Women’s Shooting Program Starts of with a Bang

Allegheny National Forest Visitors BureauBRADFORD, PA – August 22, 2019 – The Women’s Introduction to Wingshooting program offered at the Mt. Jewett Sportsmen’s Club started off with a “bang” as twenty enrollees were introduced to the art of shooting shotguns.  The Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS) Allegheny and Upland Bird Hunt Chapters offer this national course.  The twenty women enrolled in this program came from all across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with a strong contingent from the Pittsburgh and Harrisburg areas.

The program consists of two weekends of instruction and shooting.  The instructors are all women:  Brenda Walker from Clermont, Louise Avery from Wilcox, Bonnie Orr from Kushequa, Lori Gideon from Smethport, and Mary Hosmer from Ridgway.  In addition to the two weekends of instruction, the women will be offered an optional upland bird hunt of quail and chukars after completion of the course. The Allegheny and Upland Bird Hunt Chapters run the only Women’s Introduction to Wingshooting Program in Pennsylvania. 

Cheers rang out as the first lady smashed her clay target.  “Hey, I got one,” said the woman who tried valiantly many times before making her first connection with the clay target.

“I feel so much more comfortable being in an all women class,” said another woman.  I feel like I can safely ask any question, and I will get an answer.

Terry Gerner, Roger Roesch, and John Bilodeau managed the clays course.  The bird boys (throwing the targets) were Ronald Reynolds and Brady Danielson.

The women celebrated their first day of instruction with a “get to know each other better” dinner at the Barrel House in Lantz’s Corners.

The next weekend of instruction will be the last weekend of August.  The hunt will be Sunday, September 8.

Any conservation organization willing to donate to support this women’s shooting program can contact Brenda Walker, Committee Leader, at 814-778-4248, or email at brendawalker@hughes.net.

This program has recently also received several other donations to benefit women entering the shooting sports:

  • Annie Wolfe, Mayor of Mt. Jewett, donated in honor of her late father James Vincent Biel from Rasselas who spent time to teach Annie to handle firearms;
  • Josie Harbison of DuBois, an enrollee this year along with her granddaughter, donated to support future women enrollees;
  • Dean Construction of Smethport donated so that women may be able to continue to receive instruction through this program; and
  • Habitat for Wildlife of Johnsonburg donated in honor of the late Tim Pierson who spent decades teaching folks different aspects of our outdoor heritage.

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.