Firearms training for women on farm

Empowering women to use firearms for the humane destruction of pest animals and livestock

Firearms training for women on farm

Empowering women to use firearms for the humane destruction of pest animals and livestock

Taking Action -


The issue

Firearms training for women on farms was identified as a gap in our region, following the Managing Established Pest Animals and Weed Species (MEPAAWS) project. 

The humane destruction of animals caught in traps, or shooting pest animals on the farm requires qualified, licensed and capable firearms operators.  Many landholders hold Firearms Licenses and are confident in the safe handling and storage of their guns, however sometimes it can be the wife of that landholder that encounters an animal in need of euthanizing.      

The solution

Stuart Boyd-Law, a specialist in Pest Animal Control and Training ran two training courses for women in the Bathurst Region in May and September, 2019.  The courses involved half a day in a classroom learning all about firearms legislation, safe handling, storage, licensing, principles and theory of marksmanship and the points for humane destruction of animals.  The afternoon was spent at the Bathurst Sporting Shooter Association of Australia facility at the base of Mount Panorama, where the group learnt the practical side of firearms with target practise in a safe environment with instruction. 

The impact

A total of twenty women were instructed in the safe handling of firearms and the humane destruction of animals.  The morning instruction on safe handling, storage, licensing and use of firearms satisfied the requirements to apply for a firearms license.  The practical instruction at the SSAA range in Bathurst allowed the women to get comfortable with the safe handling and use of firearms, and get some target practise in at different distances. 

In addition to learning about firearms, Stuart had several animal skulls to demonstrate the aim points for the humane destruction of animals. We also discussed how to approach an injured animal, what type of rifle and ammunition is most suitable for putting down animals, and contingencies to think of in different situations.

The maximum number of participants in this course was ten for safety reasons and for optimum levels of engagement.  It was agreed at the end of the day that it was really beneficial having an all female crew, and ten was an excellent number.

Key facts

  • Safe handling and storage of firearms is essential
  • Know your firearm and always store properly
  • If you have to destroy pest animals or livestock do so quickly and properly
  • Being confident in handling firearms makes you a safer operator

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