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Big Bear Johnson, SASS#13968

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About Big Bear Johnson, SASS#13968

  • Rank
    Junior Member
  • Birthday 10/15/1963

Previous Fields

  • SASS #
  • SASS Affiliated Club
    Deadwood Boys

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Burbank, California
  • Interests
    action pistol, sporting clays, duck/quail/dove/rabbit hunting, music, my wife, kids and church.
  1. I was involved deeply from about 1996 to about 1999. I remember taking my family to End of Trail in California. There were bands, wild west acts, marksmanship demos, , comedy, horses, stage coach rides....and it attracted a lot of people who had no idea there was a shooting match going on. Seeing ads in the LA Times and press on local TV in a giant population center helped SASS I'm sure. There was a lot of growth, even in a liberal land like Los Angeles, I believe because of the visibility of being near the media capitol and a huge population base. It was great marketing. It seems that the move to New Mexico might not have been a strategic move in hindsight as t is not easy to get to from many parts of the country (no direct flights) and not a place where local news will influence national news....maybe I am wrong. Maybe moving End of Trail every year and keeping the "wild west show aspect" would do SASS a lot of good. Imagine End of Trail in Dallas, Atlanta, Nashville, New York, Chicago (plenty of shooting going on there), Denver, Branson, etc. It would be getting more exposure nationally, drawing more people into the local clubs and could be great for business and the sport. As for the old days of shooting. The stages, as Jonah Hex mentioned, were based on fun. We had moving targets, people in ore carts being pushed down a bay shooting from the moving cart, shooting from a moving boat...in the desert, shooting from a moving dime pony, movement between targets with stick ponies, shooting a bow and arrow, a close rifle target was 60 feet, a distant one might be 120 feet. I think that the targets got closer because End of Trial and some of the local monthly matches like the Coto Cowboys were bigger than many state matches and they needed to move people through faster. Now that the clubs are smaller, maybe it is time to try the old ways again or mix it up a bit? I got to shoot with some of the best in the late 90's, Island Girl, China Camp, etc. I still get to shoot with some of the fastest guys/girls around these days. The fast shooters were always the fast shooters. I believe that if targets were moved back and more "fun" added with starts and props, we would still see a lot of these same new top shooters at the top. Having only shot a match a year for the last 18 years, due to family, money, life, and now returning, it is not the game I left for sure. I for one have shifted to Wild Bunch as it is more like the old days with more interesting stages and I personally find it more fun. I just wish that more clubs were having Wild Bunch matches. I renewed my membership this year because I want to see SASS stick around. I have met some wonderful people over the years and think that the relationships made due to the organization makes it worth the meager investment. Sorry for being long winded.
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