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PRO STAFF/INSTRUCTOR SPOTLIGHT: Learn more about Firearms Instructor Diane Danielson

Pro Staff / Instructor Spotlight:  We asked Diane Danielson a few fun questions. Pro Staff / Instructor Spotlight is designed to help you get to know our awesome team of Pro Staff / Instructors a little better. Diane lives in Virginia and is an avid firearms teacher and firearms instructor with SLG.

What are you most passionate about as an instructor? Safety, first. Then teaching others the correct way to shoot and watching the smiles of every new shooter as they succeed.

What has been your biggest challenge as an instructor? Dispelling the misconception that women can and should only consider a revolver because they are too stupid or inept to be able to handle anything else. This goes hand-in-hand with not being respected as an expert in the industry simply because I’m a woman.

What has been your greatest success story with teaching? Listening to a woman tell 60 fellow students and 60 instructors that she was forced to come to our class by her husband who had firearms in their home. He wanted her to know how they worked and how to safely handle them. As a result of our understanding, patience and skill, she was no longer afraid and was going to stop on her way home from the class to shop for her first gun.

What is your motivation to teach others how to shoot? My mother taught me to shoot when I was 10. My father taught me to hunt when I was 12. I have been passionate about both ever since. I love sharing what I’ve learned with others so their journey is enriched by my passion for all the shooting sports.

How do you help ladies overcome their fear with shooting? Start with baby steps. Teach them simple fundamentals. Be reassuring and get them to dry fire with dummy rounds. Take them to a quiet bay at the range and get them to take one shot with a .22. If they are ok, take another one, and another. If they don’t like it, stop, then thank them because they tried. I’m not going to change their mind if they don’t like it, but at least they can walk away knowing that they fired it safely and a gun does not jump off the table and harm people.

Hunting Themed Q&A
If you could only hunt in one season which one would it be? Turkey. It’s the only one that is truly interactive – just you and the bird.

What’s your favorite location to hunt? SE Wisconsin. Only because I hunted there for so long. In Virginia, if you don’t own or lease land, you don’t hunt. There’s no public hunting land.

Who introduced you to hunting? My dad first took me hunting when I was 12 – small game. Then later, we started going waterfowl hunting together. I was privileged to witness (and help drag) his first deer a few years later.

What do you hunt for? I haven’t had an opportunity to hunt for several years. I love to hunt upland birds, waterfowl, turkey and deer. Someday, I hope to hunt for elk, mule deer, and moose.

What hunting skill would you like to master? Calling ducks!!!!!

What’s the hardest hunting lesson you’ve learned? Don’t hunt with drunks!

What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?  Almost anything gun related, ammo reloading, field dressing, skinning and butchering, (turkey calling with a wing-bone), obedience and hunt-training dogs, dressing to keep warm when you don’t have a budget for fancy expensive women’s hunting clothes.

What do you like most about the SLG shooting trailer? Besides the owner, the gun rack, of course!

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time? Shoot and teach shooting.

What hobby would you get into if time and money weren’t an issue? Travelling the US and Canada to hunt everything I’ve ever wanted to hunt. Oh, and get a new hunting dog.

What non firearm related skill would you like to master? Taxidermy.

What non hunting or shooting related … do you wish you knew more about? Web Design.

What are you interested in that most people haven’t heard of? Bullseye (Precision) Pistol. Non-firearm related would be woodworking, sewing and crafts.

What’s the farthest you’ve ever been from home? Sidney, Australia and the Great Barrier Reef in 2005.

Where do you usually go when you when you have time off? Milwaukee. I still consider Wisconsin home even though I was born in Pennsylvania and live/work in Virginia. If you mean when I get a day off, it’s definitely to the range.

Who inspires you to be better? My mother. She lived her entire life with the constant pain of Rheumatoid Arthritis and never said a word or took a pill or a shot. She never had a joint replaced or wore a brace. I pray every day to be more like her as I deal with my RA.

What are three interesting facts about you? 1. I am a better person because of my two ex-husbands. 2. I love woodworking and building furniture and have remodeled three of my previous homes myself. 3. I have a vast collection of wild game recipes that will someday be compiled into a book.

What is your biggest fear? Dying in a fiery car crash.

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Do you mean one meal a day or only one thing? Either way, the answer would essentially be the same: Breakfast or Bacon and Eggs with black coffee or a latte.

List two pet peeves? Clothes that are too tight. Anything out of order (it’s an OCD thing).

Which of the five senses would you say is your strongest? Hearing. I have very sensitive ears and hear way more than I probably should.

One thing that not a lot of people know you love to do? Design. You name it – clothes, brochures, websites …

Mountains or Beach? Beach. I’m a water baby. I’m sure it has something to do with my dad being pure blood American Samoan.

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