The Australian Junior Shooter

This special newsletter features stories about casual plinking, competitive target shooting, hunting for the table, hunting for wildlife management, firearm and outdoor safety, and the legal and ethical requirements of shooting.

If you’re a junior member of the SSAA or a young person who’d like to try your hand at sports shooting or recreational hunting, then The Junior Shooter is for you. This special newsletter features stories about casual plinking, competitive target shooting, hunting for the table, hunting for wildlife management, firearm and outdoor safety, and the legal and ethical requirements of shooting.

The Junior Shooter includes interview-style articles and advice from young shooters who have competed nationally and internationally, as well as letters from members, game meat recipes and puzzles to keep you informed and entertained. Each issue also includes member competitions with great prizes up for grabs.

Many of the stories are written by junior members of the SSAA or their family and friends, but all are written for juniors, so we can ensure the next generation can continue in their chosen recreation safely and sustainably.

If you’re a junior member of the SSAA or a young person who’d like to try your hand at sports shooting or recreational hunting, then The Junior Shooter is for you. This special newsletter features stories about casual plinking, competitive target shooting, hunting for the table, hunting for wildlife management, firearm and outdoor safety, and the legal and ethical requirements of shooting.

The Junior Shooter includes interview-style articles and advice from young shooters who have competed nationally and internationally, as well as letters from members, game meat recipes and puzzles to keep you informed and entertained. Each issue also includes member competitions with great prizes up for grabs.

Many of the stories are written by junior members of the SSAA or their family and friends, but all are written for juniors, so we can ensure the next generation can continue in their chosen recreation safely and sustainably.

Issue 27 October 2022

The 27th instalment of our twice-yearly supplement for younger members carries a tale of inspiration and determination on the cover as we turn the spotlight on Katarina Kowplos who attended a come-and-try shooting day as a 12-year-old and just six years later was representing Australia at the Olympic Games. And for all junior shooters looking to improve their skills we turned to SSAA National Coaching and Membership Development Manager Gemma Dunn who has kindly offered her top 10 tips to help make you a better shooter, including some of the routines which saw Gemma herself rise through the international ranks. Mark van den Boogaart says his chosen sport of hunting is something he’s now encouraging his own sons to take up and reckons that tradition is something all hunters can look at passing on to the next generation. And proving it’s never to young to start shooting, we caught up with eight-year-old Jaidyn Patterson who’s making headlines in Western Australia with his outstanding performances in the Fly Shoot discipline.

Issue 26 April 2022

Young Rachel Redlich decided to mark the end of her high school years on a ‘schoolies’ trip with a difference when she and dad Chris embarked on a hunting adventure on a property near Inglewood in Queensland. What followed was certainly not what the pair had expected and in an entertaining account of a highly eventful few days, read how they coped with some very tricky situations in testing terrain. Youngsters are the very future of shooting and encouraging them into our ranks is paramount for the healthy advancement of our chosen sport and in this edition, Bob Boland outlines the many ways young shooters can coax others their age to join our ranks. And sticking with the next generation of shooters, Mark van den Boogaart has been teaching his eldest son the fine art of stalking and hunting during a long weekend excursion near Toowoomba.

Issue 25 April 2020

In Issue 25 of Australian Junior Shooter we turn the spotlight on Arwen Casley-Porter, a go-ahead young lady who gets things done – and then some. Arwen was keen to introduce her school classmates to the joys of the shooting sports but her school had no provision for such.

No shooting team? No problem to Arwen who put the wheels in motion with a ‘come and try’ day which led to the formation of the Trinity Anglican College shooting team. We also hit the road with Joseph Nugent who shunned the traditional ‘schoolies’ celebration as he completed Year 12 and chose instead to go bush with dad Derek as they went in search of boars and barra on the banks of the Alice River. Mark van den Boogaart’s son is a young hunter in the making and in a trip with dad to the aptly-named Hunter Valley in New South Wales, he was in on the action as an impressive fallow deer was taken for the table.

Issue 24 October 2019

Educating young shooters on the fine art of hunting is the theme of edition 24 of Australian Junior Shooter, with some of our regular Australian Shooter contributors teaching hunting and stalking skills to the next generation. Among our tutors are Mark van den Boogaart who teamed up with a couple of mates to give his young son a weekend to remember, Leon Wright looks back on 25 years of teaching fox luring to a new breed of budding hunters and Chris Redlich goes bush with his son who took the first red deer of his hunting career. We turn the spotlight on the shooting stars of the future who came to the fore in this year’s New South Wales Benchrest state championships and, with an exclusive juniors-only competition, our latest edition should appeal to young shooters far and wide.

Issue 23 April 2019

Young Jaqui Walker features on the cover of Junior Shooter No.23 and tells of how she and hunting buddy Christie Pisani accepted a boys v girls hunting challenge and came out on top. And sticking with the hunting theme, Joseph Nugent goes in search of a trophy red deer stag and puts paid to a pesky wild dog in the process, while Senior Correspondent John Dunn takes his grandchildren into the field to help spread the shooting sports message to the next generation. We turn the spotlight on the inaugural inter-state school shooting competition between St Brendan’s College of Queensland and Woodenbong Central of NSW, and have a $60 Glowshot Flipping Jack .22 reactive steel target to be won in our juniors-only competition.

Issue 22 – October 2018

Lachlan Adolph has pride of place on the cover of our spring edition after his world title-winning performance in the Fifty Calibre Shooters Association championships in New Mexico. The 13-year-old was a runaway winner in the junior category and an impressive eighth overall from a highly competitive field of 80 shooters. In a hunting vein, young Carl Redlich discovers that going bush with dad Chris, and shadowing his every move, is the best way to learn the hunter’s craft and enjoy the rewards it brings. For the tech-savvy youngsters out there, our Communications Officer Sam Talbot gets to grips with the VR Experience by Aimpoint and finds it almost as good as a real-life hunting expedition. Elsewhere, Ben Jimenez takes us through the importance of gun range etiquette and Dick Eussen outlines why it pays to be bush-ready – always! And in our juniors-only competition there’s the chance to win a 100w halogen lamp from Lightforce valued at almost $130.

Issue 21 – May 2018

In our autumn edition, young Joseph Nugent takes us through the techniques of stalking large game, in this case a mature red deer stag, then outlines the step-by-step process for preparing your trophy for mounting. And with accuracy in mind, Dick Eussen explains the benefits of using a rest in the field to make sure you hit that target every time. With safety in mind, Heart of the Huntress star Christie Pisani alerts us to the dangers lurking in the wild, from snakes to knives in the kit bag, and focuses on the first aid procedure should something go wrong. For young shooters with no family connection to the sport, Sam Talbot turns the spotlight on a couple of youth training schemes in New South Wales and Victoria, and explains why the SSAA Sponsor a Junior scheme is paying off. And our juniors-only competition gives youngsters the chance to win a Bistoli Range Bag and Beanie valued at $75.

Issue 20 – October 2017

Joseph Nugent gives his best tips for junior hunters when it comes to stalking and shooting deer. We report on the highlights from the 2017 SSAA National Junior Challenge and participant Nicole Worthley recalls how she achieved personal bests at the event. Communications Officer Sam Talbot finds out how Olympic Games junior shotgunner Aislin Jones switched from being a right-handed to left-handed shooter, and why juniors were flocking to shoot at the SSAA Mackay Junior Development Day. Melissa Dean explains how she made the jump from target shooter to hunter, while Andrea Kiernan shares how her son got his first fox whistle. Junior shooters can also go into the running to win a great range bag and beanie from Bistoli.