October 2019 Newsletter


COSSA sits on over 600 acres with over 25 shooting bays. COSSA is the premier shooting range in the northwest, and we are a member range not a business. As a member range we need members to help maintain and build the range. We have about 1000 members but only 30-40 consistently help out. It is harder and harder to get the help we need, and the help we have is getting burnt out.

One obligation to the BLM we have is to open up the West range to the public the first Saturday of the month April through October. The Board asked the disciplines to help and take on one Saturday a year, but they can’t get volunteers. So, what do we do when no one is willing to help?

We have had the same members on the Board of Directors for years or decades. Presidents come and go because they get burnt out from the lack of help. We would welcome any member to sit in on a board meeting to see if they would like to help and bring in new ideas. We would welcome your constructive suggestions at the Board meetings or at the member meetings. We need your input and experience to run the range.

Lastly COSSA’s new website is up and going but as with everything it takes time to be perfect. I am getting several comments about the member logins. At this point you really don’t need to log in to see or do anything on the web site. As the web site progresses we made add member only areas but for now don’t worry about logging in.

Please help us keep COSSA great by getting involved and helping us.

Thanks, Kent


Due to the Oregon General deer season, no general meeting will be held in October, come see us at the November meeting.


The Fire Danger level is now at LOW and IFPL to level 1.

It looks like the fire season is over but that does not mean that we should not keep a good look out for fire danger.

It still means that our range rules and regulations are still in effect. Be safe and smart out at the range.


By Gary Lewis

For a baby steelhead, from the moment they hatch out of the gravel, they are on the menu and one of the most murderous predators is the merganser, that sharp-beaked gobbler of guppies, that executioner of alevins, that pummeler of parr, that finisher of fingerlings, that assaulter of smolts.

I had always wondered how many baby steelhead and salmon mergansers eat, but never thought to ask an expert until I talked to Jim Skaar, the manager at the Trask River fish hatchery.

Jim Skaar said a merganser can eat between half-a-pound and a pound-and-a-half of small fish per bird per day. It takes up to 900 baby steelhead to make up the daily requirement of grub for one merganser!

On a December day we slid a driftboat into a river on the Oregon Coast. Yes, we had fishing rods, but they were mostly for show. Our shotguns would see the most action this day, because there were very few fish in the river. Part of the problem? The merganser. And part of the solution? That was us.

Think about how many times we see mergansers. In spring, summer, winter and fall, they are there, on gravel bars, in back waters. And think how many times we, hunting ducks, pass up the shot on a merganser, hoping to take another mallard to fill out a limit. Perhaps in the interest of steelhead conservation, we should shoot more fish eaters.

Fisheries biologist Jim Skaar thinks so. He started hunting mergansers a couple of years ago. Fishing guide David Johnson started hunting them about the same time. Now they pass up mallards to get more mergansers.

Mergansers are a very sporting bird to hunt; fast flyers and they make good shotgunning practice. It is a fish predator we can do something about. Maybe we can't do anything about other countries intercepting our fish on the high seas. Maybe we can't kill the seals and sea lions that prey on our fish, but we can hunt mergansers.

Mergansers are managed with ducks in the migratory game bird regulations with a daily limit of seven birds and three limits in possession. Check the regulations on local waters prior to the hunt.


The September work party was pretty light. The weather was cool and the rain held off until we were finished. We were able to cut some of the large growth of weeds that were present this year because of the good rainfall we had. The garbage was picked up and it pretty much filled the trash trailer. Which was taken in a couple of days later by two volunteers, Ted Anderson and Michael Sandiford. However, I may not let them take it in again, I think they had too much fun doing it. The rain caused some problems at the old gate and the cattle guard. A ditch was put in to channel the water away from the cattle guard. The same rain caused a major washout at the West range. Denny Jones has been working on the grader and it is finally running well. Denny put a ditch in along the road near the West range to channel the water away from the gate. The usual welding repairs were made on the various gong targets and target holders. It was noticed that people are still shooting at the distance markers on the gong range. Any member that damages COSSA property can expect to loose there membership. Be sure of your target and do not shoot the signs. Those attending the work party were; Earl McKinney, Rich Fleming, Don Thomas, Ted Anderson, Michael Sandiford, Butch Helmeyer, George Williams, Mike Conley, Dennis Jones, and Bill Lewis.


Alcohol use at the range is prohibited during shooting hours. When shooting is finished and the firearms put away alcohol use is allowed within reason. However, alcoholic beverage containers are being found in the trash barrels on the range. It is not known if they were consumed while shooting or afterward. If alcoholic containers are emptied at the range please do not put them in the trash containers, take them home. If alcoholic beverage containers continue to be found on the range, steps may be taken to eliminate all alcoholic beverages at all times.


Know your target

Know your target – what’s behind it, what’s on the left and what’s on the right.

What’s going to happen when the bullet strikes? Will it bounce, ricochet, shatter, penetrate or over-penetrate?

Are you in danger when the bullet bounces back at you? How about other shooters at the bench or in the field? Are you endangering them by being over eager or afraid of missing that trophy elk? How about the other hunters in the woods or bushes behind that deer or elk?

Hunting season is here and there will be many opportunities to let bullets fly. Please be aware and know your target.

Remember, you are responsible for every shot fired. Once you pull the trigger, you cannot call that bullet back and the consequences are all on you.


The annual Sight in Clinic for the public was held September 14 & 15th. The Clinic was only held one weekend the year because of poor attendance in the past. Attendance this year was about twice as many as last year even though it was held on only one weekend. There were 31 shooters that came out and many needed help to get sighted in properly. Those members that helped out were; David Jordan, Mark Fero, Todd Rampton, Gene Allen, Doug Lowndes, Alan Ashforth, Jeremy Lewis and Bill Lewis. Thanks guys, I think you did a good job and I think many of the people you helped will be able to be successful due to your efforts.


The trading post is a benefit that we provide for our members. Each ad will run for one month and then be deleted, unless it is resubmitted. To run an ad, email content to lewis.w.l@hotmail.com by the 15th of the month


Sierra (100 count) Varminter 6mm .243 DIA 80 grain SBT Blitz #1515 26 boxes of 100 count available for purchase. $19.50/box of 100 541-390-3916 Arnie


Complete reloading equipment for someone that wants to start reloading. After 43 years of reloading most popular sizes of calibers, I am now offering my complete setup consisting of a bench with sliding doors, small vise, all Dillon RL 450 progressive press, all Dillon popular dies, trimmers, powder measures, primer pick up tubes, large and small brass primer plates, assorted primers large & small, standard & Magnum. Powders, reloading books, Dillon large tumbler, (1300 cases at once)& media remover, walnut & polishing Media, powder measure, Forrrester brass trimmer. 100’s of brass, .38 spl, l357 Mag, .45 ACP, .223 some 2000 brand new. 100’s of popular size of bullets, lead was cutters, full metal Jackets.

Contact Don Thomas deuce2@bendbroadband.com or 541-389-8284 for prices.

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