Alaska State Troopers shoot their way to victory

Yukon Mounties and Alaska State Troopers, the two storied defenders of northern law, faced off last weekend for The Shoot, an annual competitive…

Yukon Mounties and Alaska State Troopers, the two storied defenders of northern law, faced off last weekend for The Shoot, an annual competitive display of law-enforcement shooting prowess.

Clouds of dust swirled over the Whitehorse Rifle and Pistol Club, mixing with the smell of exploded gunpowder.

As each round began, staccato ‘pops’ pierced the silence of Grey Mountain.

The hail of lead was directed at an unassuming row of paper targets, which were gradually rendered Swiss-cheese-ish by the fire.

A thin blue line of officers were the shootists — Canadian and American, young and old, guns drawn and eyes fixed.

“Remember to stay behind the firing line,” advised RCMP officer Cpl. Glenn Ramsey as volleys of bullets streaked across the short firing range, embedding themselves in the battered hillocks behind the targets.

The Mounties lost.

After holding the Team Trophy for two consecutive years, they were narrowly defeated by the Troopers over the course of the two-day event.

First held in 1960, The Shoot is the longest running international law enforcement firearms event in the world.

Begun almost immediately after Alaska achieved statehood in 1959, the competition was conceived in a bid to foster “friendly competition” between the two law-enforcement agencies.

Sharing a long, wilderness border, the two agencies maintain a very close working relationship.

The conditions of northern policing are far different than those in southern Canada or the US Lower 48.

As a result, a unique bond has formed between the two agencies.

“Friendly competition” seemed to be the word of the day.

“We’re all friends here,” said Hans Brinke, an Anchorage division officer who is attending his eighth shoot.

“But our team’s going to win,” he said.

The seven-officer teams ranged from all across Alaska and the Yukon.

The visiting troopers brought along their newest patrol car, a black 2008 Dodge charger.

Equipped with reinforced bumper and glistening in the mid-morning sun, it bore an uncanny resemblance to the “Batmobile.”

I asked the car’s top speed.

From the sidelines a Trooper said, “157.”

That certainly breaks the speed limit, even in Alaska.

“I was answering a gun-related call — shots were fired,” he explained.

At one stage of the event, competitors were required to compete with the pistols of the other law enforcement agency.

The Troopers were quick to brag their 40-calibre Glock was almost twice as big as the Mounties’ Smith and Wesson 9 mm.

Ah, but the Troopers’ bigger gun is merely a “compensatory façade,” noted one Mountie.

Wives and girlfriends of the police competitors even got in on the fun — a shoot tradition called the SO-SO, or Significant Other Shoot Off.

Handling the firearms of their partners, the significant others face off for a round of shooting events.

“Everybody brings their family; it’s just a lot of fun,” said Brinke.

Just Posted

Without hemodialysis option, Yukon man returns home to die

Terry Coventry said he hopes the Yukon government will consider offering hemodialysis in the future


Wyatt’s World

Porter Creek Rams ride strong first quarter to boys Super Hoops win against F.H. Collins Warriors

After two days of competition, the F.H. Collins Warriors are 0-2 in boys play and 2-0 in girls play

Yukon officials issue warning after three fentanyl deaths last month

There were also a handful of overdoses that did not result in deaths

Whitehorse proposes 2.2 per cent property tax hike

The 2020 operating budget passed first reading this week

Dahria Beatty wins bronze at Opa Cup cross-country skiing race in Slovenia

Whitehorse’s Emily Nishikawa was 10th in the 10-km race

RCMP asks B.C. cannabis shop to remove image of Sam Steele

Owner happy to comply with RCMP, but wants more information first

EDITORIAL: Time for the Yukon Party’s opening act

Having a competitive leadership race could be good for the party

City news, briefly

Some of the news from the Dec. 2 Whitehorse city council meeting

Arctic Sports Inter-School Championship draws athletes from as far as Juneau

The three-day event included more than 300 participants from kindergarten to Grade 12

Access road to Telegraph Creek now open

Ministry has spent $300K to date on work to clear rockslide

Freedom Trails responds to lawsuit

A statement of defence was to the Yukon Supreme Court on Nov. 19.

Whitehorse RCMP seeking suspects after robbery at Yukon Inn

Robbery took place in early hours of Nov. 27, with suspects armed with a knife and “large stick”

Most Read