A brief history
Back in 1992, a group of fellows decided to form a Cowboy Action Shooting club. They started the search for a suitable range and settled upon the Holliday Gun Club up on the east bench in Salt Lake City. There were two bays in the gravel pit north, across the street from the trap range, that seemed to work nicely. They organized the club, wrote up by-laws, and registered with the Single Action Shooting Society (SASS), national organization. The first President/Marshal was Doc Freud. Shooting there for the next couple of years the growing club felt the need to move to some other/larger facility and the search was on again. They found another suitable range up on the side of the mountain above Fruit Heights with the Wahsatch Shooters’ Assn. where there were two sizeable bays north of the public range. This began a very amicable relationship which continues to this day. The cowboys would alternate between the two bays and reset the targets to facilitate a four stage match.
Shooting on the fourth Saturday of every month the cowboys enjoyed their matches to the point that soon a few of the fellows decided to form a sister club to WD. They began shooting on the second Saturday of the month and called their club The Deseret Historical Shootist Society. Further growth made the two bays, which the cowboys were using, somewhat cramped so they entered into some expansion discussions with WSA. The plans called for WSA to utilize the property south of the public range and to plow out six new bays. This would also allow a larger parking lot and facilitate use by other shooting groups. It more than doubled the footprint of the WSA range and has been a boon to the shooters in Weber, Davis and Salt Lake Counties. It wasn’t long until IDPA, IPSC, Pin Shooters, DWF, and the local law enforcement agencies were using the range.
In 2007, the cowboys were typically hosting three posses of 20 shooters for their shoots. By then, however, the magic of CAS was expanding with the formation of several other clubs in Northern (and Southern) Utah. New clubs were registered in Logan, Mantua, Holliday, three in SLC, Springville, Vernal and Heber. All these clubs were within an hour or so of Fruit Heights and, while offering shooters convenience of proximity and abundance of weekends, attendance at the home club began to dwindle. Though growth is a happy problem, it does create competition for attendees at matches. Nowadays, a cowboy living in Davis County can shoot on every weekend of the month with a different club, without driving more than an hour from home.
The Wahsatch Desperadoes currently boasts a membership of about 35 and averages about 25 to a regular monthly shoot. We shoot 4-5 stages plus a side match and utilize most of the six bays--still on the fourth Saturday. The DHSS club has expanded its format somewhat. While still shooting CAS style, they normally set up the stages so as to accommodate Wild Bunch as well as Zoot Suit shooters. Wild Bunch is similar to (and is a sub-category of) CAS but utilizes firearms in line with the early 20th century: 1911 handguns and 1897/mod 12 shotguns. Zoot Suit is not a SASS affiliated format. It highlights period dress and firearms from the prohibition era: 1911 handguns, Thompson semi-auto rifles, and Browning A-5 shotguns.
Come join us. You’ll enjoy the camaraderie and the fun, plus, we love guests and visitors.