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Who or what got you into shooting?:
My dad raised me with firearms since I was around four, when my parents bought me my first Chipmunk .22 rifle. I have always packed a pistol everywhere I went since I was around 10 years old (outside of school of course). I was raised as a hunter and taught how to defend myself early on. Guns are my life.
Do you shoot handguns, shotguns, rifles or all of
I started shooting rifles at age 4. At about 11 my dad get me a Remington .243 and when I was 14 I won my Ducks Unlimited Remington 25-06, which became my go to rifle. I was taught how to shoot a handgun around the age of 9. I started packing my dad's 10 mm Glock around the age of 13. I learned how to shoot a shotgun about the same age as handguns. My dad taught me how with his .410 - the one he got from his grandmother when he has a kid.
Why are you involved with the NRA or how do you
support their efforts?:
I am an avid firearms lover and hunter. The people of NRA help fight for people like myself to keep our rights and support our stomachs.
Tell us about the first gun you owned or your
I remember when I got my moose that next year. That 25-06 just wouldn't put him down! Finally my dad said enough of this and went to finish him. I said no! Give me that rifle he is mine. Dad thought he had a different rifle and handed it to me without a second thought. He had handed me his .375 Weatherby Magnum by accident. That was the moment I fell in love with Weatherby Magnums and my goal was to have a .300 just like my dad's.
What's your current go-to gun?:
My current go to guns are my .300 Weatherby Magnum and my Beretta Nano 9 mm. Unless of course we are talking Coyotes and Deer - then I grab my Remington Hawkeye 22-250! Don't get me wrong, I love my 10 mm Glock, but I use that more for self-defense. I also like my Beretta 3032. It’s little, easily hides and never jams. No kick and easy to load. Also, a great gun for sport shooting is the Titanium Taraus .45 LC.
What's your favorite shooting range or place to
If I just want to try out a gun really fast I go the gravel pit above my dad's house. Our gun range is improving a lot and is a great place to sight in rifles and shoot trap. My favorite hunting place has always been and always will be here. I grew up in these mountains and have no fear of going into them. I would love to travel and hunt in all of the great places North America has to offer, but I will always favor home.
Do you have a favorite accessory or clothing item
you won't go shooting or hunting without? What makes it so important?:
For my birthday a few years ago my friend Hillary bought me a badlands bag - woman's edition. And I tell you what. I love it! I won't go without it. This year I spent most of my hunting season in knee to waste deep snow and I couldn't have been happier to have that bag.
What's your most unusual gun-related item?:
You mean like all of my horse related items? Or the ten pounds of items in my truck that give away that I have an 8-year-old son and a 5-year-old daughter?
What's your best or most memorable moment as it
relates to firearms?:
I told you about the moose story earlier, which is my most memorable hunting moment in high school. But the one hunting trip I will cherish the most is my Jackson bull elk that scored a 348 that I shot two days before I gave birth to my son. 8 1/2 months pregnant in knee deep snow at age 19 with my dad. I killed that big guy with my Duck's Unlimited Remington 25-06. One shot behind the front right shoulder. Best memory ever.
I own a gun because:
I like to eat. Elk mostly. I don't think I would know how to live without my guns or my bow. I never really looked at a pistol as a self-defense tool until I was in an abusive relationship when my son was a baby. Ladies - if you do not feel safe and secure carrying and firing a gun, please get pepper spray and learn how to use it effectively. I now own 7 handguns. For self-defense and personal enjoyment! I encourage other woman to do so as well.
Tell us the best (or worst) gun advice you've
ever been given.:
Always make sure there is not a bullet in the chamber before looking at a gun of any kind. Accidents happen - quickly. Safety was put on that firearm for a reason - feel free to use it!
What's your easiest gun to handle and shoot?
My dad's .357 Python is a bit much for my small hands. But I know I could use it if I had to. My easiest would be either of my Beretta's. I love them!!
What would be your recommendation for best
If you have never shot any kind of gun I say start with a .22 caliber. They don't kick and therefore give you no reason to be head shy. Shotguns, I say a .410 until you like the idea. Over and under is better to start with than a pump action. Some people progress faster than others. Don't shoot a bigger caliber if you aren't comfortable. All you do is set yourself up for possible failure, sudden fear or worse, an injury.
Your ideal shopping trip: the mall or an outdoor
I am not a mall gal. I only started going to malls for my children. I can get lost in a Cabela's or Bass Pro Shop for hours! Unless of course there is a Murdoch’s or other horse and tack shop around, like a Big R. I just love the smell. I will take an outdoor outfitter shop over the mall any day. Then again you have to go to the mall for some of those stores - like Dick's Sporting Goods.
What do you think is the best home defense —
firing or fleeing?:
Firing. Shoot first, ask questions later. If that person has the nads to break into your home and try to steal from you or hurt you, don't stop to ask them why. Well wait, sometimes you have to flee to get to your firearm. So in that case, run!
Who or what inspires you?:
Annie Oakley. My parents. My kids. Danny loves shooting his .22 semi-automatic with his red dot scope. Everyday he asks if we can go out so he can shoot it. Briauna on the other hand favors shooting with daddy and I encourage it because that is a special bond.
What's your favorite holiday? Why?:
First day of elk/deer/bear hunting season. That's a holiday right? Halloween because I get to dress up with my kids and friends, and for me it's like celebrating that my tags are filled and half my hunting season is over.
What do you do to relax and unwind — watch TV,
listen to music, go to movies, catch a game, exercise, something else?:
I have a beer with my horses and my dog while the kids run around and play. I don't really get that wound up. I was blessed with an amazing life. I have an amazing family and three beautiful children. I have a man that loves me and has two amazing kids. We live in a place that people dream about and a lifestyle that country singers make money and joy singing about. TV is only for football! Go Oregon Ducks!
Your greatest accomplishment?:
My kids. They are the reason I wake up everyday. I only hope to make them love and appreciate hunting and firearms and horses and the mountains as much as I do.