Category Archives: Training Reviews & Lessons Learned

Our experts are passionate about personal improvement in many areas of life. As we teach and learn, allow us to share with you what we have gained!

Lynn Sherwood - CEO High Caliber Women

High Caliber Huntress ~ You always remember your first time….

Putting on my ‘High Caliber Huntress’ smile, my ‘first time hunter’ brain and my heart are at odds.

Benelli 828U Shotgun Lynn Sherwood

Benelli 828U Shotgun

I have won a hunting trip through the Women’s Outdoor & Shooting Industry Dinner raffle at Shot Show last week!

Trip of a lifetime.  I’ve shot Benelli guns only in my dreams ~ they are known as incredibly (!!!) well made firearms.  (Still drooling.)  I’ll be wining and dining with many of my idols ~ pro shooters and a bevy of other strong women in the shooting industry….  I’ll be eating the most healthy and freshest food possible…  Oh yes, and I may even get 15 minutes of fame on the Outdoor Channel’s ‘The Fowl Life’ and Theresa Vails’ ‘Limitless’.

Here’s the thing:  I don’t know if I can take the shot.

Overcoming a lifelong fear of guns to become a shooting enthusiast and instructor took guts.  Balls to the walls grit to turn tears into triumph.  I had my “ah-hah moment” several years ago when I realized it wasn’t the gun I was afraid of;  it was the bad guy behind the gun.

NRA Basic Pistol

NRA Basic Pistol

Jumped into an NRA Basic Pistol course to learn about the parts of the guns, the ammunition, and how it all worked together.  Loaded dummy rounds in the classroom.  My analytical mind was in heaven.

Walked onto the firing range five hours later.  Picked up a .22 caliber Ruger Mark III, and immediately I was in tears.

Trembling:  ‘bang’.  Yes, I do think my eyes were closed. 

I was still breathing.

Now focused again on the front sight, slow gentle trigger press:  ‘bang’.

……Hmmmmmm, that was kind of fun, and I didn’t shoot my toe.  Oh, and I didn’t shoot the toe of the shooter next to me either!

Third trigger press (eyes wide open) – whoa…  I’m shooting better than the guy next to me who’s been shooting on the farm for 60+ years:  ‘Oh yes, I can do this!!!  …And I want to teach other people how to do this’!

Turns out, like being a nurse in my ‘former life’, coaching women and families in the shooting sports is ridiculously rewarding.  Faced my fear, and am now in tears (in a GOOD way!) again when I help people overcome theirs.  As a woman, mom, wife, daughter, friend, coach and owner in two shooting businesses (Jackson Hole Shooting Experience and High Caliber Women), I’m serious about this on a lot of levels.

You know that saying, “You don’t know what you don’t know till you know you don’t know it”?

Addicted.  Didn’t know I’d be it till I was it.

Face your fear, Lynn.  Face your fear….

Which takes us to the upcoming HUNT.

I have never hunted, and I have never killed a live thing outside of the vegetable kingdom that didn’t die immediately from a swift strike of my flyswatter.  Some would suggest that I “man up” and get to killin’, but I am struggling.

These days, I have a healthy respect for the gun.

Not afraid of missing  (Lord KNOWS I’m capable of that, more often than not!!  😉 )

SOOOoo excited to meet like-minded women in my field.

Sort of wishing I could lose some pounds in a week before a tv appearance (I write, as I continue to eat my bacon).

AND….

I don’t know if I can take the shot!

 Hear me:  I can take the shot to stop the threat from bad guy in a heartbeat.

But an animal….

….Really?

What the hell did it do to me?

And it’s so beautiful!

Majestic…

If a goose mates for life, and I kill a goose, am I dooming a poor grieving widow goose to a life of celibacy?  If not, when will she end her mourning period and find a new goose dude?

As a ‘NAP’er (Non-Aggression Principle: paraphrased to mean ‘initiate no violence upon anybody in any manner…), I ponder why I should kill an animal – AND, with my own hands and in an intentional act, no less!?!

And why is it different for me when I buy the meat off the shelf in a grocery store?

(While respecting and appreciating people that scrub out motorcycle carburetors, do YOU want to get involved in the nastiness yourself?)

first time hunter

First time hunter

I recognize and fully believe in the conservational benefits of hunting, the health benefits of the meat itself, the stories of the hunt vs the kill, the hierarchy of man over beast, and the social structure of our modern environment…

And I have a feeling it will become a ‘technical’ challenge, rather than an emotional drain….

I think what keeps me moving forward toward this challenge is my understanding of human’s need to be generalists.  A human being should know how to hunt for a meal in the absence of a grocery or restaurant being as easy to access as we are spoiled with in our 1st world lives of 2015.

Robert Heinlein

 “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”   ― Robert A. Heinlein

I don’t want to be a prissy, incapable yuppie lady that can’t fend for herself.  I don’t want to be Heinlein’s “Insect.”

But, good gravy ~ what if I can’t take the shot??

First Time Hunter High Caliber Woman Lynn Sherwood, NRA Training Counselor and Instructor, Co-Owner of Jackson Hole Shooting Experience & High Caliber Women

First Time Hunter High Caliber Woman Lynn Sherwood, NRA Training Counselor and Instructor, Co-Owner of Jackson Hole Shooting Experience & High Caliber Women based in #JacksonHole

About the author: Lynn Sherwood used to be a scared-y-cat of all things firearms related, gave it a shot for herself just a few years ago, and now co-owns two shooting related businesses and loves to share her passion for the sport.  With her incredible husband. Shepard Humphries, friends, and a team of 16 passionate coaches, she revels in opportunities to share her love for the sport through the Jackson Hole Shooting Experience and High Caliber Women in #JacksonHole, Wyoming and beyond.  NRA Training Counselor, CVI & HCW Instructor, and future High Caliber Huntress, Lynn stands at the ready for your input!

SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH A YOUNG LADY TODAY

Lauren and Lynn ~ Training and Thanksgiving Fun

Lauren and Lynn ~ Training and Playing!

Teaching a young lady to shoot ~ now THAT’s time well spent!

I so appreciate THIS ARTICLE by Women’s Outdoor News’ author Marti Davis!  With emphasis on safety, she coaches her niece regarding the shooting FUNdamentals in age appropriate words and style, listens to her questions, shows by example, and positively engages her in the field to create a uniquely memorable event for both of them.  Go girls!

I challenge you to make the moments to teach a young lady to shoot.  …Or to reach out to someone else who might mentor your niece, daughter or granddaughter.  In addition to creating memories for both of you which will last a lifetime, you’ll help boost her self confidence, foster grins from ear to ear upon her successes, see her true grit shine though when she has some challenges, and she may even catch the bug to continue training and spending time with you when she returns home as an adult…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lX-b7PyG54E

(Lynn and Lauren on the range with some .22 fun over Thanksgiving Break 2013)

 

Stay safe, share great habits and have fun together, friends!

Lynn Sherwood-Humphries

Lynn Sherwood-Humphries had a 22+ year fear of guns, and when she learned it wasn’t the gun she was afraid of – that it was the bad guy behind the gun – she developed the passion to teach others in a uniquely welcoming, fun and educational manner.  Lynn is now an NRA Instructor for Basic Rifle, Pistol, Shotgun and Refuse to be a Victim, is a CRSO, and owns and operates the Jackson Hole Shooting Experience and High Caliber Women in Jackson Hole, Wyoming with her husband and team of 16 amazing coaches.  …And when her adult daughter comes home, eager to spend time together on the range, she’s one happy camper indeed.

Ladies-Only Intermediate Defensive Handgun & Carbine Workshop

TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT ~ The mental and physical tactics of close-quarter carbine defense and training

Defensive Shooting Tactical Carbine Lynn Sherwood CEO High Caliber Women March 2014TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT   

Moving from the door propped on stilts was harrowing and frustrating as my feet plummeted through 18 inches of packed snow with each step.  My breathing was rapid as I ran to take advantage of concealment again, crouching low behind a barrel to avoid detection.  I worked to keep a visual of my threat at about 21 yards while still being undetected as I released my magazine and reinserted a fully loaded one.  Moving to yet another barricade, I dropped to my belly in spread eagle fashion, brought the gun to my shoulder and cheek, stared down and evaluated my threat, and pressed the trigger.  Bang bang. Bang.

The exercises were exhausting and exhilarating. The possibility of ever being in the situation of having shots returned and being ill-prepared  ~  potentially deadly.

It was a day well spent…  I again had the great opportunity to get out of my comfort zone this weekend in a Tactical Defensive Close-Quarters Carbine course taught by Shepard Humphries and Andy Ward of the Jackson Hole Shooting Experience.

Armed with my LWRC AR-15 with Aimpoint Optics, I spent hours in snow and high altitude sun with a unique variety of other shooters interested in practicing tactical defensive concepts, tactical mindset and practical maneuvers.

With a crunchy top layer of snow, should you post-hole through and risk the threat hearing every step?  Or might you creep your way slowly on your belly…  How many times do you need to practice your tactical reloads, malfunction clearing and stoppage drills before you’re comfortable doing it while on the run with live ammo and your muscle memory kicks in?  How is your performance affected as you are being slapped on your calves by sneaky trainers while trying to retain an accurate sight picture under a timer, reflective glare and sweat dripping into your eyeballs?

I’ll venture to say it’s different for every defensive shooter, and since we tend to “sink to the level of our training instead of rising to the occasion* ” we each must practice differently – and frequently!   I must train often and in a great variety of scenarios to even be able to default to my muscle memory, adaptation to environment, etc…

Visualizing the real fight:  Any defensive combat in real life will also be different ~ can I count on a 4 x 2 barrel being just off to my left as I move toward my threat?  Will I be on a beach in Florida when the battle happens, rather than having to think about post-holing in the snow as I move toward my attacker?   How might drugs or alcohol play a role as I read the body language of my threat?   Do I practice verbal de-escalation techniques before I even draw from holster?  In what scenarios is this vital or futile?  Where is my comfort zone and how do I stay alert, prepared and not paranoid?

I love this article http://www.womensoutdoornews.com/2014/02/shooting-starr-tactical-state-mind/ by Britney Starr of WomensOutdoorNews.com, in which she discusses “Tactical” as not being about the high tech gear but about a state of mind ~ “A state of preparedness and calculated planning that can be used in everyday life.”

Visualizing potential scenarios and placing ourselves in training situations which may be just ‘too close for comfort’ helps inoculate us to stress and prepares our mind and body to default to our level of training.  Was I out of my comfort zone as the paper faces I named glared at me as I moved from target to target, as I discerned my threats, shooting when necessary, controlling my breath and emotions, training my mind and body to attack in defense for my life?  Absolutely.  …And I may just default to the level of my training someday.  I’m grateful.

Train yourselves up, High Caliber Women.  It’s a comprehensive “Mind, Body and Attitude” development and you may just some day be glad you invested the time and effort.

It can even be pretty ridiculously fun along the way… Carbine Course Jackson Hole Shooting Experience High Caliber Women March 2014 Lynn Sherwood Images

Lynn Sherwood,  CEO High Caliber Women

*(“You don’t rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training”:  Credit (as close as I can discern in this internet web of historical ‘facts’) goes to a Barrett Tillman (and a motivational poster he saw at a So. Cal. Naval Base) and Dave Grossman in “Killology”, “On Combat”, as delivered by a trainee.)

Lynn Sherwood is an NRA certified instructor for Rifle, Pistol, Shotgun and Refuse to be a victim.  She and her husband Shepard Humphries (yes, the principal instructor in this course – there ya go!  🙂 ) own and operate the Jackson Hole Shooting Experience and High Caliber Women ™.  Lynn had a 22+ year fear of guns and discerned several years ago that it wasn’t the gun she was afraid of, it was the bad guy behind the gun.  Since then, her mission has been to prepare herself and others to live not in fear but in preparedness.  Her passion is teaching women, youth, families and corporate groups and thus High Caliber Women was born to educate and empower women in life and personal defense with a comprehensive approach in Mind, Body and Attitude.  (High Caliber Women Facebook Page.)

GO FOR THE UTERUS?

GO FOR THE UTERUS of your female attacker!  Stacy Paxton weighs in…

Supine POVhttp://monderno.com/training/center-mass-three-dimensional-world/ (What IS center mass anyway?  Consider your shot placement relative to center mass of the exposed areas…. Great article by Aaron Cowan of Sage Dynamics and Monderno.  Worth the read!!)

 

After we shared this article yesterday (Thank you to Aaron Cowan of Sage Dynamics and Monderno) about shot placement and center mass being relative to the exposed area, fan Stacy Paxton wrote in with her insights 

Stacy is an avid supporter of self defense education, AWARE (Arming Women Against Rape & Endangerment) liaison, daughter of a physician mom who taught Stacy young how to proactively avoid dangerous situations and shoot defensively, and is certainly a High Caliber Woman herself.

“Shot placement is one of the most talked (& most argued) about subjects, amongst defensive shooters.

We – as women – were left out of the equation (as usual), both as defensive shooters AND as attackers. In order to immobilize an attacker, the pelvis has to be broken in two places. Most handgun ammo lacks the power to break it in one place (let alone two!) & many attempts to do so have ended with disastrous results for the defensive shooter. The pelvic bone structure is the last place I’d aim on a man.

On the other hand, the lower central pelvic region is the first place I’d aim on a female attacker, with emphasis on the uterus. The uterus is a blood laden organ & any hit there will get a female attacker well on her way to hypovolemic shock. You don’t even have to get a direct hit. Any hit within two or three inches will likely strike with enough energy to cause multiple ruptures of the uterus & induce the same effect. Furthermore, our ovaries are every bit as sensitive as a man’s testicles & any hit(s) in that area will make her ovaries register a degree of pain far beyond what she could begin to withstand. I’m talking off the charts pain that would make childbirth look like a walk in the park by comparison! It’s pretty hard to continue an attack when they’re curled-up in a fetal ball & writhing in agony. Thus, I’d expect faster neutralization with such a shot, than with shots to her chest (although, I’d certainly keep her chest in mind for follow-up shots)!

Consider your shot placement

Consider your shot placement

I’m sharing not only to make reveal this as an excellent neutralization zone in female attackers, but to remind every woman reading this of our own vulnerabilities in that area. I’ll grant you that most violent street criminals are men. But, about ten percent are other women & they strongly prefer female victims. That’s because – as a group – we’re smaller than men, less skilled in fighting (present company excepted) & less likely to resist.

Far too many women are completely oblivious to the existence of violent female criminals &, sadly, many have paid the ultimate price because of it! Keep that in mind & be safe, sisters – because it’s quite possible that not every woman you encounter will have sisterly intentions towards you! 😉 ” – Stacy Paxton

Stacy, we appreciate your passion for educating women.  THANK YOU for your involvement and care to make a difference in the lives of women!

Lynn Sherwood-Humphries

Lynn Sherwood-Humphries founded High Caliber Women with the goal to empower women to take charge of their lives and personal defense with a comprehensive approach in mind, mody and attitude.  She walks-walks-the-walk herself in this goal and sometimes succeeds at feeling well-rounded through the excitement and challenges that life throws her way.  Lynn is a shooting instructor in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and appreciates the opportunity to empower women accross the board to be their own best bodyguard and friend.

Get involved ~ it’s your life and you’re worth it!