The Schützenfest of the Schützenkameraden
The Schützenfest is a traditional target shooting event practiced in German speaking countries. They are held in cities and small villages alike, often accompanied with a fair or festival. Shooting competitions are culturally important in Germanic Europe and date back hundreds of years. Nearly every village or area has a shooting Verein or club. The primary definition of the German word Schützen is ‘to protect’. In the 10th Century, the Gesetz zur Wehrverfassung der Städte mandate required each city to maintain an organized militia. This training for armed service gradually evolved into competitive shooting and the festivities attached to them.
At a Schützenfest, contestants compete in a variety of shooting contests. The primary event is the paper target competition with .22 caliber rimfire rifles. Rifles are broken into two classes, target rifles and ‘sporter’ rifles used for hunting or plinking. The winner of the target rifle competition becomes the Schützenkönig (king) and the sporter rifle winner becomes the Schützenmeister (master).
In addition to shooting paper targets, there is the fun wooden bird shoot or Holzvogel Schießen. The wooden eagle is put on a pole that lets the bird rotate and change direction as it is shot. The eagle has a crown, scepter, legs and wings. This is always a challenge as shooters try to knock parts of the bird off in specific order for prizes. Participants shoot from 25 yards in the standing position. It usually takes many rounds to complete the event.
Another custom dating back to the Middle Ages, Scheibe shooting which is a wooden plate depicting marksmanship or hunt. Each Scheibe is named in honor of a special person, place or donor. Ten shooters shoot at a wooden plate, from a distance of 25 yards, in the standing position. The shooter closest to the bulls-eye wins a personalized engraved plate. The finished plates are given to the winners at the Schützenkameraden awards dinner.
Recently added to the schedule is the Wurfscheiben Schießen or trap shooting, which is done with shotguns.
In order to fund the event, small donations are charged for target and entry fees, so it is a good idea to bring some extra cash. All money is used to pay for range fees, food, and prizes. Members can also sponsor a commemorative Scheibe to help offset costs.
The Teutonia Schützenkameraden was founded in 1997 by Wilhelm Banzhaf in order that this tradition be continued as part of Teutonia Männerchor’s mission to promote and preserve Germanic culture. The Schützenkameraden hold a practice shoot in the spring known as the Frühlingschießen (spring shoot) and the main event, the Schützenfest is held in the summer. An awards dinner is held in the fall or winter in which the prizes are given and the titles of Schützenkönig and Schützenmeister are awarded.
All Teutonia Männerchor members and their families are welcomed and encouraged to participate as Schützenkameraden, it is a great way to enjoy a day of fun and comraderie through a Germanic tradition. You do not need to be a practiced marksman, new participants are always warmly greeted. While it helps to have a .22 caliber rifle, we have a few rifles available for people who would like to give it a try. It is a competition, but the event is about having fun, challenging yourself and keeping tradition. Most beginners start with a sporter rifle and add the target rifle after they are hooked on shooting.
Teutonia Schützenkameraden events are open to all members and their spouses and children.
Sporter rifle competition requirements:
All (sporter) rifles must be .22 caliber rimfire. No scopes or optics are permitted. Sporter rifles must use open iron sights (i.e. rear notch, front post) only. Aperature or “peep” sights are not permitted in the sporter competition. Shooting is done seated from a bench. No shooting jackets, pads or slings are allowed to help steady the rifle.
Target rifle competition requirements:
All (target) rifles must be .22 caliber rimfire. No scopes or optics are permitted. Target rifles may use aperature or “peep” sights. Shooting is done seated from a bench. Shooting jackets and slings are allowed to be used to help steady the rifle.
- Entry Fee: $5
- Practice Targets: Free
- Target Fee: $5 per target – You are allowed up to three targets per rifle class.
- Holzvogel Shoot:$5 – Each shooter usually gets several shots during the event.
- Scheiben Shoot: $10 – Each shooter gets one shot to try to win the plate.
- 2012 - Eugene Lechmanick
- 2011 - Eugene Lechmanick
- 2010 – Rose Lechmanick
- 2009 – Ronald Erhart
- 2008 – Eugene Lechmanick
- 2007 – Eugene Lechmanick
- 2006 – Eugene Lechmanick
- 2005 – Richard Smith, Rose Lechmanick
- 2004 – Richard Smith, Rose Lechmanick
- 2003 – Tim Evagash, Rose Lechmanick
- 2002 – Eugene Lechmanick, Rose Lechmanick
- 2001 – Eugene Lechmanick, Rose Lechmanick
- 2000 – Eugene Lechmanick, Rose Lechmanick
- 1999 – Richard Smith, Rose Lechmanick
- 1998 – Richard Smith, Nancy Pfeifer
- 1997 – Richard Smith, Nancy Pfeifer
The Schützenkameraden are also planning a time for a get together for those who enjoy “Wurfscheiben Schießen” / Skeet Shooting. Place and time to be announced later.
For Questions and Information call 724-523-6311 Willi Banzhaf or E-mail: email@example.com.