LOUISVILLE – Playing the weather averages bodes well for snow on the ground March 2-3, essential to the second annual St. Lawrence Valley Primitive Snowshoe Biathlon at the Massena Rod and Gun Club in Louisville.
Shooters might know this because registrations are rolling in for this event, which supports the Fort La Présentation Association’s programs.
Invitations have gone to black powder shooters and rod and gun clubs across the Adirondack-North Country, and in Vermont, New Hampshire and Canada.
"For shooters as young as 12 or in their senior years, the event is a lot of fun," said Fred Hanss, one of the event’s organizers.
Participants can either take a non-competitive woods walk or a competitive timed event on the mile-and-a-half course, for which prizes will be awarded, Hanss said.
There are classes for both options: Youth (12-18 years old), Men (18+), Ladies (18+) and a Men’s and Ladies’ Elder Class (60+).
Along the trail participants fire a muzzleloader twice at each of five targets set between 20 and 50 yards from firing lines. At the last station, they throw a tomahawk.
Shooters can enter one of three divisions: Primitive Rifle (flint or caplock); Primitive Smoothbore (muskets); and Modern In-Line Rifle. Those in the primitive divisions must run the course on wooden snowshoes; in-line rifle shooters may use wooden or modern snowshoes.
This year’s event is dedicated to the memory of the late Jack Gray who passed away suddenly in 2012. Jack was a long-time supporter of the Fort La Présentation Association and co-owner of Gray’s Guns in Lisbon.
"Thanks to Jack, Gray’s Guns was the snowshoe biathlon’s first sponsor in 2012," said Hanss. "The Fort La Présentation Association is honored that Jack’s family through Gray’s Guns is our first sponsor for 2013."
Event sponsors include: Forsyth’s Rifles; The Canadian Friends of Fort La Présentation; Massena Rod and Gun Club; the St. Lawrence Long Rifles; the St. Lawrence Trapper’s Association; the Log Cabin Shop; the Business Improvement Area Association of Prescott, Ontario; and Fort Wellington, a Canadian national historic site.
Advance registration is $15. On-site registration is $18. Registration forms can be downloaded from the Fort La Presentation Association Web site www.fort1749.org.
For more information, contact event organizer Fred Hanss at 265-1670.