For women only, event will teach complete range of firearm and archery shooting

The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) and the Lil’ Toledo Lodge, near Chanute, have teamed up for the second year to provide a shooting skills clinic for women. The second annual Shooting Skills for Women will be held at the Lil’ Toledo Lodge June 2 on the banks of the Neosho River.

This event is for women only, especially women who may have never fired a gun and is designed to provide exposure to shooting in a controlled environment. Participants will be taught the concepts of gun handling, as well as how to shoot. For women who have some shooting experience, the event will provide the opportunity to sharpen their skills.

Participants will shoot shotguns, revolvers and semiautomatic handguns, small- and large-caliber rifles, and black powder rifles, as well as longbows, recurve bows, and compound bows. A Laser-Shot computerized shooting simulator will also be on hand to help convey both hunting and shooting principles. The activities will be conducted so that participants can learn at their own pace and experience level.

In the shotgun shooting segment, each woman will have multiple opportunities to load and shoot at moving clay targets. The shots are designed so that most participants will consistently break targets quickly.

The rifle and handgun shooting segment will emphasize correct shooting stance, sighting, and firing. Black powder shooting will involve loading and shooting .34 caliber and .54 caliber black powder rifles. Archery shooting will give participants the opportunity to learn about and shoot each kind of bow. Hunting equipment such as tree stands and safety harnesses will also be covered.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided by Lil’ Toledo Lodge. This will also be a time for participants to meet and talk with the other women about their experiences and to ask instructors and trainers questions.

The event will end with a campfire hotdog roast and a drawing for items that have been donated by local businesses.

The registration fee is $30, which covers all shooting supplies and targets, including use of guns, bows, and ammunition. The event will be limited to the first 35 women who register. All women must be at least 18 years old.

This event is sponsored in part by the National Rifle Association's Women on Target program. Women On Target is designed to create more hunting and shooting opportunities for women. In addition to women-only hunts, Women On Target also sponsors a series of instructional shoots nationwide.

There are currently about two million American women who hunt and an additional four million who enjoy target shooting, and these numbers are steadily increasing.

To participate in the Shooting Skills for Women event, phone the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks Pratt Operations Office at 620-672-5911. Ask for Stacy in Hunter Education.