SASS garners state competition
It took some fancy finagling but the Castle Gate Posse has secured the Single Action Shooting Society's 2009 Utah State Championship for the North Springs Shooting Range and Recreation Area.
Club members said it was an honor to be able to bring the championship to Carbon County as they were competing with counties from around the state for the opportunity.
"The Castle Gate Posse has worked very hard toward this goal since the day the North Springs Shooting Range opened, and we are pleased that we were chosen to bring the State Championship home to Price, said Iris Howe aka Cowboy Murder'n Maude, the Castle Gate Posse president in a recent press release.
At their monthly shoot Saturday, club members and the North Springs' rangemaster were excited about the coup.
"It's amazing and it's all because of the hard work of the Castle Gate Posse," Rangemaster Scott Olsen said. "This will do nothing but improve the visibility of the shooting range."
Olsen added that securing the state event will also spur improvements to the year-old facility, such as upgrades to the campground areas.
"This will justify pushing through some things," he said.
Officially opened May 19, 2007 North Springs sports a variety of venues for shooters of all kinds, including bows and arrows. According to materials from Carbon County the facility provides the following:
â¢ Rifle range which has 100 Yard, 600 Yard and 1,000 Yard, with 65 shooting tables, 12 pistol bays and five heaters.
â¢ A pistol range with targets for 100 yard shooting.
â¢ Clubhouse that features three classrooms, two offices, a kitchen, caretaker's apartment, and lounge area
â¢ An archery range with static and 3-D targets
â¢ Law enforcement range includes a 50 and 100 yard range, and 25 yard range with action targets.
There are 32 shooting tables which are covered with 12 heaters for year round shooting.
â¢ Castle Gate Town which is designed for action shooting with 15 authentic false fronted buildings and nine shooting bays.
The town has a common area for visitors to rest and observe the action and the town club house has room for meetings, a kitchen area and restrooms. 150-space parking lot.
Hundreds of dandily dressed sharpshooters will descend upon Castle Gate Town July 2009 when the SASS Utah Championship gets underway.
SASS is an international organization that was created for the sport of cowboy action shooting.
Members all have Old West aliases that they shoot under, for example Cowboy Murder'n Maude ,and wear clothing reminiscent of the 19th Century that reflects their alias.
In addition, the firearms used in the shootouts are "typical of those used in the taming of the Old West."
According to SASS materials the game has evolved into a code that members live by that calls for adherence to the "spirit of the game" which means that they fully participate in all aspects of the competitions.
The Castle Gate Posse was formed in 1991 by Buck Duane, Stargazer, Cowboy Murder'n Maude, Pinnacle Pete, Ranger Wade, Out of Ammo Annie and, according to www.thecastlegateposse.net., "a dog named Hank."
The club claims humble beginnings at what members deemed "dilapidated gun ranges around Price."
However, with the opening of North Springs and its cowboy town the gunslingers found a home and spend the last Saturday of each month honing their skills.
Even a little thing like the heaviest snow in 20 years failed to deter the determined crew, who looked tromped through piles of cold white stuff this winter.
While the SASS state championship is still a year away, the Posse has something scheduled a little sooner for Old West enthusiasts. Aug. 2 shooters in the SASS Utah State Black Powder Shootout will get all fired up in North Springs' cowboy town.
For more information on events and the Posse, Carbon County residents with Internet access may visit www.thecastlegateposse.net and for the North Springs Shooting Range and Recreation Area www.carbon.utah.gov/north_spring/index.htm.