The Ashe County Wildlife Club will host shooters from around the country and maybe around world in 2014.
The International Benchrest Shooters association has awarded the club the 100/200 yard categories in the National Score Championship. This may be the first time Ashe County has ever hosted a national championship in any sport or hobby and is a great honor and challenge for a small county.
“The offer was based on reports IBS had received from competitors on how we ran our shoots in years past and how we treated the shooters,” said E.T. Weaver, club president. “We won’t know the dates until IBS finalizes its schedule in October, but this is a testament that hard work by good members pays off.”
From a tourism point of view the awarding of the competition means Ashe County could see scores of out-of-towners filling our motels and restaurants over a long weekend.
In years past when the club has hosted IBS tournaments, shooters have come from states as far away as Maine and Florida. Benchrest rifles are custom-made, bolt-action rifles with very light triggers. It is up to the shooter to judge wind and powder variations to consistently put bullets into a small paper target down range.
The club has constructed a 300-yard range on its property at 3260 Big Creek Peak Road (north of the experimental farm on N.C. 88) along with a clubhouse in front of which 30 shooting bays are being constructed that will be used for the IBS shoot. Other amenities include a pistol range, skeet, trap and sporting clays fields. Regular championship and fun shoots are held at the range.
Membership is $100 per year ($125 for new members). The club meets the third Monday of each month at Smoky Mountain Barbecue.