What would you say has been the biggest influence on the rise of female sport shooters over the last few years?
To be honest I think one of the biggest contributing factors here is the internet and the rise of social media. This is actually how I got into competitive shooting – by watching a video of junior lady Katie Francis blazing through a 3 gun stage. Seeing other ladies out shooting these various disciplines has encouraged other women to participate and social media allows the women to network as well as giving them a resource for information. I feel that we females tend to compare ourselves to other women by nature, and I’ve heard them say countless times “If she can do it, I can do it!”. That’s a perfect prescription for helping the ladies side of the sport grow. Making the shooting sports accessible on a level that the average shooter feels applies to them is major and it’s encouraging it’s growth and this applies to female participation as well.
When did you realize you wanted to professional shoot and enter 3 gun competitions?
The decision to start 3 gun was somewhat of a casual one. I love shooting and I’ve always been a competitive athlete in some form so it seemed like it was meant to be! After I shot my first match, I knew I wanted to be counted among the ranks of professional shooters. I am highly competitive so once I realized what the top level looked like, I made it my goal to get there. I watched the people competing at the top of the sport and it seemed like a lofty goal but I knew it was where I wanted to be so it was time to get to work!
What are some tips you like to share for women who are interested in sport shooting?
First of all, don’t be intimidated! I know the feeling of showing up at your first match – I remember it well! I figured everyone would be judging and watching and that I’d be the worst shooter there. Little did I know 3 gunners are like a family…always there with an encouragement, a tip, to loan equipment, and to share stage plans. Everyone starts somewhere so don’t let your lack of experience hold you back. Also, don’t feel like you have to have all the latest and greatest in gear and guns. You will need the basics for the type of competition you’ve chosen – all info that can be found online – but don’t worry if you don’t have the ultimate race gun! Compete with what you have and what you can operate safely and comfortably and worry about guns and gear as you become familiar with competition and what you prefer. Go ahead and take that first step and sign up for a local match! Take a range buddy if you have one but if not, don’t be afraid to go alone (I did that at my first match). I can almost guarantee it will be an exceptionally fun and rewarding experience and you will wonder why you waited so long to give it a shot! If you’re still nervous about jumping into a match, locate a training class by some of the pros and get your feet wet that way.
What has been the most rewarding experience being a 3 Gun professional?
Honestly, the amount of women and young ladies who’ve said I’ve been an encouragement to them. It’s very rewarding to hear a mom tell me her 12 year old daughter looks up to me and wants to be a pro shooter because of me, or to have a man proudly show me a picture of his granddaughter who started shooting because she saw my videos.
If you had to choose a favorite venue or course which would it be and why?
That’s a tough one. I’ve just made it through a complete year of shooting competition so there are still a lot of major matches I haven’t gotten to shoot! Long range and athleticism are my areas of strength so I love wildland style matches with natural terrain. I’m looking forward to my first time shooting Ironman and Rocky Mountain this year as they say both of those are very much that style.
What does your training regimen look like in preparation for a 3 Gun event?
Eat a lot of carbs… oh wait, I do that regardless of what event is approaching! Really the competition season is so hectic and matches are nearly every weekend. Most of the time we are just traveling from place to place. If I have any time at home I try to get some time on the range but it’s just basic skills, usually tailored to the style of match we’re attending that weekend. Gear checks, checking zeroes, and equipment inspections are all part of that too.
What’s your favorite every day carry item and why?
I really can’t live without my Glock 42 and my Benchmade knife. Not having a knife is like losing a part of me!