Our trips up to the family campsite usually are very predictable. We arrive, the adults scurry about setting up camp, the kids hop on the 4-wheelers or plink pop cans with their BB guns, we eat way too much, rinse and repeat. Same stuff, done that, yada yada, what ever. No story here.
Our Labor Day trip this year started out that way but soon became much more interesting, featuring an encroaching raccoon, a ventilated zombie, two packing nieces, two apprentice snipers, exploding pop bottles, rowdy neighbors and a passing black bear.
On Friday night after camp had been set up, the 4-wheelers well ridden and the pop cans duly plinked we were all relaxing and sitting around the camp fire when a young raccoon strolls into camp. The kids were all "lets pet him" while the adults were all thinking "RABIES!!!!." I jumped up and put a lawn chair between us and the critter, fully expecting him to attack, but he seemed more puzzled than aggressive so I backed him away from camp and tried, several times, to non-violently convince him that this was no place for him. Yelling and waving arms got him moving in the right direction but as soon as we stopped harassing him he'd wander back into camp. We even pressed one of the kid's Red Ryders into service and stung him on the butt with a few BB's but he still came back. Finally, we lassoed him and hustled him off about a half mile from camp which proved to finally do the trick.
On Saturday my two nieces (17 & 23) tested out their new pistols (40 S&W and a 9 mill) while the little ones tried out an new AR style .22. Check out the hole in that target. For youngun's they did real well.
Our camp is plunked in the middle of about 1000 acres of federal land so normally we have the area to ourselves, but that evening some partiers parked about 1/4 mile away from us and began, somewhat noisily, to commune with nature, although I strongly suspect there was also considerable communing with alcoholic beverages as well. Around 10PM we noticed them driving up the two track while shining a search light toward us into the forest. Needless to say, that caught our attention and after they'd (apparently) left the area we stayed alert for more shenanigans. It wasn't long before we heard twigs snapping out in the woods near camp. I grabbed one of our trillion candle power lights and moving into the woods, shone it toward where we'd last heard the sound. I fully expected to see a deer or one of our neighbors drunkenly sneaking up on the camp but was surprised to see a large black bear looking back at me about 75 yards away. Right then I heard behind me the familiar "snick" of a 9MM pistol being loaded and turned to see both my nieces locked and loaded and ready to rumble. Yogi ambled off into the forest in search of less well defended pickinick baskets but the pistols and a rifle or two didn't get put away until we all went to bed. Apparently our rowdy neighbors had also seen the bear and headed off for safer drinking digs.
No bear pictures but this is me with my niece's 9 mil *attempting* to look dangerous:
On Sunday we tried out a new way to keep target shooting interesting. Just drill a ½” hole in a pop bottle cap, insert an automotive valve stem then pump the bottle up to 110 lbs pressure with a high pressure bicycle pump. Set the thing 25 yards away and shoot with a pellet gun or .22 and get a very satisfying BOOM! Way cheaper than Tannerite.
My little niece hamming it up.
Later on, a zombie passed too close to camp and was pretty well shot up by the youngsters (7 & 9).
All told, a memorable weekend!