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Shootout at Mule Camp returns to Newton

COVINGTON - Once again, the South River Gun Club will be transformed into the Wild West for the 14th Annual Shootout at Mule Camp, which takes place Thursday through Sunday.

The event is the southeastern regional championship for the Single Action Shooting Society, the governing body of cowboy action shooting, a sport in which participants compete in fantasy scenarios based on actual events from history or scenes from films.

The event is hosted annually at South River Gun Club, located at 5205 Ga. Highway 212 S., by the Mule Camp Cowboys, the local action shooting club.

This year's festivities will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to

5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, with Sunday's awards ceremony intended only for participants.

Competitors shoot at steel targets and are judged for speed and accuracy. They dress in authentic western attire and use pre-1899 authentic or replica single-action revolvers, lever action rifles and shotguns from that period.

"There's shooting going on with live ammunition but it's very safe," said Jim Reid, one of the event's organizers. "It's very safe for children. There are no loaded guns anywhere except on the firing line. Everything is away from the spectators."

More than 30 vendors will also be on hand to offer a wide variety of merchandise, from cowboy gear to clothing to arts and crafts.

In addition to the shooting competition, there will be entertainment, including music, storytelling and an old-time medicine show, gun handlers and quick draw competitions.

Those watching the shooting are required to wear protective eyewear and earplugs, which are available on site for a small charge, Reid said. Sunglasses are typically suitable to protect the eyes, he added.

The charge to attend is $5 per person or a maximum of $10 per carload.

A free shuttle service will be provided by the Covington Lions Club.

For more information, call Reid at 770-367-2799.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.