Day 4

We woke up to a true piece of art! A winter wonderland was created while we were asleep! It was breathtaking, beautiful, and an magnificent display of the creativity of nature!

On the agenda today was rotations through NASP(Archery), Rifle, Shotgun and Reflection!

Today was a challenging day for me at the range....a day that started with uneasiness. I have to admit I was a bit nervous about the shooting rotations. I had never shot a rifle or shotgun. I have to give Dr. Ryan and Gary a huge thank-you for your patience, encouragement and guidance in helping me overcome my fears. SAFETY was ALWAYS their NUMBER 1 priority and educating us on how to properly handle the firearms. At the end of the day I finished with growth and confidence!!


  • Discussion today had a focus on how hunting is used for wildlife management. Populations are closely monitored on various species that are regularly hunted in order to determine the appropriate number of tags, method(s) of harvest, and length of the hunting season for those species. In our discussions there was an emphasis of the importance on the use of the harvest by hunters. This was important for me to hear that hunters make use of their harvest by processing the hide, meat, etc. I particularity found it awesome that many hunters will donate the meat harvested to local food banks.

From firearm mechanics, safety, shooting and cleaning firearms the day was filled with teamwork, encouragement, and growth for not only myself but for many in the group. I cannot thank the crew of leaders at AWLS for their dedication in sharing their expertise and educating us on firearms .

Free Choice Night! I am heading to the FALLS! This was one of my favorite parts of AWLS. Tonight our leader Gary walked us through some beautiful country to find an absolutely stunning waterfall! Dr. Ryan and Gary would share in their knowledge on various plants and animals that we spotted along the way!

Ecology Thought of the Day:

Life....through this hike I thought to myself how precious every component of life is! Each component has a purpose and place! In this almost fairytale like place.....the bold and bright colors emerge. The sounds from the trickle of water down the stream to the roaring rapids can be heard along the path. I think one of the most amazing gifts of the hike is what the sense of smell brought me. As I took each breath the air was crisp and fresh, with a bit of a floral fragrance as the summer flowers had just started to the bloom through the past days. Ecology can be wrapped up with a much of terminology and learned from a textbook however, I would argue that for a person to get a deeper understanding of the ecology that surrounds them they need to immerse their whole self into the excitement that nature can provoke upon ones senses!

"Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit."

-Edward Abbey