Rachel Carrie; Outstanding Gun

One of the founders of Femmes Fatales back in 2014 was Rachel Carrie who, always one to actively encourage and support fellow shooting enthusiasts, wanted to inspire more women to get involved in the sport of clay shooting. Fast forward three years and Femmes Fatales has grown beyond our wildest dreams, with her continued input, advice and inspiration.

We, and many in the shooting community, both male and female, regard Rachel as one of the most proactive shooting and country sports advocates not just in the UK but on a global scale. Her positive attitude and her approach to responding to those that oppose field sports is a breath of fresh air, and has been successful in challenging the misunderstandings surrounding the sport. It is for that reason (plus many more) that we nominated Rachel to be recognised in the Fieldsports Magazine ‘Outstanding Gun’ honours at a prestigious event hosted by Dylan Williams at the Royal Berkshire Shooting School today.

We were absolutely delighted to learn just now that Rachel has been chosen as this year’s over all Outstanding Gun, an accolade previously awarded to England Cricketer Sir Ian Botham for his exceptional contributions to the sport and his willingness to speak out from a position of great prominence in order to highlight the many and widespread benefits of game shooting.

Sir Ian Botham often speaks of the importance of informing the wider public about the conservation that goes hand in hand with shooting and hunting. Sharing that opinion, having established herself as an ‘unofficial spokesperson’ for shooting sports through the use of social media and more recently television, Rachel Carrie has achieved understanding among anti-hunting communities who otherwise might not have taken the time to hear ‘our side’ of the story.

By appealing directly to those who oppose country sports, approaching them with respect, understanding and acceptance of their own believes, she has established a platform from which to educate and enlighten those who had formed their opinions based on misinformation and propaganda. Not only has she managed to change opinions, she has done so in a manner that has shown those on both sides of the fence what can be achieved when mutual respect is shown.

What’s most commendable, perhaps, is the fact that Rachel isn’t employed in the shooting industry. She isn’t paid to defend country sports. She isn’t part of a wider group or organisation established to promote the sport or defend our activities – she does so for no other reason than she passionately believes in what she speaks about.

Having had the pleasure of joining Rachel on several shoot days, we were impressed by her conduct in the field. Not only by her shooting prowess, but by her clear respect for and knowledge of the environment and the work that goes in to running the estates. More importantly however, was her camaraderie with the team of guns, loaders, beaters and keepers throughout the day and the respect she shows to everyone involved. Thanking them not only in person, but also by praising their work publicly on her popular social media channels.

We have the utmost respect for what she does, and believe without a doubt that she so rightly deserves the accolade of Outstanding Gun for 2017.

We could not be more proud of Rachel, who was overcome with emotion upon being announced as the winner by Marcus Janssen, Editor of Fieldsports Magazine. When accepting her award, Rachel was lost for words (trust us, that doesn’t happen often!) so you can read the acceptance speech she prepared but was too overwhelmed to read at the time:

“There are three things my Dad always says about me.

I wear my heart on my sleeve. I never take no for an answer and I never shut up.

And I suppose it’s those three things which perhaps led me to be stood here in front of you today.

A few years ago when I started deer stalking and shooting, I was told by a fellow shooter that it perhaps wasn’t such a good idea to share photos on social media and talk about what I do in the public domain because ‘we don’t want to upset the anti’s’

Social media is one of the fastest and most powerful information sharing tools of the modern era, used readily by those who oppose field sport to rapidly share their anti-shooting propaganda.

It was that day I decided that I did want to upset the antis. I wanted to upset them with the truth. I wanted to showcase just how important a role we play in conservation. I wanted to upset their ideals with facts, figures, with information. I wanted to challenge the misconceptions that had been allowed to exist for too long. I merely used the three best tools that I have; my passion, my relentlessness and my big mouth!

I am an avid game shooter, an avid hunter – I couldn’t be either of those things if it weren’t for the many hardworking gamekeepers across the country, the land owners, the GWCT, BASC, BDS, the likes of Dylan Williams, Marcus Janssen and everyone here today before me.

So I dedicate this award to every one of you as a joint effort in the role we play in safeguarding field sports, safeguarding our countryside. Safeguarding my passions.

Cheers!”

Congratulations Rachel! X

with Simon Ward, Liam Botham and last year’s Outstanding Gun Sir Ian Botham at the Warter Priory Estate

with Andy Crow and Jodie Marsh, Filming for TLC’s ‘Jodie Goes Hunting

Practicing Olympic Trap shooting at Beverley Clay Target Centre, Yorkshire

 

In the wilderness, British Columbia, 2017

At the 2016 Femmes Fatales Cup at the Royal Berkshire Shooting School