Catherine Skinner, ranked 10th in the world for women's trap, will be just one of the stars shooting this weekend in Perth.

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Shooters vs Greens: tonight, 7.30; SHOT Expo a week away; stars line up for Australia Cup 2; coaching awards open; wolf hunting expands; poachers copping it; faulty ammo linked to hunting accident.

Shooters vs Greens: tonight, 7.30

NSW residents can tune in to tonight’s 7.30 Report on ABC TV to see Shooters and Fishers Party MLC Robert Brown and the Greens Cate Faehrmann. The segment will be based on the report into public land management released this week by a NSW parliamentary committee they both sat on, with Brown as the chair.

SHOT Expo a week away

Australia’s biggest hunting and shooting show, the SSAA’s SHOT Expo, is only a week away. The SSAA is predicting this year’s expo will be the biggest ever, and it has confirmed more than 350 booths have been booked by representatives of the shooting, hunting and outdoor industries. It’ll include indoor shooting and archery ranges, prizes and more when it is held at the Melbourne Showgrounds on 25-26 May. Sporting Shooter will be there, so come and say g’day.

Stars line up for Australia Cup 2

See some of Australia’s best shooters in action this weekend. The second round of the Australia Cup shooting competition is on in Perth from today until Sunday at the West Australian Gun Club. Trap shooters Laetisha Scanlan, ranked number six in the world, Catherine Skinner, ranked tenth, and Suzy Balogh, 11th, will be among the stars competing. Laetisha set a new world record score in women’s trap earlier this year. “They are all achieving some excellent results,” AISL CEO Damien Morgan said of the trio, “and what is even more encouraging is that there is another crop of athletes just behind them who are also showing strong signs of improvement.” More details and a program are available on the AISL website.

Coaching awards open

Do you know a shooting coach who’s good enough to deserve official recognition for their abilities? AISL is taking nominations for Coach of the Year awards. Categories cover pistol, fullbore rifle, clay target shotgun, field and game shotgun, and smallbore rifle. Nominations may come from individuals, clubs or state organisations. See the AISL website for details and to download a nomination form.

Wolf hunting expands

Another US state has approved hunting as populations of the predator grow higher than is considered ideal. Michigan has set a quota of 43 wolves during a seven-week season later this year. Three hunting zones have been established, based on conflicts between people and wolves. “We anticipate that this limited public harvest could both change wolf behaviour over time – making them more wary of people, residential areas and farms – and reduce the abundance of wolves in these management areas that have experienced chronic problems,” the head of the Department of Natural Resources said. Meanwhile, Wyoming has halved its quota to 26 this year, after hunters successfully took last year’s full quota to bring that state’s population down to desired levels.

Poachers copping it

While poachers are still winning the war for Africa’s elephant tusks and rhino horns, they’re still not winning every battle. A week ago a poacher in Zimbabwe was trampled to death by an elephant he was trying to shoot, and his two colleagues were later arrested. In South Africa, a poacher was wounded in a gunfight with rangers on Tuesday. The man and one other poacher were arrested, while another escaped. South Africa has so far lost 313 rhinos to poaching for the illegal trade of horn, 13 of them in the past week in Kruger alone, and almost 100 people have been arrested in connection with poaching.

Faulty ammo linked to hunting accident

In a case that has caused considerable controversy, a US hunter has been found not guilty of a number of charges after shooting and badly wounding a friend in what has been described as a freak accident. Timmy Johnson was shooting at a running deer, apparently oblivious to the fact there was a sunken road between him and his prey, and he fired when a close friend, Danny Marks Jr, drove past. Marks was hit, crashed and suffered serious injuries. In court, it was noted that Johnson wasn’t aiming directly at where Marks’s car was hit, and the defence argued that the shotgun ammunition Johnson was using had earlier been recalled by Remington because it was faulty. Johnson was found guilty only of firing across a road.


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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.

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