Moon of the Crow 2005
What is it about a rendezvous that sees over half of the final number of lodges pitched 2 and 3 days early? Is it the location - one of the prettiest settings for camping in New Mexico and ideal landscape for shooting events? Or is it the people - good booshway, good buckskinners, and great camaraderie? Maybe a little of both, cuz Moon of the Crow was a good’n again this year. The weather was a little rough early in the week, but by Thursday the wind had let up and the rest of the week saw warm days and cool nights. Well, maybe cold nights, but tolerable. Food, coffee, and refreshments were plentiful – barking spider and green chili stew, venison steak, chorizo and eggs, pineapple upside down cake, plenty of scalding black coffee, and even a little “apple pie” if you knew where to look. The Saloon was up and running, and Joe and Julie were in the mood to trade.
What could you play at? Let’s start with the trailwalk, but then again maybe we shouldn’t. "Hands" has to be a little embarrassed at how he got took when he purchased steel at the scrap yard for targets – little bitty pieces, most of them hollow with hardly a good solid chunk in the lot. Yeah, it was a good trailwalk. Had to screw down pretty tight to get ‘em all. Ask "Waits to Shoot" about that.
Dennis set up a good 2-man mountain man run. Probably 10 teams or so ventured forth. Out of that number only one team survived, one committed suicide, and the rest just plain went under. Whew! Each partner supported and advanced his counterpart through attacks by hostiles, dropping a stubborn buffalo, wing shots on high flying quail, and making fire with damp (wet?) "stuff". Yeah, it was fun. Tell you about one particular team. One member couldn’t see out of his shooting eye (not funny, just the way it was) and the other couldn’t throw a knife in a well. Did they make it? Naw, but had a good time anyway. Neither one could believe the other wanted him for a partner. Fate has a sense of humor, I guess.
I think the desert has a way of messing with one’s head, just a little. Shooting during the daylight, well, that just makes good sense; but Bill, from the dry country down around El Paso, would rather play in the dark. I mean navigate, shoot, throw, and build fires. Have you ever loaded in the dark? Can’t see to pour the powder. Priming the pan or capping? Forget it! These are just a few of the comments made by hardy participants. Pretty much good fun! First year for this event at a rendezvous. Don’t quit now Bill!
Nasty is what it was. Evil and devious by all accounts. Yup, the Long Shot/Calcutta was interesting. Cost the shooter a buck to enter. Then it got really interesting. Bid up that shooter until ya won him or her; cuz if your shooter won, the two of you would split the bidding pot (about $280). Don’t bid and claim just one shooter. Increase your chances by owning two or three (Watch out for the sandbagger who couldn’t hit a bull in the butt with a shovel.). Three hours worth of hits and ties. Back and forth. Almost a win and then a tie would sneak in to rob the moment. Hedging the bet and jockeying for that last shot position. At long last (somewhere between 250 and 275 yards), "Hands" waited for just the right moment to step forward and take the last shot and make the only hit. Exhausting! Good event! "Hands" and "Pack Mule" split that one.
Of course, there’s more to tell, but we’ll settle for just one last tale. Not to worry, though, cuz "Hands" has a full accounting in the works. Raffle - what about that mysterious Bob gun going on the block only at council fire? Cost you $10 a pop to play, but man was it worth it! As pretty a little smoothbore as you could ever expect to hold. Canoe gun length and .60 down the bore. Lots of chances were sold, but of course it only takes one. "Tatonka Sue" declared it better not, cuz she had a handful. Prizes were awarded, announcements made, and then came the time to draw from the hat. Understand that not only was the fusil at stake, but also one of "Gone Again’s" beautiful shields. It was dark by now. Candle lanterns illuminated ticket stubs all around the campfire. A ticket was drawn. A number mumbled, I mean read. “Rats, not mine!” made its way around the circle again and again, until that ancient war whoop of “Woo hoo!” thundered off the surrounding hills announcing a winner. Sue was right! It was better to hold a handful of prospects, than one lame chance for glory. Anyway, Sue went home the proud owner of a Red Wing smoothbore and Flaming Canvas won the shield. Really I don’t think things could have gone any better.
Moon of the Crow was a great way to start the season. Always has been thanks to the good folks who make it happen. Thanks to all those who donated prizes and their time. God bless you!
By the way, did you notice the new camp in the primitive area? Casey and Meca have struck out on their own. Best of luck to ya!
My camera wasn’t working so we had to scrounge a few. Oso, Ron and John from El Paso sent in the shots used here and on "Hands"' account.
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