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West Virginia Wildlife
Kids Shooting
Patrick McMurtry Introducing Shooting Sports To Kids

August 7, 2013
Reporter: Patrick McMurtry
Videographer: Brad Rice


One of the best things you can do for you and your child is develop a love for the same thing. Fishing is great, it's something many of us spend hours doing as a family. You can also find me out on a range if I get a chance. If you're thinking about taking a child to a gun range, Sgt Ed Goodson with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources has some tips.

"Make sure you have good ear protection and good eye protection, it's an explosion of gunpowder, something may happen. Keep yourself protected as much as possible. Teach those kids safe range procedure, muzzle pointed down range, finger off trigger until you're ready to shoot, and know what that safety is for."

"Whether you're like Nathan here who's already got a turkey with a 20 gauge, or Christin who's shooting her first gun and already popping some bulls eyes, it's always fun to get your kids out on the range, learning about guns."

Just look around and you'll see just how much these kids enjoy hitting the range, too!

"I love to learn skills and it's a really good bonding experience for me and my dad." says Judson Johnson.

Sgt. Goodson says that's very important, just like making sure you use the right sized gun so the kids are safe and having fun.

"We're shooting 22's today, when you take that youngster out the first time, don't give him that large gun like a 30-06 or 7mm. It's supposed to be a fun day at the range. If they shoot those large guns, it's going to hurt and they're going to be afraid of it." says Goodson.

You can tell this is a good time for everyone here, and if you follow one more piece of advice, you'll make sure shooting is a safe, fun way to spend an afternoon.

"Respect the firearm, don't be afraid of the firearm but respect for it for what it can do. Our shooting sports population is dying down and that's a negative. We need more kids involved in sports, you don't have to harvest an animal, you can shoot a target." says Goodson.

That's a lot of fun, too!

LEARN MORE at the W. Va. DNR


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