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Community Turns Out for Annual Youth Shooting Day

The 25th Annual Youth Shooting Day was held on Saturday, September 18, at the Putnam County Gun Club’s shooting range located in Eleanor. Located in the Putnam County Park, the expansive shooting range provided many opportunities for youth to learn about guns and other outdoor activities in a safe and scenic environment.

Participants were required to undergo a safety orientation training first before they could participate in any of the events. After completing the brief course, participants were given an orange sticker to wear, showing instructors that they had gone through orientation. Both eye and ear protection were provided by the organizers.

Stations were set up around the range, where instructors were waiting to teach important safety skills and help participants with the various activities. Children and teens could try their hand at shooting various guns, from BB’s and pellet guns to rifles, shotguns, and muzzle loaders. The shooting range features a Wild West “town” where participants could enjoy cowboy action shooting. For this activity, shooters aimed for steel targets which were spray painted white to show where the bullets hit. Michael Thompson, President of the Putnam County Gun Club, explained that children and teens like to hear the noise of impact and see where the bullet hit the target.

Some shooting matches were for fun, while others were for accuracy; however, the Youth Shooting Day is an educational one and not a competition.

Exploring all the activities that the Annual Youth Shooting Day offered, children and teens could also try archery practice, sling shot throwing, fishing line casting, and lifesaver tosses.

The Youth Shooting Day is hosted by the Putnam County Gun Club. In addition to hosting this annual event, the club has a Junior Rifle Team which meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from March through September at the shooting range in Eleanor. The Junior Rifle Team also participates in matches throughout the state. The Putnam County Gun Club’s goal is teaching responsible firearms ownership and proper usage.

For more information about the Putnam County Gun Club, visit their website at https://putnamcountygunclub.com.

Michael Thompson, president of the Putnam County Gun Club, shows Ashton Hudson of St. Albans how to load a rifle. (Photo by Betsy Allen)
James Cowie (seated) teaches children and teens how to shoot a bow and arrow. Both Cowie and John Drangmeister (not pictured) were archery instructors at the Youth Shooting Day. (Photo by Betsy Allen)
Lifesaver tossing was one of the activities at the Youth Shooting Day. (Photo by Betsy Allen)
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