Legendary sharp shooter Annie Oakley

Snap Shots

Annie Oakley’s $143,000 gun

Descendants of legendary sharpshooter Annie Oakley last week sold around $500,000 worth of guns, letters, clothing and other items handed down through the family over the generations. A Parker Brothers 12g shotgun topped the lot, fetching over $US143,000, while a couple of Marlin .22s reached $US86,650 and $US71,700. Terrye Holcomb, a great-grandniece, reported that the buyer of the Marlins, who came from Odessa for the US auction, had kids who couldn’t wait to fire the guns. Oakley came to fame in the late 1800s for her shooting skills while touring with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show and was described by a representative of the auction house as “arguably America’s first female superstar”.

Olympic starter stopped

A local council in the UK banned legendary Olympic starter Alan Hill from using his starting pistol to kick off the beginning of a school sports day. Instead of children being treated to the sound of the same gun that will start every race of the upcoming London Olympic Games – including the 100m final – Bell had to use a klaxon. West Dunbartonshire Council stopped him using the gun on health and safety grounds, ruling the gun might scare the children. This was despite the fact Bell has used his starting gun at scores of school events in the past. Parents were reportedly perplexed and disappointed that their children had missed out. Bell, who has fired a gun to start more than 25,000 races in 36 years, is touring the UK with the Youth Sports Trust in an effort to encourage young people to get involved as officials in sport. He declined to comment on the council’s decision.

Pirie damns national park hunting

Gun dealer and former vice-chairman of the Shooters Party, Jim Pirie, has lashed out at the NSW government’s decision to allow hunting in national parks. The Mudgee Guardian quoted Pirie as saying it was “absolute madness” and that controlling ferals had to involve “planned shooting or poisoning and trapping”. “Just a few people roaming around a park with a gun isn’t going to stop them,” he told the Guardian, adding that a local national park might become “an ineffective hunting playground for an elite few”. He has been roundly criticised by hunters and shooters in replies to the article.

Deer hunting workshop

The Game Council of NSW and Filskis Outreach Education Centre are hosting a comprehensive workshop on deer hunting. The weekend event will cover most deer species; habitat and sign; bushcraft and navigation; meat care and trophy presentation; and a host of other topics. Speakers include a number of high-profile experts, including the Game Council’s Andrew Moriarty and gunwriter John Dunn. There will be trade stalls, too. It runs from 6.30pm Friday, 7 September, until 3.30pm on Sunday, the 9th, and is being held at the Filskis centre near Capertee, NSW. For more info and booking forms, see the Game Council website.

Brutal poacher sought

Police in the UK are hoping CCTV footage will identify a poacher who used a .22LR to kill two bucks on a private estate. The estate owner said the animals were “peppered” with shots from the small-calibre weapon, which is not powerful enough for a humane kill. One was still alive when found. “This sick individual has killed two of my biggest and best bucks, which could jeopardise the future of the herd,” the landowner said. “At least if someone is shooting for a purpose like food you can understand it but just to do it for target practice is beyond my comprehension.”




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Mick Matheson

Mick grew up with guns and journalism, and has included both in his career. A life-long hunter, he has long-distant military experience and holds licence categories A, B and H. In the glory days of print media, he edited six national magazines in total, and has written about, photographed and filmed firearms and hunting for more than 15 years.