By Dr. Ben McClelland
As told through the women’s words
During the past fifteen years female participants in shotgun sports has increased 61.1 percent, according to Chris Batha, “Shotgunning Women’s Movement,” Shooting Sportsman. Field clothing for women has been designed to meet the new demand, as well.
Of course, for several years there have been some women wingshooters in the Wildrose pack, including Associate Trainer Sarah Barnes Reffert, whose was pictured afield in Covey Rise some time ago and Associate Trainer Erin Shay Davis. However, in the last few seasons the number has grown significantly. In this article we feature the stories of some in their own words. You may expect others’ stories to follow.
Maria Perez and Lisa Johnson, Wildrose Cypress
Lisa became a hunter many years ago and picked it back up about four years ago when the yacht club we belong to had a shotgun clay tournament. That’s about the time I decided to pick up a shotgun for the first time. Chris and Lani Wilke belong to the same yacht club and we knew Chris was an avid hunter. He showed us his collection of guns, shared with us his experience, and away we went. We joined a local gun club and took lessons. We learned about cast, comb, leading the target, not aiming, types of shotguns, etc. We became friends with a local outfitter. I settled on a Browning Maxus semi and Lisa added a Berretta A400 to her collection that already included a Remington 1100. We began to book our own hunts and we met a hunt broker, with whom we became good friends. We’ve hunted ducks, quail, pheasant, and turkey. We hope to add a dove hunt this year. A year ago, we both added O/U shotguns to our collection. Lisa went with a Caesar Guerini Syren Tempio (gun specifically for women). And I went with the men’s CG Tempio. Most women’s cheeks are higher and necks longer than men. This requires a higher comb. Some gun manufacturers have started making guns for women.
Chris and Lani told us about Dames, Ducks, and Dogs. So, we got two more friends, Margie Offan and Melissa Warren, from New Orleans to register and join us. And, away we went. There, we met and became friends with many Wildrose Women and Trainers. One in particular, Sammye Pisani, lived in New Orleans also. Thus, we formed the WR New Orleans Syndicate.
We started attending many Wildrose events. We had worked finished dogs so we understood what it’s supposed to look like. Sometime in 2017, after a WR event, Lisa and I decided to get on a puppy list. In July, 2018, we picked up Cypress and began our handler adventure. We take her everywhere with the three Chi Wees: Gracie, Jack, and Izzy.
With regard to clothes, we did a lot of research, tried on a lot of clothes, kept some, and returned a lot. Also, footwear is important. To me, clothes are personal; style and fit are key. We share with our lady friends much of what we find. We sometimes have to wear men’s clothes. Somehow, we seem to make it work.
It’s been great seeing more and more women attending WR events and picking up a shotgun. Anyway we can help to increase these numbers we are happy to do so. I found this article recently to validate my thinking that women hunters is an untapped market: “Shotgunning’s Women’s Movement,” by Chris Batha, in Shooting Sportsman, July 12, 2019:https://shootingsportsman.com/shotgunnings-womens-movement/?fbclid=IwAR3S2IsvttzpO_dx5cRu5Dr_o4oa_AyBZPzR-VwtMbSHM_FbINEqVbFBMuc
Chris Batha, “Shotgunning’s Women’s Movement,” Shooting Sportsman, July 12, 2019: