WILTON — Four junior shooters from Wilton Fish & Game will be going to the 2014 National Match Smallbore Rifle Championship in Bristol, Ind., this year. Jared Roy, Connor Maurais, Lindzee Ridley and Bailey Morrell will travel there as their own team, The Rim Fires.

This is the third year that the club will have youth from the junior shooting team going to the National matches. Teams consist of four shooters, so in the past the WF&G youth shooters had to join up with other junior shooters from Maine to form a team.

Going out west isn’t an easy task. The shooters going are involved in helping raise money, not only for the whole junior shooting program but also on their own. What they don’t raise for the trip their parents will have to cover.

There are no criteria for the shooters going out west to meet. They just have to be interested and committed to the trip by practicing and participating in weekend shoots and in the fundraising. So far they have sold raffle tickets, done bottle drives, washed cars and sent out letters to local businesses for sponsorships.

Besides the western trip fundraising they stay involved with the fundraising for the whole program by being involved with the fourth annual yard sale held at the club house on Route 2.

By doing all this fundraising the kids are able to completely support their shooting program. The money they raise provides the shooting equipment, club rifles, targets and the hundreds of rounds of ammo they need to keep this sport alive.

Like many sports, the shooting sport can tend to be a little expensive to participate in. Between the fundraising and the generosity of local people, the club is able to offer this program at very little cost to the families of the shooters.

Shooting out west for the kids can be challenging at times. After the 17- to 18-hour road trip, they participate in five to six hours of competition for four days.

Each day is different, especially from what they experience here in Maine, and offers a different challenge. One day it might be 110 degrees with 80 percent humidity and no wind, and the next might be downpours, 70 degrees, high humidity and 40 mph winds with gusts up to 50 mph trying to rip the targets off the stands.

Comments are no longer available on this story