Yukon Rangers hit the mark at air rifle championships

For Danielle Marcotte, competing at the first annual Canadian National Air Rifle Championships in Goose Bay, Labrador, last weekend, it was the two that got away.

For Danielle Marcotte, competing at the first annual Canadian National Air Rifle Championships in Goose Bay, Labrador, last weekend, it was the two that got away.

The Junior Rangers sergeant from Pelly Crossing missed only two shots in two days of competing, earning her a second-place finish in the individual event (first for females) and helping her patrol group achieve a first-place finish in the team event.

Both of her two misses came from shots in the kneeling position, one of four positions required in the competition.

“I don’t practise it; I’m a standing shooter,” said Marcotte.

Joining her on her patrol group (1CRPG), which included seven other Rangers from NWT and Nunavut, was Junior Ranger Sergeant Elisha Sembsoen from Haines Junction, who finished in the top-10 for the individual event. They were the only two representatives from the Yukon.

Forty-nine Junior Rangers from Canada’s five Junior Ranger Patrol Groups participated in the event, which was the first national competition of its kind.

For the team event, groups had to run an obstacle course before the final shoot. However, Marcotte and Sembsoen’s group decided to complete the course at a leisurely rate, saving their energy—and their breath—for the shooting.

“Since the obstacle course was worth 50 points, which is nothing, we decided to go at a nice slow pace and then walk our way to the shooting,” said Marcotte. “That way we could get back all our points with the shooting and it worked.

“I think our plan was really good because I know the teams that ran the whole way their heart was really going, which made them breath more and made them wobbly.”

Marcotte is the only Yukoner to win the Top Shot at the Canadian Junior Ranger Regional Air Rifle Championships, a Rangers competition between the three territories. This year Sembsoen won the Top-Shot title for the Yukon’s Junior Ranger competition.

Having proven herself with the air rifle time and time again, Marcotte is planning to test her skills with a .22 at the Alberta Handgun Provincial Championships in Calgary the weekend of June 6. Never before has she competed with a .22 handgun.

“I was never old enough, but now that I’m 16 I can compete with it,” said Marcotte. “So I’m going to use this as a trial run and if I really like it, like how the competition works and how I do, then I’ll maybe shoot it at nationals.”

Contact Tom Patrick at


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