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Mule Camp


Dirty Dan Dawkins

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Now's as good a time as any to air this out. I want folks to read it as printed by our newsletter, not hearsay. Also, some shoot but don't get our newsletter and I feel are obligated to know. I spoke with Talon yesterday when I heard about this from a friend and couldn't believe it. Thanks to all for many wonderful years of shooting.

 

 

 

 

Mule Camp Cowboys Gazette

July, 2011

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Mule Camp Cowboys,

The June shoot turned out to be a great match for all. We were expecting sunny and hot weather, but we got a relief from the sun with an overcast day which kept the sun at bay and the temperature lower.

We missed everyone who was traveling to End of Trail and we hope you had a great match and found your way home safely. I am sure there were others who just did not want to battle the heat, well you missed a great time and we missed you as well.

We would like to thank everyone who helped set the match up Friday evening and those who also help us put everything away after the match.

We have a lot of folks on our prayer list. Please continue to pray for these names which are in this issue of the Gazette. Also please remember our troops and our struggling economy.

At this point we are sure that some of you being members of SRGC have received a notice that the Mule Camp Cowboys will no longer be holding matches at South River. Although the news is true, we apologize that you did not get the news from us first. The June match was our last one and we will not be picking up and moving somewhere else. We have decided to continue on as shooters and participate in CAS for the enjoyment of the game and the camaraderie. We want to thank you for supporting us through the years and we will cherish the memories that we shared with each of you. We wish things were the way they used to be. And in that frame of mind we decided that was exactly what we needed to do. We still love the game, but our hobby turned into a job and that job came with stress. Contrary to popular belief we never made any money ourselves from the club. As a not for profit company the club never made any money either. All of it went to SRGC fees, expenses, awards and our charities. But, we were never in it to make money anyway.

We have no regrets in what we are doing. The only regrets we have were that we lost some friends doing this over the years. We are not willing to do that again, especially each other. We feel we have provided you as shooters with a quality product. We did the best we could do and then some more. We endured many hardships, trials and mistakes. We had a lot of fun and would not trade the goods times for anything. We hope to see all of you very soon at one of the other clubs or maybe even at South River, if another club is started. If they do, we wish them well and we will support them along with the other clubs and the State championship too. We will also be getting back to shooting the other State Championships and possibly the Regional. You may even see us at a match doing some chuck wagon cooking with Doc, which we enjoy as much as shooting and would like to do more of it as well.

Thanks again for all your support and may GOD bless you in all you do.

Your friends

Gus, Creek, Kat and Cutter

 

 

I'll be!

Thats a sight from what it once was.

 

RRR

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its a sad time when a club that has given so much to CAS and SASS has gone away. I want to thank all of you for the warm times you gave me as a new worker at Mule Camp. Everyone remains a great friend to me and you are always welcome to come and shoot with me anytime and anyplace.

 

Good luck and god bless you all.

 

Carolina Jack

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Mule Camp was my first big SASS match. I was thrilled to death when I won a buckle there. Via con Dios, and thank you. Thank you all.

 

Tom Payne

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Having been a vendor for many years at Mule Camp the regional shoot. And as someone that saw a lot of the back end of the shoot I have nothing but praise for those that ran the shoots and the club. I made many a friend there and will cherish those friendships forever. It was my choice to leave the vender circuit and I would willingly explain that to anyone that wants. But it was not because of those that ran the shoot or worked so hard to put it on.

For all my friends from that area. there will always be a place at my fire for you. May you find peace in your future.

Russ N. Hound

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Inez and I are deeply saddened at this news. We have nothing but wonderful memories of Mule Camp and the gracious, welcoming hospitality of the South. We made many good friends in the 13 years we attended Mule Camp.

 

BUT, we fully understand what it takes to run a club and the huge effort required to put on a first class shooting event like Mule Camp.

 

All things run their course and Mule Camp Cowboys had a fine run. SQ, Joe West, Coyote Calhoun and the rest of the original Magnificent Seven set the bar high for all other Regional shoots. Those that followed n the organizational roles worked hard to carry on the traditions. Scooter, Moby, Brock and Brandy, Isom Dart, Sally Skull, Hollywood Gus, Jorgene, Snellville Kid, Kid Concho, Young Parker ( who is not so young anymore, and a host of others too numerous to name. It was our pleasure to meet you and count you as friends.

 

Birdshot and Inez

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A big Thank You to all who made the Mule Camp SE Regional the best match I had the pleasure to attend. From the old range with its wonderful Hayride up the hill, to the new range which was an excellent venue. I enjoyed it all, and appreciated all the work that went into making it happen. Not wanting to step on any toes, but I thought it was a better match than EoT. Things run their course, and folks need to move on and do what they need to do to keep their sanity. I'll miss y'all and hope to shoot with you down the road. But I'll always remember shooting off of the electric horse, Big Mongo, and some o' the friendliest folks you'd ever want to meet.

 

Via con Dios pards,

Duc McC

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A big Thank You to all who made the Mule Camp SE Regional the best match I had the pleasure to attend. From the old range with its wonderful Hayride up the hill, to the new range which was an excellent venue. I enjoyed it all, and appreciated all the work that went into making it happen. Not wanting to step on any toes, but I thought it was a better match than EoT. Things run their course, and folks need to move on and do what they need to do to keep their sanity. I'll miss y'all and hope to shoot with you down the road. But I'll always remember shooting off of the electric horse, Big Mongo, and some o' the friendliest folks you'd ever want to meet.

 

Via con Dios pards,

Duc McC

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Mule Camp was Too Short and my first "Big Shoot" as well. We attended three of them. Met some great folks. I'll never forget the first time, so many cowboys and cowgirls in one place. Thanks to you all for some great memories and we are truly sorry for the loss.

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This will certainly be my saddest July 4th to date. I've only been shooting CAS 1 1/2 years. I've gone to all of the SASS clubs in the Atlanta area, but Mule Camp was "my" club.

 

Thanks so much Gus and Kat for the work you've done. I appreciate the others that worked hard also. These two cowpokes were simply the two faces I looked for every month. Nobody is any more welcoming or helpful than Gus and Kat. I know other cowboys have worked hard to make Mule Camp a success, but those 2 have been the recent faces of the Mule Camp Cowboys, and they represented the club, and sport as well as it can be done. The facility at Mule Camp is great, but the people are better.

 

I'm sure I'll see some of the other shooters at other clubs, but I'll miss the Mule Camp experience. While I know all things end, I'm not ready to let this one go. As a cowboy, I feel like my best horse just died. :(

 

a sad Doc Misalot

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Daniel,

 

Yes, a bold statement indeed. I understand you are upset, but things change. People change. Doors close and doors open. When SASS left California and went to New Mexico, the naysayers abounded, often without a full working knowledge of the situation. SASS survived and so shall we.

 

I would like to add my thanks to all the cowboys and cowgirls that have worked through the years to keep our club going. It's hard work, and often thankless. Thank you all. We'll see each other down the trail!

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From what I saw, this was a result of many factors.

 

  1. Like many clubs, the Mule Camp Cowboys were having to transition leadership and saw a reduction in workers due to age, cost of living, and health factors. Furthermore, many shooters do not live close so their ability to help is limited.
  2. Mule Camp had a really nice "cowboy town" that was requiring more maintenance for safety and longevity. The gun club had expressed concerns about that. The cowboys had repaired the boardwalks but a LOT of painting and other work was needed.
  3. The gun club was getting more people who wanted to shoot on the nearby bays during the cowboy shoots. When we had a large number of shooters, we provided enough $ that the club was willing to turn them away. As our numbers were a little smaller, I'm sure they wanted to keep their members happy.
  4. The gun club relied greatly on having the large regional shoot to provide funding. With the loss of that and some reduction of attendance, they wanted more from the cowboys than they could readily provide – in work and probably in funding. The cowboys also believed that they were being asked to clean up after other shooters that used the general area during the cowboy shoots. So naturally, there was some friction. A few innocents did get caught in the middle, such as at least one worker at the club that had shot cowboy with us.

Due to all this, the gun club wanted more than the cowboy leadership felt they could provide. Plus, as the leadership stated, they had already had some hurt friendships and the work and stress was becoming too much. As many of you know, it was time for them to just go back to enjoying shooting.

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Any shooting facility, that looses one of it's shooting venues, is taking a great loss.

 

Personalities or not, we all should support each other, no matter which shooting sport we pursue.

 

As a match director, I learned a lot from my trips to Mule Camp (when it was a regional). The management and structure was outstanding and could be used as a model for other clubs. In my mind, they were the Cadillac of matches.

 

As is the feeling of most, I am saddened that a long time club has folded but, I certainly understand the dynamics of why.

 

Roo

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It is unfortunate that CAS has to lose a club but I have to say that I am "proud" of y'all for taking a stand and voting with your feet. We had to do that with our club about 14 years ago and it is a painful thing to do when the game/job becomes no fun! I have the highest level of respect for those who make a stand and take action to that end. As in all things, we are criticized,disliked, and envied most by those who are not as successful as we are and that rings especially true in clubs and organizations. I hope y'all are able to find a new home that will accept you with open arms and offer more than SRGC. Thanks for all your hard work for the game!

 

Harland

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Kid Nama and I made the decision at the last minute to attend the June match at Mule Camp and am I eternally grateful that we did. We would have been sick had we missed what may have been our only chance to see our friends from Mule Camp. Like many others, the S.E. Regional at Mule Camp was our first experience with a large SASS match and each time we attended our heads were spinning for a week thereafter. What a great experience that we have preserved in pictures, videos, plaques and buckles. Thank you one and all for the wonderful memories and the great town that to this day amazes me when I see it.

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Daniel,

 

Yes, a bold statement indeed. I understand you are upset, but things change. People change. Doors close and doors open. When SASS left California and went to New Mexico, the naysayers abounded, often without a full working knowledge of the situation. SASS survived and so shall we.

 

I would like to add my thanks to all the cowboys and cowgirls that have worked through the years to keep our club going. It's hard work, and often thankless. Thank you all. We'll see each other down the trail!

 

I do wish to say that you and Max are two people that I hold a great deal of respect and affection for. You two were some of the first friends I made in his activity and that friendship has never changed. I am sure MFLR will be an integral part in any cowboy at SRGC and, him being a friend, do offer help when needed and when I am available.

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I surely am going to miss that 45 minute drive to good ole Mule Camp. Shot my first match ever there, a monthly. This June, their last match I received my first MDQ, how ironic. Great pards, great times, they aren't over, just a new chapter begins.

:FlagAm:

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Tuco, I got a stage DQ at the last Mule Camp too. Another person in our posse got a MDQ, it was a good day for DQ's I guess.

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I know how much this hurts the shooters of this game at this club however the operations of MCC had become a heavy burden on those who did run the monthly match.Los Vaqueros did an amazing job of handleing the transitions that were put before them.I am proud to call them my friends as well as the shooters whom I have had the pleasure of being around.I am not going to enter the pissing match of what happened or whos at fault but I do want to say next time your new club needs help setting up a match or while your getting in your auto while there are others breaking down the match please think of this club.I havent been active for awhile in cas due to several things but I do have the right to say this as I worked 12 Mule Camp Regionals and numerous monthly matches.I am honored to be associated with the people who I know from this club.I hope to see you all somewhere on the trail wether I am shooting or Chuckwagoning..Thanks for all the great times and even some of the bad ones(They did turn out to be pretty funny after all)...To my friends LOS VAQUEROS heres a Pacifico to you all....Hawk

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I was able to make it to Mule Camp twice, in 2000 and again in 2002. Both times I had a great time and made some lasting friendships. Mule Camp will be missed.

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It's always sad to hear about one of the Cowboy Clubs going away. I'm sure there's a lot of background, but I'm happy to see it not aired here on the wire. You pards did a fine job and worked hard. We all wish it had worked out for the best.

 

The announcement in the newsletter was eloquently written and a tip of the Stetson on the graceful way it was handled.

 

We hope to see y'all at the Doc Holliday's Immortals shoot in Griffin on the 2nd Saturday each month.

 

'Nooga

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For record and to paraphrase the childhood rhythm ... few shooters like me, some shooters hate me, and as a tequila drinker I don't mine eating a few worms. Having said that I offer that too many of you writer seem confused. You write of your good old times spent at the Mule Camp S.E. Regional matches. And as a six time shooter and three time vendor of the Regional I too have fond memories of those events, but let's stay on point here. We aren't talking about Mule Camp's demise ... we are talking about the Mule Camp Cowboys demise.

 

For the record, Mule Camp was original stage in Gainesville, Georgia by the Cherokee Cowboys. Rumor had it that nearby Mule Camp Springs was the gathering and jumping off point for wagon trains headed west. Hence the logical match name and first seasonal match working towards the End of Trail finals match held then in California.

 

However, in 2004 or so for whatever reason the Cherokee Cowboys founding fathers (The Magnificent Seven) split with a splinter group becoming the Mule Camp Cowboys (The Fab Five) and moved to Conyers, Georgia taking the S. E. Regional Match with them. Newly invigorated in Conyers, and shed of believed caustic members on both sides all seemed well for both clubs.

 

Unfortunately, in 2009, after roughly eighteen monthes of rumors it was "suddenly" announced that the powers to be were moving the Regional match from Georgia to another ... shall we say a more convenient to home, and apparently a more profitable State.

 

Thankfully, having had the rug pulled out from under them for the second time, a core group stepped forward to maintain "The Mule Camp Cowboys" as a pure monthly club. But like the original Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Colts the Regional left town a long time ago. Instead let's thank those who remained as the Mule Camp Cowboys. Kudos to those dedicated members who continued until now to set up and run matches not for the 500 plus, but for us monthly lowly few.

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I've seen this sort of thing happen in other clubs... some of them where responsible for what use to be some of the Top Matches in the game. I suspect that it is just burn out by the folks who have carried the ball year after year. It is often a thankless job.. it seems that there are always those "Arm-Chair Quarterbacks" who do little more than gripe about the way things are done or pick apart every little thing... yet you rarely see them jump in and do it themselves. I think that we have all seen a certain amount of that.

I encourage everyone to help out your club in any capacity that you can. It is particularly difficult to find Capable of and Willing people to take on leadership roles. Many of our members are retired, and some are understandably reluctant to take on any role of responsibility that might inhibit their retirement plans. I certainly understand that... however, there are a great number of folks who could and would carry the load if they just knew that they would have support. In order for any club to survive, it takes dedication on the part of it's membership.

I wish all the members of this fine (former) club the very best, and hope for a speedy reorganization.

 

Snakebite

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