The 2022 U.S. National Cowboy Fast Draw event is June 15-18, in the Days of ’76 Rodeo Grounds in Deadwood, SD. This year’s event is held during Deadwood’s Wild Bill Days Celebration.
Quick Cal, the Executive Director of the Cowboy Fast Draw Association, says that the Association is based in Nevada. “But this is our Cowboy Pastoral National Championship going on in Deadwood. And our organization actually was founded in Deadwood in 2002. So this is a big event as our 20th anniversary.” The last time the National Cowboy Draw Event was in Deadwood was in 2017. Now that they are back they have named the event “Back Where It All Began.”
Quick Cal explains who is competing in the event. “Well, to tell you what, there are people from all corners of the United States, from Florida to Washington to California to Maine. They’re all here. And we also have some of our members come from Europe. We have people here from Switzerland and the Netherlands at this time.”
In addition to have competitors from around the world, the competition also draws competitors from all age groups.
“We start out children at age eight and they learn gun safety first. We have age based categories all the way up into the 60’s and 70’s and even over 80. And they’re all competitive. There’s no easy draws. We have Sun Downer, our oldest shooter, is 84 years old. He actually started shooting in the sport of faster in 1956. That’s a lot of history there.”
The competitors dress the part and choose unique names, just like in the Old West.
Quick Cal continues, “We get to wear the smiles and the clothes of our grandparents and the smiles of our grandchildren. So we dress in the spirit of the old West also, just like the Sundance Kid. That wasn’t his real name. And so in the spirit of the Old West, we all have our call sign or our alias, we shoot under.”
Additionally, the association supports local and national charities.
The event is being held during the Wild Bill Days Celebration. Quick Cal says, “Wild Bill Hitchcock was, you know, the most well-known gunfighter of them all. That only makes sense that we’re here this weekend.”