Venado Run n Gun Recap
Venado Springs Ranch Bandera, Tx
Venado Springs Ranch kindly opened their property for us to host a 2-day Run n Gun event. Our competitors competed in what is arguably one of the most excruciating courses on record. Utilizing the natural terrain, we were able to challenge runners physically with over 450 feet of elevation change over the courses, while offering a wide variety of shooting from 10 to almost 600 yards. We are truly just scratching the surface on this property and cannot wait to come back next year! We may change the name to the Venado Hike and Gun though…
Our scenario for the match was inspired by the Texas Revolution as the historical dates for the Battle of Gonzalez corresponded with the dates of the event. Every stage was named after a battle that took place during the revolution. We also attempted to utilize some portion of those event to inspire our stages. For example, the Siege of Bexar was our long-range stage where competitors had to shoot targets at 450 and 575 yards. During the siege there was said to have been a deadly battle of sharp shooters where both Mexican and Texan forces were hitting targets from afar.
Venado Springs Ranch is large enough that we were able to set up 2 separate courses. Our 10k course was located on the west side of the ranch and the 5k was on the east side. This provided 2 separate experiences and allowed us complete versatility in each course design rather than just modifying an existing course of fire and round count. We had 8 competitors who shot on both days and we hope to see those numbers grow since it is such a unique experience.
The 10k course was approximately 5.75 miles with a round count of 45 rifle and 48 pistol hits. Six of the seven stages required shooters to engage both rifle and pistol targets. The 10k course was designed to challenge shooters with a wide variety of shooting skills. Rifle targets were placed between 40 and 575 yards; courses of fire at stages required competitors to engage targets off-hand, prone, kneeling, and utilizing barricades. Pistol targets were placed between 10 and 30 yards while requiring movement to spot or properly engage them. To add to the difficulty, we did not let the competitors walk the stages prior to shooting. The shooter had to find the targets and engage them while on the clock. Twenty-two of the 63 competitors were able to clear all 7 stages with failure rates ranging between 16% and 50%.
Our 5K course was designed to be fast and fun. Stages allowed competitive shooters to display their skills with speed while also allowing new shooters to get their footing and complete stages. The round count was 40 rifle and 34 pistol with the furthest target located at 400 yards. Again, we utilized a wide variety of shooting skills and positions but brought the targets in closer to make them easier to engage. That is not to say that the course was easy…our stage fail rate ranged from 16% to 68%. Unfortunately, a 15-20 mph swirling cross wind in a valley wreaked havoc on our distance stage; dropping the number of competitors who shot the course clean to only 17 of the 57 competitors. Otherwise, we probably would have had 60% of the field shoot all stages clean.
We again offered our signature Challenge Stages at the event and their popularity has continued to grow. We had over 100 entries into our rifle and pistol stages with competitors getting behind one another to push themselves and their friends. We literally chopped down a cedar tree with all the rounds put through the stage. As part of our appreciation for our first responders, we offer a free entry into the Challenge Stage of their choice. If you didn’t utilize this, please be sure to let us know you’re a first responder when you check into our next event so we can provide you with an entry!
Both days we were able to present awards within 30 minutes of the last competitor crossing the line. Our hope is to continue to match, if not improve upon that. We had some familiar names at the top again with Jonathan Foo and Sal Hernandez placing on both days. Credit also goes out to Alex Horcasitas, Meghan Hayden, Kellen Hood, and Perla Dominguez for joining the winner circle!
We have some exceptional sponsors that stepped up and provided awesome products for our prize table. They all took the time to send prizes in spite of the current product demand in the firearms industry. We would like to thank each of them for their support:
Most importantly, we need to give a special thank you to our Range Officers who spent the weekend working both courses in 90-degree heat. We cannot express how valuable and awesome each one of these individuals are and want to convey our sincerest appreciation for their efforts. We can find the properties, build the courses, and get people to register but without Range Officers, none of this would happen. If you are interested in becoming a Range Officer reach out to us at or through our website so we can provide you with all the details!
We are currently working with multiple ranches to create and finalize a schedule for the 2021 season. If you don’t already, follow us on Facebook (Old Eighteen Defense) or Instagram (@oedefense) and subscribe to our website () to hear the latest on upcoming events as it becomes available.