MDC offers Youth Basic Rifle Marksmanship course

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The Missouri Department of Conservation's (MDC) Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center will host a Youth Basic Rifle Marksmanship course for ages 11 to 15 June 8 and 9.

"This is a hands-on opportunity for these young hunters to expand their learning from the Hunter Education classroom to the range and the field," said DeeDee Dockins, MDC Outdoor Skills Specialist.

Hunter Education certification is a prerequisite for anyone attending this course, she said.

"This comprehensive rifle basics course will zero in on learning the proper rifle shooting fundamentals from skilled instructors so novice shooters can improve their shot," Dockins said.

The first night of the course will be held at the nature center and cover principles of rifle design, metallic ammunition, ballistics, shooting positions and field hunting. The second night will be held at Apple Creek Shooting Range where participants will shoot rimfire and centerfire rifles, learn how to sight in rifles and practice range safety. Dockins said each participant is required to have an adult guardian present with them at all times throughout the course. Firearms and ammunition will be provided.

"We're excited to offer this further level of education to these young hunters," Dockins said. "It's an important part of our mission to help them discover nature through hunting and to continue the rich tradition of hunting."

Registration is required by June 6 for this program by calling 573-290-5218. For information on this and other programs hosted by the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center, go online to