Not sure that most people are aware of this but up here in the North Queensland between the Zone 5 SSAA ranges, we hold a 3 card IRB shoot on a rotating format between the 4 ranges throughout year. It is a great time had by all and the banter is great, we get to meet up with great friends that we have met over the last couple of years and do what most of us want to do, just sit behind the rifle and let the world disappear for that 30 minutes as you fire at the target.
We have an average of about 25 to 30 shooters competing on a regular basis, with some very impressive scores coming in and competition is close with normally around 20 points separating the top ten places, we also have some top shooters in this area, which is a good thing as this alone does not mean they get it all there way and it gives us more experience for when we attend state shoots.
All of these ranges have their little tricks to get you really thinking, Kurramine Beach has this wicked wind from the forest around it. Atherton has the range in a quarry and the wind is nothing short of impossible to read as it swirls around inside. Ravenshoe has wind generator turbines on the hill, maybe thats why they call it Windy Hill. Townsville is on a plain that backs onto a mountain range, each is different but we love the challenge.
For some of the clubs its a great day and it makes a little money, but for us its about spending time with friends and helping our fellow clubs in the north. These shoots are our way of good practice time and for those that don't want to shoot state or can't, it makes their day. We are hoping to have Zone 4 join us and hold shoots that we can support and hopefully make out ties stronger as we support each others clubs.
The most important thing is the appreciation to the organisers and the helpers on the day which make things run smoothly with scoring and targets, as we all know without these volunteers, these shoots would not be able to be held, a special thanks also has to go out to Tom Hodgeson. He has put in allot of time and considerable effort to organise shoots and give some of the clubs the knowhow to run the shoots as well as how to do bench rotations and setting up of competitors targets.
Just thought I would make a mention of things that happen in the north and some of us chase the big shoots as well, we go to some effort as not to let our local clubs and zone shoots loose out and if anyone is traveling up this way it would be great to have visitors come to our shoots and experience our North Qld.