Ladies – enjoy shooting in a relaxed environment. No pressure!

My goal with Fine Field Sporting is to create game days where like-minded ladies can meet and shoot in safe, relaxed and fun environments and further their passion for the sport. I found my first game shooting day an intimidating experience. I was surrounded by male Guns with a wealth of experience under their belts, and although all were encouraging and enthusiastic about having a lady Gun join them for the first time, I couldn’t help wish there were other ladies joining me. This is where the idea for Fine Field Sporting started. I set up Fine Field Sporting days to help ladies feel comfortable in making the transition from clay pigeons to live quarry shooting and also for experienced lady Guns to enjoy their days to the full. All estates will be hand-picked to ensure the hospitality and facilities are fit for the female shooter. Fully qualified instructors will be available for ladies new to game shooting or for those more experienced Guns looking to improve their in-field shooting skills. I am looking forward to hosting these days, providing enjoyable outings in the field for good sport. Lisa Nicholls Fine Field Sporting lisa@finefieldsporting.co.uk www.finefieldsporting.co.uk  

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The Countdown is on for The Fourth Annual National Ladies’ Shooting Day

Excitement is building for The Shotgun & Chelsea Bun Club’s fourth annual National Ladies’ Shooting Day (#NLSD2018), taking place on 9th June 2018. A staggering twenty-two events will be happening nationwide at our favorite shooting grounds, right from The Scottish Borders all the way down to Devon.  This is the event in the women’s shooting calendar and not to be missed! The Shotgun and Chelsea Bun Club, who organises the event, has been established for seven years, won 10 awards and helped more than 15,000 women try clay pigeon shooting. The club thrives on its fun, social approach and has broken down barriers within the sport. National Ladies’ Shooting Day has seen a huge number of women try the sport for the first time. “National Ladies' Shooting Day sees so many first-timers try shooting. It really is phenomenal how many women get involved. Our members host events and the shooting grounds work really hard to ensure a great day. Our sponsors are beyond generous,’’ explains Victoria Knowles-Lacks, founder of The S&CBC. There’s a chance to win some prizes just for attending, including a Browning Liberty Light Shotgun for club members. More than that, it’s the opportunity to be part of an event which guarantees fun and new friends. What you will get at an #NLSD2018 event: Instruction from top coaches 30 cartridges Clays Gun hire Ear and eye protection An official #NLSD2018 baseball cap A goodie bag A chance to win in our competitions National Ladies' Shooting Day is proudly sponsored by Dubarry of Ireland, Hull Cartridge, Alan Paine, Fieldsports Magazine and Browning Europe. For a full list of venues and to register, visit https://www.shotgunandchelseabunclub.co.uk/nlsd2018  

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“Nothing gives me greater pleasure than preparing, cooking and enjoying game”

We are lucky enough to have a number of fantastic ladies on BASC council who are amazing advocates for the shooting sport. We recently caught up with shooter and hunter Cara Richardson in the lead up to International Women's Day to hear about her shooting journey. Cara says: ''I first held a firearm over 29 years ago and after an amount of instruction and target practice, killed my first rabbit with a .22 rifle - I was instantly hooked. Was under a certain amount of pressure at the time as an 18 year old who was keen to impress her tutor... He was a new boyfriend and later became husband. A venture into shotgun shooting followed around the same time and I sometimes wonder how many shots I've fired since - quite a few for sure! Fairly certain I could live in a much bigger house if I hadn't spent so much money hunting, shooting and fishing over the years. However, I don't regret a penny spent and have made super friends, had the best fun and a belly full of delicious fare along the way. In the years that have passed since that first kill and rabbit stew, it has pleased me greatly to see a real increase in the number of females, particularly in the UK who are involved in clay, game and rifle shooting. The current promotion of fieldsports for females and the young in particular is great to see. The UK is a little behind our Scandinavian cousins in terms of the percentage of the national hunting population who are female, but we are slowly catching up. A conversation I had with a fellow lady gun at a BASC Scotland Ladies Game shooting day almost 6 years ago lead to the creation of the Scottish Ladies Shooting Club. As a founder member, I'm happy and proud to report that the Club has introduced a great number of 'girls' to clay pigeon shooting. It's great to see the delight a smashed clay pigeon brings to the face of a new member. Some members have also taken up game shooting and deer stalking. Personally, nothing gives me greater pleasure than preparing, cooking and enjoying game which I have harvested myself. The possibilities are endless - there are so many delicious recipes for venison and game birds - I love to experiment. Also, game can be relatively low cost or free (lucky me) - which as a thrifty Scot tickles me a fair amount! Hunting and shooting, either in the UK or overseas has provided me with some of the coldest, wettest, funniest, friendliest, hottest, muddiest, scariest, most exhilarating and frustrating moments ever and I wouldn't change this for anything. Injury has held me back a little of late and I've curtailed my shooting activities a little. However, I'm determined to return to full strength in order to fully resume the pastimes which I thoroughly enjoy. I Will never forget my first forays into shotgun and rifle shooting and…

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Shooting has shown me how the sport brings people together

International Women's Day is the perfect opportunity to celebrate all the fantastic women we have within the shooting sport. We caught up with one of them, shooting champ and top coach Anita North to chat all things ladies shooting. Anita says, Shooting means so very much to me. It has given me the opportunity to test myself. I have competed all over the world, it has brought me fabulously glorious times, and equally testing times. But the thing that stands out is the friendships it has brought to me. From competing to coaching I have met an incredible number of amazing people. Shooting has shown me how the sport brings people together. I am so thankful for that. The growth of women’s movement in shooting: The power of the collective! Shooting sports have always had women active and achieving great things.  However, I have witnessed the concerted effort from the Shotgun & Chelsea Bun Club, and subsequently other women’s groups, focused on bringing women together, embracing and harnessing the power of women as a collective, supportive group. I have found myself invigorated and inspired by the diversity of women showing such collective support. Anita is living proof of the success ladies can have within the competitive shooting world, we encourage all those who want to follow in her foot steps to give it a go.

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Shooting totally changed my life!

To celebrate International Women's Day BASC Ladies caught up with the unstoppable force that is Victoria Knowles-Lacks, founder of The Shotgun and Chelsea Bun Club and Ladies Shooting champion. Victoria says, "Shooting totally changed my life. It's given me the absolute best of friends, the most amazing adventures, and a platform to share my passion with other women. I set up The Shotgun & Chelsea Bun Club nearly 7 years ago to get more women, just like me involved in shooting sports and I've never looked back". "To see the look on a lady's face when she hits their first clay is priceless, then to see the confidence which follows is unbelievable. To share the love of our sport with other women and to see them flourish and be as in love with the sport as much as I am is a real privilege. Here's to all the women who are supporting women, representing shooting in a hugely positive way and always doing their best, no matter who they are or where they're from. I'm really excited to see the future leaps and bounds for women in shooting." Victoria has also just launched The Ladies Shooting Club, sister club of the fabulous The Shotgun and Chelsea Bun Club, the club was set up as an online international community for women shooters who want to progress, network and achieve success. For more information visit: https://ladiesshootingclub.com/        

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Don’t use being a girl as an excuse, use it as ammunition!

In the run up to International Women's Day BASC Ladies caught up with co-founder of Femmes Fatales and Ladies Shooting champion Lydia Abdelaoui to find out a little more about the clubs shooting journey. Lydia says, "Femmes Fatales was created simply as a network to bring together women who shoot, and to encourage more to try the sport. The amount of support and encouragement we've received from everyone in the sport has really spurred us on and helped to make it what it is today. We have met so many inspirational people since the Femmes Fatales journey began, and we intend to continue to do out best to get our sport out there, big up those that are achieving great results, and generally just spread the word about how much fun shooting is. I think it's also important to mention how much encouragement we've had from the gentlemen in shooting too. Many of our members have told us that although they were initially put off by the 'male dominated' misconception of the sport, and loved the idea of events just for women, they've gone on to find their feet and move on to shooting outside of the 'women only' shoots. That's something that we've always been very keen to encourage. We're happy for people to use Femmes Fatales as a 'stepping stone' towards entering the wider world of all that the sport has to offer!" If you are interested in becoming a "Shewolf" check out the Femmes Fatales website for the latest events near you, it's completely free! http://www.femmes-fatales.co.uk/

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Charlotte Herriott reports on The Lyford Ladies first shoot day

A beautiful October morning dawned for the first Lyford Ladies Day in Oxfordshire, bright sunshine and not a cloud in sight. The event was organised in aid of Cancer Research UK, a charity very dear to me and my friend Jaqui, as we both lost close relatives this year to cancer. We gathered at The Chequers at Charney Bassett for a breakfast of bacon rolls and a briefing from the gamekeeper. Heading out to the shoot to meet all the loaders, beaters and dogs there were some nerves and lot of chat about first driven shoot days. Three of us, including me, had never been on one but were looking forward to a ladies-only day with some great loaders to point us in the right direction. After three drives everyone piled into the kitchen for a lunch of soup, rolls and cakes, exchanging stories of what they loved and how they could have just got that bird. We all loved this part of the day, the talking, the storytelling, the laughing and getting to know people who you may not have crossed paths with. On a high, we returned to the field for the last three drives. The birds flew well, and the atmosphere was great. Everyone shot a few and were happy with their first time out in the field. It was a small day but a happy one where everyone enjoyed themselves with no pressure and a lot of laughing. I for one had the best time and was very glad of all the help for the first-timers. We all headed back to the pub for a raffle of amazing donated prizes which we all wanted to win. The day raised more than £3,000 for Cancer Research UK and I can't wait to plan the next one! I would like to thank Clare Shaw, Katherine Gibbard of R&K Stockcraft, Oxfordshire Shooting School, Custom Fit Guards, and Just Cartridges - Witney, BASC, Barbury Shooting School, Tommy Taylor, Will Cumber and everyone else involved in the day. And Harriet Ritson who took photographs and video of the day.

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Guns and Roses Ladies’ Shooting Club

In December 2016, whilst on a shooting weekend here in the Isle of Man, Duncan Thomas (Northern Director for BASC) suggested to us that we pull together a team to take part in the BASC/MGPS (Manx Game Preservation Society) competition at Blue Point, held annually in August. We thought about it and decided “yes” but that we could do better – we should set up a ladies’ club and we would ask Jake Keeling (IOM Clay Shooting) to be our coach. For a name, we chose Guns and Roses Ladies’ Shooting Club. It was a slow start but eventually we arranged six coaching sessions (April, May and June) with Jake and canvassed our friends to see if there was any interest. Some thirty ladies expressed interest and, in the end, an average of five attended each session. Some of the first timers showed an impressive skill! Three of us took part in the August competition, joined by an experienced shot to give us advice and support. It was fairly terrifying & we felt very amateur but we won two prizes – one for the lowest score (no surprise there) and then our card was drawn out of the hat! It was great fun and we learned a lot. On the Sunday, Young Shots and Have a Go were very popular although the weather was grim. Once the summer holidays were over, we went ahead with more coaching sessions and word spread; we now boast a core group of about fifteen and look forward to future meetings. We hope to run a small competition (for club members only) in May and possibly another in September to include family and friends! Perhaps next year we might be ready to attend an event in the UK; this would be a big help in boosting our confidence! Contacts: Sara Cowley 07624 464210 sarajc@manx.net Anne Dawe 07624 492322 dawe@manx.net Charlotte Morgan-Jones 07624 453816 Charlottecorrigan_36@hotmail.com  

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COME ON ALL YOU LADIES

Being a 61-year-old woman it’s probably one of the last things you would think about me doing on a winters day, but here I am having a great day out at Adam Morton’s Rectory Farm Shoot in Carmarthenshire. Armed with my beating stick, enthusiasm and waterproof clothing, off I go. Being part of the team led by gamekeeper Phillip on the right in the picture. Helping to put the birds up over the Guns. Jumping onto a trailer or back of a pick-up full of dogs and other beaters off we go to another drive. Everyone full of banter and high spirits, it really is a great day out. So much cheaper than keeping fit at the gym. Your able to enjoy the fresh air and the beautiful Carmarthenshire countryside views. There is so much wildlife to see when walking through the woodlands and cover crops. And the best thing is making some good friends along the way. Beaters, pickers and stops are an important part of a Pheasant Shoot and Adam Morton on the left in the picture knows he has a good team around him. A team that turns out in all weathers, working their dogs that have been trained for the job. It is nice to see that lately there are more and more women enjoying the sport that was once so dominated by men. Come on girls keep it up. Pearl Powell  

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