I remember my dad teaching me to shoot a 22 rifle when I was younger than Karyn. He would set up a target of aluminum cans and my brother and I would compete to see who was the best shot…
My brother has gone on to become an excellent shot, while I likely remain in the competent category. Regardless, I was raised to respect guns and I want my girls to grow up with the same education and skills.
In continuing with the family tradition, Matt and I are working with the girls and teaching them to shoot a 22 rifle. We set up pizza hut cardboard boxes on the edge of a dirt berm that boarders one of our farms for targets.
My favorite cowgirl/chef hit her first bulls-eye last weekend. To say that she was excited would be an understatement
Karyn and Ashley Grace have not yet achieved those bragging rights, but they are slowly gaining confidence. I have no idea if shooting a gun will be a necessary skill for any of them in their chosen life path, but I do know that the confidence and focus that they gain while learning to properly handle a fire arm will help them no matter where their lives take them.
On a personal note, I am working on my shooting skills for a very practical reason. There are times that we have a bovine at the feed yard get very sick or become crippled. I cannot stand watching an animal suffer, so in those instances we humanely euthanize it. While it happens only a few times a year, it is important to me that we are both competent and dedicated to using this practice to end suffering.
My cowboy has always been in charge of euthanizing at the feed yard, but I am working on honing my shooting skills so that I can also perform this task. Matt recently purchased me a 9mm pistol for this purpose. It has been more than twenty years since I fired a pistol, but I am determined to achieve accurateness. I fired it for the first time this last weekend, and plan to add shooting practice into my routine until I am accurate enough to complete the task with competency.
Ending an animal’s suffering is a gift that I can give. It is part of my job as a humane caregiver. While it is always difficult to loose an animal, in some instances it is just plain the right thing to do.