The Old West will once again come alive as more than 750 men, women and juniors journey to the Ben Avery Shooting Range February 22 – 27, 2011 for the 20th Annual gathering of Winter Range. Over the past 20 years Winter Range has grown to be the world’s largest Western Encampment with competitors in this year’s event representing nearly every state in the union as well as several foreign countries. They will range in age from 12 to over 80 years and will compete in nearly two-dozen categories dictated by age, gender and style.
Winter Range is an exciting 6-day event that provides the backdrop for the Single Action Shooting Society’s National Championship of Cowboy Action Shooting. This annual event traditionally draws large numbers of spectators and Old West enthusiasts.
Cowboy Action Shooting™, the fastest growing shooting sport in America, requires that contestants compete with firearms typical of those used in the taming of the Old West: single action revolvers, lever action rifles and old time shotguns. Participants must also adopt a shooting alias appropriate to a character or profession of the late 19th century, a Hollywood western star or an appropriate character from fiction and then costume themselves accordingly.
The competition itself is staged in a unique “Old West” style. During timed events, shooters test their skills against steel targets set up within a course of 12 different stages each featuring different scenarios and scenic elements. In addition this year we will be featuring mounted shooters testing their skills in their own arena.
In addition to the competitive events, Winter Range 2011 will feature displays of period militaria, exhibitions of western skills and crafts, and nearly 100 vendors purveying everything from period clothing to antiques and reproductions. Entertainment will be readily available in the form of a number of singers, cowboy bands, trick roping, trick horses and various other forms of cowboy entertainment. A variety of food services are also available – from authentic chuck wagon cooking to hot dogs. Winter Range is an exciting event for the whole family.
The Winter Range Championship and Exhibition is produced by the Arizona Territorial Company of Rough Riders, a not-for-profit group representing various Cowboy Action Shooting™ clubs in Phoenix and throughout Arizona. Every year the profits from Winter Range are donated to numerous charitable organizations throughout Arizona ranging from various youth organizations like the Boy Scouts to the Wounded Warrior Project to the American Legion for their work with the Veterans Hospital. Last year more than $31,000 was donated to various charities
Daily event times are 8am until 5pm Wednesday through Saturday with the final awards ceremony taking place on Sunday. Admission is free, but a $5 parking fee will be collected which is used to support the various youth activities of the Maricopa County Sheriffs Posse.
While in the shooting areas, spectators will be required to wear eye protection. Sunglasses and corrective glasses are acceptable. Ear protection is suggested, especially for children.
The Ben Avery Shooting Range, where Winter Range takes place, is one of the finest such facilities in the world. It is located at the intersection of I-17 and Carefree Highway (Exit 223). Winter Range will occupy the western portion of the range and can easily be located by the huge 100x100ft white tent that serves as the hub of this activity