AS far as I can recall, about the only women shooters who have made much impression over the years have been Annie Oakley and Calamity Jane and the latter was probably better at singing – according to the Doris Day film, anyway – than firing a gun.
However, now meet the Worcestershire ladies of the Shotgun and Chelsea Bun Club. Tomorrow a shooting ground near Upton-upon- Severn will host the inaugural gathering of this feisty group of females, which has been formed following the amazing success of the internet website ladies-shooting.com created by Victoria Lacks from Cutnall Green, near Droitwich.
Victoria is no dyed-in-thewool shooter – her day job is national compliance coordinator with a leading housing association and she only took up the sport 18 months ago – but her enthusiasm and thirst for shooting knowledge has really hit oil.
She said: “Since the launch of the website on August 1, I have had more than 7,000 page hits with visitors from all over the world, even places like China, South Korea, Mexico and the Czech Republic.
“It really all began when I was taken shooting for the first time in the spring of last year. I loved it but when I got home and began searching the internet I was totally underwhelmed by the lack of information available to women.
“I couldn’t find answers to any of the important questions, like what to wear, how to get involved, etiquette and what to expect on a day’s shooting.
“So while I was learning I took my notepad and camera everywhere with me and eventually got the site together. The aim is to encourage more ladies into shooting, both clay and game, and hopefully provide them with all the ideas and information they need.
“Shooting is so male dominated and a lot of women are put off even trying it because of that.
But through the website members can join a forum and discuss things with more experienced lady shooters, which should give them confidence to have a go.”
The website covers just about everything a girl would need to know, from how to choose the right gun to what to wear, shooting terms, how a day’s shooting progresses and even – and probably most importantly for some – “how to prepare your skin for the season ahead and keep yourself looking beautiful”.
Claire Zambuni, described as one of the most glamorous and experienced lady guns in the country, gives her hints and tips and there is a regular column from Olympic clay coach Rob Eaton, among a wealth of advice and some eye popping pictures.
In true female style, Victoria says tomorrow’s event, which includes supervised instruction from a qualified coach, will end with “a cream tea and a gossip”.
The next meeting of the Shotgun and Chelsea Bun Club – Victoria’s sister Caroline is also a member – will be a public open day.
That’ll definitely be a date in the diary for ladies who love to shoot.