Old West Returns to Arizona’s Ben Avery Shooting Facility

Old West returns to Ben Avery Shooting Facility
Old West returns to Ben Avery Shooting Facility
Arizona Game and Fish Department
Arizona Game and Fish Department

Arizona  -(Ammoland.com)- For those who harken back to the days of jingling spurs, the smell of authentic chuck-wagon cooking, and cowboys vying to see who’s the quickest on the trigger, then circle Feb. 22-27 on your calendar.

That’s when Winter Range rides into town, transforming the Ben Avery Shooting Facility into a festive scene from the Old West where more than 1,000 competitors from around the world will take part in the 25th annual Single Action Shooting Society’s national championship of Cowboy Action Shooting.

Cowboy Action Shooting is one of the nation’s fastest-growing shooting sports and requires competitors to take their best shots with single-action revolvers, lever-action rifles and period shotguns. Competitors also must adopt a shooting alias suitable to a character or profession of the late 19th century, a Western movie star or an appropriate character from fiction — names like “Mudflat Mike,” “Goldie Jade” and “May B. Shecann” — and then dress in costume accordingly.

Winter Range will feature period militaria, exhibitions of Western skills and crafts, a fast-draw competition, and vendors purveying period clothing, hats and wigs, antiques, reproductions and more. There also will be roaming balladeers, trick horses and a visit from Wyatt Earp, the great grand-nephew of his namesake. Earp will give a presentation about the life and times of Doc Holliday at 2 p.m. Feb. 27. That will be followed by tales of Arizona’s past at 2:30 p.m., as told by local author, artist and historian Bob Boze Bell.

A three-day mounted shooting event is expected to draw 100-plus competitors mounted on horses participating in their own arena Feb. 26-28.

A variety of food services will be available, including chuck-wagon cooking, hot dogs, funnel cakes and ice cream. Admission to Winter Range is free (parking is $5). BASF is located on Carefree Highway, west of Interstate 17. For more information, visit www.winterrange.com.

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