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Muzzle Blasts Online
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September 1996 Volume 1, Number 3

1997 Pacific National Primitive Rendezvous

by Keith "Wolf Breath" McClenahan

First off, my name is Keith McClenahan (mountain name Wolf Breath) and I've been associated with blackpowder firearms and events for the last 35 years. My recent national-level achievements have been the shooting programs for the 1986 NMLRA Western National Rendezvous (WNR), at which I featured a team survival trek that was campfire talk years afterward, and the shoot programs for the 1989 WNR, which featured a team contest called The Blockhouse and an electronic squirrel shoot. When the NMLRA's Pacific National Primitive Rendezvous was formed, I was appointed as one of Nevada's representatives and once again did the survival trek in 1992. In 1993 I ran for booshway of the '95 WNR but was defeated by Joe Delaronde. Undaunted, I accepted the position of shoot coordinator for the reformed '96 WNR after Joe Delaronde broke away from the NMLRA.

Now I'm the booshway for the 1997 Pacific National Primitive Rendezvous. Following is some information about that upcoming event, including a brief description of the shooting program.

General Information

NMLRA's Pacific National Primitive Rendezvous for 1997 will be held June 7-15, 1997. Early set-up is allowed, and staying a day or so late should be okay. Because I'm away from Las Vegas a good portion of the time, Ray Potter [owner of Ray's Beaver Bag, 727 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, NV 89101; (702) 382-1082] has generously offered his time to answer questions.

The site is in Bennet Springs, 10 miles west of Panaca, Nevada, and 165 miles northeast of Las Vegas on U.S. Highway 93. Elevation is approximately 5,850 feet. Average daytime temperature during that season is 87 and average nighttime low is 49. Above-ground fires may be necessary; fire buckets and shovels will be required. A water buffalo will be provided compliments of the Panaca Volunteer Fire Department.

Horse camp will be located near the overflow pond around the two springs near the site. Good grasses and hundreds of acres to ride in mean lots of fun for horses and riders. Local farmers should have hay for sale. Note that wild horses are in the area, and they could steal your mares.

Kid's events will take place Wednesday in the form of an aggregate that should last most of the day. Grand prizes will be a pair of my blackpowder percussion English pistols, one for the winning girl and one for the winning boy. First prize will be $100 in trade dollars and so on, as many places as possible.

Visitor days will take place on both Saturdays and Sundays and on Monday. Visitors must leave before sundown. Vehicle traffic is allowed for opening and closing Saturday and Sunday only; a horse-drawn wagon will be available at a nominal fee for mid-week set-ups and tear-downs. Tin tipi camp for 200 to 300 vehicles will be close to the site but will be out of sight. Pet owners are responsible for all actions, destructive or otherwise, of their pets. A bulletin board at registration will post times, dates, and places for seminars; seminar leaders are encouraged.

Fee Schedule

Registration is estimated at $38, with $20 for the first child in a family and remaining children free. (This might seem high, but included in the price is an event medallion for every contestant, even kids.) Be sure to give all names for all family members attending for registration and medallion purposes. No early set-up fee, no extra-tent fee, no blanket-trader fee. Lost medallions can be replaced for $8; medallions must be produced to claim a prize.

Trader's fees will be $50 per trader (except for blanket traders, who receive a special medallion if they choose to pay). Only paying traders can cash in trade dollars at registration for a check made out to the registered person on the medallion. All trade fees will be used to increase our prize funds. Trade goods are limited to period items; no plastic packaging allowed in sight. Trade commissioner is Ray Potter, address and phone given above.

Shooting Program

Current plans are that the rendezvous will begin Saturday, June 7, 1997, and the ranges will be open for practice then. Competition starts Sunday, June 8, and will conclude Saturday, June 14. Range will be closed Wednesday for repairs, but Kid's Day will take place then, with a full day of activities for our next generation. Range rules will follow NMLRA Range Rules and Regulations.

Matches will be

1. Rifle Walk-Through 25 shots at various ranges of 20 to 200 yards.

2. Pistol Walk-Through 15 shots at various ranges of 10 to 70 yards.

3. Trade Gun Walk-Through 20 shots at various ranges of 25 to 120 yards.

4. Rifle and Trade Gun Silhouette Standard blackpowder silhouettes and rules as per NMLRA Range Rules and Regulations.

5. Pistol Silhouette Miniature silhouettes of the metallic cartridge silhouette set (chicken, pig, turkey, ram); shot at 25, 50, 75, and 100 yards.

6. Shotgun 20 birds, or should I say "teals." They are extremely fast and sometimes do strange things in flight. The birds are Ritz crackers. This will be a very interesting match for shotgunners, and will be shot on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday only.

7. Knife and Hawk Trail 15 throws with each tool at various targets.

8. Squirrel Shoot 4 pop-up targets and one running squirrel at ranges of 15 to 17 yards. Pop-ups come up for three seconds. Running squirrel can cover 20 feet in 3.6 seconds, but don't lead him too much; he likes to stop for acorns.

9. The Blockhouse This event consists of a three-person team placed in a fort for 15 minutes. The fort has two gun ports to shoot from; 10 knockdown targets will be downrange at various distances from 25 to 125 yards, each increasing in point value. Also, there's a hawk block 15 yards to the side of the fort. Each time the team strikes the block (by either throwing a hawk or knife or hitting the edge of the block), and brings the weapon back to the fort, points will be scored. About 25 yards downrange sits an M103 A3 military trailer modified (Wolf-style) for my new tennis-ball cannon, with gunner, behind bulletproof glass and T-1 steel. The gunner will show no mercy; facial and cranial protection will be required. The gunner can also spring a ladder on your fort wall, which renders your team unable to shoot until you reset the ladder. Points are deducted for getting hit by a tennis ball. Teams must decide how fast they want the cannon to shoot; higher speed means more points, but the higher the welt balls will leave.

10. Artillery Match information available later. For a complete listing of artillery rules, send a self-addressed stamped business-size envelope to Ray's Beaver Bag, 727 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, NV 89101. Special entry fee of $50 per gun is charged for the artillery shoot in addition to the normal entry fee. There's a guaranteed $1,500 purse, with $200 for first place and $100 for second on each of the five-day competitions. More entrants mean a bigger purse.

11. NMLRA Blue Jacket Founders Match See the June "Messages from the Randavoze" for more information about this match. It will be shot one day only, to be announced at the rendezvous.

12. Calcutta Rifle-and-pistol combination match using both sizes of silhouette targets. Calcutta matches are option-purchase matches where shooters are "bought." Write for more information.

The Calcutta, The Blockhouse, and the Artillery matches will have cash prizes. All other competitions will have prizes awarded in trade dollars to be spent in camp with the merchants. Prizes awarded daily in four divisions: Men (over 18), Women (over 18), Juniors (12 through 17), and Pups (under 12).

That's all for now. May your trail always be the right one.

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