Special event designed to encourage youth participation in outdoor shooting sports; Oct. 4 pre-registration deadline
COUNCIL GROVE — Council Grove area youth are invited to attend a free shotgun, pellet rifle, and archery shooting clinic on Saturday, Oct. 9, at Council Grove Reservoir. Sponsored by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE), the Flint Hills Chapter of Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation (QUWF), and Morris County Hunter Education instructors, this special event helps participants enhance firearm and archery shooting and safety skills. Controlled live fire instruction will teach safe, responsible, and fun shooting techniques.

“Our goal is to enroll 60 kids this year and provide them with a fun afternoon that will spark an interest in the shooting sports and hunting,” says Brent Konen, Council Grove Wildlife Area manager. “The Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation will provide everyone with a good meal to get the afternoon started, as well as a few hunting-related door prizes. To add a new twist to the program, I am finalizing details with an area sportsman to provide a short program about the sport of falconry. I am hopeful that he will be able to give a short presentation, display his bird and dog, and if conditions allow, demonstrate an actual hunt. If all of that sounds like time well spent, remember that it’s also free.”

Certified firearm and archery skills instructors will provide safety and live-fire shooting instruction. All gear and supplies, including shotguns, pellet rifles, shells, bows, arrows, targets, and eye and ear protection will be provided by KDWP’s “Pass It On” and Hunter Education programs. Participants need only a desire to learn some valuable techniques and have fun. Teaching methods almost guarantee that students will break shotgun targets by the end of the session.

Youngsters ages 11 through 16 may participate. Participants are required to pre-register for the event. Students are not required to have completed a hunter education course, but prior completion is preferred. The event will begin at 12 p.m. at the COE area between Marina Cove and Neosho Park, approximately 1/4 mile west of the COE office at the west end of the dam. Check-in and a free lunch will be provided by QUWF between 12 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. Instruction will then begin at 12:30 p.m. and end at approximately 4 p.m.

Those interested must pre-register before Oct. 4. Persons interested in registering or learning more about this special event should phone Brent Konen, Council Grove Wildlife Area manager, at 620-767-5900.