Special Events Throughout the Year
May 29th we were back at Mat-Valley Shooting Range with Alaska’s Healing Hearts (AHH). We were invited to take part in their annual “Bear Camp” event. These service members, veterans and families were treated to several venues over several weeks, including a bear hunt. This is the second year our club has participated. Last year there were about 10 vets that came out to shoot. This year there were somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 veterans and family members that came out to try Cowboy Shooting. We set up targets on the range much like we do for a monthly match. Following the safety brief everyone had an opportunity to do some shooting. AHH supplied dinner and ammo, Mat-Valley Sportsman donated the range time, and AK49er members provided the revolvers, shotguns, rifles, targets and volunteer instructors.
One guy in particular acted like he had no interest at all. Didn’t understand why anyone would want to shoot those old time guns. Much rather shoot modern guns. He finally gave in and took a turn. The grin was so big it looked like his face would split in half. When he came back into the class room he couldn’t stop talking about how much fun he had and encouraging everyone else to go out and shoot. There is no doubt that everyone had a good time and looking forward to next year.
We take part in this event as a way to give something back to our service men and women, Our Heroes, but we get back so much more than we give. The appreciation expressed by the participants was heartfelt and sincere. Ranger Peaches reported that it was the topic for days on the bear stands. Looking for a way to brighten even your worst day? This is definitely the way to do it.
Just a reminder to all the 49ers’ Hero members, the Alaska’s Healing Hearts is there for you too.
Moose Nugget Flats"
The Alaska Wild Bunch Championship begins on Friday with stage setup and registration. The match consists of ten fast and furious stages shot over two days. The targets are as varied as the scenarios. Wild Bunch shooters will engage Wild Bunch shooters may engage small and large targets as well as dueling trees, hostage targets and plate racks. Distances to targets are also varied which adds to the fun challenge factor of the sport. The round count for each stage varies, but on average there are 5 to 10 rifle, 4 to 8 shotgun and 15 to 30 pistol. The targets, sequences and round counts are all set by the shoot's Match Director who quite often has a very twisted mind.
The match beins on Saturday morning in Town Square with the opening ceremony and the completion of registration. There are five stges shot on Saturday and the final five on Sunday. Lizzy Mae and her Chuck Wagon Crew provide lunch on both days as well as dinner on Saturday evening. The awards ceremony is on Sunday as soon as the scores are tallied.
Auction and Dinner
Alaska Gun Collectors "Youth Day"
This is what you will see every year on the 1st Saturday in June at “Youth Day”. We are just one of several user groups that participate in this annual event. We only see the 12-18 year olds. The younger kids stay at the shotgun end of the range. The kids are dived into smaller groups and each group rotate through all the shooting stations.
Each child that comes through our station shoots five rounds of pistol and five rounds of rifle under the direct supervision of a 49ers’ volunteer. We used .38s and our new .22s. The .22s belong to the club and the ammo is donated by Marshal Stone. The other rifle/pistol ammo is donated by AGCA and Ho Bob while the pistols and rifles are on loan from several club members.
Volunteers for the day were; Flaco Joe, Ruben Ryback, Taino, The Alaskan Kid, Marshal Stone, Humpy, Scout Brown, Ho Bob, Eileen Widowmaker, and Manzanita Jack. Lizzy Mae came out for the afternoon (sorry she missed the mug shot) and Tripod stayed behind the camera. The smiles were almost as big as those on the kids. Everyone has a great time.
Manzanita, Ruben and Eileen were front and center to greet each group as they reached our station. Manzanita gave a short introduction of the 49ers’ and a safety briefing. Then he explained the revolver and what to expect when shooting it. Ruben introduced the kids to the workings of a lever action rifle. Eileen provided general procedure direction and did
what every cute 16 year old girl does best – flirting with the boys.
We also had a nice gun display for everyone to see, to help promote questions about the guns and our sport.
"Shootout Under the
SUMS is the AK49ers annual Alaska Territorial Championship of Cowboy Action Shooting. This is a three day event held over the 4th of July weekend at the Birchwood Recreation and Shooting Park.
The fun begins on Friday afternoon with “side matches”. These matches vary from year to year, but often involve some speed and accuracy shooting, knife and tomahawk throwing. The side matches are open to everyone. Winners are recognized at the Saturday night dinner.
Friday night everyone is invited to the Moose Nugget Flats Town Square for the annual Chili Cook Off. Anyone and everyone can enter their favorite pot of chili in the contest. You get to eat a variety of chili and vote on your favorite. The winner will take home a traveling trophy (apron) which will be passed on to next year’s champion as well as an individual trophy.
The main match consists of twelve stages over two days. Six stages each on Saturday and Sunday with a lunch break on both days. Saturday night is the Banquet in Town Square. Great meal, time to socialize, side match awards, door prizes and maybe a surprise or two. Sunday brings an end to SUMS for another year. Participants shoot the final six stages of the match then gather in Town Square for the Awards Ceremony.
The fun continues in Fairbanks the weekend following SUMS. The Golden Heart Shootist Society hosts the Alaska State Championship of Cowboy Action Shooting. Three more days of shooting, eating and socializing.
The last match of the AK49ers’ summer season is our Charity Shoot. This match is our major fund raiser for the year. The match is similar to a monthly match, but has one major difference. You can and will be fined for just about everything. A Judge is authorized to impose fines for anything he/she can think of. This adds another level of fun to an already very fun sport. Following the match everyone meets up at the Birchwood Club House for a wonderful dinner and an auction. Auction items are collected throughout the year for this event. There is always something for everyone.
The evening ends with the tally of monies collected through fines, dinner and auction. These funds are added to any donations received during the past year. A decision on the recipients of these funds will be decided by the membership at a monthly meeting. A few of our past recipients have been the SASS Scholarship Fund, Happy Trails Children’s Foundation, Alaska Gun Collectors Scholarship Fund, and Alaska’s Healing Hearts.