By Stephanie Douglass,
Wiesbaden Hunting, fishing and sports shooting Marketing & Advertising Coordinator
Wiesbaden, GERMANY – For many decades, American and German hunters of the local hunting association, Jägerschaft Wiesbaden, have come together to compete in the Golden Buck marksmanship competition. The 2020 competition had been postponed numerous times due to Covid-19 restrictions but the group was able to assemble on July 17, 2021 to compete once more.
The Golden Buck competition consists of shooting three rifle rounds while standing from 100 meters at a Roe Buck target; the same target used to train and test for the German hunting license. An additional three rounds are then shot seated, but at a smaller target to represent the distance of 200 meters.
With a maximum of 60 points possible (10 points per shot) the highest score wins the Golden Buck Trophy. Additionally, shooters earn gold, silver or bronze hat pins according to the score they achieve in the match.
Of the 12 competitors this year, five shooters obtained a 59-60 point score. Since there was no perfect round, the top five competitors then shot at an even smaller target resembling a 300-meter attempt in order to determine one winner.
Wiesbaden Hunting, Fishing, and Sport Shooting program’s Alex Brink was one of the top shooters, but was outshot by winner, Thomas von Heesen, shooting his 6.5 Creedmoor.
Von Heesen’s name will be added to the Golden Buck Trophy which will be prominently displayed at the JSW. His will be the first name to be engraved on the new trophy which was donated by Steven and Liam Steininger in 2019 after the previous trophy fell into disrepair from years of use.
Ehrenscheiben, or ‘honor plates’ were also donated by Steven Steininger and added another round of competition for the remaining shooters. Traditionally these plates are artfully decorated, and are quite popular among shooters. A white dot was placed on the Erenscheiben and each competitor had one shot to get the closet and claim the plate to take home.
By mere millimeters, Ralph Gerstenberger, shooting his .222 Remington, edged out both John Meyer and Steve Steininger for the win. Though, as evidenced by the other shots on the Erenscheiben, the competition was full of excellent shooters.
The Golden Buck is just one of four shooting competitions hosted by the JSV each year
for hunters. The upcoming Handgun-Shotgun Cup will be held August 21, 2021, followed by the Wild Boar “Schwarzkittel Pokal” on October 2, 2021, and next April the JSW will hold the Predator Cup, also known as the Fox Trophy.
Hunters can also qualify for Deutsche Jagdverband, or German Hunting Federation, qualification pins at these competitions.