Yukon rifle shooters have pegged off a number of top finishes at the 2014 Canadian National Silhouette Championships, hosted by the Yukon Shooting Federation at the Whitehorse Rifle and Pistol Club this week.
Locals have collected some first-place finishes and even
match wins in the three days of small-bore, .22-calibre, between Sunday and Tuesday.
Whitehorse’s Nicholas Rittel was on target a lot in the first half of the metallic silhouette shooting championship, a form of target shooting in which marksmen aim at metal cutouts of game animals.
Competing in master class – the highest level of competition – the 23-year-old hit 97 out of 120 to become the smallbore standard rifle national champion, registering two match wins over the three days. He also took first place in the hunting rifle class with another pair of match wins – overall high scores out of every division.
“It’s going good so far,” said Rittel. “It’s nice weather – a little bit of rain.”
On Monday, “I got 35 out of 40, which is my best score.”
Excelling at the championship isn’t anything new for Rittel. He 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 U.S.‘s 2012 Silhouette National Championships in New Mexico.
He did not compete at last year’s championship.
“If I had practised more I would have done better, but you just do what you can do,” said Rittel.
Yukon’s Jim Sias, in the AAA class, has so far placed fifth overall in standard rifle and first in a shoot off in hunting rifle.
Fellow Yukoner Angie Wally shot to first overall in B class for standard rifle and then took second overall in hunting for the A class. She also took the title of high animal with nine pigs. Sister Amber Wally took second overall in the same division.
Reece Johnson placed third all three days for third overall in B class for standard rifle.
Bowden Hildebrand, Elijah Kaytor and Johnson placed first, second and third for hunting rifle in B class.
The championship, which continued Thursday with three days of high-power shooting, is hosting about 50 competitors, ranging in age from 12 into the early 80s, from Yukon, N.W.T., B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Washington State.
“I’m better with the .22,” said Rittel. “I’m not so technical with the high power. It’s a lot more tactical with ammunition you use. With the .22 it’s a lot simpler. You put a scope on the gun and you shoot it.”
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