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‘Women’s Learn to Hunt’ class planned in Fairmont

For the first time ever, the Martin County Pheasants Forever Chapter is sponsoring a “Women’s Learn to Hunt” class.

The event will be held Oct. 5-6 at the Fairmont Trap Club.

Teri Boltjes of Fairmont felt compelled to organize the event after helping a friend with a similar program in Iowa last year.

“It was so much fun for me, and the women had so much fun doing it,” she said. “I brought back those ideas and got the go-ahead from the (Pheasants Forever) directors. Everybody is on board with it.”

Boltjes said she often talks to mothers who show up faithfully at practices and competitions to support their trap shooting children, but they don’t shoot themselves.

“There are women who are intimated to go out hunting with their husbands or sons but really want to learn. This is the perfect setting for them,” she said. “We prefer new hunters or those that have never gone before so we can teach them the proper way, the proper handling and the proper skills.”

Class participants should be 18 years of age and have a firearms safety certificate. If not, they may participate in the classroom portion but not the shooting part. Class size is limited to 20.

“If they don’t have their own firearm, they just need to let us know, and we can certainly provide one for them,” Boltjes said.

The event will begin at 2 p.m. Oct. 5 and conclude about 7:30 p.m. after the evening meal. At 6 a.m. Oct. 6, there will be a “meet your mentor” breakfast, followed by hunting at 8 a.m. and ending by 3 p.m.

Nicole Davaros and Kristi Coughlin from the Minnesota DNR will talk about pheasant biology and conservation. Boltjes and her husband, Bryan, will be joined by Mark and Sally Stevens, all NRA shotgun coaches, who will cover firearms safety, handling and ethics.

“We’re trying to get one-on-one mentoring so when we go out on the hunt on Sunday, there’s going to be 20 women, but there’s also going to be 20 mentors. If they have questions, if they’re not carrying the gun properly, there will be somebody right with them so they can ask,” Boltjes said.

Pheasants Forever will put out specially marked birds for the hunt. All birds shot will be tagged because the hunting will be out of season. Boltjes offered assurance that special permits and licensing allowing the hunt will be obtained through the DNR.

The cost of the class is $50 and includes meals, shells, targets, class materials and a Pheasants Forever cookbook. An entry form is available on the Martin County Pheasants Forever Facebook page or by calling Boltjes at (507) 236-7614 or emailing her at teri1612@midco.net

Deadline to register is Sept. 9.

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