Shotgun Training and Education Program (STEP)




What is STEP?

The STEP program offers a broad range of learning opportunities for beginners as well as experienced hunters with special emphasis on teaching basic wing-shooting techniques and fundamentals. The program projects a positive image toward hunting and general acceptance of responsible gun ownership. Another important purpose for the program is the recruitment of new hunters for future interest in wildlife conservation and outdoor activities. In addition, the program exposes participants to the use of nontoxic shot to develop hunter confidence in lead-free shot shell alternatives.
 

History and Accomplishments

The Department started the STEP program in 1995. Department personnel were provided training through the Cooperative North American Shotgun Education Program (CONSEP). CONSEP’s ballistic consultant has conducted several workshops and lectures in Oklahoma for department personnel and the general public and continues to provide technical data to the program as it becomes available.

The STEP program conducts about 100 programs per year. These programs provide wing-shooting opportunities to approximately 9,000 participants. Youth (<18) comprise about 63% while females make up 25% of the participants.
 

instructor demonstrating the use of a shotgun

 

Goals and Objectives 

The STEP program goals and objectives include:  
Recruiting hunters.
Providing wing shooting opportunities to the public.
Improving hunters' wing-shooting and hunting skills.
Educating hunters to nontoxic shot shell technology.
Providing shooting experience to Hunter Education course students.
Promoting safe gun handling

 

 

1. Hunter recruitment and public shooting opportunities – The recruitment of new hunters is accomplished by presenting programs and providing wing-shooting opportunities to various groups that traditionally have little or no exposure to these activities. Such groups include women’s organizations, youth groups and school groups as well as other events where the general public is in attendance. These open public events provide wing-shooting exposure to many newcomers who have never tried shotgun shooting.

people shooting trap2. Improving hunter skills – Improving hunter skills is accomplished by presenting:

Wing Shooting Workshop – These workshops are acceptable to any group regardless of skill level. Participants are exposed to shotgun wing-shooting fundamentals and techniques by department instructors. The workshops also provide an opportunity to experience shooting nontoxic shot in an effort to dispel misconceptions surrounding its use.

Hunter Skills Workshop – These workshops address hunter skills and education in an effort to improve hunter efficiency. It takes participants, from any skill level, through various exercises that enable them to evaluate their personal wing shooting skill, assess their range estimation skill and measure their equipment (gun/choke/load) selection and performance.

         Shooting lanes

Expected Benefits 


The STEP program assists in fulfilling the department’s mission by:
Promoting responsible hunter behavior.
Improving hunter image to non- hunting public.
Increasing acceptance of nontoxic shot.
Continuing hunting tradition/heritage.
Ensuring continued funding sources for wildlife program

 

The STEP program has numerous trailers located state wide with over 100 certified instructors capable of setting up quality shooting courses. If you are interested in a seminar offered by the Wildlife Department please contact Damon Springer at (405) 317-6316. Workshops are very popular and the calendar fills early. So schedule early. You will need to be able to provide an area or facility adequate for safe shooting.