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Family Fun Shoot: Kids can take aim at a good time

Rosemount area youngsters can learn to shoot a gun, climb a rock wall, fish with a bow or call ducks at the ninth annual Family Fun Shoot being held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 22 at the Dakota County Gun Club.

The popular event draws hundreds of kids from all over the metro and features a wide variety of outdoor activities for youth to try.

Aimed at exposing kids to a variety of outdoor sports, the collaborative effort provides the opportunity for kids to try activities such as trap shooting, archery and game calling under close supervision.

"We want to let youth pick what they like," said Dan Richmond, president of the Mississippi Long Tails chapter of Pheasants Forever, who helps sponsor the event.

Other activities available this year will include a rock wall, dog training demonstrations, ATV safety, wildlife painting and photography, fly tying and casting, wood carving and geocaching. Attendees also will be able to build and bring home a bluebird house.

In addition to the Longtails, the Dakota Ringnecks chapter of Pheasants Forever, the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association and the Dakota County Gun Club also help sponsor the shoot.

Richmond said collaborating allows the organizations to host a larger event and expose kids to a wide variety of outdoor activities. He said before teaming up several of the organization held similar but smaller events that concentrated on their specialty. It was a lot of work and no one event was getting great attendance.

"We were all spinning the same wheels," Richmond said.

Hoping to reach more youth the groups decided to join together to host the Family Fun Shoot. In the beginning the event was held in Hampton but it quickly outgrew that location. Five years ago the event moved to the Dakota County Gun Club south of Rosemount off of Highway 3.

"Every year it grows and grows and is just a lot of fun," said Richmond.

Anthony Hauck said last year's event was "monstrous." It drew more than 600 people, including kids of all ages and their parents.

All equipment is provided at the event and each activity is closely supervised said Mark Schlemmer a member of Pheasants Forever.

Schlemmer said watching the kids take an interest in outdoor sports is fun.

"We have a blast," Schlemmer said. "Some of the kids have never shot a gun before and it's fun to see their eyes light up that first time."

Youth tickets are $5, which includes a one-year PF youth Ringnecks membership and a one-year National Wild Turkey Federation youth Jakes membership, as well as use of equipment and personalized instruction for all Family Fun Shoot activities. There will be raffle prizes as well.

To obtain tickets or for more information about the Family Fun Shoot, contact Dan Richmond at 651- 730-4434 or, or Mark Schlemmer at 651-341-5436 or The Family Fun Shoot will be held rain or shine.