Because they don’t want to see the sports they love vanish, the Highland County Coon Hunters and others have scheduled the third annual Ladies/Youth Shoot for Saturday, May 12.
The event will be held at the Coon Hunters Club, 6581 Carper Lane, east of Hillsboro, from noon to 2 p.m. A free lunch will be provided from 11 a.m. to noon, then there will be trap shooting, and target shooting with firearms and bows and arrows. All guns, archery equipment and ammunition will be provided, but those attending are also welcome to bring their own equipment.
The Highland County Rod & Gun Club, Highland County Shooting Sports 4-H Club, and possibly the ODNR Division of Wildlife will also be on hand.
“We want to keep the younger generation involved because we don’t want it to be a dying sport,” said Kathy Reed, a Coon Hunters member. “We want to get them outside, involved with outdoor activities and off computers and games, and maybe this will give them an idea of all the hunting and shooting opportunities out there.”
Reed said she never knew a thing about hunting until she met her husband, David, about 30 years ago. David was the opposite, growing up with a family in Pennsylvania where outdoor sports were a way of life. He served time in the military, took a job at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, landed in Highland County, and eventually met his wife and introduced her to a world she can’t imagine being without today.
“There’s nothing like being out in the woods where it’s peaceful and you can see and listen to wildlife and nature,” Kathy said.
The May 12 event is for females and youth ages 5 or 6 to 17. The Reeds said some of the younger kids may be limited to archery for safety reasons. There will be instructors at each station where those taking part can trap shoot with 20-gauge, 16-gauge and 12-gauge shotguns; range shoot with .22-caliber rifles and pistols; and try their hand at archery.
Several people who had never fired a gun showed up a year ago, Kathy said, and some of them returned for a shooting contest later in the year.
David said he knows that in this day and age there may be people who think teaching someone how to shoot a gun is the last thing a club should be doing. But the Reeds have a different view.
“Them people have their right to think what they want to think, but we also have our right to think what we want to think,” David said. “That’s why I went through four years in the military – to keep up the right to be allowed to hunt and teach my kids and grandkids how to enjoy the outdoors. Those other people ought to take a hard look at what it takes to defend that.”
Kathy said that if kids are taught at a young age how to properly and safely handle a firearm, they will be less likely to be curious about them later or handle one inappropriately and accidentally hurt someone.
“We just hope everyone comes out and enjoys themselves, and we hope it grows every year,” Kathy said.
For more information, Kathy can be reached at 937-672-4446.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or firstname.lastname@example.org.