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Believe the Sky is the Limit – Literally

September 22, 2022

Thursday Thoughts, Motivation, Inspiration For Women Entrepreneurs, Female Business Owners, Women in Sports, Female Athletes

Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham – Trap Shooting

As I drove to the large range, memories of my father and I standing behind my Grandfather’s house arose. Being the oldest child to a father who loved sports and hunting, it made perfect sense I was going to be the first one to learn how to hunt pheasant. At the ripe age of ten, I don’t remember if it was my idea or my father’s to take me shooting but there we were one day.  All I remembered from the experience was the gun hurting my shoulder when it went off. I’ll give that one up for being young.

Beth Bellinger (left) and Shea Beachner (right) Coaches

Fast forward forty years later as I made my way to join two expert female trap shooters and two female friends for another “shot” at a gun sport. Mixing up the meaning of the words trap shooting with skeet shooting was beginner’s verbiage and corrected as soon as we arrived at the Bridgeport Gun Club ready for the lesson. Trap shooting entailed just one projectile coming out of the “house” at different angles whereas skeet shooting has two projectiles crisscrossing in the air where you try to shoot both. Getting to know the right terminology helps anytime you try a new sport. We were thankful to Shea Beachner and Beth Bellinger, our instructors for the right words.

Clay Pigeon

With vests on that held our bullets, clear plastic glasses to protect our eyes, ear plugs placed in our ears, after listening to our instructors, and guns waiting for us, we walked up to the trap shooting stations with microphones, a black square to rest our gun when we weren’t shooting, looking at the green “house” that would propel our orange clay pigeons into the air for us to hit. We had 25 bullets to shoot 5 shots from 5 different points at the station.

I believe I was the first one to scream excitedly after I took my first shot and the gun pushed back in the pit between my shoulder and chest. Not the same scream that came from my first pheasant hunt which hurt, but one of pleasant surprise. As I extracted the orange cased bullet from the gun, it popped over my shoulder allowing me another gleeful shriek of delight and surprise. I’m not sure seasoned trap shooters are full of such glee, especially if they miss their target, but I was happy to be trying this new sport.

The Sky is the Limit Fearless Females

One by one, we took turns shooting, and in the end I hit 7 of 25 pigeons which I thought was pretty good and attributed to my recent archery practice and the great coaching skills of Shea and Beth. In the end, my friends and I agreed we loved trying it and would definitely try it again. We also thought for anyone scared of using guns or have an anti-gun attitude, being taught how to use one safely for target shooting took the stigma away. 

So if you are looking for a sport where precision, focus, aim, strength, perfectionism, and adventure merge, find a place to try tap shooting and be careful, because it is addictive. 

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