Damn, you've seen through my plan, help out a rival in the very same class as me and who can't pay me back because he doesn't set his region's courses. I decided to choose him over the person i travel with to the shoots and who is also my club chairman and sets our winter league courses because he bought the same scope as me. It's going to be a very quiet ride up to tawd now..
I had the ranges in my pocket, I was not shooting the course, they were in it from the build completion the day before and I intended to tweak a couple of targets on the morning.
People asked me ranges, and I even asked them, but they never got an answer saying target X was Y yards until after the course was completed by them. What they choose to take from supposed answers they think they got is up to them...
The reason I asked if about ranges during the day was to gauge if what I thought might worked had worked. One of the interesting ones was lane 19 where we had two targets of an identical range, which many made different by a yard or so... another was target 48, misranged by some up to 5 yards, and quite a few throwing it 3 over. I was only 5 yds longer.
From memory... Brian gave me a range for one target up the top section while he was on the course, I believe he was shooting with someone who ranged it different. Lane 23, the splayed one. One was a yard over or something, the other under, by1-2 yards. I asked did they hit it, both did I believe, and I said something about there you go you can never tell who is right because someone could be having shift or different set up plinking course. It was their first lane. Neither were on the money, I just never disagreed with either, hence the comment about you can never be certain. I also could not be that certain even if i had wanted to be... i didn't measure that target. Someone else did. They gave me the range. It would be completely idiotic to tell someone they were right, and another they were wrong, on the first lane of a course, on a target I hadn't actually taped myself.
After the course Brian refered to a target I remember as being 51.66. I remember it for a very specific reason. Because i'd moved it the evening before and the link had broken. It was one of the few that was different to the others, being mounted on a spike, which made it more of a pain to replace. The target was replaced, but in doing so i lost my marker, and so after 2-3 goes at trying to get it where I wanted it and not being able to pace it out and get a good lock with the rangefinder i though sod it and went and got the tape and taped out 155ft, which is where i wanted it to be. The idea was that if it came to rangefinding, I wanted people to make a snap guess on their last target in that lane. It was on lane 18 and been rounded up to 52 yds on the list, but not on my paper which said 155 ft. I can't remember where i was standing at the time, but i think it was close to where Brian had finished and i was checking the top section was clear, but by then it was all getting a bit of a blur. I do remember he was very excited about being so close to the range.
This was the same target that someone did range during the course and told me they had it at 54 yards, and got it. Many people chatted to me about ranges after. Quite a few stated categorically they had nothing close to the limit. There were shooters who blamed misses on ranges they had right, and others they had wrong. I also spoke to people down my lane one, which admittedly was a mistake as that could have been overheard by those in the shootoffs, of whom i hadn't been notified of.
During another shoot I have been shown a range from a rangefinder after completing the course, by someone not competiing, while the competition was still running. I think that person trusted me not to pass that onto team mates or steer competitors wrongly. It was a yard away from what I'd made it.
There's a mutual respect in this sport, and some elements of it do wander into the grey of coaching/assisting/cheating. I know that i've been helped along the way by experienced shooters on and off the course, that help and advice is offered after one session or squad has finished that could be passed on to another. We also know that not all courses are built by one person that doesn't shoot that course, or never shoots that target in that position again.
There was 3 main reasons I didn't shoot that day. Firstly I wanted to concentrate on the shoot. Secondly, I did know certain key ranges so well that I would not have had to rangefind them. Thirdly, I was knackered and didn't have a gun setup. That would have been the same at the other ground, where target 1 was a 44.0 yard stander. There was also a lane with 2 x 53 yard targets. Knowing stuff like that means I won't shoot those courses.
And I'd have got away with it if it hadn't been for you pesky kids.