Hunting, shooting, fishing and adventure for women by women Women who shoot, hunt, fish and lead lives of adventure. Fri, 24 Mar 2017 12:04:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Hunting, shooting, fishing and adventure for women by women 32 32 Do Fish See Line? Decoding Research and Manufacturer Claims Fri, 24 Mar 2017 11:09:38 +0000 How do you determine what color fishing line to use? Do you believe the manufacturers? We may have the answer for you!

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Walking down the aisles of a tackle store, you will most likely encounter several different choices of fishing line. The line can be fluorocarbon, monofilament, or some type of braided material in multiple colors. One of the biggest questions anglers have is whether fish can see line. As a serious angler, I have used them all and have developed a good understanding of when and where to use each of them based on personal experience, manufacturer claims, and available research.

As mentioned, there are three major types of fishing line. Each has its benefits and should be included in your arsenal. When it comes to being seen underwater, here is what I have found out about each one.



Fluorocarbon line is touted by line companies as the most invisible line on the market. It is said to have the same light refraction properties as water, making it virtually invisible or as invisible as fishing line can get. Fluorocarbon line offers many advantages to anglers, with the invisibility being among the best properties of this type of line. It is well suited for all water clarities. This near-invisible quality of the line is the way to go in ultra-clear water and, theoretically, will lead to increased bites from spooky fish that are used to seeing line connected to lures.

Fishing line color, See Line

Pink Fluorocarbon

Manufacturers who make pink fluorocarbon lines claim that this tint of line is hard to detect underwater. While it may be hard to believe since they are very visible to anglers, there is some truth to their claims, especially with pink lines. Scientific studies and first hand accounts of divers underwater have shown that pink loses its color at various depths. It works to blend in with the water and becomes clear to fish. While it may seem unusual to tint a line type like fluorocarbon that is said to be virtually invisible, by all accounts, pink line loses its color and is hard for anglers and fish alike to see underwater.

Continue reading, “Do Fish See Line?” at

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The Well Armed Woman Mid-South Region to Hold its 2nd Annual Purple PowWow Thu, 23 Mar 2017 22:06:13 +0000 Louisiana & Mississippi TWAW State Leaders along with Boondocks FTA owner welcome women from 8 states for the Purple PowWow.

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Raymond, Mississippi – March 31st thru April 2nd, 2017 – The Well Armed Woman (TWAW) Mid-South Purple PowWow is a regional event, hosted by Mississippi TWAW State Leader Patty Saliba, Louisiana TWAW State Leader Adrianna Eschete, and host range owner and TWAW Chapter Leader Kim Condon. The event provides an opportunity for members of TWAW Chapters across the country to be exposed to manufacturers and industry representatives who offer demonstrations of products, services, and training.

Purple Powwow

The 2017 TWAW Mid-South Purple PowWow will be held on the weekend of March 31st through April 2nd in Raymond, Mississippi. A welcome reception will be held on Friday evening at Eagle Ridge Conference Center which will include guest speakers Carrie Lightfoot, the founder of The Well Armed Woman, and Liz Lazarus, author of Free of Malice. Saturday events will include demonstrations by Glock, Streamlight, and LWRCI as well as Lethal Force Simulation and Force On Force Shoothouse Exercises, provided by Boondocks Firearm Training Academy (FTA) with the assistance of Donna Anthony from Alaska’s Point Blank Firearm & Self Defense Training, and Emergency Response Protocol by Mark Condon, MD.


A group of husbands from TWAW Bayou Region Chapter of Houma, Louisiana will provide a Cajun dinner under the stars at Boondocks FTA on Saturday evening. Participants will enjoy music by Ralph Miller and lots of door prizes donated by our event sponsors. The weekend will conclude with a Sunday brunch at Eagle Ridge Conference Center, where a farewell address will be given by Donna Anthony and firearms will be given away to three lucky ladies. Firearms for the 2017 Purple PowWow are donated by Glock, Springfield Armory, and LWRCI. The 2017 TWAW Mid-South Purple PowWow will be proceeded by optional courses such as the Active Shooter Response Course by Donna Anthony, the NRA Range Safety Officer Certification Course by Adrianna Eschete, and the Lethal Force Simulation Course by Boondocks FTA. Participants representing 12 different chapters from 8 states paid a $100 fee for this all inclusive weekend with their TWAW sisters.

We are so excited to host this event for our fellow TWAW sisters for a second year, exposing them to great information and industry leaders.” – Adrianna Eschete, event co-host and Louisiana State Leader.

The Purple PowWow

The Well Armed Woman is a national non-profit organization, founded by Carrie Lightfoot in 2012, focusing on educating, equipping, and empowering women across the country. With over 10,000 members in 335 chapters in 49 states, TWAW is the largest and most trusted women’s resource, providing straight forward, complete information, innovative products and training geared specifically to the woman gun owner. Topics such as armed self-defense, gun ownership, gun safety, shooting skills, and exposure to different products are provided through monthly TWAW meetings, various TWAW Shooting Chapter pages on Facebook, The Women’s Gun Show podcast, and The Well Armed Woman, LLC website, To find and register for a chapter near you, visit

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Universal Huntress to Become Girls with Guns® TV Thu, 23 Mar 2017 19:45:36 +0000 Jen O'Hara and Norissa Harman changed the name of their Universal Huntress show on the Pursuit Channel.

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As they begin filming Season 5 of Universal Huntress, co-hosts Jen O’Hara and Norissa Harman have a big surprise for fans of the TV show – starting in Season 4, which premieres June 27, 2017 on Pursuit Channel, Universal Huntress will become Girls with Guns® TV. “We’re so excited to finally announce the show’s name change. It’s been in the works for awhile but we had to keep it quiet until we were able to tell all of our sponsors and the network,” said Jen.

“In business, they always tell you, ‘If it’s not broken, don’t fix it’ but sometimes you have to switch it up – keep it fresh,” said Norissa. And she should know. As the creative director for the iconic outdoor fashion line Girls with Guns® Clothing, Norissa is constantly reworking her designs to keep up with trends and the demands of their diverse fan base of outdoorswomen. “When we started GWG® 8 years ago, we wanted to make sure that we had something for every gun girl – pistol, rifle, and shotgun. We want the same thing for our show.”

Jen explains, “All of the inspiration for GWG® and now the TV show has come from our passions – hunting, shooting and personal protection. Sometimes we get so excited about one part of the industry that it tends to overshadow the others. It can be a good thing – it led to the development of our line of technical hunting gear for women – but sometimes it can make our fans and customers feel left out, like we don’t care about their passions, so we’re always keeping an eye on what’s new and trending so we can go after that market to take care of all of our customers!”.

Universal Huntress
Jen and Norissa hope that by changing the name of the show to Girls with Guns® TV, they’ll be able to show viewers what it really means to live the #GWGLife – from personal protection training with NRA® and The Well Armed Woman™ to North American hunts with the TeamGWG girls and everything in between! They’re also excited to give fans a first hand look into life at Girls with Guns® headquarters – from the design and development of new products to juggling real life at their family-owned company. Laughing, Norissa said, “I definitely think they’ll [viewers] be surprised when they see what goes on behind the scenes at GWG®! We’re normal, down-to-earth, God-fearing boss chicks on a mission to design quality outdoor apparel and love every badass minute of it!”

Even producer Emaneul Kapp agrees. “Changing the name from Universal Huntress to GWGTV will allow for diversity in the show. Women across the gun and outdoor industries will be able to relate, regardless if they are hunters or not. Being able to broaden the scope of the show with the name change will help us bring in new and exciting entertainment for our viewers.”

While the name change will take affect when Season 4 premieres on June 27, 2017 on Pursuit Channel, the girls have another surprise in store for Season 5. “As women, we want to be able to do it all, but sometimes we just can’t. There have been so many amazing opportunities that we’ve been offered but had to turn down because there are only 2 of us and only so many days in hunting season,” said Jen. “In Season 5, you’re going to see 3 new huntresses join GWGTV as guest hosts – each bringing something new and exciting to the table.” Norissa added, “They won’t just be traveling with us; they’ll be experiencing their own adventures and letting viewers into their lives, sharing what being a Girl with Guns means to them.” Season 5 guest hosts will be Kasi Geraci, a contestant on the 2015 season of Extreme Huntress, Heather Glenny, a hunting guide at Quest Haven Outfitters, and Callie Wolverton, the public relations manager at Girls with Guns® Clothing.

Be sure to catch the premiere of Girls with Guns® TV on Pursuit Channel Tuesday, June 27th at 11PM EST. You can also catch up on GWGTV on Wednesdays at 3:30PM EST and Thursdays at 4PM EST. Pursuit Channel is available from most cable and satellite providers as well as online and on Roku devices for free. If you prefer to binge watch online, CarbonTV is streaming all episodes from Seasons 1-3 and will be adding new episodes from Season 4 weekly.

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Calling All Women: Encouraging More Ladies to Try Turkey Hunting Thu, 23 Mar 2017 12:46:11 +0000 Have you every tried turkey hunting? Find out why Ashlee Lundvall encourages all ladies to head out to the turkey woods.

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My husband and I just started turkey hunting last year. We spend a lot of time pursuing large game in our home state of Wyoming, and our springs are usually filled with fly fishing, but I am always looking for new ways to enjoy the outdoors. When I found out that a girlfriend of mine who lives a few hours away had several birds on her cattle ranch, I called to see if it would be possible to learn what this turkey hunting business was all about.

Ashlee Lundvall is sponsored by Mace

We talked to a lot of turkey hunters, and spent hours reading articles online and in magazines. We borrowed some gear and purchased a decoy. Flambeau Outdoors sent me some calls (MSRP: $22.78), and we practiced around the house, to the chagrin of our young daughter. To be honest, we didn’t really know how accurate our calls sounded, as we’d only heard wild turkeys on TV and online videos. This was the least prepared I had ever felt going into a hunt. But at this point, we knew we just needed to get out there and be prepared to adapt in the field.

We headed to the ranch before the season opened to do some scouting and get the lay of the land. My friend pointed out several spots where she had seen the wild turkeys and assured us that there were gobblers on the property. We used the daylight to plan, as we would be coming in before sunrise, under cover of darkness. We decided to set up our blind near an opening in the woods where we thought the turkeys would pass on their way to the neighboring fields. It had great access for my Action Track Chair, and if we positioned the blind correctly, we would have multiple shooting lanes to be prepared for any approach.


In my Action Track Chair carrying the blind and chairs with Addison carrying the decoy.

Boy, did we learn a lot during those weekend hunts. It was fascinating how much it felt like elk hunting as we did our best to learn the language and behavior of the birds. We called in a few solo toms and saw plenty of hens, although I don’t know if it was the realism of our attempts or just curious birds trying to identify the strange noises they were hearing. We had a wonderful time as a family, and will definitely continue the adventure.

Anytime you pursue a DIY hunt in an unknown area searching for a new species, there is a huge learning curve. Throw in the intimidation of trying a tricky skill like turkey calling, and I can understand why some women are hesitant to try it—especially without an experienced turkey hunter as a companion. As I am a new turkey hunter, I reached out to someone who knows a thing or two about helping women learn more about pursuing turkeys, Brenda Valentine. Brenda is a National Spokesperson for NWTF, a member of Bass Pro Shop’s National RedHead Pro Hunting Team, and “The First Lady of Hunting.”

Meeting Brenda Valentine for the first time at the Wyoming Sportsmen’s Expo in Gillette, Wyoming.

As we discussed the best ways to encourage more women to try turkey hunting, Brenda observed, “New turkey hunters can be intimidated because you feel like you have to be an expert caller, but you can be skilled in a lot of other things and still be successful. Don’t let an inability to call like a champion keep you out of the woods. Good calling adds to the hunt, but it’s not the bottom line if you have developed other good hunting skills.” So how do we improve our success as a turkey hunter, and possibly work on our calling technique in the process?

Raising my daughter, Addison, to be a hunter.


As with most hunting adventures, being prepared goes a long way. Make sure that you’ve pattered your shotgun and that it is clean and in good working order. Know the difference in shell loads and what choke you have available for your gun.

If you want to improve your calling, you also have to practice. The first time I tried a box call, it sounded like nails scraping down a chalkboard. I thought my family was going to make me move to the basement. So, I waited until I had the house to myself and started screeching away. It didn’t take long for me to realize that changing the speed of my movement, the pressure I placed on the paddle, and the rhythm I worked it with all brought about different sounds. To my surprise, after just a few minutes of practice, I started to get the hang of it, and I sounded more like a hen.

So I took my practice to the field. A blind in the woods was definitely a different environment from my bedroom at home, but my hands quickly remembered their job and I was able to produce the same sounds fairly consistently. Once I felt comfortable with the box call, I knew it was time to move on to more complex calls.

Try For Variety

It’s easy to stick to what you know, but to improve your skills, you need to branch out. Slate or pot calls also require two hands, but they are a little bit more difficult to master. With practice you can make a variety of sounds with your slate. And depending on the material the slate and striker are made from, you can have a variety of turkey sounds for every situation.

Mouth or diaphragm calls are efficient because they can be used hands-free, but they are also more difficult to operate. For some people (like me), they are nearly impossible. I have a horrible gag reflex, so having something in my mouth and attempting to manipulate said tool turns into a game of trying not to choke to death. The more I try, the better I am able to tolerate a mouth call, but for now, they are definitely my nemesis.

And that’s OK. There is a call out there for everyone—many more than I have mentioned here. You just have to find what works best for you if you are interested in improving your turkey talk. If calling isn’t for you, there are other options for successful turkey hunting.


First turkey harvest in Indiana with Turkey Tracks.

Utilize Decoys

I’d never used a decoy until we started turkey hunting. With so many choices flooding the market, if you don’t have enough experience to have an opinion, sometimes your budget can make the decision for you. We bought an inexpensive hen decoy (MSRP: $17.38) and borrowed a few toms from a friend and started learning. We placed decoys in different positions to simulate various scenarios and tried to use similar calls with each setup. It was a lot of fun—the turkeys either interacted with or completely ignored our efforts. And that led us to the best lesson of all.

Watch and Listen

Sometimes the best way to learn about hunting is to put down the shotgun and observe what’s going on around you. There is something awe-inspiring about hearing the turkeys begin their morning chatter as the sun rises. It can be magical to watch their interaction with each other and their surroundings. It’s easy to let nerves or excitement cause you to miss the moments that can teach you to be a better hunter. Next time you’re out in the woods, whether in hunting season or out, don’t forget to pay attention and appreciate the details.

Get out and call your turkey!

At the end of the day, regardless of which call you use—or if you call at all—you have to take a chance to learn something new. If you have never tried turkey hunting and are interested, reach out to a friend or women’s program for ideas. Brenda suggests, “Recruit a mentor if possible; it makes the learning curve less steep.” Don’t let the seeming complexity of turkey calling intimidate you, and be brave enough to strike out on your own. At the very least, you’ll have a great day in the woods.

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Retro WON: Prof. Flanigan on ‘Capturing Spring’ … or ‘Wet Belly Photography 101’ Thu, 23 Mar 2017 11:32:05 +0000 Outdoor photography class is in session and our professor, photographer extraordinaire Tim Flanigan, tells you to get a wet belly in the process. And also, about RAW images, MACROS lenses and tripods.

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Cameras are time machines that stop time and capture special moments so that they can be shared with others. Sharing images is a great joy and as spring’s glory explodes, image capture opportunities abound. Some of the most compelling photo subjects are early spring wildflowers. Their appearance is proof that winter’s grip on the land has been broken.

Now that winter slumber is past, these wild beauties must get to work, producing new flowers that become seeds to foster a new generation. Pulled from the soil by the magnetism of sunlight, they delight our eyes and inspire the photographer’s zeal. Here are some tips for capturing spring wildflowers in images that display these special plants in their finest beauty.

To smell the fragrance of a wildflower, we must get down to its level. Wildflower photography demands the same. To obtain the most flattering and realistic angle of the subject, we must position the camera and lens on the same plane, or perhaps slightly below the subject. A photographer friend calls this “wet belly” photography. It is also wet knee photography, but a set of carpenter’s knee pads will protect your knees and save your blue jeans.

Pleasing wildflower images can be obtained with virtually any camera if you apply the following tips for success, but the best equipment for the task includes a Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera that will record RAW format images, a MACRO lens, and most importantly, a tripod that can be secured in position at ground level. A remote shutter release is also a plus.

Here’s Flanigan’s set-up in the field. Photo by Tim Flanigan.

Natural sunlight is the most flattering for wildflowers. Image capture should be accomplished early or late in the day when the sun is low in the sky, casting detail-illuminating side lighting across petals and leaves. Locate plants that are illuminated from the east or west side, not directly. Such light greatly enhances the flower’s finest detail by casting minute shadows of them. If the plant is shaded by a tree or another plant, simply wait a few minutes for the sun to move in the sky.

Adjust the tripod to an angle that places the camera lens at ground level so that the plant is displayed in its natural state and not distorted by an odd or especially unflattering downward angle. Note: a slight down angle can be used to reveal the interior of blossoms. Compose the flower’s image in the camera’s view finder as you wish the image to appear in print and prepare to make some important decisions about exposure setting and the desired depth of field within the final image.

Depth-of-field, DOF, refers to the depth of sharp focus in an image. For macro photography, this can be measured in inches or fractions of inches. The main consideration is how much of the flower you wish to be included in sharp focus. Attendant to that decision is how sharp do you wish to render the flower’s background. Soft-focus backgrounds flatter the main subject and sharp-focus backgrounds compete with it.

Depth-of-field is controlled by the “aperture” setting on the lens; a large lens opening, (aperture), such as F-2.8 renders very shallow focus depth while small apertures such as F-16 or F-22 extend it. Most DSLRs offer a depth-of-field preview button, commonly located at the edge of the lens mount that enables a quick and easy preview of your selected settings without taking a photo.

Wide apertures admit more light and require fast shutter speeds and vice-versa. Modern cameras will select matching settings for you, depending on the shooting mode selected. Selecting the “Aperture Priority” mode permits the photographer to select the desired lens opening size, (F-stop) while the camera selects a matching shutter speed to render a properly exposed image.

Choosing the “Shutter Priority” mode enables manual selection of the shutter speed while the camera automatically matches your selection with the appropriate lens aperture. You may with to further automate your flower photography by selecting the small “Flower” icon offered on some camera models. That setting will capture respectable wildflower images, but the shutter/aperture combinations are computed and set by the camera. It is wise to avoid the full automatic camera mode for such photos.

With shooting mode decisions made, select a focus point that is partially within the desired depth-of-field and not on a portion of the flower closest to or most distant from the camera lens. Doing so can place the entire flower fully within the sharp-focused portion of the image. This can be easily checked, prior to releasing the shutter, by pressing the depth-of-field review button.

The only thing left to do is release the camera’s shutter and record the image. At this ultra-critical moment it is vitally important that the camera remain absolutely still. In macro photography, even the slightest camera movement causes blurring of the image. Here is where the secure tripod and the remote release pay dividends in sharp images.

Physically touching the camera, lens or tripod transmits minute movement from our bodies. The camera’s delayed shutter option mode offers another effective method of firing the camera in a hands-off mode. Simply select the camera’s timed shutter release option, depress the shutter release and avoid contact with the photographic equipment while the camera captures the image, untouched by human hands.

These early-blooming, tiny and rare Snow Trilliums, Trillium nivale, of the Lily family, are true harbingers of spring that surge quickly to life as winter’s snow melts into memory. To capture their dwarf glory, the camera and lens must me placed on their very personal level. Slightly up-angle images are even more flattering. Try shooting wildflowers located on inclined terrain, from slightly below their position.


Once more, the Snow Trillium Quintet by Tim Flanigan. Ah, lovely breath of fresh spring air!

To see Tim Flanigan’s work online, visit Nature Exposure. Visit his blog here.

This Retro WON, ‘Capturing Spring’ … or ‘Wet Belly Photography 101’ first appeared March 24, 2011.

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Video: My Project Childsafe Story – Julie Golob Wed, 22 Mar 2017 21:01:59 +0000 Julie Golob shares her Project Childsafe Story in this video, sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

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Julie Golob shares the importance of firearm safey and safe storage and why it’s important to her and her family in this video. This is her Project ChildSafe story. Discover how you can make your home a safe place to store guns. To learn more about preventing unauthorized access to firearms and the National Shooting Sport Foundation’s Project Childsafe program, visit



What is my Project ChildSafe Story?

Project ChildSafe is a program of the National Shooting Sports Foundation to promote firearm safety and education. The NSSF is committed to promoting genuine firearm safety through the distribution of safety education messages and free firearm safety kits to communities across the U.S. You may access fact sheets, quizzes, checklists, videos and other safety materials at the NSSF’s website.

project childsafe story


Millions of Americans own firearms and more people are choosing to become gun owners every day. At the same time, crimes and accidents with firearms have been decreasing. Help Project ChildSafe keep this trend going.

Julie Golob

We are so fortunate to be able to include Julie Golob among the ranks of TeamWON. Julie has been pivotal in shaping the direction of this digital publication. She has been a mentor, advisor and contributor for several years to our mission.

When asked to describe herself, Julie writes,

I am many things, a multi-time world and national shooting champion, an experienced shooting instructor, woman of the outdoors, proud US Army veteran, published author, and two of my most treasured titles, wife and mom. I believe a huge part of my success comes from a desire to have balance in my life. Family is always first and my personal motto in life is work hard, share knowledge and showcase a winning spirit through a blend of kindness, ferocity and humility.


Read Julie Golob’s column, “Julie G.,” here at The WON.

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Traveling with Firearms: What You Need to Know Wed, 22 Mar 2017 13:01:13 +0000 Getting ready to travel with firearms? Read these tips and you will be better prepared.

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We welcome Lynne Green, Syren Brand manager and competitive shotgunner, to the ranks of TeamWON as a contributor. Lynne will bring us behind-the-scenes knowledge based on years of experience from her world of competition shooting and working on a mission to get marvelous shotguns into the hands of women who love shooting — either in field sports or hunting. In this debut column, she lays out what you need to know about traveling with your firearms. ~BB


Syren Savvy is sponsored by Syren

Several years ago, when I was working as an IT Contractor, I was in Hartford, Conn., on the bus to the rental cars. There were a group of guys on the bus and it was late in the evening. Normally I don’t share too much, but when they asked what was in the case, I said, “a big gun.” They looked surprised and then asked, “What do you do?“ I looked at them with a straight face and said, “Contract work.” I was tickled with the response and they didn’t ask me any more questions.

These days, when the Uber driver picks me up at my house and he loads my big silver case into the trunk and he asks what I do, I say, I’m in sales. And when he asks what I sell, I say, “Wood and metal engravings from Italy.”  I just don’t mention that they go “bang!” This is how I begin traveling with guns.

I’ve been traveling with my guns for more than 15 years now and while it isn’t difficult, it’s good to be prepared and take a healthy dose of patience with you, especially at the airport. Here are a few things that will help you get your gun safely to its destination.


You’ll need a hard case to send your gun as checked baggage.  Syren does not recommend using the hard case that comes with your gun for airline travel. If you must travel with the Syren case, be sure to secure it with an extra strap or put it in a cardboard box for transport. Syren has partnered with Americase to create a travel gun case and at $475, it is an investment – but knowing what baggage handlers do to your regular bags, it’s worth every penny to protect your gun. I would recommend not putting any gun-related stickers on the case.


Not looking like a shooter helps, too. When I was working in IT and mixing a bit of business with some Sporting Clays, I showed up for a flight in a dress, jacket and pumps, with my Coach briefcase over my shoulder.  When I opened the case, the agents said, “We made bets on what was in your case when you walked in, and it definitely wasn’t this”!

Syren pro-staffers Chelsea Davis and Kassidy Groeper recommend Pelican cases.

There are a lot of choices and some even have wheels, which I would recommend. For Chelsea, along with the 2 locks on the outside, she stores 2 additional locks inside, just in case TSA decides to cut them off (it happens). Kassidy warns they can be a bit bulky, but that’s an acceptable tradeoff for a protected gun. My personal recommendation is not to use TSA-approved locks; always provide your own.

Having a soft gun sleeve ($79) – such as the new ones from Syren – helps with transport once you get to the range. They’re slightly padded so they protect your gun from getting banged up, but also allow for you to easily store in your hard case or suitcase while traveling to your destination.  Check out the review by pro-staffer Annemarie Garrett.


Domestic Air Travel Tips

For air travel, be sure to add 15 to 30 minutes to your time to allow for dealing with your gun, 30 to 45 if it’s a busy holiday time. Each airport is a bit different and most won’t allow you to do curbside check-in with a firearm.  That usually means that you’ll need to stand in the “full-service” line and that can sometimes be quite long and very painful. Most airlines already recommend at 2-hour arrival before your flight, so add the extra time to that factor. Most agents are versed in what the process is, and lately I’ve had them compliment me on the Syren guns in the case. You can also check the TSA website, and your airline’s rules and regulations, for additional information. Be educated about what to expect.

While you’re waiting in line, it’s a good thing to unlock your case. You’ll need to open it, show the agent what’s inside, and then sign a declaration form that the airline provides, stating that the gun is unloaded. That card is then placed inside of the case. Be sure to double-check your locks when relocking your case.

If at all possible, plan to purchase your ammo at your destination, or arrange to have it shipped. Most companies will ship ammo to your event, especially if you give them enough lead time, and a lot of locations will sell ammo onsite for the larger shoots. You are only allowed 7 pounds of ammo in your checked baggage.

Expect this next step: Some airports will require you to wait for an escort, while others allow you to walk unaccompanied to carry your case to the “Oversized Baggage” area where agents will swab the case and check for explosives. You’ll need to wait while they do this just in case they have any questions. Once you’re clear, the case is in the hands of the airline.

Do these 3 things before you leave the house.

  1. Take a picture of your gun and case with your phone before you leave the house.
  2. Know your serial number, make and model of your gun.
  3. Take a picture of your serial number with your phone.

If something happens to your gun, this will help with the reporting and retrieval process.

While the check-in process is standard across the airports, the pick-up varies widely. Most of the time, your case will come out in/on the “Oversized Baggage” area with golf clubs and baby strollers.  For the smaller Americase cases, they will sometimes come out with all the other bags on the conveyer belt. Be sure to have either your ID or your baggage claim check to retrieve your case. Some airlines will pull your bags and expect you to retrieve them in the office. Watch the conveyor belt, and be prepared to work with agents in the office, too.

Of course if you travel enough, you’ll have stories – such as when my gun case came out on the regular conveyer belt with the locks cut off at Midway Airport in Chicago on a Friday night. While I was extremely irritated about the situation, I felt relieved that my gun was still inside, and just took it and left. Moral of the story? Pick your battles.


International Air Travel

All the above information will apply for international travel, but here are some extra steps to follow.

  1. For major international competitions, you’ll need a letter from the host club inviting you to the event. They usually provide this on their website.
  2. You’ll need to do extensive research on gun permits for the country or countries you’ll be visiting or even connecting through, along with the airlines you’ll be flying on. If you’re connecting through countries to get to your final destination, you may need permits for them also.
  3. Make sure your serial number is correct on all your paperwork.
  4. Visit the US State Department website and check out any travel notifications for your destination.
  5. Talk to friends or teammates that have traveled internationally in the past for guidance and direction.

Insurance and Securing Your Firearms

Whether it’s on your homeowner’s policy or through a separate policy, it’s good to have insurance on your guns. The National Skeet Shooting Association (NSSA) and the National Sporting Clays Association (NSCA) have partnered with SIAI (Sportsman’s Insurance Agency Inc.) to offer firearms insurance for guns. Check out their offerings at Pro-staffer Ashley Butcher says her policy covers both her gun and her glasses and the policy covers theft, damage as well as if the airline loses it, etc., and it’s very economical – less than $100 per year.

San Antonio is a great place to visit, but every year there are thefts that occur during major shooting events when people leave their guns in their vehicles – usually when they leave the complex and stop for dinner.  Chelsea swears by the gun storage on the grounds at the National Shooting Complex during shoots held there. Ask your clubs if they have secure storage to hold your guns overnight.

Car Travel with Guns

For a few years, I basically lived out of my truck while going to shoots. I had so much stuff that I couldn’t reasonably hide it all under something and I didn’t have a trunk. I made every effort to cover up anything that looked like it was firearm related. There are a lot of systems available to store your guns in your vehicle, both mobile and semi-permanent.

Depending on your budget, these are good things to invest in if you’re going to be traveling with your guns on a regular basis.

If you are renting a car, and have a choice between a hatchback or a trunk, go with the trunk – unless it’s an SUV with a cover over the back-storage area. Being able to place all your gear in the trunk – unseen – is primary for safety of your gun and gear. Don’t leave shoot materials, brochures, or anything showing that you’re involved in shooting in plain view .

Ashley also says to educate yourself regarding the state laws and carrying firearms – especially in the Northeast. Some states are stricter than others, so it’s always a good idea to know how to properly transport your firearm. You don’t want to run into any issues if you get pulled over.   (Also, you never want to leave an airport in an anti-gun friendly city with your gun because of a forced layover.) Kassidy adds that when driving with your firearm, having a sturdy gun case that will not collapse when luggage or shells are loaded on top of it.

Don’t be afraid of traveling with firearms.

Check out Syren’s line of firearms for women shooters– in hunting and competition. Choose your gun and then, get out there with it.

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Meet Susan Houde-Walter, CEO & Cofounder of LaserMax Wed, 22 Mar 2017 11:38:10 +0000 You have to read what Stacy Bright found out when she interviewed Susan Houde-Walter, cofounder of LaserMax.

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LaserMax’s first laser product debuted in 1989, and since then the company has grown to become a global leader in hardened and miniaturized laser systems. The intellectual property the company has developed has resulted in numerous primary patents in laser technology. I recently spoke with LaserMax CEO Susan Houde-Walter, who cofounded LaserMax in 1989 and chairs its board of directors.

Lasermax Spartan Series Adjustable Fit Light Laser

Armed and In Charge is sponsored by Lasermax.


Would you tell our readers a little bit about yourself? Such as where you grew up, your experiences/accomplishments after high school, and what your plans were for your future?

I was born in New York City and was raised in the city and surrounding ’burbs. It was expected throughout grades K–12 and college that I would become an artist. I tried to use holography as an art medium, but found that I needed to learn physics to make the holograms do what I wanted them to do. The more I learned about lasers and optical engineering, the more I liked it. I ended up dropping the art thing, and moving fully over to the technical side.

Susan Houde-Walter, LaserMax

Susan Houde-Walter

How did LaserMax get its start?

My husband and I had basement labs for years, for making holograms and doing other experiments with lasers. Laser applications were pretty new, and law enforcement had not yet adopted them. The NYPD told us that if we could make lasers as rugged as the gun, they would use them. That’s when we came up with the internal Guide Rod laser. It is indeed as rugged as the gun, and no special holsters are needed since the laser is internal. They have been popular with law enforcement, and now we make them available for a wide variety of pistols through retail.

How are the LaserMax products different from others available on the market?

LaserMax is known for innovative products. The Guide Rod lasers and new GripSense lasers are a couple of examples. Our products are also designed to reinforce safe firearms handling, as taught by the NRA, law enforcement and military firearms training. LaserMax products are also exceptionally rugged.




What are the most difficult hurdles that you’ve had to overcome?

Getting old! My eyesight is getting worse each year, and I can no longer focus on the front sights. But lasers help that a lot, so that’s less of an issue now.

Do you yourself enjoy shooting or hunting? If so, what is your favorite firearm?

Of course I enjoy shooting! I originally got into it for personal protection, but it’s also great fun. I have a collection of compact and subcompact pistols and revolvers from most of the major manufacturers. I love to shoot them all.

Who is your biggest role model, and why?

Harriet Tubman is a personal hero of mine. She led many people out of enslavement at great personal risk to herself, and she did it repeatedly. Many people don’t realize that she carried a gun for the purpose of keeping her charges in line. She lived simply, but she was clear and effective in her purpose.

Other than running a company, what do you like to do in your free time? (Is there such a thing as “free time”?) 

Outside of LaserMax, I enjoy volunteer work. I’ve been privileged to serve on science boards for the Dept. of Defense over the last 10 years. It’s a way that I can use my technical background to serve my country.

Lasermax-SHOT-award, Susan Houde-Walter, LaserMax


Are there any new or upcoming LaserMax products that you’d like to share with our readers? Or ideas in the works?

Absolutely. We are getting ready to release a line of CenterFire lasers for subcompact pistols with LaserMax GripSense technology. This is another example where safety and ergonomics determine LaserMax product design. GripSense gives instant activation as soon as you grip the gun—but there’s no need to milk the handle, the GripSense senses the presence of your hand and lights the laser automatically. That’s useful for backup guns, when you need the laser on instantaneously. It’s incredibly intuitive, and it helps the shooter with accuracy beyond other similar “instant-on” or “grip” type lasers. We’ll be releasing the GripSense CenterFires for Ruger LC9, Glock 42 and others in the coming months.

More about Susan Houde-Walter

One last thing about Susan that she didn’t mention in our interview: She holds 6 U.S. patents and has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and invited talks. What an amazing woman! It’s no wonder that LaserMax is in its 28th year of business. You can find out more about LaserMax and its products here.

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The Apparel of Female Hunters Throughout the Ages: We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby! Tue, 21 Mar 2017 11:50:04 +0000 Callie Wolverton traced the history of women's hunting appear. You'll be amazed at how far it's come.

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In honor of Women’s History Month, we are celebrating strong and historic women from all walks of life. Some of the most influential women were those who dared to break societal barriers, cross into uncharted territory, and question the longstanding gender norms. While women like Cleopatra, Annie Oakley and Susan B. Anthony are known for making a loud and obvious mark on history, far more women quietly made history by providing for their families—in a nontraditional role as hunters.

Girls with Guns Women's Hunting Gear and Apparel

GWG Life is sponsored by Girls with Guns Clothing

Female hunters throughout history wore garments that differed greatly from the technical apparel available to us in 2017. Let’s look at how women’s hunting gear has evolved:

The Apparel of the Female Hunters

( photo)

12,000 Years Ago

There is little evidence of women participating in the hunt during prehistoric times, but one very solid artifact depicting a woman-like figure has been unearthed in Grotte de la Vache, France. According to, a 12,000-year-old carved antler depicting a reindeer being hunted by 3 humans has been discovered deep in a cave.

( photo)

Jean-Pierre Duhard, an archeological gender identification expert, has reviewed the artifact and notes that one of the human forms appears to be female. While she is not hunting alone or carrying a weapon, the woman on the carving suggests that women played a more prominent role in the harvesting of animals than we originally believed. Evidence has shown that most prehistoric women wore draped furs or crudely fashioned skirts made from scraped animal hides. It would be safe to assume that the female hunters wore their daily garments to hunt in, as well as additional layers when hunting in a colder climate.

The Apparel of the Female Hunters

( photo)

200 Years Ago

By the 1800s, women’s clothing had evolved considerably from the Stone Age styles of our ancestors, but the women of both eras had one thing in common: They wore their daily fashions to hunt in, incorporating longer sleeves and additional layers for warmth, and different textiles depending on their environment (i.e. wool skirts for wetter conditions). Augusta “Gusty” Higgins, well known for her hunting skills, didn’t let heavy skirts or wide-brimmed bonnets get in the way of her harvesting large mule deer.

(A Mule Deer Retrospective photo)

100 Years Ago

Starting in the early 1900s, many female hunters decided to forgo the long skirts and daily attire in favor of pants and long-sleeved shirts. The 1920s through the 1950s was a time of incredible change in women’s fashion, allowing more women to step outside of our gender’s traditional apparel and don clothing more comfortable and better suited for outdoor activities.

The Apparel of the Female Hunters

( photo)

70 Years Ago

In the 1950s, more women were getting outdoors but they still made up a very small percentage of hunters. Women got little recognition in the big-game-hunting circles, so there was still no commercially available hunting apparel made for them. That didn’t stop women from breaking records and spending more time in the field.

(Boone and Crockett archive photo)

Pants and stylish jackets paired with long-sleeved tops and active headwear were still the norm for huntresses.

30 Years Ago

With the advent of stick-and-limb camouflage patterns like Mossy Oak and RealTree and more technical research into the needs of hunters, women finally had the opportunity to wear hunting-specific apparel. There was still no hunting gear directly marketed to women, but women were one step closer to having an equal playing field by being able to wear the same apparel as their male counterparts.

The Hunters of Today

Fast forward to 2017, and women have more options than ever when it comes to technical hunting apparel. Instead of clothing in similar camo patterns with a masculine fit, female hunters now have gear for every climate and species, all designed for a woman’s needs afield. From women-owned clothing brands like Girls with Guns to the additions of women’s lines to well-known men’s brands, huntresses can find something in nearly every camo pattern and price point.

We’ve come a long way in terms of women’s hunting apparel. Thanks to the trailblazing efforts of the huntresses of the past and the ingenuity of those in the present, women hunters will always find a way to make their mark on history.

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Twenty-Five Yards: Set Small Goals – For Shooting and Life Mon, 20 Mar 2017 13:02:43 +0000 What was Vera Koo's twenty-five yards? Find out in the second column of a 6-part series that is inspired by the writings in her memoir.

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Twenty-five yards isn’t far to travel – unless, of course, your leg is broken.

That’s the situation I found myself in during an April day in 2013 at the gun range near Columbia, Mo. I was training for the upcoming Bianchi Cup, the biggest annual event on my calendar. I spent the afternoon practicing alone on the range on a cold, damp day. I only needed to clean up, and I could return to my vehicle and head back to my hotel.

(Jack Hutcheson photo)

The Big Accident

As I stepped over a rope en route to a garbage can, part of my boot got caught, and I fell. I felt searing pain in my right leg. After inspecting of my injury, I knew I had broken my leg.

There was no one on the range to help me. The nearest road was 75 yards away. And, on that dreary day, it was unlikely there would be much traffic on that gravel road, so there was no point in yelling for help. Spending the night on the wet ground and waiting for help to arrive the next day wasn’t appealing, especially because I did not know the severity of my injury and what further damage I could cause by not getting immediate medical attention.

My last resort was my cell phone, which was locked in my SUV, twenty-five yards away.

I am a goal-oriented person. Goals keep me motivated and help my mind and my commitment to not waver from a task. I set goals regularly throughout my shooting career and for personal projects, as well.

I have found, though, that it is much easier to achieve your overall goal if you set smaller and more easily attainable goals along the way. Call them checkpoints to your final destination.

Lying on the ground, that April day almost 4 years ago, I took stock of my situation and came up with my goal: I needed to travel the 25 yards to my vehicle so I could call for help. It seemed like a daunting task, given my state, with my broken leg hanging worthlessly at my side. Any amount of movement sent a fresh wave of pain through my leg.

So, I broke the task into smaller goals. I noticed 3 rocks between where I was and my vehicle. Those would be my checkpoints.

Twenty-Five yards

(Shane Rattazzi of DZR Shoes graphic)

Downhill Skiing Goals

That trick is reminiscent of one I used 52 years ago, when I was learning to snow ski and my goal was to make it down the hill. If I looked at the entire downhill slope at once, I became paralyzed by fear, so I always focused on the 3 feet in front of my skis, where the task seemed manageable.

Lying on my left side, I dragged myself along the ground until I reached the first rock. Then I gathered my breath and proceeded to the next rock, then the next, until finally I found myself in the parking lot and pulled myself into my vehicle, where I called 911 and waited until help arrived.

That scenario with my broken leg is perhaps the most dramatic instance of how I have used small goals to reach a larger one, but it is far from the only instance. 

When I started learning how to shoot, I enrolled in a beginner’s class that included 22 shooters. My goal was to become a good shooter. But, considering I knew nothing about shooting at that time, I realized it would be a long process to attain that goal. I quickly made a smaller goal to achieve along the way. From the start, I was an accurate shooter, and I challenged myself to become the best female shooter in the class. That was a manageable goal. Of the 22 shooters in the class, only 3 were women. After 3 months, I had achieved this checkpoint.

Still, I wanted to keep improving. After taking the beginner’s course a second time, I enrolled in the intermediate course and subsequently the advanced course and challenged myself to become the best shooter in the class.

This was a bigger goal than the last, further down the path to becoming good at this sport. The class had more experienced shooters in it than the beginner’s course, and I would be putting my skills to the test against everyone in the class, not just the women.

However, I wasn’t overwhelmed by the challenge. I pushed myself to take one small step after another. I wanted to reach my goal.


Goals are like seeds that germinate in my mind and take root.


They keep me moving forward. It took a year and a half – and many, many hours of practice along the way – but I did become the best shooter in the class.

Shooting Goals

It was time for a new goal. I was 43 at the time. I vowed to see how far I could make it in the sport-shooting world before my 50th birthday. That kept me moving along the journey to where I am today.

Splitting a goal into checkpoints proved helpful while rehabbing my broken leg, too. My overall goal was to compete at the Bianchi Cup the following spring, just more than a year after my injury. It took total dedication to my rehab to make that happen.

I set a fun checkpoint to keep myself motivated. Six months after my injury, there was an NRA Women’s Leadership Forum in Asheville, N.C. Normally, I cannot attend the event, because it happens amid my shooting season. But since I was injured anyway, I thought it would be a good year to attend. And I upped the ante. I told myself that not only would I attend the event, I would do so walking under my own power and wearing high heels.

Twenty-Five yards

(Shane Rattazzi of DZR Shoes graphic)

Recovering from that injury took a lot of commitment to my physical therapy, diet and rest. But I never wavered. I had goals I wanted to achieve. Read about Vera’s return to competition here.

I wore high heels to that forum, and, in May 2014, I was back at the scene of my injury, competing at the Bianchi Cup.

Your Twenty-Five Yards Goal

All of us have goals we want to achieve in our careers or personal lives. Some of them might be well within reach, and that is good. But don’t give up on those harder-to-reach, long-term goals that might seem daunting when you consider them in their entirety. Instead, try breaking up your goal into smaller checkpoints. Those checkpoints will help keep you motivated along your journey, and, before you know it, you will have traveled all the twenty-five yards required to reach your desired destination.

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Gun Review: The Ruger LC9s Mon, 20 Mar 2017 12:54:38 +0000 She's out on the range again. Find out what Babbs thought of the Ruger LC9s and why it's a great gun for CCW for women who are having problems racking a slide on a semi-auto.

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It’s one of the most popular concealed carry guns in the women’s firearms market, the LC9. Some women, though, reported that they couldn’t manipulate the slide. Last January, at SHOT Show, I talked to Robert Kallio, an engineer at Ruger who redesigned the LC9 – and created the LC9s, with a striker-fired system. He said he and others on the team worked with women – specifically women at Ruger – during the design phase in order to make changes so that the slide would be easier to pull. Looks like they accomplished that mission, and also, I am impressed by the accuracy.

liberty safes

Sponsored by Liberty Safe

I received the new LC9s a few weeks ago. I thought it would be the ultimate test of this gun, after putting 200 rounds of ball target ammo through it, to take it to a women’s shooting event for our local The Well Armed Woman chapter. Some of those women only shoot revolvers because they cannot rack slides. Their lives were about to change, in that moment, on that range. Women who could not pull a slide, pulled one – again and again. Thank you, Bob. I think we’ve sold 4 guns so far.

I met Bob, the engineer behind this design, at SHOT Show 2017.

I supposed I could write “peace out” and be done with review right now, but I want to let you know why I’m going to purchase this test gun. It’s had about 600-to-700 rounds through it now, and its accuracy (7 yards, standard for concealed carry testing) is amazing. Ruger claims it might be the shorter, more crisp trigger pull than its predecessor had, and I will give them that point, but for me, it’s the highly visible sighting system (model 3270) – with  HIVIZ Lightwave fiber optic front and rear sights, which purportedly “gather more light for superior visibility.” You also get interchangeable light pipes so you can change out the colors.

Barb Ruger lc9s

This photo shows the size of the gun in my hands, as I kneel to shoot on the range.

I shot the gun from several positions, including weak hand and one hand. I knelt, I drew; it hit center mass (or head) every time. The only time it malfunctioned was when it didn’t like a brand of personal defense (PD) ammo. Also, I shot not only target ammo, but PD ammo through it. It worked the best for defensive shooting with 9mm PHD ammunition.


Note: It’s always a good idea to shoot a full magazine of PD ammo through the gun, and reload it with the same ammo from the same lot for carrying. Also, as I learned at Gunsite recently, you should physically inspect every cartridge that you load into your carry gun’s magazines (or cylinders, if you’re shooting a revolver) for defects.

The LC9s is slim, measuring .9 inches wide. The magazine holds 7 (single stack). The checkering is good on the grip, but some of the women prefer an even more aggressive checkering for CCW. One of the main problems with aggressive checkering is that it can tear up holsters and fabric.  I used the magazine finger grip extension floorplate, which allowed a little extra to hold.


I have no complaints regarding disassembly for cleaning. Simple and straightforward. Easy to manipulate.

Here’s my one complaint. Why only one magazine? Quite frequently, if the gun is malfunctioning, it’s probably because of the magazine. Ruger – please send at least two magazines with every gun.

The LC9s comes with a manual, safety cable lock, the previously noted fiber optic replacements, one magazine and two magazine floorplates (one flat, one finger grip extension). MSRP: $499

Find out more about the LC9s here.

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Kristy Titus Shares Fresh Insights in NRA’s “Tips & Tactics” Video Series Sponsored by Cabela’s Outdoor Fund Sun, 19 Mar 2017 16:52:05 +0000 Watch Kristy Titus on NRAWomen.TV's “Tips & Tactics” online video series.

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Bend, Oregon (March 20, 2017) – Kristy Titus, NRA Certified Instructor and Cabela’s Ambassador, is once again is working with NRAWomen.TV on their “Tips & Tactics” online video series. Titus continues offering her best tips to help women prepare for their first hunt or trip to the shooting range, or new tactics for their hundredth time out. This set of training videos focuses specifically on hunting and includes the physical & mental components of the hunt, building a shooting position, making ethical shots and the art of the follow-up shot. Watch all five videos now at NRAWomens.TV.

tips and tactics


NRAWomen.TV has been tremendously supportive in finding ways to engage new hunters and shooters, as well as ways to connect with women ready to take their skills to the next level” said Titus. “My goal, as with NRA Women, is to get more women empowered to hunt or shoot on their own, or with a group of their peers. Whatever they choose, we want them to have the best advice from experts in each field.


The Tips & Tactics videos now available include:

Tips & Tactics | Season 7 Episode 1: “Kristy Titus: The Dollar Bill Barrel Test”


Tips & Tactics | Season 7 Episode 2: “Kristy Titus: Physical & Mental Components of a Hunt”


Tips & Tactics | Season 7 Episode 3: “Kristy Titus: Building a Shooting Position on the Hunt”


Tips & Tactics | Season 7 Episode 4: “Kristy Titus: Ethical Hunting Shots”


Tips & Tactics | Season 7 Episode 5: “Kristy Titus: The Follow-Up Shot”


About Kristy Titus: With a shared passion and love of the outdoors, Titus is honored to serve as an ambassador for Cabela’s, The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, RMEF’s Team Elk television Show, Host of NRA I Am Forever, Host of Pursue the Wild digital series, Swarovski Optik, Buck Knives, Montana Silversmiths, and Wilderness Athlete. Titus was raised leading a pack string of mules into the backcountry of Oregon, experiencing the thrill of public land, do-it-yourself hunting. Titus is an NRA Basic Pistol, Refuse To Be A Victim Certified Instructor & RSO. She shares her passion for fitness, nutrition & hunting as editor for Western Hunter and Elk Hunter magazines. Learn more at, and

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The Women’s Gun Show Episode #43: Designing Women Series – Meet Emily Houston Monroe, Ruger Engineer Sun, 19 Mar 2017 15:40:18 +0000 In this show, hosts Carrie Lightfoot and Barbara Baird continue their "Designing Women" series. Barbara interviews Ruger engineer Emily Houston Monroe. Sponsored by Ruger.

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Barbara Baird and Carrie Lightfoot continue with their “Designing Women” series. Barbara talks to Emily Houston Monroe, a processing engineer with Sturm, Ruger & Co. The woman also discuss trending news—including a bit about Elvis’s revolver – cool products and must-attend events. Sponsored by Ruger.

Topic: Designing Women, Emily Houston Monroe

Emily Houston Monroe
It started as sibling rivalry and grew into a lifelong passion. Target shooting is at the core of Emily Houston Monroe’s past, present, and future. A decorated junior and collegiate rifle shooter, Emily now works as an engineer at a leading firearms manufacturer – aka Sturm, Ruger & Company – where she can bring her passion for firearms to a new level. In her blog, The “How-To” Gun Girl, at Women’s Outdoor News, she shares her experiences in various shooting sports. From targets to turkeys. From smallbore rifle up to .338 Lapua Magnum. From 10 meters to 1600 yards. Find out more about Emily in this revealing interview.




Emily Houston Monroe Ruger Precision rifle

If you’d like to read Emily’s column at The WON, check it out here.

Visit The How-To Gun Girl at her blog.


Survival Survival Story

Wyatt Earp on accuracy

Carrie finds a news report that a suspect died after exchanging gunfire on an attempted burglary in north St. Louis;

Firearms news you can use

Barb discusses the mass layoffs at Remington’s New York plant:

Remington firearms museum

Here is Outdoor Life’s editor, Andrew McKean, at the Remington Firearms Museum. (Barbara Baird photo)

Barb mentions the Remington Firearms Museum, and what a great historical site it is for those who are interested in the history of guns in this country. Located in Ilion, NY:

Elvis revolver


Carrie says Elvis Presley’s revolver reeled in $175K at auction:



Cool products

Barb has been carrying this Gun Toten Mamas orange Town Tote for 18 months and loves it:

mag charger battenfieldCarrie thinks this Mag Charger® Universal Pistol Loader would be a great addition to any range bag:

TWAW Product of the Week

 Carrie Lightfoot leather holster

TWAW Product of the Week – Build Your Own On The Waistband Leather Holster – Annie Rose with Cutouts  –

Calendar: What’s up? 


Barb points out that Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) will hold a Beyond BOW Big Game Rifle Class in Anchorage, Alaska. She urges women to check on regional BOW events:

 sheepdog phx working

Carrie loves these Sheepdog Seminars, and notes that two will be coming to the Tucson and Phoenix areas:

Download, listen and subscribe to The Women’s Gun Show on iTunes,  Stitcher and iHeart Radio.

Fan of the Month

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The Women’s Gun Show Fan of the Month: Meet Patti, Retired and Recharged Sun, 19 Mar 2017 14:35:36 +0000 Patti enjoys the outdoors and finds many of her activities to be rewarding, empowering, and relaxing. Find out just what she does.

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Every month, “The Women’s Gun Show” podcast cohosts randomly select a fan from several entries. That fan receives a box of goodies from The Well Armed Woman, an opportunity to be interviewed by host Carrie Lightfoot at the podcast and a vignette, such as this one, at The WON. Meet Patti, this month’s, “Fan of the Month.”



The WON: What’s your answer for when people say, “What do you do?”

Patti: Although my husband and I are both retired, I seem to be busier now than I was when I was working 60+ hours a week. I never stop learning and I continue to pursue and participate in numerous activities, some of which I have been doing for many years (quilting, sewing, DIY, training & showing dogs, target shooting and training) and some newer activities that I have begun more recently or will be starting next season (hunting, archery, shooting matches, reloading, training a gun dog). I enjoy the outdoors and find many of my activities to be, not only enjoyable, but also rewarding, empowering, and relaxing.


The WON: Three words that best describe your attitude toward being able to shoot safely and competently.

Patti: Safety, training, safety.


The WON: Was your first experience shooting a gun good or bad? Why so?

Patti: My first experience shooting a gun was when I was 7 or 8 years old – a truly wonderful and memorable experience. I grew up on a farm and we learned many things as small children: gun safety, hunting, fishing, raising farm animals, growing crops, canning, sewing, hand quilting, and more. I have so many fond memories from those days.

This has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. From growing up on the farm, to spending 10+ years in the military (US Navy and US Army), working careers (surgical technician, firefighter/EMT, real estate broker), and now my daily life as a retiree. Safety and Training are paramount in so many aspects of life, most certainly in being able to shoot safely and competently.



The WON:  What’s your next gun? Can be a dream gun.

Patti: So many to choose from! However, being the practical person that I tend to be, I am looking for a wonderful shotgun and hunting rifle to fit my body size. At 5’2” and a length of pull that is roughly 12.5”, finding something fits and is comfortable to use is important. I’ve been looking at the Syren models … certainly on my Dream Gun Wish List, but still researching other makes/models.


The WON: Is there training or a trip you’d like to take that revolves around shooting? What is it?

Patti: Again, so many to choose from. One I would love to attend is the NRA Women’s Wilderness Escape at the Whittington Center on Raton, New Mexico. Seven days of Shotgun, Pistol, Rifle, Long Range, 3 Gun, and Henry Rifles with a group of outstanding women … what more could a gal want!

Visit The Women’s Gun Show and choose a portal to become a Fan of the Month.

Listen while Patti chats with Carrie Lightfoot, of The Well Armed Woman, on Episode #42 of The Women’s Gun Show, sponsored by Ruger.


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Gabby Franco to Teach ‘Mental Dynamics of Target Shooting’ Sat, 18 Mar 2017 15:32:39 +0000 This spring, Gabby Franco is offering a 3-hour seminar.

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Dallas, Texas – Professional competition shooter Gabby Franco believes that to be an accurate shooter, you must master the mental dynamics of target shooting. This spring, she is offering a 3-hour seminar, “Mental Dynamics of Target Shooting,” at venues in Fort Worth, Texas, and San Diego, Calif. She also will host two of the seminars in Spanish, which is her first language – at Grand Prairie, TX, and San Diego, CA.


The truth is that 90% of shooting is mental,” said Franco, “So, you must have a clear understanding of the fundamentals to apply them correctly. You must identify the mental factors that are affecting your results and apply mental techniques that will help you become a more accurate and confident shooter.

The seminar includes the following topics:

  • How to identify anticipation and fix it
  • Visualization techniques to improve the execution of the fundamentals of shooting
  • How changing your attitude will affect your shots
  • How to get the best out of a bad day of practice
  • A structured way of training
  • Techniques that can be applied to anything in life

Seminar dates include March 25, Ft. Worth; April 1, Grand Prairie; May 6 and 7, San Diego. For more information and to register, visit “Events” at Franco’s website:

Attendees will have the opportunity to win door prizes, including a Liberty Safe handgun vault HDX-250, a firearm and a 2-hour private training session with Franco.

Learn more about Gabby Franco at


Gabby Franco


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Boat Trailer Insurance Mysteries Revealed by BoatUS Fri, 17 Mar 2017 14:14:46 +0000 When the boat trailer gets damaged, who pays?

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ALEXANDRIA, VA, March 16, 2017 – If you get in an accident while trailering your boat, do you know which insurance policy will pay for repairs to the trailer?


A tree came crashing down on this boat that was sitting on its trailer. Which insurance policy is likely to pay for repairs to the trailer?

If it’s a simple accident with damage to the trailer only, it’s likely to be the trailer insurance coverage that pays. But what happens when you back the trailer into a neighbor’s stone wall or a tree comes crashing down on your trailer in your backyard? Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) understands how the combination of homeowners, auto, boat and boat trailer insurance add up to protect trailer boaters and offers these tips:

Start with the basics. When shopping for insurance for your trailer boat, ensure to ask if the policy provides boat trailer coverage. Not all insurers provide it.

Know the trailer value. If you decide to add trailer coverage to your boat’s insurance policy, your insurer needs to know the cost of the boat and trailer separately. If you don’t separate each out, the insurer may have difficulty in fairly compensating you in the event of a claim.

How far can you trailer? Ask if there are geographic limits on where or how far you may trailer your boat.

Check your auto insurance. Ensure your tow vehicle’s insurance policy includes liability coverage for any damage to others’ property caused while trailering your boat, for example, backing into your neighbor’s stone wall. This liability coverage is not provided by your boat and trailer policy.

Check your homeowner’s insurance. Ask your homeowner’s insurance company if your trailer is covered while stored at home. And try not to park a boat trailer under a tree.

Read the fine print. If you store your boat trailer at your marina or other storage facility, read the fine print in your contract as it relates to insurance. Many include language that holds these facilities harmless. Review these clauses with your insurance company to make sure you’re not in danger of a breach of the insurance contract, which could result in no coverage.

Roadside assistance. For a nominal fee, many auto insurance policies offer roadside assistance. Boat trailers, however, aren’t likely to be included in the coverage and if there is a breakdown of the tow vehicle or the trailer, your boat could be left on the side of the road. Consider adding separate roadside assistance for your boat trailer. For BoatUS insurance policyholders, roadside assistance for both the tow vehicle and trailer (while towing) is included with the insured trailer. Or it may be added for $14 to any BoatUS membership. In either scenario, BoatUS Unlimited Trailer Assist will tow both a boat trailer and its disabled towing vehicle up to 100 miles.


For more information, go to or call 1-800-283-2883.

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Aguila Ammunition Kicks Off Sweepstakes Valued at $2,000 Fri, 17 Mar 2017 11:00:40 +0000 Want a chance to win over $2000 in gun, ammo and gear goodies?!

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CONROE, TEXAS- March 14th, 2017 – Texas Armament & Technology (TxAT) and Aguila Ammunition are pleased to announce the Lucky Shooter Sweepstakes. They have teamed up with FN Firearms, Aimpoint® Inc., SureFire, SOG Knives, Otis Technology, Alien Gear Holsters, and Bigfoot Gun Belts to give one lucky shooter a free gun, a case of ammo and loads of gear from some of the best companies in the industry.

The Lucky Shooter Sweepstakes package includes a FN’s FNS™-40 striker-fired pistol, an Aimpoint® Patrol Rifle Optic (PRO), a case of Aguila Ammunition S&W 40 cal., a SureFire E2D LED Defender® Ultra Dual Output flashlight, the new SOG SYNC II multi-tool, the Otis Technology .40 cal DEFENDER cleaning system, Alien Gear Holster’s Cloak Tuck 3.0, and a Bigfoot Gun Belts Steel Reinforced Leather Gun Belt. It’s Christmas in March for one lucky winner.

Customers can enter the Lucky Shooter Sweepstakes by visiting the contest website at A valid email address is required for entry and contestants can earn additional giveaway entries by sharing the promotion via social media. Additional contest rules apply.


The contest runs from March 17th – April 2nd.  The winner will be announced via social media on April 3rd.  Don’t forget to enter and tell your friends too!

About Aguila Ammunition

Aguila Ammunition, founded in 1961, is manufactured in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico by Industrias Tecnos, S.A. de C.V. As one of the largest rimfire manufacturers in the world, Aguila utilizes cutting-edge technology to manufacture quality rimfire, centerfire and shotshell ammunition. They offer a complete range of products for the self-defense, sport shooting, hunting, law enforcement and military markets. Texas Armament & Technology is the exclusive North American distributor for Aguila Ammunition.

About Texas Armament & Technology 

Texas Armament & Technology (TxAT) is the exclusive distributor of Aguila Ammunition in the U.S. and Canadian markets. TxAT specializes in distributing high-quality brands around the globe including

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Olympic Medalists Rhode, Cogdell-Unrein Lead 11-U.S. Person Team to World Cup in Mexico Fri, 17 Mar 2017 00:47:48 +0000 Find out who's competing at the second International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup of the season.

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (March 16, 2017) – Eleven USA Shooting athletes will compete at the second International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup of the season starting Sunday through March 27 in Acapulco, Mexico.

This shotgun-only World Cup will welcome 206 athletes from 33 countries to the Club de Caza, Tiro y Pesca de Acapulco. Leading the way for the U.S. delegation will be Olympic medalists Kim Rhode (El Monte, California) and Corey Cogdell-Unrein (Eagle River, Alaska).


Six-time Olympic medalist Rhode continued her winning ways following the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio with a gold-medal win at the World Cup Final in October, and most recently she picked up her ninth World Cup gold medal at the season opener in New Delhi, India.

World Cup

Joining Rhode in Women’s Skeet will be World Championship silver medalist Caitlin Connor (Winnfield, Louisiana) and 17-year-old Katie Jacob (Rochester, Michigan). Connor nearly joined Rhode on the podium at the World Cup in India, missing out on a potential bronze medal by the slimmest of margins. Connor was one target away from earning at least a bronze medal, but a dropped target on her 40th shot to put her in a tie with eventual silver medalist Sutiya Jiewchalommit of Thailand. Under the new Finals rules, Jiewchalommit’s higher Qualification score (73 to Connor’s 72) decided the tiebreaker, thus eliminating Connor from the competition.

Jacob finished in third place overall in the USA Shooting World Cup selection process to earn her World Cup berth. Jacob won her first World Cup medal last year when she finished with a bronze in Cyprus, and eventually finished in 11th place at the World Cup Final in October.

World Cup
In Women’s Trap, Cogdell-Unrein makes her return to competition at this World Cup since winning a pair of bronze medals at the 2016 Olympic Games and World Cup Final in October. Cogdell-Unrein has regularly found success at the Acapulco World Cups, winning silver there in 2010, as well as gold and an Olympic quota there in 2015.

Also, competing in Women’s Trap will be National Champion and USA Shooting World Cup selection winner Ashley Carroll (Solvang, California) and Kayle Browning-Thomas(Wooster, Arkansas). Browning most recently finished in 15th place at the World Cup in New Delhi.

Jake Wallace (Castaic, California) will look to build on his 12th-place finish from the World Cup in New Delhi in Men’s Trap. He’ll be joined in Trap by Dale Royer (Jackson, Montana) and Roe Reynolds (Quitman, Arkansas). Reynolds claimed the bronze medal at the Fall Selection Match in September in his first Open Division Final. Double Trap specialist Royer will make his international Trap debut in ISSF competition at this World Cup.

Men’s Skeet will be represented by two-time Olympian Frank Thompson (Alliance, Nebraska) and Will Thomas (West Des Moines, Iowa).

World Cup

Competition kicks off Sunday with Women’s Trap and concludes on March 26 with Men’s Skeet. The complete event schedule for the ISSF World Cup in Acapulco can be found at

Live results for this event can found at

*Photos courtesy of ISSF

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Stacy Bright Found Out What Women Really Want Thu, 16 Mar 2017 23:12:00 +0000 What do you think women want? Stacy Bright found the answers.

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What do women want? That sounds like a pretty loaded question, one you’d probably see on the front page of a tabloid magazine. The question I’m posing, however, doesn’t refer to what a woman wants in a relationship or what she wants in life. It’s more specific: What shooting-related products do women want? I polled women on Facebook and Instagram, asking, “If you could ask for anything, what shooting products would you most like to see made for women?”

Crossbreed Holsters

She Shoots 2 is sponsored by Crossbreed Holsters

Here are their top 5 answers:

1 Holsters

Women’s opinions are about as varied as their body shapes. And that’s the main concern when it comes to holsters—fitting their unique shape or size. Many of the women who replied expressed frustration with trying to find a holster that works for them since they’re curvy, plus-size, short, or petite. Off-body carry, such as in a purse, is an option, of course, but these ladies are looking for a way to safely and comfortably carry on their person.



The second-most popular response was for an inside-the-waistband holster for larger handguns, such as the SIG P320, Glock 17/19 and M&P Shield. It’s much easier to conceal a small firearm, but options are limited when it comes to full-size guns. Men have an easier time concealing larger firearms, especially since it’s easier for them to carry an outside-the-waistband (OWB) holster and throw a shirt on over it. Without hips and curves, the gun practically disappears. Women struggle with this issue.

Other specific requests were for belly bands that are breathable and not too hot during the summer, neoprene back-brace-style holsters that would be multi-functional in the workplace, good-fitting thigh holsters that don’t require a garter and allow movement and activity, and adding bling, such as Swarovski crystals, to OWB holsters.

The Well Armed Woman offers quite a few holster options here.

2. Concealed Carry Purses

Combine a woman’s love of handbags with her love of guns, and you have the concealed-carry purse. Unfortunately, it seems that too many of these purses are “blinged-out” and not neutral enough for the women who responded to our poll. These women suggested stylish purses without rhinestones, crosses or camo patterns, and asked for colors and patterns that would work with multiple outfits.

Gun Tote’n Mamas make concealed carry purses in many styles/colors

The price of concealed-carry purses was also a concern for some. The women looking for a concealed-carry purse wanted one that was affordable, yet functional. (Although one woman asked for a Coach concealed-carry bag, which would probably be the opposite of affordable. I wonder if Coach is pro-gun?)

Two other suggestions were: an insert that attaches to the inside of a regular purse, providing a place to carry a firearm, and bigger concealed-carry handbags to better fit full-size guns.

3. Clothing for Concealed Carry

Once you’ve decided to buy a gun and selected a holster, then comes the task of concealing the firearm. As I mentioned above, women are curvy. Therefore, the biggest complaint listed in the poll was that concealed-carry clothing manufacturers weren’t making enough options that fit women’s curves. These women are looking for flattering shirts, jackets and outerwear tailored to women’s bodies, rather than being straight and hanging like tents. Shirts and jackets must also be longer to cover the waistline and conceal any bulge from a firearm.


Holsters come in various forms, including these Compression Undershorts (The Well Armed Woman)

As with holsters, another concern is that there aren’t enough options to fit full-size women. Tactical pants, concealed-carry leggings, and other, similar, products generally are available up to size 20 or XL, but beyond that, full-figured gals are out of luck.

The last few ideas were for clothing options like those from 5.11, but less expensive, as well as dress pants suitable for the workplace that have a stretchy waistband, similar to that of leggings.

4. Women’s Belts

Although this was a popular request, those who responded were not as specific about what they were looking for compared to other products. Most women asked for more choices and styles, rather than just an ordinary man’s belt, and at affordable prices. They would like a belt that is comfortable yet sturdy, and can also be worn in an office setting, not just “tactical” for the range. One last suggestion was for a holster belt that could be worn when jogging.

CrossBreed Holsters just released a new Women’s Belt

CrossBreed Holsters has a new Reversible Women’s Belt here.

5. Range Gear and Bags

Numerous products fall under this category, yet the most popular request was for range bags that weren’t “tactical” looking. Many women asked for subtle colors, but not camo or olive drab. They suggested something stylish that doesn’t scream “range bag.” One lady said that she likes the look and idea of the NORB (No Ordinary Range Bag), but would like to see more options.

The NORB (No Ordinary Range Bag) is a Messenger style range bag (The Well Armed Woman)

The other requests were for eye protection made to fit petite faces, shooting glasses that fit over prescription frames, pretty and/or colorful ammo cans, and fingerless shooting gloves that are flexible and padded, especially for small hands.

What Women Want Conclusion

As you can see, there’s still room for improvement when it comes to women’s shooting products. We all face unique challenges when we’re searching for just the right piece of equipment or clothing. Thankfully more companies are hearing us, and striving to meet our needs.

Please feel free to share this article on social media and let your voice be heard!

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Retro WON: Spring Training II — Getting Into Shooting Shape Thu, 16 Mar 2017 12:39:18 +0000 Have you let your workout routine get lax? Annette Doerr helps you target those areas that will help you get into better “shooting shape” in her column sponsored by LaserMax.

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Spring! That beautiful time of the year when the days get longer, the weather gets warmer and we start spending more time outdoors after being stuck inside all through the dreary, cold winter. It’s always in early spring that I regret letting my workout routine get lax. It’s easy to slack off when you’re covered from head to toe in bulky, warm clothing, but come spring, the layers start coming off and the realization sets in that maybe you need to get into better shape. While you’re at it, why not target those areas that will also help you get into better “shooting shape” with spring training!

lasermax armed and in charge

“Armed and In Charge” is sponsored by Lasermax.

Just over two years ago, fellow TeamWON member Julie Golub introduced the hashtag #shootfit while tweeting her daily walking mileage count at SHOT Show. This really struck a chord for me and made me realize our physical well-being and strength also plays a huge role in our shooting. Last month I covered some tips and drills to get your shooting in shape; this month, let’s talk about us!

Besides the obvious health benefits of being in better physical shape, being in better “shooting shape” can help get your shots on target. Have you ever thought about the muscles that you use when you shoot? There are actually a lot of them. The obvious muscles involved when you shoot are the ones that provide arm strength. However, hand strength, a strong core and even leg strength all come into play as well. And it’s important to maintain them all: If you’re spending the day at the range and get fatigued, you can take a break, but if you’re in a defensive situation, a rest break may not be in your best interest!

It’s time for spring training!

Looking for ideas on how to get into better shooting shape, I reached out to my fellow New York State Rifle Pistol Association member, Nicole Katz. Nicole is not only a fitness professional, but she’s also a huge advocate for the Second Amendment and enjoys shooting, too! I asked Nicole which exercises she recommends to assist in getting my shooting muscles back in shape after the winter.


New York State Rifle Pistol Association member, Nicole Katz (Stephen Katz photo)

Here’s what Nicole had to say:

Spring is finally here and like me, I’m sure you are so ready to get some serious range therapy! But first, if you want to improve your performance on the range, be it with a shotgun or pistol, there are a few key exercises every woman should do to help boost their skills. I picked the 3 best moves that any woman can learn regardless of experience. Balance, core strength, stamina, a strong back, solid foundation and, of course, grip strength are necessary when handling a firearm and are the focus of the following exercises.

Pushup-Annette-Doerr-Spring Training


One of the oldest and simplest exercises, the push-up recruits all the muscles in the upper body while working the core simultaneously. Push-ups build functional strength in the forearms, shoulders and chest. Performing push-ups regularly will help get rid of those dreaded jiggly “chicken wings” because the pushup works the triceps, or the back portion of the upper arm as well.

Start with at least 5 sets of 15 repetitions at least three times a week, working your way up to 10 sets of 20 repetitions. Don’t worry if you are unable to perform a single push-up. There are a few tricks to help you build up to a perfect push-up. If you have very limited upper-body strength, start with modified push-ups on a wall with your body at a diagonal. Advance to performing them on the floor on your knees for a few weeks. Pretty soon you will be able to do a perfect push-up! The key is consistency; attack them every day if you can.

Lunge-Annette-Doerr-Spring Training

The Lunge

So many benefits in just one move! Performing lunges with or without dumbbells will increase your balance and stability, functional strength and core strength, give you a strong foundation, and shape your quads (thighs), glutes (butt), hamstrings and calves. Keep your upper body straight, with your shoulders back and relaxed. Look straight ahead while executing the movement, and keep your core engaged. Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Make sure your front knee is directly above your ankle, not pushed out too far, and make sure your other knee doesn’t touch the floor. Keep the weight over your heels as you push back up to the starting position.


Yes, women can do pull-ups. Just 2 years ago I wasn’t able to do a single pull-up. But now on back days, I do a few hundred. The benefits—aside from turning heads and dropping jaws while wearing an open-back dress this summer—are huge. Few moves will strengthen your entire back like the pull-up. Even just hanging from the bar has powerful benefits for your posture. Pull-up training develops your lats, upper back, shoulders and arms, and even hits your abs to a surprising degree. Having a strong upper back is especially important for women to help support the weight of our breasts. Performing pull-ups regularly will help give you the coveted “hourglass” physique, because the bigger your lats (back muscles) are, the smaller your waist appears. And again, like the push-up and the lunge, the pull-up develops your real functional strength, so everything you do will become easier.

There are a few different modified variations of a pull-up for beginners. Practice and work your way up to performing a full unassisted pull-up in no time. Use a box or bench to stand with your chin either at or above the pull-up bar. Grip the bar underhand (palms facing you) with arms bent. Step off the box if your chin is already above the bar (or jump up so your chin is above the bar) and lower your body by extending your arms as slowly as possible. (If you’re lucky enough to have a workout partner, he or she can spot you by kneeling down and supporting one or both of your feet as you raise and lower your body to the bar.) Another trick is to focus on just the negative portion (lowering your body down from the bar) of the pull-up.

All 3 of these exercises require minimal (if any) equipment, and you don’t need a gym membership to do them!

There’s so much you can accomplish with just your body weight and your determination. Be consistent and you will be amazed with the results you get on the range. And by the way, if you stick to this program, in just a few weeks you will be pleasantly surprised with how good you look! Just in time for summer.

Nicole offers excellent advice, which now has me motivated to get started with these three exercises. It’s also important to remember that exercise comes in many forms. Don’t discount different types, such as yoga or Pilates. Both are effective for building core strength, and yoga is excellent at helping you control your breathing, which is a very important (and often overlooked) part of shooting.

We’re all pressed for time, but keeping our bodies in “shooting shape” will help us not only greatly improve our overall physical well-being, but it will also help put our shots on target! If you’re like me and need some extra motivation to get up and get working out, I find it helps to remember that working on these targeted exercises will improve my shooting, and that is something that truly does motivate me. Getting into better shooting shape is something we should all aim for!

If you missed Spring Training Tip part 1, follow this link.

This Retro WON, “Spring Training II — Getting Into Shooting Shape” first appeared April 26, 2016.

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Why Rimfire Challenge is the Perfect Family Shooting Sport Wed, 15 Mar 2017 12:48:05 +0000 If you're looking for a great way to get your entire family involved in the shooting sports consider Rimfire Challenge.

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Every year about this time I begin to get emails and private messages from parents.  Their question is often the same: what is the best avenue for getting their children involved in competitive shooting.  My answer is always the same, “Rimfire Challenge.”

Katie Pavlich Volquartsen

Cheyenne Dalton is sponsored by Volquartsen Firearms

What is Rimfire Challenge?

If outdoor family activities that include shooting is something your family enjoys,  I urge  you to take a look at this sport. My family got involved in Rimfire Challenge several years ago and the places we have traveled, the people we’ve met, and the memories we have made are enough to fill a book. Out of all the shooting sports, I believe that Rimfire Challenge offers the most opportunity to a family of all ages for the least amount of initial investment.

(Terry Dalton photo)

As I mentioned in my first column, “How and Why I Learned to Shoot,” the first match I ever shot was with a gun my dad purchased at our local Walmart. I managed to win 2 Limited Lady World Championships with that gun. While it’s an honor to shoot the Volquartsen guns that I use today, it’s not necessary to have fancy, incredibly fine-tuned and expensive guns to get started having fun with shooting activities.  In fact, a trip to your favorite sporting goods store can buy you everything you need to get started.

Here’s what you need to get started with Rimfire Challenge equipment:

  • .22 rifle and .22 pistol
  • Eye protection
  • Ear protection
  • Ammunition
  • 5 magazines for each gun

As with any sport, the amount of money you spend could be endless, but the point is that you can have just as much fun with bare bones, minimum-cost items.

Most Rimfire Challenge matches are made up of 5-to7 stages for each gun and each stage has 5-to-7 targets arranged in a different order on every stage. The objective of the Rimfire Challenge is speed.  You shoot each stage 5 times in a row and they delete your worst time. At the end of the match, whoever has the lowest time is the winner. Rimfire Challenge was actually put together as a fun way to teach new shooters about gun safety. There are 3 divisions in Rimfire Challenge. Open, Limited, and Cowboy/Mechanical. In each division there are different categories: Ladies, Junior, Youth, Senior, and at some matches, Super Senior! That means, granny and grandpa can participate, too.


(Terry Dalton photo)

On most any weekend throughout spring, summer and fall, National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) Rimfire Challenge matches can be found in many parts of the country.  If you’re looking for an event to attend go online to NSSF/Rimfire Challenge.  From there you can select “find a match.” I recommend that before anything is purchased, you attend at least a couple of matches. You will be required to wear eye and ear protection at all matches, so be sure to go prepared.

At a match you will see the shooters, the guests and 2 important people: the R.O. (Range Officer) and the timekeeper. The Range officer has absolute control of the activities at each stage. It is his or her job to make sure that everyone follows the rules and shoots safely. The second person is the timekeeper. Since this is a sport that’s all about time, that’s an important job.

Bring some snacks, chairs and sunscreen and prepare to make some new friends. Each match is a bit different – at some events there are more kids than others, but if you attend a few different matches in your area, you will no doubt begin to see some familiar faces. If you have any questions about what’s going on, guns used or anything else, just ask someone. My experience has been that most people are excited and happy to fill you in with any information you need.


Meet a family that shoots together, the Chamberlains. (Oleg Volk photo)

There are so many skills that kids can learn through the Rimfire Challenge that have to do with  much more than just shooting. Responsibility, how to take directions well, maintaining composure are just a few of these. Before I started shooting Rimfire Challenge, I was quite shy. I would go to great lengths to not have to talk to someone, and particularly not start up a conversation with a person I didn’t know. Since my beginning Rimfire Challenge days, I have made so many friends, had so many great experiences, that I know I am overall a more confident, self-reliant person.


Even with a ziptie holding on the back sight Cheyenne still won the ladies limited world title. You don’t always need the best equipment to win!

If you have been thinking about heading out to the local shooting range, I hope you will give Rimfire Challenge a try and that you’ll love it as much as my family does.  See you on the range!

Not sure what it’s all about? Check out this video by the NSSF


NSSF Rimfire Challenge

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Get Outdoors with MDC Discover Nature Women’s Spring Workshop Wed, 15 Mar 2017 11:37:15 +0000 Think spring, think outdoors, think new skills. Find out what you can learn when you attend the MDC's Discover Nature Women’s Spring Workshop.

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Kansas City, Mo. — How about a warm thought as winter lingers, such as a fling outdoors in late April when turkeys gobble, woodland wildflowers bloom and fish are biting? The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is offering a chance for women to enjoy a spring weekend afield and learn year-round outdoor skills. A Discover Nature Women’s Spring Workshop will be offered Friday through Sunday, April 25 to 27, at the Lake Doniphan Conference and Retreat Center at Excelsior Springs, Mo.


Discover the ancient art of archery. Develop techniques that will assure a bulls-eye every time. You will have ample time to hone your news skills.

Women from the MDC staff and expert volunteers will teach outdoor skills such as archery, canoeing, outdoor cooking, using GPS gear, map and compass reading and other activities. MDC will provide gear and hands-on training for beginners, those who wish to sharpen existing skills or those who just want to enjoy an outdoor retreat. The workshop will offer a safe and friendly environment for women to learn and have fun with outdoor skills, Lisa LaCombe, workshop organizer and manager at MDC’s Burr Oak Woods Nature Center in Blue Springs.

Participants can tailor activities to their interests and skills levels. For example, basic target archery shooting with bow and arrows will be taught. But also instructors will teach how to choose the proper gear that fits the archer, practice tips and how to get started in the sport of bow hunting.

In the canoeing segment, participants will be taught various paddle strokes, safety, water rescue and how to plan a canoe trip on a river.

We’ll enable them to get down any river in Missouri,” LaCombe said.

Campfire cooking will be taught, such as fixing food in a Dutch oven or in aluminum foil placed on hot coals.

But we’ll also teach them about wild edibles,” she said, “and we’ll have edible wild plants there for them to identify and sample.

Basic fishing skills will be taught from catching fish to how to prepare them for the table. For those who are interested in backpacking, a session will include a short overnight hike and campout.

Workshop instruction is free. However, Lake Doniphan does charge for lodging arrangements and meals. Lodging fees will cover all meal costs during the workshop. Lake Doniphan offers campsites, cabins and motel-style rooms.

MDC Women’s Spring Workshop

To register or for more information about the Women’s Spring Workshop activities or lodging, contact Lisa LaCombe at 816-228-3766, or send an e-mail to sends e-mail).

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The Women’s Gun Show Episode #41: Those Gun Logos Tue, 14 Mar 2017 18:05:43 +0000 Ever wondered about the meaning behind some famous gun logos? Carrie Lightfoot and Barbara Baird report back on what they found. Carrie interviews Patti, the Fan of the Month, about why she carries a gun. Sponsored by Ruger.

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In this week’s show, Carrie Lightfoot and Barbara Baird talk about some famous gun logos and the reasons behind their designs. Carrie chats with the “Fan of the Month,” Patti, from Texas and the women also talk about trending news (women’s buying power and a time traveler in Boston), cool products and shooting events. Sponsored by Ruger.

LINKS: Those Gun Logos

Sturm Ruger gun logosRuger: Did you know that Alexander Sturm died at age 20? Barb mentions the earrings and necklace for logo wear. Check them out here.
BerettaStackedBlackBeretta: The will to get things done.
Smith & Wesson logoSmith & Wesson: From plain to flourished.
gunsite raven gun logoGunsite: We love the raven icon and can you believe that Carrie has not watched “The Vikings” yet?
Browning BuckmarkBrowning: Oh yeah, the buck mark rules the logo world! Have you seen a tattoo with this famous icon, and has it been pointed in the correct direction?

Survival Story

Carrie searches for interesting survival stories weekly. In this week, she describes the actions of a homeowner who had to pull her gun and use it:

Firearms news you can use

WomenGraph purchase power of womenCarrie found an infographic about the purchasing power of women and notes that women don’t think the market understands them or listens to them – in most areas:

Baltimore gunBarb wonders why police in Baltimore felt compelled in the first place to post this gun – the result of an arrest – on social media, leading comments about the felon and whether he was a time traveler. The gun? Looks like a Derringer with duck tape:

Cool products

drymate blaze orange pistol padFrom the same company that brings you kitty litter box liners, here’s a gun cleaning pad that purports to be #1 in the nation:
From $7 to $15

gun holster protectorCarrie found a product that works with IWB holsters to protect muffin tops and other areas in the abs:


TWAW Product of the Week

Walker low profile-purple earmuffsCarrie stresses the importance of a pair of good low-profile ear muffs. Walker’s Pro Low Profile Passive Ear Muffs:

Calendar: What’s up?

Outdoor Women of SD logoBarb is all about the Outdoor Women of South Dakota Handgun/Rifle Shooting event coming up this month:

steve fisher

Steve Fisher, aka Yeti

Carrie recommends training by Steve Fisher, aka Yeti:

TWAW march giveaway

Download, listen and subscribe to The Women’s Gun Show on iTunes,  Stitcher and iHeart Radio.

Fan of the Month

Carrie interviews Patti about guns and her newfound lifestyle.

Patti Fan of the Month

Meet Patti, from Texas, who is recharged and retired and an avid shooter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out our new social media platforms at Facebook and Pinterest.

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Shoot, Laugh, Celebrate and Support Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation Tue, 14 Mar 2017 15:05:33 +0000 If you're looking for something fun to do this April consider the Sportsmen's Alliance Foundation's 11th Annual Central Ohio Charity Shoot.

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Join the Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation for a day of shooting and celebration at the 11th Annual Central Ohio Charity Shoot on Saturday, April 29 at Cardinal Shooting Center in Marengo, Ohio.


Simply bring your gun and we will supply the comradery, enthusiasm and fun! Celebrate our outdoor heritage with likeminded folks who enjoy hunting, fishing, trapping and the shooting sports, all while supporting the Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation, an organization that exists solely to protect those rights.

All shooters will be provided:

  • 100 clay targets
  • Shotgun shells (12 or 20 gauge)
  • Ear and eye protection
  • Sportsmen’s Alliance Membership
  • A fabulous lunch
  • A chance to win great outdoor gear


Click here to register or call us at 614-888-4868. If you cannot attend, but would like to make a donation or seek other ways to support our mission, please contact us.

About the Sportsmen’s Alliance:

The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research.  Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: OnlineFacebookTwitter and Instagram

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NCAA Rifle Championships: Mountaineers Scale NCAA Rifle Peak Yet Again Tue, 14 Mar 2017 14:30:58 +0000 Check out what happened at the 2017 NCAA Rifle Championships this past weekend.

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The 2017 NCAA Rifle Championships took place during the weekend and it turned into a West Virginia University celebration for the fifth consecutive year.

On the campus of The Ohio State University where their latest title run began back in 2013, the Mountaineer rifle team claimed the title in commanding fashion, shooting a championship-record 4723 aggregate score. Owning a two-shot advantage after Day 1 thanks to a winning 2336 Smallbore (.22 caliber) rifle score shot Friday, WVU secured its nation-best 19th National Championship with a season-high 2387 air rifle score Saturday.

WVU earned the championship with team victories in both disciplines and then bolstered their trophy haul by earning the top-two places on the podium for each individual event as well.  It marked the second straight season and third time in four years that the Mountaineers have swept the team discipline titles.


Texas Christian University (TCU) finished second overall with a 4706 score. The Horned Frogs also placed second in air rifle (2372). No. 3 Murray State finished third overall with a 4692 total.

This was an amazing showing,” Mountaineer coach Jon Hammond said in a WVU press release Saturday night. “We were prepared for an incredibly tight championship. This was an incredible performance by this team in this environment. It is crazy to shoot a season-high air rifle at an NCAA Championship. This is a great result overall.

USA Shooting National Junior Team member and WVU freshman Morgan Phillips (Salibury, Maryland) was the standout performer of the weekend, earning the NCAA smallbore title Friday over 2016 Olympic gold medalist Ginny Thrasher (Springfield, Virginia) and then coming back to finish second in Air Rifle.  Another WVU freshman, Milica Babic of Serbia, claimed victory in Air Rifle.  For her efforts, Phillips earned the NCAA Championships’ Top Performer Award.

Morgan shot a personal best both days, and that’s unbelievable at an event like this,” Hammond said. “She’s so calm, but also mentally tough. She did a great job.

Phillips highlighted a strong performance overall by USA Shooting Team members.  National Junior Team member and TCU sophomore Rachel Garner (Celina, Texas) finished third in Air Rifle and fourth in Smallbore. Five of the eight Air Rifle finalists are USA Shooting Team members while six of the eight Smallbore Finalists are official team members.  Phillips, Thrasher and Garner were the only three athletes to earn a spot in both event Finals.

The field of women’s rifle competitors showcased their strength once again.  The top-11 finishers in Air Rifle were women as Murray State’s Ivan Roe (Manhattan, Montana) was the top male competitor. The top-five results in Smallbore Rifle were also put down by women.  Kentucky’s Billy Azzinaro (East Brunswick, New Jersey) was the top male finisher in sixth.

National Team member and WVU junior Rachel Gratz (Sigel, Illinois) made headlines before the NCAA Rifle Championships even began Thursday night as she was awarded the Elite 90 Award for NCAA Division I Rifle.

The Elite 90, an award founded by the NCAA, recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. The Elite 90 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA’s championships.

At an award ceremony Saturday, 2017 National Rifle Association (NRA) All-American Team honors were handed out to 36 different athletes from 12 different schools, including 17 current USA Shooting Team members.  Six of those 17 earned First-Team honors in both disciplines including Garner, Gratz, Roe and Thrasher along with TCU junior Mindy Miles (Weatherford, Texas) and Alaska Fairbanks junior Sagen Maddalena (Groveland, California).  Olympian and North Carolina State senior Lucas Kozeniesky (Fairfax, Virginia) earned First Team honors in Air Rifle and Second Team recognition in Smallbore.

To qualify as a NRA All-American, shooters must have smallbore averages of 589.73 to 582.57 for first-team recognition and 579.82 to 579 for honorable mention.  In air rifle, a shooter had to average from 596.58 to 592.62 to be considered for a first-team honor.  2017 NRA All-Americans 

The Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association (CRCA) also handed out awards for Coach of the Year, Freshman of the Year, Rifle Athlete of the Year, their own All-Americans and Scholastic All-Americans.  Coach of the Year was 1979 Air Rifle World Champion and TCU head coach Karen Monez. Babic earned Freshman of the Year honors while Thrasher was named Athlete of the Year.  CRCA Awards

NCCA Results:





Special thanks to West Virginia University and Murray State University for their editorial assistance with this article.

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Bow Tuning 101: You Have Your Bow, Now What? Tue, 14 Mar 2017 12:49:48 +0000 You bought your bow, now what? Emily Monroe shows you how to tune it in her column, "The 'How-To' Gun Girl"

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If you kept up with The WON last month, then you’re probably pretty intrigued by the sport of archery. Let’s assume you’ve gotten your hands on a bow, have found a place to shoot, and are ready to start. Besides finding a coach to help you with your technique, you’re going to need to tune your bow. Tuning is the process of setting up your “stick and string” to shoot accurately.

A tuned bow is a happy bow, and a happy bow shoots great groups! (Emily Monroe photo)


In last month’s column, I detailed what you would need to start shooting a compound bow. Although a lot of factors combine to make a bow accurate, I’m going to specifically focus on your sights, arrow rest and stabilizers.


There are quite a few options for bow sights, and depending on your tastes, brand preferences and budget, you can go in a few different directions. Most hunting and beginner bow sights use fiber-optic pins. You aim by placing those pins over the object of interest, which is either a target or the vitals of a game animal. To explain how to adjust your sights, I figure “showing” is better than describing just with words, so please check out this video.

For reference, I have a single-pin HHA Optimizer Lite sight with a sight-extending arm. I chose a single-pin sight to simplify my sight picture and to reduce the number of potential sources of error (#engineer) on each shot. If you have a multi-pin sight, you will want to adjust each pin individually at the specific distance you want to set it for, following the method I show in this video. A sample set of distances would be 15 yards or less, 25 yards, and 30 yards.

Remember to keep your sight level as you shoot. Many sights come with a built-in bubble level, and with practice you can make leveling your sights a subconscious part of your shot process.

Sight alignment is also important. If you’re having trouble seeing through your rear peep sight, ask for help. I tried adjusting this myself, and I can make small tweaks. But if it is far out of alignment from the factory settings, the archery tech at a pro shop or the coach at your archery club is your best bet for adjusting the peep sight while looking at your position at full draw.

Emily prefers the simplified sight picture with a single-pin sight. The bubble level helps with consistency between shots. (Emily Monroe photo)

Arrow Rest

It’s critical that you align your arrow rest so that your arrows shoot straight out of your bow. This means adjusting the rest until your arrow is roughly level when you’re at full draw. This might also mean sliding your D-loop (or wherever you knock your arrow) up and down the string. If you are working with someone, like an archery tech or a coach, they will be able to help you get a rough alignment of your arrow rest by making adjustments when you are at full draw.

This drop-away arrow rest is a good “middle ground” option between a target arrow rest, known for accuracy, and a whisker biscuit, known for arrow retention. (Emily Monroe photo)

If you are on your own, the easiest way to align your arrow rest is to do what is called “paper tuning.” In essence, this means shooting through a piece of paper at close distance and looking at the tears created by the shaft and fletching. A non-straight arrow will show up as offset tears in the paper, whereas a well-tuned arrow and arrow rest will tear the paper in the profile of the shaft and fletching, with even tearing on all sides. For more on paper tuning, check out this technical article from Lancaster Archery Supply.


A good way to get your bow set up for you is to add stabilizers to it. These are essentially rigid shafts of aluminum, carbon fiber or another stiff material that you can add weight to in order to change how your shot feels before, during, and after aiming. Stabilizers thread onto the riser of your bow. They alter the moments of inertia of your bow, which can really help keep your sights level and help with follow-through on shots.


Most stabilizers, like this Octane 8-inch hunting stabilizer, attach to threaded inserts on the bow riser. (Emily Monroe photo)

Stabilizers seem to live at the border of “trial and error” and “voodoo magic.” As a data-head and physics nerd, I wish I could say there is a way to calculate stabilizer weight and length with free-body diagrams and a calculator. Alas, it appears the best way to determine your stabilizer needs is to try out a few and see how each feels. You can spend as much money as you want on stabilizers—lots of brands make a variety of options at different prices. From AAE and TAP to Doinker and Shrewd, there are plenty of stabilizer choices.

Emily’s husband uses two stabilizers—one in the front and one to the side. Both stabilizers are long and have weights that thread onto the end to change the moment of inertia and the “feel” of the bow. (Emily Monroe photo)


The best—and most affordable—way I found to try out different stabilizers was to ask various members of my archery club for advice, and then start small. I initially purchased an 8-inch Octane hunting stabilizer with my compound bow, but I continually struggled to keep my bow level without putting some force on it with my left wrist. As a next step up, I decided to buy the western hunter stabilizer package from AAE on Amazon; this came with an offset/side mount stabilizer. That little side mount rod made a big difference in keeping my sights level, and the package came with a couple different weight options for me to add to the end of the stabilizer rods to fine-tune the feel.

My husband has a set of stabilizers with interchangeable weights from Shrewd for his target bow, a Hoyt Pro Comp Elite, and he loves how adjustable it is. I’m not yet willing to make the financial leap into a target stabilizer setup on my bow, which I’m using for both target shooting and hunting, but I know there are endless possibilities of stabilizer combinations.

Tuning your bow is essential to make accurate shots. I hope this quick overview provides some guidance on how to start.

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The “How to” Gun Girl Gear Review: The Slumberjack Wild-Her Pack Mon, 13 Mar 2017 11:45:29 +0000 Find out what Emily Monroe, The ‘How To’ Gun Girl, thinks about the Slumberjack Wild-Her Pack as she heads out on a hunt.

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Since The “How-To” Gun Girl turned 1 last month, I decided to do something a little different with this post. This is a gear review of the Slumberjack Wild-Her Women’s Hunting Pack (MSRP: $159.95) as told through the story of my whitetail hunt in northern New Hampshire last November.

I received the pack from the manufacturer for the purpose of this review. I have not been compensated for either the hunt or the review, and all opinions are my own.



Last fall I connected with a staffer at Quality Deer Management Association via their social media posts around a Field to Fork program in Georgia. That staff member connected me to a QDMA board member in New Hampshire, who offered me the opportunity to participate in a mentored whitetail deer hunt. Not only would I be able to learn from a hunter who really knows his stuff, I would get to go hunting with a friend of mine on land that is managed with Quality Deer Management techniques. That meant higher chances of seeing deer and a lot more fun than I’d had hunting on my own.

Since my friend was even newer to hunting than I am, I decided to share my gear with her so she wouldn’t have to spend a lot of money to try out hunting. That made for an excellent excuse to do some shopping to make sure I was fully equipped!

After surveying my camo, I was pleasantly surprised to find that over the previous seasons I had accumulated two full sets of camo outerwear – one for me and one for my friend! It turned out the only thing I really needed to get was a pack, since I only had my turkey vest for carrying gear. The hunt was scheduled in November, so we would be hunting during the part of deer season where it is legal to take a deer with either a bow or a rifle.

Since I still had all my tags (womp, womp – it was a tough archery season for me) I decided to maximize my chances of getting a deer by bringing along both weapons. The hunt would be a mix of spot and stalk as well as stand hunting. My friend was happy to borrow my turkey vest, and I decided to search for a pack to carry all my gear, extra ammo, and both my gun and my bow. Beyond just carrying everything, I wanted one pack to make it easier to get into and out of tree stands.

Continue reading about Emily Monroe’s “Gear Review: The Slumberjack Wild-Her Pack” here and visit her blog “The ‘How-To’ Gun Girl”

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When You’re Itching to Wet a Line: Where to Find Local Fishing Tournaments for First Time Anglers Fri, 10 Mar 2017 12:16:44 +0000 If you're considering fishing competitively, we have some pointers for you on how to find fishing tournaments near you.

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Do you love recreational fishing, but want to get a feel for what it might be like to fish competitively? How about finding and entering one of the best fishing tournaments near you? Local fishing tournaments can be a great way to meet other anglers, raise money for charity, or just find out if future fishing contests and competitions might be of interest to you.

Best Fishing Tournaments Near You

There are many different types of fishing tournaments that you can consider participating in. While some may be invite only or may have a cap on the number of participants, you can almost always find one that would be a good fit depending on the type of fishing experience you have. You can find a list of the best fishing tournaments near you by searching online, checking local fishing magazines, and listening to your local fishing radio show.

Charity Tournaments

Charity fishing tournaments donate a percentage of the entry fees to benefit a specific charity. If there is a cause that’s important to you, there may be a fishing tournament near you that gives back to this cause. For example, there is a tournament that is held near Fort Myers Beach, FL every year called the Grouper Grapple that uses the proceeds from the event to fund program activities aimed at supporting combat wounded veterans and their families. If you do a search online for “charity fishing tournaments” and include your city or state, you should be able to find an event in your local area.

Fishing Tournaments

Fun Tournaments or Fishing Clinics

You can often find fun fishing tournaments or local fishing clinics that are geared toward families. These types of events are designed to be fun and aren’t intended to be highly competitive. Many fun tournaments and fishing clinics are created as an opportunity to get younger generations excited about fishing while teaching them the value of fisheries conservation.

Local Bass Fishing Tournaments

Most local bass clubs hold fishing tournaments on a regular basis with other bass clubs in the same region or area. If you want to know how to get started in bass tournaments, connect with a bass club in your area and contact the tournament director. Some clubs may require you to be member in order to fish a club tournament, but many clubs also hold open tournaments that non-members can enter.

If you want to learn about the Non-Boaters Fishing Tournaments find out here, on the website.


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Retro WON: Spring Training Tips for Your Firearms Practice Thu, 09 Mar 2017 14:00:33 +0000 Learn drills you can use with your firearms to prepare yourself for the upcoming shooting season. It's time for some spring training! Sponsored by Lasermax.

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Sure, there’s still a chill in the air, but spring is upon us so let’s start our spring training! Now that Daylight Savings Time has hit, the days will soon be warmer and longer, and we’ll be hitting the range more often. If you’re like me, you didn’t get to spend much time at the range over the winter, despite promising yourself that this would be the year you’d keep up your skills to get an early jump on spring. While I did spend a few exhilaratingly cold days at the range, I did not get out there as often as I’d promised myself I would.

lasermax armed and in charge

“Armed and In Charge” is sponsored by Lasermax.

It makes no difference whether you’re a new shooter, a competitive shooter attempting to get ready for the 2016 season, or one who, like me, might be a tad rusty coming off the winter, there are several ways to get your skills back up to snuff in no time at all! Let’s get started with some spring training.

Spring Training Dry Fire Drills

A great place to start is with some dry fire drills. These are an excellent way to get some practice in while the days are still chilly or rainy. I find that dry firing helps bring back muscle memory that may have gotten a little foggy over the winter.

Any time you’re going to practice dry firing, make sure your pistol is completely unloaded and safe to dry fire before you start. I like to fill my magazines with Snap-Caps when I’m dry firing.

One of my favorite dry fire drills is to draw from my holster, acquire my target, fire and then re-holster, all while never taking my eyes off of my target. When I’m walking around my house, I can decide on my target, draw, fire and re-holster, and then go back about my business. Plants, pictures, the television—they all can be worthy targets while dry firing. No need to tape up actual targets up on my walls—my imagination is way more fun!

Annette pistol targets Spring Training

Another down-and-dirty drill I like to do is magazine changes. After working on the above drill several times, I’ll add these into the mix. Should you need more ammunition during a competition or an actual emergency, fumbling for your magazine will slow you down for sure. Being able to rely on muscle memory as you drop your existing magazine, grab your backup, tap it, rack it, and pull that trigger in a smooth, fluid motion—all while moving—will definitely be worth the time you took to practice it at home. Even if you aren’t a competitive shooter, being able to do this on the fly could save your life someday.

There are some drills that you can literally do anytime, anywhere. Olympian Gabby Franco, an instructor and competitive shooter, has some excellent drills in her book Trouble Shooting: Mastering Your Pistol Marksmanship. Probably my favorite—which I can practice anywhere as it does not require the use of a pistol—works like this:

Using your dominant hand, position your fingers as if you were holding the grip of a pistol (remember to keep your hand partially open). Now move the trigger finger without moving the rest of the fingers. As you can see, such tasks seem simple at first, but it is not easy to do because all fingers want to move at the same time. This is something you must learn to control. When you shoot you should move only your index finger to ensure perfect trigger control.

Golob Franco books targets shooting

Spring Training Live Fire Drills

Naturally, the best thing to get your skills back in shape is to get to the range and actually shoot. (It’s also way more fun!)

I reached out to champion shooter and TeamWON colleague Julie Golob and asked her for advice on basic drills to get back into shooting after some time off. Julie is not only the captain of the Smith and Wesson team; she’s also a veteran, a hunter, and the author of the book Shoot: Your Guide to Shooting and Competition. Here’s what Julie recommended:

One the best ways you can learn to shoot more accurately is in the famous saying, “Aim small, miss small.” You can make your own targets by simply taking 8.5×11-inch paper and drawing a 6-inch circle. Use another sheet of paper to make 4-inch and 3-inch circle targets. Take a third sheet of paper and draw a couple of 2-inch circles, and then a few 1-inchers. For any of these targets you can fill in the circle with a marker so you can see it clearly.

Start at a distance from which you feel comfortable and confident shooting. Shoot a 5-shot group into your 6-inch target. As you keep your hits in the center of the circle, for your next group try the next smaller target. The smaller the aiming point, the easier it is to focus. If you’re able to keep all five shots inside the 1-inch circle, it’s time to increase your distance and add more challenge.

Julie gives excellent, practical advice. It sounds so easy, doesn’t it? Five shots in a 6-inch target, from a distance you feel comfortable at? Maybe you’ll rock that level, but as you move back and as that circle gets smaller and smaller, the difficulty will increase, for sure!

Pistol targets Spring Training

Since my daughters were home on spring break, we hit the range and gave Julie’s drill a try. Neither of my daughters had been able to shoot since just after Christmas, when we’d spent a blustery, foggy day at an outdoor range. Julie’s circle drill proved to be an excellent workout for all of us. The targets were simple to make—just some paper and a Sharpie. I made a few “master copies” one night when I had some extra time, and then ran off some photocopies at my office.

We all started out OK in the larger circle, but once we reduced the diameter and shot at the smaller targets from an increased distance, our rustiness became apparent. It’s great to have a drill that we can work with over time to increase our accuracy and get us back into shape after our long, cold winter!

Whatever your favorite drill might be, make sure you allow enough time to work on your fundamentals. Watch your stance and make the most of every second you have at the range. (If you’re unsure if your stance is working for you, check out this article I recently wrote about stances!)

Whether you try Julie Golob’s drill or have another plan of what you want to work on, the important thing is to get out there and shoot! The more you practice, the faster you’ll be ready for whatever the future months hold. Happy spring training and happy shooting!

This Retro WON, “Spring Training Tips for Your Firearms Practice” first appeared March 21, 2016.

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#HuntingwithJR: Hunting for Sheds Wed, 08 Mar 2017 12:58:53 +0000 Judy Rhodes has some tips to share as she heads out on the hunt for sheds with Shaka.

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Question – now that deer season is over, what is an avid huntress to do? Answer: We go hunting sheds.


#HuntingwithJR is sponsored by Remington

Antlers represent the age of mature deer. I began this newfound craze only a few years ago when my dog, Shaka, came into my outdoor life. Prior to Shaka, I would walk pastures, fields and rugged terrain looking for my prize of sheds. Now, I do not have to walk miles and miles looking for sheds and coming up empty-handed.

I introduced Shaka to finding sheds with her powerful nose when she was just 10 months old. Little did I know how rewarding this activity would be for both of us and being one with nature. Shaka lives for the end of deer season, as this is her annual “Easter egg” hunt. There is not a rhyme or pattern to where to look for sheds. Antlers fall off a deer while running, jumping or just walking through the fields.


Wait … what about horns?

What is the difference between horns and antlers you ask? Horns and antlers are very different in their origin, form and function.  Horns grow on cattle, big horn sheep and let’s not forget Dagga Boys aka Cape Buffalo and members of the Bovidae family. Horns are permanent and unbranched.  Horns usually occur on both sexes.  In the living animal, this bony core is covered with tissue that actively produces and outer sheath of keratin – the same material that makes your fingernails.  The sheath is never shed off the core, but continues to grow from the base for most of the animal’s life. This growth comes as layers of keratin are added from spongy tissue between the horn core and the inside of the sheath.

The deer family, aka Cervidae, is defined by the presence of antlers.  All animals with antlers are members of the deer family and nearly all cervids have antlers. The exceptions to this are a few primitive deer that have long tusks rather than antlers, such as Chinese water deer and musk deer. Deer without antlers are as exciting as tadpoles to this Texas Cowgirl.

Judy Rhodes black tail deer

Before she went shed hunting, Judy went deer hunting and used a Remington Custom 700 North America in .270, equipped with a Trijicon scope. You can read about her hunting story in an earlier column here at The WON. Click photo to go to the story.

The word antler comes from the Latin antoculorum, meaning “in from of the eyes.”  Growing antlers are a spongy bone-like tissue of primarily protein-rich cartilage covered with a hairy skin (velvet). These containers are full of nerves and nutrient-transporting blood vessels. The end of antler growth period, the growth slows and the protein matrix of the antler gets replaced with minerals, such as calcium and phosphorus in a process called mineralization.

So now that we’ve had our science lesson, let’s get out there and find those antlers before the squirrels do.

Did you know?

Antler growth occurs at the antler tips, rather than at the base, at a rate of 1/2 inch per day in some case.

TIP: Antler size peaks in 5- to 7-year olds and usually shrink the following years.

Did you know? 

Antlers are the fastest growing tissue in the animal kingdom.

TIP: Let your deer mature with age. Your next year’s antler growth will be a larger trophy on the hoof.

Did you know?

In the fall, testosterone levels in bucks rise, which trigger the drying of the blood vessels in the velvet and stopping of antler growth.

TIP: As tissue has dried, the stripping of velvet occurs rapidly 24-48 hours. You need to be watching the fields while hunting if you want a trophy sill in velvet.  

Did you know?  

After breeding season is over, dropping testosterone levels in the buck’s body trigger a weakening of the tissue at the base of the antlers which allows the antlers to fall off.

TIP: The ONLY scent on the antlers are at the base or button where the antler is attached to the skull of the deer. This is why a keen nose will find your sheds in the field.


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Nature’s Paint now Available at Bowtech Wed, 08 Mar 2017 11:22:37 +0000 Find out why we are congratulating Nicole Morgan and Sereena Thompson, co-founders of Nature's Paint.

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Klamath Falls, OR— Natural camo face paint brand, Nature’s Paint is pleased to announce that Nature’s Paint is now available at Eugene, Oregon-based, Bowtech.

natures paint bowtech

We are beyond excited to be partnering with a company of this caliber,” said Nicole Morgan Nature’s Paint Co-Founder. “BowTech manufactures and carries nothing but premium quality bows and accessories. Not to mention, the amazing customer service you will get from both Josh and Jeremiah in the pro shop!” Added Sereena Thompson, Nature’s Paint Co-Founder.

Being an Oregon-based company, Bowtech has proven to be a natural fit for Nature’s Paint. “Our company’s values and visions for the hunting industry align. It really is a natural partnership,” added Sereena.

BowTech is a leader in the world of archery and compound bows, manufacturing and distributing top-notch compound bows and archery equipment. Learn more about BowTech at

We here at Bowtech love local, Oregon established products and are very excited to have Nature’s Paint as part of our pro shop, said Josh Carr, Bowtech Pro Shop Manager.

Nature’s Paint specializes in all-natural camouflage face paint that’s formulated for ultimate comfort. It’s free of harmful chemicals and parabens that promise easy on/easy off application, no scrubbing and no irritation. It was founded by two women: Nicole Morgan and Sereena Thompson. Learn more about Nature’s Paint at

BowTech & Nature’s Paint

Krissy Hay Knox, pro staff for both Bowtech and Nature’s Paint added, “It always feels good to represent a product you use and believe in wholeheartedly, it makes my job easy and honest!  And now, Nature’s Paint has partnered up with the BowTech Factory Pro Shop to offer two awesome hunting products in one stop.  Well done!”

Not quite sure how to apply face paint? We have the answer for you in a previous article. Learn 4 ways to wear Nature’s Paint when hunting here.

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Maximize Your Tax Return …er… Gun Money by Buying at Auction Tue, 07 Mar 2017 12:52:11 +0000 Have you ever thought of buying firearms at auction? Cheryl Todd walks you through the steps this month in her column, "The Flame."

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It’s nearly tax season and many of us are dreaming about what to spend that annual “love letter from Uncle Sam” on. That tax-return check, or “gun money,” as many of us call it, is better than Christmas and our birthday rolled into one. It always feels like “found money.” Have you ever reached into your coat pocket and discovered a $20 bill you had forgotten about? It’s like that…only with more zeroes.


The Flame is sponsored by AZ Firearms

Now that you have rediscovered it, how do you make that gun money stretch the farthest? Enter the seemingly magical world of auctions, where the power sits with the buyer to determine how much he or she is willing to pay for each item. I’ll help you understand some of the finer points of how to legally and safely purchase guns at both live auctions and online auction sites.

I own an auction house in Arizona, Pot of Gold Estate Auctions, where bidders have the option to bid either in person or online. There are many such auctions across the country, including the nationally recognized online site, and a quick Google search will help you locate a brick-and-mortar auction house in your area. There are advantages to each method of bidding, so decide which is best for you. The advantage of attending in person is that you can often recognize when items have been overlooked by other bidders, and those sleepers are about to sell far below their real-world value. Online bidding offers the convenience and time-saving of bidding from your armchair (and you have access to merchandise from all over the country). Both methods are excellent ways to snap up some bargains.

Federal Form 4473

First, let me address the legalities of purchasing guns online. Politicians and news stories have presented a lot of misinformation and conflicting accounts of people buying guns illegally online, and via auction sites. You have likely become familiar with the phrase “online gun-sale loophole,” which would lead us to believe that people are somehow having guns shipped directly to their home from some online dealer or auction site, bypassing the necessary federal forms (such as Form 4473) and the accompanying background check. If this is happening, then those sales are breaking existing federal law. There is no loophole that the law hasn’t accounted for, whether online or in-person sales.

Any firearm purchased online is subject to the same laws as any in-person purchase. Transfers must be completed via a Transfer Agent/Federal Firearms License Dealer (FFL), and rather than the gun being shipped to the buyer’s home, the gun will be shipped to the local FFL of the buyer’s choosing. If a specific kind of firearm is illegal for you to own in your city or state, it is still illegal for you to own, no matter how you purchase the item. So know the laws of your state and find a local Transfer Agent—usually your corner gun shop—to handle receiving the gun and completing the required paperwork.


It’s fun to be a part of the excitement at brick and mortar auction house.

Now, let’s get to the fun part. How do we safely and legally buy guns at auction?

1) Check the reputation of the auction house, either via the Better Business Bureau rating, Yelp, or simply by doing a Google search to see if any derogatory comments pop up.

2) Read the terms and conditions page to make sure you are fully aware of the auction house’s rules and regulations, shipping charges, percentage of sales tax, bid increments and percentage of buyer’s premium. Some auction houses even have informative “how-to” videos, like the semi-corny ones my team and I put together.

3) Buyer’s premium is a percentage charged based on the hammer price of the item you “won” by being the highest bidder on that item. Most buyer’s premiums are between 10 and 25 percent, and are a taxable portion of the price paid for the item.

4) Hammer price is the base dollar amount you have committed to paying with your high bid. This is the price on which your buyer’s premium and taxes are based.

5) Most online auctions, but not all, are based on the proxy system, similar to that used on eBay, in which you place the highest dollar amount you are willing to pay into the system and other bidders drive your bid up to the ultimate ending price. Some online auctions will consider your highest bid as the price you are willing to pay, and do not require other bidders’ action to drive the price up. Be sure you know the format of each auction you are participating in.

6) Reserve prices may also be part of the equation. If a consignor has “protected” his or her item by adding a reserve (whether that price is stated or hidden) the item will remain unsold until that price is reached. So, even if your bid was the highest at the end of the bidding cycle, if you did not exceed the reserve price, the item will not be transferred or sold to you.

7) Understand that auction houses sell items “as-is, where-is,” meaning that no guarantees of quality or condition are given. Thus, they operate under a “buyer beware” policy. The reason for this is that auction houses are a venue between consignor and buyer, and once the consignor has been paid for the sale there is no reasonable recourse for the auction house to recover the funds from the consignor in order to offer a refund to the buyer. Even so, reputable auction houses do everything humanly possible to accurately describe every item, and if they have inadvertently described an item inaccurately, most will stand behind their wording and refund the buyer. However, the ultimate decision of the value and acceptable condition of any item rests with the bidder.

8) Be sure to have researched the items you are interested in bidding on, including the real-world value. At Pot of Gold Auctions we have a sister company, AZFirearms, that is a retail gun shop right next door. On many occasions our bidders have gotten caught up in the excitement and competition of bidding and have ended up bidding more for a used firearm than they could have paid for a brand new one just like it next door.

When you visit an auction house you may find even more treasures.

Off to the Auction

Now let’s put all this newfound knowledge to work. Let’s say you’ve found an auction site you trust, you have read all the rules and terms, you know the laws for which guns you are legally allowed to own in your state, you have picked a local Transfer Agent, and you are ready to do some serious bidding. First and foremost, you should inspect the items on which you plan to bid. As mentioned above, the decision of acceptable condition and value rests solely with you, the bidder. If you’re bidding online you can examine the photos, read the descriptions thoroughly, and email the auction house with any questions you have before you place any bids. If you’re bidding in person, be sure to touch each item. Use good lighting, a bore light, and perhaps even a magnifying glass to know that you are making an informed bid.

Register and place any required deposits, obtain your bidder number (online you will have a bidder account rather than a number), and get ready to enjoy the power of setting the price you are willing to pay for each item.

One final thought: Auctions are not only a great way to add to your collection, they are also an excellent way to sell your used firearms, and free up some funds to—you guessed it—have more gun money to spend. Happy bidding (and selling)!

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RMEF’s New Digital Media Platform, Elk Network, Goes Live Tue, 07 Mar 2017 12:41:22 +0000 If you're looking for elk resources you must check out the Elk Network.

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MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s new digital media platform, the Elk Network, is now live online and available for use.

Elk Network-RMEF

Our goal for this new generation of media is to serve as an informational resource for as many people as possible regarding all things elk, elk country and elk hunting,” said Steve Decker, RMEF vice president of Marketing. “We have worked hard to create a user-friendly platform that is highly visual and features regularly updated content.

The Elk Network features a homepage where the latest content is posted at the top and the user can scroll, similar to familiar social media pages, to find additional content.

Elk Network-RMEF

From there, The Elk Network includes nine distinct channels:

Bugle TV

Full Team Elk episodes from past seasons, Randy Newberg-Hunter, Into High Country with Jason Matzinger and more

The Hunt

Pertaining to everything before, during and after a hunt

Carnivore’s Kitchen

Great wild game recipes and videos that show how to turn harvest into food & users can also submit their favorite recipes

Elk Facts

Biology, terminology, behavior, vocalizations, current and historic range, and habitat of elk

Gear 101

Latest and greatest products, gear hacks and buyer’s guides to choose the right gear

Hunting Is Conservation

Facts, figures, videos and infographics that highlight the vital link between hunting and conservation

RMEF @ Work

RMEF’s on-the-ground land protection, public access, habitat stewardship, elk restoration, hunting heritage and other conservation work

From the Field

Users submit their videos, photos and hunting stories about their time afield

Be sure to check out the Elk Network

Issues & Advocacy

RMEF stances regarding topics dealing with elk country and hunting heritage

“We believe this is an invaluable resource that will only grow in popularity and use as we continually add more highly visual, consumable content to it. Users no longer have to scour the Internet to find what they are looking for.” added Decker.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Founded over 30 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of more than 222,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 7.1 million acres for elk and other wildlife. RMEF also works to open and improve public access, fund and advocate for science-based resource management, and ensure the future of America’s hunting heritage. Discover why “Hunting Is Conservation™” at or 800-CALL ELK.
Take action: join and/or donate.

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Beretta’s Tactical Summit: Firearms, Fast Cars, Teamwork and Amazing Food Mon, 06 Mar 2017 16:25:19 +0000 What do you think caused Michelle Cerino to scream like a banshee at Beretta's Tactical Summit?

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I arrived at the airport early. Upon boarding the plane, on my way to the Beretta Tactical Summit, I realized I had no idea what to expect. When I finally landed at the Richmond, Va., airport — 6 hours (and 4 planes) later than my original arrival time — a driver holding the sign, “The O’Gara Group” greeted me as expected.

Princess Gunslinger, Cerino, Trijicon, logo

Princess Gunslinger is sponsored by Trijicon

Soon I met up the with the other writers and enjoyed a delicious meal at a local Bed and Breakfast. We would need all the fuel we could get to  help us make it through the next few days.

Tacital Summit

The first day of the Beretta Tactical Summit began at the shooting range. Here Beretta introduced their first striker fired pistol, the APX. Although touted as the perfect handgun for law enforcement and military operators, I find it an excellent choice for home defense.

Beretta-APX-Tactical Summit

Why use the APX for home defense?

  • Low Bore Axis- Provides for more managed recoil which makes accurate follow up shots easier.
  • Enhanced Grip Ergonomics- A solid purchase on the handgun allows for greater control when firing.
  • Interchangable Backstraps- The 3 different sized backstraps allow a more comfortable fit for various sized hands.
  • Aggressive Slide Serrations- The deeper serrations on the front and rear of the slide give easier operation with wet hands.
  • Picatinny Rail- Easily add a light and/or laser for home defense.
Beretta-Tactical Summit-Carrie-Leighfoot

The standard selfie, in goofy looking helmets. Here I am with Carrie Lightfoot, founder of The Well Armed Woman.

After a morning shooting the APX on the range and a buffet lunch, we headed out for a defensive driving course. Yes, just a little outside my comfort zone. Carrie Leightfoot (The Well Armed Woman) and I donned our helmets and braced for impact. The course began with us driving on a track that involved S curves, serpentines, controlled braking and speed. Although I started out quite slow, by the end I reached 80mph (at least for a little bit.)

From there we headed over to the skid pad. Prior to us driving, the instructor thoroughly wet down the pad. Two vehicles at a time drove on the track with an instructor in the front and a passenger in the back. My instructor worked the gas and brakes while I controlled the steering wheel, or at least tried to. Between the tires squealing, car spinning and someone in the car screaming, (OK, maybe it was me.) it was quite an experience.

After dinner, just when I thought they couldn’t pack anything more into 1 day, we headed back to the range. This time for low light and no-light shooting using flashlights and military NODs (night observation devices). I had no problem with actual shooting part of the “no light” shooting. However, when it involved walking and loading magazine, I had to peek underneath the goggles.

On the final day of the Tactical Summit, we suited up with safety gear and headed into the shoot house. Or I should say, “Carrie and I learned how to dynamically enter a room and clear it.”

In teams of 2, we took turns breeching the door and entering the room. With 2 shots to the body and 1 to the head (a failure drill), we engaged each target encountered with the APX pistol — quite a dramatic presentation of how this new pistol from Beretta may be used.

TIKKA-T3x TA A1-Tactical Summit

For our afternoon range time we had the opportunity to shoot Tikka’s T3 TAC A1 in 6.5 Creedmoor. Let’s just say this bolt action, long range rifle shot tight at 300 yards.

As with all good things, the Beretta Tactical Summit must come to an end.

So, how does one end 2 full days of range time with Beretta? With more fine dining and comradre among outdoor writers and the staff members of Beretta. Oh, and maybe some discussions about the APX and how it may #WinTheFight.

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Meet Brittany Boddington: Partner of the She Hunts Skills Camp Mon, 06 Mar 2017 13:33:22 +0000 Brittany Boddington found a way to share her hunting knowledge with other female hunters.

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Part of loving the outdoors is sharing it with the amazing hunting community that I’ve had the privilege to call family for the last decade. It is no secret that hunting is still a male dominated sport but the tide has begun to shift. There are new females deciding to hunt for the first time all over our nation and a lot of them don’t have a dad like mine to show them the ropes. This camp is for them! I’ve partnered with my good friend Shannon Lansdowne to introduce the She Hunts Skills Camp taking place at the famous 777 Ranch in Hondo, Texas.

Skills Camp


I was fortunate enough to have my father as a resource when I was learning to hunt but many women don’t have anyone to guide them. Shannon also grew up in a hunting household. Her dad was an outfitter in British Columbia for many years and he taught her everything about hunting and guiding from an early age. We realize that not all female hunters are lucky enough to grow up with this type of father figure. Some lady hunters start hunting because their spouse or significant other likes to hunt but typically the guy still ends up doing all the set up and prep for the hunt. Our goal with this skills camp is to give ladies all the skills that they need to be successful and independent hunters.

In the last few years I have met several female hunters that had no male hunters to lead them into the sport but rather they had chosen to become hunters on their own. There is a clean eating movement happening in the US that has pushed a lot of women to take up hunting in order to feed their families with clean non GMO meat. I applaud these women for taking action for their families but I know it must be difficult to learn everything they need to know about hunting from the internet and television. Our camp is specifically designed to be a safe, fun and informative way for women that want to get into hunting to take the plunge.

Skills Camp

I remember when I first started hunting at age 17. My dad took me to the range for the first time and I was so nervous to pull the trigger on the gun that I would flinch terribly. My dad was very experienced in teaching from his years of work with the different Safari Club youth programs and also from his time in the military so he knew exactly what to do.

He took the gun I was shooting and switched it with my grandfather’s old Kimber in .22 caliber. He told me to stop shooting at the target and he went and got a metal target and dug it into the ground about 50 yards away. It was one of those reactive targets with the little animals that swung around when you hit them. He told me to stop thinking about the gun and that this little gun wouldn’t hurt me. He told me to focus on making the little animals move.

I started with the biggest one, it was in the shape of a little goat and once I made that one swing around I started working my way across. I hit the pig next and then the turkey but the little chicken at the end was tough. It was then that he taught me about controlling my breathing. I could see the little chicken through my crosshairs but by the time I pulled the trigger I would somehow shift the gun and miss. My dad walked me through how to breathe and when to fire. He also taught me that the trigger is never to be pulled but rather to be squeezed and which part of your finger should be doing the squeezing.

This type of instruction is not something everyone has access to. I am very fortunate to have had my dad as a teacher but now I feel like it is time to share some of that knowledge with the next generation of female hunters. Our courses will cover everything from mounting a scope and sighting in a rifle to shot placement and field dressing. The 777 Ranch is a beautiful ranch with all sorts of domestic and exotic animals for our campers to enjoy as well as an African safari like lodge with a campfire circle that is perfect for telling stories about past adventures over a glass of wine. We want to inspire women to join us in the outdoors and to give them all the tools they need to take on their next hunting adventure with confidence. We would love you to join us!

For more information check out She Hunts Skills Camp or email

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Nevada Foodies: Crab and Shrimp Enchiladas Recipe Mon, 06 Mar 2017 12:08:52 +0000 If you're searching for meatless meals you'll love this Crab and Shrimp Enchiladas recipe from our featured blogger, Christy Crabtree.

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Whether you abide by Meatless Mondays or honor the no meat on Friday’s during Lent, you are sure to love this delicious Crab and Shrimp Enchiladas recipe from our featured blog, Nevada Foodies. ~MC

Andy and I have always wanted to travel with our friends up to the Oregon coast for their annual Crabbing vacation, but like most families, things happen and work seems to always take priority. Lucky for us, they were successful and brought back a large amount of fresh caught crab.

I spent a few hours picking the crab out of the shell just so I could share this recipe. If you don’t have fresh crab, the store bought lump crab works just as good.

This recipe made just barely enough to feed six of us for our Wednesday night dinner with the family. I know that there were a few of us wishing we could have had just one more. Hahahaha.

Shrimp Enchiladas

In a large bowl, gently mix together crab, shrimp, cumin, chili powder, salt, green onion, bell pepper and roasted green chilies.

Continue reading the cooking instructions for Kristy Crabtree’s Crab and Shrimp Enchiladas recipe and visit her blog, “Nevada Foodie.”

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The Women’s Gun Show Episode #41: How to Clean Your Gun Sun, 05 Mar 2017 00:54:07 +0000 On this week’s show, Carrie Lightfoot and Barbara Baird discuss how to clean your gun and Barbara interviews Gunsite Academy’s […]

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On this week’s show, Carrie Lightfoot and Barbara Baird discuss how to clean your gun and Barbara interviews Gunsite Academy’s gunsmith, Mike Moore, on the basics. And then some … Mike also advocates for using an air compressor during the cleaning process. The women also discuss trending news topics in the firearms world, cool products and training events for women. Sponsored by Ruger.

Topic: How to Clean Your Gun

Interview Mike Moore

Mike Moore Gunsite

Mike Moore (Gunsite Academy photo)


Mike Moore is a retired Police Officer from Lafayette, LA where he served as a Patrol Officer, Robbery/Homicide Detective, Department Armorer, SWAT Sniper and lead Firearms Instructor.  He has over 27 years experience as a firearms instructor and more than 30 years as a professional gunsmith.  At Gunsite Mike is a Rangemaster for handgun, carbine, shotgun, foreign weapons, general rifle, and precision long range rifle as well as several specialty classes.  Mike has recently relocated his gunsmith business from Louisiana to Gunsite where he is now the owner of Tacdrivers LLC home of the Gunsmith Shop at Gunsite.

Survival Story

Carrie found a news item about a Boise woman who scares off attempted carjacker with pistol: 

Firearms news you can use 

Hacksaw-RidgeBarb found that the most violent movie at Oscars in lineup was about a pacifist (Hacksaw Ridge):

Carrie found an article about amateur gunsmithing and how that almost cost a competition shooter her life:

Cool products 

 How to clean your gun otis pull-through system

Mike Moore recommended to Barb’s class at Gunsite that they purchase an Otis gun cleaning system (pull-through) to have in their range bags at all times:


Carrie can now reveal that she shot the new Beretta APX recently at tactical training in Virginia. Even though the gun is marketed as a fighting weapon for law enforcement and military, it could be an excellent choice for personal defense for women:

TWAW Product of the Week

viper-bore-snakeKeeping with the cleaning theme of this week’s show, Carrie mentions the Boresnake that she has in the warehouse, $25.99:

Calendar: What’s up? 


nssf rimfire challenge

Barb says it’s time for the NSSF Rimfire Challenge, and encourages people who want to start competition shooting to check it out. Can be done as a family with multiple locations for competitions across the nation:

Il Ling New Gunsite

Rangemaster Il Ling New on the line at Gunsite during a women’s training course. (Barbara Baird photo)

Carrie recommends the Gunsite Ladies Pistol Class, which runs from May 15:

Download, listen and subscribe to The Women’s Gun Show on iTunes,  Stitcher and iHeart Radio.

Fan of the Month

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out our new social media platforms at Facebook and Pinterest.

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8 Tips for Crappie Fishing in Winter from Fri, 03 Mar 2017 13:43:10 +0000 You can have plenty of fun during the winter months, just remember these crappie fishing tips.

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If you want to test your fish finding skills and like to experiment with artificial lures, try crappie fishing in winter. Crappie are known for being freshwater nomads that move around lakes or rivers just as much during the winter as they do any other season of the year. However, that doesn’t mean that crappie are difficult to catch. You can have plenty of panfish fun during the winter months, just remember these crappie fishing tips.


1. Use the right gear. Bring along a light or ultra-light spinning combo. In most situations, a 5 to 7-foot medium to slow action rod will work well for cold weather crappie fishing.

2. Switch to lighter line. When crappie fishing in winter, try using lighter line to help entice fussy crappies into biting. You may need drop the weight of your line down from six or eight-pound test to three or four-pound test.

3. Go crappie fishing at dusk. One way to catch more winter crappie is to fish at dusk or during the evening hours. Changing light conditions will often trigger feeding activity. If you are fishing for winter crappie through the ice at night, be sure to put ice fishing safety measures into practice, and take a fishing buddy along on your trip.


4. Put your fish finder to good use. During the winter months, crappies tend to school up in deeper water. Use your sonar or fish finder to locate the baitfish and crappie schools so that you know where you need to drop your baits in order to get them into the “strike zone.” Success at cold weather crappie fishing depends on the ability to find and stay on the fish.

5. Entice winter crappies into feeding tipping your jigs with a live minnow. Try using 1/16 to 1/8-ounce marabou or curly-tail jigs in white, yellow, pink and chartreuse. Tip your jigs with a live minnow or waxworm and your presentation will be even more irresistible to cold weather crappies.

6. Slow down your presentation. Using a slow, methodical presentation is important when crappie fishing in winter. Crappie won’t aggressively pursue baits or lures in cold water because they are trying to conserve energy. You’ll also need to pay extra close attention to your line because the bite can be very light during the winter.

What are tips number 7 and 8? Find out here, on the website.

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Her Story: Meet Susan Hansen, Firearms Instructor, Competition Shooter and Nana Thu, 02 Mar 2017 12:58:29 +0000 Introducing our new series, Her Story. We all have a story that make us who we are. Meet Susan Hansen, this is Her Story.

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After SHOT Show, Susan Hansen contacted us at The WON and told us about her story. We asked her to send it to us, and we are delighted to kick off this new series titled “Her Story.”  Thank you, Susan, for giving us the idea and of course, for your inspiring story.

We all have a story. I am intrigued and inspired by asking others about “their stories.” I’m always in awe of what I hear. Our stories are what makes us who we are.

This is my story …

My name is Susan Hansen. I live in the Upper Left USA, aka the Pacific Northwest, in northwest Washington state. I am a (rookie) competition shooter in USPSA and 3-Gun. I am female. I am 51-years old and a Nana.

I am a trailblazer in these parts, as there are not many women that shoot, nor compete in the shooting sports.

Her Story

Ten years ago, I had a horrible, life changing, second-chance-at-life, horse accident. I broke my back in 2 places, 5 bulging disks and suffered a traumatic brain injury. I remember waking up on the ground, not moving, and with an overwhelming thankfulness to be alive. I promised, right there and then, I wouldn’t waste this “do-over” gift I was given. I hit the ground running!


Susan Hansen

I lost 132 pounds, healed from the accident and started living life to the fullest – except for one thing: I was no longer able to participate in my life’s love – horses – after the accident.  A bit of a hole was growing in me. As time went on, I felt like I was sliding down into a deeper, darker scary place. Depression is a scary thing. I needed to fill the void.  I needed out.

On a whim, I went to a local range with a friend. I liked it! I started shooting their indoor league. I joined The Well Armed Woman (TWAW); I became a TWAW instructor and chapter leader. I went to NRA training. I became an NRA Instructor and Chief Range Officer. I started shooting USPSA and last year started shooting 3-Gun.That was 2 years ago. I went “all in.”

My focus, as an instructor, is to educate and inspire women – from first-timers who are scared beyond scared, to working with more confident shooters. I’m not sure who gets more out of our classes – me or them.

Susan Hansen

I recently obtained my certification to be a custom-hearing protection provider.  I’m looking forward to helping others get the hearing protection that is so important in our sports.

As a shooter, I travel all over our wonderful nation shooting different venues and matches. I have been blessed to have met and found a group of women that are just like me! Women older than 50 and competing in 3-Gun. We call ourselves the “Lady 3 Gunners” and are coming to “invade” a match near you. We even have t-shirts! We are serious about our shooting, but it’s much deeper than that. It’s the comradery, the unity, the sisterhood.

Susan Hansen

Three of us, from 3 corners of the United States, squadded together at the Brownell’s Ladies Multigun Fall Festival event at Rockcastle Shooting center in Kentucky last October.  We got together again in January and shot the Shot Show 3-Gun match. In a February, we meet in Atlanta to shoot another 3-Gun match. The match director and friend, Christi Conner Tate, has worked hard to get 2 full squads – roughly 40 women of all calibers, skills, sizes and ages – to shoot this match.

In May, I will be in Louisiana; July in Fairbanks, Alaska; and October I will be in Kentucky – along with these wonderful women.

At the end of July, I am helping my friend, Lisa Munson, and new friend, Deb Ferns, put on a Babes with Bullets Handgun Camp (sponsored by Smith & Wesson) here, in my neck of the woods, in Washington state.

Susan Hansen

What a story. What a life! I wouldn’t change a thing. I am beyond blessed and humbled with life.

To quote the well-known American mythologist Joseph Campbell: “You are a hero of your own story. The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are!”

Susan Hansen shared her story. What’s yours?

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Retro WON: Historical Huntresses Delia Akeley and Mary Kingsley Thu, 02 Mar 2017 12:27:22 +0000 Michelle Cerino writes, "I chose 2 women, Delia J. Akeley and Mary Kingsley, who I feel exhibited strength and who pursued their dreams despite what society expected of them."

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Writing about early female big-game hunters, aka historical huntresses, was not as easy as I thought it would be. I chose 2 women, Delia J. Akeley and Mary Kingsley, who I feel exhibited strength and who pursued their dreams despite what society expected of them. And although these ladies wrote many books, there is very little information available about them.


Female Historical Huntresses, Big-Game Hunters

Delia J. Akeley (“Mickie”), born in Wisconsin on December 5, 1875, worked, alongside her husband, Carl, as a respected taxidermist. In 1905, The Chicago Field Museum commissioned Carol and her to Africa and collect examples of elephants. Delia had never fired a gun before, but she quickly learned how to shoot and hunt in order to assist her husband. Among the many animals collected during the expedition, Delia successfully brought back 2 of the finest elephants.

Delia Akeley

Delia Akeley (Photo from Public Domain)

The couple returned to Africa in 1909, this time on an expedition for the American Museum of Natural History in New York. When an elephant injured her husband, Delia took charge of the exhibition for three months. She hunted every day, also observing the behavior of monkeys. The museum still displays one of the elephants from this trip in its Africa Hall.

1924 found Delia divorced and led a small expedition in the Congo to hunt and photograph animals. While there, she began studying reclusive Pygmy tribes.

Throughout her life, Delia traveled many times to Africa, studying both primates and indigenous people. She is remembered as a hunter, an author (her books include 1928’s J.T. Jr., The Biography of an African Monkey and 1930’s Jungle Portraits), and one of the first westerners to explore the desert between Kenya and Ethiopia.

Mary Kingsley was born 1862 in London. Although she came from a wealthy family, the only education she received came from her father, a doctor. Self-taught, she read books on natural history found in her father’s library.

In the early 1890s, after both of her parents passed away, Mary traveled to West Africa to continue her father’s study of early religion and law. Alone, in her 30s, dressed in Victorian gowns, she traveled throughout the jungles, collecting specimens for the British Museum and studying cannibalistic tribes.

Mary Kingsley Huntress

Mary Kingsley (Photo from Public Domain)

In 1895, Mary returned to England and began writing her book Travels in West Africa. She also began a lecture series based on her findings of more than 100 specimens. Her first travels to Africa were quite eventful: She fell into a game pit filled with spears, she was caught in a tornado while climbing the slopes of Mount Cameroon, and she even battled crocodiles.

Mary fought to free African culture from the influence of missionaries and settlers. She returned to the continent twice more, her final time a visit to South Africa, in the middle of the Anglo-Boer War and an outbreak of typhoid. She served as a nurse in Cape Town, but after two months contracted typhoid. At the age of 37, she died of enteric fever; she was buried at sea.

There are many more female historical huntresses whose books tell of amazing travels. For those interested, check out the following authors: Astrid Bergman Sucksdorf of Sweden, Courtney Borden from Chicago, Great Britain’s Joyce Boyd and South Africa’s Fiona Capstick.

Historical Huntresses Michelle Cerino

Michelle Cerino — ready and willing to go to Africa anytime. (Chris Cerino photo)

Who will be the next big-game huntress?

Will it be you?

This Retro WON about Historical Huntresses first appeared October 27, 2015.

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Training: You Need to Take the Time to Move Off the Line Wed, 01 Mar 2017 19:40:48 +0000 Katie Pavlich wants you to get moving on the range.

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As the number of female concealed-carry holders rises around the country, we’re seeing more women at the range for practice. Regularly managing a learned firearm skill set can be a major challenge to fit into our busy lives, but the kind of training we do in the little time we have is vitally important.

Volquartsen the worlds finest rimfire rifles and pistols. Katie Pavlich and Volquartsen know top proformance rimfire pistols and rifles. Built Better.

Katie Pavlich is sponsored by Volquartsen

For understandable safety reasons, many ranges only allow patrons to shoot at paper targets while standing on a firing line. Throwing lead downrange in a stationary position can be helpful to correct minor issues like grip and trigger slap, but women serious about carrying a gun for self-defense should regularly train in a location where they can get out and move their feet. Athletes are told to train in the same way they compete. Training to save your life is no different, and far more important.

When a situation arises in real life that requires defensive action, it won’t happen slowly in a single lane or from one direction. Instead, it will happen quickly, and your ability to move and get yourself out of it will be a major factor in survival. Training to spot a threat, manage it and get away is a top priority. Reenactment of these types of scenarios is crucial for mental conditioning and preparedness.


Because many indoor ranges do not allow holster draw, movement while shooting, rapid fire or double taps, women (and men) should seek out training academies with individual outdoor bays. Look for an outdoor training academy with memberships, rather than a range set up to get as many people in and out as possible. After a reminder about safety rules, many training academies allow shooters to set up different scenarios on their own, tailored to their individual needs.

For women who carry a handgun off-body, training with the bag or purse you regularly use in everyday life will make a real-life situation less stressful. Is the handgun easy to get to while walking? How quickly can you get it out? What if you’re carrying something else and have only one hand free—then what? All these scenarios should be played out in an open shooting bay, not in one where mobility is limited.

For examples of where to go, check out the United States Shooting Academy in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Peacemaker National Training Center in Gerrardstown, West Virginia. Classes like those offered at Gunsite Academy (with locations in Arizona, Kansas and Virginia) can teach you drills to practice closer to home in places where you’re allowed to move and draw from a holster.

To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with hitting the range to shoot at paper targets. You should still do this as often as possible, since this type of practice no doubt helps with skills upkeep. But integrating movement scenarios into your training routine will not only make you a better shooter, but you’ll also be better mentally prepared and conditioned to react effectively when presented with a bad situation.

The kind of training we do in the little time we have is vitally important.

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Kim Rhode is at it Again at ISSF World Cup in New Delhi India Wed, 01 Mar 2017 18:24:09 +0000 WOW, check out what Kim Rhode has been up to!

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While you were asleep Wednesday, six-time Olympic medalist Kim Rhode was shooting her way to yet another career victory during the year’s first World Cup stop in New Delhi, India.

The 37-year-old legend has shown absolutely zero rust after setting an Olympic milestone with a sixth consecutive Olympic medal last summer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  All she has done since is win the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Final trophy in October and then come out in her first skeet test of 2017 and excel again with the 16th World Cup victory of her illustrious career.

Kim Rhode

Competing under the new ISSF Finals Rules in the first competition of the season didn’t seem to be a problem for Rhode (El Monte, California). The ISSF changed the previous semifinal-medal match format in the shotgun events to a progressive elimination Final. Shotgun finalists now shoot in qualification rank order, with that ranking deciding any ties for third thru sixth place. The new Skeet Final is now based on 10-target sequences with eliminations or medal decisions occurring after 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 targets. Rhode missed two targets out of her first 16 shots and then didn’t miss again for 33 consecutive targets to easily out-distance all her rivals, missing just four her 60 shots total.  She ended up eventually taking the victory by five total targets over Thailand’s Sutiya Jiewchalommit.

She nearly had some team company on the podium as Caitlin Connor (Winnfield, Louisiana) missed a bronze medal by the narrowest of margins. Connor was one target away from earning at least a bronze medal, but a dropped target on her 40th shot dropped her into a tie with Jiewchalommit.  A higher qualification score (73 to 72) meant that the Thai shooter would advance and ultimately propel to her silver-medal finish. New Zealand skeet shooter Chloe Tipple would finish in third.

In addition to a historic six medals, Rhode now has earned 25 career World Cup medals and another five World Cup Finals medals, including 19 total in Women’s Skeet.

I think there’s not really any secret,” Rhode in speaking about her continued success. “It’s just a lot of hard work and a lot of practice. I owe a lot to my family and to my training. I’m just never giving up.”

I like the new format of the finals,” she continued. “It allows us to showcase our talent, and it allowed me and Sutiya to battle all through the match for the gold medal. I think it’s great, and I think it will showcase a lot more of our abilities.


Women’s Skeet Results:  QUALIFYING | FINALS

Watch the replay of the Women’s Skeet Final

The first 75 targets in Men’s Skeet were also thrown Wednesday with U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit Sgt. Hayden Stewart (Columbia, Tennessee) leading the way for Team USA in 13th place after posting a score of 72. Zach McBee (College Station, Texas) is ranked 35th after a 68. Kyle Johnson (Phoenix, Arizona) is 43rd with a 65. ISSF World Cup India concludes Thursday with 50 more qualifying targets plus a final. Men’s Skeet Results 

Thanks to the ISSF for their editorial assistance and photo.

Congratulations Kim Rhode!

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Photo Gallery: 2017 Women’s Meet & Mingle at SHOT Show Wed, 01 Mar 2017 12:03:32 +0000 Find out what happened at the 2017 Women's Meet & Mingle at SHOT Show in Las Vegas. Hosted by Bonnier, hundreds of women turned out.

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This year, the Bonnier Sportsman’s Lounge in the Sands Expo Center hosted its second annual Meet & Mingle social event presented for and by the women of the shooting, hunting and outdoor industries. Some head counters estimated as many as 300 women attended, and others suggested 400. Held in the late afternoon on Thurs., Jan. 19, this event was open to all women who attended SHOT Show.

We received positive feedback from our survey following last year’s event,” said Barbara Baird, Publisher, Women’s Outdoor News and Contributing Editor, SHOT Daily and SHOT Business. “We were delighted to host a gathering where women in the industry met and networked. Special thanks to Susan LaPierre, of the NRA Women’s Network, and Julie Golob, professional competitor and retail seminar presenter at SHOT Show 2017, for their guidance in planning and helping to make this event a success. We could never have provided such a warm and relaxing afternoon event without the generosity of our 10 sponsors.

The following sponsors underwrote the costs of the event: AZ Firearms/Gun Freedom Radio, Beretta, Crossbreed, DIVA WOW, Jagemann Sporting Group, NRA Women’s Network, Remington Outdoor Company, Shoot Like A Girl, Smith & Wesson and The Well Armed Woman.

2017 Women’s Meet & Mingle

Meet & Mingle Meet & Mingle Meet & Mingle Olympians selfie

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She Guides: Meet Michele Eichler, an Experienced Hunting Guide from Colorado Tue, 28 Feb 2017 12:19:17 +0000 We welcome Courtney Nicolson to TeamWON. She will bring us stories of women who are hunting guides and she debuts this series with Michele Eichler, a hunting guide in Colorado.

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Michele Eichler is an experienced hunting guide and co-owner of Full Draw Outfitters in Colorado, an outfitter that offers both rifle and archery hunts. Michele made a name for herself in the archery industry and retired from that side of the business after 28 years. She served for many years as CEO of Muzzy Products, a company founded by her father. As told to Courtney Nicolson.


She Guides is sponsored by Remington Outdoor Company.

One thing I learned from hunting with my Dad is how to become part of the woods.

When I would sit in my tree stand, I could always distinguish a person walking through the woods from a deer. That is, except for my dad. That’s when I realized what a great hunter he was, and that just comes from logging hours in the woods. Think about what you sound like to different animal’s ears. A deer might recognize you as a human, but a bull elk might think you sound like a cow elk crashing through the woods towards him. When I was younger I used to go out into the woods and follow deer tracks. It wasn’t even hunting season. I just wanted to see their behaviors, and also to see if I could catch up to them. Any time you spend in the woods, you’re learning and that’s how I grew up.

michele Richler she guides

You know, being an outfitter we’ve heard tons of horror stories.

When selecting an outfitter, don’t just look for a gallery of client photos with their harvests. Ask if they have any testimonials from clients who did not connect with an animal. If a previous client tells you that they either didn’t have a shot opportunity or it just wasn’t the right shot for them and they still had a great time, that’s saying something. Selecting an outfitter that has great properties, proper equipment and patient and friendly guides is going to be more important than if you harvest or not. We have 80% repeat clients; if the outfitter has those statistics available, that can be another indicator of a well-run and respectable outfitter.

Going on a hunt in a new state for a new species can be so exciting.

Whether you’re going with an outfitter or DIY make sure you know what kind of shooting skill and physical capabilities are needed for your specific hunt. If you’re only comfortable with a rifle shot under 50 yards, then you might not be ready for hunting out west in the open mountains. Likewise, if you are mostly a tree stand hunter and have not been training for a Western hunt, then a “run and gun” elk hunt in steep terrain might not be for you yet. Be honest about your shooting and physical condition – both to yourself or to an outfitter. It will make the hunt much more enjoyable and there’s a lot that a good outfitter can do to accommodate different needs. There’s nothing wrong with taking an extra year to train hard and prepare for your once in a lifetime hunt!

One thing we warn our hunters about here in Colorado is the altitude.

You know as well as I do that just the altitude alone can be a challenge. We have had clients who have been training by running 10 miles a day. They’re in great shape and they come out here and the first day they’re sucking wind and they say, “I don’t get it!” I have to tell them: “You know it’s OK, it has nothing to do with your physical fitness, it’s just the thin air! You need a few days to get your lungs used to it.” Whether you’re doing a DIY hunt or coming to our camp, I recommend to come in a few days early and explore or fish around Colorado just to get your bodies adjusted before you start your hunt.

Whether you’re out with an outfitter or a maybe you’re on a good friend’s property, don’t let that be an excuse to turn off your common sense.

Run through the same checklists that you would if you were hunting alone. One time I was hunting with an outfitter, my camerawoman was sitting in one tree and I was sitting in a tree right next to her. It wasn’t until a few minutes later that I noticed her ladder stand was not even attached to her tree! I had to come down and hold her ladder as she climbed down. If you’re planning a hunt at a friend’s property, ask if you’ll be in a tree stand. If you don’t have a safety harness, make sure that they have one to provide for you. When you get to where you’re hunting  give it a once-over and make sure it is safe.

remington 783

As Michele recommends, get on your gun before the season starts. After sighting in the scope, get into several shooting positions with it to see how it does and you do at different yardages. (Barbara Baird photo)

The off-season can be a great time to learn new skills.

If you’ve never hunted in a tree stand, put one in the yard and practice. If you’ve never hunted seated in a blind, grab a chair and try shooting from a seated position. Then you’ll be ready for any hunting opportunities down the road!

On Firearm Selection for Hunting

Remington 783

Barbara Baird tagged her first antelope with a Remington 783, bolt-action rifle. As Michele remarked, a gun chambered in .257 is perfect for several species found in the West.

When you’re new to hunting, the list of gear to purchase can be overwhelming and intimidating. If you’re looking to buy a rifle, think about where you’ll primarily be hunting and the animals that live there. It is possible to purchase one caliber that can be a “do it all” gun to get you started. Here in Colorado, something like a .257 or .270 will take down anything you’re liable to encounter: mule deer, bear, mountain lion, elk and antelope. All of my sons shot their first elk with a .257.

One thing I’ve noticed from years welcoming clients in to camp is that some folks have the tendency to be “over-gunned.” What I mean by that is they’re shooting a caliber that is just too large for them to handle. Shooting your gun should be enjoyable, so if the recoil is unpleasant, switch to a smaller caliber. We have had many clients get to camp and ask us to check the zero on their rifles! They don’t even want to shoot it once or twice to do so. That’s a bad sign. Practice is the key to becoming a better hunter, so pick a gun you feel confident shooting. You’re less likely then to develop bad habits like flinching.

Michele Eichler

Full Draw Outfitters, Colorado

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To Red Dot or Not: What Sights Should I Use on My Pistol? Mon, 27 Feb 2017 12:15:25 +0000 Trying to decide if you should purchase a red dot sight? Michelle Cerino gives you some insight in her new column, "Princess Gunslinger."

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We welcome the “Princess Gunslinger,” aka our managing editor Michelle Cerino, to her new column of the same nickname here at The WON. Michelle is sponsored by Trijicon, at The WON and at shooting matches across the country. We think you’ll enjoy her information on using a red dot and like following her adventures. Be sure to check out her social media, too. ~BB

Princess Gunslinger is sponsored by Trijicon

Do you have a red dot on any of your long guns? Many of us do. But what about a red dot on your handguns? Why not? It’s definitely popular now and not just for competition.  Today you will find people using them for competition and on their defensive pistols. Don’t believe me? Go to almost any training class these days and you’ll see as many as 10% of the students using red dots on defensive guns. Stop by any pistol matches and you’ll see as possibly 50%, or more using red dots on their pistols. These numbers come from my experience as a trainer and a competitor.


If you’re at a match, don’t be afraid to ask some of the competitors why or why not they chose the red dot they have on their pistol. You can learn a lot that’ll save you heartache and money in the long run. Not going to any matches soon or just not a talker? Read on to decide if you should red dot, or not.

Disclaimer: My family and I are members of Trijicon’s Pro Staff. We believe in their Brilliant Aiming Solutions™ for the consumer, military and law enforcement markets. If it’s good enough for the military we are confident in our use both in competition and personal defense. Plus, we really like the people behind the Trijicon brand. 

Red Dot

Iron Sights

Let’s look at iron sights. The standard configuration is of a front sight and a rear sight that  align with each other and then on a target to make the desired shot placement. With iron sights, primarily what I use, you need to train yourself to focus on the front sight, through the window of the rear sight. Then place them properly on the intended target downrange. It sounds like a lot but it’s not that hard. However, for some people it can be a challenge for a variety of reasons. Poor eyesight from old age or just common eye problems. My husband started to have problems focusing on the sights to make precision shots. The difficulty arises when a shooter, while firing, shifts her focus to the target. Or when she forgets about the relationship of the front sight to the rear sight. This usually results in misplaced shots.

Now, for those who learn how to shoot well with iron sights, the process of focusing eventually becomes second nature. And honestly, depending on the size of the target and the distance to it, you may not need much focus at all. For some, it’s always a struggle but remember this … front sight through the window of the rear with the target behind it all. Stay focused and press the trigger!

Night Sights

But what about low light situations? Trijicon has an answer for that, and for increasing your precision game as well. Did you see its newly released  HD XR Night Sights; (MSRP: $175)? These sights combine all the feature of defensive sights with the best features of competition sights.

The front sight is really easy to find with an orange or yellow glow-in-the-dark photoluminescence painted front sight outline. The HD XR Night Sights have Tritium inserts front and rear, making shooting in low light situations simple. If you’ve never used night sights, you’ll be amazed at how much they help. A thinner front sight post allows for a greater field of view, thus making target identification and precision shots placement easier. I like that these have more light spacing around the front sight. It helps me line up shots more quickly and precisely. These iron sights work perfect for a shooter in any type of light environment. Best of all, no batteries needed!

Red Dot


Why the Dot?

With all the greatness of the iron sights you might wonder why even bother with a red dot. First of all, notice the term sight, not sights. This saves on some portion of the, “lining things up.” Because, unlike iron sights, with red dots, you have nothing to line up. It can be as simple as putting the dot on the target and pressing the trigger. Unless of course you don’t know how to manage the trigger. But that’s an entirely other article.

I have a lot of experience with red dots on long guns, but not much with red dots on handguns. Usually I only get to use them on staged guns at matches. I do have a pretty good idea what works and lasts long.  Trijicon’s RMR (Ruggedized Miniature Reflex) sight (MSRP: $577 – $708) is the most rugged miniature red dot sight available and hugely popular — especially in the defensive market. when you bet your life on something, you need it to be rugged and reliable.

Red Dot

The RMR comes in a variety of options for whatever your need.  Available in LED, Adjustable LED, or Dual Illuminated versions, it’s perfect for those who may not need the dot to be on all the time or who may want to have a backup plan for a dead battery. And  with dot sizes ranging from 1.0 MOA to 13 MOA, you are sure to find a combination you prefer. Batteries are always an issue, but if you adhere to the manufacturers recommendations you’ll be “in the red” when you need to.


Many people love the red dots for their ease of use and target acquisition. With old eyes, there really is not any focusing.

So, if you’re in a place where you need bi-focals or reading glasses, or glasses to see far but not near, you will find a red dot to be a lifesaver.

I have many friends on the pro shooting circuit, and when I ask them why they started shooting open guns with red dots, the standard answer is, “I just can’t see the darn sights anymore.”


Red Dot

Consider the following before purchasing a red dot sight:

  • How much money are you willing to spend?
  • Will your current holster work with a red dot sight?
  • Will a red dot make shooting easier in regard to what you can see?
  • You will still need to  know how to use your iron sights, as a backup to a dead battery situation, especially if the firearm is for competition or home defense.

So, red dot or not? Honestly, you have to decide for yourself.

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Ashlee Lundvall: Ladies on Ice, My Adventure with the Women’s Ice Angler Project Mon, 27 Feb 2017 02:02:24 +0000 Find out what happened when Ashlee Lundvall spent a few cold days on the ice with the ladies of the Women's Ice Angler Project.

The post Ashlee Lundvall: Ladies on Ice, My Adventure with the Women’s Ice Angler Project appeared first on Hunting, shooting, fishing and adventure for women by women. (c) Women's Outdoor News

We welcome Ashlee Lundvall to The WON, with a monthly column sponsored by Mace. Ashlee is the former Ms. Wheelchair USA and travels the country, inspiring others as an outdoor ambassador. For her first column, she attended the Women’s Ice Angler Project. By the way, I just finished reading Ashlee’s book, “A Redefined Life, Lessons from a Pitchfork.” Watch for a review soon. Eye opening.~BB

When a group of strong, independent women join in a common cause, amazing things can happen. This was never more true than during the third annual Women’s Ice Angler Project this past February on Lake Mille Lacs near Isle, Minnesota.

Ashlee Lundvall is sponsored by Mace

This was my first ice-fishing adventure, and I was a bit hesitant. While I love any opportunity to be outdoors, there is something about being on a frozen lake in the bitter cold that causes my control freak nature to inwardly cringe. I am truly passionate about trying new activities, and it was an honor to be asked to join the team, so my reluctance was soon outweighed by my love for a challenge. I couldn’t be happier that it did.

I arrived at McQuoid’s Lodge on Wednesday evening, just in time for dinner. While I had never actually met any of the other ladies in person, we had been corresponding via social media over the past several months, and I was excited to begin what I hoped would be several new friendships. The team leader, Barb Carey, had interviewed me on the Great Wild Radio Show in 2015, and she was the one who had invited me to participate. Barb is a woman who exudes capability. If there is ever a zombie apocalypse, you want her on your side. She introduced me to the other six women on the team, and we sat down to finalize a game plan for the next day.

Ice Angler Project

Women’s Ice Angler Team (Back, left to right) Bonnie Timm, Shelly Holland, Barb Carey, Shantel Wittstruck (Front, left to right) Rikki Pardun, Ashlee Lundvall, Hannah Stonehouse Hudson (Hannah Stonehouse Hudson photo)

Women’s Ice Angler Project

The Women’s Ice Angler Project is a media event designed to bring awareness to ice fishing and encourage more women to get involved in the sport. As with other outdoor activities, ice fishing is male-dominated, and it can be intimidating for ladies to take part without support from other females. The women on my team are at the top of their game, with most being pro staff for Clam, Vexilar and other fishing companies. That night at McQuiod’s, as they discussed what gear to pack and which parts of the lake we wanted to fish, I felt as if they were speaking a foreign language. Fortunately for me, they were incredibly patient and excited to share their knowledge. Women are natural mentors, and these ladies loved that I was an “ice newbie.” Confident that I was in good hands, I accepted my blue bucket full of gear I didn’t yet understand and headed to bed.

Ice Angler Project

Setting up the Clam Big Foot XL6000T Garage ice shelter. (Hannah Stonehouse Hudson photo)

We left the next morning, as the sun was beginning to stretch its lazy rays across the freezing air. Thankfully, I was bundled in my Clam Ice Armor Lift Parka and Bibs, Volt heated fleece and Cabela’s Polar Weight base layers. I quickly learned my first lesson in safety as we approached the frozen lake. From the passenger seat of my SUV, Shantel Wittstruck, also new to the team, unbuckled my seat belt and reconnected it behind my back. “This makes it easier to get out of the vehicle if we go through the ice, and it also keeps the belt alarm from ringing as we drive,” she told me, and the seriousness of the situation started to sink in. The orange safety ice picks hanging around our necks suddenly seemed heavier. While I was instantly more sober about approaching the water, I was also grateful for the calm reassurance I heard in her voice. Some might shrink away from the danger and hard work involved, but this team of women stressed preparedness and safety education. They were aware of the potential danger, but they didn’t let it stop them from seeking out a chance to learn and grow.

Ice Angler Project

(from back to front) Shelly Holland, Rikki Pardun and Shantel Wittstruck drilling and cleaning out the ice fishing holes inside the Clam Garage. (Hannah Stonehouse Hudson photo)

We spent the next three days on the ice. I was taught how to pitch a Clam ice shelter, read a Vexilar system to find fish, and drill a hole in the ice with an auger. I learned the difference between a minnow and a wax worm, and that some fish are drawn in by pounding the lure on the bottom of the lake, while others prefer bait that is completely still. I watched as women shared water depth information and encouraged each other toward a successful catch, and then celebrated wildly as another friend pulled in a large walleye.  I even experienced crossing my first pressure crack with a homemade bridge and the resourcefulness of a team of amazing ladies.

Ice Angler Project

Rikki Pardun and her walleye. (Hannah Stonehouse Hudson photo)

What happened on the ice

I didn’t land a single fish on my first ice-fishing experience. I had a few on the line, but in the end, they slipped off my hook. But that isn’t what I will remember about this experience. I will take with me the memories of new friendships, the empowering feeling of women working toward a common goal and the exhilaration of knowing that at the end of the day, the only limitations we face are the ones we put on ourselves. There are definitely no limitations on the impact the Women’s Ice Angler Project is having, and will continue to have, on generations of women anglers to come.

MSRP Info:

  • Clam Ice Armor Lift Parka ($269.99) and Bibs ($259.99)
  • Volt heated fleece ($179.99)
  • Cabela’s Polar Weight base layer crew ($64.99) and bottoms ($64.99)
  • Clam Big Foot XL6000T Garage ice shelter ($579.99)
  • Vexilar FL22 Ice Pro w / 12 Degree Ice Ducer ($509.95)

The post Ashlee Lundvall: Ladies on Ice, My Adventure with the Women’s Ice Angler Project appeared first on Hunting, shooting, fishing and adventure for women by women. (c) Women's Outdoor News

Stacy Bright Reviews CrossBreed’s Mini Appendix Holster and Ladies Reversible Carry Belt Sat, 25 Feb 2017 15:35:11 +0000 Stacy Bright puts the Women’s Appendix and Ladies Carry Belt to the test.

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With all the holsters and gun gear on the market, it’s difficult to know where to start—especially in the women’s market. Picking the right one can feel like taking a shot in the dark, or even playing Russian roulette. Fortunately, CrossBreed Holsters has been working to meet the needs of women and has some great options for you.

Crossbreed Holsters

She Shoots 2 is sponsored by Crossbreed Holsters

CrossBreed introduced its Mini Appendix Holster, also called the Women’s Appendix, in the late spring of 2015. I was fortunate enough to get my hands on one shortly thereafter. At that time, I hadn’t planned to write a review on it. I simply wanted to see if it would be viable as my everyday carry holster, and I’m pleased to say it has been.

This holster was designed with women in mind. The corners were smoothed out and its leather material is softer than the company’s other holster models. As an appendix holster, it is intended to be used with a small firearm, such as the Ruger LCP, SIG Sauer P238, Smith & Wesson Bodyguard and similar guns. A larger holster and gun wouldn’t be as comfortable or practical in the appendix position.

Women’s Appendix Holster

This wasn’t my first rodeo when it comes to CrossBreed holsters. I’ve carried a larger gun in a SuperTuck, and the number one thing that I love about these holsters is the way they conform to my body after minimal usage. It’s as if the holster becomes a part of me, and before long I forget I’m wearing it.

My Mini Appendix is made of horsehide leather, which makes it much thinner than cowhide, yet still provides the same stiffness. Horsehide leather also holds up better in high-moisture environments due to its high density, according to a CrossBreed rep. This is beneficial to me, as the humidity during a Missouri summer can be brutal.

The Mini Appendix also comes with one Snaplok—a powder-coated steel clip, already attached. This heavy-duty clip keeps the holster in place on my belt all day and lets me draw my gun without pulling my holster off as well, yet is easy enough to remove without taking my belt off.

Concealability is excellent, as far as I’m concerned. I was talking with a friend the other day who, after seeing my holster and gun, couldn’t believe that I carried it every day; she never knew by just looking.

My holster is worn, but comfortable!

My holster has worn well and shows no sign of giving up anytime soon. Compare my used, broken-in holster side-by-side with a brand-new one in the photo below. The leather on mine is slightly worn and has molded to my body, but otherwise looks like new. The Kydex and the Snaplok have held up well.

One last thing to point out about CrossBreed holsters is the company’s two-week try-it-free guarantee and a lifetime warranty. If you don’t love your Mini Appendix, send it back. I doubt you’ll want to, however. MSRP: Starts at $59.50

CrossBreed Reversible Women’s Carry Belts

Another addition to the CrossBreed family is the Ladies Reversible Carry Belt. It was designed by women, for women. Each belt is made of top-grade finished leather, black on one side and brown on the other, with a black finished edge. It’s 1¼ inches wide and 1/8 inch thick, allowing me to wear it with some of my jeans that have smaller belt loops. To reverse the belt, simply pull down on the flat base of the buckle and rotate. The buckle itself is available in chrome, gunmetal and gold.

After wearing this belt for several months, I’ve found that it performs well. It’s sturdy enough to support my holster without being so rigid that it’s uncomfortable.

Each belt has 5 holes to adjust size.

The ladies at CrossBreed also decided to make each belt with 5 holes at ¾ inch apart for a fully personalized fit. I don’t know about you, but my pants sometimes fit a little tighter or looser, depending on the day. Being able to adjust my belt up or down a small amount makes me happy. I love this belt so much that I chose it as one of my Top 5 products at SHOT Show 2017. (You can see all of my Top 5 choices here.) MSRP: $64.95

If you’re looking for a quality women’s holster or belt, I highly recommend giving CrossBreed a chance. Let them prove that they know a thing or two about what women want.

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Cheyenne Dalton: How and Why I Learned to Shoot Fri, 24 Feb 2017 17:34:23 +0000 In her first column at The WON, Cheyenne Dalton shares her insights about getting children involved in the shooting sports.

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We welcome Cheyenne Dalton, teenage competition shooter, to Women’s Outdoor News as a columnist, sponsored by Volquartsen Firearms. Cheyenne represents the rising group of new pro-shooters and is an inspiring role model for other young people. Be sure to check out her social media outlets, too. ~BB


Volquartsen the worlds finest rimfire rifles and pistols. Katie Pavlich and Volquartsen know top proformance rimfire pistols and rifles. Built Better.

Cheyenne Dalton is sponsored by Volquartsen Firearms.

People often ask me when they should get their children involved in shooting. That is a tough question to answer, because it all depends on their children’s maturity. I have met very mature 8-year-olds, but immature 13-year-olds. Here’s why and how I started shooting.

Guns have always been a part of our home and my siblings and I understand the consequences of not being responsible with guns. We have developed a love and respect for firearms through years of teaching and training. I can’t remember a time when guns weren’t in our home, because we use them to protect our farm against varmints such as possums and raccoons in the chicken house.

(Terry Dalton photo)

My dad took me spring turkey hunting when I was 6 and then we would go fishing in our ponds, and mushroom hunting in the woods. We’d have friends come over and enjoy a big meal of everything harvested from our farm. When I was young, our family had a hunting lodge on our farm and I remember packing lunches for the hunters that would come. For us, guns have always been a part of our lifestyle. They are a very important tool for our farm. If you want a child to be interested in firearms, then they need to be a part of your home, too.


(Oleg Volk photo)

One day my mom decided to go and get her concealed carry license. There was a man who didn’t live very far from us that taught the classes and his daughter was helping him teach the class. She and my mom started talking and the young woman asked my mom if she had any children who might be interested in competitive shooting. My mom didn’t know what I would think, so my parents and I went to a local match and I instantly fell in love with all of the action that happened there.

I decided I would take a lesson from my mom’s instructor and after she showed me the basics – such as stance and grip – she told me about a match that was 2 weeks away. I practiced a couple more times before the match and I went up to Iowa, shot the match, and won High Limited Lady with a stock Ruger 10/22 from Walmart. Yes, I was hooked!  People always seem to think that you need the biggest baddest equipment out there, but this proves that this is untrue.

Before you jump right into shooting, make sure your child is even interested in it. Take them to a couple matches to let them see how they work. I have seen too many children get pushed into shooting all because their parents wanted them to, not because the kids wanted to. If you decide that competitive shooting is right for your family, then next you need to find a safe and permissible place to practice. I am very lucky that I live where I do. We can set up a range to practice in numerous places. Practicing is one of the most important things you can do. But a parent’s attitude toward practice is just as important as anything else. If you try to make the practices fun, then the child will want to continue.

Cheyenne Dalton

(Terry Dalton photo)

If you can find a good trainer, get trained so that you all learn the proper procedures for gun handling. Stress safety on the range at all times.

Last, don’t take things too seriously; this should be a fun and family-friendly experience. In the end, it’s not all about winning or losing, but spending time with family and friends.
Shooting is a sport that can give you a lifetime of enjoyment. Remember that to continue to enjoy our Second Amendment rights, we must insure that the next generation understands how much fun safe shooting can be.

Cheyenne Dalton, welcome to TeamWON!

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The Women’s Gun Show Episode #40: Designing Women and the Shotgun Designer Fri, 24 Feb 2017 16:25:24 +0000 Meet Anne Mauro, featured in this week's podcast in the "Designing Women" series. Anne is the designer of the new Intuition line at Blaser. Barbara Baird and Carrie Lightfoot converse about trending topics, cool products and events for women in the shooting world. Sponsored by Ruger.

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In this week’s podcast, Barbara Baird and Carrie Lightfoot continue with the “Designing Women” series. Barbara talks to Anne Mauro, shotgun designer at Blaser. Anne also lent her expertise to a new rifle design for women. Barb and Carrie discuss trending news, cool products, a survival story and shooting events for women. Sponsored by Ruger.

Designing Women: Anne Mauro, The Shotgun Designer

Anne Mauro Blaser F16

Anne Mauro with the F16 shotgun she designed. (Jason Baird photo)

Meet the Shotgun Designer

Anne Mauro has a wealth of experience within the shooting sports and shotgun industry.

Anne led the development and promotion with an Italian gun maker of the first successful shotgun company dedicated to the female shooter.  Traveling the country to introduce women to the shotgun sports and hunting, Anne is a foremost authority on shotguns for women, has a passion for hunting and shooting.

As Anne’s commitment to designing superior firearms for females grew she teamed up with Blaser in creating the Intuition line of shotguns and rifles.

F16 Intuition shotgun Blaser

The new F16.

Anne is head of Blaser Intuition, F16 Shotguns & R8 Rifles. She is an integral member of the USA Shooting, NRA National Coach Development Staff.  and a USA Shooting, NRA Certified Advanced Shotgun Coach Level 3, one of 20 in the country and one only 5 women who hold this certification.  She is the head coach of the University of Maryland Shotgun Sports Team, leading the team to their first HOA regional title in 2013 ACUI Upper East Coast Championships and 3rd Place in 2016.  She also is a National Sporting Clays Association Certified Instructor and Advisory Council Board member.  Anne loves competitive sporting clays and FITASC, and has earned in-class and ladies titles at regional, national and world tournaments. She also has written and had published various firearms-related articles. She presents at conferences and clinics around the country. Anne is an avid huntress.

R-8 Blaser gun for women

The R-8 by Blaser. Can be configured in 47 calibers.

Survival Story 

Carrie finds that a St. Petersburg woman shot a man climbing through a side window of her house:

Firearms news you can use

Barb notes a major setback for gun owners in FL: A Florida law restricting doctors from talking to patients about guns has been thrown out. See

John Edeen doctors for responsible gun ownership doctor your gunLearn more about how to handle situations with your doctor, from Dr. John Edeen, of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership:

Carrie mentions the particulars of the Remington 700 recall:

Cool products

511 glacier half-zip ask

Here’s Barb on the range at Gunsite with USCCA’s Beth Alcazar. Like her jacket? It’s the one she mentions in the show.

Barb really likes the 5.11 Tactical Glacier Half-Zip jacket:

Glacier half zip 5.11

Carrie noticed these tactical, zip-off rain pants while at her training last week in Virginia:






TWAW Product of the Week

 Walker low profile-purple

Carrie says if you’re on a budget, get these muffs – Walker’s Pro Low Profile Passive Ear Muffs:

Calendar: What’s up?  


Barb is fond of everything that the group DIVA WOW does, because they do it well and professionally:  DIVA WOW Shotgun Showcase:


Carrie will be attending the USCCA Expo in Ft. Worth soon, and you can see her on a panel discussion, there, too! The event will also host a Women’s Concealed Carry Showroom:

Download, listen and subscribe to The Women’s Gun Show on iTunes,  Stitcher and iHeart Radio.

Fan of the Month

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out our new social media platforms at Facebook and Pinterest.

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Year Number 3 of #womenonice Boasts Success on Lake Mille Lacs Fri, 24 Feb 2017 13:30:22 +0000 They did it! Another successful #womenonice event is in the books.

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(Lake Mille Lacs, Minn.) Feb. 16, 2017 — This week marks the successful conclusion of the third year of #womenonice with The Women Ice Angler Project on Lake Mille Lacs. With event accommodations at McQuoid’s Inn and on-the-ice roads and service from Mac’s Twin Bay, this media event hit all the goals. This year, a focus on access to those with physical challenges brought special guest team member Ashlee Lundvall on board (@crownandcamo and #aredefinedlife). Author and public speaker, Lundvall used her Action Track all-terrain wheelchair to get around on the ice and snow, though she admitted to apprehension for her first-ever ice fishing adventure.

My goal was to learn everything I could, and I wheeled away with so much more than knowledge,” Lundvall said. “I gained the feeling of teamwork and empowerment, and a desire to help women everywhere (of any ability) experience the thrill of ice fishing. I can’t wait for my next time on the ice.


The “a-ha” moments occur on the ice and frankly, in part because of the ice.

(Stonehouse Photography photo)

There were so many things I felt were ‘too big’ for me: Mille Lacs was too big, towing my snowmobile seven hours by myself, hauling all my own gear, even leading our group across a huge ice heave,” said Bonnie Timm, Clam pro staff angler and participant for all three Women Ice Angler Project media events. “Not long ago it all would have been ‘too big,’ but the confidence I’ve gained has helped me so much. And my motivation grew even more when I met Ashlee and watched her accomplish so many things. She lives with no fear.


A Barb Carey Media Production under the umbrella of the organization Carey founded, Wisconsin Women Fish, #womenonice utilized the new Big Foot Clam XL6000T hub-style shelter they called “the garage” for Ashlee and her all-terrain wheelchair. With 112 sq. ft. of fishable area, the garage shack panel unzips on the top and one side to hinge open. Access for a wheelchair worked great. “Ashlee could drive right in without a barrier, so then the question became ‘where are we going?’” said Carey. “Mille Lacs is a fish structure wonderland with so many places to fish, it was hard to choose from so many options, but with all of our shacks we had the mobility to get where we wanted and drill more holes. That’s what makes ice fishing a success.”


Mac’s Twin Bay road system worked great and they built a special bridge this year to cover a large crack. While on the move to another side of the lake, the group discovered their own ice heave with open water; that put a lump in everyone’s throat—but the fear didn’t stop them. Each was schooled in ice safety and carried picks and a throw rope. Several had a Nebulus, a compact bag that inflates from a CO2 canister. The lifeboat provides something to hold on to and makes crawling out possible in a worst-case scenario of breaking through. With no mishaps, these lady anglers forged ahead using common sense and safe ice skills to carry on—and they caught big, healthy walleyes and northern pike. Even a tullibee to win the dinosaur booby prize.

Mille Lacs

The goal of the Women Ice Angler Project is to encourage women to try ice fishing as well as mentor those who already enjoy it and want to improve their skills. “The other side of what we’re doing is to move the industry forward showing more women ice anglers,” said award-winning outdoor photographer Hannah Stonehouse Hudson. “We’re living this incredible dream, pursuing a sport we love. It’s good to have the stories and the photos to go with women ice fishing.”


Sponsors have access to high-quality photos for use in their social media and marketing efforts. “We’ve seen photos from previous years’ #womenonice events on product packaging, in tourism brochures, product catalogs, store banners and definitely in lots of social media,” said Rikki Pardun, Clam pro staff angler and the gal to claim the biggest fish of the weekend—a nice Mille Lacs walleye. “We didn’t measure or weigh it. Just snapped a picture and released it back.”


Two Clam and Vexilar pro staffers, Shelly Holland of Oak Grove, Minn. and Shantel Wittstruck of Sioux Falls, S.D. participated. It was year three for Holland and first year for Wittstruck. Also new this year was Cabela’s pro staffer Karen McQuoid. Karen and her husband Kevin own Mac’s Twin Bay out of Isle. “We have something truly special here in this world-class fishery and I had a great time sharing my hometown lake with the team.”

Additional local support for the project came from Mille Lacs Tourism, Mugg’s of Mille Lacs and McQuoid’s Inn and Event Center.

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