Shooters prep for nationals with Yukon championship

Yukon shooters recently got their first taste of competition in what will be a big season for the Whitehorse Rifle and Pistol Club.

Yukon shooters recently got their first taste of competition in what will be a big season for the Whitehorse Rifle and Pistol Club.

Sixteen shooters put their steady hands to the test at the Yukon Rifle Silhouette Championships over the May 24-25 weekend.

It was an opportunity for some to shoot in a sanctioned match and receive a classification before the Whitehorse club and the Yukon Shooting Federation host the 2014 Canadian National Rifle Silhouette Championships this July.

“Right now it looks like we’ll have a good turnout … better than 50 competitors,” said Yukon Shooting Federation president Lyle Thompson. “We’ll have competitors from across Canada … Right now we have people from Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C. coming. We’re expecting three or four people from Yellowknife, a couple from Alaska, some from Washington.”

It will be the club’s fifth time hosting the metallic silhouette shooting championship, a form of target shooting in which marksmen aim at steel cutouts of game animals. The nationals will feature six days of competition beginning with three days of small-bore, .22-calibre shooting followed by three days of high-power, hunter-class events with a one-day break in between. The small-bore competition will take place on the 25-, 50-, 75- and 100-metre ranges and the hunter classes will go up to 500-metre distance targets.

Though he did not compete at the recent Yukon championship, one local shooter to watch is Whitehorse’s Nicholas Rittel.

“He’s our best shooter right now,” said Thompson. “He’s exceptionally good.”

The 23-year-old did not compete last year but had an outstanding season in 2012.

Rittel set two Canadian shooting records and won three divisions at the 2012 Canadian Rifle Silhouette Championships in Kamloops, B.C.

He also pegged two seventh-place finishes en route to placing 10th overall out of about 100 shooters at the 2012 Silhouette National Championships in New Mexico.

So is there much of a home-field advantage for locals at the nationals?

“We get to sleep in our own bed,” said Rittel. “The range is the same for each target, but each shooting range is going to be a little different. Some places paint the targets a different colour.”

“I haven’t been shooting as much, but it should be fun this year,” he added.

The Canadian National Rifle Silhouette Championships will take place July 5-12.


Yukon championship winners

Smallbore standard

Match winner: Lyle Thompson

AAA class: Dave Buchanan

AA class: Gerald Nadeau

A class: Amber Wally

B class: Bowen Hildebrand

Smallbore rifle

Match winner: Ken Speiss

AAA class: Lyle Thompson

AA class: Gerald Nadeau

A class: Amber Wally

B class: Kevin Hildebrand

Centre fire standard rifle

Match winner: Jason Roske

Centre fire hunting rifle

Match winner: Jason Roske

High junior: Amber Wally

High senior: Lyle Thompson

Sportsman of the year: Dave Buchanan

Contact Tom Patrick at

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