Ontelaunee Rod & Gun holds NWTFA event
Saturday's Women in the Outdoors (WITO) held at Ontelaunee Rod & Gun Club in New Tripoli, was another successful outing for the National Wild Turkey Federation Association, the title sponsor of this national program.
WITO is a program dedicated to women ages 14 and older who would like to try various outdoor pursuits and develop some competence in outdoor skills like fly-fishing, archery, kayaking, handgun and trap shooting. The program offers a series of workshops on these and a host of other topics that include outdoor cooking, self-defense, crossbow shooting, craft making and more.
According to Dana Krisko, committee volunteer who is in charge of registration for this their 10th anniversary, "We had 215 gals registered for the one day program, which is down slightly from last year when 250 women participated. Each woman, she explained, can pick four out of the 19 workshops of interest to participate in and WITO does its best to fulfill those requests provided there aren't too many for one particular station where there may not be sufficient instructor's to go around and as a safety precaution in firearms training."
Of this number, Krisko said that participants come from local and distant areas of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and ironically, New York City who has the most anti-gun mayor in the country.
Registrants must pay a $55 fee that gives them a membership in NWTF and includes breakfast, lunch and refreshments. All ammo for the rifle, handgun and shotgun ranges was furnished by the NWTF. The numerous volunteers for each of their respective specialties provided firearms, bows, crossbows and arrows. Participants, however, have the option of using their own gear, but for firearms shooting, the ammo provided is somewhat caliber-limited.
In the rifle range workshop, Whitey Lerch, retired Lehigh County deputy WCO, led the girls in shooting .22 rifles while Steve Homoki, retired Easton Police officer and certified police firearms instructor, ran the handgun shooting which happens to be the most popular workshop every year over the past eight. So much so that Homoki and his range assistants had to run two 13 women relays.
Krisko said the areas of most interest and participants are as expected handgun shooting, shotgun/trap shooting, archery shooting and fly-fishing. And judging from the number of gals at the first relay of handgun shooting, it's definitely the most popular, despite all the anti-gun rhetoric we see on TV.
A fly fishing school was conducted by the Hokendauqua Chapter of Trout Unlimited along with the Northampton County Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs. And nearby a Concealed Carry workshop was run by volunteers from Hellertown Sportsmen's Club, where the most asked questions were on liability issues.
In interviewing several participants, the general consensus was that most never attended WITO before and looked forward to shooting handguns and shotguns. One lady interviewed said she has attended prior WITO workshops but wanted to try different ones this time such as handgun shooting. When asked her profession said she drives a school bus but used to be a flight attendant for an airline that went out of business.
Not being able to ask their ages (as you never ask a lady her age), my rough estimate of the gals present ranged from 16 to 60. But their perspectives were al the same. They all wanted to try something different and something that they could hopefully continue with once the program ended.
If you missed this WITO program, go to www.womenintheoutdoors.org to find another area of Pennsylvania that may have a program this year. If not, Krisko will gladly welcome you to Ontelaunee for next years WITO program.