Kathy Bassett: The Josie Bassett shoot
Craig — Hoooo Boy.
You all need to show up next year just to see what kinds of fun you’ve missed out on throughout the years at the Josie Shoot in Vernal, Utah.
It’ll only cost you $5 and a lot of time practicing.
Grandma practiced some, in between rain storms. She got discouraged a time or two and thought maybe she should just forget it, but I told her no way.
This competitive shoot is for young gals, middle-aged women and ol’ ladies only.
Just a plain Jane ol’ .22 rifle. No target rifles allowed. Nothin’ fancy. The only thing fancy this year was the organizer, Carole Jackson, and you should have seen her outfit.
She made the dress herself, from tanned elk hide and many, many elk buglers and teeth. It had a lot of fringe and a big wide leather belt. It was gorgeous. When it came time to judge those who came dressed as old-fashioned ladies and cowgirls, she bowed out of the contest.
Grandma and I already know what we are going to dress as next year, and it’s going to be fun.
This year, they tried something new at the shoot.
Typically, it was just three targets set up and everyone took turns shooting them by laying down, sitting and standing, 15 bullets total.
We all still had to do the laying down, sitting up and standing part, but they had spinner targets this year, 30 bullets total.
When I signed in, I told them that I had only come to be in last place to make everyone else feel good, because I hadn’t had time to practice. Someone said there were 82 shooters registered. There aren’t any strangers there – everyone is so friendly and nice and helpful. It is pretty nifty.
There are always lots of helpful volunteers to see that all safety rules are met and everyone has a good time.
This year, one helpful, kind gentleman wouldn’t even let me load my own rifle. He told me to shoot when I was ready, and I told him I couldn’t find the target.
He kept pointing it out and I was peering and squinting, and finally asked him if that was that teensy weensy lil’ ol’ white thing over there in the weeds.
He laughed and told me I’d sure enough found it. Gosh. They sure were little. I didn’t do too bad on the laying down part, but when I sat up, I missed the first target.
Hmmmmm. I told the kind feller that if it were a stupid ol’ prairie dog I could hit it. He laughed and as I took aim, he said, “prairie dog” in a little sing-song voice.
Yeppers, I hit that thing dead on, and we both whooped when that target spun around and around.
The next time, he didn’t say anything, and I missed. So the next two times he was very kind and blurted out the PD word. Yeppers. I connected.
Everyone was laughing. Especially a big ol’ Harley guy with tattoos, all decked out in leathers and gear as he told me that his wife was shooting, but he told her to think of the target as his face, because she was mad at him. He said she was hitting it every time.
Then I got to the standing up part. The part I hate. I got my sights all lined up and then started the shaking stuff. Of course, everyone gripes about the same thing. But, I took a deep breath and let one rip and bingo! I connected.
I only missed once. The little man behind me was a whoopin’ and a hollerin’ and saying how great I was doing because some of the scope gals had only hit two or so and here I was shooting open sights and getting them.
Grandma was doing awesome over on the next range, laying down and getting up and shooting and spinning those targets. Everyone was so proud of her. At 88 years old, she won the oldest contestant award.
Watching some of the other shooters, I sure can’t complain about my total score, and I didn’t come in last. We didn’t get in the winner’s circle, and darn it all anyway.
We didn’t win the Browning .22 rifle again this year, but grandma and I went not to win, but to have fun, and we did a bunch of that.
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