Editor's note: For this #ThrowbackThursday, we're featuring a young Single-Action Shooting competitor who was originally featured in the February 2010 issue of NRA InSights, with permission from the Cowboy Chronicle.
Ohio is home to some of the best Single-Action Shooting Society (SASS) shooters in the country. With 13 clubs spread across the Buckeye State, that is not too surprising. With that much SASS participation, it is also not surprising that the Buckeye State has some of the top young shooters in the country. This is a story about one of them.
Bret and Barb Dennis live in the central part of the state and have two children: Tegan (Mean Eyes) and Tyler (the Terrible). Both are active Cowboy Action Shooters, as is Bret (Gray Hare). I have had the pleasure of shooting with all three of them on several occasions at a number of clubs across the state. Mean Eyes graduated from Buckeye Valley High School a couple of years ago, and was the recipient of a SASS scholarship for this coming year. Terrible Tyler shot his first SASS match at the age of eight, and has been participating in SASS now for nine years. His first major shoot was Guns of August in 2004. He got his start in the shooting sports through his local 4-H club. He will be a senior this year at Buckeye Valley High School. His best classes are history and English, and he hopes to attend college and pursue a major in graphic design, or to possibly become a writer. He plays guitar in a band called “The Condition,” designs websites and enjoys playing computer games. His SASS equipment consists of a pair of stainless-steel Ruger Vaqueros in .32 H&R, a Navy Arms Model 1873 in .38 Special and a Stoeger 12-gauge shotgun.
Tyler told me he got his alias, “Terrible Tyler,” because he shot so fast. Well, folks, I’ve shot with him, so I knew there had to be another story. His dad said he named him that because he was so hardheaded. In fact, the first word he learned to say as a baby was “no.”
All joking aside, Terrible Tyler is one of the finest shooters around, regardless of the category, and a genuine pleasure to posse with. The list of his SASS accomplishments is long as your arm: Midwest Regional (Guns of August) Buckaroo Champion; Kentucky State Buckaroo Champion; Michigan State Young Gun Champion, Wolverine Rangers Range War; Young Gun Champion, Southeast Regional; Men’s Speed Rifle Champion, Southeast Regional (Shootout at Mule Camp); Men’s Speed Pistol Champion, Southeast Regional (Shootout at Mule Camp)…not to mention his many wins as Best Dressed Junior Cowboy. Look closely at the last two wins and then think of the various state, regional and national champions he beat at Mule Camp!
Terrible Tyler has already accomplished a great deal in SASS at a very early age. His only shortcoming at this point is his failure to beat yours truly at Guns of August. We even had a small wager at last year’s match and although it was close, when the smoke settled and the rank points were added up, he was defeated. Well, Tyler, as the Brooklyn Dodgers used to say, “Wait ‘till next year!”
(Editor’s note: Terrible Tyler beat Oatsville Slim, the author, at Guns of August, so he won’t have to “Wait ‘till next year” after all!)