Author Topic: Setting up a woods walk  (Read 10733 times)

4ster

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Setting up a woods walk
« on: September 10, 2012, 06:39:00 PM »
I've been thinking of setting up a woods walk on my property.  I live in the Soviet of Washington (The punch line to an old but very true joke) so my forest has 400+ foot swaths of no harvest land surrounding the streams that I "donated" to the public good.  A woods walk would enable me to enjoy this area and would be a pretty place to shoot as well.  A portion of some of this stream buffer is in terrane that would have good backstops and provide both close and some 100 yard shots across the stream.

I'm relatively new to blackpowder shooting.  My club has an excellent woods walk but it is the only one I have seen.  Any advice you can think of would be most welcome.

Specifically:
1) Longer shots would be to steel clangers since they will be across a stream or pond.  What thickness of steel should I use?
2) For "found" targets I am looking for surplus welding and diving cylinders.  Any other target sized metal objects I should be looking for?
3) Is there a web site with plans for resettable knockdowns?
4) Can you describe your favorite woods walk target?

Daryl

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Re: Setting up a woods walk
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2012, 08:01:17 PM »
Here's a few looks at our trail walk's course, with moslty steel targets.
The little orange pig or buffalo in front of Taylor is a pistol target. The rifle target is behind his left hand, a ram on a chain, on the cross branch.







bunny above the black hole at the end of this shooting lane - about 95yards. We've had 4 smoothbore shooters nail the bunny in a row. Once!



the start of the trail, November.



start of the trail mid April



92 yard fox



92yard fox on telephoto



flying goose station;



last target 109yards (100 meters)


It's a bit more lush, in the summer time.
Hatchet Jack

Taylor

Crispy

LB

« Last Edit: September 10, 2012, 08:10:23 PM by Daryl »

Offline bgf

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Re: Setting up a woods walk
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2012, 08:39:08 PM »
Don't forget hanging chains: vertical, horizontal (including various levels of tension) and draped various way -- they are all fun.  I also like the hanging RR spike.  The hardest target I know of is a horizontal bar at a good distance, esp. downhill. 

Offline pathfinder

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Re: Setting up a woods walk
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2012, 09:39:51 PM »
Coil spring's from car's,Flywheel's and brake drum's are cheap and plentyfull. If you hang a plate behind the hole in the flywheel with a flagattached to it,that'll give ya something to swear at! You can open the hole a little to suit your need's.

Whenever I set up a wood's walk,I try to make it so only the VERY BEST shooter's will clean the course,1 or 2 maybe,and the majority of the folk's hit 6-8 out of 10. There should be at least 1 "gimmie" to let the new or "not so good" shooters hit something. And youd be surprised at how many great shooters will blow it on the "gimmie's"!
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Daryl

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Re: Setting up a woods walk
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2012, 11:21:50 PM »
Our first target is a gimmie, even for the smoothbores. It's an odd shaped plate hung at about 25 yards, but with over 12" of square striking surface- with tines running out to about 16" for the more advanturous. We try to hit just the tip with our rifles. As noted, this is the #1 target and is used as a fouling shot for those who need one.

Offline Bull Shannon

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Re: Setting up a woods walk
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2012, 04:34:50 AM »
On the steel it should be 1/2 inch as the 1/4 deforms quickly.  A friend welded up a steel gong to try out this past weekend and even using just 50 grains and a 50 caliber RB it was clear that the 1/4 steel wasn't going to stay flat for very long.

The one woods walk I have shot included a couple of targets where you had to shoot through a steel frame into an opening about 4 inches wide.  No points if you rang steel and the frame shapes varied from round to rectangle.  An old ax head with the edge facing the shooting line and a clay pigeon on either side is very challenging to have to break them both with one shot.  Rules stated that one foot had to be touching the shooting line at every stage, so some of the gongs where obscured by trees or downhill.

4ster

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Re: Setting up a woods walk
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2012, 04:52:41 AM »
Thanks for the ideas so far, I'll post some pictures when I get it built.

Offline Keb

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Re: Setting up a woods walk
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2012, 02:39:37 PM »
I remember one target old Pathfinder set up once that was a dang blasted awful target.
It was 3 very small terra cotta pots, one on top of two. You had to shoot through the opening made by the pot triangle and hit a 4th pot behind them without breaking the 3 pots up front. This was shot at about 15 feet. Ah, those were the days. Good one, Ted.

Offline Roger Fisher

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Re: Setting up a woods walk
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2012, 05:32:25 PM »
Suggest keep it simple w/o too much work.   Start with a gimme and end with a gimme.  Don't pleg yourself with resetables simply hang steel silohuettes from a low tree branch or from a cross piece by two chains...

BTW I looked/studied that lil blonde at station 13 bout 4 times til I noticed the dog.   :D

Beware and don't use heavy silohuettes up close to the shooting stations... The lead does come back at times.  And do not use wheel hubs or any cup shaped silohuettes except at longer ranges.  Again the lead does come back (I've witnessed that more than a couple or three times..)   And use this rule - If she swings its a hit! Or even a visible wiggle.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2012, 06:19:32 PM by Roger Fisher »

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: Setting up a woods walk
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2012, 12:47:44 AM »
My advice is don't get too elaborate with the targets. Alway put a few gimmee targets on the course, because if somebody shoots your course, and doesn't hit anything, they will not come back, and will probably quit shooting. Don't hang anything that is too heavy. Remember you have to play to the smallest caliber. If a .36 cal. ball hits a forty pound chunk of steel, that bullet is coming back to the  shooter air mail. I saw a prairie dress shot through, and through, by a .40 cal. ball that came back off a little anvil hung in a tree about 35 yards away. Luckily in my neck of the woods summer days are usually into the low hundreds, so the young lady was standing with her legs apart hoping to get a little breeze. Could have been a real bad situation.
 Using a home made pachinco type timing device can turn an easy close range target into a real challenge, and you can move it around to change several targets for different events.

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Offline SCLoyalist

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Re: Setting up a woods walk
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2012, 01:28:56 AM »
Miscellaneous stuff from various woodswalks:   Decide in advance and let competitors know what the rules are: whether you can use a separate range rod or whether you have to use a rod that fits the thimbles of the rifle;   whether every hammer fall counts as a shot or whether you get one  misfire per station or per course; whether smoothbore shooters have to shoot one roundball or can shoot shot;   let people know if they have to shoot from a certain position or shoot with a foot touching a stake or shoot within one ramrod length of a stake.  For the really far targets, have a spotting scope set up where a hit can be observed.   A rattle box or some sort of timer for  5 to 7 seconds can be used at one or two stations to put a little time pressure on making an otherwise easy shot (e.g. shooter takes position with a loaded and primed rifle, but he has to drop a steel ball into top of rattle box and make the shot before ball comes out the bottom).    If safe, put a metal hanging squirrel target about 20 feet up in a tree.   Some woodswalks I've been on have the first shot at a paper "cut the X target" and is only used as a tiebreaker.    If you're going to have targets out at 40 or 50 yards among heavy brush, hang a piece of orange tape a few feet away so if the shooter can't see the target you can say "see that tape on the tree limb?   the target is sticking out behind the bush about 2 feet to the right".   Make sure reactive targets react visibly if hit by a small ball.   Have a CO2 discharger somewhere on the course with fittings for percussion and flint guns so a dryball or misfire won't hold things up for long.   Think about one station where they get scored on whether they can hit a rabbit sized target with a rock or hunting stick (golf ball or hawk handle) from maybe 25 feet.    Have lots of pencils and score sheets handy and decide whether each group goes through the course and record their own scores or whether you have a club/range officer go through with each group of four  to provide safety supervision, and record scores. For a 20 shot woodswalk, make 3 to 5 shots 'gimmees', one or two shots 'mother bears' and the rest moderately challenging.

Offline rollingblock

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Re: Setting up a woods walk
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2012, 05:07:35 AM »
Have shot a few woods walks some targets that were shot or shot at
 an egg in a piece of 2 in pipe pipe welded to a plate that was nailed to tree hole in the bottom for the egg to run out of.    pop cans full of water hanging on a string by pull tab   double bitted axe in stump clay pigeons on each side split the ball   playing card stuck in a split stick edge wise split the card various  size steel out to a 150 yds big ram   donuts cut out of scrap pine boards  crackers on a thread really hard if its windy.  55 gal barrel horse with saddle shooting at buffalo  barrel horse is moving by ropes need to be in edge of woods for that one.   buddy shoot  rifle shooter shoots steel gong at about 40 yds which trips clay pigeon thrower that throws bird at second shooter who is at the ready with smoothbore .  running deer if you have elevation rope and pulleys.  and what i consider one of the hardest a string stretched diagonally across a stump or board  just a few of the targets shot here in southern Illinois

Offline David R.

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Re: Setting up a woods walk
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2012, 06:01:31 AM »
 We have one that was a piece of old welders scrap, I think it's 1/4"plate.  It is basically a 30-60-90 triangle with a square section cut out of the long base. It is hung near the end of the walk low in a creekbed. Now it is sort of crescent shaped from being thumped so many times. Although it is not the furthest target it is often the most difficult. I nicknamed it the "Bermuda Triangle".
 The hanging log chain is a good one. We have one we always shoot from a spot where only a small window between two young beech trees alows a view of it. This one has taught me the value of aim small miss small. I have learned to always pick out the exact spot on one particular link to aim at and if I do I rarely miss it.
 Another fun one is the double bit axe stuck in a chunk of wood with a clay pigeon on either side and split the ball and break both targets. The angle of light on the axe blade makes this one tricky.
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Offline Dave B

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Re: Setting up a woods walk
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2012, 07:35:07 AM »
I posted this once be for along while back. Maybe not for a woods walk but great for the spectators was a dueling match . The opponents stand under a bucket of water that is tripped when the other guy shoots the steel silhouette off the saw horse down range with a chord attached to the target trips the release back at the frame.

I had three duels that day and got dunked every time. It was a very hot day and was quite refresshing
Dave Blaisdell

Old Salt

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Re: Setting up a woods walk
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2012, 07:19:24 PM »
Avoid things like soda cans and powder cans.  The first few shoots have a nice target to shoot at.  Those that come later have a big hole to shoot at.

If a group of shooters shows up late they should have to wait until the groups ahead are finished.  Burns me up to make the effort to get to a walk on time, then a group that showed up late is suddenly in the lead while I'm waiting for them to finish.     

Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Setting up a woods walk
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2012, 05:53:29 AM »
Leo, wouldn't the late group start at the beginning just as your group did, and thus be behind you all the way through the trail?  We usually keep groups to about five shooters, so that everybody finishes up more or less at the same time.
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Daryl

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Re: Setting up a woods walk
« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2012, 08:05:13 AM »
Finishes each station, I suspect Taylor means, making for very little waiting. Since no one or hardly anyone wipes between shots, there is no waiting for wipers.

Offline Dr. Tim-Boone

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Re: Setting up a woods walk
« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2012, 07:40:45 PM »
Do you allow shots supported by trees??
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Offline bgf

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Re: Setting up a woods walk
« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2012, 08:10:48 PM »
Do you allow shots supported by trees??

Targets supported by trees, yes; shooters supported by trees while shooting, no :)!

Daryl

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Re: Setting up a woods walk
« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2012, 08:54:55 PM »
No - all our shooting is offhand, expect for LB, who body rests from the standing position. We allow any standing shot with no other resting allowed, ie: using trees.

The odd event at Hefley does not allow for body rest standing shooting, but designates all shooting is offhand, ie: "of the hands" at the meeting the night before that event.

Old Salt

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Re: Setting up a woods walk
« Reply #20 on: September 18, 2012, 12:50:43 AM »
Leo, wouldn't the late group start at the beginning just as your group did, and thus be behind you all the way through the trail?  We usually keep groups to about five shooters, so that everybody finishes up more or less at the same time.

That is what I'd like to see.  One woods walk here in SE PA regularly lets the same group of shooters arrive late and then puts them in the middle of the course just to get them started.  On more than one occsion I've spent more than 30 minutes waiting for them to clear the trail.   Then when one or more of them has problems with their rifles the time really drags out.


Daryl

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Re: Setting up a woods walk
« Reply #21 on: September 18, 2012, 02:58:53 AM »
When & where we shoot, if a group has trouble, the next one would play on through - that's merely good manners.  Actually, I've not seen this happen on the shooting line in front of me at Hefley, but then, there's never more than 6 ort 7 groups ahead at any time - no more than 50 people, I'd guess. I like to be there close to the start, to prevent large bottlenecks in the heat of the day. seems tin-town is more likely to start early, when it's cooler.  The Primitive camp starts late, most every day. We're walking back for a cold one in camp, and they're at target #4 or 5.

This is partically because Tin Town goes to bed at 9pm or sooner. However many of us kill the bottles before heading home from Primitive - HA! (it's the shooting the next day that suffer's sometimes)

Offline Leatherbelly

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Re: Setting up a woods walk
« Reply #22 on: September 20, 2012, 04:20:30 PM »
No - all our shooting is offhand, expect for LB, who body rests from the standing position.
 Daryls is pulling your lizard here. I don't know how to "bodyrest"! Sometimes I need to wear a wrist brace(arthritic).Is that what you mean punk?
Spell check broken?  Daryls...read signature.hehehe
« Last Edit: September 20, 2012, 04:29:10 PM by Leatherbelly »
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Daryl

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Re: Setting up a woods walk
« Reply #23 on: September 20, 2012, 04:41:28 PM »
 ;D ;D

4ster

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Re: Setting up a woods walk
« Reply #24 on: September 20, 2012, 05:42:37 PM »
I finally got around to walking the site yesterday to check its suitability.  I think there is room for about 10 shooting stations.  Since the setup is across a small creek it is going to be hard to set up for pistol, most of shots will be longer rifle shots to metal plates hung between trees.  There is one end where the shorter range shots would have to be but they will still have to be slightly down hill.

The plus side is that there will be little brush to clear, I was worried that the stream would be letting in extra light and the brush clearing to keep the trail maintained would be a chore.