Instructor Kirk Lingofelt helps a new shotgunner with her technique at an introductory course in Haines last summer through the Becoming and Outdoors Woman program. A variety of outdoor skills classes will be offered in Juneau next week through BOW.
A beginning archer takes a shot at an introductory class last summer at the Haines BOW workshop.
Story last updated at 4/15/2009 - 11:03 am
Debbie Spencer grew up in a hunting family, but as a girl she was not given the same opportunities as her brothers to go hunting. It wasn't until she moved to Alaska and took classes through the Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) program that she really became comfortable with guns and dressing animals.
"I'd always been interested, but I was a girl and my family was pretty old fashioned so the girls didn't really get to play outside," she said. "The boys got guns, they'd go on hunting weekends and we'd all be deer weekend widows. We were left to do the shopping."
Several years ago, Spencer took a field dressing class at a BOW Fairbanks workshop and found herself elbow-deep in a caribou. "I was really inspired," she said. "Later we cooked the heart in a Dutch oven. It was awesome."
Spencer went on to help organize last year's BOW workshop in Haines. She's now helping to organize five classes in Juneau - firearm safety, map and compass orienteering, shotgun skills, introduction to archery, and introduction to rifle.
Firearm safety is a prerequisite for the rifle and shotgun classes. A student who has already taken a certified Hunter Safety course and has her card may also take either of the two firearm classes without taking firearm safety.
The schedule is:
Firearm Safety, April 21 from 6-9 p.m. at the Juneau Indoor Rifle Range, Montana Creek Rd. This course is offered free of charge and is limited to 20 participants, but students who are also signing up for Shotgun Skills and Intro to Rifle will have preference, since this is a prerequisite.
Map and Compass, April 22 and 23 from 6-9 p.m. at the Juneau Indoor Rifle Range, Montana Creek Rd ($40)
Shotgun Skills, April 24 from 6-9 p.m. at the Juneau Gun Club Shotgun range, Montana Creek Rd ($30)
Intro to Archery, June 1, 6-9 p.m. at the Juneau Indoor Range, Montana Creek Rd ($35)
Intro to Rifle, June 2, 6-9 p.m. at the Juneau Indoor Range, Montana Creek Rd ($35)
All materials are provided, and students in the map and compass course get to keep their compasses. All participants also receive a hat.
Kirk Lingofelt with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's Hunter Information and Training and Mobile Shooting Sports program will be coming to Juneau from Anchorage to teach these courses.
Lingofelt has ten years experience teaching firearm safety and shooting skills, and is a skilled rifle and bow hunter as well. He's taught through the ADF&G Hunter Education Program as well as the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program, and said teaching BOW is particularly rewarding. "It's a lot of work but it's a lot of reward, and the end result really makes it worthwhile," he said.
In addition to the BOW classes, he will be teaching archery in schools, and muzzleloader classes through the ADF&G hunter education program. He'll be teaching BOW classes in Ketchikan, and firearm and orienteering classes through the Hunter Education program in Sitka, Wrangell, Petersburg and Haines. People in those communities interested in participating should call their local Fish and Game offices.
The BOW classes are offered by the Department of Fish and Game in conjunction with the Outdoor Heritage Foundation. Registration information is available at www.adfg.state.ak.us, by clicking on sport fisheries and going to the Becoming an Outdoors Woman link on the bottom left corner of the page. Mail registration to ADF&G - Wildlife Conservation, c/o: Riley Woodford, P.O. Box 115526, Juneau, AK 99801. For more information, call 465-4256.