Fisher claims NZ army's top shooting prize

April 24th, 2005  

Topic: Fisher claims NZ army's top shooting prize

Fisher claims army's top shooting prize
23 April 2005

The top shot in the New Zealand Army and winner of the prestigious Queens Medal is Lieutenant Nick Fisher representing the Third Logistic's Battalion who developed his skills shooting game around the Mackenzie and Waimate areas of South Canterbury.

The top 60 shooters in the Royal New Zealand Army gather at Waiouru every year to find the keenest marksman using the standard issue Steyr AUG.

Over four days the field is reduced to the top 10 who shoot off for the Queen's Medal which has been competed for since 1917.

They are selected on the basis of their annual weapons qualification scores. After day one 20 drop out, 20 more after day two. After round three 10 more drop out leaving the final 10 to shoot off.

The competition is varied involving distance from 25m up to 300m against stationary and moving targets.

"I shot a lot of moving targets hunting wallaby near Waimate," he said. "It all helped."

To add to the tension the final two rounds are shot in secrecy, competitors waiting until the medal presentation to know how they have fared.

"I was stoked to be in the top 10," Lieutenant Fisher said. "I had finished 33rd the previous year and my goal was to make that final cut."

He shot 58 of a possible 60 in round four after being ninth in round one, and fifth in the next two.

"It has taken time to sink in," he said. "There is the Queens Medal which is a decoration like an operation's medal and a belt to go with it."

Lieutenant Fisher also won The Log for being the highest scorer from Logistics and the trophy for having the highest score in round three.

He considered he was fortunate in his build up this year.

"It was a great two weeks," he said. "I won the RNZ Army Logistic's Regiment shooting competition and was part of the team that won the inter battalion competition."

From there he was selected in the Logistics Regiment team.

"I was only the fifth officer to win the Queens Medal," he said. "Officers as a rule don't get to shoot a lot, they are usually running the range and practices."

Lieutenant Fisher joined the army in 2002 spending a year at Waiouru for officer training.

He was posted to Burnham in 2003.

Whether he defends his title next year depends on where the army posts him in the next few months but he is keen to be there.