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Women aiming to be hunters hone their wingshooting skills

Sam Cook, Duluth News Tribune on

Published in Outdoors

"I had this feeling -- I felt like it was a good shot," she would say later.

The scenario was repeated several times during the day's shooting, as other hunters in the class bagged these game-farm birds. It was clear that their seven previous class meetings over the summer, with clay-target shooting after each class, was paying dividends.

Chandra Shoberg of Duluth had her chance at mid-morning and dropped a pheasant with a single shot from her 20-gauge.

"It raises your heart rate a little bit," she said. "It's a rush."

She had hunted grouse and woodcock before, but had never hunted over pointing dogs. She liked the anticipation that came with walking up behind a dog when it's on point.

"You know it's going to happen, and there's more waiting time," she said. "You're already excited before it happens."

 

Those who took part in the course ranged from their 20s to their 60s. They had different reasons for taking the class, taught mainly by Mark Fouts of Superior, who is director of member relations and outreach for the Ruffed Grouse Society. Kouffeld, a regional RGS biologist, taught a separate class for women in the Grand Rapids area, as she had last year.

Jolene Shult, 60, had a good reason for joining the Duluth-based class.

"I retired in February, and I figured it was about time I did more things with my husband," said Duluth's Shult, a first-time hunter. "It's been wonderful. It's laid-back. Nobody tries to be better than the next person. A lot of girls didn't have their own guns -- you start from scratch."

Bailey Petersen of Two Harbors was already an upland hunter but wanted to learn more.

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