It started with a BASC Ladies Day by Amy Bratt

I first got into shooting after a good friend of mine shared a flyer for BASC Ladies Shooting on their Facebook page.

We were at the Yeaveley Estate and everyone was so friendly and welcoming, Rachel from BASC was there to greet us with a big smile, a cup of tea and a delicious bacon butty. There were quite a few of us that hadn’t shot before but we did not feel out of place among the more experienced ladies as it really is such a supportive sport.

Before long we were out on the stands having a go with fantastic instruction. By the time I got home, I was already searching for my next shooting day.

Next, I booked on with the Yorkshire Fillies and couldn’t wait. It didn’t matter that there were a mixed bunch of experienced or novice ladies out, we were all made to feel equally welcome and I’ve made some amazing friends through these shooting groups.

That was it then – I was hooked and booked on to all the ladies shooting events I could find in the region – Facebook is amazing for finding out about events in your area.

After a few months out with all the shooting groups, I decided that I would like my own gun and everyone supported me in applying for my license. BASC were on the end of the phone for advice if needed and my application was quickly filled in.

Four weeks later to the day I had my SGC in my hand and I was able to purchase my own gun. I visited Premier Guns at Doveridge as I had already enquired to suitable guns for me and before long I had decided on a Beretta Silver Pigeon, my new pride and joy.

Matt and the guys at Premier Guns made sure my gun fitted me and I was happy with the fit before they let me go and try it on the ground. After a few stands I came back in beaming, they tweaked it a little and that was it! I was the proud owner of a gun!

I was then out and about still attending all the ladies’ days and able to go and practice at grounds when I liked. I took along my boyfriend and it wasn’t long before we were having lessons at Doveridge together and he decided that he also wanted his own gun. We soon became a 2-gun household!

I came across the Ladies Clay Shooting League who hold monthly no pressure competitions in and around Cheshire, the idea being that like-minded amateur ladies can start to enter competitions with no pressure on them and to help them feel confident enough to enter other competitions.

There isn’t anything else like them out there and for the first season, it’s been amazing. I have truly met some of the best friends I could wish for through shooting and the support you get from the other ladies is amazing.

You have instruction from some inspirational instructors – one of whom is now my instructor as I just clicked with Linda Carson and how she shoots. She’s a real inspiration to me, showing that ladies can shoot with confidence and hold their own in a very male-dominated world.

It was via the Ladies Clay Shooting League that I tried Down The Line (DTL) at the Holmes Chapel Shooting Ground.

As the majority of us had only ever shot English Sporting we weren’t that confident but once again within a very short time we were booking in for their next competition and have continued with our love of DTL. In fact, so much so that Holmes Chapel now put on lady sections and I’ve purchased my own trap gun for DTL. I have also joined CPSA so I can enter any registered shoot and my scores are collated and I am graded so I can see the history of my shooting and hopefully see the scores improve.

I have also recently shot my first quarry – this was with BASC Ladies shooting at Bagley Park – a night of Novice Ladies Duck Flighting.

Again Rachel and Matt were there to meet us and as the ladies started arriving I knew all of them and that just shows how many friends you make via shooting.

We had a fab night and we all went home with a brace of ducks so we could enjoy our ethical field to fork food – and I must say eating food that you have shot and prepared yourself tastes so good!

I am so looking forward to my BASC Ladies Novice Game Day – hopefully, I’ll be preparing my first pheasants soon! BASC Ladies shooting have some fabulous events on their website – from sim days, game days and improvement days to courses for all kinds of events.

If anyone is wondering – is it for me? And asking will I feel on my own because I don’t know anyone who shoots, honestly hand on heart come along to a ladies shooting day.

There are lots of groups of ladies out there wanting to share their enthusiasm with you and get you hooked into the sport no matter where you want to take it. Whether it’s clay shooting, game shooting, competitions or just social meet ups. Within a few hours of not knowing anyone, you will leave with more Facebook friends, Whatsapp groups and telephone numbers!

Give it a go! I’ve gone from being a non-shooting lady to living in a three-gun household with a boyfriend who’s trying to keep up with me and my shooting!

All the ladies that I meet out and about inspire me as they have all got different stories to tell. Some inspired me to try DTL and to compete, some to try other disciplines like game and duck and are such inspirations for the country loving ladies out there. Others absolutely slay the clays and still hold down full-time jobs and only get to come out once a month or so. So thank you ladies, every single one of you, no matter what you do out shooting you are supported by like-minded ladies.

Give it a go!

Amy xx

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