Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) working with a variety
of partners, sponsors wingshooting clinics at sites geographically distributed
throughout Illinois. Two types of clinics are offered. Youth/Women's clinics
are designed to teach participants basic firearm and hunter safety, wingshooting
fundamentals, as well as practical wingshooting. Hunters clinics are designed
to enhance the wingshooting skills of hunters and impart sound wingshooting
practice techniques. The clinics are conducted on weekends during the
spring through early fall of each year.
of the clinics sponsored by the IDNR can be found at Wingshooting
Clinic Schedule. For further general information about wingshooting
clinics, or for information about becoming a clinic sponsor please contact
Chris Hespen at (618) 786-3323, 8:00 a.m.. - 4:00
p.m, Terry L. Musser at (217) 782-6752, 8:30
a.m. - 5:00 p.m., or Joe Robinson at (217) 785-8060, 7:30 a.m.. - 3:00
p.m., Monday-Friday. For specific information about a scheduled wingshooting
clinic or to register for a clinic, call the number on the schedule next
to the clinic of interest.
first clinic was held in June 1999 at the Des Plaines Conservation Area
in Will County near Joliet, IL. Thirty-eight wingshooting students were
trained in the fundamentals of shotgun shooting. Clinic participants and
sponsors were enthusiastic about the philosophy and format of the clinics.
The success of that first pilot clinic provided the stimulus to expand
the wingshooting clinics to other IDNR and several privately owned sites
throughout the State.
The Will and Grundy
County Chapters of Pheasants Forever (PF) co-sponsored the first clinic
with the IDNR. The Will and Grundy County PF Chapters provided monetary
assistance as well as the assistance of several members to man the manually operated clay
Youth/Women's Wingshooting Clinics
clinic is comprised of a morning classroom session taught by either an
IDNR Certified Volunteer Hunter Education Instructor or an IDNR and National
Sporting Clays Association (NSCA) Certified Wingshooting Instructor.
Students learn firearm nomenclature, firearm safety, and some principles
of hunter safety during the morning session.
The afternoon session
is taught at a shooting field or range by IDNR/NSCA Certified Wingshooting
Instructors. Typically each wingshooting instructor works with a group
of four shooting students during the afternoon session. Most students
are either beginners or have novice level shotgun shooting ability when
enrolling in the clinic. The objective is to teach students the fundamentals
of hitting a moving target with a shotgun with reasonable reliability.
An equally important objective is to work with each student to ensure
the fundamentals of safe shotgun handling are learned and practiced in
clinics are taught using twenty-eight
shotguns. For the beginning and novice wingshooting student unaccustomed
to recoil and lifting the weight of a shotgun, these small gauge, gas
operated shotguns are considered ideal for teaching. Their low recoil
and reasonable weight makes them quite manageable for new students.
Wingshooting Clinics are held on Saturdays and Sundays. A typical Saturday
clinic session accommodates twenty-four shooting students comprised of
boys and girls ages 10-18. However, boys in the 16-18 age group that are beyond the beginning or novice level shotgun shooting skill level should attend a more advanced wingshooting clinic (see information on Hunters Wingshooting Clinics). A Sunday clinic session also accommodates twenty-four
shooting students, but the students are typically comprised of girls ages
10 and up and women of any age. However, clinics
of this type usually can be quite flexible when accommodating shooting
students. Its not uncommon to have one or more groups of women on Saturdays
and a couple of groups of boys on Sunday. Boys and girls must be at least 4 feet
6 inches tall and weigh 75 pounds or more to participate.
As the IDNR Wingshooting
Program has advanced, some wingshooting clinics have changed to a one
day format and a new type of clinic has been developed. While the standard
two day clinic format predominates, the flexibility afforded by changing
to a one day clinic format and developing an additional type of clinic
has allowed the IDNR Wingshooting Program to reach more shooting students.
clinics held in the one day format are typically conducted just on Saturdays.
These one day clinics accommodate as many as forty shooting students
comprised of boys, girls and women. One day clinics continue to have
a morning classroom session and an afternoon field shooting session
with a group of four shooting students with each wingshooting instructor.
Another type of clinic
couples a wingshooting clinic with a pheasant hunt to provide young hunters
and women new to hunting an opportunity to develop and practice their
shotgun shooting skills and then participate in a pheasant hunt. Participants
are required to have passed an Illinois Hunter Education Course and have
a valid hunting or sportsmen's license. These wingshooting clinics/pheasant
hunts have a morning session with a short safety session followed by a shooting
session in the field with a wingshooting instructor. The pheasant hunt
is held during the afternoon.
Clinics are available to students either for free or for a small registration
fee. Most of the funding for the clinics is provided by the IDNR, the
Illinois Conservation Foundation, and clinic sponsors.
Participants do not
need to have passed a Hunter Education
Class except for those clinics that are coupled with a pheasant hunt in the afternoon. Note: Wingshooting Clinics do not satisfy the Illinois
Hunter Education Requirement.
Hunters Wingshooting Clinics
wingshooting clinics were added to the Department of Natural Resources
wingshooting program in 2001. Designed to enhance the wingshooting skills
of hunters, these clinics are open to sportsmen and women ages 16 years
and up. IDNR/NSCA Certified Wingshooting Instructors from the IDNR's
Wingshooting Program, each working with a squad of four hunters with similar
skills, refines and enhances the wingshooting technique used by each participant.
Hunters with wingshooting skill levels from beginner to advanced are encouraged
Participants shoot a variety of clay target presentations on a sporting
clays course designed and setup or specifically modified for the clinic.
Target presentations resemble actual field hunting situations. Participants
will encounter presentations that mimic the flight characteristics of
pheasants, quail, rabbits, doves, ducks and other game species. Sound
wingshooting practice techniques are also taught at hunters clinics.
Hunters clinics are
held on weekends with two 4-hour sessions available to participants each
day. Each daily session, morning or afternoon, typically has twenty to
twenty-eight participants depending on the number of instructors. Normally,
each wingshooting instructor works with four participants each session.
A $30-$35 fee is assessed each participant to cover the cost of clay targets
and on course refreshments.
for the twenty-eight gauge shotguns used in the youth/women's wingshooting
clinics has been provided by a variety of sponsors. Sponsors include the
Illinois Conservation Foundation, the Illinois Hunting and Outdoor Sports
Association, the National Rifle Association, the National Wild Turkey
Federation, Pheasants Forever, Quail Forever and the former Quail Unlimited.
the IDNR Wingshooting Program has expanded, funding for additional equipment
has come from a variety of sources. Substantial support for equipment
such as clay target traps (i.e., clay target throwers) and trailers used
to transport equipment has been provided from various units within the
IDNR. Substantial support has come from Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration
funding that is designated for hunter safety and hunter training programs.
Funding for shotshells, clay targets, and lunch for youth/women's clinic
participants is provided through the generosity of the local chapters
of one or more of the organizations listed below and from individual and
business sponsors from the vicinity of the wingshooting clinics. Members
from local chapters of these organizations have helped with the clinics
by helping with the clay target throwers and by preparing lunch for participants.
Wingshooting clinics for women and young wingshooters would not be possible
without the significant monetary and volunteer support from these businesses
and sportsmen's organizations, their chapters, and their members.
Ducks Unlimited (DU) conserves, restores and manages wetlands and associated habitats for North America's waterfowl. These habitats also benefit other wildlife species and people.
Conservation Foundation (ICF) The role of the Illinois Conservation
Foundation and its partners is to preserve and enhance the State's natural
resources by supporting and fostering ecological, educational, and recreational
programs for the benefit of all people now and for generations to come.
The ICF sponsors golf and fishing outings and special hunts from which
funding is derived for educational shooting programs.
and Outdoor Sports Association (IHOSA) works for the interests of
the game bird husbandry, hunting preserve, and outfitting industries.
The IHOSA has a forty plus year history of working for conservation, hunting,
and shooting in Illinois.
Association (NRA) supports a wide range of firearm-related public interest
activities are designed to promote firearms and hunting safety, to enhance
marksmanship skills of those participating in the shooting sports, and
to educate the general public about firearms in their historic, technological
and artistic context. Funds granted by the NRA benefit a variety
of constituencies throughout the United States including children, youth,
women, individuals with physical disabilities, gun collectors, law enforcement
officers, and hunters.
Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) is a national organization that
encourages habitat development for wild turkeys and other woodland species.
The NWTF assists young sportspersons through its "Jakes" events
and sportswomen through its Women in the Outdoors Program.
Forever (PF) is a national organization that promotes habitat
development for ring-necked pheasants and other upland wildlife. PF also
supports efforts to improve the knowledge, ethics, and skills of sportsmen
Forever (QF) is dedicated to the conservation of quail, pheasants and other wildlife through habitat improvements, public awareness, education and land management policies and programs.
Unlimited (QU) was a national organization emphasizing habitat
development for bobwhite quail and upland wildlife with a strong interest
in educating young sportsmen and women.
Unlimited (WTU) Founded in 1982, Whitetails Unlimited is a national non-profit conservation organization that has remained true to its mission and has made great strides in the field of conservation. WTU has gained the reputation of being the nation’s premier organization dedicating its resources to the betterment of the white-tailed deer and its environment. Whitetails Unlimited’s mission is to raise funds in support of educational programs, wildlife habitat enhancement and acquisition, and the preservation of the hunting tradition and shooting sports for future generations.
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