Ambush at Cavern Cove 2017

August 23, 2021

Held September 1-3, 2017, the 21st Annual Ambush at Cavern Cove once again hosted the SASS Alabama State Championship.

Much of the NAR board of directors remained the same with President- Marshal TKD, Vice President-Barkeep Casey, Territorial Governor- Badger McNeely, Stage Marshal- DeadLee Shooter, Range Marshal- Lickskillet Charlie. Awards Marshal- Scotch Before Noon, Treasurer-Water Snake, and Secretary-Drake Robey leading the way. The position of Property Marshal went the way of the Pony Express with the responsibilities now falling to other officers, primarily the Stage Marshall. Uncle Frank and Scotch Before Noon also pitched in to help out with Ambush.

The shooter's book is also laid out a bit different this year as well. The costume contest was again shortened to 1 page. While the three pages of SASS rules are still included, the pocket RO card was not. Also missing was the list of vendors.

While all the fluff in the shooter's book is nice to give context to other things going on that year, everyone is interested in the stages. While you can read the shooter's book and the stages, you may not get a feel for what was going on.

Many of the stages featured some 'Cowboy Action' that had fallen out of favor in recent years. Flipping cards for random target orders, stages with no shotgun count a target placement where shooters could take out multiple targets depending on multiple factors some of which were out of the shooter's control, and a return to writing stage instructions including 'with first pistol...with second pistol.'

But some of the execution fell flat. For instance, if you paid attention, on the stage where you flipped the cards, the cards were marked and you could flip the one you wanted. But not everyone knew that. And a lot of that was due to changes made to the stages after Deadlee Shooter had turned in the match. Because of this, and several other issues, Deadlee would leave the NAR board shortly after.

For those that missed their introduction at the 2017 Bushwhacked at Cavern Cove, Two new NED targets were added to stage five. Affectionally known as Ned 3 and Ned 4, their continued presence evoked a sense of awe to anyone who has ever shot a match at NAR, building upon the traditions of the previous 20 iterations of Ambush.

But everyone comes to the match for the awards, and to see who the fastest shooters are. After missing the 2016 match due to prior commitments, Sidekick returned in a big way leading the field claiming both overall and Alabama State Champion titles. Slick's Sharpe Shooter was the overall cowgirl with Alchemist Belle claiming the Ladies Alabama State Champion title.

With only three more previous Ambush matches to review in this series, it won't be too long before we post the 2021 Ambush stage preview. I am anxious to get the 2021 stages finished. I hope that you are just as anxious to join us at Cavern Cove for the 25th Annual Ambush. Registrations continue to flow in. Looking at the number of registrations pouring in from Florida, it is a wonder if any cowboy shooters will be left in Florida by the time Ambush rolls around! I know that I hope to see all my rowdy Florida friends, as well as you, at Cavern Cove for the 2021 iteration of Ambush. What are you waiting for? Send in your registration today and I'll see you on The Firing Line.

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