History comes alive

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The Texas Association of Buckskinners (TAB) held their 40th annual Fall Rendezvous in North Zulch over the weekend and practiced rifle and pistol shooting, knife and tomahawk throws, primitive fire starting, primitive archery and much more.

TAB is the oldest and largest mountain man reenactment organization in the state of Texas. The club started in October of 1978 and has been going strong ever since. The participants set up tents, prepared their own food the old-fashioned way and dressed in the appropriate pre-1840s attire. Some attendees set up camp individually, but there were also families enjoying the experience together.

“We have people participate from all walks of life,” said TAB president John Donahoo from his campsite on Saturday with the sound rifle fire in the background. “Pretty much every profession you can think of is represented here. We have people who do this 15 to 20 times a year and others who come a couple times a year.”

Other activities practiced over the weekend were primitive fire starting and events for children such as pumpkin carving. They originally had even more planned for the Rendezvous, but were limited due to the recent amount of rain.

“Typically, we try to be keep our cars out of site and stay away from any roads so the camp feels more like the time period,” said Donahoo. “We were originally going to be on the other side of this property, but it was too wet.”

Still, they kept score in the events they had and named the top performer from each category:

Blackpowder Rifle and Pistol — Scott York of Somerville

Primitive Archery — Robert Garcia of Austin

Flint and Steel Fire Starting — JoJo Percy of Waco

Knife Throwing — P.J. Shilling of Goldthwaite

Tomahawk Throwing — Jim Robinette of Robinson

All-Around Aggregate Winner — Jim Robinette

The Texas Association of Buckskinners is a licensed 501(c) nonprofit. Besides attending a number of events a year, the organization strives to educate the public on the old North American fur trade as well as the history of Texas. To learn more about the organization, visit buckkinning.org.

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