A while back I started up Ladies Range Days in Prince Albert. It’s something that isn’t very common but certainly very valuable. When I tell people I’m hosting these events, I am presented with two responses: 1) a raised eyebrow and “What’s that?” or 2) two raised eyebrows and “Wow that’s awesome!” I am happy with both.
One of the first guns I had to shoot was a 12 gauge pump action shotgun with #2 shot. It wasn’t pleasant at all. It was forty below with crazy wind. In my ever-so-smart younger years, I reasoned that if I stuffed some toques and scarves down my jacket and in between my shoulder and this gun, I would be a sure thing. I also thought it would be a good idea to place the stock directly onto my shoulder bone because it is much harder than my soft tissue and would probably soften the blow. Wow. Was I in for a surprise. Ouch. Don’t ever think that way. The recoil was so brutal; it jutted up and back causing my eye protection to crunch down violently onto the bridge of my nose, cracking the cartilage. Thankfully the extensive bruising that covered most of my bicep, and a touch of blackened nose and eye, healed after a few short weeks. This is a gun story I’ll never forget but also one of the reasons I was able to learn of something else.
It is my understanding that firearm education and hunter safety classes were made available to students here in PA back in the good old days. At one of my events, I was very surprised to learn that a woman only ten years older than myself had the opportunity to engage in a firearm safety course when she was in Grade 7. I never had that. Limited access to firearm education is one thing but it was also my experience that females in the shooting sports, like hunting and target shooting, were uncommon and it was rarely encouraged for many girls. It’s not like that anymore. Women are quickly becoming the fastest growing market in the firearm and hunting industries. I don’t blame them one bit. The shooting sports are incredible!
At Northern Elite Firearms we’ve created an opportunity for all women in the Prince Albert and surrounding area to begin learning about what we should have learned about the whole time. What do you need to do when you come across a firearm? What kind of firearm is it? How do you make sure it’s safe? Do you need to make sure it’s safe? Do the children understand what to do if encountered with an unattended firearm? At your house? At the neighbour’s house? These are all very important questions that every woman should be able to answer. We all know a guy who hunts or may have a shotgun, rifle, or handgun passed down to him by his father or grandfather. Some women may live in the RM and have guns in the house for predator control and have limited access to neighbours like us city girls. This is very common, especially in our area.
Whatever the situation is, fear can take over and accidents happen if we neglect to be mindful. As responsible citizens we all must make the effort to ensure we avoid accidents where we can. Although the number of injuries/deaths via firearms in our country is extremely minimal, it is still a good reason to ensure we have the knowledge to decrease it even more where we can. So let’s talk range days. They are intended for female beginner shooters who are new to the firearm/hunting industry. We have a variety of firearms on display and the ladies are introduced to five main actions: bolt, pump, break, semi-auto, and lever action.
While there is a lot more information we cover, the women all receive a handy little manual to reference should they decide to expand their interests and participate in the Canadian Firearms Safety Course that Northern Elite Firearms also delivers regularly. There is plenty of opportunity for questions and the classes are designed small enough so the participants will receive a very personalized learning experience. The ladies are introduced to the gun range and we learn about range etiquette. Then the real fun – shooting!! Registration for this 5 hour course is ongoing; call us at Northern Elite Firearms if you would like to participate. Please tell any woman in your life who may benefit from this learning experience. The class is $50 plus tax and includes refreshments, ear and eye protection, targets, use of firearms, and ammo. We have professional shooting coaches and range officers who provide an exceptional learning environment. Every lady who attended the course to date has left with a wonderful smile on her face! If you are looking for something different, this makes a great gift.