Kenai Peninsula residents may have heard the sounds of rifles being fired since hunting season opened on Aug. 20, but there will be even more shots heard on Saturday during the first ever Kenai Peninsula Shooting and Hunting Day.
“This is a community effort to promote the hunting and shooting sports,” said Larry Lewis, one of the organizers of the event.
Held at the Snowshoe Gun Club in Kenai, the event runs from noon to 5 p.m. and will offer a variety of activities.
“There will be a little bit of every type of shooting available. We’ll have everything from air rifles to .50 caliber machine guns,” Lewis said.
There will be demonstrations of several types and styles of shooting including trap shotgun, skeet shotgun, cowboy action rifle and handgun, muzzleloader and blackpowder rifle, rimfire rifle, air rifle, long-range and high-power rifle, USPSA/IDPA competition handgun, machine gun, and archery.
Also, Lewis said he has heard a rather reliable rumor that there may even be a potato canon at the event.
The golden rule is usually look with your eyes and not your hands, but Lewis said this event will be just the opposite.
“People can come and watch, but if interested, they can also step up to the line and try out anything they see,” Lewis said.
“We’ll provide the eyewear, ear protection and all the ammo free. The whole thing is very interactive,” he added.
Lewis said that being able to shoot the weapons has many benefits, both for those thinking of getting into the shooting sports, as well as those already actively involved.
“We want to introduce folks to the shooting sports, to show that if done properly and safely, shooting can be a lot of fun for the whole family,” he said.
After all, not many sports allow both men and women, young and old the chance to participate equally. But with shooting, grandparents can hold their own against grandchildren and wives can challenge their husbands for the title of who is the best marksman in the house.
“Guns are also a fact of life in Alaska and many homeowners have one,” Lewis said.
However, some people may only be familiar with a very narrow spectrum of firearms. People interested in self defense may only know about handguns, while hunters may only be well versed in rifles.
“This will give everyone a chance to learn about other types of shooting,” Lewis said.
Also, with gun prices ranging from $500 to in excess of $1,500, being able to shoot a weapon of a particular caliber, brand or model before buying one can be a big advantage.
There will also be shooting and hunting themed demonstrations throughout the day, such as a watch gun dog demonstration, a hunting seminar at 1 p.m., a bear safety seminar at 2 p.m. and Safety Bear, who will be on location to give out free gun locks.
“We’re also going to be serving free hot dogs, hamburgers and pops, so no one should go home hungry on Saturday,” Lewis said.
The event is open to the public and free of charge, but attendees are asked to leave personal firearms at home. No pets are allowed. Also, all children must be accompanied by an adult.
For more information on the Kenai Peninsula Shooting and Hunting Day, contact Larry Lewis at 262-9368 or Scott Hamann at 776-7676.
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