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Riding Shotgun With Charlie

May 28, 2024

Riding Shotgun With Charlie


Deb Ferns

Women’s Outdoor Media Association

The “Olympic Rings” of the gun community are alive and well. At SHOT Show 2024, I was supposed to help Brooke Cheney (RSWC #075) film some video with Deb Ferns. Brooke was able to talk Deb into filming an RSWC with me. But I failed Brooke and got very busy and couldn’t help Brooke. I ended up running around on my last day and making the connection with Matt Mallory to borrow his rental vehicle. (Thanks, Matt!  RSWC #096 & 201)


Deb is an interesting and busy woman! She didn’t get involved in the shooting sports until she was 45 years old and an empty nester. Her first excursion was with International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA). A couple years into it, she connected with Lisa Monson, who is a world class competitive shooter. Lisa offered some help with just about everything Deb was doing. Lisa offered to help Deb at the home range of Kay and Jerry Miculek! That particular weekend, Kay was in the middle of practicing for the World Handgun Shoot. At the end of the weekend, Deb was overwhelmed and didn’t want to leave. She talked with Lisa and Kay and wondered how to get their training out to more female shooters. They told Deb she needed to start a camp and they would teach there. Deb’s background as a corporate meeting planner came in very handy. 


Brainstorming with others at events like the NRA Annual Meetings, Deb was able to get Sandy Froman to write the foreword for her book, “Babes with Bullets”. Babes With Bullets is the name of the camp where they train women in all aspects of gun ownership. The camps have been empowering women for nearly 20 years!  Not only that, the women would go back to their home ranges and pay it forward. They would spread the message to new female shooters. Thousands of women have done this. This is how gun owners get more people involved. 


Ted and Shemane Nugent reached out to Deb and wanted to host her camp in Michigan. At Ted’s encouragement, he said if she wanted to do something for women, she needed to do it herself. In 2009, she started Women’s Outdoor Media Association (WOMA). Their mission is to train women in shooting, fishing, archery, and hunting. When we filmed the show, Deb was scheduled to go on a hunt with some female veterans. WOMA has a weekend in April where they train women in all the disciplines and they raise money. She said they’ve raised over $300,000 for various groups. 


Another part of the group’s mission is reaching out to other media to be guests on shows and let people know about WOMA  and their doing for female first responders and veterans. Deb tells a story about being interviewed by someone from CNN. The host was trying to get Deb to say something she didn’t want to say. She knew from her media training that they were trying to trip her and she didn’t fall for it.  


Deb has also been a sponsored shooter with Fiocchi and they sent her to be a Super Senior at the Heavy Metal Three Gun, meaning that she’s shooting .308, 12 gauge, and .45 ACP in competition. She’s the only female in the 65+ age group. For this competition, she had Jerry & Kay as her “roadies” lugging all of her gear. She’s got a great relationship with the Miculeks. At the events, she claims Jerry is her sister, but he denies it. She knows she’s lucky to have them as friends. But most gun owners are great people, willing to help out, and give to others. Maybe let them use some gear if something breaks down. 


Deb has had lots of great opportunities. She’s made opportunities, too. She’s got Babes With Bullets, WOMA, and she’s empowering and influencing women by the thousands to learn about guns & shooting, fishing & hunting, and all things outdoors related. You’ve got to love and appreciate that. 

Favorite quotes:

“It was amazing to train with all these world female champions.”

“What can I do besides Babes with Bullets?”

“It was never my intention to be Joan of Arc.”

“I felt very blessed that I got to do things that other people didn’t get a chance to do, but I'm more than willing to share those experiences and that knowledge.”


Women’s Outdoor Media Association


WOMA Facebook


WOMA Instagram


WOMA Twitter/X

Second Amendment Foundation 


Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms



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Dennis McCurdy

Author, Speaker, Firewalker


Self Defense Radio Network


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