Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall

Pray for Rain

Messages posted to thread:
Jimmy Blackmon 11-Jun-18
pieman 11-Jun-18
2 bears 11-Jun-18
Orion 11-Jun-18
stikbow208 11-Jun-18
Kwikdraw 12-Jun-18
Hico 12-Jun-18
Paul Newton 12-Jun-18
Joe2Crow 12-Jun-18
chazz847 12-Jun-18
TrapperKayak 12-Jun-18
Deno 12-Jun-18
Skeets 12-Jun-18
RonG 12-Jun-18
dakotaduner 12-Jun-18
BATMAN 12-Jun-18
Burnsie 12-Jun-18
nomo 12-Jun-18
Archre167 12-Jun-18
Clydebow 12-Jun-18
Bassman 13-Jun-18
Lowcountry 13-Jun-18
Hico 14-Jun-18
Buckshot 14-Jun-18
Bassman 14-Jun-18
From: Jimmy Blackmon
Date: 11-Jun-18

Well gents, after my last post I received a few private messages. One of them was from Rick Coggins aka "Fletch." I think you will appreciate this story. If you're a shooter, you should.

By the way, I've been away for a while. I'm Jimmy Blackmon and I am a long time Leatherwaller. I guess I showed up as Ranger B around 2003 - 15 years ago. My soldiers called me Ranger B as I spent my life soldiering. I enlisted in 1986 and retired in 2016. I'm a simple kid from North Georgia that figured a few things out about shooting. I figured more out about life - that is that life is about people and relationships. Never take those for granted. I don't care how technologically advanced we become, life is and will alway be about people and relationships. I hope you enjoy.


Fellow archer and friend, Rick Coggins, shot small-bore, three- position varsity rifle in college. Rick excelled in the sport, ultimately getting to compete at the NCAA National Championships, as well as the 1980 U.S. National Championship.

Rick’s childhood hero was two-time Olympic Gold medalist, Army Lieutenant Colonel Lones Wigger. Wigger is often regarded as having been the greatest competitive rifle shooter ever to have taken aim for the United States. He made every Olympic Team from 1968 – 1980, and held or co-held 27 world records.

In 1980, Rick Coggins was not yet a classified shooter, so at the National small-bore championships, he was entered in the master class – the best of the best. At the end of day one, the results were posted.

“I was easy to find,” Rick later told me. “I was near the bottom of the class.”

The U.S. Small-bore Championships is a two-week long event. One day, Rick shot very well. In fact, he was near the top of the master class that day. As he perused the day’s results, he saw that just below his name was Lones Wigger! Rick Coggins had outshot his hero.

Later that evening, Rick sat down near the firing line to watch the sunset, still floating high after his incredible results. Lieutenant Colonel Wigger and his friends happened to walk by. Wigger saw Rick sitting alone, so he approached him.

“Hello, I’m Lones Wigger. How did you do today?”

Rick told him his score and Wigger’s buddies broke out laughing. “Hey Lones, he outshot you!” one of them said. Lieutenant Colonel Wigger sat down beside Rick and asked him who he was. The two men had a great chat. Rick was 19- years-old, and it was his first outdoor rifle shoot ever. Rick then asked Wigger if he could ask him a question.

“Sure,” Wigger said.

“What has made you such a good shooter for so many years?”

Lones Wigger smiled gently. “I pray for rain,” he said.

Wigger saw the clear confusion on Rick’s face, so he continued.

“Anyone can shoot well in good conditions,” Wigger said. “When the conditions worsen with wind, rain, or both, most shooters use the weather as an instant excuse for their poor performance. They never practice in those conditions, and so they shoot poorly. I practice in tough conditions. I know I won’t do as well as I would in ideal conditions, but I know I won’t totally fall apart. Bad weather is a great separator in competition. That’s why I pray for rain.”

Rick asked for Wigger’s autograph. Wigger obliged. All Rick had for paper was his meal card, so he signed it.

“Nice shooting - Lones Wigger.”

Rick still treasures that meal card today.

So, “Pray for rain,” became Rick Coggins’ life metaphor.

Isn’t this true? Most of us perform well on the sunny side of life. Yet, when the storms gather around us, we have an instant excuse. Adversity is almost always handled with much more grace when we have prepared for it ahead of time. May we each willingly push ourselves to discomfort, that we might thrive in the moments when we are tested.

From: pieman
Date: 11-Jun-18

Thanks for that. Food for thought.

From: 2 bears
Date: 11-Jun-18

Thanks for the fantastic story. I read about Lones Wigger a lot in his competitive days. Miss reading Ranger B but I read your writings and watch your videos on youtube.>>>-----> Ken

From: Orion Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 11-Jun-18

Good stuff. Two thumbs up.

From: stikbow208
Date: 11-Jun-18

Very good story and yes it's true (at least in my case). Your last sentence is very good advice. Thank you for posting it.

From: Kwikdraw
Date: 12-Jun-18

Thanks Jimmy! Wyatt

From: Hico
Date: 12-Jun-18

Fantastic that you are back here as I wondered where you had been!!

From: Paul Newton
Date: 12-Jun-18

Awesome story.

From: Joe2Crow
Date: 12-Jun-18

Glad I took the time to read this. Thanks for posting and welcome back.

From: chazz847
Date: 12-Jun-18

Welcome back sir!!

From: TrapperKayak
Date: 12-Jun-18

I passed this up at first, but when I finally read it, I realized what I had missed. Good lesson, thanks for posting Jimmy.

From: Deno
Date: 12-Jun-18

Great story. Welcome back sir

Lead the Way


From: Skeets
Date: 12-Jun-18

Jimmy, that could possibly be the best story and best advice I have ever read on here. Skeet

From: RonG
Date: 12-Jun-18

Thanks Jimmy, That was great.

From: dakotaduner
Date: 12-Jun-18

Thank you Jimmy. That applies to life in so many ways

From: BATMAN Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 12-Jun-18

Fascinating story! CARRY ON!

From: Burnsie
Date: 12-Jun-18

Glad I decided to click on this one.

From: nomo
Date: 12-Jun-18

Thank you Jimmy! Valuable lesson in that story. Life sure has a way of throwing some adversity our way sometimes. Just knowing to pray helps.

From: Archre167
Date: 12-Jun-18

Glad you're back. Great message

From: Clydebow
Date: 12-Jun-18

Jimmy, Hope you stay now that you're back.

From: Bassman Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member
Date: 13-Jun-18

JIM,i watch you on utube all the time. and Your videos very informative.Thank you for some valuable archery information.

From: Lowcountry
Date: 13-Jun-18

Great story! Thanks for sharing.

From: Hico
Date: 14-Jun-18

that we might thrive in the moments when we are tested. A simple guess here but I am sure that Jimmy Blackmon has been tested many times in his chosen career but came out tops anyway!

From: Buckshot
Date: 14-Jun-18

Great words. I watched some of your YouTube videos tonight. You will always be Ranger B.

From: Bassman Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member
Date: 14-Jun-18

Back in late 70,s and early 80,s i shot 4 position indoor 22, and metal silhouettes.I followed Lones Wigger back then. He shot the metal targets with a 36 power scope. The chickens were 44 meters,pig 66 meters,turkey 88 meters.ram 109 meters.Scaled down targets from the high power game.Lones shot in the mid to high 30,s shooting 40 targets with a 36 power scope offhand,which made him a master shooter,and it was a tough game.He was the man back then.I am 70 yrs old now ,and do not know if Lones is still living. I hope so. My how time flys.

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