Ambush at Cavern Cove 2009

May 03, 2021

During the first four days of October 2009, The North Alabama Regulators again played host to the Alabama State Championship of Cowboy Action Shooting with their annual Ambush at Cavern Cove. This was lucky number 13 for Ambush, which featured a theme pulled from the Clint Eastwood classic The Outlaw Josey Wales.

The Shooter’s Book featured some new additions that helps me write just a little more about the match. It also included two Ned targets!

We get a little insight into who was running the North Alabama Regulators in 2009. President-May Lillie, Vice President-Two Ponies, Territorial Governor-Marshal TKD, Stage Marshal- El Camino, Property Marshal- Hairtrigger Floyd, Awards Marshal- Ranger CAS, Treasurer-Lawman Mark, Secretary-Drake Robey, and Range Marshal- Alabama Hombre all worked tirelessly throughout the year to help direct the month-to-month operations of the club.

Several other volunteers, including Shez Lethal, Andrew Quigley, Granna, Diamond Deb, Buck D. Law, Uncle Frank, Sawyer, Grizzly Grady, Blue Wolf, and Huckleberry Moonshine helped with Ambush preparations and execution.

The stages, masterfully crafted by El Camino, harkened back to a simpler time. Sweeping five targets with your first and second pistol was a favorite pastime of many back then and featured three separate stages where you were able to do just that!

But, for many, Ambush 2009 was a somber, more subdued atmosphere with many mourning the relegation of the Secret Stage from main match to side match status. While some of the more tenured Ambush veterans were visibly moved to tears, others shouted for joy in the streets. Side matches also included Extreme Rimfire, a 22 Cal. Shooting, Long Range Rifle Big Bore Lever Action, Long Range Big Bore Single Shot, Long Range Rifle Pistol Caliber, 3 Stage Black Powder, 3 Stage Wild Bunch, Long Range Pistol, Speed Shotgun, Fastest 3 Gun, Speed Pistol, and Speed Rifle.

The overall men's winner and Alabama State Champion was Sidekick with The Ladies match winner being Dew R Dye. Overall match top 10 included Badlands Drifter, Tall Drink A Water, Prestidigitator, Tuff Stuff, Ozark Az, Fast Eddie, Harman Hammer, SA Pondwater, and Sunshine Billy.

We hope that you enjoy reading the Shooter’s Book from these matches from way back when and that they help stir up some memories for folks who were able to join us back then, so many years ago. We also hope that you are able to join us this fall, for the 25th Annual Ambush. We're bound to make even more this year, on The Firing Line.

Ambush at Cavern Cove 2008

April 19, 2021

For any cowboy club that has been around for at least a dozen years or so, if you look back in their catalog of match themes, you are bound to come across Mel Brook's classic Blazing Saddles. Excuse me while I whip out the 2008 edition of Ambush at Cavern Cove shooter's book and tell you just a little bit about what happened in the town of Rock Ridge!

Held October 1-5, this year's match included a night shoot on October 2. The next morning, side matches started with Long Range Rifle Big Bore Lever Action, Long Range Rifle Pistol Caliber, Pocket Pistol/Derringer, Long Range Pistol, Long Range Rifle, Speed shotgun, Fastest 3 gun, Speed Pistol, and Speed rifle matches being offered. It must have been great to run a match back then with so many volunteers that you could have an offering of side matches that large. Now a days, we are lucky to get three or four people to volunteer for side matches. And, with folks preferring to shoot warm-up stages instead of side matches, you almost wonder when these speed side matches will be a thing of the past as well.

Following the tragic death of Bobcat Sparks in June, the club decided to dedicate the evening poker tournament in his honor as a fitting tribute to a great cowboy who always exhibited the Spirit of the Game, no matter the challenges he faced.

The main match format still included shooting six stages on Saturday and four on Sunday. The formal event, hosted on Saturday evening, included a wide range of costume awards. Remember, choose your costume category wisely!

Round count for this year's match included 100 pistol, 97 rifle, and 40+ shotgun.

Alas, this was also the eighth and final year of the Mystery Stage. There is a strange connection with the Mystery Stage at North Alabama. As much as folks lament that they miss the Mystery Stage and wish we brought it back, I proposed a match of noting but a selection of the very best of the Mystery Stages from Ambush back in April. You wouldn't believe the complaints that I received from those very same people!

With Sidekick deciding to take on a new challenge in the Gunfighter category, he was edged out by Tuff Stuff who took the 2008 Alabama State Championship.

So, when taking a historical look at anything that has lasted as long as Ambush, you can always see how it has morphed and changed over time. With this look at Ambush over the years, you can see that as well. In just a couple of days, we will crown new Alabama State Champions. If I don't see you at Shootout this weekend, I hope to see you this fall at Ambush or some other match soon...on The Firing Line.

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