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public ranges

Question:

I was out walking with my wife in one of the nearby city parks this afternoon and had a little run-in with some guys that were using the range there.  I’ve hunted for 26 years and with a bow for 9 and have been on and around ranges for both types of weapons numerous times and this was the first time that I’ve ever had any trouble.  It was also the first time I’d been around one without my weapon. We had been walking in the woods south of the (east-west) range for an hour or so.  When we entered the woods noone was using the range. After a while we decided to pack it in for a lunch break, so we headed up towards the big field where the range was.  Approaching from the side of the range, downrange, we were about 30 yards south of the range approaching the trail that paralleled it.  From this point, still out of the line of fire, I could see that three of the archers were in the middle of the range collecting arrows from different distance targets.   I decided that since they were standing in the middle of the range, that it was foul/safe and proceded to approach the range at an angle since I could tell that my wife and I would be clear of the shooting area by the time they returned to the shooting marks and collected their bows.  I was right and we all approached the shooting marks at the same time.  I noticed they were looking my way, so I said, "whaddaya know fellas" to initiate a conversation and get a better look at what type bows they were shooting.  One of the guys, the oldest and most rotund started in on me with "Did you see the signs? This is a bow release and it’s got a hair trigger!  If you’d come out on the range and I was at full draw, my arrow could’ve gone your way!"  Then one of the other guys started in with something like, "have you ever been on a range?".  I answered the older fellow and told him that I have releases for my bow and know precisely how they work.  I answered his friend by saying, "yes, I clearly saw that you guys had the range fouled before I stepped up and even near the axis of the range and would have gone around if it were otherwise", but none of these guys seemed to want to hear anything that even remotely made it seem as though they had just assumed way too much and made themselves look rediculous. After telling them this, they just turned away so I gave trying to talk to them and left. I did learn some valuable things from the way they responded.  One thing was to never assume that when someone walks onto a fouled/safe range, that they don’t know what they are doing and berate them like an absolute idiot.  Another thing was to be especially careful of and respectful to people that wander onto near a range in the middle of a public park, because the only thing that they may know about archery and hunting is the way that you treat them. Am I out of the 10 ring on this one? Andy

Response:

> Am I out of the 10 ring on this one? > Andy

Yes,  Your intentional actions took all control of your and their safety away from them by popping into the range (a danger zone) unannounced.   I would have been a little more polite but very forceful in my explaination of your mistake. Henry

Response:

Did you even read the part about where I clearly saw them (and they saw me), and thus proceeded while they were at the targets pulling arrows?  Guess not. – Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -> Am I out of the 10 ring on this one? > Andy > Yes,  Your intentional actions took all control of your and their safety > away from them by popping into the range (a danger zone) unannounced.   I > would have been a little more polite but very forceful in my explaination of > your mistake. > Henry

Response:

Andy, Why ask if you’re not going to accept some constructive criticism? Just a thought…  I won’t judge right or wrong without having been there.  It does sound like they were rude but that’s the nature of many people today. REM7600 – Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -> Did you even read the part about where I clearly saw them (and they > saw me), and thus proceeded while they were at the targets pulling > arrows?  Guess not.

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