It’s only his third year in competitive skeet shooting, but Bob LaRue of the Kelowna and District Fish and Game Club has brought back top honours from a world competition in Texas.
Admittedly, he has been shooting shotguns since he was 14, and competing in other shotgun competitions for 20 years, but he was competing against 1,100 competitors and was one of only a handful of Canadians in the event.
It has been a year of successful competitions for the Kelowna shooter.
He earlier won gold medals in both B.C. and Washington State prior to going on to the World Skeet Championships in Texas.
LaRue, who is vice-president of the Kelowna Trap and Skeet Club, shot two per cent above his average to win the High Overall Championship gold in his age group, breaking 438 of 450 targets at the pressure-packed competition.
High overall is the combined score of all four shotgun events in skeet, in 12, 20, 28 gauge and .410 bore.
He was shooting at a facility in Texas that has 46 skeet fields and stadium seating for hundreds of spectators, so it might have been intimidating.
However, he said, “I just turned my hearing aids off.”
He said he was teamed up with buddies from Washington State and “they try to make you feel as comfortable as possible at the worlds,” he said. “It’s an enjoyable event; a big-time fun time.”
In addition to being a top shot, LaRue is also one of the KDFGC’s most dedicated and active volunteers, noted Mark Rogers, club president.
He brought home medals from four other events at the world championships.
Just prior to the competition, LaRue became the second Canadian to achieve his National Skeet Shooting Association Level II Certified Skeet instructor designation, completing the course in San Antonio. His instruction zone is Canada west of Ontario.
Much of the course is focussed on firearms safety, which Rogers said fits perfectly with the club’s primary focus on firearms safety training.
“The club is honoured to have one of our members qualify as one of two Level II skeet instructors in Canada,” he added.
Keen to develop young skeet shooters, LaRue wants to do a three-day, 10-person junior camp within the year, using one-on-one instruction from trap and skeet club members at the KDFGC grounds on Casorso Road.
At the Washington state competition, which punched LaRue’s ticket to the worlds, he won the A Class High Overall title and was runner-up 20-gauge champion.
He swept every event but one at the 2011 B.C. provincial skeet championships.
Skeet and trap shooting is available Wednesday and Saturday at the club’s facilities, 4041 Casorso Rd. More information about this and other club activities are available on the website at www.kdfgc.org.