Grandad got me into shooting at 8

Grandad got me into shooting at 8


I first got into shooting by asking my grandad to take me he said, ‘when your 8’, I finally turned 8 and wouldn’t stop nagging him until the day we went. As soon as I picked up the gun, I fell in love with it. As I was only little, I was shooting a 4/10 and shooting cardboard boxes/clays on the floor so I was hitting something. As I got older I moved to moving targets (to a 20guage) and because the weight of the gun was an issue my grandad put me on a tripod (shooting stick), this was to take some of the weight and to rest the gun on before and after taking a shot. One person said to me ‘we will soon have you in the Olympics’, after that I then asked my grandad if that could actually happen and he said ‘all we can do is try’, since then we have been working towards this. When I was about 10, I moved into English Skeet which I had Tom Gridley to coach me. Unbeknownst to us Tom was being taught by Rod Gould, my coach now. I then moved over to DTL (down the line) at about 12 which was when Tom then introduced me to Rod and since then Rod has taken over coaching me. I am now 14 and still shooting DTL, last season I got invited to the English selection shoots in just my first season but sadly I didn’t get in. This year I am going to do all the major events, like the British and English Open which acquires me to go to Bywell Shooting Ground which is just the other side of Newcastle. I am sponsored by GMK Beretta, Fiocchi, Maude and Fox, Teague Chokes, Cens (Nigel Hurst) and Enviro Store. I am training 5 times a week to get to where I want to go, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me.

Shooting is a great sport to get in to!

Shooting is a great sport to get in to!

I first got in to shooting through my Dad as shooting has always been a big part of our family.

I tried a few different disciplines within shooting over the years but always came back to sporting. For me, I enjoy the difficulty of it, the variety of targets and that every shoot you attend is a different layout of targets.

Shooting is a great sport to get in to and is always welcoming to people who want to take it up.

My advice for anyone wanting to try it is to invest in some lessons with a good coach and make sure you get a gun that fits you.

Try a number of different disciplines within shooting and see what works best for you and what you enjoy the most.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help, everyone has good days and bad but most of all make sure you enjoy it! 🙂

Love Isabella x

It’s a Family Affair

It’s a Family Affair

Shooting was always something that my Dad would pop off to do himself, but when I was older he used to take me out to shoot rotten goose eggs off the fence posts. This was great fun; if you got the egg right in the centre, the yolk would go sky high. This was as far as my shooting journey went for a number of years, until I met my husband.

Alan had shot a few times but nothing major, until he started going to our nearest clay ground with my dad more regularly. He purchased his own gun and never looked back. During this time I occasionally shot with my dad’s gun but it did not fit me well and would give me quite a  smack in the shoulder.

Two of my sisters and I went to our first ladies shooting day a couple of years ago and we had a great time. I continued through 2018 having a couple shots now and then, but it wasn’t until I went out with the Berretta Vittoria 390 and I thought yes this fits right and feels great. So I made a New Years promise to learn to shoot properly. I wanted to get better, to understand shooting more and it was also lovely going out shooting with my family.

Fast forward to now and I have my own gun (a wonderful Christmas surprise), stood on my own peg on Keeper’s Day with my dad standing beside me and shot my 1st pheasant. It is now quite a family affair, as all three of my sisters and niece have all started shooting too.

Me, my sisters and my niece

My favourite shooting moment wasn’t when I was actually shooting. I was on a breastfeeding update study day at work (I’m a Community Nursery Nurse by day) and they decided to do “where would you rather be” ice breaker. Most people said “at home, watching a box set”, but I had jointly won a ladies day at Braidwood the day before and was still on a high. It seemed to make everyone smile when I said “clay pigeon shooting.” 😁

How I got into shooting

How I got into shooting

How I got into shooting:

I’m very new to the shooting world – this has been my first full season and I’ve loved every second!!

I first got exposed properly when I stood on peg with my partner at the end of 2018/2019 season, I came with a camera and loved taking photos of the shoot and the dogs working (we had one young cocker spaniel at the time – since we’ve gained another pup) and generally being outside all day with my partner and his friends having a good laugh.

Roll on the off season, I started training with our young cocker to become a gundog , it was so rewarding and I was excited for the next season to start so we could go beating.

I also took the plunge during the summer and went to a ladies beginner clay day – I was so nervous and worried that I would be rubbish, but everyone there was lovely and I loved every second of the day, after that I organised a 1:1 lesson.

I started talking to a few girls I’d met through Instagram and took the plunge even further when the season began and I went on a partridge shoot with some country girls… and I even shot a few!!

Fast forward to the end of 2019/2020 season and I’ve been on 3 shoot days (including beaters day), have been beating with my spaniel most weekends and have now bought my very own gun.

I have met some amazing women through social media platforms who have made me feel so welcome and have helped whenever I have a question!

It’s safe to say I’ve caught the shooting bug!

I started shooting after I found a tumour

I started shooting after I found a tumour

Karen and Norah

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!