August 2020 Newsletter


As we are growing in membership and have many new, first time shooters, the COSSA Safety Committee will recommend to the Board of Directors changes in how we shoot steel targets. After careful review of the many organizations, to include the NRA, The U. S. Army, and other large-scale shooting clubs and institutions, the predominant result is “10/100”.

When shooting steel targets:

10 yards minimum distance for pistol, revolver, and pistol caliber rifles,

100 yards minimum distance for all rifle calibers, except .50 BMG= 300 yards.

If adopted by the board, the COSSA Policy manual and membership guide will reflect the new standards of minimum engagement distances.

This is done in the interest of shooter safety and target protection.


We had our first work party in several months on July 15. The members that showed up had not forgotten how to do good work. There was a great team working on cleaning out the cattle guard at the old West gate. They pulled the grate and cleaned out all of the dirt that has accumulated over the last few years. The last big rainstorm completely covered the cattle guard and it needed to be cleaned. The roof for the area between two of the Conexus had been ordered and that area was cleaned out in anticipation of the roof arriving. The roof arrived on the 28th of July and we will be looking for volunteers to put it up. The usual crew that picks up the garbage was on hand for that and got that accomplished early.

The main problem that presents itself on any of our work party days is cleanup. If the members would clean up after themselves it would make it easier on the volunteers and make the range look much better.

Those members that attended the July work party were: Roy Shirakata, Denny Jones, David Sweet, Rick Williams, Ed Moore, Mike Conley, Michael Brody, Fred Newton, Frans Hager, Ted Anderson and Bill Lewis.


As you know, each year at renewal we mail out a new member card with the updated expiration date. Recently there has been an increasing amount of mail returned to us as wrong address. Please let us know if you have a change in address. You can send e-mail to treasurer@cossapark.com


Message from FNRA: We are very sad to announce that we will not be able to have the 2020 High Desert Friends of NRA Banquet and Auction. But we are excited to offer an online auction for many of the exciting and unique items you expect at the event…including firearms! We will share this online information with you very soon…please watch for a follow-up information.


It has been noticed through our camera system that more vehicles are parking in the turnaround by the keypad. If a member is taking in a guest and meets them at the gate, it is okay for the guest to follow through the gate after the member. However, be aware that if the gate starts to move before both vehicles are through the gate, the vehicle that is not through the gate must stop. The gate will close on the vehicle and then open again to allow the vehicle to make it through. If the vehicle does not stop and damages the gate, that person must pay for the gate repair. If the gate closes and bumps the vehicle, it will not damage the vehicle.


Treasurer - Donna Hines - treasurer@cossapark.com

(Invoices may come from Donna@bkptaxservice.com)

- Membership status, renewal dates, gate card issues, invoicing

Membership Coordinator - Tami Chapin - membership@cossapark.com

- Becoming a member, orientation


The BLM requires COSSA to report to them how many people are using the facilities. This means that ALL members and guests that enter COSSA Park are required to sign in. This means that all members must activate the gate by entering their member number or using their flash card and this will sign the member in. There will be times that a member will arrive at the gate and the gate will already be open. This may be due to work being done on the range or because another member just passed through the gate and the gate was still open. Members must still stop at the key pad and enter their code. This will keep a proper count of the range usage for the BLM records.


The Lady Hawks Discipline is up and running. Shooters should be able to sign up via the LH page. August session is taking registrations now. We have reached full capacity each session so far. Questions: Call Michael Boyd at 541 233-8009 or email at ladyhawksmail@gmail.com


People seem to have a problem getting through the gate. We have had another problem with someone running into the gate. The gate is fully open for 11 seconds and we have had many large trucks get through with no problem. However, it seems that small cars are not able to get through. Anyone entering through the gate needs to be alert to the gate moving. One you enter your code or flash you card, the gate should start to open within seconds. The gate will open fully and remain open for 11 seconds before it starts to close. You must move through the gate but watch the gate to see if it moves. If you see the gate start to move, do not speed up to get through, STOP. The gate will open until it strikes your vehicle and then stop and back up to full open again. The gate end is covered with foam rubber and will not hurt your vehicle. Simply wait until it starts backing up and drive through. If you speed up the gate can catch on your bumper or anything you are pulling and that will destroy the gate and your bumper. REMEMBER YOU DAMAGE GATE AND YOU PAY FOR ANY REPAIRS. A new gate will cost up to $500.00 plus any damage caused to the gate opener.


Hunting small game with the 32-caliber Crockett rifle

By: Gary Lewis

Traditions are handed down at rendezvous and taught on the trail. A lot in this sport we call muzzle loading gets passed from one generation to the next. You can learn it from a book, but the best way is to stand alongside someone who has done it before.

I learned how to cast my own lead round balls from a couple of old-timers named Chisel and Finney. They in turn learned it from their father. In fact, it was their father I turned to when I couldn't find 32-caliber round balls in our local sporting goods stores.

"Chisel and Finney could teach you," their old man said. Since the state doesn't allow people their age to drive, I had to go across town to where Chisel (then 11) and Finney (aged 9) already had the lead melting operation going full speed.

I put my offerings before them - old rifle and pistol bullets and a few used fishing weights. We turned the old lead into shiny new spheres and talked about critters and 1840s technology.

Lead shimmered in the pot at 622 degrees. Finney demonstrated how to pour the lead, how long to let it cool. Chisel showed me how to knock the balls out onto a damp cloth. Minutes later I was casting my own projectiles under the watchful eye of a couple of pre-teens.

On a spring-like February day, I loaded my possibles bag with pre-measured charges, cloth patches, a patch knife, caps and about a hundred newly minted balls.

East of the mountains, the rock chucks and ground squirrels were still fast asleep, but on the West side, wherever the sun warmed the slopes, I might find a greydigger.

The first bushytail flickered across the road.

We call them bushytails, greydiggers or simply diggers, critters that - nose to tail - measure anywhere from 12 to 16 inches long. They make their homes in dens in the ground, living in small groups and in great colonies.

For the muzzleloader hunter, the greydigger can provide great sport from early spring into October.

Greydiggers can be found up and down the west side of the state from the slopes of the Cascades into the Coast Range.

Because of the rodent's enthusiasm for excavation, landowners are often pleased to let a hunter roam their properties with long gun in hand. From the right stand, a hunter with a single-shot front stuffer can put a dent in a population of squirrels.

The area I hunted had been swept by a forest fire less than two years before.

I walked and stopped for long minutes. No flicker of tail, no rapid ducking down a hole betrayed a rodent's presence.

Then down in a wedge between two canyons, I saw the shine of an eye through the boughs of an oak. I waited and watched as it inched out of cover to stand next to its hole. I eared back the hammer, squeezed the set and stroked the trigger. When the smoke cleared, the squirrel was still there, unscathed. As I started to reload, he scampered down the hole.

Back at camp I spotted another, this one in the shade deep inside the limbs of a fallen, burned-out tree. With the front sight blade held low on the body, I squeezed.

When the smoke cleared, I saw my prize stretched out on the ground, done in by a shiny round ball. I'm sure Chisel and Finney would have liked to have been there to see our handiwork in action, but they had schoolwork to do. Some things, I guess, must be learned from books.

For a chance to win prizes and to sign up for a free subscription to Gary Lewis' On the Trail newsletter, visit www.GaryLewisOutdoors.com


BP 223 - There's no doubt many a hungry pioneer made a meal out of a ground squirrel. It's hard to think of a better target for building patience and refining a steady shot. Today the greydigger can provide sport for a hunter with a long gun. It's good practice against starvin' times. Photo by Gary Lewis


It is that time of year again and fire season is in full swing. Our fire waiver is in effect as of July 27, 2020. The BLM may revoke this waiver at any time. The following fire rules are in effect at the range:

1. Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires, and warming fires. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottle fuels are allowed.

2. Camping and Parking of Vehicles only allowed in designated areas.

3. Generally, no personal ATVs or vehicle travel outside main roads or designated area. On large COSSA events up to 4 ATVs and up to 10 golf carts may be used.

4. Personal generators are allowed but must be contained in an elevated metal fire pan.

5. Commercial generator is allowed if the area of operation is cleared of vegetation.

6. With our tanked fire trailers COSSA shall on site and readily available an ample means to move them to where they are needed in the event of a fire when events are occurring.

7. NOTIFY Central Oregon Dispatch at 541-316-7700 a week ahead of when a large event will be occurring.

8. One shovel not less than 26 inches on length overall, with a blade not less than eight inches wide and axe with a head not less than two lbs., at each event.

9. No smoking unless you are inside your vehicle. This is always a COSSA rule and is even more important now.


Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads.

Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except in designated areas. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed. Open fires are allowed if conducted in compliance with a valid Burning Permit issued pursuant to ORS 477.515.

Chainsaw use is prohibited, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Chainsaw use is permitted at all other hours, if the following firefighting equipment is present with each operating saw: one axe, one shovel, and one operational 8 ounce or larger fire extinguisher. In addition, a fire watch is required at least one hour following the use of each saw.

Cutting, grinding, and welding of metal is prohibited between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. At all other times, the area is to be cleared of flammable vegetation and the following fire equipment is required: one axe, one shovel, and one operational 2 ½ pound or larger fire extinguisher in good working order.

Use of motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all – terrain vehicles are prohibited, except on improved roads and except for vehicle use by a landowner and employees of the landowner upon their own land while conducting activities associated with their livelihood.

Possession of the following firefighting equipment is required while traveling in a motorized vehicle, except on federal and state highways, county roads and driveways: one shovel and one gallon of water or one operational 2½ pound or larger fire extinguisher, except all - terrain vehicles and motorcycles which must be equipped with an approved spark arrestor in good working condition.

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