Kelly Bostian: Fast draw and dog test events on tap
BY KELLY BOSTIAN Outdoors
Thursday, April 26, 2012
4/26/12 at 6:40 AM
Go to Kelly Bostian's blog Original Print Headline: Fast draw and dog test events on tap
Fast guns and talented dogs are on the docket this weekend in a couple of events that would have me going to the guns and the dogs if I were anywhere near Oklahoma this weekend. Family business has me on the West Coast, but others have come the other direction.
Fast guns are flocking to Tulsa this week from California, Kentucky, Colorado, Texas and "all around," according to Eddie "Okie Ed" Clayton for Oklahoma's first state fast-draw championship at new facilities at Tulsa Motocross Park. Likewise, some top handlers and their dogs are on their way from North Dakota, Texas and "all over," according to Richard Colston for the Three Rivers Hunting Retriever Club Spring Hunt Test at Cherokee Spur Ranch near Afton.
Establishing a contest to determine Oklahoma's fastest gun is a dream Eddie Clayton is about to see to fruition. The Green Country Gun Slingers have built two "caves" at the motocross park.
"We called them Robber's Cave after the area in Oklahoma and the Hole In The Wall," Clayton said.
Six guns can line up in each cave at a time, and this weekend both caves will be operating at full capacity to run through all the competition.
"You'll have six over here and six over there, so 12 at a time going," Clayton said. "That's a lot of boom, boom, boom."
Between 80 and 100 fast-draw shooters in the Cowboy Fast Draw Association are expected to draw down on speed targets Friday through Sunday, including some of the best in the country.
"We've got two of the fastest ladies in the sport coming. They shoot about a half-second," Clayton said.
The competition is a "four-X elimination," Clayton said. Groups of six gunners line up and compete against each other. Lose in four lineups and you're done. It all boils down to a final "Magnificent Seven" who face off Sunday afternoon to see who has the fastest gun.
Spectators are encouraged and there is no cost to attend. Any kid (of any age) who likes cowboy movies is bound to enjoy this event. Gunslingers club members will have a "town folk" lane set up as well where anyone can stand up and see how fast they are. Event times are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. The Tulsa Motocross Park is located about 1 1/4 miles west of Highway 169 off 56th Street North.
For more information, call Okie Ed at 918-894-9316 or see tulsaworld.com/gcgunslingers
As for the retrievers, if you would like to watch smart dogs in action in a beautiful setting - and who wouldn't? - then the spring hunt test at Cherokee Spur Ranch is the place to be.
"As a dog handler, if you've never been there, it's just one of those places you have to see," said longtime club member Richard Colston. This is another event with no cost to attend. If you're a new hunting retriever owner it will also provide a great learning experience.
The annual spring test is a bigger deal this year because the club hosts a national Hunting Retriever Club Grand Hunt in October.
"People are coming from all over to see ground that's similar to what we'll be having the Grand on," Colston said.
The Grand will be a four-day event with 300 to 500 accomplished dogs trying to make the mark to earn the title of Grand Master.
"It's not your typical test," Colston said.
But that's in October. This weekend, for a glimpse of things to come, wear some drab-colored clothes (so you don't distract the dogs), grab a lawn chair and enjoy watching dozens of professionals and amateurs lining up to prove their mettle in the "started," "seasoned" and "finished" categories. Started dogs usually are pups that just have their basic training and finished dogs are accomplished and well-trained hunters. Tests begin at 8 a.m. each day and typically wrap up in mid- to late afternoon.
To find Cherokee Spur from Tulsa, drive east on I-44 to the Vinita exit, go eight miles east on State Highway 60 to State Highway 85 South. Go south two miles to Highway 85A (through Bernice) to County Road 4520. Turn right on 4520 and the road dead-ends at the ranch.
The two more experienced categories are filled with 40 and 60 dogs, respectively, but there are a few more spots available for people who might like to take a shot at the test in the started category. For more information, see tulsaworld.com/3rivershrc or call test secretary Michael Bullen at 918-341-4545.