Cherie Jones and I sat at a picnic table in Alabama a few years ago. She liked shooting shotguns, but wasn’t sure about rifles and pistols. In fact, she wasn’t sure whether she really wanted to carry concealed –ever. And now, my goodness, the woman has lit off like a rocket. She not only shoots shotgun, rifle and handgun … she is a certified NRA instructor in all three disciplines. And, she also teaches concealed carry. And holds special women’s courses that are like retreats. Read about Cherie’s passion for teaching women (and men and children) to shoot, and also, read about how she occupies her time otherwise. In fact, you may recognize Cherie from Gear Court here at The WON, where she is a reviewer.
Many of my friends can’t picture me with a gun because I’ve only been involved with hunting for about three years. During that time I’ve learned to shoot a shotgun and developed a taste for hunting. I then learned to shoot pistol and rifle and have become an NRA Certified Shooting Instructor in all disciplines.
My everyday job is a world apart from my outdoors’ passions, since the people I deal with are interior designers. I have a custom design workroom attached to our garage and it’s equipped with three industrial sewing machines that serge, blind hem and straight stitch.
I make window treatments and bedding for decorators and interior designers. They bring me their fabric and ideas and I turn them into reality. Sewing has always been therapeutic for me. I have a very “crafty” side to me and I really enjoy the challenge that I get from duplicating a picture from a magazine that’s sometimes as small as a postage stamp and requires a magnifying glass to see the details.
When I’m not in the sewing room, I’m either writing a magazine article or fishing, shooting, or hunting. Since learning to shoot I’ve competed in a few side-by-side events and placed in some of them – including being the 2006 Northeast Side by Side Women’s Champion. I’m a very competitive person and that’s probably why I enjoy shooting so much.
Anytime I want to shoot all I have to do is step outside and take advantage of our shotgun, rifle and pistol ranges right on our property. The shotgun range is my favorite because it’s an actual competition five stand.
After my husband and I became Certified Shooting Instructors we decided to start a shooting school. At Lewis Creek Shooting School, we teach North Carolina Concealed Carry classes, women’s shotgun classes, and we plan to do youth shooting schools starting this summer.
I also teach at Beaver Pond Sporting Club, a game preserve in Snow Camp, NC. In addition to shooting instruction my husband and I do public relations for Beaver Pond.
Just recently we’ve begun taping cooking segments at our house for WXII, a local TV station. They air on random Fridays but are more accessible on their website. It sounds hectic but I’ve actually enjoyed the crew invading our home with lights and cameras, filming for three hours, and then sitting down to a great game or fish meal afterwards.
About a year ago our 32-year-old daughter started getting involved in the shotgun part of the spectrum. This has her husband happy because now he has a whole new set of birthday and Christmas presents to buy. So far she’s mastered dove hunting and is now in pursuit of her first duck. I’m excited because I’ve had a hard time finding women in my area who want to join me out in the field. She and I hunt alongside each other and it’s gratifying to know she’s interested in something I love.
My mission, along with my husband’s, is to get more women and children involved in the outdoors. I’m having so much fun with all of this that I only regret not getting involved in it sooner.
As a woman, you don’t have to shoot as well as the men to make an impression. When I shoot a 70, I get more recognition than the men whose scores are in the low 90s. In fact, just recently my husband came home and told me he was being introduced to someone and that person said “Oh, you’re married to Cherie, the woman that out-shot us at the sporting club just a few months ago.” I love it!