August 19, 2005 11:00 pm
HOT SHOT: La Grande's Rick Hagen competing in a shooting competition in Bend.  (Submitted photo).
HOT SHOT: La Grande's Rick Hagen competing in a shooting competition in Bend. (Submitted photo).

ELGIN – The First Annual Shootout in the Blue Mountains, a Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association sanctioned event, continues today and Sunday at the Elgin Stampede Grounds.

Produced by the Powder River Pistoleros a local Cowboy Mounted Shooting club with 30+ members from Baker, Union & Wallowa counties.

Mounted Shooting is like barrel racing with balloons in between the barrels. The rider shoots black powder blank cartridges from .45 caliber pistols, at balloons, and is scored on accuracy and time.

Mounted shooters use .45 caliber single action revolvers like those used in the late 1800s. Single action revolvers must be cocked each time before firing by drawing the hammer back.

A double action revolver can be fired by simply pulling the trigger, without cocking the hammer. Double action revolvers are not of the period, so the shooters use only single action revolvers and never any live ammunition .

There are over 50 entries at the shootout – including some of the best men and women cowboy mounted shooters in the nation.

The field includes state, regional and world champions from Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana.

Cheryl Hagen of La Grande, a three-time Oregon state champion, three-time Northwest regional champion, two-time SASS World Champion and Reserve 2002 Winter Olympic (cultural event) Rocky Mountain Regional Champion, will also be in Elgin to compete.

The public is invited – admission is free of charge and a local country and western band, Mostly Country, will be playing Saturday night at the stampeded grounds.

The concert will also be free of charge.