Utah Hosts A BPCR Match At The City Of Perry’s
Beautiful Three Mile Creek Shooting Facility
By Mike “Duke” Venturino
A new BPCR Silhouette range came “online” in 2015. It is located at the town of Perry in northern Utah. Their inaugural match was in May and the first Utah State Championship for BPCR Silhouette was over Labor Day weekend.
On Friday there was a 60-shot match for scoped BPCR Silhouette and Saturday and Sunday had 40 shot events which were combined in an 80 shot aggregate for the iron sight championship. And I’m happy to state that my shooting partner, Ted Tompkins, won the scope sight title and Howard Smith won the iron sight aggregate. This pleased me because both of those shooters are Montanans.
Something else pleasing is how this new range came about. For the last few years, two Utah shooters named Dale Wiese and Eric Halter have been working to get it built. (I’m sure there were other individuals involved but I know these two gents ramrodded things.) And what seems a miracle in this day and age is the town of Perry was 100 percent behind them. (But of course this is Utah we are speaking of and not someplace like Maryland or California.) In fact the mayor of Perry, Karen Murphy Cronin, was there at the range all three days
For 2015’s state championship the range had four banks of five each of the chicken, pig, turkey and ram silhouettes. Those were placed at 200, 300, 385 and 500 meters respectively. Plus there were extra silhouettes mounted as sighting gongs for each bank of five. The firing line has shooting positions for five banks of targets so there is room for growth. Also the firing line is concrete and covered from rain and sun.
What the firing line did not have was protection from wind. And I mean wind! The first day—the scoped championship day—the wind blew from the south. According to the later weather reports it blew steadily over 30 mph with gusts up to 44 mph. But Halter and Weise were well prepared with masking tape. A wrap around a steel silhouette’s foot keeps it standing but the impact of a bullet will snap it and cause the animal to fall. Plenty of masking tape was used that day.
Duke won a minor amount of glory at the first Utah BPCR Silhouette State Championship
by placing first in AAA Class in the scope-sighted match.
Winners of the first Utah BPCR Silhouette State Champions were (left) Ted Tompkins
for scopes and Howard Smith for iron sights. Both are Montanans.
(Something especially funny was in the flyers sent out announcing this first Utah State Championship for BPCR Silhouette: Eric Halter bragged the new Perry range was subject only to mild winds. He stated wind corrections of only two to three minutes of angle would be needed. He will be a long time living that down as wind corrections were more in the 10- to 12-MOA range!)
Surprisingly, even in such conditions scores were respectable. My partner Ted hit 44×60, but three people, Howard Smith, Eric Halter and Pat Taylor, were only behind by two. After the tie breaking shoot off, Halter placed second and Smith third. What was especially worthy of notice was Tompkins actually hit six of 15 offhand chickens in those winds.
For the next two days the winds did not hit us as hard, but it’s not the same as saying they were calm or gentle. Even worse, the winds switched from south to north, back to the south, then north again. Such tricks made spotters especially nervous. Howard Smith, with Darrell Smithson as his spotter managed to place first overall on both of the iron sight days with scores of 30×40 and 29×40. Second place was Dave Heninger with 56 and Darrell Smithson with 54.
In both scoped and iron sight BPCR Silhouette, a master class score consists of a minimum of 31 hits in a 40-shot match and 46 hits in a 60-shot match. So the difficulty in this inaugural Utah State Championship is evidenced by the fact no master class scores were shot despite a plentitude of such shooters present.
On the way home after the event Ted and I both agreed attending the Utah State Championship for BPCR Silhouette will henceforth be on our list for matches to attend. Besides the shooting there was a nice potluck dinner on Saturday night and range security allowed shooters to leave all their gear excepting rifles in place at the range. Part of that may be attributed to the fact that Dale Weise is the police chief for Perry. And when I say the range is “at Perry” that is literal. Motels and restaurants are a mere five minutes from the shooting line.
For 2015 the scoped match had 29 competitors and iron sight had 41. I predict this match will grow quickly once word of its existence gets out to the BPCR crowd. My reasoning is its central location. It is not more than a day’s drive from most anywhere in the Rocky Mountain West. Most times when I travel to such an event it is at least a 1-1/2- or 2-day drive. Coming home from Utah I was unpacking gear by 1 p.m.
It was great to see two guys take the “bull by its horns” and one backed by a community create a new shooting venue.
2015 Utah State BPCR Championship
(60 rounds for score) Overall
Winner: Ted Tompkins (MT) 44×60
2nd Place: Eric Halter (UT) 42×60
3rd Place: Howard Smith (MT) 42×60
st Darrell Smithson (MT) 40×60
1st Mike Venturino (MT) 39×60
1st Pat Taylor (AZ) 42×60
1st Ken Neider (ID) 28×60
st Johnny Spratling (ID) 38×60
Iron Sight Match
(80 rounds for score) Overall
Winner: Howard Smith (MT) 59×80
2nd: Place: Dave Heninger (ID) 56×80
3rd: Place: Darrell Smithson (MT) 54×80
1st Toby Crisler (MT) 50×80
1st Del Neimeyer (MT) 47X80
1st Denny Wilcox (UT) 41×80
1st Lee Bumbalow (AZ) 39×80
1st Lucas Spratling (ID) 33×80