By Tim Leeds
There were 84 shooters at Fort Assinniboine over the weekend, competing in camaraderie at 22nd Annual Bullhook Bottoms Blackpowder Club Spring Shoot.
The competition started Saturday morning and ran through Sunday afternoon, with an awards ceremony at 4 p.m. Sunday.
The shoot had better weather than in recent years, despite forecasts of thundershowers over the weekend.
"This is some of the best weather we've had in three years," Tom Farnham, treasurer of the club, said.
Jim Griggs, who has been at every one of the shoots in the last 22 years, said that one year there was a snowstorm that delayed the shoot. He said there was four feet of snow on the ground, and they couldn't even get in. The shoot was delayed until August that year, he said.
Tom Brown, the secretary for the club, said the event was international this year, with shooters from Canada and many from other states at the event. He said there were people from many fairly close states, including Idaho, Washington and Wyoming.
Griggs said there was even a visitor from Topeka, Kansas, who came out the shoot and participated.
Events started at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, with a 25-yard fun match. It ran through 6 p.m., starting over at 9:30 a.m. again Sunday. There were 26 matches scheduled through the two days, ranging from 25-yard competitions to 100-yard, with matches in muskets, cartridge shooting, pistol shooting and more. There were even targets set up for hatchet and knife throwing.
Griggs said the first spring shoot, 22 years ago, was held at the rifle range. He said they were fortunate enough to be able to hold it at the fort the next year, and it has been there ever since.