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Turkey Flats Jack

Attending larger than monthly matches

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The idea of attending some of the larger matches seems like a lot of fun. My schedule is kinda weird but looking at it for the shooting season I could potentially make it to a couple territorial or state level matches. I've only competed at monthly matches and know that my skill set is not what it should be to even dream about winning that cadillac or buckle even. So attending the bigger matches would be purely for the fun of doing so. I started looking into match fees and expenses the last couple days. It kind of bummed me out. Besides the vendors, meeting up with friends (new and old), or possibly winning a buckle or something what's the reason to spend so much money to attend a shoot? I'm not trying to knock any of it. Honestly i'm trying to justify spending the money. Also I dont just mean the match fees. It all racks up to a fairly big expense between hotels, fuel, food, etc. I consider myself lucky with the number of monthly shoots near me. I can shoot any weekend i'm home and never travel more than 2 hours. Actually the majority of the shoots I attend are under an hour for me. So I guess my question is what draws or compels you to attend a bigger match? Also while I have you attention how do you work your costumes/outfits? I dont have a ton of gear yet. Do you wear the same one for multiple days and just find a laundromat each evening or are you the smelly kid in your category?  

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Posted (edited)

There are lots of annual matches out there besides state and above matches.  

 

Yes, they can be a bit pricey, but some of the best I've attended are smaller, less costly ones.  They may not have a bunch of vendors, but fun for the dollar, they deliver.

 

Why attend annuals?

Meet new folks

Side matches

Get away from life for 3 days instead of just the afternoon

Hang out with your pards

See new places that might not be worth driving to just for a one day monthly, but for a 3 day annual are worth the trip.

 

I know that some worry that their skill level won't be up to par at an annual, state, or above match.  But that just isn't the case.  While the really fast guys may be there, 85 percent or more are just us average cowboys who go out to have fun.

 

I hope you take the plunge and go to an annual this year!  You'll enjoy it!

 

Grizz

 

PS.  Before I had enough cowboy shirts to wear a different one each day, yup, I wore the same smelly one all three days.

Edited by Grizzly Dave
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There's a lot more shooting at an annual or state and above than there is at a monthly. 

 

I make sure to have enough clothes or I'll buy something at the match. I go to get away from life, not a chance in h311 I'm gonna wash clothes while I'm there.

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You're about 6 hours from a great annual at Rockcastle(Park City, KY) this coming weekend. $75 gets you side matches on Friday and 8 stages on Saturday; including lunch and dinner Saturday. 

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I did actually warsh my cowboy pants at an annual one time....was eating lunch on the first day and a gust of wind caught my plate of BBQ pork with lots of sauce and dumped it in my lap.  I warshed them in the hotel sink and then hung them over the AC in the room turned to high fan.  The mostly got dry by the next morning :D

 

 

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Wranglers, long sleeved work shirt, hat and boots (roaches, ropers, doggers, packers or whatever you have)!

Blackfoot

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I just returned from the Crap Shoot at Chimney Rock and had a great time. I wore a couple of sets of clothes over the four days that I was there. Spent quality time with my hometown pards and others that I hadn’t seen in awhile and met a bunch of new folks. Larger matches have a lot more to offer in most cases than local matches and the Crap Shoot was no exception. There were lots of side matches. The Lions Club manages the range and they serve a hot breakfast on Saturday and Sunday and lunch on Sunday. They put out snacks out on the range and serve a dinner on Saturday night. I’m still smiling about the good times we had sitting around the campfire on Friday and Saturday night.

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I wouldn't worry about clothes.  I have a very small camper and have to make maximum use of clothes.  For a 4 day match, I'll usually take 2 pants and 2 or three shirts and rotate them.  I'll take one vest and one hat.   I travel in jeans there and back using the same ones.  They are emergency backups in case of spills, mud, etc.  I'll go out to diner in my cowboy stuff.  I've never had anyone notice that I've used the same shirt later in the match.   If it's really hot and the shirt and pants get sweaty, I'll rinse them out and they will be dry to use a day later while I'm using my alternate set.  They may be wrinkled, but after one stage everyone is wrinkled anyway.

 

The bigger matches are fun.  You usually shoot two days.  If you get there on the day of the first matches, shoot them, stay overnight, shoot the next day and leave you can get away with one nights stay but you may be worn out by the drive to get there.\.  Just let the MD know that you'd like to shoot later in the day, if possible.  Your friends can pick up your awards and get them to you later. 

 

It's also a chance to see vendors and other shooters, to meet with friends and share stories.  You don't get that as much with other sports.

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Posted (edited)

Hey Turkey Flat's Jack!!

 

I guess it's all relative on how you want to see the value.

 

Couple things I noticed and value when attending the State Match:

 

1) The level of competition. I may shoot in the Top 5ish at our local matches but going to the State Match, you quickly realize that you are not as good as you may think or how much work you need to do in a competition sense. You see how good those guys are! That's a good thing. It pushes you to do better, if that's what you are looking to do.

 

2) The atmosphere. The first state match we went to I was on Stone Creek Drifter's posse with Multiple National and World Champions, and a SASS Hall of Famer (Lassiter). Little bit of Star Struck. But the greatest folks in the World!

 

3) When you start breaking down the costs you can see where the money goes. For example, Ohio State, $125 Entry. You get Steak Dinner Friday Night, Side Matches Friday, Main Match Saturday and Sunday, Nice Banquet with Dinner Saturday Night. Very Nice Awards, Nice name badges, Shooter Gift, Tickets to go into the Raffles at the banquet, etc.

 

4) You support SASS and the host club. You get to be a part of keeping our State Match (or whatever match) successful.

 

5) The friends you make are priceless. I have met many folks I previously only knew from the Wire or Facebook.

 

6) It gives you a break from the every day life. Look at the monthly matches you attend, the feeling it gives you. Now multiply that by 3 (days)...

 

7) **Adding this too.. I get to spend time with my Dad... that alone is Priceless for me**

 

Ultimately, it's like everything else, the way you see the Value is in your own eyes. Yes, the costs can add up but is it worth it to you? If you want, most big matches have camping available, which saves the hotel costs. I don't camp, I like staying at hotels, Air conditioning, showers, etc. (Plus I get to write off the hotels and such being I am Vendor most times).

 

If you don't feel you want to spend the money for a State or above match. Support the annual matches, we are lucky to have Tusco, Sandusky, and OVV relatively close that have annual matches. Value wise you probably get more from certain annual matches.

 

Clothing.. I take like 4 sets of clothes for multiple day matches. Friday Side Match Day (for most), Saturday Shoot, Saturday Banquet, Sunday shoot. Granted I don't go to the extent you do with clothing.

 

 

 

Hope that helps.. Turkey Jack!!

Bubba

Edited by Buckaroo Bubba
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Our family has been shooting the way you describe for years.  We now stay in a travel trailer on range or nearby.  It's less expensive than motels.  We take enough costumes for a fresh set of clothes every day.   I'd rarely get to shoot the Plainsman side match, long range events and cowboy clays without going to larger matches.  Some ranges have incredible props and moving targets that make for novel matches.  I also get to shoot stage designs that my local match directors don't use.  While in an area we take in local tourist attractions before returning home.  BTW, we bought a gun vault for our firearms so we can safely leave them in our vehicle while traveling.

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Posted (edited)

Well, I had to look at a map to see where Rosswell is and it appears that you are close to PA.  That being said, you are quite a distance from Michigan, but (two years ago we had a competitor from New Zealand attend--now that's a long trip) I would urge you to take a look at The Wolverine Rangers Range War information.  Range War is the annual Michigan state match.  It takes place over Labor Day weekend every year.  The festivities begin on Friday before Labor Day and end on Sunday, the day before Labor Day.  This year (2019) will be the 21st Range War.  The first 21 on-line entries that have never shot Range War will be awarded a 50% discount for the entry fee..

 

Whether you choose to attend Range War or not, I urge you to look at the Primer for Range War First Timers on the Wolverine Rangers web page.  The primer can be found here.  Additional information about Range War and an entry form can be found on the Ranger's Range War page.  Whatever you decide, keep playing the game.  Come for the shooting, stay for the people.

Edited by Outrider Outlaw
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After the Third Shot of the day all my Clothes Smell the Same ( Good ) I shoot Goex Black ,,,, Plenty of it ....

In an Average year I shoot as many Multi-day shoots as Local one day Shoots ....

And with the exception of last summer have shot every SASS Canadian National ,,, I like to shoot the 3 western Provinces and Montana ....

Even drove to Arizona for "Fire & Ice and WR in 2016 ....

 

Meeting New friends as I go ...

 

Jabez Cowboy

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Forget final scores. We attend matches to have fun, right? They're just like any other party. The bigger the event, the more fun you can have. :D

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What is a night in a hotel? $125

Cost of match fees, ammo, food-$500

The fun and friendship- priceless

 

Just go!!!

 

Imis or you could come south in the fall for the Tn State match- even better! Oct 10-12, 2019

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I think we need to be very sensitive to new shooters not having the financial ability that some of the veteran (or retired, or both) shooters to go to shoots.  We have a new couple at our club that love to shoot.  They are young, love the sport, and one is a teacher and one is a social worker still going to school for his Masters.  He wants to work with disadvantaged kids and is taking debt and spending time to do it.  They are working to get what they need for two shooters.

 

I'm happy we can get them out to a match once a month with all they have on their plate.  I hope they can start travelling to other clubs soon..  Making the sport as affordable as possible will help them out.

 

I feel guns are the first thing to spend money on.  Get to something comfortable as quick as you can.  So long as they are good guns, you can always trade them in for something else with a minimum loss of value for something that feels, or is better.

 

I suggest doing the guns first, then worry (not to much) about clothing. Boots, jeans and a long sleeved shirt are all you need for any age based competition.  If you go to a multi-day competition two sets will do if you rotate.  A cowboy hat is good to keep hot brass from going down your back.  My first one cost me $10 from a thrift shop.

 

Costuming is fun and I won a contest where the object was to reuse and recycle clothing.  Most of my early wardrobe came from Salvation Army and Goodwill and that contest was right in my wheelhouse.

 

The next next best costume contest winners, for me, were people that made, from scratch, their own costumes that reflected working people and families from our era of the west.  

 

For me, winning a costume contest because you spent the most money does not compare to those that make it from scratch. 

 

Costumes are fun, but shooting is the sport.

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Buckaroo Bubba hinted at it in his point #3:  raffle tickets.  Big matches give away prizes.  Some are from purchased tickets, some are shooter's prizes.  In 2000 I won a charcoal blue .357 1873 carbine, which is my main match rifle today.  Not that you go to matches EXPECTING to win, but hey somebody's gonna get those prizes!

 

As for myself, I've shot very few "big" matches, but have been to a lot of them when I was on Cimarron's road crew.  I used to say that I'd rather be there not shooting than not be there.  It was always great to see folks that are from other parts of Texas or the USA that I would only see at the large events.  Finances were one reason for not going to shoot matches that required travelling and hotels, but that is going to change.  I'm at retirement age now, and while I do have care-giving responsibilites now that limit travel, I do plan to do more as time allows.  That's what I was saving for before, so I'd better spend it while I still have my health!

Edited by Abilene, SASS # 27489
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Posted (edited)
On ‎4‎/‎7‎/‎2019 at 10:55 PM, Turkey Flats Jack said:

 Also while I have you attention how do you work your costumes/outfits? I dont have a ton of gear yet. Do you wear the same one for multiple days and just find a laundromat each evening or are you the smelly kid in your category?  

Hey, If the Virginian can wear the same shirt for 6 years, you can wear the same one for 3 days.

Edited by Marshal Chance Morgun
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It's funny i'm kind of a tight wad when it comes to certain things for myself but i'll throw cash out for anything the wife or kids just kind of want. I guess the money is kind of secondary to the fact of being gone for the extra time. I work out of town 14 days at a time. After reading y'alls comments I think that is my biggest hang up at the moment. The wife doesnt travel well and that would mean leaving her home alone for even more days out of the month. Thank you all for your take on it. I'll make it to some bigger shoots eventually i'm sure. 

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24 minutes ago, Turkey Flats Jack said:

It's funny i'm kind of a tight wad when it comes to certain things for myself but i'll throw cash out for anything the wife or kids just kind of want. I guess the money is kind of secondary to the fact of being gone for the extra time. I work out of town 14 days at a time. After reading y'alls comments I think that is my biggest hang up at the moment. The wife doesnt travel well and that would mean leaving her home alone for even more days out of the month. Thank you all for your take on it. I'll make it to some bigger shoots eventually i'm sure. 

Yup that has to factor in too. That's why I don't make it to more big matches, don't want to leave my kids too much. That's a big factor into the value aspect as well. In the meantime, we enjoy having you at Tusco!!!

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1 hour ago, Turkey Flats Jack said:

It's funny i'm kind of a tight wad when it comes to certain things for myself but i'll throw cash out for anything the wife or kids just kind of want. I guess the money is kind of secondary to the fact of being gone for the extra time. I work out of town 14 days at a time. After reading y'alls comments I think that is my biggest hang up at the moment. The wife doesnt travel well and that would mean leaving her home alone for even more days out of the month. Thank you all for your take on it. I'll make it to some bigger shoots eventually i'm sure. 

TFJ, from your comments I’d say that you’re a pretty standup pard with priorities where they should be. You recognize that this is a sport or hobby and there are far more important things that come before it. I hope that someday your situation will allow you to attend a multi day match or two and experience it for yourself.

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On 4/7/2019 at 9:55 PM, Turkey Flats Jack said:

So attending the bigger matches would be purely for the fun of doing so. I started looking into match fees and expenses the last couple days. It kind of bummed me out.
Lemme let you in on a little secret - nobody makes a living playing this game. No matter how serious those top competitors appear to be, they're still doing it for fun. ;)
Do you wear the same one for multiple days and just find a laundromat each evening or are you the smelly kid in your category?
I've never sought out a laundromat, but with 60 gallons in the trailer, there's sufficient water to wash & rinse clothes in the sink or a bucket for a couple days, and still have plenty for showers and cooking. I use the on-site porta-potties whenever practical to save a little water, but at 2:00 am, I'm not getting dressed and walking 75 yards to use the facilities. 

 

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5 hours ago, J Bar Binks, #47015 said:

but at 2:00 am, I'm not getting dressed and walking 75 yards to use the facilities. 

 

You get dressed first? B)

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Well... depends on whether there's a full moon or not... open carry scares some of the wimmenfolk. :D

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