Women and guns Archives - Page 2 of 2 -
June 5th, 2015 by AmSJ Staff

I really hope you enjoy the variety in our Women’s Annual June 2015 issue. We are featuring extraordinary women from all facets of the shooting world, and I’m sorry that I don’t have a thousand-page magazine to highlight more amazing stories.

Hailing from multiple shooting arenas to include top huntresses, SWAT chicks, mounted-shooting champions, girls in practical shooting competitions and sporting-clay trailblazers, these ladies are seriously bad to the bone!

Among our feature stories, we had an exclusive opportunity to interview and see inside the home and workshops of Frank and Lally House, creators of fine contemporary long rifles and Native American-inspired porcupine-quill embroidered gun straps and slings. No matter where in the gun industry you plant your passion, the work of these two Kentucky artists is not lost on anyone. Our team is proud to bring this story and images of the Houses’ amazing works to you.

Our cover feature should inspire some questions. Why in the world is that guy holding a gun to a microphone?!? My thoughts exactly, but our interview with John Johnston of Ballistic Radio on his sadistic tendencies towards guns and sharing the results with his listeners is quite revealing.

Looking ahead to our summer issues, next month is our patriotic and beginner’s guide, followed by the long-range shooting and working dogs issue in August.

For July, I am reaching out to you, our readers, to ask, “What does freedom mean to you?”

We plan on compiling some of the best phrases and comments from around the nation and will share them with you in that star-spangled issue. I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Please share them with me at


Posted in Editor's Blog Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

June 3rd, 2015 by AmSJ Staff

Story and photographs by Scott Haugen

She’s been offered hosting jobs on major TV networks; approached by country music and NASCAR celebrities to cook and launch private-label food lines; and looked to for her expertise in co-authoring books. But she has turned them all down.

PHOTO 1 Tiffany Haugen

Cookbook author, food columnist, TV host and lecturer Tiffany Haugen.


“The timing just wasn’t right,” shared Tiffany Haugen when asked about these offers. “My priority isn’t my career it’s my boys, and I don’t want to miss a minute of their growing up. I’m gone enough as it is, and there’s a limit,” she added when asked about some of the challenges she faces.

Tiffany is a

big promoter of

eating what you kill

“I love hunting and fishing with the family and enjoy speaking around the country, but if we can’t be together as a family, then it’s not as rewarding.”

For Tiffany, hunting and fishing are about family and putting meat in the freezer. “Our family lives on wild game and fish,” she says. “It’s what we eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Not only are these meals nutritious, but gathering the meat, butchering and preparing it as a family offers quality time that’s hard to get any other way.”

PHOTO 2 TiffButcherSem14.5

In 2014, Tiffany’s butchering and cooking seminars drew record crowds at the NRA’s annual convention. She delivers over 50 seminars a year around the country and is one of the nation’s leading outdoor cooking columnist.

Tiffany grew up in a family of hunters and anglers, and her grandfather, now 102 years old, still eats wild game. She isn’t about seeking the spotlight. “I do not care if people know who I am; I just want them to get the most of their hunting and fishing experiences and have the confidence to butcher, fillet and cook their meals. The outdoor industry has changed a lot in the last 15 years; it’s gone so much toward bling and in-your-face entertainment that people are losing sight of what hunting and fishing are all about. It’s about education and should not be considered a contest or entertainment; it’s promoting the game, fish and other opportunities that we’re so blessed to have in the US.”

Tiffany is a big promoter of eating what you kill. She’s been filmed for various hunting shows over the years – most currently on The Sporting Chef and Cook With Cabela’s, where she serves as a guest-host. She is all about making it simple and attainable.

“Cooking fish and game isn’t like cooking store-bought meat, but that doesn’t mean it should be a big challenge,” Tiffany continues. “When (I was first) married, we moved to Alaska’s Arctic where we lived a subsistence lifestyle. Being immersed in this way of life is where I really learned to master cooking wild game. Now that our family makes a living in the outdoors, we eat game and fish year-round. Our boys love it and usually question the quality of meat when we go out
to eat.”

Changing recipes

and trying new things is easy

Having traveled and hunted in over 30 countries and throughout much of the United States, Tiffany says this is where she gets much of her inspiration. “Travel and food go hand-in-hand,” she smiles. “AlI I want to do is share it with people, show them how easy it is and that they can do it!”

PHOTO 3 TiffBoysMD2

Sharing the hunt and putting wild game in the freezer is what it’s all about for the noted speaker, outdoor cook and author, pictured here with her two sons, Braxton (left) and Kazden, and a mule deer she arrowed in Washington.


“Africa was great, not only because the whole family hunted together and ate what we killed, but because we exposed our sons to several cultures. Seeing them gather 50 pounds of toys just to share with African children in villages and orphanages was amazing. These are life-changing occurrences they might never have experienced had it not been for hunting.”

“There was a time Braxton sat for 43 hours in a blind over the course of five days, in temperatures dipping into the teens, before he arrowed a big mule deer; he was 12 years old,” she reflects. “If that’s not a testimony to what hunting teaches youth, I don’t know what is.”

“Kazden, at 9, overcame hunting in a cold, driving rain to take his first Columbia blacktail deer,” Tiffany adds. “He and his dad gutted and skinned that buck, we butchered it as a family and canned most if it, per Kazden’s request. Last spring he shot an axis deer in Texas right at dusk. He and his dad stayed up butchering and wrapping that deer until 2:00 a.m., just in time to grab a bite to eat and go hog hunting at dawn; that’s dedication!”

Tiffany’s biggest cooking tip is “don’t be afraid to experiment or make mistakes. That gets old for everyone. Changing recipes and trying new things is easy, and that’s what I’ve devoted the last 15 years of my life to doing, turning people on to intuitive cooking methods.”

PHOTO 4 TiffFamKill7

The Haugen family on a successful bear hunt.

Prior to entering her career in the outdoor industry, Tiffany was a school teacher for 15 years. Between juggling her writing, national speaking schedule (she delivers over 50 seminars a year), filming cooking segments, running the family business and home-schooling both of her boys, she doesn’t want any other responsibilities. “I’m in a happy place right now. I don’t regret any of the decisions I’ve made or opportunities I’ve passed up, because life is too short.”

As a hunter, author, speaker and TV host, myself, I couldn’t be more proud of my wife and what she represents. She’s held her ground when challenged by anti-hunters, eloquently defended our family when confronted with verbal assaults on how she could let her kids shoot guns since the age of two, and stuck to her morals when asked to be part of contrived outdoor reality TV. I have utmost respect and love for this woman. After all, we’re celebrating 25 years of marriage next month, and each year keeps getting better! ASJ


Posted in Hunting Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

March 20th, 2015 by AmSJ Staff


Story by Troy Taysom – Photographs courtesy of Truesight Media

Kristy Cook

Browning, in conjunction with The Sportsman Channel, is launching a new reality television show called The Most Wanted List. The show will star Browning personality Kristy Lee Cook and her two best friends from Oregon: Jessie Jo Stanfill and Jess Hull. The idea is a family-friendly, adventure reality show with these three young ladies who will be traveling the country and checking off wild adventures from their bucket lists. I had the pleasure of catching up with Kristy while she was on a horse ranch in Texas.

If the name Kristy Lee Cook sounds familiar to you, then you might be a country music fan. You might also be a fan of American Idol or barrel racing; maybe even big game hunting. You see, Kristy has made a name for herself in all of these areas. She jumped into the nation’s spotlight while competing on the immensely popular TV show during its seventh season.

Jess Hull, Kristy cook and Jesse Jo Stanfill on the set of The most Wanted List

She worked hard and made it into the top 10 (coming in seventh place out of hundreds of thousands of contestants), went on tour, launched an album, and most of us might assume she’d have it made in the shade, but it’s still an uphill climb once Idol is over.

“Airborne Ranger Infantry” is a tribute song to her father and all the other Vietnam-era veterans who came home to protests, insults and hatred.

I asked Kristy if the show helped or hurt her career. “Well, both,” Kristy said. “I gained thousands of fans and a lot of national exposure, but on the other hand, radio stations and other music industry insiders see Idol contestants as having broken into the music business the ‘easy’ way and are reluctant to play their music. I had a record contract at the age of 17, several years before I was on Idol so I did it the hard way, but I still had to fight to have my music listened to.”

The sting of the loss can still be heard in Kristy’s voice, but she didn’t let radio stations or doubters stop her ambition and drive. She turned the loss into motivation and ultimately victory. In 2008 Kristy released an album titled Why Wait. The album debuted at No. 8 on the US Top Country albums chart and No. 49 on the Billboard 200, with sales just under 10,000 in the first week. Since the album, Kristy has become heavily involved in the song-writing process, making sure that she has and maintains creative control over her music.
The move has proved to be genius. She released singles such as “Airborne Ranger Infantry” and “Lookin’ For A Cowgirl,” which have both been hugely successful, receiving attention from publications like Rolling Stone and websites Bustle.com and Countrymusicrocks.com. The reviews are all positive and it seems, according to her fans, Kristy is writing and performing music that actually speaks to them.

Kristy, Jesse Jo and Jess after a successful hunt.

“Airborne Ranger Infantry” is a tribute song to her father and all the other Vietnam-era veterans who came home to protests, insults and hatred. Kristy felt these men and women deserved better, and with her song, tries to gives them the respect they deserve. The lyrics are based on poems her father wrote about his and his friends’ experiences in the war. They are powerful in their simplicity and will ring home with anyone who has ever been at war, not just Vietnam. The song is blunt, direct, truthful and representative of what happened some 50 years ago in Southeast Asia.

“Looking For A Cowgirl” is simply about being a country girl. Kristy has matured and is now very comfortable with who she is and this song is a reflection of exactly how she feels about herself and her life. “I am who I am,” said Kristy when asked about the song and its meaning.

Kristy Cook on the barrel racing circuit.

As if music weren’t enough, Kristy is an active barrel racer and winning on the circuit. Shasta, her mare, recently passed away, leaving a large void in Kristy’s heart, but Kristy has continued on, choosing to remember Shasta by racing her colt, Tazer.According to her, Tazer looks “just like his momma.” She is also racing a young stallion named Venom that Kristy says, “shows big promise and has been in the money for most of his races.”

Kristy doesn’t seem to live by the same 24-hour clock the rest of us do, because not only does she find time to sing and race, she also loves to hunt. To her every animal is a trophy, whether it’s a New Zealand stag or a Midwest whitetail.
This love of hunting and her desire for everything adventurous led her to pitch the idea for her new show. The execs at Browning and The Sportman Channel agreed it was a great idea. This idea was so popular that it even attracted a host of other companies and organizations, such as Caldwell, Winchester, Bog Pod, Tenzing, Anderson Bean Boots, Nose Jammer and the Mule Deer Foundation. The Most Wanted List premieres this July and Kristy intends for the show to be different from other reality TV programs. According to her, many reality TV shows are risqué and take the approach that the more scantily dressed the participants are, the better. “That’s not what this show is about; this is a show the entire family can watch,” Kristy said. “We want parents to be able to watch the show with their kids and trust that we won’t be cussing or inappropriately dressed.”

“We want parents to be able to watch the show with their kids and trust that we won’t be cussing or inappropriately dressed.”

This show will feature Kristy hunting with her trusty Browning Stalker rifles chambered in .300 WSM and .270 WSW, as well as her Browning Maxus 12-gauge shotgun. She may even have her new Browning 1911-.380 hidden somewhere on her person but she’s not telling, for the record.

Kristy, Jessie Jo and Jess will be hunting mountain lions and alligators, just to name a few, but she realizes that many of her fans and TV audiences aren’t hunters. “This show isn’t just about hunting. We are going to be flying in a Navy fighter jet, skydiving and deep sea fishing. There will be something for everyone,” Kristy assured me.

The show will also be more than just the adventures. A large part
will be about the comedic relationship between these three long-time friends.

As if that were not enough, Kristy also is heavily involved in humanitarian efforts and is a board member for the Dutton Foundation, which includes Heavenly Hope Ministries. The foundation works in the African nations of Uganda, Sudan and Ethiopia helping to form and run orphanages for children. The foundation primarily keeps children safe from child sex trafficking. John Dutton, co-founder and president, is also a former NFL and AFL (Arena Football League) quarterback who works with these children to pursue athletic dreams instead of being trapped in the hopelessness that is so prevalent in Africa.

PHOTO 5 Kristy laughing with gunKristy Lee Cook is a lot of things: Country music star, accomplished barrel racer, avid hunter, TV star and quiet humanitarian. But if I had to boil it down and place one label on her, it would simply be, country girl. Kristy is what is right about America. She is living the American dream on her terms and doing a fantastic job of it. ASJ

Posted in Miscellaneous Tagged with: , , , , , ,

February 9th, 2015 by AmSJ Staff

“I didn’t know what to expect going into my weekend with Nick and the rest of the guys. My sport is different from the type of shooting he does and I wasn’t sure how my skills would translate into his world.”

“It was funny, because Nick and the others seemed impressed by what I’ve done, but I felt like he was the one that accomplished so much. In my eyes, what he has done has impacted things in the real world and has changed lives.”

“There was a mutual respect and appreciation for each other’s craft. I learned a lot about the differences in techniques between the types of shooting we do, and was happy to learn from one of the best.”Amanda Furrer

Precision long-rang shooting is an absolute art. Everything has to be perfect in order for the round to impact its intended target. Factors including humidity, barometric pressure, density, altitude, wind, temperature, flight time, etc., are all considerations that the shooter must overcome to place a small projectile onto a target generally the size of human torso.

This is the world with which most military snipers and precision shooters are far too familiar.

Now take a look at the average Olympic shooter, an athlete who typically shoots in ideal conditions and at distances that don’t exceed 50 meters. Comparing the two very different styles of shooting, one may assume from the job description alone that the two have absolutely no comparison, or that military snipers are the best at their craft. This may hold true… to some extent.

Over the course of four days, I had the chance to work with Amanda Furrer, an Olympic Precision Shooter, and wanted to somehow compare the two styles of shooting and shed some light on the art of precision shooting, if it was possible. Amanda’s style of shooting does indeed differ from that of my job and what most military snipers are used to, but the difference was not as drastic as I thought before meeting up.

The first day of the project, we briefly went over the types of rifles that the modern military sniper would use throughout his career, including a bolt action rifle equipped with a Templar Tactical Suppressor. She seemed really impressed with all of the weaponry and could run through the rifle’s function with no problem.

Furrer then introduced us to her Olympic shooting rifle, something that looked like it would come out of a science fiction film. What seemed like a ton of screws, bolts, nuts, metal bars, etc., strapped onto a precision barrel was her pride, something that I wasn’t used to. I asked her how accurate the rifle was, to try and get some type of comparison to my sniper rifle. She simply stated, “I can put 40+ out of 50 rounds in a target the size of a pinky nail at 50 meters.” I thought to myself, “I can do that too, can’t be that hard, it’s only a .22 caliber rifle.” I had forgotten the fact that they do it standing, kneeling and in prone.

Our first day on the range, Amanda brought out her Olympic rifle for us to shoot and play around with. We were all wanting to get our hands on it and give this Olympic-style shooting a try. We placed a small water bottle as the target, just under 100 yards from our position. Easy shot for any rifle shooter.

Our next few events, Amanda would get a chance to step into the world I am more accustomed to: long-range precision shooting. We headed out to the desert of El Paso, Texas, where we had an almost endless amount of land to take the shots that would fit the type of work a military sniper might see deployed.

We brought out a few targets that would simulate engaging a human torso (20? x 40?) and a partially obscured human head (3? x 8?). I wanted her to see what a military sniper is capable of under a situation where his equipment fails and he doesn’t know the distance to a target and has to make the shot.

Typically, when introducing someone to these skills and techniques, it takes a while for them to grasp. The technique is known as the MIL-relation formula. The MIL-relation formula is something that I used on 98% of my shots overseas.

I placed a target at a distance that only I would know, and verified it using a laser range finder: 498 yards. Not very far until you factor in the fact that the target is only 3 inches wide and 8 inches tall, with wind gusts in excess of 13 mph, and a mirage boiling to the point that it made the target extremely hard to see as is appeared to jump .2 MILs through the scope.

Giving her the formula and talking her through how to apply it, Amanda gave me approximate distance to the target. I didn’t want to tell her if she was right or wrong, I just wanted to see how confident she would be with her read. She cracked off the first round and I observed the round impact a few inches low and to the left of the target. “Too easy. Adjust your reticle to where the round needs to go.” As she cracked off the next round, I watched the trace slice through the target.

I was impressed by how well she was understanding all of my wind and elevation calls, and how fast she understood how to read the scope reticle. With most of the students I teach, it can take an entire day for them to grasp the idea.

nick-irving-special-operations-sniper-helo-training_optMidway through the course of the day, Amanda stated that she wanted to break a record. I wasn’t sure what she meant by it, but she was solid on the idea. She wanted to break the world record shot by any female shooter. Without the right equipment and planning, that wasn’t an option, but she had no problem wanting to break her personal record (498 yards). She didn’t just want to break it, she wanted to shatter it.

We set out a target 1,100 yards (1005.84 meters, 0.625 miles). A shot at this distance is definitely something to be proud of. To put it into perspective, it would take the average adult male 12-15 minutes to walk 1100 yards, and approximately one minute to drive that distance.

The target we used measured 20 inches in width by 40 inches in height, the size of a man’s torso. I was extremely skeptical of how she would perform, to say the least. We were using a round that Curtis Proske of Templar Tactical Firearms and I designed, called the 6.5R33.

Her first round snapped through the suppressor and I caught the trace of the bullet. Before the round got to its target, I knew that it wasn’t going to hit, but she was extremely close, close enough to make someone really re-evaluate a life decision. I called out the holds that she needed to connect with the wind in our favor. She immediately fired again, just as my shooter would if we were deployed overseas… connection. The round would have impacted the right portion of the upper chest on a human target.

The Suppressors we shot with were impressive. I noticed no variation in accuracy, no matter the distance we shot at. The guns were incredible. Dying to get an R33 in my safe! I was so excited to beat my personal record for longest distance shot. I would have liked to go further, but I had to start somewhere! Nick was a great coach and made it really easy to adapt to his style of shooting. I can’t wait to work with him in the future.

Overall, the weekend was one of the best I’ve ever had. It was a good group of people and we got to shoot guns all day. What’s better than that? Oh, besides the fact that I got to fly a helicopter! So cool. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to be part of this community and I’m excited about growing in it.”Amanda Furrer

Written by Nic Irving – a former US Army Ranger who served his entire military career within the ranks of 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. Nick’s career took off when he became a sniper. During his time as a sniper, he earned the titles Sniper Team Leader, Master Sniper, and The Reaper.

Posted in Long Range Tagged with: