Papa Dave and I headed out before sun-up Wednesday for the US Open in Sparta Illinois. The US Open is held at the World Shooting Complex and this place is impressive, if I remember correctly from last year it sits on about 1600 acres, has 1000 RV hook-ups, 3 miles of Trap fields, Skeet, Sporting Clays and a 12 stage Cowboy area.
We arrived about 15 minutes before the rain so we checked in for the Open and the Indoor Wax Bullet World Championship, then we headed back into Sparta (10 minutes from the range) to check into our Bunkhouse.
Papa Dave went to a class on CD Tom's match scoring program and since the rain had stopped I headed over to the Cowboy range for some Side Matches. I shot the usual speed (not much speed for me) matches and I tried to shoot rifle targets off a mechanical horse (the kind that used to be in front of the Drug Store), John Wayne made it look a lot easier than it was.
After the side matches we took a few minutes to walk and check out the stages (yes I know we are "Gamers") before heading across town to chow down on some fine ribs. We had dinner with Fast Eddie, Witch Doctor, Pig Iron Lane, Tuco Forsyth and Hikes Point Hawk.
Thursday we shot the late shift so we had lots of time to check out vendors and watch a little of the Indoor World Championship. Our rotation started at 2pm and it was mid 90's and 100 % humidity. This was the one time I was glad we were only shooting 4 stages a day. We had a couple on our posse that were about ready to quit when a cloud came up made it bearable for a little while.
Slick McClade was our Posse Marshall and if I had a choice I'd choose to be on his Posse anytime. Wilbur Green Rexroat was his Deputy, we also had Abe Cross, Darby, Frenchy Youkon, High Brass, Horrible Hogan, JD Bullet, John Greywolf, Little Mama, Lonesome AL, Oliver Loving, Papa Dave, Phillie Boy, Randy Saint Eagle, Rose Louise Reasoner, Shorty Norton and Yee Haw. We finished the first 4 stages, packed up and by the time we drove 1/4 mile to the Vendor Mall it was raining.
After the first day of shooting we had a Pot Luck Cook-out followed by Side-Match awards and some door prizes. Then we had to make an important side trip on the way back to the bunkhouse, the DQ for ice cream. The Holiday Inn Express in Sparta is not cheap but they put out a great spread for breakfast and it's 7 minutes from the range.
Friday we shot midday so we checked out the vendors and the trap range before time to shoot. We had better weather, it was still hot but compared to Thursday it was pleasant. The stages went well and we were finished before 2 so we had some ice cream made with an old John Deere "Hit and Miss" engine by the local Farm Bureau and you can't buy anything that good out of a store. After cooling off we headed to the main complex to shoot the wax bullet Indoor World Championship. It was a pretty slow go but it was a ball to watch and do.
We finished the indoor match just in time to head to the Shotgun Shoot Out. I think we had more fun at this than anything we've ever done at a match. You started with two shooters, against opposite walls of a Trap field, shotguns staged on tables near the shooters. You had 8 stationary clay birds on stands at various distances on each side. Shooters started moving toward a table in the center breaking clays on the way. Your last 2 stationary birds had to be shot from the center table, then you pushed a button on the table and 2 birds were thrown. The first shooter to break all 8 stationary and 1 aerial bird won and moved on to the next round. We got the first rounds in before another storm blew in and ran us off the range.
Saturday morning we had to roll out early as our first round went down range at 8am. Saturday was my worst day as I had a single miss on each of the first 3 stages, but Papa Dave shot really well and closed out strong. I shot the last stage well. All the stages were interesting and we had lots of movement so you didn't get bored. Saturday's weather was perfect. We were blessed to avoid all the bad weather while shooting.
After getting some lunch we teamed up with Shamrock Sadie and Knot Hardly Dunn and headed to the Shotgun Flurry. 4 shooters shoot at 30 birds thrown by 3 trap machines and they count the birds that hit the ground unbroken, our team let 7 get away and we were pretty proud of that, but the winning team only let 4 by them. Next we headed to the Shotgun Shoot Out Final, Papa Dave and I shot against each other, I think it's no surprise Papa Dave beat me and got into the final. Papa had some shells hang up and Dusty Darrell won. Slick's Sharp Shooter and Shamrock Sadie made the ladies shoot off and I must be getting old, I can't remember who won.
Next we headed to the Indoor World Championship Shoot Off and it was a hoot, I took several videos of the final so you can see for yourself. After the shoot off we headed to the Vendor Mall for the Chicken N Beer Bash and the Outlaw Entertainment Party, what a way to close out a busy day.
Sunday morning started with what must be the hardest working Cowboy in SASS, Mose Spencer, preaching for Cowboy Church. Not only does Mose know how to run a great match and party he had an excellent lesson. After church we were treated to the World Shooting Complex Breakfast Pig Out Buffet. Once we were too full to hardly move, we headed to the next room for the Awards Ceremony. By this time Mose could hardly talk, so Ringo "by Gawd" Fire handled most of the MC duties. It was a Dooley Gang inspired rapid fire presentation. Sugah took photos of all the winners.
Top Gun of the match was Prestidigitator, followed by Shell Stuffer, Duke Skywalker, Cowboy Carty, Roys Creek Dan, 6th Overall was Missouri Lefty (a Buckaroo), then Copperhead Joe, Fast Eddie, Frisco Red and Ol Short Tom rounded out the Top 10.
Shamrock Sadie was the \Ladies Top Gun followed by Two Sons,Lefty Jo, Slick's Sharp Shooter and Sixgun Sallie rounded out the Ladies Top 5.
Papa Dave won the Range Boss Category at the Open and is also the new Indoor Range Boss World Champion and I finished 4th in the Duelist Category.
This was the most action packed match I've ever been to, if you haven't been, think about it for next year and check out Mose and Bella's website.
To take a look at some of the action check out my videos.
Photos By Sugah 1
Don't forget the Tennessee State Championship October 11-13, it should be the best one ever.
Tennessee State Championship
Happy Trails until we meet again.
4 years ago