Sunday, September 16, 2012

Annual Rendezvous at Fort Bell, Washington

Shooting the trail at Ft Bell

Over Labor Day Weekend,  Theo and I had the opportunity to be the guests of
the Columbia Cascade Company at Fort Bell.

The Columbia Cascade Company is Fur Trade Era (pre-1840) Muzzle Loader
group. Every year they host a Rendezvous over Labor Day weekend. They
offer a variety of trail and novelty shoots as well as activities for
the Ladies and children.

This year Theo and I arrived on Saturday morning. Prior to shooting, we visited at the encampment of
 our good friends, Craig & Deanna Schmidt.  After which, I went off with Craig to
shoot the rifle trail while Theo stayed behind with Deanna and made beeswax candles with the other ladies.
The Fort Bell rifle (and Trade gun) trail consists of 25 target
ranging from 5 yards to 85 yards at various elevations and a wide
variety of shapes.

After returning for a delicious lunch of Duck Rillettes, bread, fresh
blackberries, grapes and brie cheese, as well as some blueberry-apple
cider for the Ladies and Smithwick’s Ale for Craig and I, we returned
to the trail to shoot the 14 pistol targets.
French Dragoon Pistol circa 1798

The next day I returned by myself and started the day with the ‘Luck
Shoot’ followed by the ‘Booshway Shoot.’ The ‘Luck Shoot’ consisted of
firing three shots at the blank side of a target marked with random
numbers – your score is the sum of the numbers. The ‘Booshway Shoot’
was a sort of obstacle course called the ‘Moose Milk Run.’ Competitors
had to set a foothold trap, throw knife and tomahawk until they stick

in a target, shoot at the 125 yard ‘Super Long Gong’ target, shoot at
a much closer target and finally milk a moose. This was done for time.
Despite having never set a spring trap or thrown knife or tomahawk I
did quite well – finishing third or fourth.
Foothold trap

Next, Craig and I did a fencing demonstration featuring smallsword,
sabre and singlestick.  Each form was played to best of five good
hits. I won the smallsword bouts after disarming Craig for the final
hit. Craig won the sabre bouts, rallying after a hard hit to the head.
And finally I won the singlestick bout.
After another delicious lunch, Craig still needed to shoot the Trade
gun Trail. I do not have a Trade gun, but shot the trail with my rifle
for fun.

This Rendezvous was quite the treat. I fully intend to camp the entire
weekend next year. I also need to get my own knife and tomahawk so
that I am not caught unprepared in the future.
Ft Bell Cannon

Best Regards
Colonel deValois

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