Dear TOWA members, sponsors and visitors,
The last shot was fired, the last bull bucked, barbecue winners received their trophies, and the musicians holstered their guitars. The sun set on the 2020 TOWA Fourth Annual Fall Stampede and despite the off-and-on covid-19 restrictions the event celebrated the outdoors, thanked their supporting members, and welcomed prospective new members. The Stampede continues to grow and gain followers.
If attendance is an indication of success then we should consider that all the pre-event activities were filled including the hog hunt, multiple coyote hunts, and a lazy afternoon tour of the Big Easy Hunting Ranch Resort. If celebrity is the measure then know that Texas television was well represented by Trailing the Hunter’s Moon Larry Weishuhn, Carnivore’s Gary Roberson, and The High Road’s Keith Warren.
In understanding that inclusion of other organizations promotes TOWA then realize participants had time to enjoy the Texas Historical Shootist Society’s monthly match (30+ shooters), The Yaupon Creek’s Silhouette Assn. monthly .22 competition (20 shooters), Harold Carter and the Texas State Rifle Assn.’s Youth Shooting Program, and David Mazac with the Colorado County’s 4H Shooting Sports walk through archery course. Then we should say that the World Senior Professional Bull Riders Assn. had 44 competitors on Saturday night, 32 on Sunday afternoon, and the average winner took home a HENRY .22 rifle. Simultaneously, the International Barbecue Cookers Assn. took a step closer to becoming a permanent fixture of the Stampede with 16 teams competing for trophies and prize money. There was also a public food concession provided by the Barn Builders and all the proceeds went to their local Back the Blue fund.
Pulsar thermal & night vision and RAM TRUCKS were the Stampede’s signature sponsors. Major thanks must be lauded to the Operational Director at Pulsar Michael Bennett and RAM’s PR Communications Director David Elshoff. They agree and believe that TOWA must be the leader in regional outdoor writers groups. Then more praise should be sent to Hunter’s Outdoor Communications Karen Lutto and the Hi-Mountain Seasonings booth, Sam Caldwell with the Coastal Conservation Assn. booth, Darragh Castillo and the Port Arthur Convention and Visitor’s Bureau booth, and Ms. Ann Wightman from the Texas Wildlife Assn. Texas Youth Hunter’s Program booth. Also enjoying the festivities and representing their respective organizations was Judy Rhodes with Diva Women Outdoors Worldwide, and Josh White with L3 Outdoor and Precision Shooting. As a special note, Main Beam Media's Kevin Reese won the long range match and was the winner of the coveted All-Around Texas Challenge trophy.
Please note special recognition for Jenn Nolan’s Champion Outdoors, from Beaumont, Texas, and bringing kayaks for the Colorado River excursion and the Kid’s Fishing Derby! Other folks that lent a big helping hand to the proceedings, and stayed available at the drop of a hat, were Brooklee Grant with SilencerCo, TOWA President Hailey Johnson and husband Payton, and new TOWA member Michael Yates. Also, thanks to Jake Barten and Texas Land Systems for providing hunts and becoming a TOWA supporting member. Then one more time – Thanks to Sam Caldwell and the CCA for the Catch-A-Kid game that wrought a passel of hoots and hollers at the Saturday night Bull Riding and dance.
Then thanks to Dan Luce from HENRY Rifles, Linda Powel with Mossberg, Olivia Jent promoting Mammoth Coolers, and Paul Irwin representing the National Shooting Sports Foundation for their donations and aid in making the 2020 Stampede a success.
Next year’s Stampede promises to be bigger and better with the addition of the 2nd Annual Bohemian Classic Rod & Reel Catfish Tournament (in the Colorado River), a TPWD Hunter Education Field Course, more shooting, more barbecue teams, more booths, and more FUN! Put the 2021 TOWA FALL STAMPEDE, Oct. 15, 16, & 17 on your calendar now!
TOWA board chair