Ponoka Fish and Game member Leonard Davis waves his flag to allow for shooting during the associations Rifleman’s Rodeo Saturday

Ponoka Fish and Game member Leonard Davis waves his flag to allow for shooting during the associations Rifleman’s Rodeo Saturday

Hunters prepare for the season with Rifleman’s Rodeo

Sharpshooters tried their skills out during the Ponoka Fish and Game Rifleman’s Rodeo held at Lake Pofianga northwest of Ponoka.

Sharpshooters tried their skills out during the Ponoka Fish and Game Rifleman’s Rodeo held at Lake Pofianga northwest of Ponoka.

The event brought families and friends together to show off their shooting skills at specific targets before hunting season gets underway, said organizer Todd Nabozniak. The event was held Saturday, Sept. 5 to Monday, Sept. 7.

“For the last 48 years we’ve been coming out here. It’s kind of a precursor to hunting season,” said Nabozniak. “So it gets a lot of sportsmen out to practice.”

The Rifleman’s Rodeo was originally set up as a rodeo event with buckles for prizes. And that tradition continues on with organizers. “That’s the way they started it in 1966. They wanted it like a rodeo and they’ve been using Olson’s buckles since 1966.”

Nabozniak said the rodeo has always been held on the long weekend and is a large family experience. “I wouldn’t miss this event.”

“It’s generally fun. These friends that I have made here have become lifelong friends,” he said.

“I’ve been shooting for at least 32 years here,” he added.

The goal is to bring newer members to the rodeo. “It’s just a really good event to keep the sport of hunting alive.”

Targets set up from 90 yards to 275 yards are all part of the weekend challenges and Nabozniak said there are men’s, ladies, juniors, buddies and family categories.

“You try to get the highest score out of 50,” said Nabozniak.

Each target, a running fox, standing antelope, standing rabbit, standing cougar and standing bear is worth 10 points and Nabozniak said at the end of the three days of shooting the highest winner in their category takes home the buckle.

Results of the event were not available at press time.