TFT Rendezvous XXIII

From Joe Wolf –

Texas Free Trappers Rendezvous XXIII (yep, it’s our 23rd one) is on the horizon.

Do a no-rain dance!  The dirt road to the campsites gets muddy and could be a problem.

Be ready for a Round Robin trading session.

Consider having some two-bit shooting matches Sunday morning with 25 cent entries and winner takes all for each match.

I don’t like to get up and start packing up.

I’d rather get home at dark than leave rendezvous behind….and unpack the truck on Monday. It’s already trashed by having to go back to the grind.

Bring a smoothbore if’n ya have one.

Be ready for the best shooting walks around, rifle, pistol and smoothbore.

Details, including a flier, activity schedule and map are posted to the Events page.

Winter/Spring 2014 Events Update

Just updated the Events Page with some new events this winter:

Texas Association of Buckskinners will be having their Deep Winter rendezvous on a new place near Cameron, TX .    Big John is the booshway for this event, so you know it’ll be a good one.

Grey Wolf has put out the word that Texas Free Trappers will be hosting their 20th rendezvous out at the Shiner, TX site.   He’ll be having a work day for the site on Feb 1st.

It’s still a ways off, but The Fritztown Freetrappers spring rendezvous will be taking place at the 2nd Annual Living History Timeline event, just outside of San Antonio, TX.   Keep an eye out for details, as that should be a pretty awesome event.

Don’t forget about Southwest Regional Rendezvous – which will be hosted near Lampasas, TX.   It’s been a long time since it’s been in central Texas, so if you are in the area – don’t miss it!

Hope to see you down the trail!

– Many Rifles

Flier and details added for TFT Rendezvous XVII

Joe Wolf just sent out the flier, activities schedule and a map for his TFT Rendezvous XVII. It will be taking place November 8-11 near Shiner, TX.

For those who have never attended a TFT voo, Joe’s events are usually heavily focused on shooting – so if you are looking for a nice place to camp with plenty of opportunity to burn some powder, this will be a great event!

Get outside and enjoy the fall weather at a rendezvous near you.

More details are available on the events page.

Know about an event in your area? Send me the details!

Texas Free Trappers Get Mention in TPW Magazine!

Grey Wolf sent me over an article that was published on his group, the Texas Free Trappers, in Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine.

Here are some excerpts:

Texas Free Trappers re-create state’s forgotten fur trade.

Grey Wolf stalked his prey, feeling every twig and acorn through the thin soles of his moccasins. Sunlight darting below the thick canopy of the woods glinted off the well-worn antler handle of the knife sheathed on the leather strap across his coarse, pale-blue linen shirt. Below it dangled a powder horn and a “possibles” bag, a handmade leather pouch containing lead balls, patches and a variety of items needed for hunting — or self-defense.

Grey Wolf spied something in the shadows of thick brush and tugged his leather-brimmed cap down tighter. His scruffy white beard bristled across the stock as he shouldered the long rifle, leaned below a limb, cocked the hammer and squeezed the trigger. Acrid blue-white smoke erupted from the muzzle. A loud clang rang out. Forty yards away, a small metal target swung in submission.

“My favorite thing to do is the trail walk. It’s a lot more like real life, when you’re hunting or being hunted, than paper targets,” says Grey Wolf, the name retired architect Joe Wolf goes by when he relives the colorful era of the mountain men of 1825–38 through the organization he founded six years ago, the Texas Free Trappers.

There’s even a few quotes from our friend Taylor:

Rendezvous are a continual learning experience for 23-year-old Taylor Tomlin, who began at age 9 in New Mexico with his grandparents.

“I’ve made hand-forged knives and made my own leather from hide,” he says. “It keeps me interested. I’m always working on a new project.”

Tomlin, a consultant on costuming and historical authenti­city for films and documentaries, attends other rendezvous across the country and, like some other members, participates in re-enactments of Texas battles, such as the ones this year that marked the 175th anniversary of independence from Mexico.

“You can’t get anything out of a book like the experience,” Tomlin says. “A rendezvous veteran not only can tell you exactly how they would have lived but also how they would have felt because they’ve done it. I’m fortunate to have started so young. A rendezvous is one of the coolest things to take a kid to, to get away from video games, cellphones and computers and use your imagination, learn new things, work, sweat and be uncomfortable. Not a lot of people can camp in the woods for days at a time and perform essentially lost skills.”

Check it out – there are some great pictures and good words from some friends who are active in the Texas buckskinning community.

Here’s the full article!

Huzzah to you, Grey Wolf!

Texas Free Trappers Rendezvous XIII info

Friends of TFT,

We announce some changes that are being made in the hope of improving the quality of the event and boost attendance. As you can imagine, the cost of putting on a first class event is not low. For most of us the prizes are not the real reason we rendezvous, but the re-creation of a unique American and Western piece of history, the fur trade rendezvous of 1825-1840.

All of you know that competitors must be members of the White Smoke Company of Buckskinners, Inc. The club has three divisions, Texas Free Trappers, Fritztown Free Trappers and the White Smoke Brigade. FFT has rendezvous on the second weekends of March and October; TFT has rendezvous on the second weekend of April and November; WSB has black powder matches on the fourth Saturday of each month. All four rendezvous will be at the La Vernia site for the foreseeable future and WSB matches are on private land on Highway 306, east of Canyon Lake.

That being stated, we are going to have the same $15 entry fee for TFT rendezvous competitors. In addition, there will an opportunity to re-enter each event. A re-entry fee of $2 will let you make an attempt to better your score. The score of the last event entered will be your score, so if you do worse on the re-entry you can re-enter one more time….event schedules and daylight permitting.

As before, each event will have a First Place prize winner with the number of additional Second and Third Place prizes determined by the number of entries; the more entries the more prizes.

Guns must be loaded with black powder or a substitute for black powder. No smokeless powder blends are permitted. Only patched round balls may be used.

Smoothbores used in smoothbore matches may not have a rear sight.

Tomahawks must be of traditional design with blades no longer than 4 inches.

Knives must be of traditional design and no longer than 13 inches.

I was contacted by a family in Iowa that cooks breakfast, fry bread and Indian tacos at rendezvous and bike rallies that will be setting up at Rendezvous XIII as a “trial run” in this area. I had great success with a similar operation at two of my Taos Free Trappers rendezvous in New Mexico. You might become an addict of fry bread and Indian tacos like I am. We will try to teach them to make breakfast tacos. This is their webpage:

Members of Celtaire String Band, a group that plays at Texas Revolution events, and other places, is planning to join us Saturday to get introduced to rendezvous and regale us with some period music at Council Fire.

Our good friend, David Sutherland, the bagpiper who lives in La Vernia is invited too.

We asking any serious buckskinner in our group to study up on a character from the fur trade and entertain us at Council Fire with a true story (or tall tale) from the life in the Shin’ Mountains.

In closing, I also ask you to participate in all of the Council Fire activities and show some appreciation to the folks who make a presentation or perform period music with the goal of bringing the fur trade era back to life. These programs are for your entertainment as well as knowledge and are not available at many rendezvous.

Keep an eye on the horizon . . .

Grey Wolf, Bushwah

More details are available on the Events page.