The origins of the Running Deer competition stretch back to the time before the NRA occupied the current range complex at Bisley, the original competition being shot at Wimbledon as far back as 1862. Whilst the competition has progressed since then, there is still a reminder of those early days in the form of the whitewashed deer targets that can be seen stood outside the NRA office on Bisley Camp.
As with all but one of the centrefire rifle competitions run by the BSRC, Running Deer competitions are shot in two classes. One an open class for all centrefire rifles complying with the Range Safety Regulations, the other open only to rifle combinations which, by virtue of their calibre and muzzle energy, are legal in England and Wales for the shooting of deer.
Shooting takes place from an enclosed firing point at a ‘Siamese’, or two headed, target at 100m running on a trolley across a 23m wide opening between two banks. The time taken to cross this gap is 4.3 seconds and, depending on the individual match being shot, either one or two shots are fired at the target in each direction. A further variation has recently been added which allows the first shot to be fired at the target whilst it is stationary and then a second shot to be fired as the target moves away.
The range has recently been upgraded to include electronic scoring as well as the provision of a moose target as an alternative to the deer.