Cowboy Action: Give it a Shot!

I had an absolute blast this past Saturday when I attended my first Cowboy Action. For those that don’t know, Cowboy Action is an event that takes place monthly out at the gun range in Logan. One Saturday every month, gunslingers from around the area gather to take part in the fun.

Cowboy Action has many chapters and hosts events that take place around the state, country, and world. They’re put on by the Single Action Shooting Society (SASS).

SASS is a group dedicated to the preservation of the Old West and competitive shooting. The organization has been around in spirit since 1981 and was formally incorporated in 1987. Over the decades, it has grown to garner interest all over the world which is unsurprising due to the far reach of classic Western films. The events are a fever dream for anyone who grew up watching Cowboy flicks.

Too Late LeRoy and Maddog Myles

SASS has a few rules for participants. Here are some ground rules:

  • Participants must come in costume. Every participant has to wear a minimum of 5 pieces of traditional Cowboy attire. These pieces can be hats, bandanas, boots, pocket watches, etc…
  • Shooters can only shoot single-action weapons. These are weapons that would have been around in the days of the old west. Revolvers, shotguns, and repeating rifles are the weapons required. Calibers and gauges are not important so long as the weapons are all single-action. Every shooter has their own preferences for weaponry and loads.
  • Every shooter must have a unique alias and backstory/occupation. There is a registry of names on the website, and no two shooters can be the same. My buddy, Steve, shoots under the name “Too Late LeRoy” because he famously showed up too late to participate in his first event. I decided to dust off the nickname from my football playing days. I ended up shooting as Maddog Myles.
  • Every event consists of “stages.” Each stage has a different storyline as well as a different pattern of weaponry and targets that shooters must do accurately, quickly, and in the correct order. The storylines consisted of everything from a holdup on the trail, trying to stop a gang from stealing dynamite, defending the family homestead, etc.
  • Based on the storyline of the stage, there is a different phrase that a fighter has to say to signal to the judge that the fighter is ready. Phrases I got to utter included: “Not today,” “That’s far enough,” and “Not so fast!”
  • The scores are based on time and accuracy. For every missed shot, there is a 5-second penalty. Shooting targets out of sequence counts as a miss, so remembering what order to shoot the targets in is of great importance.
  • Gun safety is taken very seriously. Guns must remain unloaded until a participant is on the stage. The “170” rule is also strictly enforced which means all gun barrels must stay within a 170-degree spread and always pointed down range.

The event was a great time and the club members could not have been any more welcoming, patient, and helpful. I can’t wait to go back and will definitely remember earplugs next time.

Below, find a video of my first stage ever shooting Cowboy Action. I had never shot any of the weapons prior to the filming of this video. The footage was shot with my gopro. While it wasn’t the fastest stage of the day by a considerable margin, I only had one miss which surprised even me. Enjoy the video and drop by Cowboy Action some time for a fun afternoon of responsible gun usage. The people are great and love to share their passion for the Old West with new friends.

Special thanks to my local chapter of SASS for the help, lessons in responsible gun usage and for the warm welcome. You sure made this dude feel like part of the posse. Until next time…

#logan #logangunrange #cowboyaction #SASS #events #fun

Montana’s Cannabis Industry is in Full Bloom!

Montana’s Cannabis Industry is in Full Bloom

Montana’s green rush is in full-swing as the state released data for the first 4 months of sales in the state. As of the end of April, Montana has seen just under $100 million in sales since recreational sales became legal on January 1st. You can see the data in black and white for yourself here.

Please find below some data points that I found interesting:

  • Total sales across the state through the end of April tallied $98,285,465.00
  • Medical sales accounted for $38,436,152 while recreational sales brought in $59,849,313. This amounts to around a 460/60 split of medical/recreational.
  • The industry has now generated $13,507,309 in tax revenue for the state.
  • The top counties for include: Yellowstone ($4.4 million), Gallatin ($3.6 million), Missoula ($3.5 million), Flathead ($2.7 million), Lewis & Clark ($1.9 million) and Silverbow ($1.3 million).
  • The $60 million in recreational sales far outpaces the state’s initial estimates of $130 million for 2022. Not factoring for an inevitable increase in sales velocity when tourists arrive, the state looks to be projecting closer to $240 million by year’s end with total sales including medical exceeding $300 million in year one.

Montana’s rabid appetite for cannabis is not unique. With well-established recreational markets in other states now seeing billions (with a “b”) in annual sales, the sky is the limit for Montana. This first tourist season could prove to be a great bellwether for the long-term potential of the industry in the Treasure State.

If you or anyone you know is interested in real estate for the cannabis industry, give your dude a text or call at 406-404-DUDE. I would love to help find the commercial site for your venture and help you build your dreams of being a cannabis entrepreneur. I’m a founding member of eXp Realty’s Joint Committee and weed be happy to help.

Think small. Dream BIG!

Think small. Dream BIG!

This tiny home comes with big possibilities, and it’s ready to go wherever your dreams take you. Bring your hitch and get the adventure rolling…to literally, anywhere your heart desires! The home was built and certified to RV Industry Association standards and is ready to go whenever you like!

Custom designed and built in 2021, the home measures 24 feet in length. The slant-lofted ceilings reach 10 feet tall at their highest point and make the space feel much larger than expected upon entry. The pine shiplap that adorns the walls creates a rustic feel that is only furthered by the butcher block countertops and live-edge shelves custom made by the woodworker owner. 

There is luxury vinyl flooring throughout which was selected for its durability. It will hold up well to an outdoor, adventurous lifestyle and pets. With six total windows and three that measure 68” in height, you’ll have no problem taking in the views of your surroundings regardless of where your adventures take you. The natural light will also help save on utility costs during the day as well as provide plenty of ventilation when the weather is nice enough to open them. The high-efficiency Senville 12000 BTU mini-split AC/ heat pump unit is also more than ample to effectively and efficiently keep the space comfortable. The unit is graded for 450-750 square feet. 

The main floor is maximized for efficiency via 24” deep cabinetry throughout the kitchen as well as storage beneath the stairs. Upstairs you’ll find a sleeping loft to recharge your batteries for your next epic adventure. The sleeping loft is large enough to fit a king-size bed and has long windows on either side so you can wake up to beautiful views no matter what side of the bed you wake upon. The upstairs also features separate storage space with a rod for hanging clothes.

Down below in the kitchen, you will find butcher block countertops, a refrigerator, an electric 2 burner stove, as well as an electric oven. All appliances are energy efficient to help minimize utility costs. The kitchen is also equipped with a microwave circuit. The celestial window above the sink is massive and floods the space with natural light that makes the brushed nickel fixtures of the sink shine. There is cabinetry and shelf space throughout. 

Moving from the kitchen into the bathroom, you will be surprised to find a full-sized tub which is a bit of an anomaly for a tiny home as most models opt for showers. The tub is perfect for showering or soaking. The 19-gallon electric water heater is more than sufficient to keep hot water at the ready. In addition to the tub, the bathroom also features a sink with chrome fixtures which sits atop a 2-in-1 high-efficiency washer/ dryer unit for doing laundry.  The bathroom also has a Nature’s Head® composting toilet which is ideal for an off-grid lifestyle should your journeys take you to more remote locations. 

At the back of the home is a space that can be utilized as a second bedroom, an office, or an additional living space. The room features two massive windows and boasts as much natural light as any room in the home. Here you will also find access to the electrical panel/ breaker box. While the home currently requires a power source, it could easily be outfitted for solar for a true off-the-grid option should a buyer desire. 

Lockhorn Cider

Lockhorn Cider

Locking horns with some ciders at Lockhorn

I can definitively say that I’ve had more beer in my lifetime than the average person. After spending nearly a decade in the beer industry hosting tastings and managing beer festivals for several summers, I know my way around a pint glass and a tap. That being said, while I still enjoy a great beer, somedays I’m apt to gravitate toward lighter options when I’m seeking refreshment. 

Several years ago, the alcoholic beverage industry saw a major shift toward gluten-free options which eventually gave way to the current seltzer trend as a result. However, before every alcoholic beverage company began producing seltzers, the fermented beverage of choice for those of us looking to steer clear of the malt content in beers was cider. While focus has turned to seltzers over the last several years, I still love a great cider and Bozeman is home to a cidery that can lock horns and hold its ground with any producer of cider in the country in my opinion. 

Lockhorn Cider is family-owned and grows their apples for their cider right here in the Gallatin Valley so it is truly a locally-owned and locally-produced product. The 3000 trees in the orchard run the gambit of apples and they grow nearly 30 varietals of the fruit which they incorporate into their diverse offerings. Bonedry is their flagship cider and for good reason. It’s incredible and as a result, is used as a base for blending many of their offshoots. For a true Montana treasure, you absolutely must do their Flathead Cherry cider when available. Coupling apples and cherries grown in Montana make it one of the more unique and truly Montanan products on the market today.

Keep an eye out for Lockhorn’s products in the wild

You can find their products in the wild at places like Town and Country or Town Pump, but you should go check out the taproom at 21 South Wallace St in Bozeman. It’s a cozy spot with tables big enough to accommodate larger parties but also has some nooks intimate enough for a casual date night. They also have an outdoor patio which is nice and shady on a hot day and on a cold night you can enjoy a hot cider while watching the logs crackle in their outdoor fireplace. 

Be a deer, and check out Lockhorn Cider the next time you’re looking for a break from the hops and malt. You won’t be disappointed. You can find out more by visiting their website here.

If you like this kind of content, be sure to follow The Dude Abodes on facebook and instagram for more recommendations and local Montana business spotlights. As always, I encourage everyone to drink responsibly always and locally whenever possible. Cheers, dude!

#cider #drinklocal #drinkmt #datenight #BZN #Bozeman

Stacey’s

Stacey’s in Gallatin Gateway, MT

Outside of Stacey’s in Gallatin Gateway, MT

Whether looking for a good steak or a great place to knock a few cold ones back with live tunes, Stacey’s in Gallatin Gateway should be on your radar. For starters, Stacey’s has the kind of character you can’t buy or fake. If the weathered floorboards could speak, they could tell of countless cowboy boots tapping along to the beat over the years and maybe even a few slow dances. 

Stacey’s back bar predates most of the buildings in the area

The beautiful back bar is as pretty and distinguished as any I’ve found in the state. If looking for proof of how much history there is at Stacey’s, look no further than the chimney in their dining room. It feels somehow as if it could pre-date Montana itself. Their impressive collection of taxidermy and classic beer signage is also noteworthy. It all blends together to set the stage for a good time and an unmistakably authentic Montana experience. 

Speaking of stages, the stage in the corner of their barroom also hosts awesome live music regularly. I’ve had the good fortune of seeing a few of my local favorites there including Chandler Huntley whose classic country voice seems to belong in the space as much as the many beer neons that adorn the walls of the barroom. It’s a great place to listen to music and you should check their upcoming schedule ASAP. 

Chandler Huntley taking the bar to church

The food is great. Steaks are the star of the show for me, but the French Onion soup is one of my wife’s favorite dishes anywhere in the valley. The soup is the perfect way to shake off the snowflakes in winter and thaw out. They recently pulled my favorite sandwich (the club sandwich from the menu, but I can let bygones be bygones given the strength of the remaining menu. 

The French Onion Soup warms the soul
The Prime Rib Sandwich at Stacey’s

The beer selection is to be elevated for a honky tonk and runs the gambit of domestic beers as well as an ever-rotating cast of local options. There is also a pool table onsite, so its a great place to shoot a game of 8-ball when the place isn’t packed for live music. Give Stacey’s a whirl. It’s a true Montana classic and a can’t miss.

#food #drink #bar #beer #cocktails #livemusic #dancing #pooltable #gallatingateway

Audrey’s Pizza and Freefall Brewery

Audrey’s Pizza and Freefall Brewery

Audrey’s Pizza Oven and Freefall Brewery opened in late summer of 2021 on 7th Avenue in Bozeman, and it feels like a throwback to a by-gone era of simpler times. Speaking of by-gone eras, it’s obvious that a lot of effort went into preserving the look and feel of the former occupant, Village Inn Pizza. Pizza, beer and cheap arcade games make this a great place to kill some time and an appetite as well as satiate your thirst with local beers. 

Name a more iconic duo than pizza and beer. I’ll wait.

I was blown away to find out that most of the arcade games cost merely a quarter and instantly felt whisked away to the cheaper days of my youth. I mean, where else in this modern world can a quarter buy you anything in the way of entertainment value? The games and casual atmosphere make Audrey’s an ideal spot for a first-date for couples or a place to let the kids blow off some steam while you enjoy a pint or two. 

Also as a heads up to the gluten-intolerant or the hop-weary, they keep a few seltzers rotating on draft as well.

It took me awhile to knock the rust off, but I eventually I got it rolling.

#datenight #familyfriendly #pizza #craftbeer #drinklocal #bzn #bozeman #drinkmtbeer #arcade