It was gun and target heaven at the 41st annual Rifleman’s Rodeo over the long weekend as competitors got together and tried to outshoot each other at various events.
On Aug. 30, 31 and Sept. 1, competitors spent their time at the Lake Pofianga shooting range aiming at targets in hopes to score a win.
Phyllis Walcheske, one of the organizers for the weekend, enjoyed helping host the event and was pleased with the turnout.
“It’s a good get-together,” said Walcheske. “A lot of people get great practice shooting their guns.”
One of the changes made for this year’s event included the targets. There were five realistic animal targets that were designed to improve hunting skills. Four of the targets were stationary and one was a moving target.
The shooting range featured a standing antelope, 160 yards, a rabbit, 170 yards, a deer, 170 yards and a running boar, 90 yards. There was also a 170 yards crowshoot.
Only legal big game calibers were permitted.
Walcheske averaged that she received approximately 400 entries for the weekend ranging from young competitors to more experienced riflemen.
“It’s about the same as previous years,” she said.
The rodeo was hosted by the Ponoka Fish and Game and provided a place to camp for out of towners and dedicated locals.
The fun began on Aug. 30 with the kids .22 caliber competition and balloon shoot, then moved on to a balloon shoot for all ages and the riflemen ended the competitions with shooting targets and wound down and relaxed at night with a campfire and social time.
Aug. 31 kicked off early with a pancake breakfast and participants spent the afternoon on the shooting range.
On Sept. 1 gunmen and women spent the morning and early afternoon sharpening their shooting skills and hitting targets. In the early afternoon the scores were tallied and time was made for a trophy and prize presentation.
The Ponoka Fish and Game Association is dedicated to teaching adults and youth the methods of hunting and fishing as well as conservation.
The man-made lake on the property, clubhouse and the 200 acres of land make it ideal for a training area and camping.
The lake is home to many rainbow trout and on land there is a trap range, rifle range, archery range, picnic area and canoeing.