The Rio 2016 Olympic Games have drawn to a close, and we’ll have to wait four more years until the next games, taking place in Japan. Whilst many of you will be looking forward to these events, we have actually been looking into the past and at a rather odd Olympic event which is sadly no more: Running Deer Shooting.
Before the high-tech air rifle shooting events were around, Running Deer Shooting was a thing. Debuting in the 1908 games and running until 1948, it was part of the Olympic schedule for target shooting.
Now, it is important to note that the Running Deer in question was not a live beast, but rather a moving target designed to resemble a deer (although some of them looked more like long-legged cats with horns…)
This deer-shaped/weird cat hybrid target would then make ten 75-foot “runs”, with each run lasting about four seconds and took place at a distance of 110 yards from the shooter.
On each of the target, there were three concentric circles, with the smallest carrying four points, the middle carrying three and the outer circle carrying two points. If a shot hit outside the circles, it was counted as one point, providing it did not land on the haunch of the target.
There were two different variations of the event, single-shot or double-shot, based on the number of shots fired at the target during the run. The single-shot event was scored out of a maximum of 40 points, while the double-shot event was scored out of a maximum of 80 points.
Oscar Swahn of Sweden clinched the gold medal in the single-shot event in 1908 and the bronze medal in the double-shot event. As we said previously, the event ran until 1948, where it was removed from the schedule, but a moving target event is certainly one we’d like to see brought back!