The DIY Hunter


Spirit Ridge Rifle Golf

View of the parking lot, club house and sign out front of Spirit Ridge Rifle Golf.


Shooting from bench with Vortex Viper HS 4-16x44 scope

Shooting at the Driving Range with a Vortex Viper HS 4-16x44 and my Model 1885, 243 WSSM rifle.


Spirit Ridge Rifle Golf Driving Range Tagets

Targets in 100 yard increments from 300 out to 1200 yards at Spirit Ridge Rifle Golf Driving Range. The steel plates get a little larger with the next further plate.


Spirit Ridge Rifle Golf Shooting Station

One of the shooting stations on the rifle golf course.


Vortex Razor HD Spotting Scope on the Driving Range

Using a Vortex Razor HD spotting scope to view where the hits were at.


Vortex Viper Model 1885 Talley One Piece Base 243 WSSM Rifle

Sighting in my Model 1885 in 243 WSSM with the new Talley one piece base and a Vortex Viper HS 4-16x44 scope.

I really like this new base from Talley. Not only does it look great on the 1885's but it provides a very solid platform to mount your scope. If I could change anything I think a 10 or 20 MOA version would be nice to really take advantage of the accuracy and range the Model 1885 is capable of shooting.

For a department retreat this summer I had the wonderful privilege to go shoot the Spirit Ridge Rifle Golf course. What a cool retreat we had! Wonder who planted that seed into management's ear. Hmm... ;)

Spirit Ridge Rifle Golf is located on the Northern Fringe of Utah about a 75 mile drive from home. After hearing about the course and reading about the awesome Vortex Extreme Shooting Event event that Vortex Optics put on at Spirit Ridge I knew I just had to try the course.

I found that the free Strelok ballistics app for my Galaxy S3 worked great at dialing in the shots on the range. Shooting the Masters course I was shooting targets in the 300 to 900 yard range while the Classic course's targets are in the 180 to 500 yards. What I didn't realize until I started the course was that not only were the targets at much greater distances than the Classic course but also that the metal plates were much smaller... It was a challenge. But very fun all the same.

For shooting the course I shot my varmint hunting favorite rifle, a Model 1885 chambered in 243 WSSM. This rifle has been my favorite rifle at hitting small targets at long range but my long range has been capped right about the 600 yard mark. Shooting at Spirit Ridge Rifle Golf course was going to be pushing me beyond that limit. To help with going the extra distance I borrowed a Vortex Viper HS rifle scope with capped turrets but turrets that are well suited for dialing in the MOA needed to make the shot. The scope worked very well however for this rifle I do have a Vortex Viper PST 6-24x50 on order. A scope that should make the long shot even better. I have really been liking the features and quality of Vortex optics and have been in the process of switching out many of my rifle scopes.

I had worked up a very accurate 95 Gr. Berger VLD load that I used cow elk hunting this past year and also prairie dog hunting this summer. I topped the rifle off with Winchester/Talley's new one piece base, Talley rings and a Vortex Viper HS 4-16x44 scope. The rifle shot well and aside from trying to figure out the wind it was pretty much dead on at all ranges thanks to the adjustable turrets and Strelok ballistic app.

I was hoping to shoot the range with a 270 WSM and a Vortex Viper HS LR 4-16x50 scope but the scope is on order and I need to work up a 150 Gr. VLD or 150 Gr. Accubond LR load once I get the scope. Before I go up again to shoot on their course/range I'll have my 270 WSM ready.

I was also able to spend a little time on the Driving range before I shot the Masters course. The Driving Range has steel target in 100 yard increments from 300 out to 1200 yards. I really wanted to hit the 1000 yard target. I had never shot that far before and I really wanting to give it a try. I started by shooting at the 400 yards target then made a windage adjustment and went out to 800 yards. After that I dialed in the Vortex Viper HS for 1000 yards and I hit it. Way cool! You can see this action in the video on the page.

Of the fifteen of us that shot the rifle golf only two of us shot the more difficult Master's course. The other guy who shot the Master's course was using a very tactical setup with a Leupold tactical scope and a FN SPR A1a rifle in 308 Win. Although I felt like I didn't do as well as I should my 243 WSSM with 95 GR. VLD Bergers shot a 32 while the other guy shooting the 308 Win. scored a 38. My small bore rifle shot 6 strokes under the 308 Win. so I didn't think I did too bad for my first time shooting the course.

Dallen is going to have to take a trip with me to shoot on the range next time. If my knees weren't is such a horrible state I would sign Dallen and myself up to shoot the Vortex Extreme shooting event that is on Spirit Ridge's range later this month. There range is just awesome for preparing us for hunting big game and getting more comfortable with taking long shots.