Bull’s-eye for Blues

HUMBOLDT – There’s a new team aiming for bull’s-eyes in the Two Rivers Pistol League this year and nothing at all their name to indicate who they are.

They call themselves, “Humboldt Blue.”

Their home range: the Humboldt Rifle and Pistol Club.

Beth Ernst, a member of the team and the vice president of the Humboldt Rifle and Pistol Club, said the all-women team did consider naming themselves “Humboldt Fuchsia.”

“Maybe the powder puffs,” she said. “Something to indicate it’s all female.”

Ernst would occasional shoot her fathers guns, it was his suggestion that she join up.

“Maybe you should shoot on the league,” he said.

Her reply?

“Sign me up.”

She said that even though the team fires against other teams from the area – including Fort Dodge and Pocahontas – it’s not about beating them.

“We have more of the try and beat yourself attitude,” she said. “I enjoy beating my own score from last week.”

Bonita McLarnan joined the team at a friends suggestion.

Some of her non-shooting friends get interested when she tells them what “league night,” means.

“They’re intrigued,” she said. “But not surprised.”

She said that her fellow club members, her team member’s husbands and the fellow league shooters have been nothing but helpful to the new team.

“We’ve only gotten support,” she said.

McLarnan shoots a Sig Hammerli Trail Side pistol. Some might find it surprising, but it’s not her or her husband’s pistol.

“It’s actually my daughter’s gun,” she said.

Kerri Mertz, is another member of the team.

Her husband got her interested.

“I wasn’t involve till I met him,” she said. “I’d never picked up a target pistol.”

Her goal is to enjoy herself.

“I’m not an accurate shooter but I have fun with it,” she said.

She said that shooting with a group of ladies is an asset.

“It’s a lot better to have someone from a peer group,” she said.

She’s also learned that quite often, it’s best to learn from someone other than a spouse or a family member – her coach.

“I borrow the other husbands,” she said.

Like any other sport, shooting requires practice.

“It takes a lot of time to learn,” she said.

She had two goal for the season.

“My goal is to beat 300 this season,” she said. “Get out of the house, we have a good time.”

Shooting can offer several lessons.

“It teaches you about safety and discipline,” she said.

Vicki Holden joined the team after getting her Concealed Carry permit last fall, she enjoys the time with friends on the range and offers a tip to getting a good score.

“No caffeine,” she said, “It eliminates a lot of shaking.”

For her non-shooting friends, she offers a suggestion too.

“I’d encourage them at least to try it,” she said, “Keep an open mind.”