It’s sure to be a blast when one of the largest western-style encampments puts down stakes in Phoenix for Winter Range and the 23rd Annual Cowboy Action Shooting National Championship, February 24 to March 1 at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility, 4044 W. Black Canyon Blvd., just off Carefree Highway and west of Interstate 17. Admission is FREE. Parking is $5 and all proceeds help support charitable organizations. For information, photos and more information visit

One of the biggest draws of Winter Range is the Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) National Championship of Cowboy Action Shooting, with more than 1,100 competitors barreling in from 44 states and seven countries. Men, women and youngsters ages 12 to 82 square off to compete in nearly three dozen competitive challenges that are sure to thrill and entertain.

The Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association and the SASS Mounted Shooters partnered up and created a three-day mounted shooting event. At least a hundred horseback riders will be saddling up and heading into their arena for hoof-stomping, swift-action competitions on Feb. 28, March 1 and 2.

In Cowboy Action Shooting contestants don the fashions of the Old West and compete in challenges tailored to fabled firearms like lever action rifles, single-action revolvers and period shotguns. Enthusiasts adopt a shooting alias inspired by a late 19th century character or profession, a Hollywood star of western films, or a fictional character. They complete their image with meticulously crafted costumes that harken to those bygone days.

Winter Range 2014 features many competitive events, period militaria displays, western skills and crafts exhibits, and a fast draw competition. Nearly 100 vendors will be on site selling period clothing, hats and wigs, antiques and reproductions. Cowboy bands, singers, dancing, roping and trick horses will offer engaging entertainment day and night.

Wyatt Earp, the great grand-nephew of the late Wyatt Earp, is sure to be a highlight of the 2014 Winter Range. He and Mrs. Wyatt Earp take the stage and step into the shoes of long-gone relatives for a trip down memory lane at 2 p.m., Saturday, March 1. They will reminisce and wax poetic about their lives during the legendary days of the Old West. Admission is free.

Authentic chuck wagon cooking, hot dogs, ice cream, beverages and snacks will be available for purchase from food vendors. Don’t miss this chance to travel back in time for a visit to the Wild West. This week-long extravaganza boasts action-packed, family-friendly excitement. It’s all waiting for you at Winter Range.

Image courtesy Arizona Game and Fish Department

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