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2023 Primitive Biathlon

Muzzleloading Enthusiasts Showcase Black Powder Skills at Sixth Annual Event

The Lamoille Valley Fish and Game Club hosted its sixth annual Primitive Biathlon over the weekend of January 28-29. Muzzleloaders from across Vermont, New England, Ohio and Canada met to shoot and have some midwinter fun.

At the event, participants trekked a woodland course through the snow stopping at each of four stations to load and fire their muzzleloaders at steel targets up to 45 yards away. 


Shooters of all levels came to participate. Many, firing antique patterned rifles and pistols and garbed in period attire, raced against the clock while on traditional wooden snowshoes. Others rang the steel targets with modern inline muzzleloading firearms. And Woods Walkers, focusing exclusively on shooting and not speed, took the circuit at a more leisurely rate. 


The club's picturesque biathlon trail winds for nearly two miles over hills, woods, and meadows. At the halfway point, a rustic canteen was set up to serve refreshments including breakfast sandwiches, pancakes and maple syrup, split pea soup and cornbread as well as coffee and tea. Shooters warmed up around the cook fire before heading off to finish the rest of the course.


At the clubhouse finish line, arriving contestants were enthusiastically greeted by three happy dogs who were enjoying the event just as much as everyone else. Scores were tallied and friends gathered to swap stories of their accomplishments. Hot dogs, hot chili, hot coffee and sweet desserts were available for everyone to replenish their energy (and to sneak to the pups as treats as well).


And then, after catching a quick second wind, some participants shot right out the door again for yet another round on the Primitive Biathlon course!


Join us in 2024 on the weekend of January 27-28 for our next Lamoille Valley Fish and Game Club Primitive Biathlon. Tell your friends, too!

Winner's Scoreboard: Top Shooters in Each Biathlon Class


1st Rollo MacWilliams, 2nd Christopher Hale, 3rd Matt Thomas



1st Danielle Rougeau


Elders 60+

1st Gary Perkins, 2nd Dave Bressette, 3rd Skip Ward


Senior 70+

1st Roger Knowlton, 2nd Dave Doria, 3rd Joe Church



1st Owen MacWilliams



1st Brian Rowell, 2nd Nick Goldsmith, 3rd Sarah Cloud



1st Brian Rowell, 2nd Rollo MacWilliams, 3rd Jean Goodell



1st Sandy MacWilliams


Woods Walkers

1st Matt Thomas, 2nd (Six-way tie) Jean Goodell, Michael Bell, Gary Perkins, John Russ, Keith Ulrich and Barbara Bye, 3rd John Ulrich

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