I’m Karen and I’m relatively new to shooting, I started around 18 months ago. In Nov 2017 I discovered I had an 8cm tumour and ovarian cysts and became quite poorly and having to undergo medicines for six months to shrink the growth to make it safer for it to be removed and eventually extensive surgery, this made me quite low and lacking in confidence, my husband took me shooting as it’s something he enjoyed. From the moment I shot my first cartridge I was hooked, I came home and applied for my gun licence! As soon as my licence came through I bought my first gun, although it was nice it wasn’t right and I am now on my third gun and I’ve found the one, it takes a little time and experience to know what you need but then you just know when it is right. My daughter Norah is 8 and she has her own 410 and is a cracking little shot and even loads for my husband and I whenever we do a Sim day, I just love the fact we can go as a family and all be apart of an amazing sport and community. I try to shoot once or twice a month and feel I’m steadily improving but I am in love with this sport and feel so empowered every time I get a little better. My new gun is a Miroku mk70 12 bore with grade 5 wood and is just my dream gun and the best investment I’ve made, having a gun that fits you and you are comfortable with makes it so much easier but then you can’t blame the equipment when you don’t do well!
My at the time boyfriend (now husband) introduced me to shooting around 2002. We used to go out at weekends to local grounds and shoot. Nothing competitive – more for fun and a hobby we could do together. Then one Christmas he bought me a 20 bore Browning shotgun as a Christmas present.
When I fell pregnant in 2005 I stopped shooting and didn’t shoot again until very recently when I went to Holland & Holland with my daughter, Bethany for a lesson. I often take her for training sessions and recently attended a Ladies Day at The Oxford Gun Company with her. Even this weekend we went to AGL for some practice where she gave me some pointers. We are both looking forward to attending our first Shotgun and Chelsea Bun Club day at AGL.
I never really had an interest in shooting (let alone heard of the sport) until my Dad asked me if I wanted to go along with him to my local ground, Park Farm Shooting Ground. I had never been so scared! I was surrounded by lots of strangers using guns (bear in mind I was only 10 at this point), however, I was made to feel very included, despite not actually shooting. My Dad asked me to score for him, and I thought to myself “well this seems interesting.” I never had the guts to actually pick up a gun until I was 11 years old, and from that point I was hooked. I started off using a 20 gauge Beretta semi-auto due to shooting Sporting for a few months. I did like this discipline, but I felt like I never properly clicked with it. One day when I was shooting at Park Farm, I decided to watch the DTL that they have there. I quite liked the idea of moving away from Sporting, so I decided to sell my semi-auto, and buy a trap gun. The first time I ever shot DTL was at Mid Wales Shooting Centre, and this is where I finally found my passion for shooting. Since that day, I have never looked back, and I even made the England Ladies DTL team in 2018 for both the Home Internationals and the European Championships at just 15 years old (the youngest person to make the team that year). I am currently sponsored by some of the world’s best companies and various other sponsors too and they are: Laporte, GMK/Beretta, Eley Hawk, Cens Digital, MacWet Gloves, and Ed Lyons. In the future, my dream is to make the DTL World Championship team in 2020, and captain the England Ladies team. My ultimate goal for the future however, is to represent Great Britain in the Olympics, when I transition to Olympic Trap. Being only 16 years old, I have many years ahead of me to achieve my dreams, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds!