you rang the bell on the first shot. Did they give you a stuffed animal by any chance?

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  17. You shot better than you know. It's a pattern, not helter skelter.

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  18. I've never shot a gun of any type...though I have thought that skeet shooting might be fun. And even though I'm afraid of guns I know it's probably mostly because I don't know anything about them. So I too would have tried it at least once. Glad you have these interesting and fun things to try!

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  19. OMG, I would have loved that! How fun - it's nice they realize we oldsters need normal activities, not just knitting and TV, right? Good for you - you have a good eye. It shows in the photos you take, and must carry over to being a steady shot with a gun as well. Yaaaay for you!! Sounds like you are enjoying your new home. I think even those of us who are pretty solo could really have fun at a park like that. :)

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  20. I agree with those who say all that shooting with a camera must have been good for your aim. Amazing shooting!

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  21. Shooting is a great sport and has nothing to do with killing something. If more people realized that there would not be such hate for guns; only for the monsters that use them.

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  22. what a wonderful time you had. . .would love to do that as well. . .glad you enjoyed it enough to return!

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  23. Sounds like a fun activity! You will get better and better with practice! That pool looks great as does the sunshine:)

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  24. After all those great shots of wildlife and birds you've made with a camera, shooting a gun obviously came easy to you. Reloading, however, is a challenge. Just think of it like you're changing film in a camera. :c)

    Glad you enjoyed a new activity, and have that wonderful hot tub to unwind in!

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  25. Atta girl, did better than either one of us would done.

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  26. What a great activity. It sounds like they have a lot to offer out there. And that pool and hot tub are beautiful!

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  27. It is wonderful to hear that you are out enjoying yourself and taking advantage of what the place has to offer. You go girl!

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  28. I really enjoyed the rifle team when I was a teenager. I wasn't great but I did pretty well. Just remember to SQUEEZE the trigger. Then all you have to figure out is the best way to aim.
    Maybe I need to try it again. :-)
    Sally

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  29. I'm a tad behind on my blog reading, but hey, what a fun time you had! I don't know anything about air guns. Are they different than real guns, but have some sort of modification to make them an air gun?

    Ladies day? Are the guys afraid to compete with the women?

    We also like to shoot. I find it quite a stress reliever. We shoot with real guns and real bullets and go to the gun range once or twice a week. I also love the fact that I'm a better shot than Al. (but don't tell him I told you)

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  30. Nice Post.Thanks for sharing this inyour blog

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