Smoke, Noise & Family Fun
“It pays to shoot well.”
Boom Town B.C. could be any plank-and-post village of the Wild West era. Below the boardwalks the dirt streets are dusty in summer and authentically muddy in winter. A few horses in the streets would only add to the realism, but that would be a bit risky because Boom Town is also a very noisy place.
Gunfire is the reason for its existence and it is in fact a cleverly designed firing range. Nestled in the shadow of the Beaufort Mountains of Vancouver Island, B.C., Boom Town is only a few minutes away from Cumberland, an authentic coal mining town of the 1800s. It was conceptualized by Phil Peterson and brought to fruition by an enthusiastic group of shooters called the Valley Regulators.
In order to shift back in time, you enter Boom Town through a replica mine shaft. Emerging from underground you face a bank, saloon, general store, barbershop and of course, a Boot Hill cemetery all stretched out along the main street. The false fronts and porches look as real as a preserved ghost town, but in fact they are unique stages for shooting various types of steel targets with 1800s era rifles, revolvers and shotguns. Competitors use both smokeless and black powder loads and the sport is called single action or cowboy action shooting. Single action shooting is one of the fastest growing sports in North America and has developed a family focus. Authentic costumes are worn, aliases are adopted and awards nights are all part of the festivities.
The Peterson family compete together. Son Adam and daughter Kandice are junior champions and their mom Katherine is involved in the costume aspect of the sport. Phil is both accurate and fast with his shooting and Kandice won a Single Action Shooting Society scholarship to the University of Victoria from her competition scores and academic marks. It pays to shoot well.
Boom Town was the site of the Canadian National Finals Cowboy Action shooting competition in August, 2012. Its popularity as a competition venue has allowed plans for further buildings to go ahead. As a result we expect to see lots more smoke, hear lots more noise and have lots more fun in Boom Town in the future.