Natimuk to host national shooting titles

NATIMUK and District Field and Game expects about 140 of the nation's top shooters to descend on the club for the Field and Game Australia national side-by-side shotgun titles tomorrow.

It is the second time in the club's history it has hosted the national side-by-side titles after previously staging them in 2010.

The shoot will consist of 100 targets, split into four 25-target rounds and will begin at 9am tomorrow with free entry for spectators.

Three board members of Field and Game Australia will be on hand during the shoot.

Side-by-side shotgun shooting is different from the more conventional over-under shotgun barrel configuration, and is counted as a separate discipline.

The last time the club hosted the national titles 125 shooters attended, but Natimuk and District Field and Game president Stuart McFarlane said organisers were hopeful they would beat that number tomorrow.

"We do all registrations on the day and we don't know exactly how many are competing until the actual event, so there's a certain element of surprise to it," he said. "I don't know how many will turn out, but at the least, we're expecting between 120 and 140 shooters and possibly even higher. We're hoping to top the numbers we had last time because we've put a fair bit of effort into it."

McFarlane said he had fielded expressions of interest from shooters across Victoria in areas such as Shepparton, Castlemaine, Carrum Downs, Werribee and Sale, as well as interstate.

Some of the top local shooters competing will be Brad Smith from the Natimuk club, Greg Deutscher of Minyip and Hamilton man Gary Van Doren.

The club will also host the Ray Scott Memorial Shoot on Sunday starting from 10am. The shoot commemorates former club member Ray Scott, who was involved with the club for more than 30 years and was a long-serving executive.

The memorial shoot will consist of 75 targets, and McFarlane said he was hopeful many of the nationals competitors would stay on to shoot on Sunday.

"We're just hoping for a good turnout across the weekend," he said.

Registration for the nationals is $50 for men, $40 for women and pensioners and $25 for juniors.

Registration for the Ray Scott Memorial Shoot is $30.

Club member Dale Russell said both days were free for spectators, and encouraged as many people as possible to come and watch some of the best marksmen in the country.

For more information on the weekend or how to register, call Stuart McFarlane on 0427 522 182.

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