Gunfighter comes to town

11-year-old shoots up range at Bears Ears Sportsman Club

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Riding into Craig as outlaw Butch Cassidy once did, Wyatt Henry Kinion was packing single-action revolvers, rifles and shotguns.

Born in Glenwood Springs, where Doc Holiday took his last breath, and given the names of a gunfighter and a western firearm at birth, it's only fitting that Wyatt Henry makes his home in Rifle.

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Wyatt's dad, Tim Kinion, or 'Charles Bolton' when he's in character as a cowboy action shooter, is himself a three-time state champion in the shooting competitions that brought a taste of the Old West to the Bears Ears Sportsman Club in Craig during the weekend.

Dressed in character and using period correct firearms, cowboy action shooters went through a series of stations, reenacting Old West gunfights and shootouts.

Hitting targets is a big part of cowboy action shooting, but so is dressing the part and having an alias bad enough to scare someone.

Wyatt Henry, both his alias and legal name, is 11 years old and he already owns 10 guns.

Shooting since he was six, and participating in cowboy action competitions since eight, Wyatt Henry is the western region champion in his age group.

"You can never really lose, because even if you do bad, it's just a bad score," he said. "There's a lot of different categories, and I'm not competing against these big guys."

Wyatt quickly knocked down his targets, missing only once out of a box of ammo's worth of shooting a rifle, pistol and shotgun.

He said the secret is to not take things too seriously, and most shooters don't really care if they win or loose.

"Choosing the right particular gun is important, or it might be hard to handle," Wyatt said. "There's a lot involved in taking care of the guns and making the ammo."

Shooting a single-action pistol was tough when he began in the sport, cocking the trigger after each shot, but Wyatt was hanging around with world champions and his father a great deal of the time.

The sixth-grader enjoys shooting, and the guns and accessories that go along with the sport, but he keeps his hobby low profile when he's at school.

"The cool teachers in school think it's pretty awesome," he said. "But it's kind of hush-hush when you talk about it because of the gun thing. Everybody in the sport is safe."

Tim Kinion said he's proud of his son and his accomplishments at a young age. The pair will be attending the Colorado State Championship for cowboy action shooting this year in Rifle.

"He beats kids up to 17 years old," the elder Kinion said about his son. "He's just amazing."

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