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Rick618
Shotgun Expert
Posts: 36
(1/9/03 1:31:12 am)
Reply | Edit | Del All What suggestions to get more women into the shooting sports?
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In chat last evening, the question was brought up as to what can be done to get more women involved in shooting???

Some suggestions were:

to have a top state female shooter offer a clinic at the range for women shooters. pub48.ezboard.com/bshooterspagetxforums

offer discounts to beginners

special days just for the ladies with women instructors

check with the various organizations, NRA, NWTF, etc about the programs already established

check with your state dept of natural resources, see if the participate in the BOW program...becoming a woman in the outdoors, SC has one: www.dnr.state.sc.us/cec/ow.html

an issue of Sporting Clays Magazine....online even www.sportingclays.net/

marshent
Unregistered User
(1/9/03 6:46:57 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Women & Shooting
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Thanks Rick...

Actually, my wife says the most important suggestion was lots of restrooms....clean restrooms!

Unfortunately, the discussion was just getting warmed up when I had to leave...but.

In addition to what Rick has reported, I kind of got a general feeling that a facility that is designed to welcome any normal human being of any race or gender would acomplish the goal. maybe less dead animals on the wall and more art? A clean facility with an atmosphere that invites lounging & communion before & after a shoot, staff members who are selected and trained to be able to relate to a broad spectrum of humanity...kind of like Disney employees...

I get a feeling that women would be put off a bit by obvious pandering...but that normal, quality, recreational facility behavior would be sufficient to attract women and thier families.

My wifes comments are:

"I hate ladies only days! Make the darn thing comfortable for anyone, anytime!" "Ladies day" indeed! foowey!

If the women want to get together and go shoot, by gosh they will!

Woman instructors? I don't care if its a man or a woman. I'm here to learn to shoot. If it's a man...and he acts like a letch, I won't be back! I suppose a few female instructors would be a good idea...for those women who have particullarly jealous husbands. My gynecologist is a man. I'm o.k. with men who are professional. Women - men - who really cares? Society today tries to keep this alive, when in my opinion, no one really cares about gender when it comes to competition. We all just want to compete for the sake of competing. Some of us just want to shoot, or Golf, or skydive...and socialize...for the fun of it.

Womens day, womens guns, foowey! Gun fit is gun fit. If the thing lines up with my eye, and it has a swing I like, I'll shoot it. Heck, I think I got married based upon similar criteria! Find, or make a gun that fits. Shoot it, have fun, and compete if your good.

Phew. The end...I think. Remember, I'm a woman, I'm entitled to change my mind!

Wow! I guess she told me.

Any thoughts?

goldenhunter02
World Class Shotgun Mom and Moderator
Posts: 247
(1/9/03 9:42:11 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: Women & Shooting
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I agree that it doesn't matter to me if an instructor is male or female. I would also like to see the ranges be more people friendly. I am often in a hurry to leave my range as I am the only woman that shoots there most of the time. I dislike the looks that I get from the guys after I have shot my trap sets, and it does make it hard for me to feel comfy there. I do have a couple of male friends that take the heat off. I think it would go a long way to helping women want to shoot. That is just me though.

"I can raise kids and still kick your *** in clays"

Sporting Clays Girl
Women's Shotgun Expert
Posts: 555
(1/9/03 11:47:11 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: Women & Shooting
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Hey marshent i would just like to apologize for last night I'm sorry. But i'd have to say restrooms and not co-ed ones.
Fantastic!!
Browning, The Best there is because second best is well...second best.

RemingtonII
Shotgun Expert
Posts: 224
(1/10/03 1:49:18 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Professionalism
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I think Goldenhunter hit it on the head, discussing the discomfort level she feels in a gun club. More acute for a woman, I am sure, but not unknown to a male customer, with no contacts within the club.

There is an awareness that these gun clubs have to maintain, in order to grow, and getting new members, including women, is an urgent need in most gun clubs.

I consult companies in this regard, and at my own gun club, if there was anything I would tell the managers is not to disrespect the customers.

Primarily, don't disrespect a person's time. Get online reservations and be prompt at starting. Women, as well as men, have very tight schedules under which they operate, and if the gun club cannot properly respect a person's time they don't stand a chance in recruiting women.

Don't disrespect a person's intelligence. Don't pander. Don't preach. If you have a new shooter, have a schedule of events that will take place to introduce the shooter to the facility, to other new members, and to the process of shooting.

In skeet, many times the shooters will pull their own clays, and I think this is a bad idea. In many respects, I think a good trapper can keep a proper business flow at a range. Recently, I went to a new range, and about fifteen minutes before the shoot the trapper showed up in the clubhouse, and he had high interpersonal skills. He knew three of the five people shooting, introduced himself to the two (us)that he didn't know, and introduced the two newbies (us) to the regular members. The regular members were open and welcomed new shooters...they were accomplsihed at this...somebody had taught them this. The trapper invited us back, offered to schedule another shoot on the computer, and insisted we show up for a local tournament that they were running, and got our phone numbers to call for the tournament. He was a gentleman and a good closer.

At our club, new members are not really welcome, and they have to "earn" their way in...kind of a small town thing...also, kiss of death, when it comes to women. Nobody has time to earn their way into anything, today.

Every shooting club would do well to model themselves after fitness clubs. These clubs are based on "individual" membership, and making the individual feel comfortable and welcome in a gym setting. The management of these clubs are masters at attracting, and keeping women in membership....men, too.

I know a man that owns a 500 acre facility with sporting, and hunting, and he claims that the kiss of death, and what turns women off more than anything is the clique atmosphere that is sometimes allowed at some clubs. He said it is worse than high school at some clubs. He claims that the #1 issue for success is democracy. The Mossbergs shoot with the Kierghoff and the janitors shoot with the doctors, and the owner ensures that exclusion of any form is avoided.

I know what Goldenhunter is talking about. I probably shot for six weeks before getting any acceptance at my own club. Of course it didn't help that I shot a 2 on an early skeet shoot (no bbs I'm sure, which forced me to aim with the wad). I just stuck it out, and ended up making many new friends. However, this process would be extremely difficult for a lone female shooter.

It is a good subject that many clubs need to address. For most women shooters it would be like a girl visiting an all boys school. Somehow, a club does have to create a co-ed atmosphere, and strive to attract new women, on a basis that women are comfortable in all situations, and not just in women only functions.

I still say that the fitness club people have the answers, and it would be interesting to have somebody like that make a post. This is a HUGE issue in shooting clubs today. Many clubs get a very large response to "women's day" introduction events, but convert few long-term.

marshent
Unregistered User
(1/11/03 8:39:56 am)
Reply | Edit | Del Great comments
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Thanks to everyone for the comments. This is all very helpfull.

The "feeling" that GoldenHunter describes is exactly what we are trying to eliminate.

I hand't thought of looking into fitness clubs for management clues. That is a great tip.

SCG, no worries. I really enjoyed last night...but do you still respect me this morning? You haven't called or anything!

Rick618
Shotgun Expert
Posts: 44
(1/11/03 11:24:05 am)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: Great comments
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This pains me, but I understand the issue that rem and gh have pointed out and that seems to be part of the reason that there are many women-only fitness clubs.....they don't want the men to see them at what they feel is not their best, nor do they want the pressure of being ogled at as they squat, kick, twirl.......(dks!! stop it!!) nor hit on while working out.

The women are one of the fastest growing portions of the shooting sports, to really attract them is going to require special emphasis on their needs, which may also include a day care service.

marshent
Unregistered User
(1/11/03 8:19:42 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del women & sporting clays
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Again, thanks for the comments.

I guess we agree that the atmosphere at most shooting facilities makes it uncomfortable for women to hang around after shooting.

What exactly could a club do to make it comfortable for women & children, without running off the existing male shooters?

Day care? Great idea...but I'm guessing that most of the women shooters will stop by during school hours, or with the juniors after school. Just assuming that most mothers with children young enough to require day care haven't gotten to the point where they can afford $20-100/week/person for shotgun sports.

The profit margins of a shooting range would require that a seperate entity run the day care...as a seperate business from the shooting sports facility. I'm not sure the average mom (non-shooter) would want to send the children to a day care at a shooting sports facility. I don't think the shooting sports facility could support the labor & overhead of a day care...but...I'm still doing research at this point. I won't count it out. Just need to look into the numbers on that one pretty hard.

Building a range that is environmentally friendly, including not shooting over water, lead reclamation, clay target and wad collection on a regular basis...is already financially intimidating. I think that a child care facility would have to be a sub-let space on the property...run by a seperate entity as a separate business.

I'm not at all sure of this! More input will really be appreciated.

For the average (average?...oops!) woman, specifically, what kind of things could be done to make the atmosphere at a shooting sports facility more inviting?

Shotgunworld
Forum Owner
Posts: 1323
(1/13/03 6:33:22 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del
ezSupporter
Re: women & sporting clays
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It seems that 'Sensitivity' training for all of the male members is be sorely needed, but I doubt you can get that one to happen. Shame, though.
Jay G.
Shotgunworld.com
Shotgunworld.com

RemingtonII
Shotgun Expert
Posts: 232
(1/15/03 7:31:16 am)
Reply | Edit | Del Day care centers at shooting centers
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I wonder if a day care facility at a shooting center is feasible, because of the potential exposre to noise and lead vapors from the clothes of shooters.

dks
Shotgunworld Ambassador
Posts: 253
(1/15/03 7:40:17 am)
Reply | Edit | Del
Re: Day care centers at shooting centers
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...dont get into that lead vapours thing again....

(how about cute little baby toxic gas masks in pink for girls and blue for boys?)
avrantinissihtimini

ladycrusher
Unregistered User
(3/6/03 10:10:58 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Getting Women Interested in Shooting
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I know that the first time I went to a sporting clays tournament (I'd only shot a couple of months), I felt VERY uncomfortable. I felt that a gentleman (who is actually very nice to me now) was sort of rude - he'd step in front of me when I was trying to watch the person in front of me shoot - I really didn't know what to do. I stayed with it and didn't let people in the future bother me. These sort of actions I think are what keeps women from shooting - if you feel like you're " in the way" it's tough. The majority of the guys are very receptive to women shooting - but, it takes some time to get there. I've tried to get some of the ladies that I know to shoot - it's tough for them due to the cost, the kids, the non-shooting husband, etc. There's unfortunately not too many ladies that can take the time to shoot due to family obligations - I don't have kids so I don't know what that's like - but, I do understand that it's tough to juggle everything. I wish there was a simple solution - we're probably lucky that there's enough interest to even have a discussion board like this one!

Howie1049
Shotgunworld Ambassador
Posts: 225
(3/8/03 1:58:29 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: Getting Women Interested in Shooting
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I kind ah know what I'm going to write here is going to brissel some of you ladies. I'll say sorry before hand. Most if not all the shooters of the clubs I belong too are male. To these guys, it's like poker night with the guys, almost totally taboo for women to show up and shoot a round of skeet or trap but, not voiced. The language and rough humor is male, the physical actions and other non-verbal are male, I, like them, feel that when a woman is on the field, totally censored of my actions. The shoot has lost some its rough, friendly appeal that which most of these clubs where founded on. The one club in my area that is restricted to males only but, not widely advertised, has a one year waiting list to join it and allows no shooting of non-members. Membership is Invitation only by a sponsor member. The club house is raw at best, outdoor crapper here SCG, the trap, skeet and sporting clays ranges in very good shape and very much in use. Most of these guys have successful marriages and relationships. What time they have to shoot, they want to spend blow off time with the guys, without a woman around, otherwise they are at home with their wifes or working to make ends meet. I believe this action dates back to the old cave days, when the boys would take off in packs to go hunt the woolly beast or something. Until the ol'boys die off and the new modern femnized male majority take their place, women shooting will take the back seat at most clubs. When that time comes to a open mixer, the way will be smoother. For now there is strif in almost all the clubs. Now the boys respect and admire women but, not while they are playing please. Our mothers shouted at us boys from the day we were born, "leave the girls alone and go play with the boys". Most mothers have comitted this act out of simple response for peace in the house hold. There lays the single oblique plane of truth.

ladycrusher
Unregistered User
(3/9/03 5:48:13 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Getting women interested
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Howie1049 - I understand where you're coming from - you didn't torque me by stating what I already knew. That attitude is the main reason that my husband didn't 'take me' shooting at the skeet range for a long while. It was a 'guy's place'. That's fine - there should be places for just the guys. But, when he did take me, everyone accepted me because I could keep up with them. I know there's a lot of obstacles in front of the ladies that are new to shooting - and the attitude of the guys is a big one. But, for the most part the majority of the guys don't care if they can't cuss as much as they would if I wasn't around - the ones that don't want me around don't shoot with me - that's okay with me.

Howie1049
Shotgunworld Ambassador
Posts: 229
(3/10/03 1:16:32 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: Getting women interested
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L.C. you are a uncommonly shrewd women, you are classed as a Lady. An sometimes uncommon element in todays society with women ( and men "Gentleman" ). Thank You.

RemingtonII
Shotgun Expert
Posts: 377
(3/20/03 11:22:59 am)
Reply | Edit | Del Fuzzy Logic
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I am making this post well after it originated, and it is interesting to see the responses.

If a club wants to run an exclusionary males only policy through exclusion by membership that is fine. That's a reality, and not really part of the problem as I see it.

However, the reality is that most clubs seek new members and would welcome women with open arms.

There is a concept on which we consult called Fuzzy Logic. There are only about nine variations (maximum) of any theme,and most clubs only will address one theme. Let me give you an example. Club memberships are too closely defined. If you do this properly, you get beyond the black/white, and focus on why people join clubs. Singles join clubs to meet other singles. 50 year old empty nesters, who have spent their lives living for their children, want to get social again and meet other couples, both sexes may want to train for championship shooting, other people are just plain lonely, men are bored in retirement...anyway, you go through fuzzy logic and your club has to learn to make a market for each of these fuzzy logic factors, or, at least be able to identify them and maybe be able to properly service 4 or 5 of them.

If the club services any one of these particular areas, from a capitalistic viewpoint, you will get rid of most of the problems associated with new members, including women, because the program will be designed to the benefit of these people. However, many of these clubs are run by volunteers and they are unschooled in any of these ideas or methods.

It's the same with the complaints of women. Believe me that there won't be more than about 9 of these issues in any gun club. One of the writers mentioned a man stepping in front of her as a new shooter, when she was trying to view the shooting scene...this is an issue of domination and control, of establishing a pecking order.

As a woman, that would be one issue that would drive me crazy in a gun club. It's a feeling of always having to defend yourself because of constant attack, or just sitting there and taking it. Most women will choose not to have to constantly defend themselves and seek more hospitable surroundings as they should. A woman, or any new member, shouldn't have to go through a type of rude, initiation treatment to be able to fit into a gun club.

It's a sophisticated procedure, i.e. properly running a gun club. However the primary ingredient is to live your life and your gun club from the soul, which is loving and caring, and not from the senses, which is about domination and control. The club has to deal with members from the heart, from the spirit of fair competition, of the love of the sport, of the excitement of shooting the clays. In doing this they must choose to understand fuzzy logic in order to get new members. For example, if they go after the empty nester couples, a program is developed in a loving and caring manner to go after this market,and that program will take care of most issues (problems) relating to domination and control.

It goes from one to the other. Until a person learns to live his life not from the senses (domination and control), but through the soul (loving and caring) he/she will not find contentment. Once you understand this, it is not about being a Mr. Nice Guy, but using discernment and, making choices and choosing the right course of action. A person that gets his personality in line with his soul, i.e., gets a loving/caring personality, cannot be dominated, and that's why they find contentment.

Same with the club. The club has to run itself from the soul. It has to run the club from the excitement of the sport, the love of shotguns, and the happiness they can bring to so many different groups of people, and to accommodate those people properly under the guidelines found in fuzzy logic.

Members will find that if the club has properly defined these areas of fuzzy logic that they will no longer have to live their lives by domination and control at your gun club because each area of recruitment has been so carefully thought out to eliminate the reason and cause of domination and control.

Even issues of domination and control, the issues that cause so many problems with women, can be defined by fuzzy logic. Some clubs have a sign that reads something like this,"Do not offer shooting or personal advice on these premises." Even if you are asked to give advice people won't respond. What a delightful definition for a shooting club.

Gun clubs represent a wonderful example of human interaction at its most basic form, and if the interaction can be a democratic interaction they can be wonderful places for all kinds of people. You can have an all male gun club, and that is fine...it truly is fine. However, when you see a well run gun club that is open to both genders here are the things you will see. You will see singles...lots of singles of both sexes...the well-run horse clubs figured this out about 10 years ago. There will be a LOT OF FAMILIES, especially on Sunday...mostly shooting trap. As much as 20% of the club will be empty nesters, husband-wife teams with a lot of competition and dinner events for that group. There will be a lot of hot-shot shooters, with several shooting at the national level. There will be lots of seniors, and they are a delight to watch on pump night. There will be TONS more unregistered shooters (fun shooters) than registered shooters. There is a spirit of gaity, with pump nights, SxS nights, period and costume shooting nights, full-choke nights. There will be TONS of league shooting and team shooting for championships. There will be an extensive reaching out into the community to help train and educate new shooters, and programs to get them to come to the club regularly. There are certified instructors, and new shooters can learn to come into the club through a program taught by a certified instructor until they are comfortable.

So you see, in the final analysis, it is not about what you can do to get women into shooting. It's what you can do to get the gun club to run a diverse and professionaly managed facility, run from the soul, that women in all stages of their lives will be attracted.

It is an exciting area, and we must get by the idea that a woman must "earn" her way into a gun club, not unlike some kind of initiation process.

MarlandS
Master Archivist
Posts: 1249
(3/20/03 11:45:31 am)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: Fuzzy Logic
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So much truth in one post...............

Sporting Clays Girl
Women's Shotgun Expert
Posts: 650
(3/20/03 11:51:36 am)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: Fuzzy Logic
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That was a good post rem. Most women aren't used to the way men handle themselves at the range IE older ones that dont care what we think of them. And that is something you either hate or love. And the example you gave of a man stepping in front of a woman. Women think they have to be polite to those overbearing men, eventually they will either leave or show the men who's boss
Fantastic!!

"Head on the stock, eye on the rock."

Browning, The Best there is because second best is well...second best.
 
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