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Parson Remington

Going to a State or Regional Campionship

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After I posted an update for our Kansas State Championships to the wire (shameless plug) I had a talk with two friends, both new to Cowboy Shooting.  Both enjoy our local shoots, but begged off going to the State Shoot.  Both said they weren't "good enough".  I hope after our talk they reconsider, but it got me thinking about the posts from new shooters I see and I thought I'd share what I passed along to my friends and I hope others chime in with better thoughts than mine.

 

Ours is a shooting sport and competition is integral to what makes it fun, but there is so much more.  I have always felt the competition is not with other shooters, but with me.  I want to get better each time out.  Lots of ways to get better - watch YouTube, dry fire practice - but the best way is to study those shooters who are among the best.  More than study, also talk with them.  Ask what their thoughts were on how to approach a stage, why they placed their toys where they did, study how they move through the course of fire.  What better place to do this than where these experienced shooters are to be found - State and Regional Matches.  Trust me, they will be glad to help you.

 

Don't fear making a mistake.  Mistakes are clues that help us improve and we all make them.  The only people who don't make mistakes are those who gave up.

 

More than a competition, Cowboy Shooting is about the people who share this game.   By going to Championships my wife and I have met some of the kindest most generous folks - they have to be to put up with my tart mouth.  We have been to shoots literally from North Carolina to California and from Texas to Minnesota.  All told we have been to 12 different State Championships and two Regionals and met the greatest folks at each.  The greatest reward is not a plaque or trophy but the friendships.

 

I understand the trepidation of many to not venture out and expose themselves in these times.  We are each different, with different concerns and that needs to be respected.  That said, if your reluctance in going to a State or Regional Championship is the concern that you are not ready, put those feelings aside and go.  Go for the learning and experience.  If you are in the Southwest go to Land Run and enjoy Flat Top Okie's hospitality, the stages are challenging and fun, the Cowboy museum is a great venue to visit, the food is great and the people the finest.  Around the corner are State Championships in Missouri, Tennessee and Kansas.  Go.  Relish the new people you will meet.

 

Finally, keep in mind that these events often are needed to financially support the sport.  For many vendors it is the only way they can reach potential customers and without their contributions we would all be poorer.  Especially now these vendors and sponsors need our support.

 

So come on out and have fun..

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Well said.  Before I went to my first state match I felt the same, "I wasn't good enough to go".  Afterwards I was glad I did, I met so many nice folks and had a blast.  Was I good, no, am I good now, again no, but I still go and this year I'm going to 2 regionals (SE and SW).  I'm not going to get a prize, but to meet new friends and hopefully some that I met last year.  At this stage of life and time in the sport I'm competing against myself to get better.  As long as I'm having fun I'll keep coming back.

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There's no difference in a State, Regional, etc match to a monthly... Just another match...

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My first state (PA) match came up after I had been participating in CAS for a month.  Guns were different: a Win '94 carbine that I had to load the 10th round on the clock, a Uberti 1873 Artillery Model and a Uberti Schofield.    I can't remember what type of shotgun I had, probably a hammered double.   That was in 1993 or '94.  Lots of fun, met a bunch of folks and had a great time.  Changed guns over the years, got better at it, relatively, and met a whole lot of other folks.   Everyone was welcoming and friendly.     "Good enough" is a subjective concept.

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I learn much from watching top shooters at major matches.  I imitate their better moves and my stage times decrease.  Local matches usually don't have RVers camping onsite.  Evenings spent with fellow campers are enjoyable.  At one RV park near EOT every camper on my row was someone I shot with before.  Major matches also have vendors.  They are a good place to acquire new gear and wardrobe.  I sometimes am a match director and many of my stages are repeats of stages shot at major matches.  So hit the road and shoot nearby state matches and regionals and get to Winter Range and EOT every few years.

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I shot my first big two day match back in March of this year, right before COVID compliance shut matches down here.  At the time I had only been shooting Cowboy Action matches for 6 months.  I was a middle the pack competitor, still a sponge sucking up everything I could about the sport.  For me, the apprehension was less about "I'm not good enough" and more about "what can I expect?"  Never having shot a two day match I really didn't know what to expect, how things would flow over the course of two days, would the stages be more difficult and above my capabilities?  What I experienced was a match director and posse that helped along and made it on of my best experiences with CAS to date.  At this point I would not hesitate to shoot any match anywhere and based on my experience if I had a newer shooter that was hesitant about shooting a big match I would offer to posse up with him to share the experience and help out where I could.  While I like competing, I enjoy the people even more.  As far as that first two day match, expecting not to even place, I came in 3rd for my category.  A great memory that I would not have if I stayed home.  Since then I have signed up for every 2 day match in my area including our state championship match.  

Edited by Bingo Montana
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A major shoot is like having all your cake and ice cream too!

 

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Off hand I cannot think of another sport - competition where anyone can participate shoulder-to-shoulder (oh yea six feet) with a state, regional, national or world .champ.  And all of them will talk to you.  

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2 minutes ago, wyliefoxEsquire said:

Off hand I cannot think of another sport - competition where anyone can participate shoulder-to-shoulder (oh yea six feet) with a state, regional, national or world .champ.  And all of them will talk to you.  

Coach you, loan you guns and ammo, cheer you on, and buy you a drink after the match...

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My biggest mistake in SASS was missing out on the annual Round Up in Fort Worth for that very reason. (That was in the early 1990s.)

 

I had only shot or or maybe two matches, but I would have loved to have shot that match.

 

The only qualifying statement is is the shooter familiar with safety rules.  I was raised around shooting so I was "fairly good."  Fortunately I had shot at a few ranges including an indoor range and attended a pistol match so they further refined my safety practices. 

 

If anyone is in doubt, just as a more experienced  pard to work with you for just a little to be sure of your safety practices.  For nearly all shooters, less than an hour would be needed to have you confident and ready to go have fun safely.

Edited by Marauder SASS #13056
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4 hours ago, Parson Remington said:

 I had a talk with two friends, both new to Cowboy Shooting.  Both enjoy our local shoots, but begged off going to the State Shoot.  Both said they weren't "good enough". 

 

I started this game in '06, but didn't expand my shooting options till '08, where I met some great shooters who helped guide me along the way.  

 

Anyway, this is how I felt when the '08 PA State match came up.  I felt very intimidated.  I had very limited shooting experience, and I heard stories about other shooting sports where you needed to qualify in order to apply.

 

I ended up doing a small three day match first early that summer, then jumped in and went to two big regionals at the time and ended up having a blast.

 

These two friends you mention, if you haven't, tell them they can come and shoot with you and a few other people they're comfortable with.  If they still resist, invite them down to check out the match one of the days, and show them around if you can.

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31 minutes ago, Cemetery said:

 

I started this game in '06, but didn't expand my shooting options till '08, where I met some great shooters who helped guide me along the way.  

 

Anyway, this is how I felt when the '08 PA State match came up.  I felt very intimidated.  I had very limited shooting experience, and I heard stories about other shooting sports where you needed to qualify in order to apply.

 

I ended up doing a small three day match first early that summer, then jumped in and went to two big regionals at the time and ended up having a blast.

 

These two friends you mention, if you haven't, tell them they can come and shoot with you and a few other people they're comfortable with.  If they still resist, invite them down to check out the match one of the days, and show them around if you can.

Good advice.  Already have invited them both, told them to request being on our posse and they have been to a couple of local matches with us.  One is my niece.

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6 hours ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

There's no difference in a State, Regional, etc match to a monthly... Just another match...

With a few more stages so you get to shoot more before you go home! :D

 

Edited by Charlie MacNeil, SASS #48580

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I was intimated to go to my first big match. I thought for sure I'd come in last. I was shocked when I didn't. I had a great time and the best part was putting a face to the names of pards I've chatted with or read advice from here on the wire. I'm really looking forward to going again next year!

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Dress up.

Shoot guns.

Make friends.

 

This simple approach makes those matches more "approachable" for new shooters, as I remember from my new days. It was just plain exciting all the around.

 

Cowboy stuff shopping!!!!!!! The larger the match generally the more vendors and the funner the buying great stuff is!

 

:D

 

The point being new shooters tend to either need or want more cowboy wares. The larger matches are an excellent place the find that stuff.

 

 

 

 

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Turkey flats jack,

 

As james coburn said in Hard Times,

"Next best thing to playing and winning is playing and losing".

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My fist state match was in 2013. I’d been shooting 8 months or so. I knew I had zero chance of winning anything, so I decided to shoot clean. Last stage of the match were “hells bells” gas cylinders with bottoms cut off. Only about 6” wide. I was clean to here , but those things looked like toothpicks! I was shaking like a dog passing a peach pit! I bore down, shot it clean. I was (and am) very proud of my clean match pin from that match

 

go to your state match. Have fun. Meet new people. Buy from vendors. Study the top shooters 

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 One 20 person posse, or ten 15 person posses. Shooting is shooting. Where you need to have your A game is spotting. Only been to one state match.  Had a great time. We were going the Gunsmoke this year. the the wife's employer has some tight Co-vid restrictions.

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My first match was the Wild Bunch sidematch at a state championship because that's what I had the guns to shoot. Just jump right in and folks will help you.

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On 9/3/2020 at 4:42 PM, Parson Remington said:

After I posted an update for our Kansas State Championships to the wire (shameless plug) I had a talk with two friends, both new to Cowboy Shooting.  Both enjoy our local shoots, but begged off going to the State Shoot.  Both said they weren't "good enough".  I hope after our talk they reconsider, but it got me thinking about the posts from new shooters I see and I thought I'd share what I passed along to my friends and I hope others chime in with better thoughts than mine.

 

Ours is a shooting sport and competition is integral to what makes it fun, but there is so much more.  I have always felt the competition is not with other shooters, but with me.  I want to get better each time out.  Lots of ways to get better - watch YouTube, dry fire practice - but the best way is to study those shooters who are among the best.  More than study, also talk with them.  Ask what their thoughts were on how to approach a stage, why they placed their toys where they did, study how they move through the course of fire.  What better place to do this than where these experienced shooters are to be found - State and Regional Matches.  Trust me, they will be glad to help you.

 

Don't fear making a mistake.  Mistakes are clues that help us improve and we all make them.  The only people who don't make mistakes are those who gave up.

 

More than a competition, Cowboy Shooting is about the people who share this game.   By going to Championships my wife and I have met some of the kindest most generous folks - they have to be to put up with my tart mouth.  We have been to shoots literally from North Carolina to California and from Texas to Minnesota.  All told we have been to 12 different State Championships and two Regionals and met the greatest folks at each.  The greatest reward is not a plaque or trophy but the friendships.

 

I understand the trepidation of many to not venture out and expose themselves in these times.  We are each different, with different concerns and that needs to be respected.  That said, if your reluctance in going to a State or Regional Championship is the concern that you are not ready, put those feelings aside and go.  Go for the learning and experience.  If you are in the Southwest go to Land Run and enjoy Flat Top Okie's hospitality, the stages are challenging and fun, the Cowboy museum is a great venue to visit, the food is great and the people the finest.  Around the corner are State Championships in Missouri, Tennessee and Kansas.  Go.  Relish the new people you will meet.

 

Finally, keep in mind that these events often are needed to financially support the sport.  For many vendors it is the only way they can reach potential customers and without their contributions we would all be poorer.  Especially now these vendors and sponsors need our support.

 

So come on out and have fun..

 

I wish I had read this 10 years ago.

It took me several years to feel like I was "good enough" when all along I already was.

 

This post reminds me of my good friend Gabby whose first match was Ides of March. At the time Ides was not the State championship but it was still 3 days long.

He dove into it like he was born to it.

Competitive, yes but for him it was all about the fun.

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On 9/4/2020 at 6:32 PM, Waimea said:

 

I wish I had read this 10 years ago.

It took me several years to feel like I was "good enough" when all along I already was.

 

This post reminds me of my good friend Gabby whose first match was Ides of March. At the time Ides was not the State championship but it was still 3 days long.

He dove into it like he was born to it.

Competitive, yes but for him it was all about the fun.

Competitive and fun aren’t mutually exclusive.


Just sayin’. ;)

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Big match little match. But when u have world champions at your small monthly match. Not only do u get to watch close up. You get to ask questions.  And I am a no body. Maybe he thinks he is to. What I do know is he put in the time, effort and money to stand on that stage. Maybe one day I will to. But for now I like being with people that mostly can pass a background check off a 4473. I know they will not shoot back at me. And will shoot back with me. 

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1 hour ago, Deputy Spenser Hawk said:

Big match little match. But when u have world champions at your small monthly match. Not only do u get to watch close up. You get to ask questions.  And I am a no body. Maybe he thinks he is to. What I do know is he put in the time, effort and money to stand on that stage. Maybe one day I will to. But for now I like being with people that mostly can pass a background check off a 4473. I know they will not shoot back at me. And will shoot back with me. 

Just an FYI, good outstanding people have gone off the reservation many a times.

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From two entrants to five hundred or more, ONE person is going to finish 1st overall, and ONE person is going to finish last overall. Everyone else is in between. Where is the cutoff for "not good enough for a big match"? Some people compete and some people just shoot, but everybody seems to have a good time. I start my 66th year in a few months, and every year I finish another place or two closer to the bottom, but I'll never be "not good enough for a big match". ;)

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I’m the new kid on the block here.  I’ve toyed with the idea of joining SASS for a couple of years before jumping in this summer. I attended my first match to watch back in June...I had a blast. The next day I joined SASS and then joined the Wartrace Regulators in July. I shot my first match in July with borrowed holsters.  I went back in August and worked the unloading table while I watched my dad shoot his first match.  Yesterday, he and I both shot our second matches.  I know I’m not going to beat anyone with speed anytime soon (and I’m fine with that) but I can be accurate.  I shot clean on all stages yesterday and reduced my times from the first match.  I had a great time.

 

I was possed up with Branchwater Jack who wrote the stages for the Southeast Regional.  He made a pretty good sales pitch to me about joining them for the big events.  I’m leaning hard towards shooting the regional and may decide to shoot the Tennessee State as well.  Thanks for this post. 
 

I have enjoyed every minute shooting with the fine people of cowboy action shooting. 

Edited by Lucky Lead Pepper
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10 hours ago, Lucky Lead Pepper said:

I’m the new kid on the block here.  I’ve toyed with the idea of joining SASS for a couple of years before jumping in this summer. I attended my first match to watch back in June...I had a blast. The next day I joined SASS and then joined the Wartrace Regulators in July. I shot my first match in July with borrowed holsters.  I went back in August and worked the unloading table while I watched my dad shoot his first match.  Yesterday, he and I both shot our second matches.  I know I’m not going to beat anyone with speed anytime soon (and I’m fine with that) but I can be accurate.  I shot clean on all stages yesterday and reduced my times from the first match.  I had a great time.

 

I was possed up with Branchwater Jack who wrote the stages for the Southeast Regional.  He made a pretty good sales pitch to me about joining them for the big events.  I’m leaning hard towards shooting the regional and may decide to shoot the Tennessee State as well.  Thanks for this post. 
 

I have enjoyed every minute shooting with the fine people of cowboy action shooting. 

 

If you have the idea that you need to be a top shooter to participate in a State or Regional match, you will miss an experience that can't be duplicated at a monthly match. Sign up now!   Lucky Lead Pepper, I still have an unclaimed 10% rebate for a new shooter at the TN State Match. Send your application with the full amount to Papa Dave. Send me a pm & I'll tell you how to claim the rebate.

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Lucky Lead Pepper, you teamed up with a good bunch when you found the North Alabama Regulators.   I encourage you to sign up for the Southeastern Regional.  It's all about hanging out with old friends and making new ones.  The shootings pretty good too.  I hope to see you there.  

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11 hours ago, Lucky Lead Pepper said:

I’m the new kid on the block here.  I’ve toyed with the idea of joining SASS for a couple of years before jumping in this summer. I attended my first match to watch back in June...I had a blast. The next day I joined SASS and then joined the Wartrace Regulators in July. I shot my first match in July with borrowed holsters.  I went back in August and worked the unloading table while I watched my dad shoot his first match.  Yesterday, he and I both shot our second matches.  I know I’m not going to beat anyone with speed anytime soon (and I’m fine with that) but I can be accurate.  I shot clean on all stages yesterday and reduced my times from the first match.  I had a great time.

 

I was possed up with Branchwater Jack who wrote the stages for the Southeast Regional.  He made a pretty good sales pitch to me about joining them for the big events.  I’m leaning hard towards shooting the regional and may decide to shoot the Tennessee State as well.  Thanks for this post. 
 

I have enjoyed every minute shooting with the fine people of cowboy action shooting. 

I shot with you at Wartrace on your first match, and saw your placing on the Wartrace Regulators' Facebook yesterday.  I noted good improvement.  Well done!

 

I still haven't had a clean match yet, but I did get my first Procedural at the last match.  I missed winning my category by less than 5 seconds.  I got a good laugh out of it.

Edited by Diamond Jake
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On 9/4/2020 at 6:04 PM, Marshal Chance Morgun said:

Where you need to have your A game is spotting.

How I learned the game was standing with the spotters & asking questions when I didn't get what they got (this was back in the olden days of 'What would Roy do?' calls).  I do agree spotters need to have a bit of experience under their belts.

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I would tell everyone I will be attending the Southeast Regional this year for the first time but if they know I'm coming they will post extra security at the Alabama State line. Went to my first state match nine months after my first ever match.

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Shot my second state level match this weekend and going to Tennessee state next month. 
 

 Take up Chickamauga Slim on his offer and come shoot Tennessee State. You won’t regret it. 
 

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So here's a question I have about going to the big events, specifically the Southeast Regional and TN State.  Do I need to be there for everything?  I don't plan to shoot any side matches or do any of the stuff offerred on Thursday.  So could I show up Friday morning and shoot the main matches or is being there Thursday required?  I probably would not attend the banquet either.  I'm just getting started in this and do not have "banquet" clothes.  I wouldn't be staying in a hotel or camping on site as these events are fairly close to me.  I'm an hour away from the regional match and 1.5 hours away from the state match.  What's the normal or expected level of participation in all of the activities in the big matches?

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