“My Shooting Sports Story” is a place for people from all walks of life to share how they got started in the shooting sports and what they mean to them. There is a place for everyone in the shooting sports, regardless of age, race, religion, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, political affiliation or physical ability. It is our hope that these stories will connect and encourage others to give the shooting sports a try.
John Bowers, Chief of Game Management, Georgia DNR – Wildlife Resources Division
I am John Bowers, Chief of Game Management for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division. I got started with firearms at the age of four with a BB gun, and was taken out numerous times in the field with my father, mostly for wingshooting. One of the things I enjoyed doing a lot as a kid with my BB gun was shooting cicada carcasses or shells that would hatch off the trees. I would take those out and line them up along sticks, and kind of play my own game of target shooting.
What I enjoy doing the most is wingshooting — upland game birds, pheasants, quail, turkeys, dove — and I also enjoy shooting sporting clays. For someone who might be interested, or if you do not really know or are uncertain about this, sporting clays is one of the safest activities I have ever participated in. It offers a lot of challenging opportunities, and as you move up and become more successful, it also builds your self-esteem. It teaches you enormous respect for firearms and other people who use firearms.
If you don’t know where to start, you probably know someone who does shoot and that person would be a place to start. Visit the website of your state fish and wildlife agency or the National Shooting Sports Foundation and look for information on where to go shooting and how to get started.
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