Lots of Powder to Burn in the 2019 Shooting Season

Jocko recently sent out emails and 2019 RMR applications to past members.  2019 looks to be an exciting year for Cowboy Action Shooting in Western Montana and beyond.  We are planning our full schedule of shoots here at Big Whiskey (See the Schedule Tab for the exact dates.)  With any luck, fire danger will be lower this summer.  Members are already concocting stages for this upcoming year.

You may want to keep in mind the following shoots which will be held in the area: 

  • Colville, WA will hold their annual May 3rd - 5th.  (N.E.W. Regulators)
  • The Montana State Shoot is again hosted by the Black Horse Shootists July 19th - 21st in Great Falls.
  • The Bitterroot Buckaroos will hold their annual September 13th -14th in the Hamilton, MT area. 

Other shoots across the area are in the works as well.  If you have a shoot you would like us to list, please send the information to be included. 

All in all it looks to be a good shooting year!  If you haven't received an email from Jocko, please let him know.  We hope to see current, former, and new shooters on the range this year!


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June Shoot

The June Shoot is in the books!  Of course, June is known to be one of Montana's rainiest months, and it didn't disappoint.  Saturday, seven hardy souls braved the cold and the rain to shoot six stages.  We had fun between raindrops!  (Ha! ha!) Actually, more fun was had than that, but it was a struggle to keep our guns and our bodies dry.  (Commercial Interruption:  Buying a rain slicker at the Work - n - Ranch during Winter Range was one of my best Cowboy investments ... EVER!) Jughead was frequently seen wiping his guns, and even chose to cover his rifle during a stage with his coat.  What a gentleman!  However despite the rain, we all managed to walk away with smiles on our faces.

Sunday, HOWEVER ... Sunday was a glorious spring day.  It was not too hot, not too cold, and the sun shone on our eight intrepid shooters.  Beautiful!  Graydog wrote stages each day designed to help us prepare for the state shoot.  Our Montana Ladies State Champion, May B. Shecann, and her other half, Johnny Pinebox, drove up from the Bitterroot, and both shot quite well.  In fact May was our Top Gun shooter on Sunday. 

Check the scores to see how everyone fared over the days.  We appreciate all our non-local shooters who come to shoot with us at Big Whiskey II.  Thank you to Graydog for writing the stages.  And, thank you to Jocko for "puppy sitting" (Darby) after registration both days so I (Fire Opal) could shoot. 

Look for information about our upcoming July, "Getting Ready for State" shoot in the near future.  Remember, you may dry camp on the range to make a weekend of shooting at RMR! 

P.S.  Who can resist cute puppy pictures?  This is Darby, Jocko and Fire Opal's new Border Collie puppy. 





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First Shoot by Buckskin

Hi all!

"Shooting at Big Whiskey", yep it really works for me, so I thought I'd share my feelings.

Well, we finally got to do our first shoot of the year. All went well and as usual, we all had a great time. We had two safety mishaps on Saturday: one 170 rule and one shot landing too close to the line. But everything went off ok. Sunday went really well, and the weather was great. Doc C. tried shooting gunfighter and did really good for his first time. I decided to try duelist and did ok, Jake the Snake shot duelist and did well. Over all everyone did good and got the cobwebs out. We all missed Doc Tombstone and hope he heals up soon so Graydog will have some competition, even though Ranger 6 was getting close. Here’s hoping the rest of 2019 goes as well, and sure look forward to seeing you at the next shoot.


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Winter Range, Bucket List Check

Jocko and I, Fire Opal, fulfilled a bucket list item this February.  For years we have wanted to attend Winter Range, the national SASS Cowboy Action Shoot which is held north of Phoenix, Arizona at the Ben Avery Shooting Complex.  This is the year the stars aligned and we were able to attend.  It is also the year the stars aligned, and parts of Arizona had some of worst weather they had experienced in eighty-six years (Flagstaff had 41 inches of snow).  Like the postal carriers who are guided by the pledge of "Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep the postmen from their appointed rounds", the Winter Range  shooters dealt with rain, snow, sleet, hail, and lightning while discharging their rounds downrange. We eventually had sun on the last day of the main match. Beautiful sun!

Nevertheless, we had a fantastic time at the shoot.  Neither of us expected to shoot well, however Jocko did manage to shoot a clean match.  The facility was amazing, the stages were interesting and fun, the vendors were numerous, and the people in attendance all had wet if cold grins plastered to their faces.   All in all, it was a terrific time.  We would certainly recommend the experience.  Next year Winter Range is scheduled to take place one week later.  With any luck, the weather will be better too!

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Dog and Snake Show by Graydog

Howdy All!  Well Jake and I made our annual "Dog & Snake Show" Trip to Big Whiskey to see if we will be having an April shoot, and to see how the range wintered.  The good news is, everything at the range wintered well with no cave-ins, or break downs.  Yep, there's still plenty of snow - I'd say close to a foot and a half, and we didn't need snow shoes.  The snow was frozen and you could walk on top of it.  But it was early in the morning, and we had another below freezing night.  I've sure seen it look worse with only two and a half weeks to go before our shoot date. 

The pavilion is looking good as well as everything inside and under it.  The fronts are all in good shape.  The Mix House and stockade wintered just fine.  So does this mean we will have an April Shoot?  The Snake and I say Yes!  It might be the second weekend (as scheduled) or the third or fourth, but YES, we will have an April Shoot.  We'll keep you posted.  Sure looking forward to seeing everyone back at Big Whiskey soon.


UPDATE:  Graydog and his better half, Mary, visited the range April 4th, and reported that the bulk of the snow had melted.  Although conditions were enormously improved, it still wasn't a given that our shoot could occur on the regularly scheduled weekend due to mud and rain. 





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Nifty Old West Sites in Montana

Montana boasts a rich heritage of Western History.  One of the many interesting places to visit is Bannack State Park located west of Dillon, MT.  Bannack was founded in 1862 when a prospector named John White found gold in Grasshopper Creek.  A boom town was created, and miners flooded into the area.  In 1864, Bannack was named the first Territorial Capital of Montana.  However, in 1863 gold was also discovered around Virginia City.  The capital moved to that location after a short period of time.

Mining remained an important component in the Bannack area, and the town was viable through the 1930's.  By the 1950's most residents moved on, and the state declared Bannack as a state park.

Today there are over 60 structures still standing, many of which can be explored by visitors.  Every summer Bannack Days takes place on the third weekend in July, and other events are scheduled throughout the year.

If you have not had the opportunity to visit Bannack, it should be added to your list of places to go. Check out their website for more information:   bannack.org




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RMR Mentor's 4-H Shooters

Last year, 2018, RMR and the Sander's County 4-H Western Heritage Project collaborated in a mentor program.  In 2019 we are on board to help the 4-H kids with their shooting skills and historical interpretation as well.  More information should be coming soon about this year's sessions.  If you are interested in helping mentor the 4-H shooters, please contact one of the RMR board members for more information.  It should be an exciting year!

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Colville Shoot is Coming Up!

Ranger Six and the crew of the Northeast Washington Regulators (N.E.W. Regulators) put together a bang-up shoot in Colville, Washington.  The N.E.W. Regulator's annual shoot, Ambush At Richocet Junction, is held May 3, 4, and 5th.  The Ambush includes a Wild Bunch Match, Warm-Up Match, and Side Matches, as well as the Main Match.  Included is a Banquet and complimentary Margarita Bar on Saturday evening for all present.  SASS Membership is NOT required at this shoot.

Contact Information for this shoot is as follows:  N.E.W. Regulators





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Blast From the Past

When creating this new website, we found several older pictures that we did not want to loose.  This "Blast from the Past" photo features a photo of Birta Rose and Cactus Ron.  This photo was taken at the 2008 Great Northern Regional.  Cactus Ron served as the RMR president for many years.  For several years, Birta and Cactus let club members shoot on their ranch as a temporary range.  Besides allowing us to shoot, they opened their ranch to campers, and Birta always made a tasty dessert which she served to shooters on their porch.  Good times!

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Do you enjoy the history of the Old West?  Do you like shooting?  Cowboy Action Shooting might be for you.  Explore our website for information about this exciting shooting sport.