Judy Rhodes: Texas Shooting Diva
If anyone deserves to be a Texas shooting diva, it’s Judy Rhodes.
A rancher’s daughter, Judy has been toting a gun since the age of four (she started with a Red Ryder B-B gun in Rockwall County, Texas).
Maybe her calling as a cheerleader for the shooting sports started when she became a majorette in school; after practice or a game, she would go dove hunting with her friends.
Fast forward to1999, when Judy was recruited to the board of the Women’s Shooting Sports Foundation -- an arm of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (www.nssf.org). The charter of the WSSF was to get women more involved in the shooting sports and hunting, as well as function as sort of a lobbying group to influence manufacturers and retailers on the special needs of women shooters (and Judy has some strong opinions about that).
At the same time, Judy started the Texas Women’s Shooting Sports/DIVAS. Today, DIVAS has members in 48 states and 14 foreign countries. Over the years, DIVAS has taught over 800 women how to shoot a shotgun.
Her motto is “Women Helping Women…Women Teaching Women…Women Supporting Women.” Her leadership in shooting, hunting and civic organizations led to a major story with photograph (including shotgun) in the Today Section of USA Today
in March 2006.
She has also been featured in stories promoting women’s positive outdoor experiences throughout the world, including broadcasts on German Television and the United Kingdom BBC Television.
Maybe that’s where she got the TV bug. She started Divas in the Outdoors Television Show for reaching women and families worldwide. The show teaches simple techniques from professionals. Divas in the Outdoors is the number-two show on MOR (Men’s Outdoors and Recreational) shown on Direct TV, DishNetwork, Comcast and Turner Media.
All the while, Judy has been to South Africa 18 times, in addition to Spain, Argentina, Scotland, England, Canada and Mexico, as well as all over the U.S.A.
Her leadership, enthusiasm and commitment have made Judy the voice of outdoor women within the industry. As you can appreciate, she has a word or two for shotgun makers.
“Make guns that fit us.”
Judy believes that the Beretta 391 semi-automatic is probably the best-fitting full-size gun for women on the market. Otherwise, she recommends that smaller framed women get themselves a youth gun.
But knowing Judy, we can expect to see a lot more shotguns on the market tailored to women.