Throwback Thursday: Jennette Maynard, Sure As Shootin'

by
posted on March 17, 2016
jennette-maynard-1.jpg

Editor's Note: For this week's #ThrowbackThursday, we bring you this piece penned by the then-16-year-old Jennette Maynard. It first appeared in July 2009. Jennette, if you have any updates, we'd love to hear from you!

I
was 12 years old when I began the Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program at our local range, the South Bay Rod & Gun Club. I remember well the night it all began—I was walking past my parents’ bedroom on my way to bed when I heard my dad call out to me. 

“Hey, do you want to go out to the Junior Shoot with me tomorrow?”

I did not know it then, but that brief, simple question was going to change my life. From that day forward, almost every second and fourth Saturday morning we rolled out of bed bright and early to drive 25 miles east from San Diego out to the range in Dulzura. Starting the first Saturday, my aim was to make it to Expert and, ultimately, to “go for Distinguished.”

I was raised around firearms and often go shooting with my family, but this was the first time I had worked toward a specific goal. The program is certainly not an easy one. There is no agony quite like the sinking feeling you get when you realized you had a good target going and then threw the whole thing with the last shot. On the other hand, there is no elation quite like the feeling you get when you realize what looked like an 8 in the scope actually counts as a 9 and you have another target finished.

It was rough at times, but I had several great coaches who were more than willing to convey their knowledge and experience to me, and a dad who kept me outfitted with the best gear we could get: a shooting coat from Creedmoor Sports, a Kimber rifle ordered from the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) and countless boxes of Federal Gold Medal ammunition. Now, four years later, here I am with the Distinguished Expert 4-Position Smallbore Rifle Qualification tucked firmly under my belt. When I finished, it left me with mixed emotions: part elated at my success and part disappointed at the loss of the challenge. The disappointment did not last long, however, and it evaporated quickly once I had called my two brothers to let them know their little sis had finally made it.

For the past few months, I have taken a (temporary) break from shooting to help coach the other Juniors on the line by giving tips on position, equipment and technique. This will not last much longer, though, because soon I will be taking up a .22 pistol and working towards Double Distinguished.

 

Latest

Rao Reduce Recoil Shotgun Fit
Rao Reduce Recoil Shotgun Fit

NRA Family Favorites: October 1, 2022

We love our readers ... and we also love to read! Here are some of our favorite stories from around the whole family of NRA publications this past week.

Civilian Marksmanship Program Announces Free Junior Air Rifle Clinics at Camp Perry

If your family is local to the Camp Perry area, your young shooter can learn from CMP's best athletes.

Reviewed: Rock Island Armory All Generations Pump-Action Shotgun

They call it "All Generations" because it'll fit your whole family...for generations to come.

Video Review: Heritage Rough Rider Tactical Cowboy Revolver

Yes, we said "tactical cowboy" ... and we meant it, too. Find out why this is NRA's Gun of the Week!

Throwback Thursday: Carlos Hathcock's Stevens Model 15A Rifle

The legendary "White Feather" started his shooting career with a $4 gun.

NRA Donates More Than $170,000 to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency

NRA’s Free Online Hunter Education Course Recognized by the Tennessee Fish & Wildlife Commission

Interests



Get the best of NRA Family delivered to your inbox.