February 24th, 2016

NRA Smallbore Championships Go “Gender Neutral”

Small Bore Rifle Championship NRA women category gender neutral

Report based on story by NRABlog.com
Starting this summer, the NRA National Smallbore Rifle Championships will no longer feature a separate “High Women” award. From now on, men and women will compete shoulder to shoulder in the same category — every shooter will be scored in a single group regardless of gender. (There will still be age-based categories; also men and women have always been eligible to win match top honors regardless of gender).

The reason for this change is, quite simply, that ladies can shoot as well as men (or better in many cases). Consequently, there is no need for a separate class for women: “There is a high degree of parity between men and women shooters in the smallbore championships,” said H.Q. Moody, national manager of NRA’s Rifle Department. Moody explained: “Women are rightly viewed as equals in today’s America. Shouldn’t our championships reflect that attitude as well? Our smallbore committee has discussed making the championships gender equitable for many years now and finally felt it was the right time to implement the change.”

Men and women will now compete on equal terms at the National Smallbore Championship, competing for the same honors in “gender-neutral” classifications.
Small Bore Rifle Championship NRA women category gender neutral
Photo courtesy Shooting Sports USA.

This change was officially adopted this past January at the NRA Board of Directors winter meetings. It only affects the NRA National Smallbore Rifle Championships for now, but a positive reception could see “gender-neutrality” spread to regional matches and below, and maybe even other NRA disciplines.

History of Women’s Classfication in Smallbore Competition
The women’s category was first introduced to the smallbore championships nearly 70 years ago. Back then, military shooters were dominating the field so convincingly that several new categories were created to recognize the accomplishments of civilian shooters. This move saw the creation of not just the Woman category, but also Junior and Senior. The latter two have since expanded even further (e.g. Grand Senior, Intermediate Junior) to accommodate the skill discrepancies within levels and they make perfect sense to have; junior shooters are generally more inexperienced and many seniors are affected by physical limitations.

Small Bore Rifle Championship NRA women category gender neutral

But the same can no longer be said of the women’s category. While military shooters still do very well nowadays, the proliferation of female service members has seen quite a few woman match winners. There are also a number of extraordinary female civilian shooters who finish near the top of each year’s overall standings. For instance, women shooters placed first in each of the two aggregate matches that determined last year’s Conventional 3-Position Champion.

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November 29th, 2012

GunGoddess.com Website Offers Products for Lady Shooters

Shooters cuff-links cufflinksGunGoddess.com features a variety of products and shooting accessories especially chosen for lady shooters. You’ll find colorful apparel, carry purses, holsters, and even jewelry crafted from bullet castings.

GunGoddess.com was started by Athena Means, an active IDPA and USPSA pistol shooter. Athena, whose husband Mike served 20 years in the military, was inspired to create the site after searching in vain for shooting apparel and accessories in colors other than black, green, and tan. Athena wanted something with more appeal to the feminine eye: “I set out to find fabulous products that women shooters would love, and bring them all together here. Ladies who love to shoot will find all the traditional gear they need, but in neon pink and leopard print instead of traditional black!”

GunGoddess.com shooting apparel and accessories

GunGoddess.com Has Gift Items for All Members of the Family
Though it specializes in products for women, GunGoddess.com also offers gift selections for men and kids, through its companion site, GunFighterWear.com. If you’re looking for a gift for a guy, you’ll find shooting accessories, concealment gear, speciality gun storage units, and even “Tactical Ties” and cufflinks made from cartridge cases. There are many unique items on the GunGoddess webstore that will make great holiday gifts.

Shooters cuff-links cufflinks

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October 24th, 2011

Babes With Bullets Announces 2012 Women’s Shooting Camps

Babes with BulletsBabes with Bullets™ is a three-day “immersion” camp program, led by a professional all-female staff, teaching novice women how to shoot handguns and some camps also offer rifle training. The head instructor is Kay Miculek, who has won multiple “action pistol” and multi-gun World and National championships. The camps also accommodate women who want to move up in competitions such as U.S. Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) or IDPA.

“This is an unusual training opportunity” stated Miculek “with all-female handgun champions picked for their abilities to work with novice women in a way that is empowering without being over-powering.” According to Miculek, many of the campers will shoot a gun for the first time and after completing the 3-day program they will have shot hundreds of rounds from various calibers of handguns. Miculek added, “Each woman will leave from this camp with a new life skill. Our emphasis is to show the ladies that shooting is a safe, enjoyable, and rewarding sport for women of all ages.”

According to Camp Director Deb Ferns, there are over 2,100 camper alumnae, ages 18 to 78, the majority having very little experience with a gun prior to camp. Ferns explained: “Think of this camp as part firearms training, part adventure camp and part pajama party”. Deb Ferns provides an introduction to the program in the video below.

Watch Babes With Bullets on the Outdoor Channel
Babes with Bullets has been a popular feature on the Outdoor Channel. Videos of Camp training sessions can be previewed at www.outdoorchannel.com/babeswithbullets. Camp registration forms and additional information are found at www.BabeswithBullets.com. If you have questions, contact Deb Ferns at (520) 331-3400 or e-mail Deb [at] BabeswithBullets.com

Smith & Wesson Supplies Guns for Camp Participants
The cost of camp is $675, which includes housing, food, range fees, instructor costs and use of complimentary firearms, provided by Smith & Wesson. Campers also qualify for discounts on Smith & Wesson handguns and rifles.

Babes with Bullets

2012 Babes with Bullets Camp Locations

March 16th to 18th, 2012
Rocky Creek Ranch near Sarasota, Florida. Handgun camp for both novice and intermediate women.

April 13th to 15th, 2012
Bang-Inc.com, home range of Kay Miculek, located outside Shreveport, Louisiana. “Combo Camp” for novice and intermediates, offering two days of handgun work and one day of AR-15 rifle training. Three full range days.

May 18th to 20th, 2012
Willow Lake Sportman’s Club near Kalamazoo, Michigan. Three-day camp for novice and intermediate women. Campers stay at deluxe Willow Lake SC Lodge.

June 29th to July 1st, 2012
Routt County Rifle (and Pistol) Club near Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Novice and intermediate camp with lodging located near the range.

September 7th to 10th, 2012
Rockcastle Shooting Center in Rockcastle, Kentucky. New “Combo Camp” offering beginner and intermediate handgun and rifle training.

October 12th to 14th, 2012
Tucson Rifle Club in Tucson, Arizona. Novice and intermediate camp at home range of camp director Deb Ferns.

November 2nd to 4th, 2012
Babes with Bullets is planning a Texas “Combo Camp” of handgun and rifle training first weekend of November. Site TBA.

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July 24th, 2011

Video Features Shooting Programs for Women

YouTube Preview Image

The best thing that can be done for the future of sport shooting in America is to recruit more female and junior participants. Young people are the future of the sport. Involving women in shooting can help reverse a “gender gap” in voting patterns that has favored anti-gun politicians. The more we can get women to enjoy shooting and adopt a positive attitude towards firearms, the harder it will be for anti-gun forces to marshal support for restrictive new laws.

The above video features NRA programs for women of all ages and experience levels. Such programs include Women On Target® (WOT) Instructional Shooting Clinics, hunts for women, and the popular Women’s Wilderness Escapes. There are even ladies-only WOT Postal Matches. Ladies can also take part in all the NRA competitive shooting disciplines: handgun, trap/skeet, air rifle, smallbore, silhouette, high power, F-Class, and even the new NRA-sanctioned multi-gun matches.

Junior Womens’ Programs
Young women have the chance to participate in many specialized shooting programs for juniors, including the Youth Hunter Education Challenge, NRA Day events, CMP Junior leagues, and the Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program. The NRA Foundatrion also offers a Women’s Wildlife Management/Conservation Scholarships. This women’s scholarship, from the Women of the NRA, is a renewable, one-year, $1,000 scholarship available to full-time college juniors or seniors with a minimum grade point average of 3.0, majoring in wildlife management/conservation.

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December 3rd, 2010

2011 Women On Target Hunting Schedule

NRA Women's hunting programsThe NRA’s NRA Women On Target Hunting Progam organizes a popular series of women-only outdoor adventures every season. Currently there are eight guided hunts with openings still available.

NRA Women's hunting programs

For a woman looking for a “no-stress” hunting holiday guided by skilled outfitters, this is an excellent choice. Starting as $360 for a two-day pheasant hunt, many of these events are quite affordable, so they would make a unique Christmas present for a female family member or your favorite lady shooter.

2011 Hunting Excursion Schedule
Whitetail Doe, Wild Hog, Coyote & Bobcat Oklahoma Dec. 31, 2010 & Jan. 2, 2011 SOLD OUT
Wild Boar Oklahoma March 4-6, 2011
Rio Grande Turkey Texas April 8-10, 2011
Eastern Turkey (First-Time Hunters) Kansas April 21-25, 2011
Pheasant, Chukar, Trout Fish Colorado Sept. 21 – Oct. 1, 2011
Pheasant and Chukar Nebraska October 21-23, 2011
Pheasant, Chukar (First-Timer Hunters) Nebraska October 21-23, 2011
Mule Deer Montana November 6-12, 2011
Whitetail Doe, Hog, Coyote & Bobcat Oklahoma December 30, 2011 – January 2, 2012

CLICK HERE for Women on Target hunt details and pricing.

NRA Women's hunting programs

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August 9th, 2010

USA Women Skeet-Shooters Win Individual and Team Gold Medals

ISSF World Skeet Champion Women SkeetThe USA womens’ team won the Skeet competition at the ISSF World Championship, while veteran Olympian Kim Rhode won the individual women’s gold medal in Skeet, her first-ever ISSF World Championship. “It’s great to finally win a World Title in front of my parents [who traveled with her],” responded the talented Rhode during an interview with the International Sport Shooting Federation’s (ISSF) Marco Dalla Dea. Rhode’s performance aids her quest to compete at the 2012 Olympics in London, which would be her fifth Olympics appearance. Rhode shot superbly, nailing a perfect 25 in the finals to finish with a total score of 97/100 targets. China’s Wei Ning, who also went 25 for 25 in the finals, finished second with 96/100 targets.

Rhode also won the Skeet team Gold Medal with fellow Americans Haley Dunn and Amber English. The three combined for a strong team score of 205 targets. Continuing the USA’s domination of womens’ Skeet, the Junior women’s Skeet team took the Junior Division Gold Medal. The USA Junior womens’ Skeet team finished with 197 targets, edging second-place China by three targets. Way to go girls!

For video of Kim Rhode and Team USA’s gold-medal-winning performance in womens’ Skeet, CLICK THIS LINK, then select “Final Skeet Women” from the right-side scrolling menu.

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July 20th, 2010

Hunting and Target Shooting Grow in Popularity Among Women

women hunting huntressLast year saw a significant 5.4% increase in the number of female hunters in the United States — that means 163,000 new ladies hunting with firearms and/or bows. In fact, in 2009 the rate of increase in hunting participation is higher for women than for men, according to new figures from the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA).

Data also show that women outpaced men among newcomers to target shooting. Female participation in rifle target shooting grew by 4.1%. That’s a big change in a single year. The number of women involved in Muzzle-loading activites showed a remarkable 134.6% annual increase.

The growth in new participation among women, perhaps counter-intuitive to traditionalists, is no surprise to Steve Sanetti, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). Steve explained, “Over the past several years [we have] encouraged existing hunters and shooters to introduce their spouses, daughters and other newcomers to shooting sports and outdoor lifestyles. I believe these efforts are paying off.”
Photo courtesy Próis hunting clothing for women.

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June 12th, 2010

Women On Target Program Logs 50,000th Participant

NRA Women on TargetWhy is it vital to get more women involved in the shooting sports? Consider this: in recent state and federal elections there has been a significant gender gap in voting patterns. Compared to men, a much higher percentage of women (particularly unmarried women) vote for liberal anti-gun candidates. For example, 56 percent of women voted for Obama versus 49 percent of men. In recent years, anti-gun politicians have relied on this gender gap to secure electoral victories. If we want to reverse this trend, we need to increase the number of women who look favorably on Second Amendment rights and the shooting sports.

NRA Women On Target ClinicThat’s why we were pleased to learn about a milestone reached by the NRA’s Women on Target (WOT) program which runs instructional shooting clinics for women. Women on Target Clinic Coordinator Elizabeth Hellmann recently revealed that the Women on Target program has passed the 50K mark: “As of [6/9/2010], more than 50,000 women have attended clinics… Please raise your coffee mugs and join me in saying, ‘Here’s to the next 50,000 happy customers!'”

If you want to Host a Women’s Clinic at your Club, the NRA website offers info on Instructional Shooting Clinics and other Women on Target programs, such as women’s-only hunts.

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April 11th, 2010

Big Prize Money for 1st-Time Female Bianchi Cup Competitors

Bianchi Cup 2010 logoThere’s a big cash incentive for first-time female competitors at this year’s NRA Bianchi Cup, May 26-29, 2010, in Columbia, Missouri. Larry and Brenda Potterfield of MidwayUSA have donated big bucks for first-time female competitors, using a production handgun, who achieve the highest Aggregate score of all four championship events (moving target, falling plate, barricade, and practical). A qualifying production handgun must be “right out of the box”, unmodified, with no customizations.

First Place in the 1st time women’s category will receive $2,500, Second Place $1,500 and Third Place $750. Right now, with six weeks to go before the match, few women registrants meet the requirements to win this first-time shooters’ award. So, ladies, here’s a chance to win serious money. And guys, if you know a skilled female shooter, encourage her to sign up. For more information on the 2010 NRA Bianchi Cup, call 703-267-1451 or email BianchiCup [at] nrahq.org.

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December 24th, 2009

2010 Women on Target Hunting Schedule

The NRA’s NRA Women On Target Hunting Progam organizes a popular series of women-only outdoor adventures every season. Currently, there are 11 Women on Target hunts planned for 2010. For a woman looking for a “no-stress” hunting holiday guided by skilled outfitters, this is an excellent choice. Starting as $276 for a two-day duck hunt, many of these events are quite affordable, so they would make a unique Christmas present for a female family member or your favorite lady shooter. CLICK HERE for Women on Target hunt details and pricing.

NOTE: One spot is still available for the combo hunt at Addisson Ranch in Oklahoma. Ladies will have a chance to stalk and shoot Whitetail Doe, Wild Hog, Coyote, and Bobcat.

Women on Target Hunting

2010-2011 Hunting Excursion Schedule
Whitetail Doe, Wild Hog, Coyote & Bobcat Oklahoma January 1-3, 2010
Feral Hog Hunt and Bass Fishing Texas January 22-24, 2010
European Pheasant and Walk up Hunt Michigan March 5-6, 2010
Rio Grande Tom Turkey Texas April 9-11, 2010
Alaskan Black Bear, Wolf Alaska August 17-23, 2010
Pheasant & Chukar Nebraska October 22-24, 2010
Mallard & Wood Duck Michigan October 22-24, 2010
Whitetail Doe/Spike, Axis Doe, and Hogs Texas October 22-24, 2010
Whitetail Doe/Spike, Axis Doe, Rio Grande Turkey (Tom/Hen), Hog Texas November 12-14, 2010
Whitetail Doe/Spike, Axis Doe, Rio Grande Turkey (Tom/Hen), Hog Texas December 10-12, 2010
Whitetail Doe, Hog, Coyote & Bobcat Oklahoma December 31, 2010 and January 2, 2011
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December 6th, 2009

More Women Hunters and Shooters, Surveys Reveal

Women Hunter NRAWomen’s participation in hunting and the shooting sports is going up, according to new data from the National Sporting Goods Association. Between 2003 and 2008, the number of women hunting with firearms rose from 2.1 million to 2.9 million; women who bowhunt rose from 400,000 to 600,000; and women who target shoot increased from 4.1 million to 4.8 million. Guides and outfitters are seeing women as a growing market, and gun clubs seeking members are often shocked at how many women will sign up, if simply given some friendly instruction. There is now even a dedicated magazine just for lady hunters, Woman Hunter.

These nationwide figures are consistent with the participation trends NRA has seen in its Women On Target program, which began in 1999. Women On Target conducts women-only hunts and instructional shooting clinics. Both provide a venue for experienced women hunters and shooters to mentor newcomers.

Women Hunter NRAWhile the mainstream media may be surprised that women have any interest in guns, the Women On Target program proves otherwise. The number of clubs running Women On Target shooting clinics rose 37% from 211 in 2007 to 289 in 2009. A total of 6,066 women attended those clinics in 2007, and there should nearly 8,000 by the end of 2009—a 32% increase. The program’s women-only hunts are growing steadily. Ten hunts are planned for 2010. Click here for 2010 hunt schedule.

Editor’s Comment: Signing up more women members may be the single most important thing gun clubs can do to improve “public relations”. In mainstream media reports on firearms, the bias is too often negative. However, when women shooters/hunters are the focus of a media story, the overall slant is often very positive. The news media like stories about women who succeed in a male-dominated sport such as shooting. Moreover, women-only shooting events are usually shown to be fun and “empowering”, while women shooters are, more often than not, portrayed in a positive light.

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November 3rd, 2009

Ace Instructor Teaches Ladies to Shoot, Texas-Style

Donna Vandermolen NRADonna Vandermolen, the NRA’s 2009 Woman of Distinction award recipient, is featured at KBTX.com in both a video and a written article. Donna is a respected firearms instructor in Conroe, Texas. CLICK HERE to view the KBTX video report and story featuring Donna.

“If you’re going to shoot, you need to be able to handle your firearm safely,” Donna says to the KBTX camera. Vandermolen earned the NRA’s Marion P. Hammer Woman of Distinction award in honor of her many years of service as a firearms instructor, and in recognition of her efforts to promote firearms safety. Donna has a strong interest in teaching women about firearms and correct safety and firearm-handling skills. Donna successfully pioneered “ladies-only” entry-level handgun classes that have introduced hundreds of women to safe firearm use.

Vandermolen became the first woman Five-Gun Expert with the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA), where she serves as a certified Safety Officer. Donna is an NRA Certified Pistol Instructor, a Personal Protection In the Home Instructor, and a Range Safety Officer. Donna is a fixture at Lone Star College’s Second Amendment Academy, which educates students and constituents on Second Amendment freedoms, political and legal issues, and firearms licensing.

Donna says: “I am committed to empowering women to take responsibility for their personal protection, develop their skills in firearms as a tool for defense, and understand that the protection of the Second Amendment is critical for their ability to remain empowered. Let’s support the Second Amendment and keep our freedoms intact.”

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September 15th, 2009

First Shots Program Succeeds with Lady Shooters

For the shooting sports to grow, it is vital to bring in new participants, particularly juniors and women. The National Shooting Sports Foundation’s First Shots program has been very successful in introducing new shooters to the sport. Nearly half of the First Shots program’s participants have been female. A new NSSF Report shows that a high percentage of women who get started with the First Shots program go on to acquire firearms and become active shooters.

First Shots NSSF First Shots NSSF

For example, after attending a First Shots seminar at their local range, 47 percent of women participants have met their local requirements to purchase a handgun, 26 percent said they have already purchased a handgun, and 58 percent said they are planning to purchase a handgun in the future. When asked what their primary reason for purchasing a handgun would be, 86 percent said personal protection.

CLICK HERE to Read Full Report on Female Shooters

In related news, Champion action shooters Sharyn Cohen, Julie Golob and Kippi Leatham have launched the new Women of USPSA website, an online resource for women in practical shooting. WomenofUSPSA.com will help encourage women to participate in the shooting sports by profiling the women who compete in United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) events. Shown below is Jessie Abbate at the USPSA Nationals, this week, as posted on the Women of USPSA website Blog.

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This report courtesy NSSF. Images copyright NSSF, all rights reserved.

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May 3rd, 2009

NRA Offers Shooting Clinics for Women

Many shooting instructors will tell you that women are better “natural learners” than men when it comes to shooting. We certainly know that ladies can compete at the highest level with men, when given the opportunity. To promote female participation in the shooting sports, the NRA offers a series of Women On Target® Instructional Shooting Clinics. These introductory classes demonstrate safe firearms handling, teach basic shooting skills, and introduce lady shooters to a variety of shooting disciplines — from trap shooting to bullseye pistol.

NRA Womens' Shooting Program

In 2009, the NRA will conduct Women On Target® Clinics throughout the nation. CLICK HERE to find a clinic near your location. Below is a list of clinics scheduled for the next two weeks:

5/6/09 Anchorage, AK
5/9/09 Washington, MI
5/9/09 Randolph, KS
5/9/09 Chino, CA
5/9/09 Milton Freewater, OR
5/9/09 Coplay, PA
5/9/09 Valdez, AK
5/9/09 Williston, FL
5/14/09 Phoenix, AZ
5/16/09 Logan, MT
5/16/09 Columbus, NC
5/16/09 Keene, NH
5/16/09 Pelham, NH
5/16/09 Hiawassee, GA
5/16/09 Greensburg, PA
5/16/09 Salem, WV
5/16/09 Richmond, CA
5/16/09 Midvale, OH
5/17/09 Charleston, SC
5/17/09 Jackson, WI

For more information, visit the NRA’s Women On Target webpage or contact Beth Hellmann in the NRA Women’s Programs Department at (703) 267-1398 or ehellmann@nrahq.org.

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November 29th, 2008

NRA Women On Target Program Serves Thousands

Increasing the numbers of women involved in the shooting sports is vital. We need more women shooters to grow our gun clubs’ membership rolls and expand the consumer base for firearms products. From a political standpoint, getting women involved in shooting strengthens the gun rights movement, and helps counter efforts to close gun ranges and shooting facilities. And remember, women are important decision-makers at the family level. Wives often decide if there will be a gun in the house and if children in the family are allowed to participate in shooting sports.

The NRA’s Women On Target program has been very successful at getting the ladies involved in shooting sports. The Women On Target program offers new lady shooters the chance to receive handgun, rifle, and shotgun instruction by other women, in a low-stress situation. Program Coordinator Beth Hellman reports: “We have had a record-breaking number of Women On Target® Instructional Shooting Clinics so far this year — 239 — and a record-breaking number of participants — more than 7,000!”

CLICK HERE To learn more about Women On Target® Instructional Shooting Clinics for your club or organization, or call (800) 861-1166 for more information.

Women On Target Hunting Program
The popular Women-Only Hunt Program allows women to enjoy the outdoors with experienced outfitters guiding all female clients. A wide variety of hunts are offered in the second half of 2008 including duck/goose hunts, pheasant hunts, turkey hunts, whitetail deer hunts, and even a Rocky Mountain Elk hunt. This program has been operating successfully since 1999.

CLICK HERE for Hunt Dates and Outfitter List

Photos courtesy National Rifle Assn., All Rights Reserved.

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May 28th, 2008

NRA Expands Programs for Lady Shooters

Increasing the numbers of women involved in the shooting sports is vital. We need to bring in more women shooters to grow our gun clubs’ membership rolls and expand the consumer base for firearms products. From a political standpoint, getting women involved in shooting strengthens the gun rights movement, and helps counter efforts to close gun ranges and shooting facilities. Anti-gun advocacy groups and “liberal” politicians bank on the fact that most women are either opposed to firearms or are apathetic about gun rights. As more females get involved with shooting, it becomes more difficult for gun opponents to claim support from the “silent majority” of Americans. Also, women are important decision-makers at the family level. Wives often decide if there will be a gun in the house and if children in the family are allowed to participate in shooting sports.

This week’s ShootingUSA television episode features the NRA’s Women On Target program. This unique program offers firearms training and hunting excursions exclusively for women. The Women On Target program offers new lady shooters the chance to receive handgun, rifle, and shotgun instruction by other women, in a low-stress situation.

CLICK HERE to Find a Women on Target Instructional Clinic

The popular Women-Only Hunt Program allows women to enjoy the outdoors with experienced outfitters guiding all female clients. A wide variety of hunts are offered in the second half of 2008 including duck/goose hunts, pheasant hunts, turkey hunts, whitetail deer hunts, and even a Rocky Mountain Elk hunt. This program has been operating successfully since 1999.

CLICK HERE for Hunt Dates and Outfitter List

Photos courtesy National Rifle Assn., All Rights Reserved.

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