Izaak Walton League offering shooting event for adults, kids

BEVERLY — In cooperation with the National Izaak Walton League of America, the local Mountaineer Chapter in Beverly will host a free shooting event for adults and children on Saturday.

The event is being offered to help teach those who have never handled a firearm the safe way to do so. Knowledgeable instructors from throughout the area will instruct participants in the safe handling and proper operation of various firearms.

“This year is the 100th anniversary for the Izaak Walton League of America and they are doing this to try to get as many new shooters as they can,” Mountain Chapter President Ray Mearns said. “They gave all the chapters that wanted to try it a grant, so we received some money for some shells and stuff like that.”

Those who take part in the learning session will have the opportunity to shoot a variety of different firearms, including shotguns, rifles and pistols. Those who are 12 years and older are eligible to take part in the event.

“This event is just for first-time shooters and people who have never handled a gun or fired one,” Mearns said. “I’m a retired conservation officer who has taught hundreds of safety classes, so we will have a little bit of that to start with. We will then get into probably shooting a .22 rifle first. Each person who is shooting will have an experienced person helping them the entire time.”

The instructional session will be at the Izaak Walton League clubhouse, which is located on Files Creek Road in Beverly. Registration for the event will begin at 12:30 p.m. Participants who are between the ages of 12 and 15 years old must be accompanied by an adult.

The Mountaineer Chapter sponsors and cosponsors many programs and activities throughout the year, including Youth Air Rifle Shoot, Youth Conservation Day, Bowden Fishing Derby, Randolph County Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs Expo, Trout Stocking, Pocahontas County Fishing Derby, Buckwheat Feed, Handicapped Accessible Fishing Pier, Fifth Grade Science Field Day, Adopt a Highway and Jakes Day.

The local IWLA also gives out four $1,000 scholarships to two high school and two college students, and supports the local boys scouts with a $1,000 donation annually.

Other organizations that the league donates money to includes Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, Randolph County 4-H Teen Leaders, Handicapped Hunt, National Endowment Fund IWLA, Hunters Helping the Hungry, Area Fire Departments, West Virginia Wildlife Federation (National Hunting and Fishing Days), Becoming an Outdoors Woman, Camp Caesar and Camp Horseshoe.

The National Izaak Walton League was formed in 1922, making it one of the country’s oldest nonprofit organizations.

It currently has around 50,000 members nationwide as each of them strive to work together to defend the nation’s and world’s soil, air, woods, water, and wildlife.

The Mountaineer Chapter was formed in April of 1956 and was founded by Sidney E. Neese.

Later that same year the chapter purchased 806 acres on Files Creek, which has been the chapter’s home ever since.

For more information, call 304-338-6025 or visit the Mountaineer Chapter’s Facebook Page.


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