See early American history come to life at the Western National Muzzle Loader shoot

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February 5th, 2009

See early American history come to life
at the Western National Muzzle Loader shoot

PHOENIX – Get your coonskin caps, flintlock rifles, powder flasks and tomahawks ready for action or just come as you are to witness an historic bygone era when stalwart frontiersmen hunted with smoke-belching muzzleloaders or hand-carved bows and arrows.

The Western National Shoot for the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association is Feb. 11-16 at the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Ben Avery Shooting Facility on Carefree Highway just off I-17.

But this is not just a national competition. It is also an historical, cultural and educational exchange the whole family can enjoy at the largest public firing range in the United States. Many of the contestants will be dressed in period clothing; so can you.

Competitors from around the country will engage in such crowd-pleasing events as pistol, hawk and knife, X-sticks, chunk guns, running boar, primitive matches, black power cartridge, and primitive archery. Tomahawk throwing skills will be put to the test.

There will also be a Traders Row where you can buy everything from fringed leather jackets and authentic Hawken rifles to mountain man stew and Navajo fry bread. You might even find some cannons for sale or possibly hand-carved Indian flutes.

And guess what, the event is free. But you can bring some trading wampum anyway for this winter rendezvous in the warm desert sunshine on the outskirts of Phoenix.

Contestants can even load their tepees or vintage cavalry tents into the old wagon and come camp out.

For those who would like more information, visit www.nmlra.org.

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