The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is sponsoring wingshooting clinic sessions for hunters on Saturday and Sunday, June 1-2 at the Des Plaines Conservation Area.  Additionally, the IDNR and several co-sponsors will be conducting a youth/women’s wingshooting clinic on Saturday and Sunday, May 18-19 at Des Plaines Conservation Area.

The Hunters Wingshooting Clinics at Des Plaines Conservation Area consist of two 4-hour wingshooting sessions each day. Morning sessions run from 8 a.m. until 12 noon, and afternoon sessions run from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.  The clinic sessions will be taught by instructors certified by both the National Sporting Clays Association (NSCA) and the IDNR. The clinics are designed primarily to improve the wingshooting skills of hunters.  Hunters interested in improving their ability to hit moving targets with a shotgun are encouraged to attend.  However, these wingshooting clinics are not limited only to hunters.  Anyone from 16 years of age on up who wants to improve their shotgun shooting skills can attend.  In addition, participants will have a fun time shooting with friends or new acquaintances with similar shooting abilities.

Hunters Wingshooting Clinics are hands-on and include extensive live fire at a variety of clay target presentations on specially-designed sporting clays courses.  The clay target presentations represent typical hunting scenarios.  From ducks and doves to pheasants, quail and rabbits, hunters will find clay target presentations that resemble their favorite, as well as their most troublesome, shots.

The Des Plaines Conservation Area sporting clays course will be laid out along the tree lines and cover fields near the site headquarters on the west side of Interstate 55.

The participant-to-instructor ratio is four-to-one.  Typically participants are squadded with others of similar shooting ability.  There will be a short (approximately 15 minutes) briefing about shotgun safety and handling and on-range safety at the start of each session.

The Des Plaines Conservation Area Youth/Women’s Wingshooting Clinic on May 18-19 is an introductory clinic designed for boys, girls and women interested in learning to shoot or improving their ability to shoot a shotgun at a moving target.  On Saturday typically boys and girls in the 10-15 age group participate, while women of any age, as well as girls 10 years and up usually participate on Sunday.  Because there are several co-sponsors, this youth/women’s clinic is provided at no cost to participants.

Youth/Women’s wingshooting clinics are about learning to safely shoot a shotgun at a moving target with reasonable reliability.  The clinic starts with a shotgun safety presentation at 10 a.m., followed by a short small-group hands-on shotgun orientation session with each group’s wingshooting instructor.  These clinics are taught by instructors certified by both the National Sporting Clays Association (NSCA) and the IDNR.  Lunch is provided for participants, and following lunch the afternoon is spent in the field shooting clay targets until about 4 p.m.  Not only do the participants learn to safely handle and shoot a shotgun, but they learn that being skilled at shooting clay targets is a lot of fun.

Advanced registration is required.  Registration forms for the Des Plaines Conservation Area Wingshooting Clinics can be accessed at Click on the date you plan to attend to access the appropriate forms.  Follow the instructions on the forms.

Logo courtesy Illinois Department of Natural Resources

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