2A Colorado Girl in DC – DC Project

Not long ago I shared information about a fundraiser event for the DC Project. This is my first year to be able to squeeze it into the schedule, but I visited our Nation’s capital as a Colorado delegate for the group.

Over 50 women descended on Washington DC, coming together to support one another as we visited our Congressmen and Senators in support of our Second Amendment.

Founded in 2015, the nonpartisan D.C. Project Foundation gathers women of all ages and backgrounds from every state in the country to Washington, D.C. where they meet with legislators on Capitol Hill, share their stories of Second Amendment advocacy, and build a bridge of communication on behalf of all gun owners.

In February a friend and I visited Colorado’s Senate and House representatives. With just the two of us, and without appointments, we weren’t given much attention. This time it felt good to have appointments and a team of like-minded women beside me.

Being placed on teams with women from other states we were able to share views and experiences with one another’s law makers, their aids, and/or staff.

As a non-stereotypical face of gun owners, we had positive and meaningful conversations in many offices. Although I don’t feel as though I changed any of the non-gun liking law-makers’ minds, we did move the needle.

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Hunting Summit 2019 by Swarovski Optik

As a writer I’m often blessed with days of getting my hands on the latest greatest products. Occasionally that includes fabulous adventures. Last week I partook in both as I attended Swarovski Optik’s Hunting Summit.

The Hunting Summit is an event of which I’ve followed in the past as I’ve used the tried and true ‘Swaro” optics for years. I follow their social media with a fondness and last year became intrigued by the shares from the Hunting Summit — I never imagined that I’d be lucky enough to attend.

This year’s Summit took place in Italy, which is a country I’ve never had the chance to visit. After accepting the invitation I decided I’d better add a day to get acclimated to the time zone and to tour around. Flying into Florence is a breeze as the airport is on the small side, and grabbing a taxi proved to be no challenge at all.

After a nice siesta I decided to take a walk to take in some sights and to find a nice meal. Of course, I did just that. A refreshing lemonade and avocado sandwich hit the spot after a day of traveling across the Atlantic. I nosed around a bit after dinner, finding the square and enjoying some music. Before long I made my way back to my room as I wanted to get to bed at a decent hour and get on the Tuscany time schedule.

Hotel breakfast is always fabulous in Europe, nothing like what we avoid here in the states. I eyed the pastries, tarts, pies, and cutlets but opted for fresh fruit and yogurt with a water and a cup of coffee. — Oh my! That coffee was divine, as was the setting and the view of the tourists who hustled in and out, never stopping to enjoy themselves.

I did a little writing as I sat and observed the hustle in the dining room. Then I began a stroll to the square I’d found the prior day as I had a walking tour to attend. It’s amazing to view the architecture and hear stories about the people, groups, and locations I’d learned about in school. I took over a hundred pictures, but one I shared on my own social media was on a bridge, and YES, the river does have fish! I learned about this at the Hunting Summit!

HECK! Back to the Hunting Summit!

After a day of touring Florence I got a good night’s sleep, again enjoyed the breakfast experience at the hotel and then met up with the Hunting Summit group to proceed to our location for events.

The group of attendees included writers, editors, publishers, competitors, influencers, commentators, tv show hosts and more. We had time to visit and get to know one another. I learned that they were form all over Europe, South Africa, and I would be the sole American. Everyone was incredibly friendly and welcoming.

Thank goodness I’d taken some time to get rested and acclimated because at our orientation meeting we were given watches with heart rate monitors. We were informed that we’d be spending the next two days focusing on an experience of shooting under stress. 

As a hunting guide I’ve experienced many times when a hunter arrives and has only shot from a bench or lead-sled. They haven’t practiced real life scenarios, and definitely haven’t planned for the adrenaline they’ll likely have during a hunt. They sometimes have shots that miss their mark and blame their equipment.

There are three factors that can throw our shots off. Yes, our equipment is one, the environment and ourselves are also to blame. Can you guess that many people never add that last factor to the list?

Heading into this Hunting Summit, I’d be using new equipment, but they gave us time to get to know our scopes, ammunition, and rifles. We’d be shooting under stress in over 100 Fahrenheit weather, topped with a huge amount of humidity. — Yes, the environment would cause this arid climate accustomed Colorado girl some stress. I’d also be shooting among about 25 strangers. To top that off, we’d be presented timed challenges including mind games.

*For safety purposes, all challenges were shot from a prone position. We shot Steyr rifles topped with the NEW Swarovski Z8i scope and used Norma Bond Strike ammunition in .308 Win.

After being put through stressed challenges, we’d have the opportunity to assess our heart rates and reflect on what did or didn’t do well.

The first challenge involved simple math (5+2= ___ for example) followed by our shooting a target at 100 meters. We’d be time in hitting the numbers in the order we received them, (5, then 2, then 7). Sounds easy right? Well, sorta. I mean, you do want to win, don’t you? 

My equation was 10-4=___. I looked at the card. They flipped it upside-down. I looked through the scope, located the 10 and shot it. As I located the ten, I saw the four but knew in the back of my mind there was no 14. — YES. My mind played a trick on me and I fought it. I knew the numbers only went to ten, but my heart raced as I shot and missed the 4, disappointed myself and searched for the fourteen and at the sometime knew I needed a six. I located, shot at and missed the six. WHEW! 

Did I mention penalties for misses? Yep. The thought of penalties adds stress too.

Other challenges included shooting at over 200, 300, 400, and 500 meters. We’d be timed as our range master pointed to a color target on a chart and we’d locate and shoot. For another challenge we were paired off agains another attendee. We ran down and up a hill for 100 meters, then lay prone to shoot those targets. I’m pleased to tell you that although I don’t run well, I do shoot well with an elevated heart rate.

I learned to manage my stress, trust my equipment and read the environment in a matter of moments all while gently pressing the trigger and hitting all of my targets. After all’s said and done, I ended up being 7th overall in the competition.

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Touring, Writing, Conferencing, POMA

I’ve been on the road and neglecting my updates, starting with a trip to the annual Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) conference, it’s time to catch up!

The daughter and I took a road trip and made a nine-hour drive a bit longer by stopping to see some sights along the way. Do you ever stop to check things out during your travels?

We both love the wild west and history, so we stopped at Boot Hill in Dodge City, Ks. The museum is a great one, and if you’re into history lessons we highly recommend checking it out. As far as the afternoon shoot-out, we could take it or leave it. It’s a bit hokey, and the actors definitely don’t try tom make it look anything close to real or legit. — Just sayin’. Regardless, we had a ton of fun along the way.

Once we met up with our colleagues in Wichita, the fun and work began. I’ve been a member for over a decade. I first joined the organization as my writing career began to bloom because I wanted to learn more about the “rules” of the industry. POMA and its members have filled those needs and beyond.

Over the years I’ve met so many people in the industry who’re willing to help me grow, teach me the ins and outs, be sounding boards and help me connect with others. POMA fit the bill then and it keeps giving into the present.

This year Toyota provided Lea with a scholarship to attend the conference. If you’re interested in applying, reach out to our managers at the POMA website.

A couple of years ago a couple of industry friends nominated me to run for a seat on POMA’s board of directors. I’ll admit, at first I hesitated. Then I paused and thought, “So many people in this organization have helped me. It’s time for me to give back to this venue.”

That’s what we do, right? We have to always give back, and we have to be mentors. I ran and was voted onto the board and have worked to spread the message that this is a great organization. I’ve also worked to look for great locations for our annual conference.

See my article about the Amazing Rush in Rapid City.

POMA’s annual conference is a time to network, attend breakout sessions, view and get our hands on partner corporation’s products. The Sportsmen’s Alliance and I hosted a roundtable where we brainstormed about our messaging toward non-hunters in regards to hunting.

We heard from industry supporters and peers, and made new contacts in the industry. I look forward to the relationships that are developed from this single one-week conference.

Many thanks to this year’s Professional Outdoor Media Association conference sponsors!

Alabama Black Belt Adventures
Allen Company
ALPS Outdoorz
Ammoland
Birchwood Casey
Brownells
Buck Knives
Case Knives
Costa
Crossbreed Holsters
Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation
BPI – CVA/Bergara
Ducks Unlimited
DJ CASE
GoWild
Mississippi Tourism
Mossy Oak Scholarship
Mossy Oak
NASGW
Nissan
NRA
NSSF
Powderhook
R3
RAM
Realtree
Real Avid
Ridge Road Outdoors
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Roeslein Alternative Energy
Sellmark
Sellmark Scholarship
Sure Shot Game Calls
SpyPoint
Toyota
USCCA

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For the Outdoors Dad – Father’s Day Gift Ideas

I hope you’re lucky enough to have the need to look for a perfect father’s day gift for your outdoorsy dad. I used to enjoy the smile on my dad’s face when I found the perfect gift for him. I no longer have the pleasure of this endeavor, but I’d like to share some of the things that hit the mark with him and items that others said they like, want, or need.

Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Click the links to be taken to the ideas pages on my affiliate page.

The best gift you can give someone else is your time and undivided attention. Put the devices away and be present. Happy Father’s Day.

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Support the Women Traveling to D.C. | DC Project

Next month I’ll be traveling to Washington D.C. with the women of the DC Project. The DC Project Team Match is going to be run this weekend. The funds raised from the event will be used in support of the women who will be traveling to meet with their legislators on Capitol Hill.

It’s open to the public, and we encourage you to get tickets and join us. What better way to help the D.C. Project Foundation raise funds to help women champion the Second Amendment on Capitol Hill than good old-fashioned trigger time?”

D.C. Project Foundation founder and professional shooter Dianna Muller

The DC Project Team Match, Raising Funds for Second Amendment Advocacy

Match Supports Women Traveling to D.C. for Meetings on Capitol Hill

Tulsa, OK, U.S. – (June 4, 2019) – Firearms enthusiasts and competitive shooters from across the U.S. are preparing for the D.C. Project Team Match to be held June 7 through 9 at the Reveille Peak Ranch in Burnet, Texas. The two-person, team match is a fundraiser for the D.C. Project Foundation, and will feature John “Tig” Tiegen, and Jerry Miculek as competitors.

In addition to the match, a “BANGquet” is scheduled for Friday, June 7 with live-fire opportunities including machine guns starting at 3 p.m., and a 6 p.m. dinner with entertainment, raffles, and a live auction featuring firearms and shooting gear.

Founded in 2015, the nonpartisan D.C. Project Foundation gathers women of all ages and backgrounds from every state in the country to Washington, D.C. where they meet with legislators on Capitol Hill, share their stories of Second Amendment advocacy, and build a bridge of communication on behalf of all gun owners.

According to D.C. Project Foundation founder and professional shooter Dianna Muller, “The weekend kicks off on Friday with full-auto fun, immediately followed by the BANGquet. It’s open to the public, and we encourage you to get tickets and join us. What better way to help the D.C. Project Foundation raise funds to help women champion the Second Amendment on Capitol Hill, than good, old-fashioned trigger time?”

Friends and sponsors from the shooting industry have contributed a lot to this fundraising event, said Muller, and “everyone who participates will go home with fun memories, and possibly some impressive firearms and shooting gear. We’ve got raffle and auction items from BenelliF-1 Firearms LLCHIPERFIREKahr Firearms GroupMagpul Industries Corp.STI InternationalStreamlightUberti USA, and many more!”

“When we visit Washington, D.C. every summer to express our support and reverence of the Second Amendment, we volunteer our time and our dimes,” Muller explained. “Our fundraising goal is to cover the lodging fees for the D.C. Project participant’s July 2019 trip. It’s such a big financial commitment from the women to travel there and meet with our legislators in terms of both cost and time.”

“We strive to present the diverse faces of American women who own guns to our representatives, plus help educate them as to why gun ownership is as important as ever to women,” Muller added.

Check out the Match Facebook page to see some of the auction and raffle items, and visit www.dcproject.infoto purchase tickets to the BANGquet. For more information about the D.C. Project, please visit www.dcproject.info. To make donations, please visit www.dcproject.info/donation.

About the D.C. Project Foundation – The D.C. Project Foundation is an educational and bipartisan effort of 50 women, one from each state, meeting legislators on Capitol Hill as gun owners and Second Amendment supporters. Each summer more than 50 women of various ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities spend four days meeting with members of the Unites States Senate and House of Representatives to advocate for the Second Amendment as female gun owners on behalf of all Americans.

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Mia Anstine Featured in Empowering Book About Women Hunters

Mia Anstine of Pagosa Springs, Colorado is among 18 individual female hunters across the country profiled in a revealing new book called Why Women Hunt. The book is the first of its kind by Author and hunter K. J. Houtman.

Anstine is a hunting guide and instructor in archery, firearms, and other outdoor-related skills: “Sitting in a tree stand is tough for me personally, more than climbing from 9,000 to 13,000 feet, but I’ve taken bears, whitetail and other game animals from just sitting. I love it all. Each has its own purpose—you can learn from one method of hunting to help in another.”

Mia told the author that she wishes non-hunters understood hunting better and that’s part of the reason she took to being a hunter education instructor, “… the burden is on us to help them understand. I wish they’d take a hunter education class, even if they weren’t going to hunt. Sometimes we don’t get anything after a long day. It’s not always easy and it is never guaranteed. Some people don’t know and some have a misconception fostered from watching hunting TV shows. We need to demonstrate how we achieve healthy wildlife herds and how we affect animals in a positive way through hunting.”

Houtman of Minnesota takes an intimate look at the lives of these intrepid outdoor women—of all ages, professions, education and cultural backgrounds. Their diverse personal stories explore what motivates them to connect—spiritually and physically—with the natural world in one of humankind’s most ancient food-gathering rituals.

Pre-Order your copy of ‘Why Women Hunt’ today.

Book website address: www.whywomenhunt.com

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Avoid Wildlife Attacks – Aggressive Bear Bites Woman

It’s interesting to me that people have become so separated from their instincts. Days ago humans understood that wild animals are just that — wild. Our instincts told us to pay attention, to be aware of our surroundings, to carry protection, and to avoid potentially dangerous situations.

I’m not saying that this hiker did anything “wrong.” What I’m suggesting is that you be prepared and avoid a potentially life-threatening situation.

In all things you do in life, learn to connect with your instincts. Avoid aggressive humans and wild animals. Learn to protect yourself, and remember that black bears are not teddy bears.

Search underway for aggressive bear, bit woman as she hiked near Aspen Monday morning

ASPEN, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers are looking for an aggressive bear that bit a woman on the thigh as she and her husband hiked on the Hunter Creek Trail near Lone Pine Road in Aspen at approximately 9:15 this morning.

The woman reported that she and her husband were walking back to Aspen when they saw a bear walking toward them on the trail. The woman says they tried to give the bear space and stepped off the trail.  As the bear walked by, she says it suddenly turned, charged and bit her before it ran off and disappeared from view.

According to investigating officers, the bite wound did not appear serious. CPW is not releasing the identity of the woman.

CPW officers have called in experts with the USDA’s Wildlife Services to assist with tracking the bear, described as light brown and weighing approximately 200-300 lb. As of Monday evening, the bear had not been located.

CPW officials say considering the attack occurred near Aspen, it is possible the bear may enter city limits before it is found. They urge all residents to be cautious.

“This is an aggressive bear and by policy, we will put it down if found,” said CPW Officer Matt Yamashita.” But until we find it, the public should remember what to do if they see any bear. If it appears aggressive or shows no fear of humans, do not approach it. Haze it away by yelling or banging pots and pans, then call CPW or 911 immediately.”

Yamashita says bears usually stay away from people but if a bear has been fed or has lost its natural fear of humans, they can be extremely dangerous.

If you see a bear, CPW officials offer these basic tips:

  • Do not run from a bear, stand your ground and talk firmly to the animal
  • If it continues to approach, throw rocks and sticks, wave your arms and yell loudly
  • If the bear attacks, fight back as aggressively as possible and do not stop until the bear runs off

“Fortunately, these incidents remain very rare,” said Yamashita. “But when people and bears interact, it can increase the possibility of  a dangerous conflict. This woman was lucky that she was not seriously injured.”

The section of the Hunter Creek Trail up to the Lani White Trail remains closed until further notice while officers search for the bear. For more information about the closure, contact Pitkin County Open Space.

CPW will conduct a full necropsy on the animal if it is found.

For more information about bears in Colorado, including hiking in bear country, visit cpw.state.co.us/bears


CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including 41 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW’s work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.

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10 Tips for Being a Successful Woman | NRA Women’s Mentoring

Each year I head to the NRA Annual Meetings a day early to attend an NRA Women in Industry Spring Event. The gathering is a highlight of my trip because I’ve met so many fabulous women in the gun world. We work with one another to learn mentoring, and also to be mentored.

NRA Women at NRA-AM 2019

This year at the spring event we enjoyed catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. Additionally, we received a presentation from Laurie Aronson, president and CEO of Baton Rouge, LA-based wholesale firearms distributor Lipsey’s LLC. She told us her story of taking charge of a company in the gun industry, the challenges she faced, and how she overcame them to be successful.

Following Laurie’s presentation, the group discussed important things we can do to support women’s development, leadership, and what advice we would give to someone who’s new to the industry. Each tip is significant and can be used in various aspects of life. I hope you find them helpful in your journey and in mentoring others.

10 Tips for Being a Successful Woman

  • Create opportunities for yourself and others.
  • Ask for what you want.
  • When you’re in charge, be in charge.
  • Know your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you.
  • Blend in, don’t fit in.
  • Be open to networking, building relationships, and aligning yourself with people who will help you reach your goals.
  • Be able to tell your story. i.e., Work on your elevator speech.
  • Invite and involve your peers.
  • Above all, be confident.

If you like to read, Laurie suggested the book Play Like a Man, Win Like a Woman by Gail Evans. She indicated that this book will teach you the game of business, giving you insight into how to operate in a male-dominated industry.

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Advice for New Turkey Hunters

Advice for a First-Time Turkey Hunter

A million thoughts go through my mind as I read a message in the inbox, “What advice would I have for a first-time lady turkey hunter?” I could reply with a lot of questions to narrow down what she is specifically requesting, or I can share my personal opinions. The latter is exactly what I’ve done in hopes that it will help more than the one woman who’s interested in hunting big-bearded gobblers.

Click to Read more …

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Writing and Speaking About Girls with Guns (GwG)

My friends and Girls with Guns (GwG) have made it big with women who shoot and hunt. Over the years I’ve used their products in reviews, productions, and during hunts. That’s why today I have to share a fun story with you.

Is grammar important to you at all? While I’m a writer and have enjoyed writing all my life, I’m not the best at grammar. I love my editors. However, there are many portions of grammar, speech, and spelling that are annoying to me.

What are some words, sayings, or spellings that make you cringe?

Because I don’t want to create cringe-worthy content or creates headaches I try to learn something every day.

What have you learned today?

Something fun I learned today

First, I’ll share a short story for background. I used to write for the Women’s Outdoor News (WON), and at one time my column there was sponsored by Girls with Guns (GwG). My daughter and I always called both them by the sound their initials spelled; “Won” and “Gwg (sounding like “guwoog“).” Rarely did anyone give us a look of confusion when we said “won,” but when we’d say “gwg” we witnessed side looks and raised eyebrows. You see, most people from GWG, when speaking the initials, call it “G-w-G.”

Today, while reading the article ‘3 common linguistic terms that people often botch’ I learned about – Acronyms versus initialisms.

Read on, and then let me know, am I botching GwG?

Acronyms versus initialisms
FBI is not an acronym, nor are CIA and NSA. Evidently, most U.S. government abbreviations are not acronyms; they’re initialisms.
Acronyms are pronounced as their own words, such as NASA or FEMA, whereas initialisms are abbreviations in which you pronounce every letter individually.
Therefore, since we say “F-B-I” with each of its individual letters, it’s actually an initialism, not an acronym. It would only be an acronym if we pronounced it as “fbye.” Fortunately, we don’t.
Some abbreviations defy this, however. The abbreviation for “standard operating procedure” is said “S-O-P,” not “sop.”

By Kyle Massa at Ragan’s PR Daily

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