Tuesday, July 5, 2016

EOT or Bust

Our adventure started when Dodge City Dixie and Reno Mustang left me Dixie's trailer after the June 18th match at Wartrace. Papa Dave told them they were crazy to let me have the trailer overnight (he thinks I pack a bit heavy when traveling). Papa Dave got to my house bright and early on Fathers Day morning and we got his gear packed. Dixie and Reno weren't far behind him so we transferred their guns to the trailer, hooked it to their vehicle and we were off.

We made it to Shawnee Oklahoma the first day and got a good nights sleep before heading out again. Day 2 we meet up with Dirty Nerdy and Brada Tat Tat at the Big Texan Steakhouse in Amarillo Texas for a good meal and an interesting place. Seems like about an hour or so past this you pass a huge cattle feedlot, I suggest  you have the windows rolled up and the ac on recirculate before you get there and for a while after you pass it. I'm sure it smells like money to the folks that own it but it has a different smell to me.

We had an uneventful trip and made it to the Best Western in Moriarty New Mexico after 4pm. We needed to unload our clothes out of the trailer because we leave it at the range for the week. EOT does a great job and has 24 hour security so there is no problem leaving your gear there. We got to Founders Ranch a little after 5pm, too late to check in but we were able to set up the trailer.

We saw and talked to T A Chance (Match Director) and told him we were going to walk the stages so he went into his office and got us Lassiter's (Co-Match Director) book so we could see the scenarios. After getting everything squared away and checking the stages we decided to head to Chili Hills for dinner. This was one of 4 or 5 trips there during our stay. They have good food, plenty of it, homemade pies and give SASS members a 15% discount. We also found out during our stay that the Pizza Barn has an excellent pizza and we made a couple of trips there.

Tuesday morning Dixie woke up with her eyes swelled shut so she and Reno found a Doctor nearby and had it checked out. Papa Dave and I rode to the range with Dirty Nerdy and Brada Tat Tat to check in and sign up for a midday Warm-up Match. We had time to get our gear ready and take a quick look at a few vendors before the Safety Meeting. We shot Stages 1-4 and since there was no one waiting for the stages we shot 2 and 4 twice, just changing the scenarios. Here is a video Dirty Nerdy took of me during the Warm-Up Match. Dixie and Reno made it to the range a little after noon and Dixie's eyes were open enough she could see to shoot. They shot the late wave Warm-up on stages 5-8. We also ran into Purly and Two Step Net (they were keeping their cart in the trailer so we saw them most every day) and had dinner with them. Then we had to go to the Dairy Queen for ice cream, if you want to travel with Papa Dave you'll have to make a stop or 3  at the DQ.

Wednesday morning we headed back to the range for Side Matches. Dixie's eyes seemed to still be improving but they were still pretty red with some swelling. They had a stage set up with all knockdown targets to raise money for the SASS Scholarship Fund and we each shot it a couple of times. They also had an old timey shooting gallery wagon and we tried it. We tried Speed Pistol before I ran into Lassiter and he was needing some more help so I ran the Rimfire Side Match for the last 2 hours. We walked stages 5-8 to see what we'd be shooting first and then headed to the Opening Ceremonies. They introduced many of the pards involved in making this happen and had a presentation of flags from every country represented. I should have taken notes but I think Cowgirls and Cowboys were there from at least 8 countries. This was slightly delayed by a small flood that I'm sure they were happy to get it with the Dog Head fire looming nearby.

Thursday started the Main Match Stages and we shot the late wave. Due to the rain the night before we had to get to the range early to do maintenance and last minute repairs. We got everything taken care of and went to test fire Reno's rifle and found it had a problem. After several trips back and forth to the trailer (the elevation at the range is nearly 7000 feet so it doesn't take many fast trips to see what kind of shape you're in) there was still a problem and it was time for the Safety Meeting. After the Safety Meeting we had 45 minutes till the start of our match and Reno and Brad made one last trip to the trailer and were able to get the rifle working. We were all sweating bullets when Reno shot the first stage but his rifle ran great all weekend.

We were on Posse 31 with Amaduelist as our Posse Marshall, and Blackfish Kid, Brada Tat Tat, Broken Blade, Dirty Nerdy, Dodge City Dixie, Holy Smoke Harmon, Jail Break Jake, Jersey Sue (Pecos Pav was supposed to be shooting  but ended up having to make a stay in the hospital on the way so he decide not to shoot), Lady Gator, Lightnin' Hawk, Marshall Stone, Papa Dave, Ponderosa Pete, Randy Saint Eagle, Reno Mustang, Revelator, Rocky Meadows and Wigley Down Yonder made up our entire posse. Dixie's eyes were still improving but she had a primer that didn't go off in a pistol on the very first stage. We started on Stage 7 with 4 pistol knockdowns, 4 rifle knockdowns and 4 shotgun knockdowns and it was my best stage of the day with a  20.91. Stage 6 had one of two moving targets for the match and I let Reno grab his rifle and fire a shot before realizing he hadn't activated the lever for the mover (a "P").  We finished for the day, had a Posse Picture made and just as we got back to the trailer it started to rain again.

Friday we shot the midday wave but still had to get to the range early to do maintenance and load ammo blocks we didn't get done the night before due to the rain. We shot stages 9-12 starting on 11 and it was my best stage of the match. We started at a window with the rifle in hand, shotgun staged inside the doorway, at the beep we shot a 1-2-4-2-1 in any order, restaged the rifle, ran inside the doorway and between there and the downrange table shot the 4 shotgun knockdowns, from the downrange table shot the pistols same as the rifle. I shot this in an 18.87. Dixie's eyes were still improving and Reno had a better but Papa Dave had a couple of misses. After our stages we checked out more vendors, I spent a while talking Bob Mernickle about his new HP Series holsters and shotgun belt. We then walked the final 4 stages to see what we would be doing Saturday morning.

Saturday morning we shot the early wave so we had to leave the motel before breakfast to get everything ready and be at the Stage 3 by 7:15. Stage 3 had the other moving target (a swinger) of the match. On this stage you had 2 stationary targets on either side of the swinger, 2 shotgun knockdowns on either side of the rifle targets and 5 pistol targets to the right in front of another table. You started next to a building with both hands on the lever to activate the swinger, rifle and shotgun staged on the table and pistols holstered. At the beep, activate the swinger and sweep the 5 rifle targets (which includes the swinger) then engage the swinger 5 times, shoot the 4 shotgun kd's, move past the silhouette to the other table and sweep the 5 pistol targets then put 5  on the center pistol target. This was my best stage of the day with a 21.83. I didn't realize it until I was writing this that the first stage was my best stage each day. Maybe I got nervous after the first stage?

The last day was nerve wracking for me, going into it clean and on stage 4, I jacked out a rifle round and had to reload it and on stage 2 our final stage of the match my shotgun shells split on my 2nd load and I had to throw them down and grab 2 more. I did manage to keep it together and shoot a "Clean" Match.
We had the rest of the day to finish checking out vendors and get a little rest before coming back to the Saturday night party to see who made the Top Gun and Sweet 16 Shoot-Off.

Sunday morning we checked out of the Motel, headed to the range,  packed up our guns and gear, hooked up the trailer and headed off to watch the Shoot-Offs. They started with Wild Bunch Top 8 and Wild Bunch Ladies Top 8. Then the Top 16 Cowboys and Sweet 16 Cowgirls started alternating between Cowgirls and Cowboys. Here are some Videos By Billy The Avenger of the shoot-offs. #2 by Billy, # 3 by Billy of Cody James, the Men's Shoot-Off Winner against Slick's Sharp Shooter, The Ladies Shoot-Off winner. Slick's Sharp Shooter won it, I think when Cody knocked down the wrong stop plate.

Next was what we were all waiting on, the Awards Ceremony and the Wartrace Regulators faired pretty well.

Dirty Nerdy 9th Lady Wrangler
Jail Break Jake 12th Duelist
Brada Tat Tat  18th Gunfighter
Reno Mustang  6th Senior Gunfighter
Dodge City Dixie  3rd Ladies Senior
Papa Dave  3rd Grand Patron
Shaddai Vaquero 4th Classic Cowboy
Vaquero Jake  4th Gunfighter
Randy Saint Eagle  1st Senior Duelist making me the


When they called out Doc Roy L Pain for 2nd place I though for a minute I was going to fall out, I was extremely excited. After getting home I found out that after 3 days of shooting I  beat Doc by 1.88 seconds.

Missouri Lefty was the Top Gun of the match  and Overall World Champion, followed by Matt Black, Duke Skywalker, Pecos Nick (shooting Duelist), Waterloo, Cody James, Creek County Kid, Damascus Jon, Deuce Stevens and Lead Ringer rounded out the Top 10.

Sass Kicker was the Ladies Top Gun and Ladies Overall World Champion, followed by Texas Tiger, Hey You, Morguns Ann Ammo, Spinning Sally, Panhandle Cowgirl, Shamrock Sadie, Slick's Sharp Shooter, Bonnie Macfarlane and Belinda Belle rounded out the Ladies Top 10.

Here is a video of Missouri Lefty by Billy The Avenger.

I have to Thank Misty Moonshine, T A Chance, Lassiter and everyone involved in making the 35th End Of Trail a Great One.

Thank You so much to Reno Mustang and Dodge City Dixie for hauling Papa Dave and I out there, I would have never won my Category without all your help and encouragement. Thanks also to Papa Dave, Dirty Nerdy and Brada Tat Tat for all your encouragement. And I have to Thank Ramblin' Rebel (Grady Jones of The Collection Connection) for keeping me in primers and powder even when they were scarce. He also built my first new SASS rig and has helped me find the guns I wanted for over 30 years.

We had a great trip to EOT and for some reason it was even better on the way home. While there, I saw tacked to a rail at a stage How to succeed at Cowboy Action Shooting; Practice More , Shoot Faster, Don't Miss, I think that sums it up if you add one last thing, If You Don't Go You Can't Win.

There are lots of  Great Matches all over the country so pick one and have a fun time. Here are just a few.

Black Gold Shootout

A Gunfight In Dixie

Ambush at Cavern's Cove

Lead Mine Valley Shootout

Regulators Reckoning

Gunfight at Givhans Ferry

Happy Trails