Re: woodswalk courses vs paper meat shoots
I competed in alot of matches beck in the 1980's. Most of the weekend shoots were paper matches with some novelty stuff thrown in, and prizes were usually merchandise instead of meat. Stuff like powder horns, possible bags, cans of powder, range rods etc. Woods walks were sort of unusual back then. Another thing I have noticed is that paper match shooting was less traditional. Some folks including me had guns for target shooting that had way to carry a ram rod on the gun. We loaded from a large tackle boxes that contained enough tools to rebuild a lawn mower engine, sufficient lead to ballast a sail boat and powder to blow a stump. Loading from the pouch in the traditional manner was practiced by just a few die hards. The fist black powder club I belonged to, had a lot of members that were machinists and engineers who just had to experiment with things. A thumbhole stock, flintlock with olympic red field peep sights, and the stock painted metal flake green and a fancy false muzzle target barrel, were not that extraordinary. It was the first time I saw an experimental electric trigger and electrically ignited muzzleloader.
We also shot alot of muzzleloader pistol and cap and ball competition. Not many folks still into that here. I read that in Ohio, there is enough interest that they have a state muzzleloader weekend pistol competition.
Part of the problem with the paper matches of old, was that the same few guys won all the matches. The merely good shooter and others would be discouraged by that. I really liked the way the Dan'l Morgan Shoot ran their matches. It was best 5 shots of seven on a target. That gave the good shooters and even some beginners a chance to disregard flyers and compete with the better shooters. Each person that placed got a plaque and picked a number from a hat, which determined the order of choosing prizes from the prize table. I remember one year the kid that came in second or third in the sub-juniors match drew ticket number one and as I recall, got a new rifle.