The Forever Gift of Family Shooting

It is that time again. The Kittitas Valley Rifle and Pistol Club (KVRPC), here in Ellensburg, Washington, is a couple weeks away from the 2019-20 Light Rifle Class League for families. This is the league largely devoted to families (parents, grandparents and kids) who are committed to safe and fun firearms training and practice for their youngsters.

The beauty of thinking about this particular club’s family shooting activities is that almost every town and city in the country has similar opportunities. Check around your neighborhood, gun shops and sporting good stores to find them wherever you are.

KVRPC’s Light Rifle Class League has been described as sixteen weeks of family fun; shooting at swinging targets, paper targets, and an occasional steel silhouette, in a warm, safe, and well-supervise environment. The inexpensive 16 week league program starts in just three weeks.  Bring your favorite .22 caliber rifle or .17 or larger serious air rifle (under 10 pounds), ammo and a desire for safe fun. Everything else will be waiting for you; regulation 10-bull NRA targets, a modern heated range facility, instruction, the direction of a qualified range master and coaching as needed/desired. If you don’t have a light rifle, the Club has one to loan you.

To get started in the league – or just to gather information for your decision – you will want to make the Fall Membership Meeting at the club’s HQ (608 West 15th Avenue). That meeting is in a couple weeks, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 3rd. You will meet the range and those who operate it, while checking out programs and fees to fit your family interests. The training and shooting pleasure of this winter will still light your youngsters’ eyes decades down the road. You will create a family memory that will never fade and a start a lifetime of family fun.

I like how Brett Hollar responded when I asked him about his years of shooting experience with son, Grant, and how that all plays out now that Grant is off to college and adulthood.

His boy started shooting .22 rifles with our local 4-H shooting club at about eight years of age. By the time he was 11 or 12, he was joining his father at KVRPC, and was pretty serious about putting holes in the right places on paper targets. Brett was doing competitive small bore shooting at the Club, and Grant joined him in regular league shooting, becoming the top marksman in a couple different leagues. Grant took up competitive handgun shooting at 14 under 4-H Club, KVRPC, and family supervision. As his skill grew, so did the time he and his father had together.

Grant got his big game hunting rifle at age 13 and that added shared time as hunting partners. More than just shared time, Brett will tell you, the shooting relationships among parents and youngsters are invariably marked by a very high level of respect and personal responsibility.

When I asked Brett about his now-off-to-the-world son, he paused and told me how very much he missed his hunting partner this fall. Then he added something to the effect of, “You know, our youngsters grow up, go off to college and careers. All those together times afield, pursuing game and birds during one season or another, just seem to disappear. But the love of target and competitive shooting is always there; there is no season. So, when we can, and do, get together and find some shared time – whatever the ‘season’ – we can go shooting. Shooting is forever!”

I can attest to that. Edward and Anna, last two of the Hucklings, were treasured hunting and fishing partners, along with their kid brother Jonathan. As working adults, their schedules have not meshed with many of the seasons we always enjoyed afield. On the other hand, Edward and Anna found an early December hole in their Los Angeles stunt, modeling and scriptwriting schedules, and Jonny had the same few days free from his Red Bull Adventure building and engineering work. Thus, we will assemble in a couple weeks for a Four-Day Defensive Handgun Class at one of our ranges at Front Sight Firearms Training Institute between Pahrump and Lost Wages, Nevada. We are adjusting to the changes in our relationships: we can rarely get together during hunting or fishing or camping “seasons,” but somewhere in there, there is always an opening for shooting. It will be a great family time.

Talk to any of the family members of KVRPC and they will have stories of father or mother son/daughter teams showing up to learn, grow and enjoy the Light Rifle League or one of the competitive leagues. They may note that girls are better shots among youngsters at the range, at least early on, because they seem to be listening, while the boys just want to start throwing lead down range. They will probably tell you that Hal and Marilyn Mason are the heart and backbone of the Club, leading other board and general members in a commitment to youngsters and safe, fun, family shooting, with coaching and kindness – and stern clarity when needed.

The Light Rifle (family fun for all skill levels) League starts Thursday, Dec. 12 at 6 p.m. Other shooting programs at the Club include Competitive Target Rifle shooting (starts 6 p.m. Tuesday Dec. 10), Bullseye Pistol Shooting (Wednesdays at Noon and 6, stating Dec. 11), and Marilyn Mason’s Basics of Pistol Shooting for Women on scheduled Saturdays – training 25 to 30 women yearly. The Club has loaner firearms for any of these shooting programs.

Find out more at the Annual Meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 3rd (above), or call Mel Goudge (509-925-4285) or Hal Mason (509-962-3002).

Here is an opportunity for you and your family to develop the skills, patience, discipline, respect and confidence that family recreational shooting programs promise and deliver.

It starts just in time to be one of the best Christmas gifts you will ever hand your household.

And, it’s a forever gift!

Written by Jim Huckabay. Posted in Uncategorized

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