Women’s Outdoor Skills Day & “Women on the Range” – Shooting & Safety

   09.12.22

Women’s Outdoor Skills Day & “Women on the Range” – Shooting & Safety

Last month I spent time at two events organized for women to spend a day shooting on a range. The first event was mine, meaning I helped to coordinate it with a local sportsman’s club, and the second was an event I simply attended. The first event was a Women’s Outdoor Skills Day; my first organized event as the Artemis Sportswomen Ambassador for New York State.

The author at the Women's Outdoor Skills Day event.
The author (Megan Postol) at the Women’s Outdoor Skills Day event.

Most of the women who attended had never, or very rarely, shot a gun. It was incredible to witness the process that unfolded as the day went on. First felt intimidated and doubted their abilities. And one by one they stepped up. Each had found themselves there spurred by their own personal motivations. Some came to learn more about firearms and hunting. Others were there because they felt overwhelmed by firearms and wanted to confront that fear head-on. Some were single mothers driven by a deep desire to keep their children safe.

There were women who attended Women’s Outdoor Skills Day that never would have reached out to touch a firearm if I had not invited them to this event. Now they are pursuing a concealed carry permit. This event was about opening doors and making connections. Hands-on events like this, that invite newcomers into the shooting sports or hunting communities, have the power to change lives. Many people are interested in this lifestyle but do not know how to take that first step. Some people want to try hunting but they don’t have a community to explore with. This Artemis Sportswomen event created that and hopefully I can continue that momentum.

outdoor skills
A group of women pose at the Women on the Range event August 27. Photo courtesy of Megan Plete Postol.

The second event I attended in August was called Women on the Range. It was held at a different location with an entirely new set of people. This event followed a similar format of hands-on time shooting at a range with experienced mentors who provided guidance and kept everyone safe.

The women who attended ranged in age from teenagers to grandmothers. Participants had the opportunity to try a variety of firearms from rifles and pistols to shotguns and BB guns. There were also sessions in archery and situational awareness. The women who were there stretched their limits, pushing themselves to try guns they had never shot and tackle the challenges of unfamiliarity. The effect was obvious by the huge beaming smiles and the confident laughter across the range.

Events such as the Artemis Sportswomen Women’s Outdoor Skills Day and the Women on the Range day are popping up all across the country. These events are invaluable, giving women the confidence to try new things and teaching them the skills needed to get out there in the field.

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Megan Plete Postol is an outdoor writer based in New York's Adirondack Mountains.

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