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
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
Ol' #4 SASS 41004L