The 41st annual Alexis Creek Trap Shoot shot its way into history under beautiful blue skies last weekend, coinciding with the centennial year of the British Columbia Forest Service.
Unlike last year, the Alexis Creek gun range access road and the range itself were dry and mud-free. Upwards of 70 people, including 54 contestants, attended this historic Forest Service event, organized by BC Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Forester and Alexis Creek resident, Brian Rosengren, supported by a cast of enthusiastic FLNRO volunteers from both Alexis Creek and Williams Lake.
Barry Jenkins served once again as range master for the shotgun shooting, as did Mike Carlson for the 22 caliber rifle shooting. Back from his extensive travels in India and Nepal with his wife Lori, Alexis Creek adventure photographer Chris Schmid captured many memorable images of the event.
Of the eight participating trap shoot teams, the traditional winners and recipients of the Jack Lynn Memorial Trophy were the 100 Mile Long Shots; Malcolm Cattanach, Dan Dobson, Dave Keely, Jim McLean, and George Ostoforoff.
Ostoforoff was awarded the Top Gun Trophy, and Judy Jenkins, the Female Top Gun Trophy. Adam Veley won both Annie Oakley line shooting events, and was awarded the Kevin Frittenburg Memorial Trophy.
The Ladies 22 Caliber Rifle Shooting Trophies were awarded, from first to third place, to Francis Dutoit, Riley Barta, and tying for third were Kirsty Gartshore and Lubna Khan. The Youth 22 Shooting Trophies were awarded, from first to third place, to Mathew Bayliff, Riley Barta, and Blake Haley. Those distinguished by suppressing their true shooting prowess and attaining the lowest shooting scores, were Bill Chapman and his Lean Mean Shooting Team, winners of the Old Busted Shotgun Award; and Mike Pedersen, winner of the 176th Fastest Gun Trophy.
Around midnight by the gun range campfire, as the crescent moon was setting, an Alexis Creek resident introduced the late night remnant shooters to the clear night sky above them. Via the beam of a green laser pointer, they beheld not only the planets Mars and Saturn, but also a sky radiant with the creatures of the late spring night sky; the Great Bear, the Lion, the Swan (Northern Cross), the Eagle, and the Scorpion; its distinguished stars, Vega, Deneb, Altair, Arcturus, Antares, Spica, Capella, and Polaris (the North Star); and the ghostly, streamy Milky Way.
These night sky features, so prominent at dark locations like the Alexis Creek gun range, are unknown in our modern world of massive outdoor artificial lighting.
Does intelligent alien life exist out there among the stars, so visible to the gun range late-nighters? That mystery remained unanswered, but they could at least have welcomed any such distant visitors with some fine whiskey and choice cigars.