Roberts County Conservation Officer Dean Schultz is spearheading the project. The one-day event begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m.
“Many women asked me about the Becoming an Outdoors Woman event, but because of its three-day schedule, many could not attend,” Schultz said. “Our Women on Target event is only one day, allowing many more women to participate. Women want guns, and some women have no clue how to handle them. We will teach them how to do it all and do it safely.”
Strictly for women, the day will consist of rotating, 50-minute sessions that will teach fundamentals for archery, as well as muzzleloader, shotgun, rifle and handgun shooting. The sessions will include gun safety, loading and unloading, storing guns in a safe and responsible manner, and a nonfirearm-related self-defense course.
“If women desire extra help or have recently purchased a gun, they can bring it with them, and assistance will be available after 4 p.m.,” Schultz said.
Women on Target sponsors include the Coteau Sports and Conservation Club of Sisseton, Tri State Shooters Club of Rosholt, National Rifle Association and South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department. Area conservation officers and local residents will assist with the day’s activities.
There is no cost. Lunch will be provided by the Roberts County Pheasants Forever chapter. Firearms and ammunition will also be provided, as will water.
“We will have handguns, Genesis bows for youth and ladies, .50-caliber muzzleloaders, .22 rifles, .243 rifles and .223 AR15s for the ladies to shoot,” Schultz said. “We will start with .22 pistols, revolvers and rifles. Our focus will be mostly on .22s.”
According to the NRA’s Women on Target program, participation in the female-focused instructional clinics increased by 26 percent in 2012.
“It’s all thanks to word of mouth and the nature of the program,” said Diane Danielson, who serves as the national Women on Target program coordinator. “We’re strictly for women, primarily the first-time shooter. It’s about getting out to shoot and getting over the fear of firing those first shots.”
Since the program’s fervent beginnings back in 2000, almost 80,000 women have stepped onto a Women on Target range. Though the curriculum varies per event, ladies are generally offered the opportunity to fire pistols, rifles and shotguns under the watchful eye of an NRA-certified instructor.
“The best word I’ve heard used to describe Women on Target is liberating,” Danielson said.
Women ages 16 and older are invited to participate in the Sisseton event and are urged to pre-register by calling Schultz at 605-698-3852 or 605-881-3773. Shooters should bring sunscreen, weather-appropriate clothing, billed hat, ear protection and safety glasses.
Some just-for-fun activities will be after the formal program. One-gallon water jugs will serve as special targets for women to shoot at with large-caliber rifles and handguns.