Smokin’ Gunfight In The Badlands: Oregon’s Black Powder Championship Shoot

Reprinted from our September 2013 issue

Article and photo by Pete Pedone AKA Palaver Pete

black powder
Black powder match director, Cascade Annie, smokes up the area with her rifle at a recent Pine Mountain Posse Shoot in the Badlands of Oregon.

Bend is located in the high desert country of Central Oregon, half way between the Columbia River and Crater Lake National Park. This part of Central Oregon is also referred to by Historians as the “Badlands!” The Badlands is also home to the Pine Mountain Posse (PMP) and several hundred cowboy action shooters, who love to shoot black powder (BP). One of those shooters is Cheryl Mayfield, whose cowboy handle is Cascades Annie. Annie in her zeal to have more black powder shoots, convinced the cowboy umbrella organization, the Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) that she and her home posse, the PMP should be permitted to hold the annual Oregon State Black Powder Championship Shoot in the Badlands. Without hesitation, SASS officials agreed, and Annie is now in charge of the State Championship Shoot featuring both black powder and smokeless – smokeless being permitted for those timid souls who detest cleaning the black stuff. The two-day event is scheduled for September 20-22 at the Central Oregon Shooting Sports Association Range, located in the town of Milican, 24 miles east of Bend on Highway 20E … And yes, this is the heart of the Badlands!

Now in its third year, the shoot is known throughout the shooting cowboy world as the “Smokin’ Gunfight in the Badlands.” This year’s event is a combined shoot using either smokeless, frontier cartridge, or Frontiersman cap & ball. The main match will feature 10 stages designed after TV Westerns that captured the hearts of all gun-loving cowboys during the height of the “western oaters,” on TV during the ‘50s and ‘60s. Scenarios for the stages will be based on such programs as Gunsmoke, Maverick, and The Rifleman, to name a few. Shooters will be organized into posses; briefed on the shooting situation (scenario), and each individual will have his/her time to “shoot the stage,” as it is called. Each stage (bays) will be set up with reactive metal targets to correspond with the given scenario. Shooters will be able to select their own categories based on powder used, style of shooting; i.e., duelist or two handed, age and sex.  Shooters will shoot under the clock, with 5 second penalties for misses and 10 second penalties for procedural errors. Winners of the various shooter categories (first down to fifth place), will be announced and recognized at the Sunday awards ceremony.

Friday, September 20th will be devoted to side matches and warm-up stages to get all the shooters primed up for the five main event stages that will be shot on Saturday and Sunday. Friday’s warm up will include long range rifle events as well as a “Wild Bunch” event that emulates the movie of the same name, and where shooters are permitted to use 1911s as well as Model 97 pump shotguns. Shooters will be permitted to use their pistol-caliber rifles for the long range events. Friday night, after the warm-ups, a “wagon train”-themed potluck will be held so that all shooters will have a chance to meet each other and socialize.

Registration starts at 8 a.m. on Friday, September 20th. Dry camping is free. There is no electricity or running water at the range. Food and convenience stations will be available. This shoot is considered a family event. Categories will be available for our younger shooters. Juniors are those 16 and under. This category is further divided by age and gender. Young Guns aged 14 through 16, and Buckaroos and Buckareets are ages 13 and black powder-profilepicunder. Entries for this shoot are due as early as possible and hopefully will be received by September 15th. The main match shooter fee is $50. An additional spouse shooter $40; juniors shoot free, and meal packages are $35 each. Registration forms can be downloaded online at or call Cascades Annie at (541) 815-9087. Mail entry forms to: Pine Mountain Posse, PO Box 9443, Bend, OR 97708. Hope to see you there, Pard!

Editor’s note: Peter Pedone is the designated writer for the Pine Mountain Posse, and also a contributing writer to the SASS Cowboy Chronicle. His SASS Handle is Palaver Pete.

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