In the hunting business, where heritage plays a big role, nearly 90% of the times, shooters and hunters are introduced to the world of hunting by their fathers. Probably while you read this, you reminisce about that time your father took you hunting or clay shooting for the first time in your life.
In my case, it was the complete opposite. Even though my family is quite traditional, there is not one single hunter in the family, so I was not born into shooting or hunting like yourself. However I have won 2 English Sporting competitions in Stockholm, and I have only been shooting for 8 months. I am not a professional shooter yet, but I will get there with the help of my instructor! This is my story on how I was introduced to clay pigeon shooting, and I will give you tips on how you can also introduce your friends to the magical world of shooting:
It was January 2019, and it was my 4th year living away from Spain, where I was born. Sweden, where I live now, is a very exotic (and cold) place to live in for southern europeans like myself, and even though I love the beach and the Spanish sun, I am a winter person, so here I feel like home. My husband and I recently got married, and as a wedding present we received a “hunting license course” voucher from my husband’s uncle (yes, you can take note of that, and make the best ever wedding present next time you attend one). So we went to Skokloster Wings & Clays, which is the club he recommended us to take the course at, and we asked if we could sign up for the next available slot, and take the hunting license together.
As a woman who loves countryside fashion, I have always cared much for my tweed, my boots and in general my looks, so when I opened the club’s door, I encountered a group of men smoking cigars, talking about hunting in a small but cozy and beautifully decorated club house, and being naive and feeling completely out of my comfort zone, I innocently interrupted everyone asking a question: “Is this where we can attend the hunting license course?”.
Obviously, it had been a while since a woman of my age (I was 29 at that time) opened the door of that club with such energy, so I immediately got the attention of the club’s staff: “Yes, you have come to the right place, but have you ever held a gun in your hands before?, because you don’t seem to have…”.
The truth was, I had never shot before and I was a bit afraid of guns. I had so much respect for hunters, and I loved the whole concept behind the “eat what you hunt” philosophy, but the reality is that after almost getting killed in a terrorist attack in 2017, and reading the media’s favourite topic in the US “mass shoots”, I was one of those, who always felt a bit skeptical about the shooting community, and you could see that in my face. But I was curious and I accepted the owner of the club’s invitation to try out one of the club’s latests acquisitions: A Perazzi MX12 SCO, with a stunning stock and an engraving which took 2,5 years to make. I had no idea of what the different parts of a gun were called, but I still went out and shoot.
My first box resulted in 24/25 kills, and my eyes were already injected with the “SF”, a disease I will have for life: Shooting Fever. If you have it too, I am sorry, there is no cure for it. But I will give you some good news too: It keeps us alive, more than the average human.
My husband was there looking at all this with his eyes wide opened, and he probably did not recognise the woman he was looking at “is this my wife? really?”. Women are full of surprises, and you might be married to a potential “SF” disease carrier, so I strongly recommend you to keep reading my posts and I will give you tips on how to get your wife/girlfriend to come with you to the shooting ground, and slowly but surely, change her habits of “Saturday Shopping” for “Shooting Saturdays”.
The owner of the club, who was there instructing me on my first clay shooting session, looked at me in the eyes with surprise, and asked me if I wanted to take this seriously. I am a lawyer, and as you know, lawyers are very serious people, so of course my answer was “I want to be the best female shooter in Sweden”. And here I am, on my way to it. I just hope my “Spanish Armada” determination beats every “Sir Francis Drake” I’ll find on my way to conquering my dear friends the vikings.
In my next post, I will tell you what things made me take this amazing sport seriously and what was it that really got me hooked, and hopefully you can use my tips to be able to bring new shooters with you to your hunts or clay shooting competitions.
See you soon, but in the meantime, you can follow my shooting journey on instagram: Myshootingjourney