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Off Season August 2022
Gerhard Schroeder  

It began with Steve back in April asking if I wanted a pallet his neighbor came up with. Sure! Taking the thing apart with hammer, crowbar and primarily hacksaw was a half hour exercise. Now, what to do with the 1x6 boards and 2x4s? Build another shooting table, of course.

Using sections of 2x4s as the end crossmembers and 5 of the boards easily formed the shooting platform. Three 2x4s were left over for the legs. But how to attach them this time? That answer came when David offered short sections of ½” square tubing. I cut those tube sections and built a small jig, then had him weld up 6 brackets to each form an angle of approximately 130 degrees. Each leg got two attachment brackets.

Near New River #1 I had found and prepared an ambush site. I carried the table and legs before permanently installing them there. Pictured is the setup.

Once assembled, I’ve left table, chair (an $8 purchase from Walmart) and front rest at the location, hidden by trees and some dead branches. Front rest was built from what was left over from the 5 boards. I can easily put my hand under it to move its position on the table.

Close-up of the leg brackets shown below:

From my NR#1 spot the view is primarily west, but both the south and north offer plenty of hunting / shooting terrain. The hill and trees behind me provide morning shade until it gets too warm anyway.

That shooting table, by the way, turned out to be very stable despite the 3-leg design. Also, out there on nature’s terrain, three legs are leveled every time you set the thing down. I can make up for quite a bit of table tilt with front and rear rest, no matter what direction the tilt. Just to be clear, each spot did require a visit with the pickax, and some good workout to level the area for the chair and table at least somewhat.

During my first Ansitz (sitting session) only one jackrabbit showed up. At 180 yds it was still a challenging shot with the Ruger 300 BLK and subsonic fodder.

Those lazy morning hours, where I only need to bring gun, ammo, rear rest and lightweight sandbags provide an escape from the city, with plenty of practice in glassing, and the occasional shot off the table. By the way, I would like to also leave the home-made bags. Did that for a month during last year’s deer hunt, and some darn rodent loved gnawing on those bags, a lot!

The real test came minutes into my second Ansitz there. A coyote showed up, at what turned out to be 150 yds. But my table was pointing elsewhere. However, I could lift up the table with everything on it, while remaining in the chair, and turn all in the needed direction, a good 90 degrees.

Immediately after my Tikka 243 hissed, and the yote went from walking to dropping. Meaning, lifting, turning and setting down that table also happened quietly.

To say it again, hunting off such tables provides the sturdiest shooting support, allows things like binos, range finder or a second magazine to be quickly at hand, steadies the elbows while glassing and of course presents the rifle in the ready position. And recoil management allows me almost always to see how the critter reacts to the shot.

Meanwhile Steve called again. Neighbor had another pallet. Yeah, I want it! Got me 6 more brackets, too. But this pallet was of the plywood configuration. I built another table from it anyway, after purchasing ‘purple’ legs at Home Depot. This table turned out noticeably less sturdy, but still usable. It now resides near NR #2.

That spot provides slightly different terrain to overlook. Trouble is that the view is north-easterly, almost right into the rising sun, and of course with less shade than my NR#1 spot. But it has produced. That was with the subsonic 300 BLK again, second shot at 245 yds. Promised myself that I would not shoot subsonics that far again because the terminal performance was like that of an FMJ. It had gone through diagonally, but the jack kicked for too long.

As time moved towards the end of May the sun factor became more of a challenge. So one morning I explored yet a third area near New River, with primary view to the west. Sure enough, I found something to my liking, again with elevation, looking down on a lot of desert. The morning view is pictured below.

That is serious 6.5 PRC country. So, Steve, buddy buddy, no rush, but I sure would like another good pallet.

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