By the end of a Thursday evening the air in the basement of the Nelson and District Rod and Gun Club smells like brimstone and the half dozen women in it are riding high on adrenaline and accomplishment.
The women are members of the club’s newest group, an all-female night for ladies who’d like to learn to shoot, brush up on their skill, or simply enjoy some female friendship while pulling the trigger.
The club is currently run by directors Chris Rogers and Drew Turner, who got the idea after talking to a woman who’d been turned off shooting after her male instructor was too hands-on.
“That’s not right. I don’t care what business you’re in, no one should touch anybody else,” says Rogers. “So an officer and I got talking and we decided to come up with a women’s shoot.”
From 6:30 p.m. each Thursday, women can drop in to the rod and gun club and shoot until about 8 p.m.
“We’ll teach you how to sight the gun, sight the target, and we teach you the safety aspects. And then you can just shoot,” says Rogers.
Weapons ranging from rifles to handguns, ammunition and ear and eye protection are provided, and the first evening is free. After that, members can either pay $5 per session for insurance or become rod and gun club members themselves.
“The women all enjoy it, and every week there’s more and more that come out,” says Rogers, who thinks the appeal is twofold.
“It’s the noise — the actual banging of firing a gun — and knowing that they’re hitting the target. When they hit a target they have a great feeling.”
While Rogers and Turner are running the club for the moment, they’re hoping to turn it over to one of the women once the club is more established. He’s also hoping the group will interact with some of the others who use the shooting range — possibly for competitions. Should that happen, the men using the range may have some serious competition.
“Women are better at it than men, by far,” says Rogers. “They’re more calm and they can settle their body down.”