Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Breathe in...

Let it all out.  Breathe in,…  Let it part way out and hold.  Gently squeeze the trigger, remembering that, once you’ve pulled the trigger, you can never get the shot back.  

Dora and I have signed up for a Positive Gun Dogs of Minnesota seminar with Helen Phillips, a British positive gun-dog trainer.  As I was filling out the online application, I saw that a firearms safety certificate was required.  Really??  I have had hunting licenses without having a certificate in three states because of my birth date.  As a result, I was somewhat reluctant to do it now, especially when many people told me how difficult it was to get into the classes up here.  

Sally, Not Thinking About the Pigeon's Safey
Safety won out, however, even after Inga very reluctantly told me I didn’t need to have it for the reason stated above.  I was the second oldest woman in a class that was predominantly 12-year-olds with some older teens thrown in for good measure.  The other two post-teen women were a grandmother, attending with at least one grandchild, and a mother, with her son.  

I wasn’t excited about the test part of the four week course.  I was sure I would understand and be able to absorb all of the information, but regurgitating for a test…  That was a different story.  At least the test would be multiple choice, right?  Well, what about the “10 Commandments of Firearms Safety”?  I couldn’t think of any way they could make that multiple choice or even true/false.  It wasn’t a tune, so I didn’t think I’d be able to memorize them all.  The very idea of memorizing them gave me an upset stomach. 

Well, I managed to do it, at least for the amount of time it took to scribble them all down on paper at the penultimate class.  I wasn’t too worried about failing the multiple choice part of the test by that night.  After all, I listened attentively to the instructors and scrutinized the videos.  I am proud to say that I not only passed but also scored 100% on it!  Woo hoo! 

Not bad for an "old" student!
That left us with the practical portion of the test.  That is, we went to the indoor range of the Virginia Rifle and Pistol Club and proved to the range master that we knew how to safely carry, load, unload, and fire a .22 rifle.  Ugh.  They were all very small.  I’m not.  Fortunately, my body can still be made to compress and contort enough to have held the little rifle for two rounds of ten shots each.  

I hadn’t taken the small frames of my glasses into account when I started shooting and didn’t realize why the target was blurry until I had fired five rounds.  At that point, I adjusted my glasses so that I was looking through them rather than above them.  I will let the photo speak for itself.  

Safe Hunting!