The Manitoba Junior Rifle Provincial Competition took place in Morden on Saturday with competitors from around the province gathering to compete and test their skills.  

Chairperson for the Mb Junior Rifle Club Committee Randy Walker started as a competitor in the Jr Rifle Club back in 1968, as an instructor for several years and has served on the executive for 14-16 years. To him, this is more than a competition, it's a way of life.  

Chairperson for the Mb Junior Rifle Club Committee Randy WalkerChairperson for the Mb Junior Rifle Club Committee Randy Walker

Walker described the day. 

"We have a field trial portion. Where all of the kids go through a gate and a boat and a fence and some deadfall to simulate actually being out in the field hunting. They have a written exam that's made-up of 25 questions, which is part of the Hunter Safety. Then they do air rifle range for those that don't have 22s, some of them will shoot 22 and air rifle combined, but most of them will shoot 22." 

Beginner twelve-year-old Barrett Bobier said it was a fun day and he really enjoyed hanging around with his friends, doing something together they enjoy.  

"On the rifle range there's a bunch of targets. There's about 20 people out there. I'm a beginner, there's novice and marksman shooters. Then, there's field trials where a bunch of people that walk you through obstacles and all sorts of stuff that you would come across in the field and you have to get past it." 

He likes being part of the community club and wants to get his Hunter's Safety certificate so he can hunt with his dad, who also grew up hunting.  

Skeet shooting was part of the day at an offsite location.(Submitted by Morden Coach Kevin Nickel) Skeet shooting was part of the day at an offsite location.

Walker said their motto, "Safety, Sportsmanship and Shooting" guides everything they do. 

"Safety is paramount in any organization that I've ever belonged to, especially this one, when you have live firing going on. Sportsmanship is the other thing that, to me, you might win a trophy, you might not win a trophy, maybe somebody beat you out by one point or whatever, but it's the sportsmanship where you can all clap and congratulate each other and go from there. And the shooting is to me the last thing. If everybody does 100% on the written exam and 100% on the field trials, I'm happier than you-know-what. Because to me, that's the learning portion of it, the shooting is something that actually comes last, but it's still very important as well to the championship."  

He summed up the reason so many kids join their local club, "It's a way of life. It's a family where everybody sticks together, and everyone helps out where they can."  

The day ended with a banquet with top competitors recognized for their skills.

The below video from the event is courtesy our sister website