From “Little Miss Sure Shot” Annie Oakley to Wild Bill Hickok, legends of gunslingers in the West swirl around like dust clouds on unpaved streets. The region’s history is steeped in colorful tales of brave lawmen defeating devious cattle rustlers and road agents, many times thanks to their swift ability with a six-shooter. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to try your hand at this quintessentially Western skill, step right up and let Jackson Hole Shooting Experience share the thrill of channeling your inner Wyatt Earp.
On a sunny spring afternoon, Lynn and Shepard Humphries enthusiastically greet their latest group of guests, welcoming them to one of Jackson Hole’s most exhilarating adventures. As everyone slides on their top of the line hearing protection, they chat with a blend of eager anticipation and nerves; some have plenty of experience taking aim with a variety of firearms, while others have never even handled a gun.
The Humphries are more than tolerant of guests who have no experience, in fact, they relish the opportunity to share the fun and challenge of shooting safely with novices. “My favorite groups are families,” Lynn smiles broadly. “It is always amazing to see young people gain confidence and feel empowered by learning a new skill, and it’s so cool to watch parents see that transformation, too.”
Each guest takes a turn stepping up to the line alongside one of the instructors, and wrapping their hands around the handle of a gun. Whether this grip is a brand new feeling, or a well-worn habit, Lynn or Shepard pepper the shooter with fascinating facts and helpful tips for a successful shot. When they’re ready, each one takes a deep breath, and slowly squeezes the trigger. The exhilaration is instantaneous; it didn’t matter whether they hit the target or not. They can’t wait to try again. And so begins a truly thrilling afternoon.
“We love to foster a little friendly competition!” laughs Shepard. From his pocket, he pulls a specialized timer designed to stop at the sound of a gunshot. One by one, the group takes turns starting a few steps away from a rifle, hands in the air. At the tone, the spin quickly, take aim at a distant target and fire. In only moments, laughter, friendly taunts and cheers fill the air as each one tries to outshoot the last.
The excitement is palpable, and the thrilling reward of hitting a target inspires huge grins and victorious fist-pumps into the air.
The Multi Gun Pistol and Rifle Experience – the most popular and most highly-recommended of Jackson Hole Shooting Experience’s offerings – is carefully designed to begin at an easy level and help guests build form, skills and confidence as they try out larger and louder guns. This also means that guests have opportunities to try a wide variety of firearms, from single action Cowboy-style six-shooters to high caliber rifles, and everything in between.
Lynn, Shepard and their professional staff have some more rustic options on the menu as well. Perhaps letting some arrows fly Robin Hood-style or learning to hit your mark with a tomahawk or throwing knife piques your interest? Or maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to hit a bull’s eye with a blow dart? Jackson Hole Shooting Experience has your crew covered.
When your posse rides into Jackson Hole, be sure that an adventure at Jackson Hole Shooting Experience is on your itinerary. You’re guaranteed to have a fantastic time, and learn a great deal from some of Jackson’s most knowledgeable instructors. And who knows? Maybe you’ll turn out to be the West’s next legendary gunslinger.
Reserve your adventure with Jackson Hole Shooting Experience here.