Q&A with Haley Dunn, Skeet Champion

Skeet shooting champion Haley Dunn is a 23-year-old living in north Texas, whose competition career is going strong. She just returned home from the most recent world cup in Kerrville, Texas, where she won the gold. A few weeks earlier she'd earned the bronze at a world cup in Beijing, China.
In addition to her competition and training schedule, Dunn hunts for Bass Pro Shops' Next Generation Team TV show, and helps to guide for pheasant, quail, and chukar with her family's business in Eddyville, Iowa. During a brief break in the action, she took some time to answer questions for our women hunters blog.

FSHuntress: When your training schedule is at its busiest, how many hours do you spend shooting in a week, and how many rounds do you go through?
Haley Dunn: An average week of hard training consists of 20 to 25 hours at the range shooting and going through 1,000 to 1,500 rounds. This doesn't include extra mental training time or physical training.

FS: What's your competition gun?
HD: It's a Beretta DT10 12 gauge over/under.

FS: Considering your training schedule, were you able to fit in any hunting last season?
HD: I did get to do quite a bit of hunting, but definitely not as much as I wanted. Not only was I finishing my last year of college at the University of Missouri - Columbia, but I was also training really hard to make the Olympic team. Needlesss to say, planning extra hunting trips wasn't my highest priority.

FS: How does competition shooting help you as a hunter?
HD: It definitely helps with bird hunting. Being able to point a shotgun well and with confidence gives me a lot of success in the field.

FS: You're a person who knows a lot about shooting under pressure. How do you keep nerves from harming your performance?
HD: Well, what I've learned about performing under pressure is that you should only focus on the things you can control and stick to your routine. You should also be performance oriented rather than outcome oriented. For example, when a monster buck comes by your tree you don't think about how impressed all the guys are going to be when they see it; you are focused on the shot you have to make to bring that bad boy home.

FS: When is your next competition?
HD: It will be in July at Colorado Springs for the National Championships. I then return to Kerrville for the fall selection match to pick next year's world championship team. My last match of the year will be in Minsk, Belarus for world cup finals where only the top 10 people in the world are invited.

FS: What are your hunting plans this fall?
HD: All I plan on doing this fall is hunting! I have a trip to Minnesota for bear, Alaska fishing, and a possible elk hunt in Colorado. Not to mention hunting big whitetail in Iowa.

FS: What are some of the experiences you've had with other women in the field?
HD: Well, I've had the chance to volunteer at several women's hunting and shooting events and have been fortunate enough to witness several firsts for beginning hunters and shooters. Seeing women get really excited about hunting reminds me of how much I love what I do.

To find out more about Haley Dunn, visit her website here.