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Recently I have had the privilege of attending not one but two amazing events raising money for women's breast cancer charities and also raising the knowledge and profile of women involved in shooting and hunting.

On the morning of November 14th I arrived at The Bairnsdale Field and Game for the Rachel's of Bairnsdale, Ladies "Fun with a Gun" Charity Day, hosted by Olympian Lauryn Mark from Corporate Shooting Stars. As I collected my gift package I was welcomed by the events organiser Rachel Breukel and Field and Game member Fiona Burchell. Looking around the club room I saw a variety of women dressed in their pink hats they had just purchased to further support the McGrath Foundation. Some were confidently walking around with a broken shotgun over their shoulder, some were eyeing those confident women and looking a little nervous and plenty were just like me; smiling with enthusiasm, seemingly keen to try out a new sport or improve their skills.

After a succinct safety talk we were broken into small groups to work with our experienced and accomplished coaches to ensure we had the correct stance and shooting technique. As we chatted amongst ourselves, also listening to the tips being offered, I noted that amongst our group their were women from all walks of life. From 13 year old Jordyn who had just begun competing in Field and Game at a local level to a pair of lovely ladies in their late sixties who had never before held a gun. We had mums, school teachers, business women, retirees and students all just in our little group. With every clay target smashed a pink cloud of dust flew through the sky and a cheer was heard from the crowd. The support I saw amongst the women was something I felt proud to be a part of.

They say shooting a gun releases the same chemicals as a passionate kiss but from all the goofy smiles and shaking hands on display as the shooters passed their shotgun to the next in line I would have to consider that when that pin hits the primer it ignites something even more exciting within the lady that just pulled the trigger. Nerves quickly dissipated as we got comfortable with dusting our targets thanks to the excellent coaching of role models such as 15 year old Aislin Jones who was the highest qualifier into the final of the Oceania Games.

After a delicious catered lunch and a latte' it was back to the cages for a healthy 10 target competition.

"The day was an outstanding success, with an unprecedented amount of positive feedback from many very happy ladies. Bairnsdale Field and Game look forward to running another day like this in 2016 and anticipate strong demand for places." Said club member Fiona Burchell

HCG Like a Girl and myself look forward to once again supporting the ladies day again in 2016 and hope to see you there.

Huntress's Unite is the brainchild of Jenna Hardy and I am looking forward to seeing where it will end up. On the last weekend of November the Dargo River Inn saw an influx of women in camo. The idea was to give female hunters a chance to unite in one place and have the opportunity to get to know each other a little better but also to raise some money for the cancer councils "Girls Night In".

With overwhelming support from the hunting industry including a Remington rifle being donated by Wild Deer and Hunting Adventures magazine the raffles and event drew a good crowd and there is no doubt it can be considered a great success.

Industry experts including representative from the Game Management Authority, the Shooters and Fishers political party, the Australian Deer Association, HCG Like a Girl, Para Park, TG Outdoors and Wild Things Taxidermy gave up their time to pass on some knowledge from within their areas of expertise.

While public speaking is something that scares me more than sharks and snakes put together I was happy to try to pass on a few of my stories and have an opportunity to inform the ladies who attended about where HCG has come from and where I'd like to see it go. It was also a great opportunity for the girls to try on some Prois hunting apparel and pick up some gear. I was joined by a lovely huntress Bec Brammer from The Crafty Doe and I look forward to "uniting" with her once again at the Wild Deer Hunting Guiding and Fishing Expo in Bendigo on March 5th & 6th 2016.

It really is great to see how well the hunting industry comes together to support one another within Australia. When we show a united front we automatically defend ourselves against negativity and hate. With cases such as Rebecca Francis and Melissa Bachman it seems that female hunters are an easy target in the eyes of anti-hunting extremists but after spending a weekend with the strong, bold and beautiful women at Huntress's Unite I know that we are not a target that can be hit easily.

For more information on the Huntress's Unite weekend which raised over $800 for the "Girls Night Inn" head to http://www.huntressunite.com

It is a privilege to continue to be a part of the growing industry that is women's hunting and shooting within Australia and I am thankful that HCG Like a Girl allows me to take part in fantastic events such as these. To sign up and find out more about upcoming events HCG Like a Girl may be involved in click the photo below:

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