'Women in the Outdoors' event focusing on arming East Texas women

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Women in the Outdoors leaders say more and more women are getting motivated to find ways to protect and defend themselves.

This year the "Women in the Outdoors" annual event is focusing on women getting their concealed handgun license.

Patsy Dunk, gives shooting lessons at Ordinary Citizen in Lufkin and at 68-years-old she never thought this is what she'd be doing.

"30 years ago if you told me I was going to be teaching somebody how to shoot I'd  have called you crazy because I absolutely did not want to touch a firearm," said Dunk. " I just really feel very thankful that my husband insisted on me learning and now I'm able to give back to so many people and help other women be able to empower themselves.

Dunk has now been shooting for 20 years and teaching for 15 and now she's hoping to be able to give back by teaching other women how to shoot and get their concealed handgun license.

"What better way to empower someone to protect themselves and be able to perhaps save their own life than to give them this means," said Dunk. ". I mean if nothing else we talk a lot about mindset and what if's. Have you thought about when you walk across a parking lot, do you look under your vehicle before you approach it? Do you look in the back of your vehicle before you approach it? If you see someone in the parking lot that you don't like do you still walk out there or do you turn around and go back into the store and wait? We just talk a lot about that and mindset. What if I have to use deadly force…what am I willing to use deadly force over. And what are some of the things I can do to make myself less likely to be a victim."

Women in the Outdoors is an outreach program of the "National Wild Turkey Federation" just for women who are interested in learning about the outdoors and getting involved in outdoor sports that were once male dominated.

Co-chair of the Pineywoods chapter of the Women in the Outdoors, Kim Brock says, "We've seen a large increase. In fact, nationwide there are over 80,000 women involved with the Women in the Outdoors events."

Brock says they are getting lots of interest from East Texas women especially teachers and working women.

"Well the climate right now nationwide is the right to be able to defend ourselves. We have a choice of how we want to defend ourselves ad one of those choices is using a handgun," said Brock.

At 61-years-old, Lois Gunn's family insisted she get a gun. So she is taking lessons and working on getting her concealed handgun license

Gunn said, [She and her husband] "would like to travel and he's older and we would be a really good candidate if somebody wanted to rob a person out of town."

Dunk says she's seen a drastic increase in the number of women taking handgun classes. She said in the past years there might have been one or two women in the class now there are more women than men.

Dunk says she also teaches women to be cautious of their surroundings and encourages them to think of things they can do in their every day life to make themselves less likely to be a victim.

The Women in the Outdoors event is Friday, April 5 from 4 PM - 10PM and Saturday, April 6 from 8 AM to 4 PM.

To sign up you can email at: pineywoodswito@gmail.com or call: Shelby Rice: 936.465.0080 or Kim Brock: 936.676.2636

Click this link and view PineyWoods WITO at the top of the page to find the registration form and more details on the upcoming event.

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