Five volunteers from Trash No Land and WaGuns.org website forum, joined in on a random grassroots effort to help improve the recreational shooting sports at the Triangle Pit in the Capitol State Forest, Saturday, August 15th.
Our plan was to talk with target shooters, as they were on their way to target practice, and hand out information about shooting on public lands. It was to be a hot day and we expected this gravel pit to be very busy.
We were all set up and ready for the 9 AM opening of the pit, when a Forester drove up with a sign in hand. "You're not going like this", he said. He showed me the sign that said "Shooting temporarily prohibited due to fire danger". It was like pulling the trigger on a fire extinguisher trying to put out our flame! But it didn't work. We stuck to our guns. (Yes, pun intended!)
We decided to stay because people may come to shoot and be just as surprised as we were. So we moved up next to the road and prepared for some disappointed faces.
As it turned out, we had a busy morning of visiting one-on-one with many shooters. We handed out the DNR rules (WAC laws) for public land shooting, Trash No Land information flyers, WaGuns cards and offered a hot cup of coffee. Many recreational target shooters heard our message of being responsible, cleaning up and helping save good places to shoot.
Perhaps the most fun, and most informative, part of the day was a visit with DNR Police officer J. Bodine. He shared his experiences of everyday life as an enforcement officer and his love for the Capitol Forest since childhood. I can see he is a real asset to WA DNR and also to the sport shooting community.
Our message got delivered after all. Many shooters are now better informed and we hope they will help spread the message of responsible recreation. Thank you to all who helped, shared and listened.