Going 'Beyond BOW' gives women another chance to learn outdoor skills

For women who want to get out into Alaska's wild and do it with skill, there's a few tricks of the trade to learn first.

This spring, local women are invited to get some hands-on experience from an expert instructor.

The Becoming an Outdoors Woman program, made possible by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and by the Outdoor Heritage Foundation of Alaska, is providing several opportunities to learn outdoor skills. In addition to the weekend event May 18-20, several other classes will be offered April 18-22. These classes in April, called "Beyond BOW" will feature topics such as Introduction to rifle, Introduction to shotgun, and Map and compass.

Longtime outdoor skills instructor Kirk Lingofelt will teach all three hands-on classes. Lingofelt has spent thousands of hours teaching firearm safety, shooting skills and map and compass orientation to women and has been with the BOW program for more than a decade. Part of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Hunter Education and Training program, he’s based in Anchorage, and this spring he’ll be teaching in Sitka, Petersburg and Ketchikan after his visit to Juneau.

The BOW program is best known for the multi-class weekend-long events, but it occasionally offers one- or two-day clinics such as the upcoming events in Juneau. Each of the classes will be taught over two days. From 6 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, April 18, Lingofelt will teach firearm safety at the ADF&G Juneau Hunter Education Shooting Complex, an indoor shooting range on Montana Creek Road, just across from the Community Garden. Firearm safety is the classroom component to both the rifle and shotgun classes, and does not include shooting guns – that comes next. On Thursday, April 19, students in the Intro to rifle class will meet again at the range for the hands-on portion and develop shooting skills with .22 caliber rifles. On Saturday, April 21, students in the Intro to shotgun class will meet from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Juneau Gun Club (next door to the range on Montana Creek Road). All firearms and materials are supplied for class participants and attendees are asked to dress appropriately for the outdoors.

On Friday, April 20, Lingofelt will teach an introduction to map and compass orienteering, demystifying the compass and navigation, at the indoor range. From noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 22, students will work outdoors developing and using their compass skills. Materials will be provided, but students may bring their own compasses, including phones with a compass app. installed.

Class size for "Beyond BOW" is limited to eight students. Cost is $40 for each class, which includes all equipment, instructional materials, guns and ammunition, safety equipment and beverages. Juneau range master Frank Zmuda (586-4101) has registration materials at the Juneau range, or you can download a registration packet from the ADF&G website. To do so, complete a Google search for Alaska BOW schedule and see the Juneau clinics, or visit the ADF&G website at www.adfg.alaska.gov.

For more information, Kirk Lingofelt can be reached at 907-632-9099, or kirk.lingofelt@alaska.gov.


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