The Pierre Junior Shooting Club was organized in the mid 1970s as a way to teach gun safety and marksmanship to the youth in the Pierre/Ft. Pierre area. The primary goal of the organization is to teach gun safety and help prepare our youth for the South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Hunt Safe program with their secondary goal being to teach marksmanship. Currently, the Pierre Junior Shooting Club teaches three separate disciplines: BB gun, Sporter Air Rifle and Air Pistol.
BB gun is the largest group and includes youth from eight years old to fifteen years old. BB gun is an excellent starting point for competitive shooting sports. The equipment is relatively inexpensive and can be easily fitted to any stature of shooter All of the basic precision shooting fundamentals are taught in this program with safety being the top priority. The BB gun season starts with an informational meeting in late October or early November for interested shooters and parents, with practices starting around the 1st week of January. For the past few years we have run three two hour practice sessions on Sundays with the younger shooters sessions in the afternoon and the evening session for veteran shooters. Last year we had about 65 shooters in the program. Air Rifle and Air Pistol are options for the older shooters with a year or two of BB gun under their belts. Air Rifle and Air Pistol is the next step for shooters who want to continue shooting competitively. There are opportunities available at the collegiate and possibly even the Olympic level.
Phil Rose is one of four certified coaches currently involved with the program. With an average of about sixty five plus shooters a year, all four coaches are involved in just about every aspect of the program. Phil explained:
“I enjoy working with and coaching the beginning shooters as well as the veterans in the group. I have also been elected or volunteered as the team’s gunsmith, I make sure all of the guns are working correctly and operate as they should which includes cleaning and lots of tweaking to make the guns shoot perfectly. I have two children (Wyatt 13, Megan 9) who participate in all of the shooting disciplines. This year at the National match I coached two of the five team members during the competition.”
The most recent competition, the Daisy National BB Gun Match was held in Rogers, Arkansas. This event is held indoors at a convention center and is typically shot over two days. The course of fire for all of our BB gun matches is 4×10 which means four positions with ten record shots and unlimited sighting shots in each position. The four positions in the order fired are Prone, Standing, Sitting and Kneeling. Each shooter shoots one target in each position with a ten minute time limit. The target contains 10 record bulls and 2 sighting bulls; each bull on the target is worth ten points for a possible 100 points in each positon. There is also a testing component in our matches; each competitor takes a 50 question test on safety, safe gun handling and NRA rules which is worth a possible 100 points. Testing and shooting scores are combined for an aggregate score for each shooter, the total possible points is 500 per shooter.
The team did well this year winning the 2016 Daisy National BB gun Match with a combined score of 2,374 points and 70 center shots. Wyandotte Co. 4-H from Kansas placed 2nd with a score of 2,368 and 80 center shots and Spink County from Redfield, SD placed 3rd with a score of 2367 and 64 center shots. It was a team effort this year with every shooter doing their part for the team and bringing home the trophy.
The team is made up of five team members and two alternates. This year’s team members were: Nathan Schnabel, Andrew Kliewer, Alexandra Smith, Wyatt Rose and Jessica Hays. The two alternates were: Vanya Kliewer and Austin Lesmann.