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Tomahawk throwing added to Ladies’ Sports Day in Ohio
 
By Celeste Baumgartner
Ohio Correspondent

HAMILTON, Ohio—It’s a fun day for women to come out and sample a little bit of everything; Vice President Steve Haverkos said of the Butler County Sportsmen Club’s Ladis’  Day on the Range. Participants got to experience shooting archery, pistol, rifle, shotgun, and, new this year, tomahawk throwing.
Becky Root came because her boys are members of the Butler County Sharpshooters 4-H Club. She had previously done some shooting, she said.
Lisa Wright came with some of her co-workers from Mercy Hospital. She had never shot before.
“I am interested in shooting, and it sounds like a really fun day,” she said.
Barb Haverkos, who runs the 4-H club, helps to organize the day. This was the sixth year for the popular event. Sixty women came that first year and every year since.
“We started by allowing 60 ladies to come, and we have had just about 60 every year since then,” Haverkos said. “This year we moved from four groups to five. We added tomahawk throws because we have a new tomahawk range. 
“So the ladies come and it doesn’t cost them anything,” Haverkos explained. “We get grant money from the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources and the Butler County Sportsmen Club helps as well. Participants get a T-shirt, all of their ammo, safety glasses, and hearing protection that they can take home; they get a continental breakfast and lunch. It goes from 8:30 in the morning to about 3 in the afternoon.
The event happens once a year in the spring, and the registration fills up quickly. The instructors are all certified either through 4-H or the National Rifle Assoc. They are mostly women, but the men help out.
“We must be doing something right because everybody wants to come back,” Haverkos said. “Everybody really likes it; they have a good time. We encourage them to come and bring their friends. Some of them are shooters, and every year we have people who have never fired a gun and they come and shoot with us.”
The day is mostly geared to beginners, Haverkos said. Participants who shoot a lot help those around them who are new to the sport. They are put in groups to rotate through the disciplines. Friends are welcome to stay together in groups, whether experienced or newbies. One lady came by herself and didn’t know anyone. She was quickly adopted into a group.
“We try to make sure we have female instructors at every range so the females are teaching the females, but we have a lot of men helping out there as well,” Haverkos said. “We’ve got three to four instructors at every range.
The event has helped to grow the club’s ladies’ pistol and shotgun leagues, said Steve Haverkos. Four of the club’s officers are now women.
“Our shotgun league started from this event and the ladies’ pistol league was about dormant and this increased the participation,” he said. “Instead of their husbands coming all the time, now they could come, too. And now the ‘hawks are the newest thing. We built that range about four weeks ago. It is just one more thing that people can experience and enjoy being outside.”
The club also hosts and supplies all of the equipment for the 4-H club, which meets there regularly, and hosts weekend events for the Boy Scouts, Junior ROTC groups, Girl Scouts, and American Heritage Girls. They can camp at the facility on Friday and have two days of activities.
The Butler County Sportsmen Club started in the 1930s as a social club, according to long-time member Mike Wilson. Sometime in the early 1950s they added a rifle range and the club grew from there. They have 800 paid members plus lifetime members and members of the military. The 4-H shooting sports club has been headquartered there for 31 years, just one year after 4-H shooting sports began in Ohio.
4/23/2024