WON Landing Page OCT 2022

Wanna win WON? Julie G. offers Smith & Wesson gift bundle for Valentine’s Day

February is here and you know what that means … it’s the month of LOVE! Yep, Valentines Day … The day we profess our feelings of passion with roses, chocolates and jewelry. You might be surprised that there are actually a number of sites out there that can help shooters bedazzle their dearests with some firearm forward bling. Not attached? There’s nothing wrong with giving yourself a little love this February 14th.

For the lady hunter and outdoors woman, click on over to Doeville. Proprietor Kim Pezzeminti finds one-of-a-kind pieces featuring semi-precious stones, copper, leather and antlers make this jewelry perfect for the woman who loves the natural beauty of the outdoors.

doeville necklace_Yarger.jpg

Fresh Water Pearl medley of colors including Chartreuse, Rose and Bronze all accented with gold. The Rose Heart shaped Fresh Water Pearl dangling in the center of the large side cut antler in a heart shape adds great dimension to this special piece. $125. Photo courtesy of Doeville.

Athena Means, at GunGoddess.com, offers bullet casing jewelry for both men and women. For the ladies, jewelry in this collection uses brass that has been cut and rolled back, forming pretty petals around the case head. There are even options for the primer pocket to be filled with a variety of colored Swarovski Crystals. For men, be sure to check out the cuff links and personalized pendant options.


Men's cufflinks come in many calibers and options. $19.95

Another site for the ladies, check out Addie Mia on etsy.com. The shop features jewelry designed by Natalie Foster of Girls Guide to Guns. Like Natalie, this jewelry is pretty, feminine and modern. Whether you go for a pistol pendant or a more traditional piece, you have the satisfaction of buying from someone who shares shooting with the world.

silver AK necklace.jpg

Looking for something a bit more subtle? Check out Hot Caliber. Proprietors Kelle and Manos Phoundoulakis feature flattened bullet jewelry in sleek and modern settings. Offered in both gold and silver, from everything from earrings and pendants to keychains and lapel pins, this jewelry is an elegant way to show that you and your loved one are shooters.


A blackened sterling silver bullet held by a finely polished sterling silver frame. Comes with a sterling silver bead chain or rubber necklace in 16, 18 or 20 inch lengths. $200. Photo courtesy of Hot Caliber

Of course, there are plenty of other ways to say I love you too.  Ditch the restaurant and take your honey on a date to the range.  Who needs a chocolate when you can shoot up a box of these?


It wouldn't be difficult to spot your box of ammo if you chose this Federal 12 gauge Top Gun shotshell.

On a budget? You can always pen your sweetie a little love note. 

Speaking of pens and the month of love, share the moment you fell in love with shooting for a chance to win a Smith & Wesson tactical pen!


S&W tactical pen.jpg

Machined out of 6061 hard anodized aluminum is this blue Smith & Wesson Tactical screw cap pen with a ball point black ink cartridge and a black pocket clip with the Smith & Wesson logo and name laser engraved on it.


And, if that’s not enough, our sponsors at Smith & Wesson added a throw and coffee cup that will be yours and only yours at the office or home!

s&W banner throw.jpg

This is a 100% cotton tapestry coverlet, rich in detail, colorful and colorfast. Approximately 48 inches by 60 inches they are machine washable, dryable and pre-shrunk. Made in the USA

S&W mug.jpg

So cool. A Smith & Wesson mug. Make a statement!

Julie Golob in her signature, pink, Smith & Wesson ball cap. Photo by Paul Hyland



Editor’s note: We think another very fine gift idea is Julie’s new book, hot off the presses — Shoot: Your Guide to Shooting and Competition.

If you’d like to win this bundled package of goodies from Julie G and Smith & Wesson, please let us know the moment you fell in love with the shooting sports or traditions! Deadline is midnight on Valentine’s Day!

  • About Julie Golob

    Julie Golob is one of the most accomplished professional shooters in the world and captain of Team Smith & Wesson. She has won more than 120 championship titles in international, national and regional marksmanship competitions in seven different shooting disciplines. Learn more about the champion, author, veteran, hunter and outdoor television personality at JulieGolob.com.


The Conversation

  • Nikki Sager says: February 17, 2012 at 2:39 am

    The first time I absolutely fell head over heels in love with shooting was the first time I laid rounds down from a M240H, fully automatic machine gun, which replaced the M60D on my helicopter while deployed to Iraq in 2005. I had always seemed to be a natural crack shot with my 9mm sidearm, as well as the M4 and AR15, which also accompanied me in the helos and on the ground. After that love began, I started talking to fellow soldiers and agents about the best in arms, and immersed myself fully into the world of arms. I cleaned my weapons religiously after each flight, and claimed them as mine. After that first belt fired off from the M240H, I volunteered for armed missions as much as possible, which included .50 cal sniper rifles with their owners, which took up much of the space in the back of my Black Hawk helicopter. I love learning about weapons, and especially trying them out whenever possible!!

    • Barbara Baird says: February 17, 2012 at 12:48 pm

      Nikki and all the others who graciously took the time to comment here,

      Thank you. Thank you for your inspirational stories, your gut-wrenching tales, allowing us to learn more about you. In fact, I’m going to ask my pal over at Girls Guide to Guns, Natalie Foster, to take a look at the raw integrity found here. You make us proud, and we are here to work with you and for you to promote the shooting sports and the traditions of hunting. Watch for our next giveaway, too, when Athena Means from GunGoddess.com comes onboard in a big way!

  • Kimberly says: February 14, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Growing up I never had the opportunity to go hunting or target practicing with my father. As much as I wanted to go my father always believed that hunting and shooting were ment for the men, not for young girls. With tears in my eyes I use to watched as father and my younger brother headed out the door without me. While they were off doing “guy things” I’d head out to the woods behind the house to play. There I spent many hours learning and studying all kinds of God’s creatures. I practiced walking as quietly as one could to see how close I could get to the animals without being detected or I’d sit under a tree holding as still as I could waiting to see what animals would get close to me without knowing I was there. I’ve always had a love and appreciation for the out doors, even more so today. As a single mother of twin sons of my own now I decided to learn how to shoot and hunt after all those years. I wanted to give my sons the opportunity that I never had growing up and I have. At the age of 39 (my first year hunting whitetails in the 2011 hunting season) I’m not only a good shot, but a confident one. With lots of practice I managed to fill each of my tags with a double lung shot that dropped the deer dead in their tracks. My love for shooting has only grown and I’m very proud to pass what I’ve learned along to my sons. My son’s are very proud of me today and are anxiously awaiting the next hunting season for their mother to teach them how to hunt and shoot. I guess my mother was right as she wiped my tears when I was young and said, “girls can do anything that boys can do, even better with lots of practice!” Happy Valentine’s Day Mom…I love you!

  • Amanda says: February 14, 2012 at 9:28 am

    I first felt the butterflies when I was dry firing a little Wather P22 in my kitchen. The boy was teaching me the rules and how to properly grip the firearm before taking me to the range. It didn’t feel weird or awkward. My enthusiasm for the sport grew when we went to the range and I squeezed the trigger for the first time. After that, I was hooked!

  • Tonya Hughes says: February 11, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    My dad was a gun enthusiast and survival guy!! He use to take me out to go shooting all the time. Glad my mom never knew or she would have had a cow to say the least. My dad has been gone a very long time. I am glad to say that just this week I bougth my first pistol! And, I felt that thrill and excitement that I did when I was a kid! Went to the range and loved that smell of gunpower in the air! i am one happy girl!!

  • Andrew H says: February 11, 2012 at 11:44 am

    The first time I got to shot my grandfathers old Henry lever action 22.
    He didn’t let me shoot it until I learned how to be safe. I felt like I was in a special club because he trusted me enough to let me shoot it. I destroyed many an aluminum can that summer.

  • Mary says: February 10, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    I’d have to say when I saw my mother totally out shoot my father and his ” Look at that little woman try to shoot ” friends, [ you know the type ] when I was young. Totally surprised me annnnd them. Talking afterwards she told me how she used to go shooting with her Grandmother and Grandfather when she was little and she shot some shoots in 4H. From then on we had mother/daughter shooting days at least once a month.

  • kayweb says: February 10, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    I fell in love with shooting the first time I cracked off a .300 Winchester. It was power and glory all rolled into one, and I’ve loved it ever since.

  • Debi Keehner says: February 10, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    I grew up in a family of NRA members and hunting enthusiasts. I could not personally bring myself to hunt but I always admired the shooting skills of my parents. In 2003 my husband donated his equipment operating skills to build the YRL Range in AZ. That is when I was first introduced to the joy of competitive USPSA style shooting. After keeping score for my husband and his squad for a while… I then decided that I could do that, borrowed his gun, and I was hooked. I started scrimping and saving to buy myself a limited gun and on Mother’s Day 2004 my husband and daughter bought me my 1st competition gun a Para p-16. The rest is history! ๐Ÿ™‚ I am 57 now with the onset of arthritis and still compete and love shooting my numerous guns at USPSA matches. I am grateful for the friendships I have made and the amazing experiences I have been able to share with my husband of 39 years!

  • Terri says: February 10, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    At the age of 38, I actually met my sweetheart for the 1st time at the gun range. Instead of flowers, on our 1st date he gave me 200 rounds of ammo ..(thats when I knew he was a keeper.)…prior to meeting him shooting was just “ok”…but spending more time with him at the range, learning the basics and fundamentals of shooting then going to my first match….it was more than just “ok”…ive been hooked every since then. Now he cant keep me stocked with enough ammo. Now a member of USPSA, I actually have goals set for myself and achievements I would love to fulfill. I may not can compete with these younger gals but i sure love trying…Now just impatiently waiting my Babes with Bullets class. There will be no turning back then….:) I cant think of another hobby I would rather be doing than burning some powder thru my m&p….

  • Geneve Almase says: February 10, 2012 at 11:46 am

    I fell in love with shooting sports and tradition at the time I fell in love with my husband for the second time. Rough roads and split highways have torn us apart for years. We never had anything in common. We seldom enjoy doing things together. It was always “I” and no “we”. In trying to mend what was broken, tried to find something we can both enjoy, we found target shooting. I fell in love with it the first time I hit that target. And seeing my husband happy of what I have accomplished was priceless. I know I have always loved him regardless… but seeing the hope and the second chance on that day was unforgettable.

  • Paul says: February 10, 2012 at 11:40 am

    My Daddy and I were walking back to his truck down a dry drainage slough after an unsuccessful Canada Goose hunt. I was pestering him, asking to shoot his gun and telling him “You should shoot that stump…or that one…or that busted fence post…” He asked me if I was sure I wanted to shoot his gun (a single shot 12GA with a 30″ full choke goose barrel) and in my 4-year-old wisdom, I of course said yes! Daddy took a shell out of his vest, stood me about 30 feet from an old blackjack oak stump, showed me how to break it open and load the “smoke pole”. He stood behind me, helped me raise the gun to my shoulder and toggle the safety off. Told me to squeeze slowly and hang on tight to the gun! I squeezed the trigger, probably closed my eyes, and BOOM! fired my first 12GA! My Daddy caught the gun in one hand, and me in the other! I was still grinning and reliving the moment all the way home, a good 45 minute drive, and talked about nothing else the whole week! I was hooked, from that moment on!

  • Angela Hermes says: February 10, 2012 at 11:28 am

    My husband and I occasionally shot together but I rarely got to use my Lady Smith .357. But I fell in love with shooting when my hubby introduced it to my 3 sons. When the boys started shooting in competitions for 4-H and doing so admirably, we started making it a family event. I really caught the bug then and now I love going to the range just as much as they do. I have upgraded my gun (S&W M&P9 JG) and plan on getting another to use for CCDW and recently interviewed for a position at a gun store.

  • Sarah says: February 10, 2012 at 11:27 am

    A couple of my friends said one day “You should come shooting with us!” I had always wanted to try shooting but did not grow up with firearms in the family and I didn’t really know how to get started. So when the girls asked, I replied immediately in the affirmative. Our families, husbands, kids and all went out shooting on a great summer evening.I tried every firearm they put in my hands. Hours went by and I kept right on going. The group started to yawn, daylight was waning and on I went. From the first empty magazine I knew there was no turning back. After that first wonderful day, I researched carry permits. I brought home my first handgun, then my second, and on and on. Now we have “girls days” at the range and we leave the guys at home. I love the personal time and new goals I set for each session. I love understanding firearms and carrying. Thanks to my friends, I am now always looking for opportunities to introduce someone to shooting, it really can be a life changing experience.

  • Joanna Dickens says: February 10, 2012 at 11:11 am

    I love shooting a tight group. But the moment I really fell in love with shooting was the first time I cleared a jam by myself. I felt comfortable enough and had the knowledge on how to hold the slide open and pry the brass out. Reload and start shooting again with no help from the guys at the gun range. The confidence in handling my pistols.

  • Kara says: February 10, 2012 at 11:09 am

    I grew up around guns but most defimnitely not in the way most people think Jamaicans do. I grew up going bird shooting with my uncle and as i got older and made friends on the shooting scene, I stated branching out to shoot hogs, ducks (in the states), deer (yes we have deer in Jamaica :P) and the list goes on.

    I always loved shooting but I knew I was absolutely positively head over heels in love with the sport when I went to my first sporting clay competition! I just HAD to do it! So my friend bought some clays & we went to the other end of the range & the rest is history. Who knew the combination of me, some new friends , a hand thrower , some clays, our uncles’ shotguns and some old rounds would lead to me finding the love of my life?!
    Since that day I’ve not only continued to shoot sporting clays, but I’ve branched out into pistol & rifle and started my journey in competitive shooting.

    From here on out its no looking back ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Robert Shelton says: February 10, 2012 at 10:47 am

    I first fell in love when I felt the recoil of my uncle’s 12 gauge! I was only 6, he had it shoulder and he let me pull the trigger, and that white, 5 gallon bucket went a flyin’ with a whole lotta holes in it! That was AWESOME! I have been in love with guns, collecting, target shooting, and marksmanship ever since! I would love to share this prize pack with my wife and kids to help keep them involved with the sportsmandship! I have my 5 y/o son shooting a single fire, bolt action .22 already! He also has a jr sized compound bow!

  • Heather Franks says: February 10, 2012 at 9:47 am

    I would say I have fell in love with shooting twice. The first was as a very little girl with my grandfather. He was an avid hunter and had a huge collection of firearms. He taught us the safety and how to use them properly at a very young age. Which is good since all his grandkids were girls ๐Ÿ™‚ He sadly passed away in 1999 and I didn’t touch a gun for a long time. Until my now husband came along. He is very much into shooting and hunting and I now have my very own collection of firearms. My grandfather would be proud. He would also LOVE my husband because they are so very much alike. I love going to the range with my husband, he is not critical of me and he helps me learn and do better in a gentle way. He does poke fun when I don’t hit the target, but its all in fun! haha!

  • Kyl Neusch says: February 10, 2012 at 2:33 am

    when I went out target shooting with my uncle, I has an awesome time!

  • Yvonne says: February 9, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    The first time I actually hit dead center on my target looked in amazement, then did it again! It became addicting.

  • Stephen says: February 9, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    The moment I fell in love with the shooting sports was the 1st day my grandfather took me hunting for pheasant (age 8).

  • Misty says: February 9, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Waaaaay back when Grandpa took us kids out shooting for the first time. It was the day I learned girls were just as good as or better than boys when my brothers had trouble shooting Greandpas’ shotguns and I out shot them . I didn’t complain about the recoil as much either :]

  • Su-Mari says: February 9, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Since I can remember, guns and shooting have been a part of me. My grandfather let me shoot with an air rifle for years before I got the privilege of shooting with a “proper” rifle. He is a stock maker. I love shooting. I love guns. I love the kind of people who spend their time on the range and live to advance the culture as to speak. Now that I’m grown up, guns form an integral part of my life. I was introduced to Practical shooting, and an exciting world opened up for me as a sport shooter. As a free lance Trails Guide in Dangerous Game areas; the rifle that I take with me and my guests into the bush, is my lifeline in case of danger. The heavy weight of the large caliber rifle in my hand, is my security. There’s nothing that beats the feeling of taking a rifle and walking into the wilderness…I love it!

  • Becki says: February 9, 2012 at 10:32 am

    I am in love. I confess. It hit like lightening on our first date. I had been with another that just didn’t fit. I felt bruised and disconnected…like I was always reaching. I knew it wasn’t going to work. Then I met my true love. Smooth, the perfect fit, and my Dad even approved! Our relationship is so easy, no drama!

    The first time I shot my Dad’s Beretta 362 Gold E 12 guage, it was a match made in heaven!!! I fell in love with a shotgun! We are still together. It is going to be a lifelong relationship!

    My Dad gave me this gun and then bought another 362 Gold E, but an unsingle for himself. He passed away 3 years ago. I think I love my gun more now than I did when he gave it to me.

  • rebecca friedrich says: February 9, 2012 at 9:36 am

    there was no exact time when I could say this was the day I love guns , It was a progression of sorts where you get a handgun and shoot then you shoot some more then you take a class . Then you buy another gun and invite a friend to shoot and it gets bigger and bigger til it is all you like to do .

  • Thomas Sullivan says: February 8, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    My uncle George taught me how to shoot when I was 10 and I absolutely loved it. My uncle passed away when I was 15 and I didn’t shoot again until I was 32. A good friend is a chapion competition shooter and he got me hooked on clay shooting. 9 years later and I’m putting together AR’s, doing trigger work and minor gunsmithing. I have a safe full of different guns and wish list that would fill another 4 safes full. I love everything from shotgunning, to long distance rifle, target plinking and hunting. There is no better way to relax than to spend an afternoon at the range.

  • dana jacobson says: February 8, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    i fell in love with shooting when my dad was killed in veit nam . and my mom was crying and we had to go to fort snelling to bury my father they handed my mom the flag and we drove back to my moms house and my mom told me dad wanted me to have his gun collection . up tell then i had never held a gun before and my father had for me a brand new in the box smith and wesson model 66 in 357 mag . and a a beat up old colt 45 that he carried in nam . and a ar-15 . behing i had never even touched agun that day to keep my fathers memory alive i became active in shooting the guns i got from him and my very favorite one is the stainless steel smith and wesson i feel closer to my dear father now that i own his guns . i would shoot every day exept im on permanant disabliity from a back injury . and the hospital where i work in onamima mn denys my claim so i live pretty poor but you know even tho my father is gone i feel safe now with my 357 mag under my pillow or in my purse i just hope my daughter will want it some day and obama didnt take away the second amendment freedoms . god bless dana jacobson

  • Becky says: February 8, 2012 at 11:51 am

    I grew up around guns and I don’t know if I can pinpoint the exact moment I fell in love with shooting, because for as long as I can remember, it’s been a part of my life. I will say, it could’ve been the first time I hit a walnut high up in the tree with a pellet gun. I can remember being so excited!

  • Jordan Brown says: February 7, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    My dad has always been involved in trap shooting and hunting. We moved to Montana and he continued to hunt but never got me involved. At age 23, I decided to take it into my own hands and take a hunter’s safety/education course! This last September, during the course, I shot a 20 gauge shotgun for the very first time. I have never felt recoil before and it felt amazing! I felt so empowered that I could shoot well and that such a thing can create SO much power! Throughout the months after the course, I bought a used clay thrower; Just last weekend I went to a gun show and bought a Winchester 1200 20 gauge. I’m so excited to finally have my own hobby and have the confidence to do this! For the past eighteen months, I’ve felt like I have lost control over the things going on in my life, waiting for a kidney transplant. I look forward to shooting, I think about it all the time, and it’s something that I have decided to do by myself. It has verified that even though some experiences I can’t control, I can control other experiences in my life and in turn I can gain so much independence, and confidence back! Thank you!

  • Tawnee says: February 7, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    The first time I can remember shooting, I was about five, and plinking at soda cans with an old bb gun, rested on a picnic table. I always wanted to shoot more but being the only daughter, I wasn’t encouraged to do “boyish” things like that. Sometimes I was allowed to use my dad’s pellet gun, and I would shoot until my arms were too tired to break the barrel anymore. I always asked for my own gun, since all my male friends and cousins had one, but still wasn’t allowed. When I met the man who is now my husband, he let me shoot his 20 gauge shotgun. He had one of his buddies over at the time, and after I hit a few clay pigeons, I heard his friend say, “she’s a keeper!”. Soon after we got engaged, my husband took me to a gun show (the first of many), and let me pick out the gun I had always wanted, a “western” style revolver,with wood grips. Since then there have been many more gun shows, many more guns, and I now own more guns than he does – I even got a pellet gun for mother’s day! One of our favorite “dates” is to head up to our land and go shooting. And, what a gentleman, he always has a magazine loaded and ready for me, and even lets me use the good ear pro.

  • JoAnna Zurinsky says: February 7, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    I grew up around hunters and shooters, but never paid much attention or had a penchant for shooting sports until I grew was told by a now ex-boyfriend, ‘The day you hit a clay out of the sky, is the day monkeys fly out of my butt…’ Well, I’d been invited to spend the day play sporting clays with some friends, and I just couldn’t believe that I couldn’t do this! My daddy knew I could too. A week or two before my sporting clays soiree, daddy took me out with his 12gastupid pump Remington shotgun, a hand thrower, and a box of clays. First shot, I blasted that bird. I was hooked and in love! At the end of the day, mom gathered up clay remnants in a baggie, and beaming th pride, I to them to the man who said: ‘You will never be able to do this…’ I beat him on a regular basis in a lot of things from that point on. I know now that the gift of shooting is one of the best things a person can do for themselves. And it goes to show, ‘Kissin’ won’t always last, but shootin’ do…’ ๐Ÿ™‚

  • JulieG says: February 7, 2012 at 11:49 am

    WOW… Thanks so much to all who have shared their stories!!! I so enjoy reading them.

  • Marian Love Phillips says: February 7, 2012 at 10:47 am

    While on my own raising 4 daughters, I met my soon-to-be husband. He worked as a personnel manager for a big lumber company and had access to several hunting camps. One day he took me with him to the camp and one of the guys had a .44 mag pistol. I did not know at the time that my soon-to-be had never shot one. I told them I wanted to try it. I picked out a stump in the backwater of the MS River and shot at it. They were all amazed! They asked me if I wanted to shoot again and said, yes! Later in the years I found out that the little boy standing there watching me with his Dad’s gun was so impressed that he never forgot that day. He could not wait to get home and tell his Mom that this lady shot his Dad’s pistol. Of course, after I shot, my soon-to-be had to get in on the act. After that, he went out and bought a .44 and we would go to a gun range and shoot and had so much fun. He also took me hunting with him and I told him one day, I can do this! The rest is history and that was 27 years ago. I still love the sport of hunting and it has given me so much confidence and have passed it down to one of my daughters and three grandsons! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Lynn Marie says: February 7, 2012 at 10:02 am

    I don’t own a hand gun but I have always wanted one! My father used a hand gun to hunt deer with. He always stressed gun safety and took maticulous care with them. Some of my earliest memories as a little girl was trouping behind him in the field wether with a shotgun or a rifle or his trusty revolver. When we would go fishing for native brook trout up in the mountians of PA he always had his revolver strapped to his leg in case we ran afoul of a dangerous snake. It made me feel safe knowing what ever might happen he was right there prepared for any emergency. My dad has been gone these past 26 years and I miss him so much. I now hunt and fish and hike in some pretty rough and remote places by myself and I’d love to have a hand gun for protection! I took a handgun safety course two years ago and LOVED it! The man that taught the course for local law enforcement shoots competetively and ran me through the timed course they use. Now THAT would be a great thing to get into. Only tough thing about that is I don’t have a handgun! Help a girl out here! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d LOVE to win this package!

  • Angie says: February 7, 2012 at 9:25 am

    My uncle and cousin took me shooting one year after I seperated from an abusive husband. He taught me how to properly hold, aim and fire a gun, as well as the mechanics behind it. I shot his .38, and a .45 Glock. Thats when I knew I loved to shoot. 1000 rounds later I was the happiest girl in the world. Now I shoot competitively, and love every minute of it. Have even introduced my daughters to the world of guns and shooting. They think its awesome to see a woman shoot.

  • Stacey Huston says: February 7, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Julie.. you are the best girl! Thank you for so thoughtfully putting this together.
    Honesty is the best policy ~ I have always loved everything nature and outdoors. My parents tell stories from before I am able to remember of me making pets out of the wild creatures that I found near our mountain home. I grew up in the woods watching listening and learning from nature. Our family was raised on wild game that my parents provided. Nature is just a part of who I am. I wouldn’t say that I am in love with the shooting part. I enjoy shooting with my family, and I believe that practicing and becoming the best that you can be, being comfortable and proficient with all weapons is important. But shooting is just a part of what I love about nature. hunting is a part, butchering your own game is a part.. There are many parts and pieces that make up my passion.. and my Passion is the outdoors .

  • Krissy Hamaker says: February 7, 2012 at 7:47 am

    I was at a NWTF “Women in the Outdoors” event in Pennsylvania. I shot a shotgun for the first time and did awesome. The instructors were great and had us (women who had never shot a gun before) shooting pieces of the clay birds. I would have never thought I could do that but I did and it felt great. I was addicted after that and own my own shotgun now and try to shoot sporting clays on a regular basis!! I didn’t even know what sporting clays was prior to that event. That experience definately contributed to the woman shooter/hunter that I am today.

  • Alicia Jackson says: February 7, 2012 at 1:22 am

    I fell in love with shooting at girls camp when I was 14. Best shot in the camp ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Alicia Jackson says: February 7, 2012 at 1:13 am

    I fell in love with the sport of shooting at girls camp when I was 14. Best shot out of the whole camp ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Michelle Bodenheimer says: February 6, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    I fell in love with hunting on my second date with my (then future) husband when we went elk hunting with good friends. I had never hunted before, but I fell in love that weekend in more ways than one! My hubby and I have been hunting together ever since.

  • Jennifer Kievit says: February 6, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    I grew up on Broadway, spent most of my childhood and later adulthood, backstage. I worked hard proving myself to all around that this 5’2″ woman was just as strong and tuff as all the boys. I concoured most of my fears on the stage, learning the cues, or how to breath from the belly so as not to shake the lamp, and most of all learning how to slow down time to make my move like a ninja. What it DID NOT do was concour my fear of handling firearms. There was a laissez-faire attitude when it came to handling prop firearms on stage and I couldn’t get comfortable with that. Jump ahead to present day, theatre life behind me and a partner with a passion for guns in front of me and the only thing left to do is divide and concour! Thanks to the boys @gunforhire not only did I concour my fear, but I came to find that handling a firearm and target shooting were no different than working on the stage and running a spotlight. I got the same rush, the same feeling from being in control and hitting my mark. Everything I learned from my past and thought I left behind came back to me in an instant at the range. It was then that I fell in love…

  • Bill Bowers says: February 6, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Thanks to Julie Golob and The WON for another great, fun-to-read column!

    When I was fourteen. Joined my high school smallbore rifle team, at my dad’s urging. This was at a public high school in Massachusetts.

  • sherry ebel says: February 6, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    Summer of 2011, I had a bad day at the office. I came home and my husband said “let’s go shoot, always makes me feel better.” Sure did help the stress level come down. That was it, I decided that I wanted to do this more often and learn all I could.

  • Stephanie May says: February 6, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    I fell in love with shooting in boot camp when I was 17. I remember being on the range and thinking wow… My dad would be so proud!! It was a feeling I’ll never forget and I’m reminded of it each time I pull the trigger!

  • trisha says: February 6, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    I fell in love with shooting as a young girl going with my dad. He was the police chief in our small town in Ohio and went to the range often! I can remember going with him to the academy range to practice for the Chief’s test! The we started going to the strip pits near where we live every weekend! Many holiday my mom, sister, and I gave him a new gun as a gift! I have had the pleasure of teaching my 10 yr old son the art of shooting as well!

  • Katie says: February 6, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    I am still a relative newbie to shooting pistils. I grew up in a hunting family so I know how to shoot a .22 rifle, but I just took a handgun class in June of 2010. I have been going about once every other month since then to shoot. I guess I would say I fell in love with guns the moment I hit the 10 ring at my training class!

  • Cindy says: February 6, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Living in the country, you’ve got to be familiar with guns. We like to shoot as a family. My 11 year old son is a better shot than I am!

  • Melissa says: February 6, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    I fell in love with shooting when the guy I was dating took me to the range for the first time the Wednesday before Thanksgiving 2011. Yes, I am new to the gun world ๐Ÿ™‚ I am purchasing my first gun this weekend and it will be better than Christmas for me. Alas, the guy has disappeared, but I will always be grateful that he shared his passion for guns with me and spent some time teaching me how to shoot.

  • Cathi says: February 6, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    I fell in love with shooting last year, when I was 53 and diagnosed with cancer. I didn’t grow up learning to shoot, and didn’t have anyone at the time who could teach me, so I took my 14 year old son and headed out to the range. My son had been in 4H shooting sports for years and knew what he was doing, but I was still a nervous wreck. As soon as I started shooting, though, there was no stopping. I started going out every week to shoot as long as I could, getting tidbits of help from more experienced shooters whenever possible. Now I’m a certified instructor, have started a few women’s leagues, and am Women’s Director at my range. Oh, and cancer wouldn’t DARE come near me again :0)

  • Sharon Carlson says: February 6, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    I fell in love with shooting when I was a teenager. I used to go out to my uncle’s farm and shoot at cans, bottles, buckets, whatever it was that we gathered and took down with us. With is 100 acres, we could take simply anything down there to shoot and not be bothered. Lots of stress was released along with probably 100,000 rounds of ammo. My most memorable shoot was when we took a Ruger Mini 14 rifle and I shot a .223 for the first time. I absolutely fell in love with that firearm! We would fire off 9mm, .38, .22, .40. 357, 12 guage, 30 ot 6, anything we family & friends briught down. Fast forward to 2009… I become a Corrections Officer and have to qualify with various weapons for my job. Being a ‘girl’ the guys think that I am going to miss most of my targets, sissy out or spaz when it is my time on the line. I made them blush and even out most of them to shame with my 98/100 hit rate with a .38 from multiple distances, 100% with the 12 guage and 59/60 with the .223! I graduated top of my class in firearms and to this day shoot the highest percentage at the range when we re-qualify! My personal arsonal at home consists of a Ruger 10/22 rifle, Sig P239, Sig P220, Glock 29 Gen 4, Glock 19, Remington 870 Express 12 Guage. If I was to win this contest, I would be beside myself! The necklaces are absolutely gorgeous and the pink shotgun shells are TOTALLY cool & chic!!!

  • debbie says: February 6, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    I remember always wanting to do what “daddie” did. I didn’t have an easy childhood and grew up with my dad starting a small mechanic business in our garage; although he was here, he wasn’t really here so any chance I had to spend time and connect with my father, I took. I’ve been around guns since I could remember ( so like 3) and I loved to shoot with my dead and knock down cans. even now as i purchase my guns I think of the collection my father has and each gun I purchase is a connection to him. I can see the twinkle in his eyes and how proud it makes him that his tiny little girl can handle a full size 357 or snub nose or any gun he gives her and to this day has out shot his friends and him. it makes him so proud like, ‘yep that’s my girl and I raised her!’ so if you would ask me when I started loving guns and the sport of shooting, my answer would have to be since the I loved my daddie.

  • Robin says: February 6, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    The first time I went shooting it was a cold but clear Pennsylvania winter day….. my father in law had just bought a .357 Magnum Revolver and I told him I would like to use it to shoot my old and very outdated laptop computer that constantly gave me problems…. He laughed and said it sounded like a fine idea. So I went!!! I was so nervous to fire the gun! But I did and I was instantly HOOKED! Now I own a Bersa .22, a Desert Eagle .40 cal and I cant wait for gun number 3 to add to my collection!!! I get together once a month with a few girlfriends of mine and we have a whole Sunday dedicated to shooting and target practice. We call it: Sunday Gunday.

  • Kim Miller says: February 6, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    I fell in love with guns on December 25, 1981 when I received my very own .22 rifle for Christmas. I was 5. I always loved watching my dad and my brothers during target practice or when they were preparing to go on a hunting trip. But, that moment when you own your very first firearm is a moment that you will never forget. I was already taught about gun safety and the importance of keeping your weapons clean and stored properly. When it is your very own, you have a new found love and respect for the sport. I look forward to the day that I can pass that same rifle and love of the sport to my own daughter.

  • Jordan says: February 6, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    My love for firearms started when my dad started taking me in college to the gun range. It became a time to hang out with my dad without any distractions. When I graduated and moved to another state, I decided to get my CWP and purchase my first pistol. I think I really fell in love with it when I realized I could operate a pistol on my own. Then I was encouraged to start competitive shooting with IDPA. It is very empowering to have to show up to a match by yourself as a girl without a male guide. I was scared to death, but it turned out to be an extremely rewarding experience. My dad and I still go shooting all the time, but it is different now. It is still just our time to hang out and he still teaches me. However, we can be more competitive and I have way more confidence trying out more firearms and pistols. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Julianna Crowder says: February 6, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Realized I was in love with guns when I went from being the officer manager booking classes for my husband as the instructor, when I was taking every course I could afford time and money to get into so I could be an instructor. I am not a “naturally talented” shooter. I have to work hard at it, making me very dedicated to always being a student, not always just an instructor.

  • Tammy says: February 6, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    I loved reading all the stories about when the readers fell in love with guns and shooting (better than any romance novel I’ve ever read)! I can’t remember ever not loving guns. I’ve tried to think back to a particular time that made the most impact and firearms have just always been a part of our family. I remember my grandpa always had a shotgun standing in the corner of his living room like a piece of fine furniture. There were six kids in my family and we had lots of cousins, and we all just knew the gun was not for us to play with. One of my fondest memories of a Christmas gift for my dad was when my sister and brothers and I pooled our money together to buy our dad a deer rifle. I’ll never forget the look on his face when he opened it up. We were all just excited about it as he was.

    My husband and I both truly love guns and shooting. Many times when he buys a new gun, he’ll get me one too, because he knows I’ll cherish it! I really don’t have a lot of material possessions that I treasure, but my gun collection is my most prized tangible possession. And my most prized intangible possession is the honor and privilege of the right to bear arms.

  • Jennifer says: February 6, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    It’s been 4 years now. I can hardly believe it. It was that first shot. It was raw and powerful and I had to master it.

  • Christina says: February 6, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    I fell in love with guns the day my husband was teaching me to run all the actions before my Hunter’s Safety course. He made me do them all so many times, I was frustrated. But every time I’m on a hunt, or on the range, I’m clean, I don’t have to think, it’s second nature now.

  • Nancy-Jane says: February 6, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    I fell in love with shooting when I got to fire my Iver Johnson m1 carbine reproduction for the first time. It was my very first time firing my very first weapon so I was pretty nervous and more than a little flinchy. I was afraid of recoil that I had experienced with the higher caliber rifles and shotguns that my husband had started me off with, but the carbine snuggled right up to my shoulder and for the first time I could see why everyone thought this was so much fun. Now my gun collection rivals my husband, and my groupings are better than his ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Wanona Hart says: February 6, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    I grew up around guns, my Dad collected them. I have always loved guns, but am just getting my first gun next month. I’ve done a lot of target practising and have been told I am a good shot. I am getting married and moving to a farm and will be able to enjoy my passion for guns ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Lori says: February 6, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    At age 54, I fell in love when I received my very first hand gun for Christmas! My hubby said pick the pistol that feels best in your hand, so off we went to the local gun store and I handled (fondled?) most of the pistols there. I came away with a Springfield XDm 4.5″ 9mm pistol. I’ve been shooting as often as I can since then and really enjoy it. We’ve joined the local gun range and I plan to take formal lessons soon. My sons and hubby like to shoot, so this will be a hobby we can all share (I plan to get my daughter into this sport also). My next goal is to obtain my CCP.

  • Naomi says: February 6, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    I grew up with guns my whole life. I guess I “fell in love” with them when I was five or six cleaning guns with my Dad on our kitchen table. We did it every weekend kind of like some people have game night. My Dad would get some guns out of the safe and I’d bring the oversized tackle box of gun cleaning supplies. He’d show me how to take them apart, how to run patches through them, how to wipe them down, what to use for what and tricks and stuff. We’d visit the whole time. He’d tell me stories about when he was younger and I’d ask him a ton of questions about everything and anything! Sweet memories… My Dad taught me a lot of things but one of the main ones was a love and respect for all firearms.

  • Gabby says: February 6, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    I’m still falling. I’ve only been shooting since August but I’ve started a blog and I’m developing a new business for myself wrapped all up in being a gun girl and introducing new women to the sport. If I’ve had a bad day, it makes me feel strong again. When I extend my accuracy to a further distance, I feel in-control. When I meet a fellow gunner, I make a new friend. The more I learn, the more I want to learn. What’s not to love?

  • Dlw says: February 6, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Fell in love with shooting when I got my first bb gun for Christmas at eight years old. Have been hooked ever since

  • Dow says: February 6, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Fel in love with shooting when I got my first bb gun for Christmas at eight years old. Have been hooked ever since

  • Missy says: February 6, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    I always enjoyed shooting. Grew up shooting the family heirloom .22 and destroyed many sheets of paper! The real love (obsession?) started when I went to the range with a boyfriend to shoot his handgun. I fell in love! The love for guns lasted, even when the boyfriend was gone. I spent 6 years searching for the right gun, and my awesome father in law helped me find my new BFF, the Sig P238.
    It’s been books, forums, classes, and range time ever since!

  • Sherry Clark says: February 6, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    I needed self confidence to learn how to shoot, this year I finally joined the Austin Sure Shot’s Women’s Pistol League out of Austin, TX. That is all it took!! I have shot less that 600 rounds to date but love love LOVE shooting and hanging with the girls. I’m so grateful for the friendships with the girls, the awesome founder, and the instructors who are dedicated to help each of us grow and to achieve our individual goals.

  • Katrina says: February 6, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    I fell in love with shooting as a kid, growing up on 365 acres. Grandpa and Uncles would target shoot. “Re-fell” in LOVE with the 4-H shooting sports program with my kids. I to liked that the competition is not against people but yourself. What an awesome self-esteem builder for the kids.. As a single mom, this was so helpful in teaching safety while learning a skill that lasts a lifetime!!

  • Donna Strickland says: February 6, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    I grew up with guns – an early memory is standing on a chair at the kitchen table with my brother as perhaps a two-year old, watching my father lovingly clean & oil his guns. All the while telling us hunting stories!

  • Laura says: February 6, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    I fell in love with shooting when my husband took me shooting when we were dating. He didn’t expect me to outshoot him ๐Ÿ˜‰ I also outfish him 99% of the time (I have to give him that 1% every now & again )

  • Mimi says: February 6, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    When I met my husband and married (9 yrs ago) and he insisted that I learned to protect myself because he loved me and could not be with me every second. He taught me how to shoot and made me go to CHL class. Now that is true love! His Momma told me that I was the only girl ,that learned to shoot as good as he did, and that is why he fell for me…nicest thing she ever said to me. We hunt together and shoot together and it is a true bonding experience for us even to this very day! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • agirlandhergun says: February 6, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    I fell in love with shooting after I was mugged last year. I took a class and took my training very seriously. I have no intention of letting that happen again. Along the way, I developed a deep love and appreciation for not only the sport, but the people. I just bought my first S&W M&P last week.

  • Katherine says: February 6, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    I figured I would like shooting when I made the decision to learn and picked out my sweet little Ruger 10/22 Carbine this past November. I fell in absolute love as soon as I fired my first shot. It felt like a heartbeat, and I knew shooting was for me. Holding the rifle just felt natural, surprisingly not weird or awkward. I fell further in love when I fired the instructor’s M1 and CZ-452. While I was busy with the 452, the instructor was chatting with a friend of his, so I happily emptied magazine after magazine into the target until ceasefire was called.

  • Kim W says: February 6, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    My husband has wanted me to carry and shoot for ages. I am a research junky so decided to check out all the gun blogs I could. The people I encountered made me really open my eyes. Then I bought my HK and the fall was complete. Love through and through. Now I am saving to add to our collection guns I want. Lol I ask my guy to go shooting often.

  • Donna says: February 6, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    It was the feeling and opportunity of being able to do something on my own and for myself. Learning how to handle firearms has been a great learning experience! I took the NRA course WOT and followed through with obtaining all of the requirements for All of the marksman patches. I am an Avid member of the NRA, hold permits now in 36 states and am in the process of obtaining 4 more! i want to be able to legally carry in as many states as possible and plan to start competitive shooting as soon as I am completely comfortable with my 8 firearms, which include my first purchase of the JG version of the Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm. This is a great sport, hobby, and another means of personal protection. Yeah, Shoot like a Girl!

  • Kim Miklos says: February 6, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    I fell in love the moment I saw my Dad hit a claybird with his old remington shotgun. I thought it was magic!!! I was maybe 10 yrs old. I remember thinking, how did he do that?

  • Jaime says: February 6, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    I was 14 when I fell in love with shooting. I was also a member of my local Sheriff’s Explorer post. My step-father has always had shooting books around the house, so I picked one up and read it cover to cover. The next weekend, I went to my first practice session with the explorers, it was the first time I’d ever picked up a gun. I applied the lessons from the book, and every shot went exactly where I wanted it to go. By the next weekend I was shooting with the team. I was good, really good, and I fell in love. It gave me a sense of purpose and ownership at a time when I felt so lost. God knows what I would have become if I hadn’t found shooting.

  • Lacie says: February 6, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    I fell in love with shooting on range day of my hunters education course. The day had finally arrived when I would get to actually shoot! I started off with a .22 rifle and shot that for a bit. Then my best friend (who had helped teach me the class) set a G3 down in front of me. He taught me how to load it and once it was loaded I was sending lead down range. That shot right there and the look I am sure I had on my face was the very moment I fell in love with shooting. That best friend is now my boy friend. One of our favorite places to spend time is the range. He is currently training me for my first three gun match this summer, which is leading me into an even deeper love of the sport!

  • Andi Schwartz says: February 6, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    I fell in love with shooting shortly after falling in love with my now husband. He had quite a gun collection, being a 6-year Navy Veteran, serving in OIF and OEF. I trusted him and he was able to show me safety and help me with how to shoot. This really helped my confidence. We are planing a day to take our guns out for some practice, hopefully this next weekend!

  • Nina cahill says: February 6, 2012 at 11:46 am

    I fell in love 3 years ago when I fell in love with my active duty marine. he moved in along with his passion and love for guns and his growing gun collection. Now I can shoot,handle and clean a wide variety of guns. I am hooked! (And still in love)

  • Morgan Ganske says: February 6, 2012 at 11:25 am

    I fell in love with shooting sports the moment I learned that it wasn’t about competing with other people, bit challenging yourself for that great shot. I also came to love all shooting sports because it was a time that I could be with my dad and we could have fun doing something we both loved and have so much compassion for.

  • Ellen Benitz says: February 6, 2012 at 11:24 am

    I remember exactly when I fell in love with shooting…..High shcool, 1974 gym class, we had shooting instruction through the ROTC range, I was a ‘natural’ shooter, comments from the coach. He tried to convince me to join ROTC so I could be on the shooting team, but I didn’t want to join ROTC just to be on the shooting team, probebly should have! But I’ve been in love with shooting ever since! I own 4 pistols, 6 shotguns and 2 rifles. ๐Ÿ™‚ There is just something about the ‘bang’ and hitting where I aim that thrills me!
    The good ol’ days, don’t know if they even let students learn how to shoot in high school gym class anymore. But it helped me find what makes me happy and put me in touch with so many other folks who enjoy it too, including my husband!

  • Jo says: February 6, 2012 at 11:18 am

    I fell madly, passionately, and head-over-heels in love with target shooting the moment my wonderful instructor and CRO Paige Buckley put his treasured X-Five in my hands. After completing (and passing of course!) his Massachusetts Basic Firearms Course we went out for my first time shooting. Pure, unadulterated love from that moment on. I quickly became a member of the USPSA and am a proud founding member of Nantucket Shooters, serving on the board. Although I’ve only competed in one USPSA match so far I hope to attend one later this month and continue to pursue the amazingly wonderful world of practical shooting and can only imagine where this journey may lead me.

  • Dee Lowrey says: February 6, 2012 at 11:12 am

    It was on my 42nd birthday, Nov 5th 2011! I attended a Women In the Outdoors (WITO) event in Georgia. I learned how to shoot pistols & rifles and went on my first deer hunt! I’ve since bought my own pistol and joined a womens shooting club, I’m using Twitter & facebook to follow the most astounding ladies I have ever “met.” I’m learning something new each day and I am a completely changed woman!!

  • Misti says: February 6, 2012 at 10:59 am

    I don’t know that I could say when I fell in love. It has always been there. The purity of being a country girl ๐Ÿ™‚