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UPDATE - Sweetwater will go on as planned. For all those past, present and future participants, George Bartell: landowner, clubmember, and long-time 'skinner passed away Wednesday, August 29th, 2012. Rest in peace, George; our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to the Bartell family.

Sweetwater had it's first rendezvous in 1982 on the north side of a small tree grove, across from the Bartell family farm. The rendezvous site snuggled right up to Sweetwater Lake. The event has relocated several times: once to the south side of the tree line, once out on a point south of the farm, back to the north side of the tree line, to the latest current location 1/2 mile northeast of the farm in a small wooded draw.

Over the years the rendezvous has had two of the locations overtaken by high water. The current location provides a wonderful mix of pine trees, high and low camp spots, beautiful sunsets, and a great 'little' 60 yard range. For you 'gadgeteers' with GPS units, the Latitude and Longitude are: Latitude 45.198792, Longitude -97.907667


Sweetwater 2014 will follow our standard format, although a schedule of events is not yet available. Dates are September 5-7, with events starting Friday afternoon, a free chili/soup feed Friday night, and free breakfast Saturday morning. We hope to see many of you there!

2011 Event Schedule (for reference):
DayEventTimeCaptain
FridayRifle Shoot1:00pmMike Thelen
Rifle shoot2:15pmJoe Carda
Rifle Shoot3:30pmJohn Graves
Rifle Shoot4:45pmMike Thelen
SaturdayCamp Breakfast8:00amALL
Rifle Shoot9:15amJerry Smith
Archery10:30amJoe Carda
Rifle Shoot10:30mMike Thelen
Candy Cannon12:00noonMike Thelen
Hawk & Knife1pm-4pmTBD
TBD Shoot1:00pmNick Hubsch
Rifle Shoot2:15pmTyler Carda
Range Archery3:30pmMike Thelen




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2010 Event Results:
DayEventTimePlacing (1st to 3rd)
FridayDrunken Breakfast1:00pmMike Thelen, Joe Carda, Mark Hubsch.
Squirrel shoot2:15pmMike, John Graves, Joe.
Arkansas Brain shoot3:30pmMark, John, Mike.
60-Yd Multi-Sticks shoot4:45pmMike, John, Mark.
SaturdayArchery9:30am-12:00pmLeon Kaiser, Nick Hubsch, Mike
Poker shoot9:15amMike, Mark, Joe.
Cross Sticks shoot10:30amJoe, Mike, John.
60-Yard Sticks shoot1:00pmMark, John, Nick.
Hawk & Knife1:00pm-4:00pm(Adults)Mark, Jerry Keimig, Joe. (Kids)Johnathan Thelen, Hunter Jescke, Kaden Carda.
Tyler's X-Sticks shoot2:15pmNick, John, Mark.
Range Archery3:30pmJohn, Jerry, Mark.


Camp Draw/shoot prizes were donated by: Sodak Sport & Bait, Old West BBQ Sauce, Track of the Wolf, Wandry Honey, Creek Dancer Winery, Lodge Cast Iron, Smoke & Fire News, Boot Leather Gun Dogs, TSC, the Dacotah Territory Muzzle Loaders and numerous club members (hope we didn't forget anyone)

Meat, cheese and jam for shoot prizes and breakfast were purchased by the Dacotah Territory Muzzle Loaders from Frohling's Meat Market in Aberdeen. Karen Keimig provided homemade jam for the breakfast.

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Sweetwater Rendezvous, September 10-12, 2010

For the second straight year, the 29th Sweetwater Rendezvous had incredibly beautiful weather throughout the weekend. Most camps got up dry and all went home dry.

The rendezvous started [officially!] with Mike's "Drunken Breakfast" shoot. Everyone shot, in order, a cast iron pan, bacon, and a flask, needing to get two shots in each target before they could move on to the next. Shooters had only six shots. Only Mike and Joe hit all three targets twice, with mike having the closer shots to the center tie-breaker.

Joe followed with the "Squirrel Shoot". Aim for his nuts, but don't shoot him in the tail! Mike managed to group the best shots without incurring penalty points.

John pulled out an oldie but a goodie, with the "Arkansas Brain Shoot". Mark reminded all the shooters of his police background, winning easily.

Mike then ran a "60-Yarder" shoot to test everyone's eyes and capabilities. Seems that since he was well prepared, Mike won this shoot. How good is his eyesight at that range?

Saturday morning, Jerry started the range actions with "Blind-Draw-Poker" shoot while Joe ran a "non-traditional" archery with various ranges from the targets. Mike's luck at the range continued into Saturday, winning the poker shoot by hitting a few matching cards. Leon showed he still has the skills in archery in what was a close competition. 3 points separated 1st through 3rd and three people were tied for 3rd. What a great archery contest.

Mike followed with his unique "Cross Sticks Shoot", with six sets of cross sticks - each set at a different height. All shooters had to use all sticks. Joe proved to be the master of cross sticks, winning a close shoot.

Tyler then takes advantage of the cross sticks for his shoot, giving shooters the option of which sticks they want to use. Nick showed that when he can pick the sticks, he can have pin-point accuracy.

Since cross sticks seemed to be the theme of the day, Nick used them for his shoot. However, he moved the group out to 60 yards, to make the sticks worthwhile. Mark took advantage of the distance and supports to get the win. Ironically, Nick, Mark and John placed in the stick shoots, showing their dominance with cross sticks.

The final event of the day was Mike's "Range Archery", again moving from traditional archery methods. Shooters shot bag targets at 20 and 40 yards, then shot at haybales at 60 yards. Arrow retrieval was as much of a challenge as the shooting. John showed his skill at adapting (perhaps from practice deer hunting?) to get the win. Even though he said he couldn't pull a bow back far enough to shoot 60 yards, Jerry Keimig took second. You may not be a spring chicken, Jerry, but you can shoot that bow!

While the shooters enjoyed sun, sun and more sun, Bob ran the hawk and knife throw during the afternoon. He gave 3+ hours so people could work around shooting schedules. There were enough participants this year to award first through third in adults and kids. Mark snuck away with first. The kids had a great time, with Johnathan winning his first 1st place. Byron Gross had activities for the kids, where each got a necklace of beads as well.

At the camp meeting, many prizes were given away thanks to generous donations. A special thank-you to all members who donated items for the silent auction club fundraiser. Almost $300 was earned to offset expenses to improve the rendezvous site this year. Alice Bartell once again provided a quilt for the Chinese auction and Frank Zahn furnished the traditional "Sweetwater Arrow" to George and Alice for allowing us to use their land. In addition, the camp raised almost $100 for the club's "mower repair fund". Campers sat around a large bonfire and enjoyed each other's company Saturday night (along with lots of snacks and wine!) after the meeting.

Sweetwater continued to provide the camp-sponsored breakfast Saturday with sausage provided by Frohlings Meats, which is always a hit. Campers enjoyed their fill of sausage, eggs and pancakes with syrup and homemade jam (thanks to Jerry & Karen Keimig). Thank you to John Thelen, John & Sue Graves and the Carda family for cooking. Amazingly, there was enough food left over to provide a camp breakfast on Sunday as well. There were no complaints!

So ended the 2010 Sweetwater Rendezvous. It was a wonderful time, sadly missing some regular camps, and regretting the down attendance (only 13 camps made ith this year). Hope to see you all (and more!) in September 2011 for our big 3-0 celebration, 30th annual event. New pictures will be up soon

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2009 Event Results:
DayEventTimePlacing (1st to 3rd)
FridayElimination Shoot1:00pmJohn Graves, Keith Hickam, Mike Thelen.
Poker shoot2:30pmMike T, Mark Hubsch, John G.
Novelty Shoot4:00pmRichard Underwood, Sue Graves, John G.
SaturdayArchery9:30am-12:00pmNick H, John G, Leon K
Apple Pie Shoot9:30amMark H, Nick Hubsch, John G.
Dartboard Shootadd-inJohn G, Leon Kaiser, Joe Carda.
Whittle Shoot11:00amMark H, Mike T, Kirk "Klatch" Redmond.
Hawk & Knife1:00pm-4:00pm(Men)Joe C, Pete Mattson, Leon K. (Women)Kimberly Ragels, Julene Kaiser, Karen Keimig.
Love Your Neighbor Shoot1:00pmJohn G, Mark H, Sue G.
Milk Can Shoot2:30pmMark H, Mike T, John G.
Shotgun Shoot4:00pmJohn G, Bob Carda, Ralph Jescke.


Camp Draw/shoot prizes were donated by: Joe DeLaRonde Forge, Sodak Sport & Bait, Old West BBQ Sauce, Track of the Wolf, Wandry Honey, Zee Winery, Creek Dancer Winery, Lodge Cast Iron, Smoke & Fire News, JT Bullet Moulds, and club members George & Alice Bartell, John & Mike Thelen, Nick Hubsch, Byron Gross, Frank Zahn, Bob & Diane Carda, Pet a& Mur Mattson, Shelly Minske, and Dan Jaragoski (hope we didn't forget anyone)

Meat, cheese and jam for shoot prizes and breakfast were purchased by the Dacotah Territory Muzzle Loaders from Frohling's Meat Market in Aberdeen. Karen Keimig provided homemade jam for the breakfast.

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Sweetwater Rendezvous, September 11-13, 2009

The 28th Sweetwater Rendezvous had incredibly beautiful weather throughout the weekend. If you weren't there, you missed a great one!

The rendezvous started [officially!] with Joe's Elimination shoot. Each shooter drew a card from the deck, then tried to have the last matching card (each person had 4 on the target board) on the board to win the shoot. Lots of secrecy surrounded the shooters, with John Graves prevailing.

Pete ran the second shoot, Blind Poker a couple "wild cards" thrown in for fun. With only 5 shots, every shot counted. Some were lucky enough to hit two cards with one well-placed shot. Mike Thelen proved to have the best hand, with Mark Hubsch coming in a close second. Both were lucky enough to hit two cards with one shot as well.

Having enough fun with cards, Mike had people shooting washers and drive pins in the Novelty Shoot. It was simple; hit a 1.5" washer, 3/4" washer, then a .5"x2" pin with the fewest shots at 20 yards. Richard Underwood hit all three in three shots, followed by Sue Graves in 4 shots. John Graves snatched third in 7 shots.

On Saturday, we chose to run archery all morning (after breakfast) to give more people a chance to shoot both bow and gun. New burlap targets hung loosely from a new stand. Luckily, there was no wind to make them moving targets. Nick Hubsch was first at the line and blistered the targets, getting a score of 17 (best possible was 18). John Graves placed second with 15 and Leon Kaiser and Mike Thelen tied for third with 14, where Leon won the coin toss to take third place.

Bob Carda started the shoots on Saturday with a little Apple Pie. Hit the apples hanging at about 30 yards. Hit and stay in, miss and be left waiting for pie. Mark Hubsch made apple juice quickly and consistently to take first place. Nick Hubsch and John Graves finished second and third.

Mike threw in an unplanned shoot, the Dartboard. With lots of opportunity for scoring, shooters discovered grouping wasn't an issue. John Graves took first, Leon Kaiser second, and Joe Carda third (with the worst grouping of any shooter!@#$)

Nick Hubsch taught everyone how to Whittle with guns in the next shoot. Eleven small pieces needed to be whittled away from an 18" stick, without destroying the stick itself. Accuracy was at a premium on this 10-yard shoot. Mark Hubsch, who was on a roll Saturday morning, had a nicely whittled stick for first. Mike Thelen and Kirk "Klatch" Redmond rounded out the placing. Nick, incidentally, destroyed his stick, showing how easily one could come in last place.

John Thelen started the afternoon with Love Your Neighbor. Each shooter took one shot at his or her target, trying to score well. Then he or she took one shot at each of the other shooter's targets, hoping to score poorly. Trick is, you had to hit the paper of the other shooters, or you gave them maximum score. Apparently, everyone felt a lot of love for John Graves, as he came in first. Mark Hubsch stole second (notice how even when these two don't control their destiny, they still manage to win!) Sue Graves wrapped up third place.

Joe and Bob Carda then gave everyone a little brain teaser in the final rifle shoot of the rendezvous. They had a picture of a milk can with the initials "MT" in the center. Trick was, figure out where to shoot (MT="empty" - as in empty the can with your shots). Those who caught on shot low, scoring high. Mark Hubsch again placed first, stealing it away from Mike Thelen (second). John Graves completed the event in third place.

The final event of the day was the Shotgun Shoot. Bob Carda was itching to try out his newly acquired, late 1800s original percussion shotgun. He may need a few more shoots to find the range, as John Graves edged him out for first place. Ralph Jescke rounded out the top three.

While the shooters enjoyed sun, sun and more sun, Pete ran the hawk and knife throw during the afternoon. He gave 3+ hours so people could work around shooting schedules. There were enough participants this year to award first through third in both men and women. Joe Carda claimed first, followed by Pete Mattson and Leon Kaiser for the men. Kimberly Ragels nabbed first in the women's group, followed by Julene Kaiser and Karen Keimig. Byron Gross conducted a special kids hawk and knife with some wooden weapons and a Styrofoam target, along with prizes for every kid who participated.

Shortly before the camp meeting, everyone gathered for a not-so-surprising 40th anniversary party for John and Toye Thelen. Cake was shared, along with some special gifts - especially a 4-foot long spatula for the 'old guy' who cooks.

At the camp meeting, many prizes were given away thanks to generous donations. A special thank-you to Joe DeLaRonde Forge for a fantastic spike-hawk celebrating the club's 30th anniversary. The winner was Tyler Carda (13 years old and VERY lucky) of Chelsea, SD. Alice Bartell once again provided a quilt for the Chinese auction and Frank Zahn furnished the traditional "Sweetwater Arrow" to George and Alice for allowing us to use their land. Campers sat around a large bonfire and enjoyed each other's company Saturday night (along with left-over anniversary cake, snacks and wine!) after the meeting.

Sweetwater continued to provide the camp-sponsored breakfast Saturday with sausage provided by Frohlings Meats, which is always a hit. Campers enjoyed their fill of sausage, eggs and pancakes with syrup and homemade jam (thanks to Jerry & Karen Keimig). Thank you to John Thelen, John & Sue Graves and Joe Carda for cooking. Amazingly, there was enough food left over to provide a camp breakfast on Sunday as well. There were no complaints!

So ended the 2009 Sweetwater Rendezvous. It was wonderful having new camps, sad missing some regular camps, and nice to have around 20 paid camps to 'enjoy' the sunny weather! Hope to see you all (and more!) in September 2010 for our 29th annual event. New pictures will be up soon

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2008 Event Results:
DayEventTimePlacing (1st to 3rd)
FridayTurtle Shoot2:00pmVince Grant, Mark Hubsch, John Graves.
Blind Luck shootadd-inJohn, Vince, Mark
7 Card "No Peek" Shoot3:15pmMark, Joe Carda, Julene Kaiser.
Dandelion Shoot4:30pmMark, John, Joe
SaturdayArchery9:15amJohn, Joe, Vince
"Surprise" (BTM) Shoot10:30amMark, Joe, Vince
Shotgun Shoot12:30pmVince, John, Ralph Jescke
Hawk & Knife1pm-4pmPete Mattson, Kirk Redmond, Zach Weisenburger
Saddle Sore Shoot1:45pmMark, Mike Thelen, John
Omelet Shoot3:00pmKirk, John, Mark.
Pistol Shoot4:15pmKirk, Mike, Mark


Camp Draw prizes were donated by: Sodak Sport & Bait, Tractor Supply, Split Rails, Brettun's Village, Ralph Jescke, Alice Bartell, Beau's Rawhide, Kevin Ragels, Creek Dancer Winery, Hoot's Winery, Frank Zahn, Log Cabin Shop, Lodge Cast Iron, Cabela's and Powder Horn News (hope we didn't forget anyone)

Meat and jam for shoot prizes and breakfast were provided by Frohling's Meat Market. Karen Keimig provided homemade jam for the breakfast. Cheese for shoot prizes was furnished by Economy Meat Market.

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Sweetwater Rendezvous, September 12-14, 2008

The 27th Sweetwater Rendezvous was typical of Sweetwater, rainy overnight and morning, sunny by mid-afternoon. The rendezvous started with shoots Friday afternoon and ended with hasty packing on Sunday morning. Time between was spent enjoying a camp-sponsored breakfast Saturday, lots of prizes given away at the camp meeting, and old fashioned Rendezvous spirit around the fire.

Fridayís first shoot was Yukonís Turtle shoot. Shooting turtles (clay pigeons) at 15-20 yards is tougher than it looks.

The next shoot was a late edition due to the quick finish of the first shoot, titled the Blind Luck shoot. Each person took four shots at both a 20 yard and 40 yard target. However, there were also targets at 60 yards. Any shot from 20 yards that also hit paper at 60 scored points.

Pete played a little 7-card "no peek" poker with the shooters on the next round. Don't get fooled, there were enough wild cards to let anyone win. Only, some of the cards decided to "peek" when the breeze picked up.

Joe ran the dandelion shoot to end the day Friday, his repeat of the clay pigeons on the groun at intervals, only this time they were yellow birds in a sea of green and yellow grass. Oh, and he shortened the time from 5 minutes to 3

Saturday began with 3-Fangs Archery. Aside from dulled tips (don't miss the targets, the hill behind is full of rocks), Kirk "Klatch" Redmond had the most interesting shot, a ricochet off the deer's back up the hill. Vince proved the best tracker and found the arrow.

Following Archery was Mike's "Surprise" shoot. Shooters were given a target with "BTM" printed on it. BTM was short for "BOTTOM". If they figured that out and shot toward the bottom of the letters, they scored high.

Shooting was delayed briefly due to a sudden shower. Once it passed, Ralph ran the shotgun shoot.

Mike then hosted the Saddle Sore shoot. Each shooter had to shoot 5 shots at a prairie chicken target at 25 yards. The catch? They had to shoot straddling logs on the ground facing the target.

With weather clearing, Yukon ran the Omelet Shoot. What should have been a lot of broken eggs turned into a small 3 or 4 egg omelet. Apparently, no one was very hungry yet!

3 Fangs improvised and ran a pistol shoot, since the host of that shoot wasn't able to be in attendance. Even 15 yards can be a challenge with a single-shot muzzleloader and a 16" barrel.

While the shooters enjoyed bouts of sunshine and rain drops, Pete ran the hawk and knife throw during the afternoon. He gave 3+ hours so people could work around shooting schedules.

At the camp meeting, many prizes were given away thanks to generous donations. Alice Bartell once again provided a quilt for the Chinese auction and Frank Zahn presented George and Alice with the traditional "Sweetwater Arrow" for allowing us to use their land. Campers sat around one of two large fires and enjoyed each other's company Saturday night after the meeting.

Sweetwater continued to provide the camp-sponsored breakfast Saturday with sausage provided by Frohlings Meats, the breakfast was a hit although it started late due to rainy conditions. Campers enjoyed their fill of Sausage, eggs and pancakes with syrup and homemade jam (thanks to Jerry & Karen Keimig).

So ended the 2008 Sweetwater Rendezvous. It was wonderful having new camps, sad missing some regular camps, and nice to have around 20 paid camps to 'enjoy' the rainy, then sunny weather! Hope to see you all (and more!) in September 2009 for our 28th annual event. New pictures will be up soon

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