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Annual Beaver Creek rendezvous set for this weekend

STERLING  Take a step back into the shoes of an 1830s mountain man on the western frontier this weekend in rural Comanche County.

The men and women of the Beaver Creek Freetrappers will host their annual spring rendezvous with three days of camping, story telling and black powder shooting from Friday through Saturday. Toby Butler, group president, said this year's gathering will be a little different and much more open for the public.

"We'll have black powder rifle shoots, tomahawk and knife throws and a woods walk for kids," he said. "We're going to have a shooting competition for kids with Daisy Red Ryder BB guns. We want to make it more family-oriented than it has been in the last few years."

In addition to the returning competitions from years past, an archery competition will be added this year. Butler said this will be the first time rendezvousers will participate in archery at the rendezvous in more than a decade. The public is welcome to attend and participate in it, as well, as long as they don't cheat.

"You must use wooden arrows and self-bows," Butler said. "We don't have any compound bows here."

The spirit of the spring rendezvous is in reminiscing of the 1830s fur trade in the United States. As the snows melted and winter finally gave way to spring, the mountain men would gather and catch up, show off their catches and exchange and sell their wares. The world has changed in the nearly 200 years since, but the essence of the rendezvous is still revisiting those days and coming together as friends.

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