What a year!
I moved twice, jumped back on the shooting circuit with gusto and managed top 3 finishes in all competitions but one. It was a very successful shooting season for me after taking time off to have my littlest one, the Yeti.
Being able to represent the best companies in the biz is definitely an honor and I strive to not only shoot well, but be that positive example for safe, responsible gun owners. I can’t say enough how awesome it is to represent Federal Premium, my newest major sponsor along with Smith & Wesson, Benelli, Rand CLP, Safariland and Warren Tactical Sights. Thank you so much!!!
Taking time off from the sport is never easy especially when your competition keeps trucking along, getting better and better. Being an IPSC World Shoot year and knowing I would only have a few months to train, I was floored when USPSA named me the alternate for the US Ladies Production Team. I joined Sara Dunivin, Maggie Reese and Cindi Thomas, three incredible lady shooters in more ways than just with a gun.
In practical shooting, we don’t compete in teams except for the World Shoot and that happens just once every three years. Those selected to represent their nation on the global stage are gunning for an individual medal and with that, the hopes of taking another medal as a team. Our ladies production team was different.
Our journey began with emails and text message pep talks. Cindi’s husband Steve Thomas, USPSA Area 8 Director and our coach at the World Shoot, made it so that we could compete together at the Area 8 Championships. Due to a conflict in the 3 Gun Nation schedule, Maggie had to shoot the USPSA Nationals early. We all changed schedules so we could shoot together, as a team. It was the only way to stand a chance in Florida against the best women Production shooters in the world.
Looking back on my scores at Area 8, USPSA Free State, the Nationals and finally the World Shoot, I think it marks the most dramatic improvement in my shooting in such a short time. Such a huge part of that was the honest, generous support from Sara, Maggie, Cindi and Steve. Our sport is chock full of amazing people and these folks stand at the top.
Lights, Camera, Action!
With over 3000 subscribers on YouTube, this year I created a Guns & Gear playlist and have shared Smith & Wesson product spotlights on my channel. More of my Shooting USA Pro Tips aired this year along with a few Impossible Shots. Sarah Palin’s crew came out to film an episode for Amazing America. Targeted the Movie made the trip to Kansas City to talk about gun rights too!
My fellow gun girl gal pal Natalie Foster of Girls Guide to Guns invited me out to film for NRAWomen.TV’s Love at First Shot at Smith & Wesson. We had a great time and the video serves to demystify the range experience for new shooters.
Natalie and crew also made a trip to Kansas City later in the year to film another episode. This time it was on cooking and it marks the first time I have cooked on camera. I can’t wait to share it with you when it goes live!
#2A and NRA Mom
Mainstream media and anti-gunners would have us all believe that gun owners are the lunatic fringe and that we are related to or, sometimes, even responsible for gun violence just because we choose to shoot, hunt and own guns. Beyond reaching out to my elected officials I have been speaking out even more about the importance of firearm safety, safe storage and the shooting sports.
As an NRA Mom it is my goal to strive to be a positive example. I think it is critical, especially for those on the fence about guns and gun ownership. Between the Mom & Dad video from the NRA that aired on Fox News and working with the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Project Childsafe program, it’s been such a rewarding experience.
Hunting & #FieldtoFork
#Gobblesquatch. That’s what I call wild turkey because they are tough little buggers to hunt! I got my first turkey in Texas on a hunt with Benelli a few year ago. I learned so much about hunting and calling these birds from awesome guides. Despite that, hunting turkey in Montana and later in Missouri proved a real challenge. Right before the end of firearm season here in Missouri I managed to put a stalk on my first wild turkey that became a wonderful Thanksgiving meal in our new home. Mission Accomplished!
More on birds, I jumped at the chance to go waterfowl hunting with Missouri State Representative Dianne Franklin, her friend Cheri and Barbara Baird from Women’s Outdoor News. Having been on a duck hunt once before with Impossible Shot’s Mike Irvine, I knew it was going to be a great time and I have the perfect waterfowl gun, my Benelli Super Vinci with Federal Premium Black Cloud.
The four of us drove in to Dirty Rice Outfitters (DRO) and we quickly discovered that we were the only non-dudes in duck camp! JD Driskill and guides made us feel right at home though. The DRO set up is beyond impressive. We hunted rice in the morning, beans in the afternoon… The ducks? Well, despite the talented efforts by our guides, they just weren’t coming in all except for one lone spoon bill. That was when JD and his brother Colton switched things up and managed to get Barb and me on some snow geese. A whole lotta snow geese! It was an amazing experience.
There was more than fowl gaming this season too. I brought out the Smith & Wesson M&P10, my favorite hunting rifle, for deer season and managed to get a nice mature doe. I processed her all on my own, from steaks to hamburgers to yummy sausage and I can’t wait to come up with some new recipes.
Speaking of recipes, I started working on my cookbook! Just like with SHOOT: Your Guide to Shooting and Competition, writing is tough work. When I put fingers to keyboard for SHOOT I had just one wee one. Now, with two kiddos, it has proven twice the challenge but one I am excited for.
I put together a little video of some of my highlights from 2014 and I hope you enjoy it. Thank you once again to my sponsors, family, friends and those who are kind enough to follow. I can’t thank you enough for all the support. Happy New Year!