Farrier Joe Spearman of Emory, Texas, participated in the National Congress of Old West Shootists (NCOWS) 2017 National Match.
NCOWS aims to “promote safe Western Action Shooting including the re-enactment and promotion of the historical Old West heritage of the United States in all its ethnic, social and occupational diversity during the period 1865 to 1899,” according to its website.
At NCOWS events, Spearman goes by the name Bluebonnet — based on a character of the same last name from the film “Open Range” — a Western moving starring Robert Duvall.
Alternate names are not the only disguises donned at NCOWS events. To participate, one must wear realistic clothing for the time period. Participants also must use original guns or replicas from before 1890.
Spearman has been a member of NCOWS for 4 years. His favorite event is the long-range competition. He uses an 1860 Henry Rifle.
Spearman learned to shoot as a child. “I was influenced by my mother, who was a really good shot,” he told the Evansville Courier & Press.
NCOWS event organizer Jay West told the Evansville Courier & Press that the competitions remind members of their childhoods.
“All our heroes are cowboys,” says West.