Trick or Treat? Tomorrow is Halloween 2015, but the National Rifle Association got a jump start on the popular holiday. This week′s episode of ″NRA All Access″, which airs on the Outdoor Channel, took viewers to a Zombie Apocalypse. Host Jessie Duff, one hot lady who happens to be a world champion shooter, went to Grand Island, Nebraska. There, the Hornady 3-Gun Zombie Pandemic was held at the Heartland Public Shooting Park. Hornady is among the top ammunition manufacturers and sponsors many 3-Gun shooting tournaments. At this ghoulish event, the company even produced special ′Zombie Max′ loads in many favorite calibers. Just the sort of thing a Doomsday Prepper needs when prepping for the Zombie Apocalypse! The episode also included an excellent segment on the continuing fight to open federal, public lands to hunters and other sportsmen. So let′s hit the 7-Yard Line and get us zombies!

For Liberal readers who are clueless about 3-Gun tournaments, here is a basic primer. 3-Gun tournaments come in several varieties. Basically, you run a course where you demonstrate your proficiency with pistols, shotguns and rifles. Various obstacles are placed in your way and your ′run′ is timed. Misses add to your clock time. Some tournaments force all shooters to use the same weapons, others allow you to bring and fire your own. In the case of Cowboy 3-Gun tournaments, participants use firearms from the days of the Old West, like Colt revolvers, double-barrel scatterguns and level-action rifles. Tournaments are usually sponsored by some manufacturers and offer trophies and cash prizes to those with the best times scored.

The courses themselves are divided into various types of ′firing stations′. These are to simulate actual ′field conditions′, such as shooting from behind a car door, through a window or from around the corner of a building. At each station you must hit a number of targets before moving on to the next station. At some events, you may be required to reload your weapons. Shooting distances tend to be about 7-yards for pistol targets, 10-15 yards for shotguns and usually at least 25 yards for rifle targets. Between racing against the clock and variations during each round of an event, shooters undergo plenty of stress and excitement as the bullets fly.

Typically, the TV show, ″NRA All Access″, usually features Jessie Duff appearing with a representative of some manufacturer as they test out some new product. Typically a new model of firearm, or optic system, laser sight, holster, or other accessory. Or Jessie will meet with another shooting expert and demonstrate gun safety, or shooting stance, or some technical feature, like changing triggers and adjusting the trigger pull.

But this episode was like watching ″The Walking Dead″! The first two segments were done as a ′narrative′, mixing in various news footage with reenactments. ″The cities fell first. Their glass and concrete canyons filling with the mindless river of the undead. Zombies shuffling in a slow, relentless current until humans were swept away.″ Sound like fun?

Many of those attending the event were in full zombie costume, ready to go trick-or-treating! But instead of passing out candy, people were passing out ammunition! Zombie pandemic 2015 was the fourth edition of this now annual event. Hornady Marketing Director, Neil Davies, said in 2014, ″Shooters are encouraged to bring their ARs, AKs, shotguns, pistols and all the high capacity magazines they can carry, because this event will test their skills.″

The 3-day event cost $325.00 to register for. There were 10 competitive stages as well as 5 ′sidematch′ stages. The price of admission includes lunch everyday, plus a gift bag. Gotta have that swag! Participants also get to play with a full-auto weapon. In 2014, the prize table had some $250,000 worth of goodies! As Jessie Duff found out, some of the targets presented were explosive! Pistol targets ranged at distances from 1 to 15 yards, shotguns were from 10 to 20 yards and rifle targets were from 1 to 200 yards. Registration begins in early April and the ″Zombies in the Heartland″ event is held at the end of May. Amateurs are welcome to participate in a ″run what ya brung″ division. So mark your calendars if you feel like shooting some zombies in 2016! Fun the whole family!