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The Fort Dalles Defenders
4th Annual "SHOOTOUT"!
April 21-23, 2006
By Ol' #4 SASS 41004L
It was perhaps the shift from the bake-oven scorching heat of mid-July to the soft driving breeze of an April spring day that brought nearly twice as many shooters to The Fort Dalles Defenders fourth annual "Shoot-Out"! Although the term "breeze" can be a relative term for this mighty Columbia Gorge rimrock and sage location, the July Bake-Oven heat is not. The breezes for the weekend of April 21-23 ranged for a paultry minor fluff to hat-snatching and cart tipping gusts, but the temperatures were in the modest 60's and the sun shone bright. All this compared to the past two years when record temperatures of well over 105 degrees were recorded at the range on shoot days made this years assemblage a pleasant atmosphere to shoot, have fun and, for the majority, dry out from the wettest winter in my short memory. We had 52 hard bitten souls who attended and survived these two historical and memorable events.
In contrast to the those hotter July days the total number of shooters that swamped the range this year resulted in five posse's of 20 cowboys, cowladies and buckaroos. All the range of five bays would accommodate. The shoot was organized, like most, with a Friday for speed side matches and a five stage Saturday and Sunday. The ten stages ranged from simple to what some called 'designed by a demented mind'. I should have taken offence, but figured the ones I designed were the good ones. Then I realized I had set them all up! But Boothill Bandit, SASS #48598 would have to share the blame as he was the Range Master and was also awarded the 'TOP Hand' award for all his dedicated effort and very hard work. With stage set-up names like "Ring My Chimes" 'Tic Tac Toe', 'Sawtooth Sweep' 'Stutter Step', 'Round the Clock', and 'The Revenuer', you can just imagine some dynamic movement with the front sights! I actually think there were only a couple of stages that had a straight left/right sweep. Most folks recognized these.
As can be seen from the score sheet, there were some very hotly contested categories and although they weren't planned as trap or wicked stages, there wasn't a single "Clean Match" shot.
Congratulations to Pinto Annie and Mid Valley Drifter as our top overall shooters!!!
We hope everyone enjoyed the match and at least the fine weather. We hope to see you all agin next year!
Ol' #4 SASS 41004L