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by on February 22, 2021

Where do you live? (what state or country)

Vero Beach, Florida

When did you start shooting CAS and how did you or who got you into the sport?

I remember attending (spectating) my very first SASS match with my uncle (Delta Glen) years before becoming active in the sport. I would say that it was in the early 2000s, and I thought it was really "COOL!". I eventually moved to Florida in 2005. By that time, a number of my family members were already active in SASS. After shooting a monthly match in Ft. White and family persuasion, I joined SASS in 2007. I acquired my gear and started actively shooting with the Panhandle Cattle Company (Port St. Joe, FL) in 2008.

Who was your mentor, either known to them or not?

n the beginning, I learned a lot from Strider (Dad) and Dead Lakes Walker. (My grandfather, known to the family as Papa) I have many family members currently in or have been in the game (11 total) since 2000. For many years there were three generations of Bernal men and women ringing the steel together. I have learned from all of them, ranging from Delta Glen’s consistency and love for the game, Hawkeye Gin’s tenacity/fearlessness with a 97’, and Dead Lakes Walker sharing his vast knowledge of firearms. Without them all, it is tough to imagine how I would have become involved with SASS. I would be remiss if I didn't mention two other SASS influencers, Fireball and Santa Fe River Stan. Who doesn't want to shoot like them?

How much do you practice, how many rounds a month do you send down range?

Honestly, not often. Recently, I started shooting more monthly matches, and depending on my performance those matches fall into the practice category.

Have you won any state, regional, national or world championships?

Not yet, but I’m comin’ for Ya! lol

Tell us about your most memorable match:

The Last Stand 2011. It was the first big match I shot clean and qualified for the shoot-off (as an alternant).

What is your favorite aspect of CAS?

The people and competition. Since joining SASS, I have met and shot with some of the best cowboys & cowgirls in the game, and look up to many. I admire how everyone involved with SASS embodies the “cowboy way.” From offering shooting pointers, helping a fellow shooter with a challenge on or off the range, or offering equipment to a stranger to experience the sport for the first time. I recently encountered the kindness of the “cowboy way.” During a recent match, after a rifle double-feed, I found myself needing to acquire a screw knife. Going to the shooter's grapevine, I put out some feelers on social media for recommendations. A Cowboy by the alias of Deacon Will, (whom I have never met) asked where I lived and shot. Little did I know he was going to send me a personalized handmade screw knife. When it arrived in the mail, I was completely surprised, so I promptly reached out to him to see what I owed him. He said, “Nothing; it’s the cowboy way.” I was completely blown away at the kind gesture, especially since we were complete strangers. Thank you again, Deacon Will. The people of SASS are world-class. The best of the best.

Is there a story behind your alias, and what is that story?

Not really, I had a list and didn’t have success with those, so I kept it simple. That’s how I roll.

Do you have a travel/shootin buddy? (you know that friend that makes this game what it is)

The first few years in the game, I traveled with my Dad (Strider) to my first few big matches, which was a lot of fun. I then relocated to Tallahassee, FL followed by Gainesville, FL after being accepted into the University of Florida’s College of Design, Construction and Planning. Needless to say, studying architecture consumed six years of my focus with exception of an occasional monthly match. Since completing grad school, I am more active in the sport. I try to show up wherever the Cracker Crew is slinging lead.

Where is your favorite place to shoot? (range or match past or present)

Present Matches: The best monthly match is the Roughshod Raiders in Gainesville, FL, of course, I am bias. The Ides of March Match (State or Annual). My travel has been limited to within the state, but I hope to extend my boundaries in the coming year with shooting the SE Regional and possibly EOT. Past Match: The Last Stand State Match, Orlando, FL.

Have you tried other categories? What categories have you shot and how did that go?

No, not yet, but I’m not getting younger. Ha!

What is you posse job of choice?

Whatever needs to be done.

What is the time of your fastest clean stage?

10-10-4+ with a 15:14

What was the best advice you got from a fellow shooter, and who was it?

I have received good advice from many. Note: I don’t always succeed in the execution of said advice. lol Here are some of the notables: “Smooth is Fast” – I believe it was Sassy Teton Lady that told me that the first time. “Shoot Your Game!”- Delta Glen, The Outlaw Travis James has been reemphasizing this lately. I have been known to be stubborn, says my better half. “It's not a destination… it’s a life-long learning process… Keep Learning.” Fireball

What advice can you give to some of the shooters reading this?

I would have to extend the advice listed above. It's great advice.

What keeps you playing this game?

The people and the competition. It is a wonderful thing when your competitors are happy to kick your butt and also happy to see you succeed. This is a rare thing in most sports, yet SASS has both and I can’t imagine my life without it.

What is your favorite thing to do when you are not on the range or shooting?

Is shooting not the only thing to do? JK. To me, the activity doesn’t matter too much but spending the time with family is what really matters.

Like (11)
Another great Shooter Spotlight. I just love reading them. Thank you
February 22, 2021