Top skeet shooters competing for Western Canadian titles

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Brad Semaka of Olds, Alta. fires a shot at the Prince Albert Pistol & Rifle Club Friday afternoon during the 2018 Western Canadian Skeet Championships.

For those that think skeet shooting is just about firing at a moving target, they might be surprised to learn that it’s easier said than done.

As competitors battle it out this weekend at the Prince Albert Pistol & Rifle Club at the 2018 Western Canadian Skeet Championships, they need to be well versed in a variety of events.

“In the doubles competition, you have targets coming out of a high house and a low house at the same time,” Prince Albert Pistol & Rifle Club president Steve Jeffers said. “In the other events, you have eight stations where you have a single shot from each station, then the doubles right afterwards at a couple of the other stations, so you have a small window of opportunity to get it right.

“As you move up in gauge from the 12 gauge to the .410 bore, there’s less lead in the air. You go from an ounce and a 1/8 in the 12 gauge to around half an ounce in the 410. It makes it a challenge and you can really see the strong shooters stand out from the pack.”

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald
Brad Semaka of Olds, Alta. fires a shot at the Prince Albert Pistol & Rifle Club Friday afternoon during the 2018 Western Canadian Skeet Championships.

This weekend’s event marks the first time the club, which is located west of the city, has hosted a major competition since the provincial championships two years ago.

“We have people here from as far west as Vancouver Island and as far east as Ontario,” Jeffers said. “It’s nice to have them come to our club and it’s good for us as it helps us make some money to keep us going strong.

“It’s like a provincial or a national event with how strong the field is and all you have to do is just show up and compete. Plus, you get to see how well you do compared to everyone else across Canada when the results are posted on the National Skeet Shooting Association website.”

As each event takes place over the course of the weekend, the facility will provide them a good place to shoot from as the competitors battle it out.

“You are always looking forward so you want to make sure that the background isn’t blurring out the target,” Jeffers said. “We’re fortunate here that there’s a lot of green space and the trees are in the background, especially compared to a place like Saskatoon where you are overlooking the water and shooters complain about the reflection messing them up.

“It’s a lot like golf where everyone has an excuse when things don’t go right. However, the bottom line is that you are all shooting at the same target and I think you’ll see the top guys are the ones that are always getting high scores.”

The competition will continue at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, with the final trophies being handed out Sunday afternoon.

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