Weatherford Democrat

Big Story AM

July 11, 2011

Gun group targets women members

PARKER COUNTY — The word ‘outdoors’ and women aren’t historically associated with each other, but a group of females is out to break that mold.

With more than 6 million members, the DIVA Women’s Outdoor World serves as an organization that helps introduce women to outdoor skills, knowledge and products through a variety of activities, including archery, fishing and shooting.

As membership numbers grew, more circuits were created, including the pistol leagues. Currently, there are three in Parker County and its surrounding areas — the Dallas Pistol League, Cowtown Pistol League and Weatherford Pistol League, which practices at the Lone Star Guns Gallery and Gear off Interstate 20 near Weatherford High School.

“The leagues are totally seperate, and when we formed, we needed a gun range to shoot at,” DIVA social networking director and chairwoman of the Weatherford league Shelly Haffly said.

The group was established in 2009, and has grown locally with 15 women in each of the past two seasons.

“Our second season is just about over,” Haffly said. “We’re going to take a month off and let everybody get ready for school, then start back up around the end of August.”

From beginning shooters with no experience to amateurs and seasoned veterans, anyone is able to join, Haffly said.

“If inexperienced, the league gets them familiar with the equipment, while providing a woman-friendly environment where they can laugh, joke, and just act like girls,” Haffly said.

Cost per DIVA member is $60, and $75 for non-DIVA members. Space is limited to 28 shooters, and includes five weeks of shooting followed by an awards ceremony during the sixth week.

During practice, DIVAs shoot about once a week at Lonestar, form 6 to 8 p.m., Haffly said.

“Every week, we shoot at scoring targets while keeping track of those scores throughout the season,” Haffly said. “There are practice targets, two scoring targets and one fun target for door prizes.

“The scoring targets have a maximum of 200 points and go down from there, sort of like darts.”

The awards ceremony offers rewards for best team score, best overall shooter, most improved and team spirit.

There are no restrictions on the caliber of firearm brought. The league recommends each shooter bring two magazines that hold 10 rounds each for semiautomatic pistols. Optics, including scopes and red dot, are not permitted.

To register for the next season, go online to www.divawow.org, or contact Haffly for more information at 817-253-6664.

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