Canada's Top Military Shot is a Woman Who Served Overseas

EDMONTON, ALTA.: AUGUST 19, 2010 -- in Edmonton on August 19, 2010. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal).
Tatyana Danylyshyn, 25, fires her C7A2 during a training and selection camp for the Land Force Western Area's combat shooting team at CFB Wainwright. photo from nationalpost.com.Ryan Jackson

One of Canada's best military shooters is a 29-year-old female veteran of Afghanistan, who recently outshot hundreds of competitors at an annual competition.

Sgt. Tatyana Danylyshyn finished at the top of her class at the Bisley shooting competition in the U.K. that has been dubbed the "Olympics of Military Rifle Shooting," according to this story from NationalPost.com.

A month earlier, Danylyshyn scored high at a shooting competition in Arkansas, where she faced soldiers from the U.S., the U.K., Italy, Germany. She is at the core of Canadian Forces shooters who dominate at the competition, but one of very few women. According to her, that's an advantage.

"I find that women shooters, in general…are a lot more willing to adapt and try new things," she said, adding that they are less inclined to show up at the range with "preconceived notions" about shooting.

Danylyshyn started shooting at age 5, as one might expect of the daughter of a Surrey firearms instructor.

Tatyana Danylyshyn, second from left, with Canadian teammates at the annual Bisley shooting competition in July, 2015.

"I taught all my kids to shoot before they started school, and to swim and to read as well," said her father David Danylyshyn.

In the story, Danylyshyn recounts how she broke her glasses just before her first shoot at a military gun range after joining the reserves at 16. She was aiming at "gray fuzz" downrange.

"They kept having me shoot and reshoot going, 'what's wrong with you?" she said. "I didn't start off as a rock star."

Military competitive shooters are limited to using military-grade weapons. I the case of Danylyshyn's best event, "assault rifle," she was using the C7A2 rifle, which is an AR-15 variant manufactured by Colt, also known as the Colt Canada C7. It's comparable to the American M16A3 and is the standard issue rifle in Canada, norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands.

It's basically like stock-car racing for rifle shooters, and the mechanical limits of her gun means anything beyond 25 meters has a little bit to do with luck.

Danylyshyn is also a hunter, but says that her marksmanship doesn't have much to do with hunting prowess.

"If you screw it up (when hunting)—and there's always those moments—you want to make sure it's not at some animal's expense," she said.

Local Input~ // UNDATED -- BISLEY -- Sergeant Tatyana Danylyshyn competing at the 2012 Canadian Armed Forces Small Arms Concentration at Connaught Ranges, Ottawa, Ontario. Sergeant Tatyana Danylyshyn, from The Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary's), in Victoria, B.C., earned the top shot honour at the annual Bisley shooting competition held in Bisley, United Kingdom, from June 21 to July 1, 2015. Sgt. Danylyshyn competed in two of the three weapons categories: service rifle and service pistol. Her top shot placing was in the service rifle category of the Army Reserve Operational Shooting Concentration. This was her third time competing in the Bisley shooting competition held at the Primary Training Centre Pirbright in Bisley. She placed second in both her previous appearances. Sgt. Danylyshyn was one of 20 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members, 10 Regular and 10 Reserve Force, who participated in the competition. CREDIT: CANADIAN FORCES (source: ASHLEY.LEMIRE@forces.gc.ca )/pws SLUG: 0805 shooter ORG XMIT: POS1508041256371509