HE mightn’t have had the X Factor last year, but Jason Owen had the sharpest eye in the Orange Clay Target Club’s annual Golden Cartridge shoot 12 months ago.
The talent show runner-up finished with 277 out of 280 to win the overall high gun award and take home to Golden Cartridge in 2012.
From Albert, Owen is a regular at the event.
However, with his singing career blossoming following his appearance on the X Factor program, it’s still unclear whether or not the Central West dead-eye will be at the club’s Lewis Ponds-based club to defend his title.
“We hope to see him out there, but with his commitments he might not make it,” club shooter Adrian Lo Faro said.
Still, the quality at this year’s shoot will be extremely high.
Shooters from right across the state - including some of Orange’s finest Wayne Sharp, Dave Player, Grant Spencer and Grady Evans - travel to participate in the shoot, with a strong contingent from Dubbo tipped to do well again in 2013.
“We’ll have some elite shooters come out which is really, really good,” Lo Faro said.
“There’s a multitude of really good shooters. Even our C graders and B graders are really, really up there and will make their way up the ranks.”
A series of events are contested throughout the two days with the Golden Cartridge winner the shooter with the best average score over the two days.
AA grade, A grade, B grade, C grade and veteran’s, ladies and junior titles are also challenged for throughout the weekend.
Depending on handicap, double barrel competitors will shoot at clay targets over varying distances beginning with C grade aiming over a 15 metre distance from the trap house.
Each grade works further out from there.
But it’s not distance that’s the enemy.
The targets travel at approximately 120 kilometres per hour.
“You’ve got to be pretty sharp,” Lo Faro said.
“I’m not that sharp,” he added laughing.
He said anyone interested in the sport is more than welcome to come along to the event, the club’s most prestigious, and have a look at the quality of shooters as well as the camaraderie between the event’s participants.
“Baring in mind, we all go out there to have fun, have a good time and meet new shooters, new people to the club. It’s a good atmosphere. We’d love our member numbers to boost.”
The 2013 Golden Cartridge will start at 9am before continuing tomorrow.