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 MUZZLE LOADING IN THE EARLY YEARS IN THE WESTERN STATES.

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conner
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PostSubject: MUZZLE LOADING IN THE EARLY YEARS IN THE WESTERN STATES.   June 8th 2016, 8:19 am

Starting in the mid '60s through the mid '80s the rendezvous, buck skinning events, muzzle loading shoots were alive and growing - everyone with an interest would attend, a dozen magazines related to the sport were building large numbers of subscribers, manufacturers support was great, the hot topic in the news media were these events. A wonderful time.

State Associations related to muzzle loading worked with their State Divisions of Wild Life getting seasons and permits put on the books. Most states put the elk & deer muzzle loading hunting seasons as regular hunting seasons like the archery, high power rifle seasons along the small game season, end of story.

Not Colorado, all the other seasons are not required to do anything (locked in place), the muzzle loading season is renewed every three years (lobbied for) which 90% of the hunters aren't aware off. Every three years the Colorado State Muzzle Loading Association [CSMLA] (formed in the late '60s) have several officers at the State of Colorado Wild Life Division meeting to fight for additional permits for Elk-bull & cow, Deer-buck & doe permits along with any other season Fish & Game may try to adjust the number of permits offered. CSMLA officers rub elbows with State of Colorado Wild Life Division Officials all year long (the good old boy theory) anything is better than nothing.
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In the late '60s when getting the muzzle loading seasons started we went or held a muzzle loading shoot somewhere each month within the state. Invited the news media, wrote articles published in National Hunting magazine, anything to get attention to our sport. This got the attention of the State of Colorado Wild Life Division head guys, they saw $$$ dollars to be made with the muzzle loading season.

I was President of the Colorado State Muzzle Loading Association [CSMLA], I wanted myself or my officers to go to each event and promote the association and provide a prize in the [CSMLA]  name, (this was my idea along with Dwain "Trapper Tom" Thompson, my Vice Pres.). The state association was small less than 100 members and needing growth (that's a story in itself). The shoots were our playing field and we took advantage of it. In a 6 years period with doing different things such as a bi-monthly newsletter of at least a dozen pages, advertisements with membership information at any store that handled muzzleloaders or black powder in CO, UT and part of WY. Trapper had access to HP's printers (supervisor working swings) and I worked for the phone company on the road 5 days a week for 6 years in the states mentioned, we covered those areas with CSMLA material on a monthly bases. So as you can see our employers provided a source and we used it 100% percent. After 12 years of pushing the CSMLA we were tired and wore out handing 1210 paying members to new officers.

In less than 6 years they were back to less than 200 active members and down to local club shoots once a month. Today they ask "why can't we grow, there's over 75,000 plus folks applying for the muzzle-loading seasons". Promote the season guys   Crying or Very sad  :rtup headslap


Share your experiences with your local and state associations, are they growing or going down hill? affraid

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PostSubject: Re: MUZZLE LOADING IN THE EARLY YEARS IN THE WESTERN STATES.   June 8th 2016, 9:01 am

I only started muzzleloading about 4 to 5 years ago, when I was 64 or 65. I just was on a lark when I heard of a Rendezvous at Ft. Lupton, CO. To my shock, almost everyone participating was close to my age. Over the last 4-5 years, the attendance at these gatherings has diminished.

I have offered to supervise a muzzleloader shoot for some local Boy Scout troops, but the Scout Masters seem to be fearful of liability issues. None of the shoots have come about.

The only "success" I have had is taking a the husband of a former student of mine to the range to shoot muzzleloaders. He loved it! Two Christmases ago, I found an inexpensive Numrich "Kentucky" percussion rifle and gave it to him. He couldn't have been more excited.
Other than that, I haven't seen any others interested.

I regret that I didn't get involved long ago, during the periods of great interest.
Ron

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PostSubject: Re: MUZZLE LOADING IN THE EARLY YEARS IN THE WESTERN STATES.   June 8th 2016, 9:11 am

@RonC wrote:
..... I heard of a Rendezvous at Ft. Lupton, CO. To my shock, almost everyone participating was close to my age. Over the last 4-5 years, the attendance at these gatherings has diminished.

We were going to hold a meeting/shoot for the GRRW guys at Ft. Lupton a few weeks ago, the first GRRW Rendezvous. Had to cancel the event because like you say "age", everyone had grand kids graduating from high school or college, poor scheduling.

I have offered to supervise a muzzleloader shoot for some local Boy Scout troops, but the Scout Masters seem to be fearful of liability issues. None of the shoots have come about.

The only "success" I have had is taking a the husband of a former student of mine to the range to shoot muzzleloaders. He loved it! Two Christmases ago, I found an inexpensive Numrich "Kentucky" percussion rifle and gave it to him. He couldn't have been more excited.
Other than that, I haven't seen any others interested.

I regret that I didn't get involved long ago, during the periods of great interest.
Ron

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PostSubject: Re: MUZZLE LOADING IN THE EARLY YEARS IN THE WESTERN STATES.   June 8th 2016, 9:35 am

Buck

I confess that I never joined any muzzleloading organizations. However I was a Hunter's ed instructor with the Colorado Div of Wildlife and pushed within to promote the sport......was religious about traditional muzzleloaders only during the ML seasons and especially promoted muzzleloader hunting during our classes. Now living in Idaho, I have no Idea about any state organization and confess I am a bit disillusioned with Idaho Fish and Game, especially as it pertains to elk management.

My own personal disengagement from "buckskinning" came from association. My early experience was with (many of them you knew/know) serious historians and gun builders. As the interest expanded, I found rendezvous to be more alike to Renaissance Fairs rather than fur trade living history...and for my part, I was more interested in "living history" and period hunting than I was rows of traders....which increasingly was more Native American/New age....sorry....but crap! Now I know those who attended more juried events like AMM or in my case Bent's Fort, got much more of the history. Additionally.....and because we were still recovering from the 60's and 70's...there was more drunkeness and drug use and nudity at typical rendezvous that precluded having family involved. I know what I have described isn't everyone's experience but it got to be fairly common at the events I participated in Colorado.....again with the exception of Bent's. I wanted to expand my vision of the fur trade 1830's/40's era so I was invited into the military aspect...which no one was doing. Anything in a uniform was despised among most my buckskinner associates..i.e. Civil War and at the time I wasn't interested in living history of the Civil War era. I first discovered US Mounted Rifles of 1846, Mexican War era and California and Oregon Trail era. However I was able to pick up a Hall carbine from a collector in Denver pretty cheap so I went 1rst Dragoons so I could portray and even earlier time span. My original plan was to do 1830's but many of the weapons and equipment was either cost prohibited with originals or not yet being reproduced. The best part was at Bent's I could switch back and forth between ""Taos Trapper" and dragoon and both fit into the Fort's 1846 time period. I was also able to pick up the '46 Grimsley saddle and tack.......although actually later than 1846 Mexican War events........I have recently research a bit on the 1833 model Grimsley saddle and have discovered it was based on a Mexican tree rather than English military/dressage model....hoping one day to get one built.

In any event I drifted away from about a dozen historical impressions, including 1878/79 9th Cav officer, 1850's Texas vaquero, and early stage development of Union "Wilder's Lightening Brigade" and "Terry's Texas Rangers".

Having said all that, I still have a great memories of my association with Steamboat Springs muzzleloader club and all my friends from the area of the state who helped me progress from farby to more accomplished fur trade enthusiast.......and can still put together a decent southwest trapper or upper Missouri impression.

I hope that wasn't too much of a rabbit trail, but wanted to explain why this pilgrim drifted away......probably should have gone MMA, but I have had a good ride doing all these other impressions and teaching/lecturing to elementary school to College age students......even did a Cowboy Poetry weekend in Durango Co. with Ben Johnson and Harry Carey Jr.
Early farby days buckskinning:
By the way Buck...that's a GRRW/John Corn Trapper's Rendezvous I'm holding!
Dragoon impression Bent's Fort:

Latest impression:

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PostSubject: Re: MUZZLE LOADING IN THE EARLY YEARS IN THE WESTERN STATES.   June 8th 2016, 9:55 am

This a photo of part of our ministry to high school and college age students. "Pathfinder Adventures" takes high school students and exposes them to French and Indian war era living history, including shooting Long Land Pattern Muskets "Brown Besses" as well as period fowlers and militia muskets. This photo was from a "trek" we did here in Northern Idaho. Our long term vision is to 18-25 year olds in a 9 month resident school setting with a 10 week colonial living history setting.........where young men and young women alike will learn all aspects of period flintlock muzzleloading. Presently we are able to equip about 12-15 individuals with clothing, muskets/fowlers and scouting equipment.

Our vision is for at least 50 students going through our "Christian Outdoor Leadership Training academy" a year.......so we're doing a bit to keep muzzleloading alive. One of the students who attended our Idaho trek, I continue mentor and take hunting every year. helped him get his first whitetail.....though his favorite gun is a vintage Garrand.
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PostSubject: Re: MUZZLE LOADING IN THE EARLY YEARS IN THE WESTERN STATES.   June 8th 2016, 11:37 am

I am recently returned to active shooting status in the last three years. 
I was very active in my teens and twenties. I let life get in the way. But, 
I well remember the heady days of the 1970s. The Bi-Centenial Celebrations 
were on and it was sexy to just be an American.

I know little of the politics of BP- past or present.

I shoot regularly now with a small to medium size group of dedicated 
front stuffers the third Sunday of every month at Central Florida 
Pistol & Rifle Club. I have managed to host two guests so far. I have 
two more who say they want to come. I had already decided to make 
more invites.

CFPRC also has a Sharps style BP cartridge group that shoots monthly 
and these are kindred spirits. The Cowboy Action group has some 'Dark 
Side' shooters who favor BP loads. There is some cross over. 

I have heard about BP activity at two other FL. ranges that I have yet to visit.

I participate in the Florida State black powder shoots regularly, now. They have 
been held at the Florida Frontiersmen's site in Homeland, Florida. These 
are the folks who host Alafia Rendezvous. There is talk of CFPRC hosting a 
State Shoot soon. These are well attended.

I have been told that the Florida state muzzleloading association collapsed. 
The last shoot I was at, there was talk of starting it up again. I wish I had 
asked a few more questions, now. I can likely find out more this month. I 
would join.

I am a member of the National Muzzle Loaders Association which reminds me, 
I likely need to renew my membership. The link is below. 

http://nmlra.org




There is a national Black Powder shoot in Friendship, IN June 9-19. Please, post if you attend? 

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PostSubject: Re: MUZZLE LOADING IN THE EARLY YEARS IN THE WESTERN STATES.   March 15th 2017, 7:42 am

@Kentucky Colonel wrote:

I have been told that the Florida state muzzleloading association collapsed. 

I was told the Florida association was in trouble by some guys that attend Alafia Rendezvous a few years ago. They both have been involved in this association as officers years ago. I got to know them when still active with the NRA and the NMLRA  along with the Colorado muzzle loading groups as an area rep for NMLRA. 


Its hard to keep memberships high, and growing them takes a few members that put out the effort to make things happen with advertising, setting up events, fund raisers. Keeping the associations name in front of the public, anything to get your group noticed and still be seen as the good guys. 


One can do everything they can think of, spent personal funds for mailings and still get very little attention. Over the years you can watch these different group grow, then go down, sad. One of the biggest problems from 40 plus years experience of playing this game is the lack of members that will help. 


The last status report I saw was a few years ago maybe 2012 - most local and state clubs, organizations, and associations have less than 3-5% of the membership trying to keep their group afloat. That has improve from the 2-3% from '90s. Everyone wants to play as long as someone else provides the event, prizes, etc. Then have the guts to complain when something goes wrong. With lack of support we all lose.

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