Learning how to use a gun can be intimidating for some women: If you've never handled firearms, it can be pretty scary. And if you're surrounded by husbands, boyfriends or offspring who are already expert shots, you don't want to go out there and look or feel like a fool in front of them.
Well, that's how I felt about the subject, anyway.
But Northern California women have at least three opportunities this spring and summer to learn shooting skills in the comforting presence of lots of other women. If you know a woman who'd like to try shooting, please send her a link to this post. And if you already know how to shoot, consider volunteering. I know for sure that the third one on the list - California Waterfowl's event - needs volunteers, because I'm involved with organizing that one.
Here are the details:
Saturday, May 17, in Lincoln: NRA's Women on Target clinic will be led by veteran clinic director Patricia McLelland at the Coon Creek Trap & Skeet Club. The cost is $60 for the day and includes two rounds of shooting, targets, shells, eye and ear protection, and lunch. Sign-in starts at 8:30 a.m.. Click on the image to the left for a printable registration form, or if that doesn't work for you, email me here and I'll send you a copy of my PDF. The registration deadline is April 25.
Sunday, May 18, in Jackson: The True Sportsman Club will hold its 10th annual Women's Shooting Clinic at its shooting range in Jackson. Women will get the opportunity to learn about and shoot shotguns, rifles and handguns. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and costs $25 per person, which includes breakfast snacks, gourmet lunch, targets and ammo. Pre-registration is required. Click on the image above for a printable registration form, or contact Kathleen Lynch by emailing her here.
Saturday, Aug. 16, in Morgan Hill: California Waterfowl's new Women's Outdoor Connections initiative brings you its first event at Coyote Valley Sporting Clays: a shooting clinic for women and kids. The day runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and includes shooting at the rifle, trap, skeet and archery ranges, as well as lessons on conservation, wild game cooking and "Hunting 101." The cost is $30 per person, and you get half off for friends and family members. For $10, men can join the women and kids for lunch and do a little shooting on their own while we're all off having our own fun. Click on the image above for a printable version of the registration form, and if that doesn't work for you, email me here and I'll send you a PDF version. Pre-register by Aug. 14.
To all the women out there who have thought about trying the shooting sports or hunting, I have to say all of these are great opportunities to dip your toes in the water without having to make a major investment or a substantial mental commitment. For anywhere between $15 and $60, you can just check it out for a day. If you like it, swell - there are a ton of people who will support you in your effort to learn. We are all around you, eager to share what we know.
And if you don't enjoy it? Well, you got to spend the day outdoors trying something new. And even if you never pick up a gun again, you'll know a little more about firearms, and that knowledge alone is worth the price of admission.
© Holly A. Heyser 2008