LadyShooter TRAVEL | ENVIRONMENT | COMPETITIONS | GEAR | PHOTOGRAPHY
Y L E S
PROFILE: Judy Morris Team USA's Leading Lady | Diva WOW COMPETITIONS: World English - Team USA Ladies vs The British Ladies Team TRAVEL: Somewhere in Argentina | South Florida’s Shooting Club EQUIPMENT REVIEW: Lakewood Products Bag and Case www.LadyShooterLifeStyles.com
Editorial Team | Welcome to Lady Shooter LifeStyles Jeni Novakova Managing Editor Jeni@LadyShooterLifeStyles.com Richard H. Stewart Publisher/Editor in Chief Richard@LadyShooterLifeStyles.com Thaddius Bedford Co-Publisher/Editor Thaddius@LadyShooterLifesStyles.com Sheila Greenfield Associate Editor Sheila@LadyShooterLifeStyles.com Judy Morris Associate Editor Judy@LadyShooterLifeStyles.com
Contributing Editors Alyssa Gruber David Holmes Richard H. Stewart Design/Production Director Richard@LadyShooterLifeStyles.com Sheila Greenfield Advertising Sales Director Sheila@LadyAnglerLifeStyles.com
LADY SHOOTER Lifestyles Info@LadyShooterLifeStyles.com. No part of Lady Shooter LifeStyles may be reproduced in any form without written permission of the publisher. Copyright 2013, LifeStyles Media.. Visit us at www.LadyShooterLifeStyles.com. COVER: Anne Mauro, Beretta and Pure Gold shooter, competes in 2013 Grand Prix at South Florida Shooting Club. Image by Thaddius Bedford.
Welcome to Lady Shooter LifeStyles.... ....your digital magazine resource for ladies in the shooting world. This first issue has been a whirlwind of activity and exploration as we entered the world of shooters from around the world. With serendipitous synergy, publisher Richard Steward and co-publisher Thaddius Bedford, enthusiastically decided to take on the task of creating a magazine to represent the women in shooting sports. Our paths have crossed with so many interesting and supportive individuals eager to be a part of this publication for the fastest growing segment of the shooting market. Thank you all for working with us. We would particularly like to thank the powerhouse, Judy Morris, for her unwaning confidence, tireless effort and abundant support by introducing us to many significant players and sources in the lady shooter realm, which has resulted in making this issue possible. Women in shooting sports come from all walks of life. Lady Shooter Lifestyles will celebrate their diversity in each issue by featuring stories about the ladies behind the scenes as well as the women of the front line. In addition, we will talk about places we have been for shooting events: we discuss food, activities, accommodation we would recommend based on our experiences from those trips. This is a lifestyles magazine, and the reading will be designed to reflect the many facets of a womanâ€™s lifestyle. We count on you, the readers and contributors, to help this magazine develop. Suggestions and comments are welcome; we want the content to reflect what you want to see, so please let us know what you think. Thank you all for your patience and support through the process of putting this all together. We hope you enjoy the subjects of this issue as much as we have. Ready. Aim. Read! Jeni Novakova Managing Editor Lady Shooter LifeStyles
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Shots of the Day
c o n t e n t s
7 The Team’s :Leading Lady by Jeni Novakova
11 Diva Wow, Helping Women, Help Women by Jeni Novakova 17 Fresh and Ripe Mango Salsa by Jeni Novakova 18 Somewhere In Argentina by Alyssa Gruber 30 Watch Those Ears by Jeni Novakova 36 The Bedford Portfolio, A Shooters Life by Thadius Bedford 49 A Shooter’s Best Friend by Jeni Novakova 52 South byFlorida Shooting Club Jeni Novakova 61 Lakewood Products Case by Dave Holmes
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Tell them... youâ€™re a Lady Shooter with an LSL T-Shirt! Click on the image to download a high quality verson suitable for self-printing or sending to your area T-Shirt imprinter.
The Team’s Leading Lady by Jeni Novakova Team USA Manager Judy Morris carries flag leading the team during an international championship.
“The Ladies category is the hardest to fill,” explains Morris. “women are caretakers, mothers, workers etc..,’ and expectations are different”
t’s the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done in my life,” replied Judy Morris when asked why she volunteers her time to manage Team USA. By day Judy Morris is a busy IT Project Manager for the City of New York; in her “spare time” she is the first female manager for the National Sporting Clay Association’s Team USA - the sport shooting team that represents the United States in international shooting events. Team USA is an eclectic group of the top shooters in the sport. To qualify, US shooters must participate in mandatory and elective qualifying events around the country, of which the top four scores are taken into consideration and compared against other shooters. The top scores reflecting each category are then given the opportunity to be team members. The team is divided into two divisions: Sporting and FITASC (European); and into the categories of Junior, Open, Veteran, Super Veteran, and Ladies. Currently, there are 36 members as some members qualify for concurrent participation. There are a total of forty-three slots available; eight of which are available for Lady Shooter LifeStyles | 7
women. “The Ladies category is the hardest to fill,” explains Morris. “women are caretakers, mothers, workers etc. and expectations are different. It’s harder for them to get away to participate in the events.” Morris herself began shooting in 2005 when friends asked her to use her marketing mojo to help them with a shooting course on the Idaho/Montana border. The process required research on the sport and speaking with many people in the field. After being surrounded by the shooting community she was hooked. As soon as she returned to New York, Morris got fitted for a Beretta shotgun and learned to shoot. As much as she loved it, she never intended to become a professional element in the sport. In 2008, Morris had the opportunity to travel to Cypress with Team USA and that was the turning point. “During the opening ceremonies I looked up from the valley to see our team come over the hill with our National Anthem playing, it was very moving. Morris explains what spurred her to take on the huge task of team management, I thought, “I can help these guys, I can do something. I looked at all these other
countries with matching uniforms and they looked so sharp and put together..” I thought, “we are the wealthiest nation and we don’t look put together. There is no reason we can’t look as sharp as the other teams.” Upon her return to US soil she immediately submitted her resume for the position. She was rejected and a man was hired, “I knew it was because I was a woman.” Despite being rejected as team manager, Morris took on the administrative responsibilities she felt were lacking. “International travel is very daunting to US shooters. Travel documents for travelers with guns can be very intimidating and complicated. I didn’t merely tell team members where to find the application, I helped them complete it and submit it properly.” Her philanthropic efforts were not in vain. In 2012, after a succession of other managers didn’t work out, the NSCA finally approached the dedicated Morris and offered her the position. Despite the 4year resistance from the recruiting board of the NSCA, Morris has taken the team to the next level in little over one year since taking the position of manager. Not only has she pulled the team together, streamlined uniforms, and implemented
Judy Morris and NSCA Director Robert Crow at the 2013 Grand Prix. FITASC at the South Florida Shooting Club
Judy Morris gives team member and four-time National FITASC Champion and NSCA Hall of Famer Wendell Cherry a little lesson on how to shoot clays.
fund raising initiatives; but the overall image of the team has changed as well. “The transformation over the past two years has elevated the team to its rightful status making it a point of pride and aspiration for the membership of the NSCA. She has brought a sense of pride to members of Team USA: past, present, and future.” Said Will Fennel, long standing member of Team USA. Morris explains, “It used to be a burden to be on the team, but now it’s something shooters strive for. It’s prestigious.” After the first qualifying event of the 2013 year, she said she had 12 phone calls from shooters of the event interested in joining the team. But, the impact she has had goes beyond adding prestige to team USA, “She has elevated the entire program and the sport.” states Wendell Cherry, Team USA member for over a decade and one of the top shooters in the world. “She has raised the standard for young shooters to aim for.” Where the affectionately titled “Team Mom” felt resistance from decision makers she did not feel the same from the shooters, in fact, it was just the opposite. While there was some resistance from the NSCA to hiring a woman, the male dominated team welcomed Morris with open arms and confidence in her ability to lead them down a successful and fulfilling road. And she hasn’t let them down. “She has done an
amazing job!” explains Cherry, “Since Judy Morris came along everything has changed. It feels more like a team now and she has made being on the team more fun.” The once disheveled team now proudly represents the USA with matching uniforms in two shooting events abroad. In addition to facilitating the application process and uniform standardization one year of Morris’s ambitious fundraising efforts have provided enough funds to pay for all of the team’s expenses – including the two overseas events! This is huge for members. With the expenses covered, the dedication required is more tangible for a wider range of shooters meaning a bigger pool to choose from, resulting in a stronger team. What does she see in the future? “I want there to be enough money in the bank to support the team in lean years.” In addition, Morris says she hopes to get the team to more international events abroad. After all, that is the whole point of having a Team USA… Morris can be seen at shooting events around the country supporting her team. Just look for her bright smiling face at the Team USA fundraising tent with her dedicated four-legged shooting companion, Miss Daisy.
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Judy Rhodes enjoying a bird hunt with Grassland Safari.
DIVA WOW! Helping Women Help Women
by Jeni Novakova
Rhodes poses at Cape Point South Africa on her 20th African Safari.
Hooting and hollering may not traditionally be associated with
hunting, but for the ladies of DIVA WOW it comes with the territory. “We want to have as much fun as we can because it took us so much to get there,” explains Diva’s founder, Judy Rhodes. The daughter of a rancher, Rhodes has had a gun in her hand since the age of 4. Hunting is her life and she has taken on the mission to empower women to make hunting and shooting sports a part of their lives as well. “Women Helping Women; Women Teaching Women; Women Supporting Women” is the slogan for the organization which now has over 1500 members worldwide. Diva Women Outdoors Worldwide, originally known as Texas Women in Shooting Sports, is a non-profit 501-C3 organization. Their mission is to “help, teach and support women worldwide in a women friendly, non-threatening, supportive environment by introducing them to shooting sports and a variety of Lady Shooter LifeStyles | 11
Rhodes takes a brake during the filming of “Ammo and Attitude” in front of the Greystone Castle Sporting Club.
Rhodes poses at Cape Point South Africa on her 20th African Safari
outdoor activities.” By creating a non-threatening environment, women feel more comfortable to learn the ropes of what has traditionally been a male dominated community. Through her own experience, Rhodes, a seasoned shooter and hunter, remembers what it felt like to be belittled and not taken seriously on excursions. If an experienced shooter is treated this way, why
would a woman want to expose herself to that kind of ridicule? Due to this kind of reaction to female shooters, it’s no wonder why the female shooter community was dwindling. When Rhodes was asked to speak at a conference, she realized there were enough interested women, but no one willing to stick their necks out as leaders, so she decided to take Lady Shooter LifeStyles | 12
on the task herself. And, thus, the beginning of what is now Diva WOW was started. The headquarters of Diva’s is located in Dallas, Texas, but the members are from all over the US and the world. Rhodes, who said she hunted over 200 days last year, meets and recruits women as she trots the globe on personal shooting trips. The club itself welcomes around 285
women weekly who come to shoot or take lessons. In addition to the activity at headquarters, Diva leagues are sprouting up around the country. “We introduced the first leagues 4 years ago. Now we have leagues as far away as Washington, Pennsylvania,” states a proud Rhodes. Leagues include class A, B, C & D shooters and were started to suit the more competitive souls who wanted go
beyond just hobby shooting. “Diva WOW was not set up to be competitive in shooting as a club. We need to stay neutral to be cheerleaders for ALL women,” states Rhodes. “We want to be supportive so women feel comfortable in a shooting environment.” But the leagues have given an outlet to those shooters who want to shoot with people they know and trust in a Lady Shooter LifeStyles | 13
competitive but fun spirited event. With a growing female interest in guns, it is important for women to get educated and groups like Diva WOW seem to be becoming more prevalent. As many households have guns, it is important that the women of the house also know how to use them and to be comfortable. In recent years, women’s interest in learning about shooting and guns has
Rhodes takes aim at an Oryx while hunting at the Five Star Ranch
Rhodes hunting Turkey in Kansas.
increased, according to statistics, and Rhodes concurs. With the threat of new legislation women have begun to be proactive about their rights and learn how to protect themselves and be self-sufficient. The Diva’s goal is to provide education and appropriate outlets for women in an environment that understands what it means to be a woman shooter. It goes beyond simply picking up a husband’s or father’s gun and shooting. Women have different needs than men and men are not always understanding of these differences, which can make it challenging for a woman to learn effectively from a male shooter. In an environment like Diva’s other women are there to advise how a woman should hold a gun, and assist in equipment selection and proper fit. “Diva WOW has it’s own research and development department. We review everything from clothing to equipment. We also have a Diva Seal of Approval so women know what has been tested to best suit their needs,” explains Rhodes. While gun shooting and hunting are the primary focus of Diva WOW, the organization promotes and educates women on all outdoor activities. According to the Diva website: “With a variety of shooting clinics, we are introducing women to AR-15 rifles (modern sporting rifles), shotguns, handguns, bb guns, black powder rifles, archery, crossbows, fly fishing, spin casting, dog training, equestrian events, camping, sailing, and even outdoor cooking.” And the newest
member to the Diva activity list is slingshots. “Slingshots are a riot. It also offers women a good introduction to shooting if they are intimidated by the thought of a loaded weapon.” But Rhodes warns, “Diva’s is not for every woman. This is for women who want to take charge.” She adds, “We are over the top. I always have makeup and jewelry on. This is a group of ladies who like to shoot but like to look good too. We are not one of the guys; we are not one of the girls; we are our own.” And Rhodes stresses it is not just about the woman either. This is something that can promote the family: when women learn to shoot they can participate and go out on the hunt with their husbands and she can get Lady Shooter LifeStyles | 15
behind her children learning to shoot as well. Rhodes says the most rewarding part of what she does is “Making a diamond out of a chunk of coal: The women who [with the help of Diva’s] become leaders and role models for other women and in their own home without losing their individuality.” Judy Rhodes is a woman who is not all about herself; she is “into introducing women to the outdoors.” She strives to be a role model for women who want to take charge of their lives. Be on the lookout for future contributions from Rhodes in the coming issues as she shares with us experiences and opinions of the shooting world including an account of her 21st African safari.
Flavors | By Jeni Novakova
Fresh & Ripe Mango Salsa
ince we will be traveling to San Antonio, TX. For the NSCA’s World English Competition, I thought I would tip my hat to the southwest. I created the salsa recipe years ago with a friend for our book club. I have since altered it with fresh ingredients making it an even more refreshing and delicious melody of flavors for any occasion. I have found the key words to the salsa are: Fresh & Ripe. Choose your mangos wisely; the mangos are what make this salsa sing. Make sure your cilantro is fresh and fragrant – pinch off a leaf and roll it in your fingers and sniff. If it smells green like parsley, do not use it. Your ginger should also be nice and plump, leave the shriveled pieces aside and break-off the more rounded, almost shiny, smooth skinned stems.
Mango Salsa: 2 Ripe Mangos – cubed. 1 Medium Red Onion – chopped fine ½ Cup Fresh. Cilantro – chopped fine. 1 Can Black Beans Finger length of Fresh Ginger – peeled and cubed. 3 Cloves Fresh Garlic. Wedge of Lime. Place mango, onion, cilantro, and beans in a medium-size mixing bowl. Use a garlic press to press the ginger, scraping the bottom and adding the fine pieces to the bowl. Remove the ginger from the inside of the press and discard (you can also leave the ginger whole and use a hand grater to grate the ginger if preferred).
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Image by Thaddius Bedford
Press the garlic into the bowl. Squeeze in the lime wedge. Mix the salsa and place in a decorative bowl to enjoy. Delicious with tortilla chips or as an accompaniment to grilled chicken.
somewhere in Arg just outside Bueno Images by Thaddius Bedford
The sun sets over the Parana River in Santa Fe, Argentina.
The sky was painted a deep orange and purple as I sat and watched a once in a lifetime lunar eclipse somewhere in Argentina, just outside Buenos Aires. A spectacular and unexpected display as the day headed toward dusk. It had been the ﬁrst time my father and I had crossed international borders for one of our many outdoor adventures together. We were there to pursue the world-class wing shooting for ducks, doves, perdiz and pigeons, my ﬁrst time ever, and I was in awe of Argentina’s beauty. The beautiful landscape, coupled with the charming South American culture, made for an experience that will likely never leave my mind. Hunting the fowl in a ﬁeld with only male companions may be intimidating for some women, but for me, it felt like home. I’ve been
Alyssa (center) and her father, Steve Gruber (right) pose with the crew from Los Dos Hermanos.
gentina, os Aires
TRAVEL by Alyssa Gruber
around ﬁrearms for the majority of life, starting from a young age with safety lessons from my father. Guns were never hidden and kept away from me, acting as if they were a secret that only adults were allowed to know. Instead, my father taught me about the caution that was always to be taken when around ﬁrearms, and that they were never to be used as a toy. Guns were to be used as intended and there was never room or an excuse for a 'mistake' when it came to guns. I'd hunted with my dad for deer and turkey but at the age of 20 I had never really spent time using ﬁne shotguns and focus on wing shooting. I knew it would be a learning experience and I hoped I could make my dad proud when I shouldered the gun and pulled the trigger. As I stood in the middle of the farm ﬁeld waiting for the passing of doves, I realized that there are only a handful of people that can say they have done what
I was doing at that very moment. I was overcome with gratitude for the hand that I had been dealt. Not only was I in a foreign country enjoying a vacation of sorts, but also I was able to spend time with my father because of his hard work and dedication to his profession. My father has spent most of his adult life making nationally syndicated outdoor programs for the Outdoor Channel. From a young age, he took me along with him on his excursions all around the greater United States. From rainbow trout ﬁshing in the
forgetting its connection to nature. Today, when a young person knows more about fast food than a fresh catch, I am so thankful for the lessons I was taught as a kid. I was always observing my dad, or any other member of my family, bringing home a fresh whitetail deer, and butchering it in the ﬁeld behind our house. For dinner, we would have some sort of venison dish, and I was exposed to the true circle of life. For some, the idea of ﬁrearms is completely foreign, even rejecting the idea completely. Humans, in nature,
Alyssa loads her trusty Beretta.
backcountry of Wyoming, to alligator hunting in Florida, I have seen and learned things that cannot be taught in a classroom. The emphasis of importance that was put on hunting and ﬁshing as I was growing up, still and will continue to be a huge impact of the way I see the world. Being able to go out and bring home your own dinner, whether it be a ﬁsh or a deer or any other sort of animal seems to be so crucial in a world
are usually scared of what they do not understand. In that ignorance, they pass on the belief that guns are a bad thing that only barbarians would use in times of violence and crime. Not only is this opposite of the truth, it creates a cloud over outdoor enthusiasts everywhere. I am not a monster; I do not commit crimes. I think it is crucial for my generation to become much more aware of nature through hunting and
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AAlyssa enjoys a break in the sunshine.
Los Dos Hermanos guide Patricio Aldertarrio gives Alyssa a lesson in dove hunting
Hunter takes aim over a farmer’s field near Santa Fe, Argentina.
Great Dane takes a siesta.
Alyssa and her father watch as their hunting companions try to lasso a goat.
ﬁshing. We have become glued to television sets and cell phone screens, unaware of how the ground beef in the market actually ends up there. Thinking that hunters are destroying the world is so far from reality and it should be confronted. On the vast majority of his hunts, my father will often give the meat of the animal he has hunted to the villages for food. If it wasn’t for my father, I might have been in the dark about the contributions that hunters make, not only in their own neighborhood, but also all over the planet. I am so thankful I have grown up the way I have. Being able to look at a ﬁrearm and know its working parts and its contribution to society is something I cannot put a value on. I have an immense passion for nature, and the conservation of such. I know that without the lessons I learned growing up, I would be like the majority of people may age, not knowing the diﬀerence between a Sig Sauer and a Benelli, a mule deer and an antelope. We are cutoﬀ from what is right outside out windows, and it is our responsibility to change. Needless to say, that day in the ﬁeld in Argentina turned out successful with me bringing down several doves and perdiz. I think at the end of the day, it is easy to say my dad was proud of me, and I was proud of myself. It is my hope that parents everywhere can show their kids how to should a gun, or tie on bait to a hook. We owe to ourselves as Americans, to not let ignorance eclipse our heritage and bring the power of knowledge to the light.
An Argentinian dove.
To Hear .....
Watch Your Ears! That may sound a bit silly to some, since it’s darned near impossible to see the side of one’s head, but around the range, it’s a common phrase when someone is ready to start shooting, a simple warning that the immediate environment is about to get noisy. It’s usually a casual reminder, as most ranges have signs proclaiming eye and ear protection mandatory. Interestingly, most give little thought to hearing protection, using whatever means is
handy. The eyes seem to draw far more attention, with different tints and such, to entice one to open the purse strings and try them out. The protection aspect of glasses is overridden by the vision enhancement capabilities. Enhancement is what shooters are after, protection is taken for granted. Few have actually been spared injury by their glasses on the range. They are a “just in case” item. Hearing protection, although the poor stepsister, is a totally different situation. Hearing protection benefits a shooter, or
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...or Not to Hear!
spectator, on the range every shot. Ignoring it is guaranteed to cause long term damage. Understanding hearing protection should be on everyone’s priority list, not an afterthought. Damage to hearing occurs when excessive vibration damages the hair cells of the inner ear. (Age also wears them out in case you wondered why your grandpa always ignores your grandma when she’s talking.) The hair cells change the mechanical energy of the vibration into electrical impulses that tell the brain what you are listening to. They don’t regenerate, so damage is permanent and cumulative.a There are two main types of hearing protection. The first type of protection is passive protection. It blocks sound from entering the ears. Plugging your ears with your fingers is passive protection. However, plugging your ears makes it hard to hold a gun and shoot, so shooters have supplemented the process with foam ear plugs, or plastic muffs with foam linings. Silicone plugs can also be molded to the exact
shape of the ear. The second type of protection is electronic, or enhanced. That consists of taking a passive form of hearing protection and supplementing it with electronic circuitry that helps a shooter hear with their ears plugged. It’s nifty stuff! Hearing and vision are our two main senses for monitoring the world around us. When we use passive hearing protection, we reduce the sound input that our brain uses for keeping us safe. Electronic protection circuitry actually amplifies soft sounds while reducing loud sounds to a level that isn’t harmful. It is the best of both worlds as it allows us to communicate effectively verbally while still having protection. We’re in a little bit of a quandary with hearing protection. The noise from a gun discharge, tire blowout, thunder clap or someone slamming a book shut is of short duration. It’s called an impulse sound. The other side of the scale is the steady sound of a jack hammer, jet engine or industrial machinery or race cars. Hearing studies
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dealing with loud noise are industry based, hence done with steady sounds. Impulse sounds are the orphan step-child. OSHA doesn’t drive the studies on impulse sound, so we are left transposing the information from steady noise to try and make it relevant to impulse noise. Sound is measured in decibels. Few of us are ever in a situation where sound is monitored so we can develop a feeling for how many decibels a noise might be. Sound is either comfortable, uncomfortable or painful. Studies indicate that exposure to sound over 115 decibels for over 15 minutes, may cause damage. That indicates that the negative effect of sound vibration in the ear may be cumulative. Steady noise in the 90 decibel level is about max for safety’s sake. Gun shots can easily exceed 150 decibels, a level certain to cause damage. This is where the impulse issue comes in. We don’t fully understand where the “damage line” is. (A screaming baby can make it to 120 decibels and that’s why some folks aren’t very tolerant. It hurts.) Hearing protection is quantified by the decibel reduction it creates, measured by putting a microphone inside the protection and comparing that to the volume when the microphone is exposed to the full sound. The best reduction is about 30 decibels, with most in the 22-26 decibel range. A thirty decibel reduction in a steady environment of 150-160 likely wouldn’t be enough to prevent long term damage. Real world experience indicates that, when dealing with impulse sound, there is sufficient protection for most people at that level. Just to keep it from getting too simple, it takes about 5 decibels for most people to tell a difference in the volume of sound, which means the average person would be hard pressed to tell the difference between protection that provide 25 decibels of protection, versus another unit that provides 30 decibels. And there is a bit more to it than just the rated protection of muffs or plugs. They have to fit properly to work properly. Foam plugs,
the most common form of protection, are an excellent case in point. Auditory canals come in all shapes and sizes. While foam plugs should be rolled tightly and allowed to expand in the ear while being held in with a bit of finger pressure to create a proper seal, if plugs are too big for the canal, they will work their way partially out of the ear. As soon as the seal is broken, protection is compromised. If an ear canal is too big for the plug, the seal will never be formed and protection is compromised. Plug manufacturers know this and produce plugs in several different sizes. The problem is that retailers, by a very large margin, only carry one size. If it fits dad, it isn’t going to fit the kids. Wedging them in the outer ear may help, but it isn’t the correct answer to the problem. Industrial supply houses or the internet are the most likely
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spots to find different sizes of foam plugs, not your local shooting range. Some internet vendors offer sample packs of different sizes so you can figure out the right one for you and stock up. Some folks don’t care for the pressure from the expansion of the plugs and readily look elsewhere to meet their needs. Molded silicone plugs eliminate the sizing issues of foam plugs. They fit your ears exactly, hence, if molded properly, you get all the protection they can possibly provide. They also do away with the potential discomfort from plug expansion. Molded plugs can be made by audiologists. Some shoots have vendors making them on site. Muffs that clamp over the outside of the ears have to have a good seal. Hair, hats, jewelry and carelessness when putting them on can be obstacles to getting that good seal. The plastic cup that fits over the ear causes problems for some shooters. When shooting, some find muffs bump the gun stock. That breaks the seal and reduces the effectiveness of the protection. The ear cups will be lined with foam to absorb sound. The seal that makes contact with the head around the ear is an all important factor to both comfort and effectiveness. Seals made of soft leather are the most comfortable I’ve found. When comparing the noise rating of muffs, keep in mind there are no miracles. A greater reduction rating means there is more mass to the muff: more foam and plastic. So a rating of “30”, with a large bulky cup that bumps the stock and breaks the seal, may actually provide less protection than a more slender cup with a rating of “26” that doesn’t get displaced in the mount. Electronic plugs and muffs follow the same construction methods as those of their passive counterparts, with the addition of electronic circuitry. Prices can vary widely, but in general, you’ll get what you pay for. The most expensive part of a good set of electronic muffs or plugs may well be the programming that goes into the circuitry. You can’t see that, but you can tell it when you use the product. Sound compression technology, found in
all the better electronic units now, compresses dangerous sounds down to around 90 decibels, but amplifies soft sounds so a user maintains total auditory contact with the world around him or her. Not only is it handy on the range, it is great in the field. Bird hunters can easily follow their dogs by sound as they work brush. It also allows one to keep track of fellow hunters moving through the brush and woods. (Dick Cheney likely would have avoided a lot of embarrassment had he been wearing electronic protection!) Waterfowl hunters can hear the birds, especially handy for any slipping in from behind. Big game and turkey hunters can hear their prey approach through the woods. It’s a matter of choice whether to enhance one’s hearing or damage it.Many models allow for attaching phones or pads through a mini jack. They can be worn around power tools, lawn mowers, snow blowers and even while watching TV for those whose hearing may not be what it once was—all while being able to hear the soft sounds and keep the louder ones below the danger zone. Cost may seem like an issue, but for the money, your hearing is paramount and not just in the shooting environment. Hearing protection with enhanced hearing capabilities is greatly appreciated by many users. The next time you need to protect your hearing, make the best choice for your needs and wallet. Doing it right will only make the experience better!
Bedford Portfolio ..
A Shooters LIFE!
A Shooter’s Best Friend Image by Lynn Stone
by Jeni Novakova
Jennifer Broome in 2009.
ome call them a man’s best friend, but to Jennifer Broome of Quinebaug Kennels dogs are a hunting companion and a career. The history of dogs in hunting is vast. Throughout history dogs have been used for shooting sports and hunting around the world. A welltrained dog keeps shooters
company as well as assists in successful shots. At Quinebaug Kennels, dogs are trained for such jobs. “We provide services from puppy selection to training mature dogs for hunts” states kennel owner and dog trainer, Jennifer Broome. Quienbaug Kennels is a 50 acre farm located in Canterbury, Connecticut. Broome, who lives on the propLady Shooter LifeStyles | 49
erty, makes sure dogs get plenty of exercise and consistency to assure good health and success based on each dog’s needs and goals. There are several canine breeds that are bred specifically for shooting sports. Each breed is known for specific traits. According to Broome, however, just about any dog can be trained for hunting. “As long as
hunting include pointers, retrievers, setters and spaniels. There are many to choose from so the decision can be daunting. Kennels like Broome’s offer consulting services for such decisions. Getting help choosing a breed that fits your needs and personality as well as help finding a reputable breeder can make the endeavor easier and more successful. But it doesn’t only depend on the dog, “People can be the hardest
Jenifer Broome with some of her charges on Quinebaug Kennels' grounds in October 2012.
slightly different; the natural predator, which is usually hindered in pets, needs to be brought out through play games, and obedience training is merged into fieldwork. Dogs are conditioned to associate gunshots with rewards and fun. Shots go off during play time and chase games and gradually go off with more frequency. The AKC regulates the best breeds of dogs for sporting. Dogs that excel in sporting and
Image by Lynn Stone
the dog is high energy and enjoys chasing things it can be trained for hunting.” While puppies are ideal for training, even older dogs can be successful. Puppy training begins with two one-month sessions. The first session focuses on obedience, voice commands, and electric collar response. The second session acclimates the dog to bird hunting and shotgun conditioning. With older dogs the approach is
to train,” says Broome. Not only do the dogs need to learn obedience and skills, but “their owners need to understand how to communicate and care for these dogs.“ Sporting and hunting dogs are high energy and need regular outlets for their instinctive on-the-go personalities by exposing them to invigorating activity. For city-dwellers this can be challenging. There is little opportunity for city dogs to Lady Shooter LifeStyles | 50
expend their energy at home, but creative alternatives are available. Quinebaum Kennels, for example, provides a shuttle service to Manhattan. Dogs are picked up curbside and taken to the farm for training, “pre-season tune-ups”, exercise, etc. The kennel staff work with the dogs to keep them conditioned and ready for sporting excursions with their owners who weekend or vacation in sporting environments. A gun dog’s career doesn’t have to stop with companion hunting; there are competition options as well. Field trials, championships, hunt test, run tests, etc. are all stimulating and competitive events for gun dogs. Information on the different competitions is readily available online. Kennels can Jenifer Broome with help ready and train dogs for Kennels' gr Quinebaug these competitive events as well. “It is so rewarding to have a dog as a constant companion and a hunting companion. A professional trainer can help make your training success quick and fun,” advises Broome. Quinebaug Kennels works with dog owners all over the United States and Canada, but the convenience of a kennel closer to home might be more practical for non-east coast residents. Contact a kennel in your area for information on gun dog training and services. For more information on Quinebaug Kennels or Jennifer Broome, go to www.QuinebaugKennels.com.
some of her charges on rounds in October 2012.
Image by Lynn Stone
Jennifer Broome in 2009.
South Florida Shooting Club Photography by Thaddius Bedford
The sun sets after another fantastic day at South Florida.
What would you expect to ﬁnd in the middle of a bunch of potato ﬁelds? A farmer on a tractor? A French fry stand?
How about a five-star sporting clays range? No kidding! South Florida Shooting Club is located a couple miles west of I-95. Take S.R. 714 exit to SW Long Road, head north and you can’t miss it. To the north one sees lots of citrus groves, but this area of Florida produces lots of potatoes. Did you know Florida was a potato state? I sure didn’t! The architecture of the spacious clubhouse has a southwest, stucco look. It is spacious, well-appointed serving food a cut above the average. In one corner is a gunroom with representative pieces from some of
A FITASC group takes their turn at shooting over the pond.
Europe’s finest makers. Exquisite engraving, fine wood and immaculate workmanship suggest that these guns aren’t for those worried about the price of gas. They are however, a delight to even a pauper’s eye. The grounds cover in excess of 600 acres, replete with palms, palmettos and lots of open area. The courses are laid out around the edge of the property. Unless one favors a long walk, a cart could be considered mandatory equipment. The sporting courses 42 stations offer covered shooting stations to beat the South Florida sun, or an unexpected shower. Trap and skeet fields can be found just east of the manicured lawn surrounding the clubhouse. The club is managed by British expatriate Doug Vine. Many clubs tend to set targets that offer a fair degree of
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Staff reloads one of the tower target launchers.
entertainment. Doug’s targets tend to offer a fair degree of challenge, something club members expect and enjoy. He is available for instruction by appointment. The club is a member only facility. The decision has been made to host several tournaments a year that will open the property to non-members. The first was held the first weekend in February of this year. The Florida State Shoot will be held there in April. The central part of Florida is becoming quite the snowbird shooter mecca. Given the success of a series of Florida tournaments roughly embracing the month of February, there’s no reason to think this shoot series won’t continue in the future. South Florida’s Grand Prix FITASC started
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South Florida Shooting Club House
Wendell Cherry looks on as Judy Morris breaks a few clays.
things off this year. Tournaments followed at Indian River, Quail Creek, and Bradford Farms. Several new clubs are being developed in this same area. If you are a northern state shooter, a winter trip to Florida might just be in order! Few areas in the country offer as many quality venues within easy driving distance of each other. In addition to the tournaments, top name instructors are available throughout the month on weekdays for a bit of instruction. Take it from this Yankee. Shooting over palmettos, watching clay pigeons arc over palm trees and walking under Spanish moss beats heck out of slipping and sliding around on the roads and shoveling snow. If you make to the area while South Florida is open to the public, swing by and see how nice a shooting range can be! Lady Shooter LifeStyles | 58
View from South Florida Shooting Club House.
Desirae Edmunds takes aim over the pond.
Lakewood Products Case Remember what a pain it is to find something in that big, baggy purse?
by Dave Holmes
Imay be a guy without any purse time, but I’ve watched you
ladies digging frantically, knowing the Chapstick is in there, somewhere. Maybe it’s a nail file instead of the Chapstick, but you know, in the end, it will be in the deepest, darkest corner of the bag under something you should have eaten three months ago. Most shooting bags are like that: an abyss with a collection of stuff, the most important of which will be in a deep, dark corner. Construction is typically a main pouch with a smaller one on each side. Some stuff goes in and stays there, but never gets used. The stuff you want to use is underneath the unused stuff. No matter what you are after in a side pouch, you always look in the wrong one first. I’ve used the same shooting bag for 14 years. I’ve seen a lot of nice ones, but none that seemed any better than the one I had. My number one gripe has been that I couldn’t get my rain gear and my shells in my bag at the same time. I hate shooting wet! When I saw Lady Shooter LifeStyles | 61
mention made of Lakewood Products bag, designed to hold 100 rounds of ammo on each end with a section in the middle that would hold 200 empties, my eyes lit up. Few sporting shooters bother to carry their empties with them anymore, but that middle compartment looked like it would hold rain gear. I had never heard of Lakewood Products, but this was a no brainer. Sign me up! The Clay Shooter Case, as Lakewood terms it, is 15” long, 10” wide and just a bit over 9” high. It’s “foot print” is actually a bit smaller than my old, soft-sided bag. The exterior is a nylon fabric. The “magic” of the Lakewood case is that it has a solid frame and dividers for the interior compartments. The frame material appears to be Masonite, or a very similar product. It is thin and lightweight. There is a thin layer of foam between the nylon and the frame. The case supports my 180 pounds without a grunt or groan. The compartments are set up to hold four boxes of shells on each end, great for those who like to carry different shot sizes. The center compartment measures 7 ½” x 9” x 9”. The huge difference between this case and a soft bag is that every bit of the space in the Lakewood case is usable due to the rigid frame. All the space is accessible for the same reason. There’s no digging in a black hole for the “Chapstick”. It packs nicely in a vehicle. The lid is also rigid and hinges along the back side. When you open this case, it stays open. A soft pouch, roughly 7” long, 5” wide and 3” deep is stitched to the bottom of the lid, as are five elastic shell loops Another soft pouch is stitched on the front of the bag, 13” long, 2 ½” wide and 7” high. The Shooting Case is available in camo and black. It retails for a penny less than a hundred dollar bill. I can easily get 150 shells, all the regular stuff and my rain gear in this one. Pack wisely and you’ll get to the range with everything you need for the day in one case, just grab and go. I’m happy! But wait, there’s more! For separate shipping and handling charges you can double your order! Just kidding, but good ideas some in pairs. Lakewood also makes nifty gun cases.
It follows the same construction patern of the Clay Shooter case: nylon exterior, thin foam, full Masonite lining with closed cell foam inserts to hold the gun firmly in place. The really interesting part is that this case, unlike any other I’ve seen, opens on the top. The lid has a full zipper and can easily be folded over, out of the way. The gun is simply set down into the case. There’s no disassembly, no searching for room to open the typical case that doubles in size to get the gun out and put together. D-rings are attached to each corner of the case so it can be strapped on about any kind of conveyance. A carrying handle is stitched in the middle of the case and a detachable carry strap, easily clipped on the D-rings is included. A pouch is stitched to the outside middle of the case The biggest case (53” long, 10” high and 5” wide, outside dimensions) comes with a 50” gun slot. My gun is a bit longer with extended chokes, so I cut out the foam at the butt adding over an inch to the gun slot. The gun is quite securely held. Like the Clay Shooter case, this one will easily support my 180 pounds, top or side. While it has a sort of soft feel to it, the case seems to be quite stout. The zipper tabs of the top can be padlocked together, making the case airlines approved. Steve Wagnitz, head of the company, has traveled to Africa and the cases have survived that trip in fine style. The soft touch makes them a bit more comfortable to carry than a heavy, hard case. On a more domestic scene, the cases’ soft sides and corners are quite polite to vehicles they come in contact with. The empty case weighs
around 10 pounds. The overall length makes it a tough fit in my Honda Civic trunk unless I put the backseat down and put it in through the trunk. It’s a piece of cake to carry it like that. The camo case kind of shouts “gun”, but the all black case isn’t so distinctive. It’s just a long black case with no definite adjectives attached to it. This may well be the world’s perfect pickup truck case. Hunters will find the easy, drop-in fit really handy when dealing with dogs. It only takes a few seconds to get the gun covered. There’s only a very, very short opportunity for a dog to jump in and make contact with the gun. A dog could lay, roll or barf on the case after the gun is in and the gun will never know it. Several shooters traveling together can optimize the back of a vehicle with these cases. Four guns would only take up a 20” wide swath. After arriving at the range, loading up would be a walk in the park, without having to trip over each other to get out guns while others try to get back in the vehicle for other items. Couple the gun case with the Clay Shooter case and four guys could easily be out of the vehicle, on the cart and headed out to shoot in five minutes. If you are shopping for a gun case or shooting bag, you owe it to yourself to give the Lakewood Products a hard look. They’re handy as all get out and quality made in the U.S.A. That’s a tough combination to beat! Go to www.LakewoodProducts.com and see their full line of tackle boxes, bow cases, and other nifty products.
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Focused & Present While Shooting by Dawn Grant
“I spend a lot of time discussing and teaching clients things like: the importance of being present being aware of negative thoughts, being aware of your reactions”
here are many things a shooter can do to sharpen their mental skills, all of which would have a tremendous impact on their performance. Today, I want to focus on helping you with your ability to be focused and present. As you know, being focused and present is important to making good shots for any shooter. You see this with the Pros, while squadded with others, and in yourself. You must be focused and present if you expect to break the target well. As we look to address this skill set using mental training, we need to first recognize that a correction needs to be made to the times in which you are not shooting focused and present. Take a moment right now to brainstorm and familiarize yourself with how you are thinking and feeling when you are not focused and present when shooting. Your thoughts can be on a discussion that occurred earlier in the day, on the squad mate that won’t stop talking, or on chewing yourself out for missing an easy target at the last station. All these thoughts will cause anxiety in your body. We have to counteract this Lady Shooter LifeStyles | 7
cycle by purposely thinking in a healthier, more productive manner. One of the suggestions I use with clients and in my clay shooting products is “I am focused and present on the current shot.” We are going to break this down and expand on it as a way of helping you to improve your skills in that area. As with all my teachings, I highly encourage you to practice mental training on and off the course. You will gain much more mastery over the skill in a shorter period of time. Look at your ability to be focused and present in any moment, where ‘in any moment’ can be anything happening in your life. You cannot expect to be able to easily pull this trick out of your pocket at a weekend tournament if you have limited ability to do it in life. If you practice what I teach you in life, then you will easily carry it into your shooting game. In shooting, ‘in the moment’ applies to whatever particular
shot you are engaged in at any given moment in time. I spend a lot of time discussing and teaching clients things like: the importance of being present, being aware of negative thoughts, being aware of your reactions to some of those thoughts or old programming, and being able to feel confident that you have the tools to shift away from those old ways of responding or thinking. The reason I spend time on these topics is so they can have a more positive, effective, healthy and limitless way of experiencing life and their shooting game. All this is possible to you when you simply (easier said than done) learn how to stay in a present moment, and keep your mind from wandering out of the ‘here and now.’ Staying focused and present are critical factors to improving your shooting performance. All shooters know the importance of being present in
that moment, but they struggle with their mind taking them into the past…into a past shot, a previous station or round. Maybe they missed a target or pair on the last station, or it could have even been a few stations before that. What if they started an event and missed targets on the first peg or station, and carried the frustration with them into the third, fourth and fifth station, or each shot after that so-called bad station? Do you think they would perform well if that is all they thought about? Another tendency is to allow your mind to take you into the future, with ‘projections.’ Let’s say you missed a few targets or played a few stations poorly. You can then have this doom and gloom attitude about what will happen on the upcoming stations or pegs, and maybe draw a gloomy conclusion to the entire tournament. Or, let’s say you had a streak of perfect stations and you have been performing really well. You might get to a point of concern about whether you can carry that on, where you may think: “I can’t do that very much longer…
the longest streak I’ve ever had is four stations.” You could also project: “at this pace, I could win.” Or “at this pace, I could end up being in the top ten!” These can lead to pressure as fear or expectation creep in and cause you to fumble future shots. These are a few examples of the different things that can happen if you allow your conscious mind to wander into the past or the future. It becomes imperative, then, that you learn how to keep your conscious mind present and stay focused in each moment when you are shooting; that you are focused and present on the current shot. This ultimately is the biggest skill to learn. It’s not really hard, but it can seem hard because it takes commitment and diligence. You will find, after learning this information and going into
observations of this phenomenon happening, that your conscious mind wanders all day long, continually in the past or future. Your mind plays out different scenarios of what happened, what should have happened, what is about to happen and many other varying analyzations. You will see that every time your mind does that, it takes you out of the present moment. But the good news is, you already know what it feels like to reel your conscious mind back in – to bring yourself present. I notice I do this when I am driving down the highway, it starts to down pour rain and I want to be safe; or when one of my kids comes to me with something important and I want to give her my undivided attention. You can train your mind to do this, with commitment and diligence, and you will see your performance
improve as you do. It’s time to go to work! Start training yourself to be more present in life. Shift my suggestion so it pertains to whatever life event you are participating in. If at work, it could be: “I am focused and present on… this call, project, meeting, conversation, etc.” At home, it could be: “I am focused and present on… cooking dinner, conversation with loved ones, cleaning dishes.” You can find opportunities all day long to practice this skill. The more you practice this skill, become aware of it, and commit to change; the more likely you will be in transferring it over to the shooting course, to your game and into each shot. Practice this mental training and you will definitely see significant increase in your performance.
Nexus Shooting is NOW OPEN! WELCOME TO THE FUTURE OF SHOOTING! We are proud to announce that we are now open for business. Starting Monday, May 13th, our normal hours will be 10am-10pm, 7 days a week. We are located at 2600 Davie Rd, Davie, FL 33314. Just a minute south of I-595 on Davie Rd.
Come experience what you've been missing with the cleanest, safest, quietest, friendliest, and most technologically advanced indoor shooting range on the planet! From our milliondollar, military-grade, fully air conditioned ventilation system, to our innovative use of the latest technologies, proprietary live fire computerized targeting, and spacious, modern showroom, no expense was spared! We are fully stocked with thousands of firearms, rows and rows of black rifles and magazines, and ammunition in all major calibers. YES, we even have 9mm, 5.56, .223, and .22LR! Our professional staff is friendly, approachable, attitude-free, and ready and willing to assist you in any way possible. We allow flexible training with rapid fire, holster draw, prone and kneeling positions, and dynamic shooting on the move (after demonstrating the ability to safely perform these skills) through our unique licensing system. With FORTY lanes, we have more capacity than any other indoor range in the southeastern United States! Multiple individual bays of varying sizes allow us to accommodate any size group and offer private shooting experiences, providing the ultimate in comfort and safety. Visit our website for further details at: www.NexusShooting.com THE FUTURE IS FINALLY HERE!