‘It’s a blast’

By Keith Strange Staff Reporter

September 23, 2013

DOBSON — Judging from the sounds emanating from Fisher River State Park Saturday, the Second Amendment is alive and well in Surry County.

More than 71 women gathered at the Dobson park for this year’s Fifth Annual Tri-County Women in the Outdoors event, sponsored by the National Wild Turkey Federation.

From the “pop” of a small .22 caliber rifle to the loud report of shotguns and muzzle-loaders, gunfire and smiles were the theme of the day at the park.

And Event Coordinator Una Freeman said the scattered showers pelting the attendees did little to quash the fun.

“This is a rain or shine event,” she said with a smile as the deep report of a muzzle-loader echoed through the park. “These ladies have shot guns in the snow and sleet, so a little rain isn’t going to hold us back.”

To try to minimize the impact of the rain, Freeman said tents had been erected at each station, which ranged from crafts and self-defense to handgun and rifle stations.

But the smiles on the faces of young and old alike spoke volumes.

“Everyone seems to be having a ball,” Freeman said. “We haven’t had one complaint about the weather.”

According to Suzy Coley, who traveled from Davidson County to meet her mother, who lives in Pilot Mountain, and sister, who traveled from Charlotte to attend, the event was a success regardless of threatening skies.

“They came to this last year, and told me it was a blast, so I thought it sounded fun and wanted to come out,” she said as she took aim with a pink crossbow. And a second later there was a firm thump as the bolt struck the center of a target.

Freeman said the reason for the event is simply to get women outside.

“We’re trying to get women more involved in traditionally-male outdoor activities like hunting and fishing,” she said.

While there was a bit of trepidation among some in attendance, many who were there gave it a shot.

This year for the first time, the women attending the event had the opportunity to shoot a modern-day muzzle-loader.

Freeman said the inclusion of muzzle-loading came at the request of previous attendees.

“Some of them said they’d always wanted to shoot one, so we brought in some,” she said. “They’re learning how to load it, clean it, everything. There was a lot of interest among the ladies.”

Seventeen-year-old Brooklyn Triplett, who was attending the event, said that although she’d shot a .22 caliber rifle “a couple of times,” shooting a shotgun was a bit different.

“I’m used to shooting a gun that doesn’t kick back so much,” she said with a laugh, still shaken from the shot. “The kick surprised me, but it was a blast. I’m having a ball getting the chance to shoot all these different guns.”

In addition, the event featured a silent auction, with items ranging from framed prints to a .243 Scout rifle.

Reach Keith Strange at or 719-1929.