Last week, I had to take Ruth to Morgantown for her eye appointment. She told me she could possibly be in the office for 2-3 hours. Well, I'm not one who likes to just sit and do nothing.
So, after I let her off at the office, I decided to take one of my centerfire rifles out to the Pedlar Wildlife Management Area shooting range. This is the public shooting range the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources had to shut down for about two years because of too many reports of people shooting in an unsafe manner and excessive vandalism.
Pedlar WMA consists of two non-adjoining tracts of land - Dixon Lake and Mason Lake Areas. The shooting range is located on Mason Lake, about 10 miles west of Morgantown off W.Va. Route 7.
Finding this place was no problem. When I got to the range about 10:30 a.m., there already was a young couple there. The young man was trying to help his lady companion sight in a .270 Winchester sporting rifle. The rifle I chose to shoot was a .308 Winchester bolt action.
The ammunition I was going to be shooting was three different loads. The first was military combat ball ammunition more than 40 years old. After firing four shots at 100 yards at a standard size 100-yard target, all four shots were inside the black, but somewhat scattered. The second was a hand-load using Speer 150-grain pointed round-nosed soft point bullets. This four-shot group was much tighter, but the shots were below the X-ring. The third load I was using Sierra 150-grain pointed soft-point bullets with CCI bench rest large rifle primers. In this four-shot group, one was inside the X-ring, another cutting the 10 ring and the remaining two well inside the nine ring. This is when I decided to make no adjustment with the cross-hairs on the rifle scope.
In summary, a total of 12 shots were fired in three groups of four shots. All shots were inside the black on a standard 100-yard target mounted at 100 yards. I am just happy the scope has held its sight in since it was last fired this past summer.
I not only enjoyed shooting this sporting rifle but also enjoyed talking with others who had come to the range to shoot. The only complaint I would have with this outing would be the condition of W.Va. Route 7. This road has to be an absolute disgrace for a primary state highway.
I got back to Morgantown and picked Ruth up around 1 p.m. Her pupils were quite dilated. After enjoying some barbeque sandwiches at a BBQ joint, we were on our way back to Elkins.
Now for some more good news: In the primary election held earlier this month, five West Virginia counties approved Sunday hunting on private land. Voters in Braxton, Calhoun, Nicholas, Webster and Wirt counties approved Sunday hunting this year. However, voters in Gilmer and Lewis counties rejected this option.
Today, Sunday hunting is allowed in 14 counties. Most of these counties are located in the northern panhandle or in the southern coalfields.