A day at the range…

I do not share this post with the intent of patting myself on the back, but rather to start a discussion that is long overdue. 

A spot on shot from a recent 3D archery shoot.

This afternoon I took a break and headed down to the archery range. It was packed and, of course, I was the only lady in the house. I shot my first group (which was pretty darn impressive, if I do say so myself).  The guys on either side of me both commented on how “lucky” I was.  I just smiled and thanked them for their kind words.  They proceeded to comment on my bow set-up and how I really needed to upgrade my site and rest.  I responded simply, “Well, it works for me and if it isn’t broken, why fix it?” “Fair enough,” they said, but cautioned I would shoot better with better equipment.

I made my way back to the line and shot my second group, which was even tighter than my first.  I heard comments echo throughout the room, “Dang, she’s lucky.”  Of course, I am thinking to myself that it is more than luck.  I account my successful shooting to skill, practice and determination.

I continued to shoot, and shoot well.  After the fifth round, one of the guys loudly belts out, “Holy $h!t the girl can shoot!”  To this I simply responded with a smirk, “If it isn’t broken, why fix it?”  The room was silent.  Not one of them could respond.

Why is it that women are so easily discounted, especially in the hunting and shooting world?   


9 thoughts on “A day at the range…

  1. I know. I’ve seen this so often. It is something to which I’m very switched on (due to the personal experience of someone close to me) and, although things have improved dramatically in the last decade, there is still far too much of this patronising attitude. Some of it is gentle teasing, but some of it is actually believed by the perpetrators – which is so crazy because it flies in the face of all the evidence.

    I suspect that it is only by sheer quantity of evidence that this will eventually penetrate the more dense skulls but it will, and you are doing a great job in adding to that weight. However, we could really do with many more women heeding that inner call, and becoming outdoorswomen, to accelerate the process.

    Well done for handling the situation so well.

    Yes, I am a man.

  2. GOOD for you Michelle. It is always the shooter and not the shot. I see this day in and day out in my Gun store and at the range. There will always be those who must attempt to take away a person’s skill set based upon their not having the ” New ” ” It ” Bow or gun…
    These folks can’t fathoms owning a bow more than 2 seasons, or dare I say it? For 5, 10 or even 12 years. hahahahahaha
    Like you, I am blessed in that whatever I may put in my hands as far as a Bow, once I take 6 shots? I am dialed. It is the shooter, not the equipment. YOU ROCK! Love the articles.

    • Tom- I still shoot the youth bow I started with and have yet to upgrade my site, rest, release, string, etc. I also shoot the same pump action shotgun I first learned to shoot. Yes, there are newer, more advanced tools available to me, but for some reason I have resisted change. Perhaps an upgrade would improve my shooting, perhaps not. Right now I am content right where I am.

      “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” =)

  3. I love how calm and sure your reaction to the comments were. Sure of your skill and confidence but not cocky and proud. As usual -representing for the ladies!! Always an inspiration.

    • Thank you, April! I have to say that there were moments at the range today that truly tested my patience. Over the years I have come to realize that mere talking or reacting negatively won’t solicit change. We must lead by example. I just hope one man in the room today took something away from our encounter. Perhaps next time he won’t be so quick to judge. 😉 Like they say, “You can’t always read a book by its cover.”

  4. I learned a long time ago when I went to go get an old Jennings bow I got from my grandfather set up with some new silences and other stuff and just overall, make sure it was hunt worthy. The guy at the shop made the comment “If I could hit anything with it…” when I told him I wanted to hunt with it. Needless to say, I was a little peeved, and it took me another 5 years to finally go hunt with a bow after that comment. I wish I had lived by the “If it ain’t broke, why fix it!” back then.

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