Lolo Trail Muzzleloaders - Spring Fling

Nov 30, 2012
Northern Idaho
The Spring Fling is suppose to be a 'fun in the sun' event prior to the beginning of the real local Rendezvous season. Yesterday morning I was not so sure about the "Sun" part but, it all came together. I am sure the weather the proceeding day and the impending weather for Sunday kept some folks at home. The members of the Lolo Trail ML club were unfazed, they arrived early at Doc Wolverton's cabin high above Orofino. They brought their potluck luncheon foods and their smiles and the 'shoot' went on as planned.

Even though I am only a rifle shooter in these events, the club presents a full schedule of events for the day. They use different events to help split the participants so one event is not to crowed. They offer a rifle-pistol walking trail, a hawk and knife throwing event, a paper target station, a luncheon social, games for kids, and wind up with a running deer shoot. There is just plenty to do in this one day event.

To me, the group of people that attended the event was really great and represented a lot of different things. The group of event goers was made up of old and young competitors, men and women, family members, some in period clothing and others in regular outdoor clothes, all having fun at a fun event.

One of the stations as mentioned was the 'paper rack'. I normally start on this shoot. The setup in a meadow just west of the cabin and it consists of posting your 'Tie Breaker' card and a five bull target on the shooting board, then backing off to 25 yards and commence the shoot. I guess I was not really ready to shoot at this station - my 'Tie Breaker' card - I just nicked so it was not going to help me any in case I would 'Tie' with anyone...

I then started on the five bulls - shooting at the bottom right bull first. I believe the set trigger let me down on this, well actually the first two shots of the day. After shooting a regular trigger in an inline for the last couple of weeks, switching the to the hair trigger of a set Trigger on a TC Renegade is an awakening experience. After that the rest of the target gets kind of acceptable.

The Paper Rack event...

Another event that the majority of the group takes part in, is the 'Hawk and Knife' throw. I have not even came close to attempting this event. I have tried a couple of times but have not figured out the tricks. I do not understand why when I make a perfect throw the handle does not stick in the wood!!!

This lady could get it done, actually she was a heck of a 'Mountain Person' in all events. The guys shows the form I am looking for.

The last event that I had time for came after the Pot Luck luncheon held in the event center on the back of the 'Historic Cabin' - good food and a great social event.

The 'Walking Trail'! Lolo Trail guys and gals have a well planned walking trail for rifle shooters -like me- and pistol shooters - not me. The trail this year had 18 shots set up. Of the eighteen shots on the trail this year six of them were pistol shots.

The 12 rifle shots were a variety of swinging and gong type targets. And one that I really disliked, a hanging bowling pin 60 yards uphill. Shot # 4 - you can see I got no credit for that shot. I almost used my Coulter on the pin because I knew I could hit it, but decided to wait for a better chance. I am glad I did - they thought of a real 'Gimmick Shot' at station #16 and I needed the Coulter there.

Here is a collection of walking trail pictures and the people enjoying the day...

The 'Gimmick Shot' - station #16... I actually watched the group ahead of me shoot this station and really thought nothing about it. Nothing seemed really odd at all. As I approached #16 the were shooting #17 a large black moose gong probably 70-80 yards up hill. I could hear them rapping the Moose Gong regularly, yet still the oddities of #16 did not sink in. When I got to #16, I looked up the hill, and I mean 'up the hill' and there was a very large saw blade, probably - 120 -125 yards up there - but it was BIG - should not be a problem to make it ring. Then I read the instruction card... 'Shoot it with your opposite hand' - now things started to add up... It is very difficult for me to keep my right eye closed for any length of time - so my first shot was a disaster and the guy behind me didn't help as he suggested to the guy beside him "the blade is huge!" And I know he was thinking "how can you miss that!" Well! I did!!! I was really glad that I saved that 'Coulter' shot and decided this was the place to use it... cuz it was BIG - how can you miss it?

My last shot was short, so they told me, I had no idea because of the smoke - so this time instead of going for the hole in the middle of the blade (oh! and ya... I played that card also - I told them I was shooting the hole... well anyway, this time I held on the top of the blade and got a resounding DING! - loved it. left handed remember...

All-in-all - it was a great event, Congrats Lolo Trail... now on to the next one. Rattlesnake Mountain and the Sage Brush Free Trappers Rendezvous near Benton City, Wa. Three day event 4/19-21/13... Hoping the weather is warm and great, but not to warm do not to awaken the rattlesnakes!

robby denning

Staff member
Feb 25, 2012
SE Idaho
What a neat event. Wish it was closer and I had more time!

These events can really teach a guy a lot with the collective knowledge of all those graybeards. Even better than a forum!

Thanks Sabot.