WON Landing Page OCT 2022

My Job … My Outdoors: Carol Smeltzer –Type (Way) A about the Outdoors

At first glance, she looks like … oh, let’s see … a classy book author (probably a president’s biography) or the librarian at a large university. Intelligence and quiet intensity combine to make I-squared, aka Carol Smeltzer. We like her can-do attitude and also her reasons for shooting, for hunting, for taking life by the doggone horns and shaking it up a bit. In other words … she’s a Type (Way) A about the outdoors.

My Job

I am the Promotional Programs Manager for BLACKHAWK!.  BLACKHAWK! manufactures tactical gear for law enforcement and military, offers a clothing line, an outdoor line and a fire/EMS line of products.  My duties include managing our Show Room, handling the Custom Logo Embroidery Program, acting as liaison for NRA’s programs, and assisting in the planning and coordination of events such as Bloggers Conferences and Writers Conferences.  I also attend trade shows as needed.

My Outdoors

I have always loved being outdoors!  Some of my earliest childhood memories include going for walks with my mother through the woods in Virginia and picking wild strawberries, and hiking the mountains of Pennsylvania and picking absolutely huge blueberries.  Of course, I carried half of them home in my stomach!  I love the mountains, the oceans, the deserts – all of it.

I started shooting in my mid-30s to get over a fear of guns.  I chose shotgun.  (Why not go big!)  The result was a national record in American Handicap Trap in my second year of shooting (most yards won by a woman in one year – 6.5 yards), three ATA All American Team honors, and runner-up two years in a row at the Grand American Ladies Champion of Champions race with 99×100.

After just five years of shooting ATA, I switched to Olympic Trap (also called bunker trap).  In my first year I shot a “cut score” which qualified me to shoot at U.S. Team tryouts.  My score there put me in first place among the ladies, with a record score.  I served on the U.S. Shooting Team for two (non-Olympic) years and was a member of the Bronze Medal Ladies Team for Olympic Doubles Trap at the World Moving Targets Championships in Moscow, Russia.

Back problems put me out of shotgun competition, so I dabbled a bit with pistol (IDPA) and became an NRA Certified Instructor in the pistol and in shotgun.  I put about 500 people through the state-required course to qualify for a concealed carry permit.

Although no longer a competitive shooter, I thoroughly enjoy teaching women the wonderful sport of clay target shooting.  I do both individual and group lessons, including Women on Target classes.  I was honored to be asked by the NRA to attend their initial Women’s Wilderness Escape at the Whittington Center in 2008.  I assisted in teaching the ladies the absolute thrill of breaking clay targets, and was invited back in 2009 and am also scheduled for 2010.

While at WWE, I was privileged to meet Lisa Metheny, an avid archer and hunter.  I totally admired her ability to hunt and to maintain absolute respect for her game animals at the same time.  After considerable thought, I decided that I, too, would like to try a hunt.  Although I felt it went against my love of animals, I understood the all good reasons for hunting and the fact that the meat is clean, totally organic, and fresh.

Carol Smeltzer started big in the hunting world, hunting for an elk cow in 2008.

In December 2008 I returned to the Whittington Center for a cow elk hunt.  (Why not go big!)  Of course, I was using a BLACKHAWK! Knoxx Stock on my rifle and wearing BLACKHAWK! clothing.  I was fortunate to get a good, solid hit, and my cow went down quickly.  Whew!  And I didn’t even faint, throw up, or cry!  Toward the end of 2009, my husband looked in the freezer and said, “Honey, we’re getting low on elk meat.  You’d better schedule another hunt.”  Being an obedient wife, I complied with his wishes.  Again, a good solid hit on a cow who quickly succumbed to my bullet.  231 yards.  OK, I’m hooked.  My good friend Lisa and I are talking about a bison hunt, and maybe even moose.  Not so bad for a granny who got a late start on a new sport!

Carol's elk hunt, 2010.

  • About The WON

    The Women's Outdoor News, aka The WON, features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. This publication is for women, by women.


The Conversation

  • Jimmy Stanfield says: July 24, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Hi, Carol! It’s been awhile. Still shooting, I see. Keep your ammo dry!

  • Women's Outdoor News says: June 13, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Yes, Carol is really something, ain’t she? Anyone would let his or her daughter spend a weekend with this cool woman. When she aims for something, she aims high!

  • Mark Bell says: June 10, 2010 at 11:07 am

    I have always said that women were at least equal to, if not BETTER shooters than men.
    As the father of a young daughter, I am very grateful that you are providing such a positive role model for her.
    In these days and times, young children ( She is 9) need all the positive examples of adults that they can get. Hiopefully, you accompolishments will draw her, and other young ladies, to involve themselves in the shooting sport, and reap it’s many positive sidee effects.

  • Rhonda says: June 1, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    Hi Carol – nice to see your smiling face! We met at the NRA’s WWE – I back in 2008 [I was the female pistol instructor] I just found WON and look forward to reading/submitting articles. nice to start with the first one I find – and it’s a friend! keep up the good work