Ashfield Rod and Gun Club hosting class on bow hunting


Staff Writer

Published: 08-07-2023 12:35 PM

PLAINFIELD — Attendees of a one-day class on bow hunting will learn about game laws, tree stand safety, hunting strategies, equipment, tracking and game care.

The free class will be held Sunday, Aug. 20, from 8 a.m. to noon at the Ashfield Rod and Gun Club, located at 161 North St. in Plainfield.

Ashfield Rod and Gun Club President Jack Shea described bow hunting as a more “sportsmanly” form of hunting that allows hunters to be fully immersed in the natural environment around them.

“It is a way to connect with nature more intimately,” Shea explained. “For bow hunting, you get to take on game at a closer range.”

Shea also noted that bow hunting is a way residents can participate in controlling the deer population. MassWildlife states on its website that its deer management strategy over three distinct hunting seasons (archery, shotgun and primitive firearms) seeks to keep deer numbers “below the level where major habitat impacts are observed.”

Instructors include Shea; University of Massachusetts Amherst wildlife biology and conservation professor John Organ; Ashfield Selectboard member Todd Olanyk, who is also supervisor of MassWildlife’s Central District Office and teaches a basic hunting classes for the club about three times each year; and Birchen Hen Calls owner Brandon Coates.

“We will go over practice techniques to get ready for the season,” Shea said.

The class is geared toward new bow hunters and people who are interested in getting more information about the sport. Attendees are asked to bring their own equipment if they have it, but it is not required to participate in the lesson. People are instructed not to bring broadhead arrows.

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“I think it is a great opportunity for people to learn new skills,” Shea said. There will also be time for questions and answers. He added, “It is going to be very practical.”

Advance registration is required by Aug. 18. Register by emailing Jack Shea at or by calling 413-522-6150.

Reach Bella Levavi at 413-930-4579 or