STATE representative Dean Brus is resigned to clocking up the miles over the coming months as he prepares to defend his Australia service pistol titles.
Brus and his fellow Orange Pistol Club members are coming to terms with the destruction of their 50m range and two 25m ranges in a bushfire last Saturday, the club now assessing the damage before embarking on a rebuilding plan.
The club was expecting to host the NSW Service Pistol titles in August this year and Brus, a member of the NSW team since 1997, was looking forward to a home-range advantage.
He still believes the club will host the championships.
"I'm sure of it. We've had great support from the businesses around town and I'm sure they'll put their hand up again for small donations," he said.
"The biggest cost is the man-hours to do the work."
The fire has impacted on Brus heavily considering his representative aspirations.
He is keen to keep his position in the NSW Service Pistol team where he has a 'bit to live up to' after claiming three Australian service pistol championships last year.
"So training's essential," he said.
At the moment, Brus is based in Dubbo during the week with the fire brigade and that club has made its range available to him, while he has also contacted the Parkes club which has also offered support.
He added pistol clubs in the region have rallied around the Orange club.
"Very much so. It's actually been quite overwhelming the offers from various clubs. Cessnock's offered to run a raffle, Kurrajong's offered to run a raffle to help raise a few funds for us to get back on our feet."
In the meantime, Brus said the club was taking stock.
"Obviously the 50m range is the worst hit but with service pistol we only shoot 24 rounds at the range and we don't need turning targets ... and we don't necessarily need a shed unless the weather is very unfriendly.
"We've got to concentrate on first of all a few legal requirements as far as rebuilding the fence with the signage on it around the actual range.
"That will be job one, just to make the range safe again."
Brus said the club would more than likely then channel its efforts into rebuilding the 25m ranges which feature turning targets for the state titles which are six months away.
"We've got a bit of time but that doesn't help our local shooters as far as the training facilities goes," he said.
This weekend Brus and clubmates David Oates and Max Wicks will compete in a club shoot a Gulgong which also has a bearing on next year's state side which contains four shooters and a reserve.
The actual order of shooters is decided on a number of events like this weekend.
"So there's plenty of competition there," Brus said.
The Orange Pistol Club has a membership of around 65 shooters.
"The general consensus from the club is that we know we've got a lot of work ahead of us," he said.