Contact(s): Keith Warnke, DNR Hunting and Shooting Sports Coordinator, Keith.Warnke@Wisconsin.gov; 608-576 5243
MADISON -- The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is joining a national foundation in marking August as National Shooting Sports Month to promote the activity and its dedication to safety and skill-building as fun and appropriate for youth to adult and open to persons with varying physical abilities.
DNR Hunting and Shooting Sports Coordinator Keith Warnke says the National Shooting Sports Foundation's inaugural month-long celebration is an opportunity to introduce and to promote the state's growing number of private shooting ranges with public access hours, youth trap-shoot activities and firearm safety for hunters of all ages.
"Shooting sports are all about skills - skills that you carry into real life. This is why this sport is challenging and fun, and worthwhile for kids. This goes way beyond just hitting a bulls-eye," Warnke said. "First, you learn to be safe. That carries with it an ability to concentrate, be responsible to how and where you shoot. In order to hit that target at the range, or at a shooting competition, you have to be able to control your breathing, your muscles, concentrate and be confident in your abilities. These are all real-life skills and it doesn't matter how big, tall, fast or strong you are."
Warnke says this is why shooting sports are popular with youth groups. "Some of us may have started out with a Red Ryder BB gun or the like," he said, referring to the popular A Christmas Story holiday movie about a1940s boy's obsession to get a BB gun. "But, nowadays, safety training goes hand in hand with any shooting sport."
Users of any of Wisconsin's ranges, teachers and members of trapshooting groups and citizens are invited to post to the DNR social media platforms highlights of this sport. Here's how you do it:
"This sport has a lot to offer in terms of fun for all and a lot you can learn about yourself that you can use in daily life," Warnke said. "And at the top of the list is safety."
Two shooting sports month events already on the docket
To learn more about Wisconsin ranges, search the DNR website for keywords "shooting ranges."
To learn more about the National Shooting Sports Foundation, visit: www.nssf.org (exit DNR)