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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - July 24, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta THE LETHMIDOE HRAID Tuttday, Jtily 24, 1973 Hot shots ready Left to right: George Marshall, George Burger, Bob Vair, Mel Heidinger. Whoop-Up guns set to fire August 4U 5 Muzzle loaders, ramrods, flintlocks and buckskin will be in abundance Aug. 4 and 5 when the Fort 'Whoop-Up Black Powder club hosts its first black powder shooting compe- tition. The" "Whoop-Up Internation- al Rendezvous" will feature many types of vintage weap- onry that use black powder including a cannon, club Presi- dent Geprge Marshall has an- nounced. The Lothbridge as other competitions, will be a showpiece for one of the fast- est growing sports in North America. Four years ago there were members in black powder clubs across Canada and the United Kates. There are now ore than Mr. Marshall points out that the Letbbridge club, when formed in 1971, consisted of three members. It now has more than 30. Unlike traditional gun clubs, black powder groups use only the muzzle loading variety of rifles and pistols. Most mem- bers purchase replicas of the weapons of the early west or make their own. The sport of black powder not new. Despite its late rise to popularity, the first club was formed in 1932 in Ohio. Another club was formed in Friendship, Indiana, and in 1935 the two combined to form the National Muzzle Loading Rjfle Association an associ- ation with in its treasury. The organization now owns 300 acres of land at its Friend- ship headquarters, complete facilities for hundreds of trailer and camping units. By GEORGE STEPHENSON Mr. Marshall said the associ- ation holds two main shoots per year in May and Septem- ber which each draw about contestants and specta- tors. In Canada the sport began similarly with little fanfare. In some small towns, includ- ing Tofield and Camrose, the sport started in the 1960s. These small disorganized clubs called a joint meeting in 1970 and formed the Canadian Black Powder Federation, In 1970, the Lethbridge Fish and Game Association was ap- proached with the idea'of form- ing a black powder club in Southern Afoerta. One year later three enthusiasts formed the present club, which has since been incorporated under the Provincial Society's Act, Mr. Marshall added. When its membership reach- ed 28, the club applied to the federation to grant the August shoot. The competition has drawn interest from clubs in the Unit- ed States and Canada. More than 60 entrants, many of whom dress in the attire of the times their guns represent, are expected. "The August contest will be dedicated to the anniversary of the BCMP and we expect to have the Lethbridge North West Mounted PoUce gun crew fire the first Mr. Mar- shall said. Mr. Marshall is also optimis- tic that George McLeuand, former BCMP commissioner now provincial Ombudsman, will officially open the event. The snoot win be held at fee fish and game range, straight north on Street beyond ;