Hit Your Targets, Avoid Penalty Laps

A novice biathlete practices at a rifle range in Kenora.

Where’s the snow?

Warm weather is great for practicing on the range, but we can’t yet combine skiing and shooting in Kenora.

Which is fine. We’re still really bad at skiing, but we try to practice twice a week to change that on the few trails that have a little snow.

On the range, we’re working on everything. The sport is very new to us, so we have a lot to learn.

This week, I made a bunch of adjustments to the rifle, so we were mostly focused on sighting it in—making sure it hits the spots we want without our having to contort ourselves into weird positions.

We shot some decent groups with one small sight adjustment, then move to prone shots off a rest (we don’t have the right equipment for “real” prone shooting yet). We were very happy to find consistency on the small targets, and we both managed to hit them all before we moved to standing.

On our feet, we were both streaky, but we both hit new records of 80 percent.

There’s a lot going on. It’s very difficult to hold the rifle right on the target. You don’t want to rush your shots, but you also have to be assertive and pull the trigger when you see the right sight picture. If you don’t you, might have missed your chance. The longer you stand there, the more wobbly you get.

With all that said, a penalty lap as punishment for a miss can cost you an hour if you’re a bad skier, so you really want to hit as many targets as you can. And even good skiers can beat great skiers if they shoot better.

Conversely, if you’re going to miss, you’re best to “miss ’em quick,” as one of our mentors has told us.

The good news is that we’re starting to recognize proper alignment when it appears, and we’re starting to know why we’re missing. That’s a big step.

Of course, all this will change once we start skiing and get to the rifle while wheezing. But we’re looking forward to the challenge.

Bring on the snow!

In the meantime, here’s what we’ve been working on:


Skate Skiing in the Dark?

We head to Mount Evergreen and ski under the stars, then plink some targets at the Lake of the Woods Gun Club.


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