Mounted shooting event is Monday and Tuesday
A report from Game and Fish states, “Few things more closely identified with the 101 years of Arizona statehood than the cowboys of the old west. That proud and colorful portion of our state's history will come alive again at this year's Winter Range, the Single Action Shooting Society's (SASS) National Championship of Cowboy Action Shooting, set for Monday through Feb. 24 at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix.”
Over the past 20 years, winter range has grown to be the world's largest “western encampment,” drawing thousands of spectators and old west enthusiasts. More than 1,000 competitors representing 44 different states and six foreign countries will compete in nearly two dozen categories dictated by age and competitive style. The competitors, male and female, range in age from 12 to more than 80 years old.
In addition to the traditional events, this year the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association and the SASS Mounted Shooters have combined to create an incredibly exciting three-day mounted shooting event with more than 100 mounted shooters participating in their own arena. Another event will be the SASS National Championship of Wild Bunch Action Shooting, a multi-faceted amateur shooting sport that is becoming a popular portion of Cowboy Action Shooting and will take place Monday and Tuesday.
Cowboy action shooting, the fastest-growing shooting sport in America, requires that contestants compete with firearms typical of those used in the days of the old west: single-action revolvers, lever-action rifles, and period shotguns. Participants must also adopt a shooting alias appropriate to the character or profession of the late 19th century, a Hollywood western star, or an appropriate character from fiction, and then costume themselves accordingly.
The competition itself is staged in a unique “old west” style. During timed events, shooters test their skills against steel targets set up within a course of 12 different stages, each featuring different scenarios and scenic elements which, this year, will be based on events from western movie musicals. “This is a shooting sport that is exciting, safe and family friendly,” said Dan Wohleen (aka “Parson Swede”), volunteer publicity coordinator for Winter Range. “Come on out to watch — it's a lot of fun.”
In addition to the competitive events, Winter Range 2013 will feature displays of period military, exhibitions of western skills and crafts, a fast draw competition and nearly 100 vendors offering everything from period clothing to antiques and reproductions. Entertainment will be readily available in the form of a number of singers, cowboy bands, trick roping, trick horses, and various other forms of cowboy entertainment. Also this year, Wyatt Earp, the great-grand-nephew of his namesake, will be giving a special state presentation as Doc Holliday, sharing reflections of his amazing life and times at 2 p.m. Saturday. A variety of food services will also be available, from authentic chuck wagon cooking to hotdogs.
The Winter Range Championship and Exhibition is produced by the Arizona Territorial Company of Rough Riders, a not-for-profit group representing various Cowboy Action Shooting clubs in the Phoenix area and throughout Arizona. Every year the profits from Winter Range are donated to charitable organizations throughout Arizona including youth organizations such as Boy Scouts, Ronald McDonald House, Youth Assistance Foundation of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, as well as the Wounded Warrior project and the American Legion for their work with the Veterans Hospital. Last year more than $35,000 was donated to various charities.
Admission is free, but there is a $5 per vehicle parking fee which is used to support the Youth Assistance Foundation of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Posse and the youth-directed activities of the Rotary Club. Note that while in the shooting areas, spectators will be required to wear eye protection; sunglasses and corrective glasses are acceptable. Ear protection is suggested, especially for children. For more information, visit www.winterrange.com.
• Javelina Hunt Camp at Bagdad, Ariz., Friday through Feb. 24: The camp is free and open to the public — an ideal opportunity for parents to spend some time with their children. Those wanting to hunt must have obtained their permit-tag. For those not hunting, there will be events such as shooting archery, along with how-to demonstrations covering wildlife viewing, predator calling, javelina natural history and hunting, glassing and use of binoculars, wild game care and basic camping skills as well as an exhibitor area to explore sportsmen's groups, outdoor equipment by manufacturer's and retailers. Participants must bring their own camping and hunting equipment and food. February weather in the area is unpredictable so dress accordingly — be prepared for rain, hail or flurries of snow as well as sunshine. For more information or to register, visit azgfd.gov/huntingfair.com.
• Trash cleanup day is Friday: BLM is asking our help to clean up the Blaisdell area. Meet at 8 a.m. near the remote control model airplane airport just off Highway 95 across from and a little east of the Yucca Cotton Mill, one mile east of junction Highway 95 and Fortuna. If you'd like to give a hand this year, come with long-sleeved shirt, long pants, gloves, hat, water and a rake if you have one. Your help is always appreciated. Call Jeff Russell at 1-307-250-7162 with questions.
• Hunt recommendation public meeting Feb. 28: Plan now to attend the public forum being held 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 28 at the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge office, 9300 E. 28th St., to discuss developing the 2013 fall hunt recommendations for deer, bighorn sheep, turkey, javelina, buffalo, bear, mountain lion and small game animals. It's a great way for people to stay informed and provide input into development of the recommendations. Visit www.azgfd.gov/huntguidelines.
• Alamo Lake cleanup March 2: Registration begins at 6 p.m. March 1 at the Alamo Lake Group Use Area Cholla Campgrounds with the cleanup work from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 2. Bring a pair of gloves and your boat if you have one, plan to camp out and enjoy the weekend. Be sure to bring your fishing gear and take advantage of some fishing fun. Crappie and bass fishing in good shape at Alamo waters. Camping and boat launch fees for registered clean-up participants staying at the Cholla Group Use Area will be waived. Contact Stewart Kohnke, wildlife manager at 856-0706.
• American Bass - Yuma Division: Take advantage of the Saturday bass tournament launching out of Fisher's Landing. Contact Jeff Woods at 1-951-201-9461.
• Yuma Pro Am Series: Online sign-up is ongoing now through Saturday (draw at Baron Fuels on Saturday) to fish the Mittry Lake Tournament Feb. 24. Membership is $15 with reasonable basic entry and options. Visit email@example.com.
• Wednesday Jackpot Derby: Sign-up $5 each Wednesday with sign-up at 8 a.m. at Fisher's gas dock with weigh-in 1 p.m. The winner takes the pot for one big fish, any species. Call Jimmy Phipps at 782-2207.
• Swede Ferguson Memorial Monthly Bass Derby: Sign-up $10 anytime during each month to fish with the winner taking the pot for the biggest bass determined the last day of the month. Call Phipps for details or to sign-up.
• Desert Bass Anglers: March 2 with sign-up and launch out of Fisher's Landing. Call Mac or Bobbi McDermott at 726-1984.
• Yuma Valley Rod and Gun Club: Open Bass Derby March 9. Watch for details or check with David or Jon Parrish at 941-6168.
• Bass Class on the Water: Want to learn all the tricks to catching bass at local waters? Call Dave Willhide at 782-2621 and ask about the class — you'll learn everything you need to know to become successful all times of the year no matter what the weather with a bass boat and all equipment provided for a great day on the water. Ask about fishing seminars for RV parks and home groups.
• Renegade Archers: All archers are welcome to shoot the trail of 3D animals with us at 9 a.m. Sunday at the Foothills Archery range located south of I-8 and east of S. Foothills Blvd. close to the Gila Mountain Range. Shooting fees are $3 adult with youngsters always shooting free of charge. Equipment is available for those not having their own by calling Jean or Kevin Wilson at 247-4450 or 726-0953 beforehand. Detailed directions to the range are also available by phone.
• Yuma Trap and Skeet Club: Open trap and skeet matches 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. A Presidents' Day buckle shoot will be held at 9 a.m. Monday. Scholastic clay trap practice for youngsters is at 4:30 p.m. each Wednesday. Call Gary Knight at 210-0805.
• Yuma Territorial Longrifles Club: Open black powder matches 1st and 3rd Saturdays at the Adair Park range with sign-up by 8:30 a.m. Call Dennis Hansel at 342-7573.
• Cholla Gun Club: A complete variety of metallic silhouette matches are offered each month through April at the Adair Park range for hunter pistol, lever guns, high-power, small bore and black powder cartridge. Call Rick or Glenda at 502-0736.
• Yuma Rifle and Pistol Club: The long-range palma match is today for shooters signing up by 7:30 a.m. at the Adair Park big bore range. Call Jerry Brooker at 305-9681 or Paul Lerma at 782-6766 for club and shooting information.
• Yuma Matchmasters: Shooters can sign-up at 7 a.m. on match days with a shooters meeting at 7:30 a.m. at the Adair Park small bore range. Monthly Shooting Schedule: 1st Saturday - Steel Challenge Match; 2nd Sunday - IPSC Combat Match; 4th Sunday - Cowboy Match. Call Ruth Wilmot at 726-7727 or Ron Gissendaner at 726-0022.
Contact Jean Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 247-4450.