A little bit of everything: Seventeen-year-old Alycia Burks of Granbury, Texas does just that. As a competitive shooter, she currently shoots five disciplines: ELR, PRS, multi-gun (3-gun, 2-gun), sporting clays and pistol.
“I’ve been shooting for as long as I can remember,” Alycia says. “Going to the range and hunting at a young age with my dad, it wasn’t until I was 14 that I started shooting competitively.”
A chance meeting with industry veteran Kevin Reese changed the course of her shooting career. Attending a local pistol steel match in 2018, Alycia’s father struck up a conversation with Reese, who was wearing the exact same hat. Mr. Burks expressed Alycia’s interest in competitive shooting and Reese invited them both out for some long-range shooting the following weekend. Alycia marks this occasion as the true beginning of her competitive shooting career and her love affair with long range.
Alycia has learned to look at the things that really matter, citing her greatest accomplishment as the growth she has seen in herself since starting shooting, both on the range and off. Trust is something that she especially values as well as the ability to have a community within a largely individual sport.
“I have met so many great people in the industry and made great friends along the way, and they all want the best for you,” she said. “And will do their best to help you reach your goals, especially my father Michael. I would not be here without him helping to be the best I can be.” Marksmanship has also served as an amazing teacher of loyalty, sportsmanship, compassion, self-control, patience and even math.
Alycia has done well for herself, claiming big victories—though they may not come with high-profile titles. She has had several prize table walks at ELRSO and the Zombie 3-Gun Night Match. The Zombie 3-Gun Night Match was a unique challenge for her, as it was the first time she shot at night relying only on firearm illumination. She also was the youngest competitor present, competing head-to-head against more experienced competitors and law enforcement officers, since this match had no junior division.
She advises new competitors to explore all different disciplines before, if ever, deciding on one. She also stressed the idea that not everything will always go according to plan, and that it’s important to use those times when it doesn’t as opportunities to learn. While she is still exploring options for life after high school, she knows shooting will be a part of it. She loves animals and is considering a career in marine biology. She describes herself as a regular teenage girl who enjoys hanging out with friends, photography and painting.
Alycia’s journey is well-supported, with a staggering list of sponsors: Phoenix Weaponry, McRees Precision, Sightmark, Kopfjager, WMD Guns, Timney Trigger, Luth AR, NCE Digital Armory, Accutac, Accuracy Solutions, BSF Barrels, Night Fision and Shooter Ready Apparel. Some pieces of equipment she uses across disciplines, including the Kestrel 5700, Sightmark Latitude Spotting Scope, Kopfjager tripods, Hornady and Berger Bullets and Hodgdon powder. A more detailed list of her equipment by discipline is listed here.