Team Bison Tactical at High Country Precision’s Mile High Shootout

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On July 22-23, 2017 all of Team Bison Tactical (Lewie, Fred, Kevin and Scott) participated in the High Country Precision’s Mile High Shootout, a National Rifle League match.  The match was put on by Robert Quigley, Andy Puzman and Jeff Odor, and they created a very challenging course of fire.  There were 114 competitors and temperatures ranged from the 70’s in the mornings to around 95 mid-day.  The terrain in Craig Colorado is high plains (which a lot of people call desert) with lots of mountainous and rolling terrain.  There were 32 stages over two days with a round count near 200 rounds.  This made for long days of shooting in challenging conditions.

An interesting change made by the match directors was to have competitors shoot the same stages on Day 2 as Day 1, but with less equipment and shorter times.  On Day 1, most stages were 2 minutes and any gear was typically allowed, while on Day 2 the times dropped to 90 seconds and typically gear was restricted to a choice of bipod or bags depending on the stages.  Day 2 was really designed to force you to limit your gear usage and to force the position to be much more unstable.

Many of Team Bison Tactical’s sponsors, Schmidt & Bender, Bighorn Arms, Bartlein Barrels, Masterpiece Arms, Hawkins Precision, Traust Shooting Bags and Bison Tactical were also sponsors of the Mile High Shootout which was great to see, thank you all for sponsoring the competition as well as our team !


Some of the most interesting stages were:

1.Thunder Beast & AA Targets – On the Edge

Stage Description:  Start standing, port arms with foot touching red stake.  AT start command shooter moves into position with all gear and entire body inside the shooter’s box and engages each target with 2 rounds, near to far.

Day 1 – 2 minute time limit, all gear allowed

Day 2 – 90 second time limit, bipod and 1 bag OR tripod only allowed

Target 20 – 230 yds (4” round)

Target 21 – 318 yds (6” round)

Target 22 – 450 yds (10” round)

Target 23 – 640 yds (12” round)

Target 24 – 914 yds (20” round)


Summary:  The main problem presented by this stage was that the “shooters box”, a rectangle was on a very steep slope, and oriented with the long side towards the targets.  This made finding a good position difficult until we figured out the correct methodology.  Unfortunately, on Day 1, this was the stage that Fred shot first on (resulting in a score for me of 0).  However this gave others time to figure out the best way to shoot the stage and most others on Team Bison Tactical were able to obtain a few points Day 1 with much better results on Day 2 despite the shorter times and gear restrictions.

Some pictures of our team shooting this stage:

Lewie on the state "On the Edge"

Scotty on stage "On the Edge"

2. Desert Tech & Bison Tactical – 375 Cheytac & Precision

Stage Description:  Shooter will place (not staged) their rifle at the green stake, mag out bolt back. Shooter will begin in position on Chey-tac. Upon start command, shooter will use the stage rifle to engage the designated target. The shooter will then transition their rifle and engage targets near to far, hit or miss. Shooter will engage 1st target with 2 shots, engage 2nd  target with 2 shots, and engage 3rd target with 3 shots. Shooter may dial for 1 distance, but will not be allowed to dial for elevation once time has started. Impacts with Chey-tac are ½ point per impact, impact with personal rifle is 1 point per impact.

Day 1 – 2 minute par time, any and all gear allowed.

Day 2 – 90 second par time, (Chey-tac omitted) any and all gear allowed.

Round Count: 2 with Chey-tac, 7 with personal rifle

Maximum points: Day 1, 8pts; Day 2, 7pts.

Chey-tac –1,258 yds

Target 12 – 469 yds

Target 13 – 589 yds

Target 14 – 834 yds


Summary:  Somehow again Fred was first on this stage.  I can say that the wind hold at 1200 yards on a .375 Chey-tac is much less than I anticipated, and I missed both my shots.  The recoil also moves you off target a LOT (particularly after getting used to the 6mm Dasher).  However this provided a wind call for everyone else, and they held on the plate and made hits.  The other targets weren’t difficult to hit, but you did have to use the reticle to hold for the precision rifle targets, and our Schmidt & Bender scopes with the Tremor3 reticle really served us well in this stage verses some of the other guys running standard non-Christmas tree reticles.


I wasn’t able to get any pictures of Team Bison Tactical shooting this stage.


 3. Masterpiece Arms – Shooters Choice

Stage Description:  Shooter will begin standing port arms mag in bolt back with their foot touching the red stake. There are 5 designated shooting positions. At start command shooter moves into their chosen 1st position and engages the corresponding target with 2 shots, hit or miss. Shooter transitions to their chosen 2nd position and engages the corresponding target with 2 shots, hit or miss. Shooter repeats this process until all 5 positions have been used. Shooter may shoot the targets in any order they choose, but MAY NOT return to a position previously used.

Engage Target 1 from Position 1, engage Target 2 from Position 2, engage Target 3 from Position 3, engage Target 4 from Position 4, engage Target 5 from Position 5.

Day 1 – 2 minute par time, any and all gear allowed

Day 2 – 1 minute 30 second par time, bipod OR front bag plus 1 bag allowed (same gear through entire stage)

Round Count: 10

Maximum points: 10

Target 1 – 189 yds (2” diamond – Right tank)

Target 2 – 421 yds (8” round –right tree)

Target 3 – 609 yds (12” round – left tree)

Target 4 – 824 yds (21” round – prone)

Target 5 – 491 yds (10” round – left tank)


Summary:  This was a difficult stage because it forced you to think about the sequence you had to shoot the stage while doing your stage planning as well.  Since the entire squad only had 1 minute for stage prep (where they could look at the props and plan), you didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for this stage.  The variety of props presents a challenge to determine what gear to use, since there was quite a range of positions from prone, kneeling/sitting and standing.


Some pictures of our team shooting this stage (left to right positions are  1. Tank trap  2. Prone 3. In the tree branch   4. On the lower tree branch and  5. The Right Tank Trap):

Lewie getting ready to start stage Shooter's Choice

Lewie on Shooters Choice

Lewie Shooting the "Shooter's Choice" stage

 4. Shadow Tech – Tripod Challenge

Stage Description:  Shooter may stage their rifle on their tripod if desired, but rifle shall be pointed “in the direction” of Target 12 (3rd target). If Shooter does not stage rifle, the shooter will start port arms. At start command shooter moves into position within arm’s reach of green stake and engages each target with 2 rounds, near to far from the standing position off of the tripod.

Day 1 – 2 minute par time, any and all gear allowed

Day 2 – 1 minute 30 second par time, tripod only allowed

Round Count: 10

Maximum points: 10

Target 15 – 70 yds (2” round)

Target 16 – 147 yds (4” diamond)

Target 17 – 261 yds (6” diamond)

Target 18 – 383 yds (8” diamond)

Target 19 – 705 yds (12” diamond)


Summary:  This stage was also on a slope, with the first target at a very steep angle down in the gully directly below the shooter.  This required a high amount of angle for the first target which was also closer than most people’s zero range (typically 100 yards).  This meant dialing below your zero if your zero-stop allowed, or holding above your crosshairs in the scope’s reticle.  Then you had to transition up the slope to engage the remaining targets, ending with the final target which was atop a very far ridge.  The targets on this stage were difficult to find, so some people timed out because they couldn’t spot the targets.  Keeping your magnification on a lower power and managing your position behind the tripod were the two most importing considerations for this stage.  My Feisol tripod was fitted with a leveling base which didn’t work for this stage as the angle change was greater than allowed by the base, so I borrowed Scott’s Feisol which had a standard ballhead.


Some pictures of our team shooting this stage:

 Scotty shooting the stage "Tripod Challenge"

 stage Tripod Challenge


Team performance at the match:

Scott DeCapio 10th place

Fred Barton 21st place

Kevin Umlauf 38th place

Lewie Smith 66th place