Muzzleloaders hold rendezvous at Florence
A three-day event at Florence during Labor Day weekend took participants and onlookers back to frontier days.
Flint Hills Muzzleloaders Club was formed in the 1970s by people who love spending time living the pioneer lifestyle and shooting the types of guns pioneers used. In the mid-1980s, the club moved its gathering place to Florence, club treasurer and former president Lynn Schmidt of Marion said.
Unlike the rapid-fire bullets and shells used in modern pistols, shotguns, and rifles, these guns are prepared for firing by tamping black powder down the barrel before loading a shell into the barrel.
Club members stay in camp tents without modern-day amenities and cook meals over wood-burning outdoor stoves instead of camping stoves. Men even chop needed wood for fires.
Several participants brought old-time supplies such as cast iron Dutch ovens and skillets and enamel utensils to sell. They also brought gourds, period clothing, and the like.
Schmidt said club membership has gone up and down through the years and the club would welcome new members.
It holds two shooting events in Florence each year, shooting at targets mounted across the Cottonwood River on land owned by Randy and Judy Mills.
The last weekend of this month, Flint Hills Muzzleloaders Club will sponsor the annual Kansas Traditional Muzzleloaders Association rendezvous.
Separate modern and primitive camps will be available but clothing in styles worn before 1840 is strongly encouraged. Traditional weapons only are allowed, including rifle, pistol, knife, hawk, and archery.
The event is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 30. More information is available by calling Schmidt at (620) 382-5841.
Last modified Sept. 7, 2017