GREEN MOUNTAIN REGULATORS
“We Did It in a Year”
By Singin’ Zeke, SASS #69807
(Taken from Cowboy Chronicle February 2008)
Marble Falls, Texas – It all started with a new Cowboy Action Shooter who wanted to find a Cowboy Action range that would welcome shooters in the central Texas area at a time other than the regular scheduled club matches – a place where the Cowboy Action Shooters could “practice” their sport with authentic realism. Absolutely nothing was available. All existing club ranges were on leased properties, and the clubs were generally only allowed access on certain weekend days, usually only once a month for their regular monthly matches. To use that range any other time would entail paying the landowner an additional fee. This was something the clubs just could not afford.
So, the only “practice” a Cowboy Action Shooter got was at his house, after work with no ammunition, just dry firing his cowboy guns. This might be fun, but it just didn’t give the same results that being able to “practice” on a “real” cowboy range, with “real” stage fronts, “real” steel targets, and “live” ammunition would give. One might see improvement in speed in gun transition and loading proficiency by practicing in the living room, but the true experience of competing and “practicing” real Cowboy Action Shooting needed the outdoor availability of a “real” cowboy range to make us all better shooters. These were my thoughts as I searched for a solution to the obvious need for a “practice” range. Being a retired police officer and living on my small ranch in central Texas, I found a solution that has proven to be an asset to the Cowboy Action ShootingTM community in this area, and has brought me more new friends than I could ever have imagined.
I decided I wanted to take a small area of my ranch and build a “practice” range for Cowboy Action Shooters. It was a very large undertaking because there were so many things that had to be done to make a Cowboy Action range that would be like the ranges at the clubs in the area. Everybody I questioned seemed to support the idea and said they would be willing to help make it happen in any way they could. I spoke to every shooter I could in order to “pick their brains” on exactly what I needed to do to build a cowboy range. All of the cowboys were very helpful and were ever ready to give me ideas, advice, and most important, support. This was October 2006.
I decided to take on this project, and one cool morning I drove over to a long valley area on the ranch that was completely covered with brush and scrub cedar trees. While standing there, I saw the range in my mind. I would clear some of the valley and build a couple of stage fronts and buy some targets and the “practice” range would become a reality. As I continued to talk to some of the more experienced old time shooters, they continued to encourage me, and soon my little “practice” range idea began to grow. Its locale would offer many cowboys in the North Austin area a closer place to come shoot. They could come after work and still get in some shooting before dark. The next closest range was south of Austin, another 50 miles from our range. Also, there was no place to shoot cowboy style for approximately 100 miles north, east, and west of the new range.
Soon several of the experienced shooters suggested we form a “club.” The idea was very frightening at first. This meant more clearing, more stage fronts, more targets, and
a lot more work. In order toget an idea of whether a newclub would succeed and
prosper, we decided to hold a meet-ing on site at the ranch. Word spread among the Cowboy Action Shooters in the area,and on the day of the meeting,there were a large numberwho showed up and again expressed their support forthe range and the idea of forming a new Cowboy Action club. All were ready and willing to help in any way to get the range going and get the club on its feet. It felt good to see the genuine support and encouragement of all my fellow shooters.
Okay, if there were that many folks willing to help make a new Cowboy Action range and club, then we were going to do it. The next week I had another bulldozer on the range area, and then a motor grader to smooth things up. Many of the friends at the meeting began to donate lumber and sheet metal, money, and other items that could be used to build stage fronts. They also began coming to the range, and working folks would come on weekends and weekdays after they got home from their jobs. Many would stay after shooting to work on a new stage front. Everybody was putting all their efforts into the new project.
I called clubs and posted messages on the SASS Wire looking for targets. Soon I received a message from another club who said they had some targets they wanted to sell as they had replaced them with new ones. I bought all they had. The range was coming together. The excitement and enthusiasm continued to grow as things fell into place.
In all this confusion I met a man who has been the real backbone of the club. He came to me with a world of experience and a positive attitude. His is well known in the local cowboy community by his cowboy alias, Nada Chance, SASS Life #29547. He unselfishly worked to build the range and put together the necessary paperwork to form the new SASS affiliated club known as “The Green Mountain Regulators.” He guided us in the writing of the bylaws and all the other paperwork necessary to get the club going.
He still serves as Vice President of the club and our Territorial Governor and also continues to give a lot of time and money, as well as his computer expertise to make things happen for the club. He even writes stage scenarios that are true to the cowboy tradition. He lives his life by the code of “the cowboy way.” We are all very proud of him, and I’m especially proud to call him my friend.
So, with a lot of help and support, The Green Mountain Regulators was formed in November 2006 and held its first match on a very cold morning that same month. Our first match had 11 shooters who became the club’s first members. Now the club has grown to over 64 members, and the membership is growing every month. The range has eight completed stage fronts with plans to continue to add stages to a total of 15. We shoot from a jail cell, sheriff ’s office, gallows, saloon, buckboard on springs, a suspension bridge, and soon a rolling horse. We shoot on the 4th Saturday of each month and have an average of about 35 shooters each match. We are sure that number will continue to grow.
We also created a long-range rifle area on another part of the ranch and have targets set at 25, 50, 100, 150, 200, 250, and 300 yards. This is great for the “big guns.” We have plans to expand the rifle range out to (hopefully) 500 yards. But, for now, it’s nice to hear the steel ring at 300 yards!
All the members of the Green Mountain Regulators are extremely proud of our club and our accomplishments as we approach the one year anniversary of our club and range. We are continuing to grow and expand the range thanks to all the dedication and help of all our members. We have many family memberships and are proud of our lady shooters and our juniors and buckaroos, too. Also, every member is encouraged to submit ideas that we try to incorporate into our range and our matches. This is truly a club that belongs to each and every member, and every body has a voice. We are a “fun” club where everybody comes to have a great time and do some good ol’ Cowboy Action ShootingTM the way it was intended to be. We are extremely proud SASS has chosen us to host the 2008 Texas State Blackpowder Match, “Regulators’ Revenge,” in March 2008. Watch The Cowboy Chronicle for the exact dates of the match and further information. Y'all come, we would sure be glad to see you!
Thanks to all the pards who made us a success, and we look forward to meeting more and more Cowboy Action Shooters. We are constantly working to improve our facility. We welcome any and all new or old shooters to join us and get to know some of the best people you will ever meet.
If you are ever in the Marble Falls, Texas area, come shoot with us or stop by for a visit. We look for any reason to put the coffee pot on and talk about Cowboy Action ShootingTM. We can even go down to the range and do some “practicing.”
SEE THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE