Annie Oakley and Wild Bill come to Estevan

An unforgettable camp

As I dropped “T”, the oldest boy off at camp for another year, I couldn’t help but ask the organizer if I could come and experience the camp first hand. I didn’t notice if I got an eye roll from T, but I didn’t care. How come he gets to have all the fun?!

The Estevan Wildlife Federation has put on the wildlife camp for the past 21 years. Its limited spots available are highly sought after and the experience that the kids get is out of this world! Kayaking, Canoeing, blood tracking, trap shooting as well as shooting pistols, hand guns, and muzzle loaders. They also get to try Archery, fishing, and filleting. Wow! The kids set up and take down their own tents. (some get parents help)

The camp is operated by volunteers of the Estevan Wildlife Federation. They cook, teach, play and care for all 42 kids in their care over a four-day span.

Lorin and I were going to try our hand at trap shooting.

What is trap shooting? According to Wikipedia…

Trapshooting is one of the three major disciplines of competitive clay pigeon shooting (shooting shotguns at clay targets). The other disciplines are skeet shooting and sporting clays. They are distinguished roughly as follows:

  • In trap shooting, the targets are launched from a single “house” or machine, generally away from the shooter.
  • In skeet shooting, targets are launched from two “houses” in somewhat “sideways” paths that intersect in front of the shooter.
  • Sporting clays include a more complex course, with many launch points.

We met the instructor who, in my opinion, was the best instructor of all time. You see, Lorin and I have never shot a gun before let alone try and shoot something that is moving 60/km hour away from you. He handled his students with ease, grace and a knowledge that only the best could have.

At first he separated us from the other kids, and taught us the basics. Safety, aiming, what to expect basically. Lorin and I were both nervous about the kick back from the gun. Was I going to bounce back 3ft?

The instructor helped me load the 12 gauge shotgun. Take aim at a target that was stationery and left me to squeeze the trigger. It took some nerve to pull the trigger at first and I didn’t hit the target the first couple times but after I got the hang of taking aim properly I was self proclaiming myself as Annie Oakley.

Lorin seemed like a natural as she went through the process. She wasn’t make any self proclamations but if she did I think Wild Bill would be suitable.

Once we both got the hang of it we got put to the test. The test was serious business here people. We were shooting against a couple 11 year olds and a couple girls who looked like well seasoned veterans of the camp. If I was a betting person I would never have bet on me even hitting one.

Each person stands at different points behind the trap house and has five opportunities to hit a clay pigeon or “bird”.  They then cycle through the position so everyone has a chance to stand at the same position.

I didn’t do that great at it. 3 out of 25 hit. My aim was always under the pigeon! Wild Bill came away as the winner hitting 8 out of 25 birds. Not too shabby for first time trap shooters!

After trap shooting we took in the muzzle loading station and paint ball. At the paintball station some of the councillors were the targets. The campers looooved shooting at their councillors. 😊

The Estevan Wildlife Federation will soon begin demolition of their existing clubhouse to make room for a new clubhouse that they hope to have built and ready for next summers camp, and hey, maybe they could make an adult camp next year. 😊

Get out there and #ExpereinceEstevan


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Rebecca Westling
Rebecca Westling
I have four kids ranging from ages 2-14 and a husband that works in the agricultural field. Our family is very busy, but we always make time to slow down and enjoy the little things.