Whitehorse gun club to host nationals next summer

Yukon's capital will be crawling with deadeyes next summer.

Yukon’s capital will be crawling with deadeyes next summer.

The Whitehorse Rifle and Pistol Club and the Yukon Shooting Federation will host the 2014 Canadian National Rifle Silhouette Championships next July, the News has learned.

It will be the fifth time the Whitehorse club, located on Grey Mountain Road, will host the event. The first was in 1988 and the last in 2009.

“We’ve got a really good facility and last time everyone was here they were quite pleased with how things were set up,” said club president Nora Trombley. “There were a lot of volunteers that put a lot of heart and effort into pulling it off. The club moved forward with some significant range improvements at the time to make it happen.

“I think this time we’ll be looking at some maintenance issues because much of the heavy duty work had been completed for the last round (in 2009). So now it’s just a matter of maintenance, to make sure the brush is cleared, the place gets a bit of a paint job, and it looks good for guests.”

The metallic silhouette shooting championship, a form of target shooting in which marksmen aim at metal cutouts of game animals, will feature six days of competition from July 5-12. There will be 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.

“Silhouette is a good discipline for people to get started in shooting if they’ve never done any shooting,” said Trombley. “Especially the .22 because it doesn’t knock you on your backside or anything. Young people can do it, older people can do it.”

Organizers expect a minimum of 50 competitors from across Canada and the U.S. at the event. The most recent championships were held in Prince Albert, Sask., this summer, and Kamloops, B.C., in 2012.

“I’m expecting a minimum of 12 Yukon shooters,” said lead organizer Lyle Thompson.

Whitehorse’s Nicholas Rittel, who might compete next year, had great success at the nationals last year.

In Kamloops, he set two Canadian shooting records and won three divisions.

Rittel finished first in two small-bore divisions in the master class and also won the hunter division in the AAA class.

He set Canadian records by hitting 39 out of 40 animals in the small-bore division and hitting 10 turkey silhouettes in a row.

Rittel went on to produce two top-10 results at the American championships in New Mexico the next month.

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