A number of the around 100 shooters taking part in the Rifleman’s Rodeo main event shoot on Sept. 1 look on as the competition progressed and dealt with some rather windy and cool conditions. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Ponoka’s Rifleman’s Rodeo embarks on next 50 years

Local fish and game association annual competition a success despite some weather challenges

The annual fun and social weekend of shooting began its second half century.

Ponoka Fish and Game Association hosted a number of members at its camping, shooting and fishing facility at Lake Pofianga over the September long weekend for the 51st Rifleman’s Rodeo.

The weather wasn’t as cooperative as event chairman Todd Nabozniak and the rest of the membership would’ve liked — with very windy and cool conditions for shooting.

“It’s just like hunting though, you simply put up and deal with it,” Nabozniak stated.

Shooting events for men, ladies, juniors along with other competitions that ran over the three days — Sept. 1 to 3 — with a few special events such as a crow shoot and balloon shoot.

Joining the numerous locals were long-time members that have moved away, maintaining their membership while living in the far reaches of southern and northern Alberta.

“As usual, there are a number of long term members here, but we’ve also had a few new people show up to take part,” Nabozniak added.

“It’s a good, fun time for everyone and a chance to reconnect with people and to socialize regardless of the weather.”

The big showcases for the weekend was the Sunday night pig roast buffet, which also includes a variety of other game meats, as well as the trophy and prize presentations on Monday afternoon.

Things did get off to a slow start on the weekend due to a bit of a complication out on the range.

“The weekend before, a group of us were out here for the archery weekend as well as to clean up and get the shooting range ready. That included cleaning things up and ensuring all of the target areas and pits were up and ready to go,” Nabozniak stated.

“Someone found what we all thought was a wasp nest in the pit for the fox run target, so we dealt with it and figured it was all good to go.”

Unfortunately, the nest was either empty or a dummy and it wasn’t until people arrived a couple of days before the weekend that a new nest site was discovered.

“It turns out, the wasps had a huge nest built into the dirt wall of the pit. We spent two days digging out the nest from the walls,” he said.

“We couldn’t have allowed anyone to be in that pit with those wasps there and that nest was huge.”

The work took so long in fact that there wasn’t enough time to go through the rest of the site and make sure everything was working properly, which also led to a few struggles with the targets early in the weekend.

Despite that though, the weekend was another success for the club.

For results of the Rifleman’s Rodeo and more information about what the Ponoka Fish and Game Association has to offer or does for the community, check out their website at www.ponokafishandgame.ca.

Ponoka Fish and Game

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Wade Pirie was among the few that used a standing position during the annual Rifleman’s Rodeo competition on Sept. 1. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Lee Hall takes the more conventional prone shooting position at the annual Rifleman’s Rodeo main event competition on Sept. 1. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

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