Cowboy Action

Adventures on the range at The Hope Rod and Gun Club

Members of the Hope Rod and Gun Club competed on Sunday during the western themed Cowboy Action competition.

Members of the Hope Rod and Gun Club competed on Sunday during the western themed Cowboy Action competition.

Cowboys and cowgirls were invited to the Hope Rod and Gun Club’s Cowboy Action Shoot on Sunday. The popular monthly event features shooters in traditional western garb and is targeted for families and anyone wanting to test their mettle in a series of old west themed courses designed for time and accuracy.

The once a month competition features shooters, who compete in various scenarios using firearms typical of the era. Single action revolvers, pistol caliber lever action rifles, and old-time shotguns were implemented as each contestant battled it out for top score.

There were three stages in the competition with each stage testing different skills and abilities, affording shooters the chance to improve upon overall accuracy and handling.

The Cowboy Action Shoot follows the sanctions of the Single Action Shooting Society (SASS,) an international organization that preserves and promotes the sport of Cowboy Action Shooting.

To get in the old-time mood, participants were encouraged to dress in clothing appropriate to the 19th Century era. Shooters were able to choose a fictional character or to develop their own personal icon.

The club suggests that participants start with blue jeans, cowboy boots, and a hat. Costumes can be as elaborate or minimal as the individual desires.

Bankers, blacksmiths, lawmen, gunslingers, railroad engineers, saloon girls, schoolmarms, cavalry, mountain men, trail cowboys, prairie women and just about any imaginable character from the bygone era are conceivable.

Competitors were only male on Sunday (due to a smaller turnout for Mother’s Day,) but the club is home to both male and female shooters.

Costumes and accessories added to the fun and set the mood for taking care of business in the old west according to club member Louise O’Hara, who was on hand taking score for the day’s activities.

Fierce competitors with the aliases of Scofield Kid, Vest Windbreaker, Parson Pickaxe, Rooster and Appaloose Screw were reigning havoc on targets during the event.

Sunday was just one of many exciting things the club is up to.

Rod and Gun Club President George Preston, a retired RCMP officer with over 31 years in the force met with The Hope Standard to discuss some of what the prestigious organization has to offer.

“We are an active organization, there’s a lot of people in town who have an interest in firearms,” said Preston who teaches the PAL course. To be eligible to apply for the PAL, applicants must have already passed the written and practical tests for the Canadian Firearms Safety Course (CFSC.)

The PAL course teaches safety and how to handle a gun properly in accordance with the licensing system in Canada. According to Preston, a fire arm cannot be owned, unless the purchaser has obtained a PAL certificate.

There’s a prohibitive screening process that a candidate must undergo before they can even take the PAL course, which operates as a system to weed out the good candidates from the bad.

“It’s all about safety — I won’t pass someone unless I feel they are safe,” said Preston. I will meet with people beforehand to get a feeling about them and there’s a couple that I’ve refused because something was off.”

Preston begins his interviews by asking people why they want to own a gun, and if they can’t come up with a sufficient answer he red flags them. Any issues, like marital trouble, or psychological problems are par for preventing people from acquiring firearms or even completing the courses to obtain them.

The club consists of 170 properly screened members and because of the small size, members know other members and can discuss any issues amongst each other.

“So far we haven’t had to kick anyone out because we know who our members are,” said Preston.

There are many reasons that people join gun clubs, one of them being that a regulation to owning a small hand gun in Canada, is that the owner be a member of a rod and gun club.

“They have to comply with legislation, so some members join for that reason. We’re also a hunting society, everybody has a gopher story where they fired a round at gophers and groundhogs or hunted ducks with their Dad.”

Generally people have had a positive experience with firearms and they join because of the events and opportunities available to them at the club, including .22 Shoot, Tactical Shoot, Trap Shoot, Pistol Shoot and Cowboy Action.

Shooters can start as young as 12 under supervision and with core safety courses under their belts.

“People come out for the social aspect of it, and we also have a pistol league on Wednesday’s because there’s a lot of people in town with hand guns, who don’t know what to do with them and I teach them how to shoot in a course of fire.”

A course of fire involves shooting steel targets in a specific sequence according to Preston, who is adamant about safety briefings and range protocol for all shooters.

Newbies can try out a firearm at the .22 shoot under Preston’s supervision and instruction. He currently instructs the local RCMP in firearm training sessions at the RCMP Pacific Region Training Centre in Chilliwack and is a competitor in various firearm competitions on the national scene.

The club adheres to all Canadian safety regulations and has had quite a history over the years. It is home to a solid group of community oriented business people, who have undertaken many community initiatives like fishing derbies, and participating in last year’s Fraser River Clean Up.

Potential gunslingers are encouraged to find out more about the club’s many events and are invited to attend one of their scheduled shoots, where they can chat with members of the organization.

Please visit for more details.






Just Posted

Linnea Labbee outside the Chilliwack Law Courts on April 1, 2021 on day 16 of her trial in BC Supreme Court. Labbee was convicted April 12 for the fatal hit-and-run of 78-year-old Fourghozaman Firoozian on Dec. 1, 2016. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Sentencing hearing scheduled for 72-year-old Chilliwack woman found guilty in fatal hit-and-run

Crown will seek jail time for Linnea Labbee who struck and killed 78-year-old woman in 2016

Chilliwack Spartans Swim Club coach Justin Daly.
Chilliwack Spartans swim coach Justin Daly wins Rubber Boot Award

Daly was recognized in a vote by fellow coaches in the BC Swim Coaches Association

Dr. Keith Carlson, director of Peace and Reconciliation Centre, will be the MC and moderator for the June 23 webinar Islamophobia: Seeking Solutions for Hate. (Submitted photo)
Seminar presented on Islamophobia: Seeking Solutions for Hate

UFV webinar on June 23 features speakers who will draw on lived experience

The latest data from the BC Centre for Disease Control. (BCCDC graphic)
Chilliwack COVID case count moving towards zero

From a high of 156 around Christmas, Chilliwack’s local health authority reported just 17 last week

The Abbotsford International Airshow is back for 2021 with the ‘SkyDrive’ concept.
Abbotsford International Airshow returns for 2021 with ‘SkyDrive’

New format features a drive-in movie type experience, show set for Aug. 6 to 8

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko, a Vancouver lawyer, has been suspended from practice for two months after admitting that his firm mismanaged $44,353.19 in client trust funds. (Acumen Law)
High-profile B.C. lawyer suspended over $44K in mismanaged client trust funds

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko admits to failing to supervise his staff and find, report the shortage

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., center left, reaches over to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they celebrate the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that creates a new federal holiday to commemorate June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people after the Civil War, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

New American stat marks the nation’s end of slavery

Ridge Meadows RCMP seized drugs, cash and guns from a house on Lougheed Highway and 221 Street. (Special to The News)
RCMP seize drugs, cash and guns from Maple Ridge house

Items were recovered after search warrant executed on Lougheed Highway home June 11

Fire near Highway 97 C close to Merritt. (Facebook)
Wildfire burning near Highway 97C

The fire is an estimated nine hectares in size

Athena and Venus, ready to ride. (Zoe Ducklow - Sooke News Mirror)
Goggling double-dog motorcycle sidecar brings smiles to B.C. commuters

Athena and Venus are all teeth and smiles from their Harley-Davidson sidecar

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
B.C. casino workers laid off during pandemic launch class-action lawsuit

Notice of civil claim filed in Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo against Great Canadian Gaming

A Photo from Sept. 2020, when First Nations and wild salmon advocates took to the streets in Campbell River to protest against open-pen fish farms in B.C.’s waters. On Dec. 17, federal fisheries minister Bernadette Jordan announced her decision to phase out 19 fish farms from Discovery Islands. Cermaq’s application to extend leases and transfer smolts was denied. (Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror)
Feds deny B.C.’s Discovery Island fish farm application to restock

Transfer of 1.5 million juvenile salmon, licence extension denied as farms phased out

Most Read