Sunday, April 16, 2006

April’s Main Match!

Yesterday was the April Main Match at Thunder Valley. This was more special then usual. Several shooters from Illinois and Michigan came down to shoot with us and I think they went away with a great appreciation for Thunder Valley and the guys that run the show down there.

Copper Quincy and I drove down on Friday and set up the tent. We were doing a little dry run for our camping plans next month at the Kentucky State Shoot and were looking to see just what we had and make sure everything worked well. When we arrived there were already 5 campers and a couple of tents. After getting everything set up we sat around with Vaquero Hayes, Fighting Eagle, Randy Atcher and Lizzy of the Valley drinking and shooting the shit. Pretty soon the camp site had put together a little impromptu dinner and we stuffed ourselves on Buffalo Burgers, Bratwursts, Beans, Corn Pudding, and Pineapple Upside-down Cake. We finished the night by sipping libations, smoking cigars and hanging out around the campfire with Zeb, Shoshone Slim and the other boys from Illinois.

We survived the warm and windy night and the next morning looked to be a great day for shooting. I dressed up in my B-Western finery and got ready to go as Jose showed up along with about 50 other shooters. Jose and I ran a posse and things started well, but the nice day turned into a record high scorcher and as the thermometer in the jail cell read 100 everybody started to loose some mental focus. I had to make a couple of tough calls as the RO and even had to give my first stage DQ when a shooter bumped his rifle as he moved and broke the 170 with an unloaded firearm. By the end of the day we were all hot, wet, and tired.

Now the shooting wasn’t bad for me at all. I ended up with 1 miss for the day and some nice steady times averaging in the low to middle 30’s. I did have one brain fade and slip hammered a round and then forgot which gun it was in (gunfighter will do that to you) until Jose helped me out. I finished 9th overall which made me very happy since there were some great shooters present. Copper Quincy shot better then ever by having a couple of stages in the high 30’s and looking very smooth with all his guns. Jose had way too many misses, but his shotgun looked good most of the day. Consistency needs to be his mantra for the year.

The only bad thing for the day involved one of our most beloved shooters. El Paso is in his 70’s and one of the nicest men you will ever meet. He loves to cowboy shoot and hang out with the guys. Well, he got overheated again and collapsed. This has happened to him before, he basically refuses to quit and pushes himself too far. We got him hydrated and I sat him down in my car with the air on high to cool him down and after about 30 minutes he was doing ok. I just wish he would take care of himself and let us know when he is starting to feel bad.

I can’t wait for the Kentucky State Shoot. I will probably fall flat on my face after having a couple of great matches, but I think camping and shooting for the whole weekend will be a blast. If you are in the area, look us up…who knows we might even have a sign.

April 15th was BAG day and while I didn't buy a gun, I did finally get my Whisper Springs for the '66 I've been waiting for. So I've improved a gun and I think that counts for BAG day.

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