BRADFORD, PA – June 4, 2019 – Women have been picking up shotguns in record numbers in the last decade. So much so, women shooters have increased a whopping 189% in the last five years (www.shootlikeagirl.com). What propels a growth increase of almost 200% in just five years? The National Shooting Sports Foundation and other shooting organizations cannot pinpoint a single reason, but “Women are looking for activities that they can have quality time with their families,” as one of the reasons for women picking up the recreational shooing sports.
Another reason for growth is that women now have places to go to learn how to shoot. In the past women were plagued with the questions of where do I go? What do I do? What kind of gun do I need to have? What kind of ammunition do I need to have? Where do I buy the ammo? With the advent of women’s programs sponsored by such organizations as the Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS), National Rifle Association, Shoot Like a Girl, Syren, etc., women are now finding avenues to learn how to shoot.
The Women’s Introduction to Wingshooting program is a national shooting program for women and girls, taught by women. The Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS), Allegheny and Upland Bird Hunt Chapters, and the Mt. Jewett Sportsmen’s Club are bringing this national program to Pennsylvania once again this summer. Training will be the afternoons of July 27-28 and August 24-25. Women and girls that finish the shooting course are eligible for an upland bird hunt on September 8.
National sponsors such as Sportdog, Federal Ammunition, and Purina help make this program available to women. “This program went over so well last year with women that we are bringing this program back to northcentral PA,” said Brenda Walker, Leader of the Women’s Introduction to Wingshooting Committee. “We are happy to see so many supporters of this women’s shooting program here in northcentral PA.”
In addition to the national supporters, the local and regional supporters are:
- Centre County – Jonathon Wirth Forestry Consultant from Port Matilda;
- Cumberland County – Mummert Environmental Consultants from Mechanicsburg;
- Elk County – Horton Township Sportsmen Club from Brockport; Habitat for Wildlife from Johnsonburg; Vernon Ordiway from Ridgway; Jeff Yeager from Ridgway; and Jane Bryndl from Ridgway;
- Erie County – Sesler and Sesler, Atty at Law from Erie;
- McKean County – Mt. Jewett Sportsmen’s Club; Breese Taxidermy from Bradford; Dick McDowell from U-Pitt at Bradford; Dean Construction of Smethport; and Perry Burdick of McKean County E-Sales of Smethport.
Expenses to put a single woman through the course run over a $125 per woman so the sponsorships and donations help the RGS offer this course to women.
“If you want to donate to support this course, or would like to register for the course, call me at 814-778-4248, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I think our women students really enjoyed being taught by other women last year. A neat fact is that we have women coming from all over the state – Pittsburgh area and Harrisburg area,” said Brenda. “Nineteen of our 20 slots for women in this year’s course have been spoken for, and we already have women signed up for next year’s course because they couldn’t attend this year,” said Brenda.
NO EXPERIENCE WITH SHOOTING IS REQUIRED TO ENROLL. The women’s shooting program is open to women who live anywhere.
Any women who register after the course is full will be put on a waiting list so if a registered woman drops out, you can be contacted to attend the course. Women under the age of 18 who want to attend will be required to be with a parent or guardian during the training.
The program will teach women the basic shooting sports, and how to hunt game birds of Pennsylvania: grouse, pheasant, turkey, quail, woodcock, snipe, doves and crows, and ducks and geese.
The Ruffed Grouse Society was founded in 1961 to promote and increase awareness of young forest management and to maintain suitable habitat that supports healthy populations of ruffed grouse, woodcock, deer and many songbird species that depend on forest diversity to survive and prosper.