August was a reasonably quiet month at the range from a shooting perspective, with only two shooting days. An Interbranch Centrefire Competition, followed by a general took place on the 9th and the Rimfire Aggregate Competition number two was held during the morning of the 23rd, again followed by general practice in the afternoon. I am pleased to be able to say both competitions were again well attended.
The working bee on the 30th was also well attended, with ten branch members carrying out a host of maintenance jobs around the range. I thank you all and would also like to extend our thanks to the scouts, who assisted us greatly. They did valuable work in maintaining our recent native plantings, which of late had begun to be somewhat overgrown. All is now looking spick and span in that area. The working bee was, as always, followed by a provided lunch and much needed liquid refreshment. Again many thanks to all who lent a hand.
Mark Blackie and I attended the National Conference as branch representatives during the weekend of 16/17 July. Bob McMillan and Gavin Hull joined us as observers. As mentioned in my last report, the theme of the conference was growing the business. There were presentations from COLFO, DOC and Alex Gale amongst others, followed by the election of officers. Please see the conference recollections section of this newsletter for details of the conference events. One item of particular significance, the Hunting and Wildlife magazine will be changing format to become digital, rather than printed soon. The reason being the magazine has become too expensive to produce. Our congratulations to Bob McMillan who was nominated by the branch to stand as one of two North Island NATEX representatives and was duly elected.
Range maintenance has become a priority of late. We have been advised that the 100/200m butts are in need of restoration, and at the same time need to be raised to a higher elevation. The requested modifications are sensible and work is currently under way to achieve them. With luck all will be completed in time for the next range day, which is the Debbie Harlow competition shoot on Sunday the 20th August. In addition to the above-mentioned works, moving forward there will be some minor changes made to range shooting controls. These will be communicated in due course.
The members evening on Wednesday 9th August will be a ‘Bring and Tell’ event. The more of you who are able to come along with interesting and exotic items, the more interesting and entertaining the evening will be. I will look forward to seeing you there.
To those of you willing the brave the weather at this time of the year and get out there hunting, I wish you the very best of luck.