This is where a local group of folks, the South Fork River Regulators, congregate. The organization was the idea of Salem resident Butch Blair in 2000. The group has grown in five years from 10 members to 30.
The name Regulators is as much out of the Old West as the group's guns. Organization president Randy Robinson said in the Old West the term regulator was used by many organizations, including cattle associations, regarding laws in new territories and the upkeep of those laws.
The Flint Hill Range is 30 acres. There is a three-story log house on the property that serves as a board and meeting room for the organization. The group is in the process of turning the third story of the house into a bunkhouse so they can provide room and board to guests. Besides the old house there other buildings at the range, including six shooting stages, a saloon and jail, and a stage coach. A modern bathroom is being built.
Flint Hill has a cowboy action range where competitions with guns of the 1800s are held. Robinson said these are timed events and no new guns are allowed at the matches. He said all the guns are single action guns and are clones of the Samuel Colt single action pistol of the 1800s.
The group stays busy throughout the year with activities planned every weekend at Flint Hill.
The first weekend of the month is a work day at the range. This is a general cleanup year round and all of the group is expected to participate.
The second Saturday a skeet shoot is held at 1 p.m. The group has two electric throwers and five stations of action. Each shooter is allowed to shoot 25 birds or clays. It costs $3 for a Regulators member to compete in the shoot. At this time the cost for nonmembers is undecided.
The third Saturday of the month is the scheduled Cowboy Action Shooting Day, and the third Sunday at 1 p.m. is the working Cowboy Match where time period shotguns, rifles and pistols are used.
The last Saturday of every month is the Long Range Rifle Shoot. This is where primitive method buffalo guns are used. These are lever action guns that will be shot 100 to 200 yards.
Robinson said the month of September is a busy time for the Regulators. On Sept. 3 the group will hold an old-time gunfight on Main Street in Mammoth Spring. This will be held in conjunction with Solemn Old Judge Days.
On Sept. 11 and 12 the group will sponsor a gun and knife show at the fairgrounds in Salem. They already have 52 vendors tables sold for the show.
"This will be in an air conditioned building. We will have concessions and displays of guns and knives of the 1800s," Robinson said. He said admission to the show will be $1 each day.
The show will start 8 a.m. on Saturday and close at 5 p.m. On Sunday the show will start at 8 a.m. and end at 3 p.m.
Sept. 17 and 18 the Regulators will hold a match at range and are hoping for 60 shooters or more.
The last Saturday of the month will find the group in Oregon County, Mo., at the Myrtle Yester Daze festival. Here they will perform a reenactment of an old-time gun fight in the street.
"This is a growing, family sport," Robinson said. "Safety is our number one concern at the shooting range or when we perform. We are proud to say we have not had one single incident or accident involving guns in five years," he said. He said 90 percent of the club have passed a gun safety course and the other 10 percent of the club are currently is the process of passing the safety course.
The group is governed by an executive board that is made up of the elected officers of the club. Robinson said the board prepares and sets the agenda for the meetings. Club officers are: Randy Robinson, president; Phil Berry, vice president; Misty Robinson, secretary; Les Staudacher, treasurer; Steve Clark, range master; and Andrew Holgart, assistant range master.
The group belongs to the national Single Action Shooting Society which is known worldwide. Everyone who is a member of the South Fork River Regulators has an alias. Robinson said his is Standing Eagle.
Mammoth Spring and Oregon County residents seeking more information about the group can pick up literature at the Spring Boutique located in Mammoth Spring or anyone in the area can get on the Internet at www.sfrr.homestead.com to learn all about the South Fork River Regulators Cowboy Action Shooting Club.