The 2017 Canadian International Rifle Silhouette Nationals are currently underway, bringing some of the best sharp shooters from around Canada, the USA and Mexico to compete in a tournament that wraps up Saturday, August 5.
Hosted by the Bull River Shooters Association (BRSA), the week-long event is broken into two categories, .22 calibre and high-power rifles. Shooters aim for metallic silhouette targets 40 to 100 metres away in the .22 calibre category and the high-powered rifle shooters are aiming for targets 200 to 500 metres away.
Rocky Marsh is one of the longest standing members and a past president of the BRSA and acted as the announcer at the event. He stopped to talk between the tournament and the awards to tell us a little bit about the event.
“This particular event they try to move it around Canada amongst the competitive shooters,” Marsh said. “So we have pretty active clubs in Saskatchewan and into British Columbia and then here probably the biggest one in the area.”
While Marsh said that there wasn’t too much in the way of prizes, explaining winning is more of a point of pride than anything else, the event was made very special by their numerous sponsors.
“We gave away rifle stocks, barrels, scopes yesterday so that way all competitors have an equal chance at the valuable things if you wanna call it that,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a new shooter and just starting or if you’re a master-class shooter, here in the next little while they’ll all win the same prizes,” Marsh added, also mentioning that his dad gave him his first .22 when he was five-years-old and he’s “been using it ever since.”
Another important aspect of this tournament, the sport of silhouette shooting and the BRSA in general, as explained by Marsh, is that because hunting is so prominent around this region, it’s a great chance for hunters to practice and develop their skills.
“It builds confidence to know that you can stand offhand and hit an animal 500 metres away, way smaller than actually an animal. It builds confidence and we’ve seen it in our kids as they’ve grown up now. At probably 12 years old them kids were shootin’ with us and now they’re master shooters and elk is not a problem for them to shoot.”