By Tim Leeds
Garrett Hanson has received the Master Distinguished Small Bore Rifle Award from the Lion's Club International.
Hanson, a junior at Havre High School and the son of Hal and Marlys Hanson, received a trophy from the Havre Lions Club for the award, which is more difficult to attain than the Distinguished Expert rating of the National Rifle Association, said Cal Burr, his coach.
The 17-year-old Hanson, who has been a member of the VFW Bear Paw Junior Rifle Club since he was eight, has three more years that he can participate in the club, but has now received the top possible award. He said he plans to keep practicing, however.
When asked what he will try to do next, he said "is shoot a perfect score."
"He's got to shoot a 400 for me," Burr said.
To receive the award, Hanson had to shoot 10 A-17 official U.S. Army targets from each of four positions, prone, sitting, kneeling and standing. Each A-17 has 10 targets, about one-and-a-half inches in diameter with a one-eighth-of-an-inch center.
Hanson had to score 100 on all ten targets in the prone position, with six perfect center shots on each target. He had to score 100 on each target in the sitting position, with four center shots on each target; score at least 97 on each target in the kneeling position, and score at least 92 on each target in the standing position.
Hanson said it took a lot of hard work to win the award.
"I just shoot once a week," he said, "but still put in the hours."
Lions Club International has sponsored this award for more than 45 years.
Hanson is just the fifth person to earn it in Havre, and it's been 27 years since the last winner.
Jim See was the first to earn it, in 1966, Paul Burr did in 1972, John Morehouse in 1973, and Lee Laeupple was the last, in 1973, until Hanson this year.
The ability does seem to run in Hanson's family. Both his father and his sister, Michelle, have qualified for the NRA Distinguished Expert rating.