IDNR Announces Free Opportunity to Learn Shooting Sports

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The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is inviting women and young people to attend an event where they can learn recreational shooting with some of the top experts in the nation. A series of Wing Shooting Clinics will be held around the state.

“Illinois is becoming one of the top locations in the country for recreational shooting, as construction is on track for the World Shooting Recreational Complex in Sparta to open in 2006,” said IDNR Director Joel Brunsvold. “This is a chance for the novice who doesn’t know much about shooting to get a first-hand training with top-notch instructors.”

All supplies are provided as part of the clinic, including shotguns and ammunition, clay targets, traps, eye and ear protection, and education materials. The professional wing shooting teachers are certified National Sporting Clays Association wing shooting instructors.

The clinics are hands on and include extensive live fire at clay targets. There will also be a short classroom session, each day on basic firearm safety and handling, firearm nomenclature, and hunter safety, which will be presented by an IDNR Certified Volunteer Hunter Safety Instructor. This is basic classroom hunter safety and does not satisfy the Illinois Hunter Education Requirement. Certification in Hunter Safety is not required to attend this clinic.

“The clinics provides a chance for growth of a tourist activity in Illinois,” said Director Brusnvold. “Shooting sports are a lot of fun, and the biggest reason more people don’t do them is that they haven’t had exposure to them. Clinics like this provide the chance to learn.”

Illinois is will become the premier location in the United States for those interested in shooting sports as the World Shooting and Recreational Complex opens in 2006. The unique site is being developed under the leadership of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich. The complex will include 100 trap fields, two sporting clay courses, skeet, a cowboy action shooting corral, championship 3-d archery course, as well as camp sites and a multi-use recreational facility.

Advance registration for the Wing Shooting Clinics is recommended, as space is limited. Young people interested in participating must be at least 11 years old. The clinic will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Registration is from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. both days.

Wingshooting Clinic Schedule

Aug. 20-21 - Shabonna Lake State Park (DeKalb County) - 815/758-2773
Aug. 27-28 - Fisher (Champaign County) - 217/935-6860
Aug. 28 - Decatur (Macon County) - 217/877-4096
Sept. 10-11 - Sam Dale Lake Conservation Area (Wayne County) - 618/835-2292
Sept. 17-18 - Johnson Sauk Trail State Park (Henry County) - 309/853-5589

For more information on wingshooting clinics, consult the IDNR web site, at

Media interviews are available about the wingshooting clinics. To arrange an interview, please contact Gayle Simpson at 217/558-1543 or 217/725-9083.