Youth/Women's Wingshooting Clinics
Each 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 the field.
The youth/women's clinics are taught using twenty-eight gauge semi-automatic 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.
Standard Youth/Women's 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.
Youth/women's wingshooting 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.
Youth/Women's Wingshooting 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
Hunters 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 to attend.
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.