Fact 1. There were ten teams in the first-ever SIG SAUER Hunter Games.
The teams consisted of a SIG professional hunter, two celebrities, and a Range Officer. The RO called hits, kept score, ensured safety, and made sure the rules were followed. He/she also carried a pack with an extra rifle, radio, first aid kit, and stayed with their team the entire time.
Fact 2. The SIG Hunter Games took place June 13-16, 2021
The Hunter Games were intended to challenge and test shooting, hunting, glassing, physical abilities, teamwork, and gear.
Fact 3. The celebrities who competed included:
Cowboy Cerone (UFC Fighter with most wins in UFC history), Bo Sandoval (UFC Strength Coach), Ryan Villopoto (Supercross/Motorcross Champion), David Wise (2x Olympic Gold Medalist), Jack Carr (Retired Navy Seal & NYT Bestselling Author), Bullet Valentina (Valentina Shevchenko – 5x UFC Champion), Scotty Lago (Olympic Medalist), Justin Rackley (Major League Fishing), Rihana Cary (Pro Hunter & Athlete), Chris Burandt (Pioneer of Freestyle Backcountry Snowmobiling & X-Games Gold Medalist), Brad Leone (Pro Chef), Mark Heck (Professional Hunter – Given Right Tv), Matt Light (3x Super Bowl Champion), Adam Laroche (MLB Player & Buck Commander Host), Lena Miculek (World Champion Professional Shooter), Laura Zerra (Hunter/Gatherer/Survivalist & Naked & Afraid Survivor), Logan Stark (Black Rifle Coffee), Trevor Thompson (Navy Seal & Black Rifle Coffee), Dave Castro (Retired Navy Seal & Director of Crossfit Games), Royce Gracie (One of the greatest fighters to ever live, UFC Hall of Fame).
Fact 4. The pro hunters that competed included:
Mike Kimmel, Cody Rich, Brian Sanders, Trent Fisher, Corey Jacobsen, Damian Pagano, Bam Marshall, Jordan Budd, Cole Kramer, & Rachel Ahtila.
Fact 5. There were 22 stages made up of multiple targets.
The stages were designed to be blind hunting scenarios where the contestants had only 15 minutes to find the targets, range them, figure out a shooting position, deploy the gear they were backpacking, and make the shots.
Fact 6. The contestants roughed it by sleeping outside.
The contestants slept in tents on the ground each night. Each contestant was issued a backpackable tent, sleeping bag, and pad. There were some very sleep-deprived, tired people by the third morning.
Fact 7. The course was 16 miles long and took two days to complete.
Located on a private ranch high in the Wyoming mountains, the course covered a variety of terrain and elevation. The course traversed bare windswept ridges, sagebrush flats, beautiful high mountain aspen and pine-filled pockets, multiple creek crossings, and over 1000 feet of elevation on just one stage. Contestants had only 30 minutes to traverse between stages.
Fact 8. Every competitor carried their own gear and they all used the exact same equipment.
Each competitor was issued a backpack, SIG Cross Rifle, Sig BDX Scope, magazines, bipod, ammo, rangefinding binoculars, Bino harness, SIG Zulu6 image stabilizing binos, SIG p320 pistol, and shooting bag. Each team had access to a small shooting tripod. Each competitor was responsible for their own personal items like extra socks, lunch, snacks, hygiene, sunscreen, etc.
Fact 9. No animals were shot during the Sig Hunter Games
The steel vitals were made by MGM Targets to replicate the shape and size of a portion of the animal’s vital zone and then placed in front of a life-size photo of the animal. The target and target backer were hidden at unknown distances in the trees or brush and had to be found by the team.
Fact 10. Only hits in the small vital zone counted for score.
Hitting the animal anywhere other than the steel vital zone didn’t count. First shot hits counted as three points, second shot hits counted as two points, and third shot hits counted as one point. You had to make every shot count but the first shot scored the highest.
Fact 11. Targets ranged from six feet with a handgun to 1000 yards with the rifle.
The target at 1000 yards was a bonus target for fun and to show off the capability of the gear. The pistol target was a charging bear that was shot with a NEW pistol that Sig hasn’t introduced yet (see below). All the rest of the targets were between 75 yards and 450 yards.
Fact 12. Creative shooting positions were necessary.
Other than one mandatory offhand shot, the contestants had to figure out what position to shoot each target from.
Fact 13. Every competitor got to shoot a NEW SIG prototype handgun that will be released later this year.
I attended the SIG Hunter Games in my capacity as the editor of GunsAmerica and Hunt365 to observe. The only thing I was to shoot was a camera. On the second day, I was approached and asked to join a team due to a back injury by one of the contestants. As a result, I shot half of the match, carried the gear, and used it for eight miles and 11 stages. Stage 11 happened to be the charging bear stage where a NEW SIG prototype pistol was used by all the competitors. While I’m not at liberty to say what the handgun is, I have no doubt that our gun-savvy readers here at GunsAmerica will be able to figure it out in short order. I can say that during the two days it experienced no malfunctions. I thought it shot incredibly flat. I’m hoping that everything goes as planned and that it’s released later this summer. Please enjoy the video below of the NEW SIG prototype pistol.
Fact 14. Complete strangers became lifelong friends.
It’s truly amazing how spilling blood or spalling targets brings people together. Most of the contestants had never met each other and were from very diverse walks of life. After “hunting” together for two days, the comradery was really something to see and I have no doubt many lifelong friendships were created.
Fact 15. Team Ramshorn won the first-ever SIG SAUER Hunter Games
Team Ramshorn, named after a peak in Wyoming, consisted of Trent Fisher, Scotty Lago, and Justin Rackley. In addition to the trophy, each team member won a SIG Legion Custom Works P320 AXG pistol.
Fact 16. SIG SAUER should be commended for putting on an incredible event that promotes shooting and hunting to the public.
SIG pulled off an incredible event by putting celebrities in the field with guns for the first-ever event of its kind. While hiking and shooting targets isn’t new and neither is hunting, bringing celebrities that influence American culture to an event that focuses on hunting with firearms in a competition is truly unique. As our rights and ways of life are eroded, it’s nice to see a company like SIG SAUER organize and make a stand.