Written by Elizabeth Lanier
In the last few months, I have had the pleasure of actually getting out and shooting some myself and in the process, have loved seeing so many more women out on the clay courses. I am also thrilled to see the growth of women interested in, and pursuing, wing shooting! Truly a passion of mine and there is nothing like being outdoors, with good friends or family, a shotgun and hopefully a great dog or two....Right?
So this month, we are going to highlight some bird hunting as the dove season is quickly approaching, followed by quail, woodcock, pheasant, duck and goose season and so on. I have happy trigger finger just thinking about the months ahead. Bring on the Fall, my favorite season for so many reasons!
From left: Elizabeth Lanier, Kendall Smith and Mimi Winfield.
Opening day for dove season is quickly approaching! Are you ready? Now is a great time to hone your wing shooting and maybe get a tune up. Go to your local clays course or call your favorite instructor and get prepared. Opening day always generates a ton of excitement around here. It is a gathering of great friends, good food and if all goes as planned, guns going bang a lot in the late afternoon.
Margot Rawlings with her 1,000-bird trophy hat (left) applies ice to the cheek that helped her get it.
Now, I would be remiss if I did not say that if you love to dove hunt, you really should experience Argentina at least once. You can shoot until your shoulder falls off, or at least until you can go home sporting a “trophy hat.” Was the sore cheek worth it? Definitely! I take a group of women each year to Los Chanares where it takes the bird boys a week to recover after the “loco” ladies who love to shoot and hoot go home! www.loschanares.com
Speaking of Argentina, the three photos below tell more of the story and show some serious women shooters on a mission!
Betsy took down a lot of doves with that look.
in Oregon where the G.R.I.T.S. hold an annual wingshooting hunt.
Check out Highland Hills Ranch at http://www.highlandhillsranch.com
Judy Tucker (left) and Lyndall Bailye of Good Shot Design in a pile of shells.
Karina von Middendorf and Margot Rawlings are determined not to miss an opportunity!
There is also bird hunting with a competitive twist....Three years ago I got a call from a gentleman interested in shooting lessons for he and his wife. Richard Sipes (above with wife, Marlene) discovered competitive wing shooting over dogs after his retirement. Marlene had always enjoyed the horse world, being a competitive rider. After a bad riding accident, which waylaid her riding career, she decided she wanted to try the wingshooting competitions. It would be the first time she and Richard would have ever share a hobby. He wanted to improve and get her started in the sport correctly, with a good solid foundation. So the lessons began with me, the competitive circuit was travelled and look at them now!
This past year, Marlene pulled down several championships, including UFTA Ladies National Champion, BDC (Bird Dog Circuit) Ladies Player of the Year, BDC National Champion and 2nd place in Ladies Pointing Division. What is that saying? The couple that plays together stays together? For more info on these organizations visit www.nbdca.com or www.UFTA-online.com
And from our friends abroad…
This group of ladies got together last year for the first annual “Ladies in the Line” pre-season wing shooting warm up, catering not only to seasoned shooters, but to the novice as well. Hosted by Bob Valentine and his daughter Ali, The Shooting School in Wales, (UK) is hosting the second annual “Ladies in the Line” event again this year, September 12, 2014. They look like they are having a wonderful time! Check out this gorgeous place at www.theshootingschool.com.
The ladies of Wales practicing high driven birds. Go girls!
When I was looking at The Shooting School, I came across Ali Valentine’s web site full of fun accessories to complement your tweed shooting attire, or just simply have fun wearing. I am going for the coon-skin hat myself. It will look smashing in the duck blind! See more of Ali’s stuff at www.alivalentine.co.uk
One of my favorite upland hunting guns, a Krieghoff K-20. Krieghoff was generous enough in the past to send guns for us to demo in both Argentina and at Highland Hills Ranch in Oregon. This exceptional gun for wingshooting brought down a lot of birds in the hands of these lady shooters. Thank you Krieghoff! See their magnificent shotguns at www.krieghoff.com.
Whitney DeCamp looking great while out enjoying a day of sporting clays last fall getting ready for bird hunting with her husband. Some of her gear include Dubarry boots, Eddie Bauer sweater, Randolph Ranger shooting glasses and a monogramed shell pouch by The Leatherman. After all, it is all about the gear!
Enjoy your August!