Sunday, June 12, 2016

Jim Edgar Panther Creek WIngshooting Clinic 2016

Jim Edgar Panther Creek Wingshooting Clinic 2016

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) working with a variety of volunteers, partners, sponsors and organizations offer wingshooting clinics at different sites throughout Illinois.  This past weekend there was a Youth/Women's Clinic at Jim Edgar Panther Creek.

2016 Jim Edgar Panther Creek Wingshooting Clinic 

This is the 17th year that Jim Edgar Panther Creek has held a Youth/Women's wingshooting clinic and Site Superintendent, Mike Wickens has been there since the beginning.  He stated that "without the many volunteers, organizations and instructors this would not be possible."  The last couple of years, Whitetails Unlimited has supplied the ammunition for this event.  Countless volunteer instructors have stepped up the plate to help out each year and for the past 17 years the same group of volunteers has provided lunch for the participants.

"Without the many volunteers, organizations and instructors this would not be possible."

The day begins with Safety Instruction, where an instructor goes over the basic safety rules for handling a firearm.  "Safety is and always should be a top priority" said Mike Wikens and that is why it is discussed before anything else. After the safety discussion, students are broken up into small groups where the instructors go through handling of a firearm, loading and unloading etc.  After lunch, the group heads to the shooting range where the students are able to experience a variety of scenarios during the live-fire demos.

 "Safety is and always should be a top priority" 

These clinics are designed for both women and children, but there has been a dramatic increase of women participants in the last decade. According to Site Superintendent Wickens the first year participants were 90-95% children and today the amount of women has increased to about 50% of those that sign up.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation stated that over the past decade women shooters has increased and they are the fastest growing group in the shooting industry.  With this increase of women participants the need for female instructors increases as well.  If you or someone you know would like to get more information on becoming an instructor contact the DNR at 217-785-2262.

'Youth/Women's clinics are designed to teach participants basic firearm and hunter safety, wingshooting fundamentals, as well as practical wingshooting.' Although these clinics are designed for basic shooting, when the group was asked who hunted about half raised their hands.  These clinics are beneficial to anyone who would like to learn how to handle a gun and how to shoot trap.

However, if you are interested in hunting and would like to get more proficient in that aspect there are Hunters clinics around the state as well.  'Hunters clinics are designed to enhance the wingshooting skills of hunters and impart sound wingshooting practice techniques.'

If you would like more information on wingshooting clinics in your area or would like to check to see when the next event is click here.

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