Got in from Deadwood Friday evening; shot a cowboy match up in Ft. Collins yesterday morning. All in all, it went pretty well. Had one stage where I forgot my Model '97 is strictly blunt trauma and worked the pump like an 870...didn't fully eject the hull. Then without looking I tossed the shotgun down on a table where, perversely, the empty round slid back into the chamber as the action closed neat as a pin. Leaving a fired round in the chamber is a penalty. So it goes...
Next week is the last push week in my hellish spring travel schedule — GUNSITE for a Ruger product introduction (and, yes, you'll see it on DRTV first!), then to End of Trail in Albuquerque for a couple of days until it's the Custer battle reenactment in Hardin, MT for the weekend. We're out of Billings on Monday. Luckily, our flight out of Billings is late enough to allow us a quick trip to the Mother Church of Cowboy Hats, Rand Custom Hats in Billings. Titch says he'll be in town and maybe we can grab a quick lunch along with a new hat. COWBOYS/SG Producer John Carter is actually frothing at the mouth. Probably the hat I wear the most os Ritch's 147 Sporting Clays, my go-to hat all summer and fall (although, to be totally honest I've been wearing the Colorado Mountain Hat Company copy of the Herbert Johnson "Poet" I had them make up for me. I like it enough that I might see one of Ritch's Western Fedoras in grey in my future.
I have to confess to a new pair of boots from a cowboy shop in Spearfish, SD — a pair of tall Ariat Hoolihans with ever-tasteful purple tops. I bought them in the morning and spent all day in a rodeo arena blowing up balloons and moving cones for mounted shooters. Seems like a fair break-in. I wore them yesterday, and they're getting there. I mean, they're never going to be Lucchese, but they don't cost like Lucchese, either.
In Deadwood I ran into Dan & Julia Schwarz...really nice people and just magnificent custom bootmakers from Montana. Check out their custom boot gallery and weep, mortals! I would kill to take their 2-week custom boot-making course...we'll see how the year shakes out...2 weeks is a long, long time in my world. Still, who else woudl do Wile E. Coyote boots?