Women on the range – facing fears, crushing goals, and making connections
By Megan Plete Postol | PUBLISHED September 12th, 2022
Last month I spent time at two events organized for women to spend time shooting on a range.
The first event was mine, meaning I helped to coordinate it with a local sportsman’s club, and the second was an event I simply attended.
The first event was a Women’s Outdoor Skills Day; my first organized event as the Artemis Sportswomen Ambassador for New York State.
Most of the women who attended had never, or very rarely, shot a gun. It was incredible to witness process that unfolded as the day went on. First shooters felt intimidated and doubted their abilities. And one by one they stepped up. Each had found themselves spurred by their own personal motivations. Some came to learn more about firearms and hunting. Others were there because they felt overwhelmed by firearms and wanted to confront that fear head-on. Some were single mothers driven by a deep desire to keep their children safe.
There were women who attended Women’s Outdoor Skills Day that never would have reached out to touch a firearm if I had not invited them to this event. Now they are pursuing a concealed carry permit. This event was about opening doors and making connections. Hands-on events like this, that invite newcomers into the shooting sports or hunting communities, have the power to change lives. Many people are interested in this lifestyle but do not know how to take that first step. Some people want to try hunting but they don’t have a community to explore with. This Artemis Sportswomen event created that and hopefully I can continue that momentum.
The second event I attended in August was called Women on the Range. It was held at a different location with an entirely new set of people. this event followed a similar format of hands-on time shooting at a range with experienced mentors who provided guidance and kept everyone safe.
The women who attended ranged in age from teenager to grandmother. Participants had the opportunity to try a variety of firearms, from rifles and pistols to shotguns and BB guns. There were also sessions in archery and situational awareness. The women who were there stretched their limits, pushing themselves to try guns they had never shot and tackle the challenges of unfamiliarity.
The effect was obvious by the huge beaming smiles and the confident laughter across the range.
Events such as the Artemis Sportswomen Women’s Outdoor Skills Day and the Women on the Range day are popping up all across the country. These events are invaluable, giving women the confidence to try new things and teaching them the skills needed to get out there in the field.