I believe the very best thing about SASS and Cowboy Action Shooting are the friends. Friends who “get you.” Friends who don’t look at you sideways and make comments like “you really get into that shooting stuff, don’t you?” Our cowgirl friends admire your new hat pin, ask who slicked up your rifle, and want to know if you’ve tried reloading with the new “lipstick” bullets yet.
On June 17, 2017, 14 cowgirl friends, both old and new, from Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri, converged on the Outlaw Range and posse’d up for the 4th Annual Women’s Wild West Shoot, put on by our SASS club, Southern Missouri Rangers.
We had cowgirls shooting in eight different categories in the match. We even had a first time shooter join us from the St. Louis area (that’s 3 ½ hours from the range). Ozark Filly said she saw the event flyer and thought it looked like fun. And we all know it is. She got lots of encouragement—and some slicked up cowboy guns to try—from the rest of the cowgirls and Ozark Captain coached her through each stage.
The idea for the women’s only shoot was dreamed up by Cha-Ching [LOCAS member Renee Sagaser, above] when she looked at a cowboy and said “why can’t we have a shoot where I shoot and you do the work?” The first women’s only event took place in 2014. We’ve had scorching heat, torrential rain, and, this year, near perfect weather—at least for June in Missouri. (If you’ve never experienced Missouri in the summer, “near perfect” means the rain stopped in time for the shoot and the clouds stuck around until we were almost finished.)
14 cowboys from the club took care of (almost) everything. They ran the match, the timer, they were brass pickers, spotters and our “gun boys,” helping the ladies get to and from the line with ease. Our Match Director even sneaked out to the range early and gussied up the targets.
And the boys put on our mid-shoot tea.
We traditionally shoot five stages for the WWWS. This year, we shot three stages then took a break for tea, fruit salad & donuts. Unfortunately, our scamp of a range dog
snuck into the supply trailer, climbed on the table and made off with the entire box of donuts. He was last seen grinning around a white bakery box as he ducked through a barbed wire fence toward home. It turned out all right, though—without donuts, we all had room for more fried chicken and still-warm peach cobbler!
I had the privilege of writing this year’s stages. As a published western historical romance author, I’ve done quite a bit of research on the old west. When asked to contribute the scenarios, I called on that old-west standby, mail-order brides, and it was Sadie Hawkins’ Day-Old West style at the Outlaw Range.
There were plate racks, cowboy knock downs, shotguns, rifles and revolvers. All the fun we’ve come to expect at a Cowboy Action Shooting event.
And the best part of the whole event? Everyone was there for the fun! Although, I must admit, the blue, red and white cowbell trophies are pretty cool, too.
Our overall winner, Jackie Diamond, received the pink plaque for her success on the range. Congratulations, JD!
Drop on down to Missouri sometime and shoot with the Southern Missouri Rangers. [LINK: www.so-mo-rangers.com] We’re hosting the Missouri State Black Powder, Wild Bunch, and SASS Championships this year. And we’re always ready to meet new friends who “get us.”
Ozark Belle (aka Tracy Garrett)
Award winning romance author Tracy Garrett fell further in love with history with every story her grandmothers told her. She uses that love to craft her stories, taming the old west two hearts at a time.
All photos are courtesy of Southern Missouri Rangers & are used with permission.