The Yukon Aboriginal Sports Circle and Biathlon Yukon combined to host a rifle shooting competition Oct. 13 at the biathlon range in Whitehorse.
The 17 participants, made up of both biathletes and members of the YASC shooting program, took part in both precision shooting and biathlon shooting competitions.
Ted Hupe, one of the event’s organizers, said the idea was to create a new opportunity for local shooters to get some more experience in a competition setting.
“It was kind of a group effort,” he said. “ The people at the (YASC) approached me because I’ve worked with them before … about getting some more shooting competitions or more shooting experience for the (YASC) group of shooters. It just seemed like a natural fit to have some biathlon shooting happen at the same time.”
The hope was to have six to eight participants from the YASC program, but due to other obligations, the bulk of the 17 were biathletes.
All told, the participants took part in precision shooting, biathlon shooting and a head-to-head speed shooting event.
In the precision shooting event, participants had one hour to shoot six targets — two standing, two kneeling and two prone — 10 times. Once the 60 shots were fired, the targets were scored.
In the senior category, Aidan Hupe was first, followed by Veronica Porter in second and Emma Marnik in third.
Ava Irving-Staley was first in the junior category while Isla Hupe was second and Annie Cable was third.
In the young guns category, Bruce Porter was first, Cole Germain was second and Taiga Buurman was third.
Following the precision shooting, the focus shifted to the biathlon shooting where participants had to shoot 15 biathlon targets in just five minutes.
In the senior category, Marnik was first while Veronica Porter was second and Aidan Hupe was third.
In the junior category, Isidore Champagne was first, Emma Robins was second and Robin Elliot was third.
After the main events, the group took part in another speed shooting event known as “Chase Charlie” where participants go head-to-head on the same set of biathlon targets.
The shooter on the left shoots the two left targets, the shooter on the right shoots the two right targets and the winner is the shooter who gets the middle target first.
Winners advance, whittling the field to eight, then four, then two and finally one.
Conditions for the competition, although warm, were windy.
“The wind makes it very, very tough for shooting,” said Ted, explaining that a bullet can move up to an inch as it travels the 50 metres from the shooting position to the target.
“What we do before any event is zero our rifles — we do adjustments for the wind — for the conditions. It was tough shooting on Saturday because it was really windy.”
Although this was the first competition of its sort, it seems it was a hit with the participants who are already pushing for more collaboration between the two organizations.
“Our biathletes … they loved it,” said Ted. “They thought we should do this again.”
The whole premise of the competition — building connections and community — is something that’s a win-win.
“What we’re trying to do is build a community. If we can get more connections between the (YASC) athletes, … more opportunities to shoot in a competitive setting — I think that’s great for everyone.”
Contact John Hopkins-Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org