Vol. 12, July 2008

Le Reynard displays his fowling piece and a couple of birds it downed.
Gun built by Allan Vaisham.

Our photo is of Paul, obviously well pleased with his then new English style 12 gauge fowler built by Allan Vaisham of Green River Rifle Works. The gun performed well as evidenced by the two wood duck in the foreground and soon for the pot. Paul used 70 grains for FFg and used the same measure for loads of No. 4 shot to despatch both Woodies.

The hunting shirt Paul is wearing was completely hand sewn and then dyed using the seed pods from a Kurrajong tree in his garden. Paul says the weather was quite warm in spite of the early morning hour, and while hunting he was plagued by scores of bush flies enjoying the free ride on his back. But no flies on that Green River Rifle Works gun!

Events Calendar 2008

September :- Sat 20th to Sun 28th Spring Rendezvous & AGM coinciding with the first week of the school holidays. “Come to Beaver Creek” below that huge mountain called Buffalo. Enjoy our living history re-enactment of rendezvous camping, cooking, ad hoc shooting competitions, knife and hawk events, other shenanigans and more fun.

Shooters are requested to bring an era-authentic goodie of nominal value for a blanket shoot. As per Sept. 2007, we will again have special guests who support our primitive camp style. Mud maps, if needed, are available from the secretary. Why not make the most of your petrol dollars with a whole week of relaxed camping in great company?

Note: SCFT Annual General Meeting will be held Saturday 20th September 4pm.

Frozen to death overnight “guarding the horses” – Warm sunshine and a stiff drink might revive him!

Winter Quarters Historic Camp

Our Winter Quarters camp over the Queen’s Birthday long-weekend was one heck of a shining time. We didn’t have any snow-covered shining mountains, but we did have sun-shine and lots of it each day; and we had moon-shine each night, billions of stars all about the Southern Cross in a velvety sky. And we had a drop or two of silky- smooth bottled moonshine to pass among the Trappers about the evening camp fires.

Jim blazed the trail back to Bernard’s Cache on Friday, and was followed by Murray and Ian, then Bob leading John Morland, and then along came Chook. Slow walking Chook! We welcome John Morland back to rendezvous after spending a few years in the wilderness. Great to have you along! After devouring a huge kettle full of rabbit stew on Friday evening we stoked up a bonzer campfire to keep the chills of a clear winter’s night at bay; and the liquid moonshine eased away all the cares of beaver scarcity, and all those worries of high cost mule fuel common to modern-day trappers.

Saturday was again bright, warm and sunny, and some got down to a little shootin’ and some went hunting. It seems everybody had a jar of strawberry jam for breakfast toast or lunch snacks. Steve Mattison arrived, also Paul (after a slight mishap on the road) and finally Justin, Louise and Rohmi. Some of us had met Steve at the Gold Rush earlier this year and we now welcome him to his first rendezvous experience. As for young Rohmi – Justin and Louise’s 3 year old nephew – he was a delight to have in camp, and he thoroughly enjoyed his very first rondyvoo. Yo, ho! Little fishy ……

Mind you, it would be difficult not to enjoy the atmosphere around a happy camp with lots of friendly faces, pleasant sunshine, great food cooking over glowing coals, and with painted ponies grazing happily nearby, unperturbed about Immigrants or Crow.

John Morland displays the nice winter pelt of a fox taken with his flinter.

The hunters had some success with the rabbits and John bagged himself a nice red fox. Ian and Murray had set up a little Mountain Man Run shooting competition. Everyone entered into the spirit of the shoot which was spread over a leisurely two days. A trap had to be set at the start, then five marks were shot at, each from different locations and with differing ranges. Three shots were allowed for each target, but upon scoring one could immediately move on to the next. So between five and fifteen shots could be taken, but with time being the essence, the most accurate shooting would win the day. Time was completed when the set trap was sprung by each participant returning.

First up was Bob with some accurate shooting, but hobbling along on his gammy knee. Next, Paul set a sizzling pace with five well placed shots, so everyone else was under pressure from then on. With onlookers cheering and jeering, there were several good shots, and a few hurried and missed shots, some cussing and numerous rude remarks. Ian broke two flints, Chook broke his ramrod, and somebody broke wind. You know, it’s darned hard to shoot straight while laughing! Poor Justin had to contend with all this, while learning the foibles of his recent purchase of an 1803 Harper’s Ferry flinter.

Results: Paul Sly a clear winner on 8 min 30 sec; then John Morland on 9 min 32 sec; Bob Ellis, 11 min 55 sec; Murray Convey, 13 min 45 sec; Ian Convey, 14 min 05 sec; Jim Walker 14 min 40 sec; Chook 16 min 20 sec; and finally Justin, whose accuracy was handicapped by many wasted minutes tinkering with his lock, at 31 min 40 sec. Paul wins a beautiful hand-made knife – made and donated by Ian Convey, featuring a Sambar stag antler tip handle and a super sharp cutting blade. Congratulations to Paul.

Paul wins this knife made by Ian Convey, whilst Ian won the Curtis’s & Harvey ½ lb tin.

Entries for our Cross Winds crossword competition were placed in a hat, and we asked our guest, John Morland, to draw out the lucky winner. The first entry drawn was from Ian, and after a check revealed he had all correct answers he was declared the winner. The prize was a small, but very collectable, black powder tin wrapped in brown paper. Ian wins an original Curtis’s & Harvey’s ½ lb tin full of FFFg.

The sunshine continued through into Monday morning, but a change was blowing in the wind, bringing a few much-needed light showers. Conditions were then ideal for hunting, as in easy to sneak up on the game, crawling on hand and knee through wet scrub. But with a little overnight moisture in the barrel, all Murray could manage this morning were five straight flashes in the pan before giving the game away. Doh!

All this warranted rekindling a cooking fire for grilling beef steaks, lamb chops and venison sausages to serve with the heaps of pooled vegetables cooking in the kettles. Jim, Murray, Ian and Chook all extended the holiday weekend by staying over another night on Monday, testing their wet weather trim, before all falling asleep to the rhythmic murmur of soft steady rain on canvas. What bliss!

Everyone’s reluctance to break camp was obvious, but all good things do end, and we all left well-satisfied with times spent in good company. And so, the June holiday long weekend tradition of fantastic shining times continues! If you weren’t there you’ve missed out sorely, but we have all been welcomed back again next year.

A fine body of men – Yes! That’s all you need to know!

Other Traditions

Did you know – Club President Ian Convey made his first black powder muzzleloader when aged just 16, way back in 1962. Yep, he is that old! Of course he was messing with black powder and fire crackers long before that – in those good old days, when Golden Showers were pretty coloured fireworks, and kids could buy Catherine wheels, Jumping Jacks, Tom Thumbs, sky rockets, and penny bangers at any local store, all to celebrate Empire Day: Then again, later in the year, to remember Guy Fawkes on bonfire night each 5th of November – a 400 + year tradition. Now that’s really old!

Ian takes the prize for our Newsletter crossword competition.

A Valid Reason

Three of the various valid reasons for possessing an A&B Firearms Licence are:-

  1. Performing Arts and Re-enactments;
  2. Hunting;
  3. Sport/Target Shooting.

Some members already have their licence endorsed with all these, whilst others may have only one or two. Renewal time for your firearms licence is an ideal time to obtain any added endorsements.

Being a member of SCFT is a valid reason for the first endorsement (re-enactments) and it is strongly recommended that you have all three on your licence. Upon request, the secretary can supply a verifying letter to accompany your renewal application seeking this additional endorsement. Of course the additions can be done during the life of existing licences, but in that case a replacement plastic card fee may apply.

Rendezvous-ers or Historic Re-enactors

Most of us are in the first category and we love to camp with canvas hiding all signs of the 21st Century. It’s a big step away from tin tipis, gas appliances and generators, and this is what makes it fascinating and so much fun. We must not loose sight of everyone’s entitlement of fun, and accept that parameters do vary within our creed of “If its post 1840 and someone else can see it, hear it, or smell it, then it has to go”.

But for those wishing historic re-enactment of the pre 1840 era, achieving the goal can be much more involved – not just adopting a persona, getting the right clothing, gear and abode appropriate for that person, but also developing the very daily lifestyle.

For what use all that good gear, if the dialogue around the camp fires centres on the politics of Brumby or Rudd, or the price of petrol and gas? And should we really be quoting favourite lines from the 20th C movies starring Redford, Heston and Keith? Shouldn’t we actually be talking the news from 170 years ago? Have we studied the events of that time that would have been topical in camp? Well, it’s just a thought! How authentic your fun is – is really up to you, but some suggest that conversation topics, music and song that fit the pre 1840 vogue might be attempted – if you dare.

Justin and Rohmi share an early morning hug.
Justin and Rohmi share an early morning hug.

Events 2009

March 7th – 9th Labor Day long weekend (tentative) Gold Rush at Holey Plains.
This weekend is generally too dry, and fire bans normally prevent any black powder activity. Out-of-season Trappers had a ball last March developing new personas for that ratified aberration of our time frame. Save the date in case a repeat is gazetted.

June 2009 – SSAA National Rendezvous, Millmerran
Yes its winter time, but Millmerran is in sunny Queensland and this bi-annual R’voo is the biggest you’ll see in Australia. Several members were considering the trip up north, but escalating fuel costs may have dampened desire. Anyone still interested?

Club Committee 2008

President: Ian Convey, tel. 03 5367 8450 Vice President: Bob Ellis, tel. 03 5796 2753
Secretary: John Fowler, tel. 03 5753 4455 Treasurer: Myrtle Barrett, tel. 02 6059 3951
Committee – Murray Convey, tel. 03 5346 1086; Kevin Norris, tel. 03 5753 4415

Contributing articles are always welcome – fwd all correspondence to the Secretary, John Fowler, 252 Pini Lane Mudgegonga 3737. Email chookster@vfowler.com