Break out the coonskin caps, flintlock rifles, powder flasks and tomahawks. Step back in time and be transported to a bygone era when stalwart frontiersmen hunted with hand-carved bows and smoke-belching muzzleloaders.

The National Muzzle Loaders Rifle Association Western National Shoot is March 4-10 at the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Ben Avery Shooting Facility, 25 miles north of Phoenix on Carefree Highway just off I-17. Shoot times are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Awards will be presented at 9 a.m. Monday, March 10.

Events include a beginner’s shoot, Boy Scout camps, pistol, hawk and knife, primitive matches, offhand, bench rest, X-sticks, silhouette, chunk gun, running boar, trap, skeet, primitive archery, black powder cartridge, traders row, and international matches. Competitors come from all over the country and many dress in period clothing. Visitors are invited to dress the part as well.

The event is free. Snacks, food and beverages will be available for purchase. Specialty vendors will have all sorts of hats, clothing, accessories, collectibles and novelty items for sale. Stop by Traders Row and shop for fringed leather jackets, hats, authentic Hawken rifles, hand-carved Indian flutes and one-of-a-kind keepsakes. You might even find cannons and other surprises. Be sure to try the Mountain Man stew and Navajo fry bread.

For more information about the NMLRA Western National Shoot at Ben Avery Shooting Facility visit or call (812) 667-5131.

Logo courtesy Arizona Game and Fish Department

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