June 2020 Newsletter


As you may know we are on leased BLM land, therefore we are following state mandates for COVID. As we entered Oregon’s phase 1 status, we now are allowing small groups of 25 or less to have activities at the COSSA. Once we get to phase 2, we will be able to increase that to groups of 100 or less. Hopefully, Deschutes county will be at phase 2 in the next 30 days.

Meanwhile we continue to make changes to keep our membership happy and growing. The board requires all new members to complete an orientation. With COVID we have not been able to do in person orientation, but last month I created an online orientation. This new online system has allowed over 80 new members! The new online orientation takes about 15-20 minutes. In the future, we want to have all members complete the orientation as they renew their membership.

The orientation helps keep our members updated on the safety rules on the range as the range does change. One reoccurring issue we are having is members shooting steel targets in pistol bays. The pistol bays are not long enough to shoot rifle caliber rounds at steel. Not only is this unsafe, but we have had three targets damaged. Another issue we have is members using the plastic barrels for targets and people using the safety tables as bench rests.

In earlier newsletters I announced we were suspending any major improvements until COSSA knew the financial impact of COVID. With the increase in membership we may consider continuing some of the smaller projects. You may have noticed a lot of work being done at the Great Buffalo basin area, this is great work being done but it’s being paid for by the discipline, not with COSSA funds. Several of the disciplines do their own improvements to their areas.


1. Speed limit- 15 MPH to keep dust down and save roads

2. Shotgun shooters-do not put clay bird empty boxes in the trash/hull barrels. Flatten and put into the white horse trailer.

3. Shotgun shooters-cover throwers when finished.

4. Do not move gong pistol targets from bays 3 & 15.


Mild Steel Targets And You…

Guess what happens when you are standing closer than 50 yards from a steel target and shoot it with a high-velocity rifle cartridge?

If it is mild-steel, designed for pistol and revolver, lead rounds, (usually loaded at less-than maximum values) high-velocity damage (the above) is the result. Also, shrapnel from both the target and the bullet jacket has a wicked way of coming right back to haunt you resulting in a few extra holes in your body that I am sure you don’t want.

This target was left for pistol shooters at Bay Three awhile back. Recently, some irresponsible, selfish and ignorant shooter broke our rules, firing a high velocity weapon at less that 50 yards and punched all kinds of holes in it, both damaging the target and making it useless for other more responsible shooters, Makes you wonder about some people being able to own weapons, doesn't it?

In another case recently, COSSA experienced damages to targets belonging to one of the disciplines. The backstory is that there was a shoot scheduled for early the next day, and a club member set the targets out the night before. He was camping at COSSA that night and heard some shots fired that sounded close to where he had set the targets.

By the time he got to the Bay where they we set, he saw a vehicle departing and found the above damage. We were able to ID the shooter(s) via our video camera system and asked them to make reparations. Since club rules were violated (damage to targets, close-in shooting, wrong caliber weapon in a Bay designated for pistol-caliber cartridges only, etc., etc.) the violators were asked to pay for new targets and risked having their COSSA membership restricted or revoked.

Steel targets may be fired upon with any weapon on the Gong range, the sight in range and Bay 18. All others have mild steel or pistol only rated targets or on Bays with less than 50 yards between the shooter and the target.

Please be aware of the damage you can cause by shooting the wrong targets with the wrong weapons. REMEMBER the basic rules about knowing your target: what’s behind it, what’s on each side and what is in front of it.

Most of all, be responsible for the weapon you hold and know what damage it can cause if used inappropriately.

Remember, once a round has been fired, it cannot be called back. You and only you, are responsible for every shot you fire.


The work party for June has been moved up a week to June 10. There have been no work parties for the last several months and the range needs a general cleanup. That will be the main emphasis of this work party. The fire season is expected to be early this year and we will want to clean up around all of our buildings. If you have a lawn mower or weed whacker bring it along.

Due to the Governor’s edict on social distancing we will set up tables in the old training center and in the new one for our lunch break. If you choose, you may eat lunch in your vehicle. If so, make sure you sign in on the work list.


On the morning of June 25, 1876, General Custer led his men against a combined force of Sioux, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho. Some of these Indians had recently fought General Crook's soldiers to a standstill at the Battle Where the Girl Saved Her Brother (Battle of the Rosebud), little more than a week before.

We will also discuss the curious case of Frank Finkel, of the 7th Cavalry.

This was an interesting time in firearms history with many different types of weapons represented. On the Indians' side, the bow and arrow, the lance, the tomahawk and war club were employed alongside warriors armed with flintlock, percussion rifles, "Trapdoor" carbines, Winchester repeaters and Colt single-actions. Soldiers were armed with the latest Trapdoors, Colts and their own guns.

A total of 2,361 cartridges, cases and bullets have been recovered from the fight. Archaeologists have identified 45 different firearms types on the battlefield and 371 individual guns.

On August 13, at the COSSA membership meeting, we will hold a display of the guns used at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, at a place the Indians called the Greasy Grass. Plan to be at this meeting and please bring guns that are representative of the guns used in the historic battle. Both replicas and originals guns are welcome.


Over The Counter Mule Deer Tags

By Gary Lewis

There was a time when a hunter could buy a deer tag the day before the season and go hunting the next day. Those days are gone. Or are they? In fact, an Oregon hunter can buy a Western Oregon general season deer tag and hunt for most of October without applying for the privilege.

To hunt mule deer in Oregon is a bit more complicated, but at least four states offer a nonresident the opportunity to buy an over-the-counter tag. Here is a synopsis.

IDAHO – Resident and nonresident tags are available on a first come, first served basis. Some units have quotas. Apply after December 1 for the coming year. https://idfg.idaho.gov/tag/otc RATING: GOOD

ARIZONA – No drawing is required to hunt mule deer with non-permit OTC archery tags in parts of Arizona. https://www.azgfd.com/hunting/nonpermitotctags/ RATING: FAIR

WASHINGTON – Nonresident hunters purchasing a license over the counter must specify intent to hunt with modern firearm, bow and arrow or muzzleloader. OTC tags may be used for mule deer, blacktail or whitetail. RATING: FAIR

NEBRASKA – Much of Nebraska’s mule deer country is available to hunt with over the counter tags. Youth permits cost $8. RATING: EXCELLENT

Gary Lewis with an eastern Washington mule deer taken on private land

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