Blackpowder Competition Set in Arkansas Hills

One of Arkansas’s longest running firearms events, the 57th Saunders Memorial Shoot, is scheduled Sept. 27-30 at Luther Owens Muzzle Loading Range and Park in Berryville.

The blackpowder shoot and the range commemorate two major figures in Arkansas gun history. The shoot is sponsored by Luther’s Long Hunters Club.

No doubt, some deer hunters will be on hand to try their skills during the competition. Better yet, if you’re interested in learning some tips about muzzleloading for the upcoming Arkansas deer season, this would be a great event to visit and ask questions of veteran smokepole aficionados.

C.B. “Buck” Saunders of Carroll County became a world traveler and collector of historical items, especially firearms. His collection is housed in a museum in Berryville. He died in 1952. Owens, a close friend of Saunders, formed a muzzle-loader shooting club and developed the range and park on land left to the city by Saunders. Owens died in 1977.

Competitors in this year’s shoot will begin firing at noon Thursday and continue to 4 p.m. Shooting on Friday and Saturday will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Blackpowder events will include off-hand rifle and pistol at stationary targets, bench rest matches, men’s and women’s shotgun trap, sporting lays and cartridge trap. Each will have men’s women’s, junior, sub-junior and oldtimers divisions. Prizes and certificates will be awarded in all of the matches and for aggregate scores.

The park’s campgrounds have water, showers, firewood and limited electrical hookups. Free space is available for vendors offering muzzle-loader related items. Berryville Boy Scouts will offer breakfast each day and lunch on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. A chicken and catfish fry is scheduled both Thursday and Friday evenings, and a buffet is planned for Saturday evening in the log cabin at the park.

The range is a short distance northwest of Berryville’s town square. Take East College Street off U.S. Highway 62 to the park road. For information contact Zoe Caywood at (479) 236-4086 or zcaywood@gmail.com

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