Female sharpshooters go back to the Wild West days of Calamity Jane and Annie Oakley.
Now you can add Jade Rogers’ name to the list of modern-day women sharpshooting competitors.
Jade graduated from Lillooet Secondary School in 2017. She is currently taking first year Applied Sustainable Ranching at Thompson Rivers University in Williams Lake.
She recently competed - and won - in the Tweedsmuir Park Rod and Gun Club’s long distance 1,000-yard shoot, held on May 26-27. This year’s event in Burns Lake was the second time Jade has participated in the shoot.
“She did quite well last year, but extremely well this year,” said her sister Megan Meservia.
Jade finished the competition with a first in the Junior 13-18 Boys and Girls Sporting category, another first in the Junior Low Aggregate Group, a third win in the Junior High Aggregate, plus a second in the Ladies Heavy Barrel.
She finished fourth overall among 63 competitors and won a rifle, a shotgun and a scope for her efforts.
“She won the Juniors by a landslide; there wasn’t anybody even close to her and she was right in the mix with everybody in the other events,” fellow sharpshooter Lincoln Edward told the News
How is the event scored? Shots are fired in a three-round group, with the goal being to get the shots as close together as possible on a target that’s three-and-a-half-feet square.
In winning the Junior 13-18 Boys and Girls Sporting championship, Jade recorded a distance of seven inches between her shots.
And remember, that’s over a distance of 1,000 yards, or 3,000 feet, or 914.4 metres. Actually, despite the name, the actual distance of the Burns Lake shoot is 1,048 yards.
Jade used a custom Borden Action gun with a Benchmark barrel borrowed from Edward. He told the News that while there is a sense of competition at the event – “everybody wants to win, for sure” - participants also help each other out by sharing guns.
“It’s a family event and if you show up with no guns, somebody’s going to lend you guns for the shooting,” explained Lincoln Edward. “It’s very relaxed and everybody’s there to help everybody and have fun.”
Jade’s aunt Jessie Maxon is the person who introduced her to competitive shooting and encouraged her to take up the sport. Maxon, a former Lillooet resident, also brought home gold from the Tweedsmuir Park Rod and Gun Club’s 1000-yard shoot.
Jessie Maxon won the Ladies Sporting Rifle event with a distance of 8.125 inches, the Ladies’ Heavy Barrel with a distance of 3.5 inches, the Senior High Aggregate Score, and was named Top Gun – Overall in the Low Aggregate Group. Maxon also won first in the Low Aggregate Group, finished second in the Hunter class and also scored well in the Team Shoot for the Egg Shoot.
The Burns Lake shoot began in 1975.
Last month, it brought together sharpshooters from across B.C., along with participants from Alberta, Saskatchewan and one from Washington State.
Edward said the Burns Lake shoot is the only one of its kind in Western Canada.
The event has evolved over the years, with longtime participants saying the rifle barrels and actions are much better today than they were 43 years ago.
Today, plain rifles have been replaced by deluxe firearms often worth upwards of $5,000.