Jean Butler is a retired college administrator, but on Saturday she looked more like a character from a John Wayne movie. She wore a straw hat, suspenders and a thick leather belt weighed down with two pistols and a row of red shotgun shells. She had abandoned her old identity and adopted the nom de guerre Clara Allen.
She was one of a few dozen shooters at a cowboy action shooting event in Hamilton last weekend. The competitors dressed up like characters from the old west and adopted cowboy aliases. At each stage, they shot at steel targets and acted out scenes based on stories from Montana mining towns.