This past weekend the private range the Breci family allows me to shoot on required some maintenance. A week before I had arrived to find Tony attempting to use a weed-eater to clean up the berms. The density and thickness of the weeds made it a prohibitive job. I suggested a sling blade would be more efficient (and less back breaking), and offered the assistance of myself and two of my sons to accomplish the task.
This past week was a hot one. Several days had reached “record” temperatures. Saturday was suppose to have cooled down with a storm front passing through on Friday. Apparently the gods of weather lied since the day became another “close to record” temperature day. Fortunately we arrived early and got started. Unfortunately it heated up fast.
There is not a lot to write about exciting about whacking weeds with a sling blade. Although it can be rewarding manual labor. The work, while tiring, was only bad due to the heat that climbed quickly and started making us take more breaks.
I won’t bore you with made up tales of heroics sling blading weeds. I will only say I beat my 2 sons to the finish line (we each took a side). For the first 1/3 of the length of the range, the two of them worked together on one side. Then one of them went to the top of the berm and started working all the way around. That said, the “old man” beat the “young studs”!!
One final thought… Most ranges are marginally profitable ventures (this one not even being commercial). The cost of establishment, insurance, equipment upkeep and the EPA remediation is very expensive. Even though you may pay some $$ to use them, always keep an open mind about volunteering and helping out. If we all don’t over time the only ranges that are going to be available are going to be private ones.