Wyoming Hunting and Fishing Expo Offers Women's Shotgun Clinic

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If you're a woman looking to improve your marksmanship or just want to learn to safely handle and shoot a shotgun, Sunday, Sept. 9 at the Wyoming Hunting and Fishing Heritage Expo in Casper is for you.

Sunday is Ladies Day at the Expo, and will feature a free ladies-only shotgun clinic beginning at 9 a.m. at the Stuckenhoff Shooting Complex in Casper. Women ages 15 and up will have the opportunity to handle 12 and 20 gauge shotguns and ammo, learn safe firearms handling and storage, and practice shooting, all under the watchful eye of experienced instructors.

The clinic and Expo are hosted by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. The class was initiated by retired Game and Fish Hunter Education Coordinator Helen McCracken to give women wanting to learn to shoot a place to start. Jim Dawson, current hunter education coordinator, and other instructors will offer help and one-on-one instruction for the class participants.

"The ladies clinic offers a welcoming environment for ladies wanting to learn the skills necessary to be a successful shooter," said Wendy Hayes, Game and Fish conservation education manager and Expo coordinator. "The class is designed to be supportive, friendly and non-competitive. We hope that our ladies can learn a new sport they'll enjoy for a lifetime or simply feel more comfortable around firearms."

The clinic begins at 9 a.m. and will run until about noon. Shotguns, clay targets and eye and ear protection are provided, but participants can bring their own equipment. Students are also encouraged to bring a lawn chair to relax in between their shooting practice. Pre-registration is not required.

Hayes also encourages women to take advantage of the other exhibits and events the Expo offers, including the chance at winning merchandise to fuel their new outdoor pursuits.

To reach the Stuckenhoff complex, take the Bryan Stock Trail exit north off I-25 and turn right at the shooting range sign before reaching the top of the first hill.

The Expo, held Sept. 7-9, is a free educational event for all ages and skill levels featuring activities like shooting, fishing, canoeing, and archery. The event provides more than 150 hands-on activities, exhibits, and demonstrations designed to help more people understand and participate in Wyoming's hunting, fishing and wildlife watching heritage.

Expo hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 7, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 8 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 9. Volunteers are still needed to help instruct some of the activities. For more information, visit the Game and Fish's Web site at gf.state.wy.us/services/education/expo/index.asp or call (888) EXPO-WYO.