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Rod & Gun Club: Keep Those Skills Sharp! By Patti Norris Regular practice with your firearms has many advantages.

Timing and accuracy offer a great sense of accomplishment, but safety is also reinforced as we spend more time on the ranges. This is the primary issue in the handling of firearms.

❚ Those who practice their shooting skills on a regular basis have fewer safety incidents. When you are in the company of other shooters, you are constantly reminded of how to handle your firearm. These gentle reminders, and sometimes not so gentle such as, “Watch where you’re pointing that thing,” continually reinforce the fundamentals of gun safety. Many of those who shoot on a regular basis are well aware of these four rules for safe handling of a firearm:

• Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. Point your gun in a safe direction.

• All guns are loaded even when they are not. Always check. Once the gun is in your hands, you are responsible for what happens.

• Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target and you are ready to shoot. Loaded or not, keep your finger out of the trigger guard.

• Be sure of your target. Never shoot at anything that has not been positively identified.

• Know what is in line with it, and what is behind it. Assess first, shoot later.

❚ There are other rules covered in hunting and CWP classes such as, guns and alcohol do not mix, but the four rules above will go a long way to keep you safe with your firearms.

❚ After all, when you want to sharpen your golf skills, you go to the golf course and hit balls at the driving range, on the putting greens or simply play more rounds of golf. The same is true for your shooting skills. You may anxiously await that yearly hunt for duck, deer or turkey only to disappoint yourself if you haven’t spent some time working on timing and accuracy on the range. Also remember, everyone is safer when practice is part of your routine.

❚ The Rod and Gun Club offers many opportunities for our members to practice the use of their pistols, rifles or shotguns. Our range officers will meet at the pistol range for those who would like to shoot pistols and light rifles. There are also several public ranges and gun clubs in the area for rifles, pistol, skeet and sporting clays. We have built relationships with several of the private clubs and Hickory Knob State Park for outdoor shooting.

❚ Whether you are new or experienced, go to ranges where there are qualified range officers or experienced shooters and keep those skills sharp!

Outdoor Camp for John de la Howe

❚ The Rod and Gun Club will offer an outdoor camp for John de la Howe students in July. This will be similar to the 4H Outdoor Camp held in June. Part of the camp will be spent teaching shooting and firearm safety using rifles and shotguns. For the latter part of the program, JDLH students will spend some time on the lake fishing. Our R&G Club members will be mentors. We are pleased to be able to offer this to our JDLH students.

Feathered Friends Wildlife Seminar

❚ We received great comments and feedback on our Wildlife Dinner. The evening began with another successful dinner provided by our staff at Tara. Our speaker was Ron Brenneman from Birds and Butterflies of Aiken who gave a very interesting and informative presentation on Bluebirds and Hummingbirds. Reviews from our members were positive for both the dinner and the content of the presentation. We all appreciate Josh for securing the speaker and Beth for setting up the menu.

Still “On Target”

❚ Congratulations goes to Wendy Kvale who finished her Distinguished level in Pistol for the Women on Target Program. Keep up the good work, Wendy!  • July 2014 • 11

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