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We are living during a time when women are feeling increasingly empowered every day. It’s fantastic to see women excelling in different careers, sports, hobbies and the like. When I was starting out in my television career, I was told by many, agents included, that I needed to choose one path: either the fashion industry or outdoor television. I was told that people wouldn’t understand how I could love and be successful in both.

I never understood that statement. Why can’t we be multifaceted and excel in many arenas, even if they seem like polar opposites? I graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison with a fashion degree, yet I grew up in the great outdoors. My passion for both is equal. In fact, I need both. Fashion is creative, dramatic and fast-paced while the outdoors is calming, grounding and peaceful. To me, they are yin and yang. I find happiness in each space.

Being told I couldn’t simultaneously have success in both these worlds made me determined to prove naysayers wrong — a sentiment I know many women can relate to. We’re multifaceted in so many ways: strong yet delicate, powerful yet empathetic, creative yet strategic, nurturing yet primal. No one is one-dimensional.

Empowerment is just one of the reasons why shooting sports have seen a dramatic increase in female participants over the past decade, and particularly in recent months. Being able to safely and confidently enjoy a sport that can be seen as intimidating and male-dominated while not losing our femininity is empowering for women of all ages, races and distinctions.

Photography by Camille Lizama

Trap shooting is now one of the most popular high-school sports in Minnesota. Last year, there were more than 32,000 students competing on coed teams across the state. There is no physical advantage to be had when it comes to shooting sports, which creates an equal playing field and an environment in which both young women and men can thrive.

Trying something new is a wonderful way to empower yourself, increase your confidence and fulfill the call from your inner spirit to be adventurous. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to help a group of women safely shoot their first clay pigeon, with some of them pulling a trigger for the very first time. It was fulfilling to see their smiles and their confidence shine when they powdered their first clay bird. Rounds of cheers, compliments and support flowed throughout the day.

Women empowering women like this builds confidence not only in the field but in life. This has driven the current demand for women-only shooting classes, hunting trips and adventures. Today, there are many businesses throughout Minnesota that give women the opportunity to learn all aspects of shooting sports, offering courses and events where you can learn the safety and technique of target shooting, trap shooting or sporting clays. Some of my favorites include Stock & Barrel Gun Club, the Minnesota Horse & Hunt Club, and Wings North.

And if you want to learn how to harvest your own food locally, Her Wilderness offers women-only hunting and fishing trips. The brand prides itself on enthusiastically supportive and judgement-free outdoor adventures for all experience levels.

Heed the call for empowerment, challenge and growth. Go ahead — shoot like a girl and shoot for the stars. 

Laura Schara is a lifelong outdoor enthusiast and cohost of the television series Minnesota Bound. Learn more at

Read this article as it appears in the magazine.

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