Black Powder Shoot

By Melissa Wynn

Have you ever dreamed what spending the weekend in a world pre 1840 would be like? On April 11th-13th you can. Come to Hooker Creek and join the Louderback’s Fiddlebackers Black Powder Gun Club for their 36th annual rendezvous and shooting competition.

I thought a fiddleback was a spider, and in some cases it is, but Louderback president Wade Bellinger informed me that in this case it refers to the wood that the muzzleloader stocks are made from. Just like the famous fiddle, many of the gun stocks are constructed from a beautifully grained species of Maple tree, dubbing them fiddlebacks. Who knew?

Five divisions of competitors means everyone in the family can participate. These divisions include Men’s, Women’s, Juniors (ages 12-17), Novice (beginners ages 12-13), Pee-Wee (ages 6-11) and Trade Guns. Trade guns were inexpensive long guns built for the Indian fur trade. Hudson Bay Company started producing them in the early 18th century. Currently, the rules are that a trade gun must have a smooth bore, (no rifling, like a modern semi-automatic), have a flintlock action, no set trigger, and no rear sight. All guns must be traditional design, no stainless steel, synthetic or in-lines, and all must shoot black powder or imitation and patched round ball only. Do your homework. Those competing in the women’s rifle, men’s rifle and junior divisions must bring a prize to place on the blanket in order to claim a prize at the contests end. Prizes are provided for the novice and pee-wee divisions. Shooters meetings will be held at 8 a.m. all three days. The event wraps up Sunday after the awards ceremony.

Pre-registration fees are a modest $10 per individual and $15 per family. Those waiting to pay at rendezvous or after April 5th will pay $20 per individual and $25 per family. Entry fees include all trails, one time entry in paper shoots and shotgun. Hawk Poker, Fort Shoot, and Long Gongs not included. Re-entries in Paper Shoots and Shotgun will cost extra.

Traditional mountain man fashion is part of the fun so spend some time putting together your best authentic period clothing as well.

Registration forms, including a full list of regulations and safety rules, are available online at

Three camps let you decide how far into the past you wish to spend your weekend. Primitive camp is for the serious rendezvous enthusiast. Everything in this historical camp must predate 1840. Your tent, tipi or lean-to must be made of materials available at that time. Even your fire starting kit must be primitive so forget the Bic lighter and pack your flint.

Those who prefer more modern accommodations can enjoy the weekend in their motor home, modern tent or camp trailer in the camp dubbed Tin, Tipi and Traders. Camping is free and gates open on Wednesday April 9th at 9 a.m. for those wishing to get there early to secure a good site.

As the camp name implies, traders are also welcome to attend with no fees for hanging your shingle. Food vendors however are welcome by INVITATION ONLY. Please keep in mind that traders products need to be relevant to the event. This is not the venue for modern or tech related items. Perhaps you weave baskets that would be useful to those at the primitive camp or handcraft powder horns, or work leather as an artistic hobby. Those are the kind of vendors that have a place to shine at the Louderback’s annual rendezvous.

Take the family on a hands on adventure back in time. Dust off the camping gear and dig out great grandpas coonskin cap, it’s time to show the children how they did it “back in the day.”

For more information contact:

• Wade Bellinger  (530) 365-5827

email:[email protected]

• Jacqueline Breedlove (530) 223-4935

email: [email protected]

Early entries can be sent by mail to:

Louderbacks Black Powder Gun Club

℅ Bob Wenham.

6861 Happy Valley Road, Anderson, CA 96007