One of the best things about shooting and hunting are the social aspects. With more and more women getting into the gun sports, more and more couples are discovering the joy of shooting and hunting together. Who knew that cold steel and burnt powder could help create lasting bonds? Meet Erin Mizer and her husband Shane.
What started off as a wife accompanying her husband to the skeet & sporting clay tournaments 11 years ago, turned into an amazing husband/wife shooting duo! Erin Mizer, of Kansas, got her start in shooting after accompanying her husband, Shane, to the range. She decided that she wanted to give it a try for herself. After purchasing a Browning Cynergy over/under, she started signing up for local trap shoots. The Browning was a decision based on affordability, comfort, and fit. Erin held and shouldered a ton of shotguns before deciding on the Cynergy. She was just getting started and got playfully teased a lot by the older guys. They said that she couldn’t shoot as well as the guys and that men were better than women, but she wasn’t going to give up.
Coached by Joby Jobson, she started shooting trap in 2005. Erin doesn’t have one shoot she particularly remembers from her early days, but recalls times when she would go to the shooting ranges across Missouri and her home state of Kansas. It wasn’t long before she started winning various smaller women’s divisions. She won multiple women’s divisions before swapping to sporting clays and switching coaches. Erin was quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with at the range!
When Erin switched to sporting clays in 2015, her husband, Shane, started coaching her. Erin set the Browning aside and picked up a Beretta A300. She still has and uses this gun from time to time. While Erin liked her A300, there were some features on it that didn’t make it the perfect woman’s gun. Because of that, Erin upgraded to a Syren XLR5 Sporting shotgun. Syren firearms are built specifically for women. Erin won her first “punch” at the Kansas Locus Point shoot in 2016! She continues to show the Kansas area that women can shoot too! This isn’t just a man’s sport anymore.
Shane says, “I think it’s great that she shoots! So many women are afraid of guns now. I think if they went out and shot, they would realize it isn’t so bad. I give Erin a hard time, but only so that it pushes her to be better. It is a friendly competition between us to see who can shoot better.” Shane grew up in a family that loved bird hunting. He really enjoyed going with them and started going to a gun club to shoot skeet after work. While there, he met a coach who got him started with competitions. Shane also started shooting sporting clays and has won multiple divisions for both skeet and clays.
While Erin’s father and uncle would occasionally hunt as she was growing up, her main introduction to shooting sports started when she met her husband. Today she says, “Clays are my favorite to shoot because you can do it with your friends and family. While trap is fun, you are by yourself. Sporting clays is more social.”
In addition to their love for trap, and skeet shooting, both Erin and Shane are passionate hunters. They enjoy hunting pheasants, quail, ducks, and geese with their friends and their dog, Milo, a pointing Labrador Retriever. Erin’s favorite birds to hunt are pheasant and quail. Like many other who use hunting dogs, her favorite part of bird hunting is watching Milo work.
Her favorite hunting memory is one where she, her husband, and Milo went to Hays, Kansas with a group of friends and their dog to go quail and pheasant hunting. As so many hunters can relate to, the beautiful scenery, being surrounded by friends, and watching Milo work the fields are the things Erin enjoyed the most about that trip.
When asked for any tips or advice she would give to women that wanted to get started shooting clays, trap, or skeet, Erin said “Practice. Don’t give up, don’t quit, don’t pout if you don’t do well. Shoot your heart out. You’ll get better if you keep trying.” Don’t give up because of what someone said, use that as motivation to push harder!
Both hunting and shooting create great opportunities to create memories, encourage each other and even a little friendly competition. But guys, don’t be too crushed when your girl out shoots you!
About the author: Kat Haas is a writer and YouTuber who loves all aspects of the outdoor life. An avid Maryland based hunter and shooter, you can find more from her at Kat Haas Outdoors.