Smith and Wesson

Welcome to the NRA Women's Channel

Presented by Smith & Wesson

NRA Women is designed for female gun enthusiasts. It's a resource for news, education, events and more. And we're telling more stories of empowered women like you. Come explore, connect, celebrate and unite with the women of NRA.

Melissa Bachman

TV Host/Producer


Minnesota

Who or what got you into shooting?

Both my parents were avid hunters so they had us start shooting and hunting at a very early age. At first, they would simply bring us along but as we got older they would take us out for the youth hunts and let us do most of the hunting.

Do you shoot handguns, shotguns, rifles or all of the above?

I shoot shotguns, rifles, and handguns.

Why are you involved with the NRA or how do you support their efforts?

I'm a firm believer in the NRA and feel they really support and stand for our gun rights. As an individual our voice can be lost very easily but as an organization with everyone grouped together there is a lot of power and that's one of the primary reasons I support the NRA.

Tell us about the first gun you owned or your favorite gun.

The first gun I owned was given to me for my 12th birthday. It was a Remington 870 Express youth model shotgun. I was so excited about turning 12 and finally being able to hunt that I could hardly contain myself. This gun was my primary gun for my first 10 years of hunting both ducks and deer.

What's your current go-to gun?

My current go to gun is a Winchester Model 70 Extreme Weather SS in a .300 Win. Mag. This has gone with me all around the world and holds up in even the toughest conditions.

What's your favorite shooting range or place to hunt?

My favorite place to hunt is in Alaska. I love being out in the middle of the wilderness and hunting out of a tent camp. This is a great feeling to know you are on your own and your only job each day is waking up, enjoying your hunt, and deciding what freeze dried meal you'd like for dinner! That's my kind of hunt!

Do you have a favorite accessory or clothing item you won't go shooting or hunting without? What makes it so important?

The one accessory I am never in the field without is a neck gator. It's one of the most important things that I keep in my pack. It's small and doesn't take up much room but can make the world of difference in a cold situation by keeping your face and neck warm and out of the wind.

What's your most unusual gun-related item?

The most unusual gun item I have is called the GunSlicker. This is a slip on rain cover for your gun that folds up into a little ball to keep in your pack. I really like it for hunting places like Alaska where it rains for days on end. It keeps your gun from getting soaked, rusted, and also keeps your scope clear.

What's your best or most memorable moment as it relates to firearms?

The best moment in my life as it relates to firearms would have to be the day that my parents bought me my first BB Gun. This was such a big deal to me, and I can vividly remember how excited I was and how grown up I felt by getting this! My parents explained to me the importance of being responsible with the gun, taking care of it, and all the basics of firearms with this first BB Gun.

I own a gun because:

I own guns because I love to hunt and also feel much safer in my home with the protection of several firearms within close proximity.

Tell us the best (or worst) gun advice you've ever been given.

The best advice I was given in regards to guns was way back when I received my first BB gun and that was to treat every gun as if it was loaded at all times.

What's your easiest gun to handle and shoot? Hardest?

For me the easiest gun to handle is my youth model 870 express because this is what I grew up with and could work it in my sleep if needed. The hardest gun for me to handle is some of the really big caliber handguns. It's not that they are impossible, it's just that I haven't had as much experience with them.

What would be your recommendation for best entry-level gun?

I believe one of the best entry level guns on the market for hunting would be a Winchester Model 70 in a .270. It's a low re-coil flat shooting gun that is extremely effective on a wide variety of game.

Your ideal shopping trip: the mall or an outdoor outfitter?

I can't really answer that as I love both! As much as I love to hunt and buy outdoor gear, I also enjoy shopping for regular clothes and shoes too! The real problem here is I'd probably do both.

What do you think is the best home defense — firing or fleeing?

If my security system was breached, my first instinct would not be to jump out of the second story window of my bedroom. It would be to dial 911, and grab the shotgun sitting next to my bed.

Who or what inspires you?

My parents have been a huge inspiration to me as they have always been there for me and are extremely hard working. Anyone who has a strong work ethic and will to succeed is really inspiring to me.

What's your favorite holiday? Why?

My favorite holiday would have to be Christmas. I miss most holidays throughout the fall due to my love of hunting, so Christmas is a time when we all get together as a family and I always look forward to this time of the year.

What do you do to relax and unwind — watch TV, listen to music, go to movies, catch a game, exercise, something else?

When it's time to unwind I love to go fishing. Growing up in central Minnesota my brother and I would ride our bikes to the nearby lake everyday all summer after we got our chores done at home and fish all day. Still to this day it's one of my favorite things to do when I'm not hunting or working.

Your greatest accomplishment?

My greatest accomplishment has been starting my own production company and producing my own television show. It's been a long, tough road, but I've put in crazy hours and when things seemed impossible I kept going forward. It would have been much easier to quit on numerous occasions but I had a goal in mind and stuck with it.