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July 7, 2004     Sentinel Tribune
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SENTINEL TRIBUNE Shooting sports can be a hoot By Tom Conroy DNR Information Officer Nine of us were in the prone position, rifles pointed straight ahead. At the com- mand, we began firing. The fellow to my left grew up with guns in the home, both rifle and shot- gun. I&apos;ve hunted with him and as a result was moder- ately confident in his marks- manship. In the end, his marksmanship brought tears to my eyes. We were at the MN Shooting Sports Education Center on the outskirts of Grand Rapids. During a quick tour of the facility, we were given the opportunity to shoot air rifles at a target 33 feet away. When we checked our targets, the results were telling. The fellow on my left walked to his target and bent over to study it. Suddenly he had the facial expression of one who had just seen a pig fly. He stud- ied his target from different angles. He checked the tar- gets of those next to him. He turned his target around and upside down. Not a sin- gle one of his pellets had hit the target, let alone the bulls-eye. I began wiping away the tears. The top shooter in that round, interestingly, neatly placed a group of pellets in an area the size of a quarter, nearly obliterating the bulls- eye. And this young lady had never before shot a gun! The experience was fun, one of the intents of the Shooting Sports Center. But as well as the entertainment value, what the Shooting Center aims to do is "provide a positive image of shooting sports through education and world class competi- tion." Guns don't have the same image they once did. Kraig Kiger, operations manager of the Shooting Center, explained that the Center frequently hosts groups as diverse as 4-H, youth clubs, scout troops and civic organizations such as the Jaycees. And some- times kids will discover that, while they may not be skilled in other sports, they do have a shooting skill they can feel good about. Kiger recounted the story of one quiet young boy who had never won a medal or trophy in any competitive sport. When he won a shoot- ing contest at the Center add stood on the winner's platform, Kiger placed a medal around his neck. 'You have never seen a hap- pier, prouder kid in your life," Kiger stated. While we were at the Center, a 14-year old girl demonstrated her shooting ability. This youngster was introduced to shooting as part of a group that came to the Center. She found she enjoyed it and was also good at it. She now practices almost daily and is good enough to have realistic hopes of someday qualifying for the Olympics and win a scholarship to participate on a college shooting team. (Yes, some colleges do offer shooting scholarships!) In today's world, men- tion the word "gun" and many people will unfortu- nately think first of a hand- gun tucked inside the waist- band of a baggy pair of pants. They'll think of words like "piece, glock or double-deuce." They'll think of gangs and desperate crim- inals. Certainly, there are those who use guns for ille- gal purposes. But they are dwarfed in number by those who use guns for honest fun and recreation. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a diverse group of some 40 million Americans enjoy participat- ing in hunting and other recreational shooting each year. About 23 million Americans identify them- selves as target shooters or muzzleloaders. That's a lot of folks who have learned to respect guns but not fear them in the hands of trained, safety-conscious shooters. Learning gun safety is the foremost prerequisite for anyone interested in a shooting sport. And beyond learning t5 handle a gun safely, keeping guns safely in a home is of utmost importance. Most gunshot injuries happen after kids discover loaded guns at home. Parents need to lock guns and ammunition sepa- rately and hide the keys. Kids need to learn that guns aren't toys and how to behave around them. To this end, the DNR offers firearm safety hunter education for students age 11 or older who have little or no firearms or hunting expe- rience. Successful comple- tion of the class is required to purchase a hunting license in MN and certain other states. There are also advanced hunter education classes for youth 14 and older that cover hunter responsibility and safety skills, wildlife ways, sur- vival skills, maps and com- pass, and current issues con- cerning hunting. (Youth 14 and 15 must first complete and pass a Firearm Safety Training Class.) Learning to shoot safely and well, whether competi- tively or just for fun, can be a life-long sport. Kiger said one gentleman from the area who is close to 80 years old comes out regularly to shoot. Shooting can be good recre- ation for young or old, male or female. And whether one intends to shoot or not, learning gun safety just makes sense. (Information about DNR firearms safety classes can be obtained by accessing the DNR web site at www. dnr.state.mn.us. Information about opportu- nities at the MN Shooting Sports Education Center is available at http:llwww.mssec.org.) Now, the fellow who shot next to me is a friend so I won't divulge his,z lame. And I suppose it's possible that he completely missed the target during that first round of shooting because here was not enough air pressure in the gun, as he vigorously claimed. Regardless, it was a hoot! NOTICE Dr. Dill's Office WILL BE CLOSED JULY 5 to JULY 16 Sp00:)rts Wednesday, July 7, 2004 Page 10 6otf Corner By Jan Lindaman ,*rtF From left: Dalton Ling, Coleman Ling, Nick Coulter, Kirk Nelson, Chris Coulter. Submitted photo. It's Gillette Wyoming and the NHSFR By Gene Nelson The boys from Southwest Minnesota did exceptionally well at the 48th annual Minnesota State High School Rodeo Finals at Hugo, Minnesota June 17th - 19th. Nick and Chris Coulter, sons of Dan and Lori Coulter of Lamberton, will be repre- senting the state in the Teaming Roping event cap- turing Reserve Champion status in that event. Nick will also be representing the state in Saddle Bronc, Boys Cutting, and Bull Riding. The top four in each event advances to the Nationals. Dalton Ling, son of Dave and Lori Ling of Windom, will be represent- ing the state in the Steer Wrestling, another highly contested event in High School Rodeo. Dalton also competes in Team Roping, with his brother Coleman, and Calf Roping. Both Dalton and Coleman will be back next year in heated competition to gain a spot on the 2005 National Team. Kirk Nelson, son of Gene and Bev Nelson, Sanborn, will be competing in the Saddle Bronc competi- tion after capturing the Reserve Champion in heat- ed competition with friend and competitor Tyler Corrington of Hastings. Separating the two boys was one horse all year long. It is rare that either contestant gets bucked off. Kirk and Nick are sen- iors and this year's finals will end their High School Rodeo career. Look for both of these young men compet- ing at the college level. Nick out of South Dakota and Kirk oflt of Missouri. In addition to placing at the High School Finals, Chris Coulter was awarded Horse of the Year for his superior Calf Roping and Team Roping horse "iny." Chris was also named male Student State Director rep- resenting all the contestants throughout the state at state board meetings and rodeos throughout the upcoming rodeo year, August 2004 through June 2005. Kirk was awarded a Minnesota High School Rodeo Scholarship. Each year four senior contestants are awarded college scholar- ships to be used at the col- lege of their choice. For those that are not aware, the National High School Finals Rodeo is the largest rodeo in the world. It comprises 39 states. 5 Canadian Provinces, and Australia. This years Nationals run from July 19th through July 25th, with the 25th being the short-go, the top 20 contestants com- pete to determine the final placing. If you see the young men of the area, congratu- late and support them as they represent the State of Minnesota, it was a hard fought year long battle to gain a spot on the team. Commentary: Of the six years I have been associ- ated with Minnesota High School Rodeo, this is the fiercest competition I have seen. Representatives qualifying going to Nationals were separated by seconds over the three days of com- petition from those that did not capture a position on the MHSRA Rodeo Team. The state should be well repre- sented. ANXIETY for golfers?? Continuing on with our topic of GPA -- Golf Performance Anxiety -- the condition when your heart is racing, your blood pressure rising, your palms clammy, etc.: Our seventh and final prob- lem is DRIVEN TO DIS- TRACTION. Just when you're getting ready to make that all-important putt or hit your tee-shot, someone in your group asks another per- son a trivial question, such as "Do you know a good cleaning lady?" or "How are your crops doing this spring?" When it's loud enough for you to hear. it definitely breaks your con- centration. If you try and ignore it. you often hit a bad shot. So, what is the solu- tion? SOLUTION: "Speak [": Distractions are big poten- tim anxiety-producers, espe- cially for women. Your swing needs your full con- centration. You can't be lis- tening to someone's conver- sation and hit a shot. If someone is talking and you can't focus, just speak up and say, "'I would appreciate it if you could be quiet; I'm trying to get ready to hit" or "It's really hard for me to talk and hit at the same time." They should under- stand and you'll feel much better. With one week left in the first half of the two men's early leagues, the contest is quite close. Here are the standings: Early #1: D. Jorgenson- R. Jorgenson 109 - 1/2: G. Lindaman-G. DeBate 96 - 1/2: M. Erickson-M. Faltinson 96 -1/2 Early #2: S. Kjorness-J. Dibble 97; P. Goetstouwers- R. Mischke 94: A. Teichroew- T. Miesen 92 The Intermediate League has 2 weeks left in their first half. The standings are as follows: Intermediate T. Wester-S. Severson 112; J. Schmidt-Hammer W. Jenson-G. SchimbenO' The second half of women's 2-Lady underway and here are results. 2-Lady League: Knudson-Carole 1/2; Jan Jensen 13; Jan Grace DeVries 12-1/2 Tammy Fishel 37 Ladies Low Net:_ DeVries 27 Upcoming tournament consider signing up for" Lady Best Ball which held on Tuesda); starting at 3 PM. partner and sign up The first round is best and the second alternate shot. start at 3 PM. No league on this date. The men's Tournament will be Saturday and Sunday, 17 and 18. This isa ent time of the year previous years so it will work better in schedules. Sign up for s time for play on July 17, at the clubhouse soon as possible. The Couples (1 man; woman) Tournament held on Saturday, July shot-gun start at 9:30 Call the registration. Men's Senior Open held the end of Monday, July 26. You to be 55 years of age in this tournament have to have a More details later. Thought for you to this next week: "You be thoughtful if you get ahead in golf'. Vardon. Thoughtful your own game, ful of others around you Have a good week. Find us on the Web at www. 1 yo n ' si o uxp ress. co Gas Station with convenience store. Marlow's Amoco, 705 1st Ave., Westbrook, MN Great location, close to school, no current fuel franchise affiliation, Orion Hot Stuff Pizza franchise fully equipped pizza kitchen, certitied closed.site. 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