Since Girls In The Outdoors is having a target themed anniversary celebration, we HAD to go do some target shooting. We also had to go break in my husband's new wedding anniversary gift. (We now have matching pistols.)
We invited one of our favorite 5-year-old girls to help us celebrate. She helped her Uncle Kris sight in his new pistol by finding the shots on the target. She also go to shoot her Papa's .22 lever action rifle that he bought when he was a kid.
We also invited her daddy to come along (aka: my brother) who helped break-in the shotgun our dad has had for a long time, but has never shot. I'm annoyed at how good he is at shooting shotguns. I am horrible at shooting them.
Cori also got to shoot her Uncle Kris' .22 revolver. She loves shooting that pistol and she loves shooting with her Uncle Kris.
Cori wanted to throw pigeons for her daddy to shoot, but unfortunately she throws clay pigeons like her Aunt Hilary and the pigeon wouldn't come out of the thrower. She wasn't upset though, she just went back to finding as many pistol ammo casings as she could from other shooters that didn't clean up after themselves.
Cori ran out of ammo before she could pop these balloons so she took them home to play with.
Thank you everybody who has participated in our 3rd Anniversary Target Shooting themed party!!!
I grew up afraid of guns because my mom was very anti-gun. As kids, we weren't allowed to have toy guns, use water guns (we used spray bottles which actually worked to our advantage) or even pretend our fingers were guns. My dad has owned guns since he was a kid and had them in our house while we was growing up, but they were kept in the back of the closet and we were not allowed anywhere near them. I grew up believing those guns were going to go off all by themselves even though they were unloaded. The ammunition was kept in a drawer, sometimes in a different room and I believed the ammunition was going to explode all by itself even though it was just sitting there. Any time we moved, I would get nervous seeing the guns out of their hiding spot and touching them made me dizzy from fear. I believed that the empty rifle would go off at any second and kill me and anybody else near by. My grandpa was a Colorado State Patrolman and I hated seeing him with his gun on his hip because his pistol was loaded all of the time! If an unloaded gun could hurt me just sitting there, Grandpa's loaded gun was definitely going to kill me!
When I met my husband and found out he had guns and was a hunter, I knew I was going to set the same rules my mom did. If he was going to have his guns at our house, he was going to keep them unloaded at all times and in the back of the closet where I wouldn't have to see them and I could pretend they weren't in the house, just like my dad's guns. Then, he started explaining how everything in a gun works and how to handle the guns safely and then all of a sudden I was agreeing to try shooting. I discovered I was good at shooting and it was a lot of fun and now have guns of my own!
I love shooting my .22 rifle and my .22 pistol. I understand an unloaded gun is not going to explode and a loaded gun just sitting there all by itself untouched isn't going to go off. I feel silly now for being afraid of guns when I was younger and I want to make sure that the kids in my life don't grow up the same way. I want to make sure my nieces and nephew are educated about how guns work and how to handle them safely. I am proud to say they are all pretty good shots, too. I am a little jealous of these 3 kids, because they have several people teaching them about gun safety instead of gun fear.
I grew up afraid of guns and now I look forward to shooting. I have my conceal carry permit and I even sell shooting targets and attend un shows! I'm glad I let my husband explain how guns work and how to use them instead of staying afraid of them. Being afraid of guns was a lot more stressful than learning about them. I am no longer afraid of my dad's guns either and have even shot a couple of them. Learning about guns and owning my own gave me the confidence and motivation to start Girls In The Outdoors. I want to try to prevent other kids from growing up afraid of guns, but in a water fight, I still highly recommend a squirt bottle over a water pistol. Squirt bottles hold WAY more ammo and can be adjusted to make them more accurate.
It's interview time! Since we are celebrating our with a target shooting theme, I asked someone in the target shooting industry if they would do an interview. Anne Vinnola is the media/sales representative for Magnum Shooting Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
I have been active in the outdoors my whole life, from my dad teaching me to fish and to shoot at a very early age, digging for gem stones with my family growing up, showing horses and then later hunting with my own family. I am a bow hunter, I also hunt with guns and am learning to be a better pistol shooter. I am not great with a muzzleloader as I missed a giant pronghorn a couple of years ago, but loved the hunt with my son anyway. I went to South Africa a couple of years ago on a fabulous hunt and brought down a gemsbok, bushbuck and blue wildebeest. I, like anyone else who has hunted Africa, left my heart there and would go back in a second.
As an outdoor writer for many years, I am a member of several clubs and organizations that promote hunting and gun ownership. I have been a sponsor of the Friends of NRA for years and am an NRA recruiter. I am a life member of Safari Club International and the Professional Outdoor Media Association. I attend SHOT (Shooting Hunting Outdoor Trade) Show each year and am a Field Staff member for Prois Hunting Apparel for women. I am the co-leader along with my good friend Elizabeth Blackwood for The Well Armed Woman Pikes Peak Chapter and I have been heavily involved in the legislative process of avocation for our Second Amendment and feel it is imperative to the U.S. to fiercely protect it.
Currently, I am working at Magnum Shooting Center in Colorado Springs, CO and I love it. Coming to Magnum from the hunting side of the industry, I am so excited to be learning more of the tactical approach. I am challenged every day to learn and impart that knowledge to people who are new to guns. I especially love when I can show a new shooter guns are fun and sage when operated correctly. We have an incredible crew at Magnum and it is so much fun to go to work knowing I am helping people become capable and able to protect themselves. Our head range master, Nikki Carroll, is a fantastic woman and half of our staff is female. There is no one on our staff that isn't vested in women learning to shoot better and protect themselves. Visit our store and check out www.MagnumShootingCenter.com for more information.
Helping kids and other women learn about the hunting/shooting world has been such a huge part of my life. I helped coach my children in 4-H shooting sports where they all became excellent shots and my fondest times have been watching them compete while sitting and cheering them on in the hot sun and dirt. Hunting with them has also been so much fun. Freezing with my son while watching for pronghorns under an old windmill, watching them take down a bull elk, and seeing them work together as a family to bring it all together.
Spending time with my hunting/shooting friends has given me wonderful memories. My outdoor sisters are some of my best friends and have laughed and cried with me during my darkest hours. Women have a way of enjoying the outdoors together that is so empowering and encouraging. We aren't out to prove anything to anyone, we use hunting as social events in many cases and are proud of each other. Last year I went to Texas with my Prois Hunting Apparel gals and laughed for three straight days. We had a hard time shooting doves for the rain, but it didn't matter. Watching each of them brings pure joy to what they do and getting to know these strong and driven women better was incredible. Each of us is very serious about hunting and shooting and are passionate about bringing more ladies along for the ride.
My advice to anyone hoping to encourage their wife, daughter or any other woman to become involved in the outdoors is simple. Don't talk down to her and make her feel stupid for not knowing and quickly help her find other fun gals to shoot with, like The Well Armed Woman. We have clinics each third Thursday evening and also shoot together. Men are great instructors, but there is something magical that happens when we do it together. I have seen the eyes of women who are told they couldn't shoot well up with tears when they were simply shown how.
If I could hunt or fish with anyone living or dead, I would love to go with Theodore Roosevelt, Annie Oakley and Ernest Hemingway. What fascinating lives they had and stories to tell. They grabbed life by the horns and made it exciting. I also want to go fishing with my dad again this summer. He is my hero and we haven't been able to do that for years.
Five things I bring on every outdoor activity are proper shoes, great friends and family, my camera, my gun, bow or fishing pole and lip gloss.
Thank you very much Anne for doing the interview!! I love Anne's advice about not talking down to the girl you are encouraging in outdoor activities. I think her list is the first in all of the interviews we have done that someone included proper shoes which are SO important. I have been doing a lot of boot shopping this year to make sure I have proper shoes. Ice fishing was much more enjoyable after finding my new cold weather boots.
If you are in Colorado Springs, be sure to stop by Magnum Shooting Center to tell Anne "HI!"
If you have been following us for any length of time, you know how much we love photos. For our first contest we want to do a target shooting themed photo contest. The person in the photo must be you, your family member or anybody else that gives you permission to submit the photo of them. The photo may be posted on our website and social media pages so by submitting the photo, you are giving us permission to use the photo. This contest will last the entire month of April so you have plenty of time to enter, but don't wait too long! Entering this contest will earn you 5 entries into the grand prize drawing and winning this contest will earn you 10 entries into the contest! To help us keep track of entries easier, please submit your entry here:
It's time to party!!! We have several contests planed this year and lots of ways to be entered into the grand prize drawing. I don't know exactly what is going to be in the grand prize drawing because I know by the end of April, it will change. I get so excited when I do contests that I just keep adding more and more to the package, so just know it's going to be great! This year we decided on Target Shooting as our theme for our party. We have added several brands of targets to our store (more on those later) and wanted to celebrate that and our anniversary.
Here is the break down on how you can earn entries into the grand prize drawing:
~ Earn 5 entries by entering a contest.
~ Earn 10 entries by winning a contest. (There will also be prize packages for each contest. The prizes for each contest won't be mailed out until the end of the month just in case you win the grand prize, too.)
~ Earn 1 entry by commenting on any post during the month of April on our blog posts and social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+).
~ Earn 2 entries by sharing our social media posts with your friends.
~ Earn 20 entries by doing a Target Shooting themed guest post in April (email: firstname.lastname@example.org for details on how to sign up to do one).
~ Earn 4 entries per item you purchase from our website during the entire month of April. (Use coupon code to receive a % discount off your order.)
~ Watch for other ways to earn entries both on our blog and our social media page. Last year we had 185 entries and I want to beat that number this year!
We want to thank all of our followers and customers. We have had a great 3 years and in the process of teaching others, we have learned a lot, too. Thank you everybody!!!
Girls In The Outdoors
A real girl's perspective of enjoying the outdoors.