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Published: Tuesday, 4/20/2010

Appleseed Project promotes rifle basics

OK, just how good are you with a rifle, anyway - really?

Can you place 10 rounds into a one-inch square at 25 meters from the unsupported prone position in 60 seconds?

That is the rifleman's challenge in the Appleseed Project, and it is coming Saturday and Sunday to the Sandusky County Sportsmen's Club near Gibsonburg.

"The Appleseed Project is a nationwide program by volunteers and it does two things, and does them well," said Mike Nemeth, an Appleseed instructor and member of the local club. "We teach the fundamentals of rifle marksmanship and we teach American heritage."

During the two-day shooting clinic, shooters may use the rifle and sights of their choice in learning or improving the skills to "safely and consistently shoot well out to 500 yards - the traditional rifleman's quarter mile," said Nemeth, who is in charge of the clinic. "Through the years and for many reasons we've lost that heritage."

It is no coincidence that the instruction begins with a one-inch square at 25 meters. The target will appear the same as a 20-inch square at 500, which is where advanced participants will take the final challenge by Sunday afternoon.

Nemeth emphasized that Appleseed clinics are for all shooters, from beginners to accomplished marksmen. Women, younger shooters age 21 and under, and military service personnel, including Guardsmen and Reservists, participate free.

The organization behind Appleseed is called the Revolutionary War Veterans Association, or RWVA, and its simple mission is to preserve and pass on traditional rifle marksmanship skills to Americans across this nation.

American heritage presentations are interspersed throughout the course. Yesterday was the 235th anniversary of the battles of Lexington and Concord, which are seen as the beginnings of the tradition of the American rifleman.

"This was the beginning of America, with the 'shot heard around the world' and birth of the heritage of riflemen in this nation," states an Appleseed promotional.

During the clinic, participants review the six fundamental steps to firing an accurate shot as well as the basic field shooting positions, from prone to sitting/kneeling, and standing, and how to use a G.I. sling.

Nemeth said slots still are available for this weekend's clinic. The Sportsmen's Club is located at 3950 State Rt. 600, east of Gibsonburg. Starting time is

8:30 a.m. Saturday. Walk-ons are welcome, but advance registration saves $10. For other details and equipment requirements and to register, visit appleseedinfo.org.

Toledo Express Airport again is the site this weekend for a group of physically challenged wild turkey hunters and their guides as they participate in the national award-winning Wheelin' Sportsmen hunt.

The weekend is hosted by the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, Wheelin' Sportsmen/National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) and its Maumee Valley Chapter, and the Ohio Division of Wildlife. The idea is to team-up able-bodied guides with physically challenged hunters to assist the Express Airport in its wildlife hazard management plan.

Airport managers must to mitigate and control wildlife hazards in and around the vicinity of the airport property, especially those related to the increased risk of serious aircraft damage and the possible loss of human lives because of bird strikes with aircraft. The annual spring turkey hunt decreases the risk of such events.

"Toledo Express continually focuses on safety and wildlife management and we are honored to be able to partner with such a great cause to fulfill this duty," says Steve Arnold, Airport Operations Director.

"These hunters volunteer countless hours to make the annual Wheelin' Sportsmen Event an incredible success and we are grateful for their service. This is an excellent example of how volunteer manpower transforms a necessary task into something that provides a first-rate experience for deserving members of our community."

The hunt is preceded by a welcome and sponsor dinner Friday at Valleywood Country Club in Swanton. The hunters will meet their guides and the volunteers who have made the weekend hunt possible at the dinner, which includes a silent auction and gun raffles.

Wheelin' Sportsmen/NWTF ensures that people with disabilities are afforded the opportunity to spend time outdoors and form valuable friendships along the way. In 2009, Wheelin' Sportsmen NWTF hosted 378 events nationwide that helped more than 8,000 participants enjoy a day of fun in the outdoors.

"Wheelin' Sportsmen NWTF emphasizes all the abilities that our members possess, not their disabilities," said Illana Burkhart, Wheelin' Sportsmen NWTF program coordinator. "The Maumee Valley Chapter has taken the lead in their area for helping outdoor enthusiasts with disabilities enjoy being outside."

For details about Wheelin' Sportsman/NWTF, visit wheelinsportsmen.org or call


Contact Steve Pollick at:


or 419-724-6068.

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