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by on February 10, 2020
For this week’s Shooter Spotlight, we’re back down south to Florida. I am lucky to get to shoot with this young lady even though watching her run her shotgun makes me feel like less of a man. She is part of The Cracker Crew and you have probably seen her videos. Let see what Hawkeye Gin had to say.
Where do you live? (what state or country)
Florida, Home of the Cracker Crew!

When did you start shooting CAS and how did you or who got you into the sport?
In the summer of 2005, when Daad (Delta Glen) decided I was ready to start competing in matches. I shot a few practice stages at our friend Bill Riley's home range and then went to my first match at Ft. White. 

Wow, I've had so many mentors. This sport showed me exactly what kind of shooter and adult I wanted to grow up to be. Here's just a few:
- Delta Glen...of course. He's given so much time and energy to this sport and made me love it just as much as he does.
- Santa Fe River Stan, who taught me about the importance of winning and losing with grace, plus countless stage strategies and a few practice sessions.
- Dakota Lil, who showed a very young Gin that a '97 is a cowgirl's best friend.
- Dang It Dan, who cuts RIGHT to the chase and can tell you exactly how to improve your game even in the middle of a state championship.
- And maybe the most special to me, the late Deadwood Jake, who was my left-handed, '97 shooting hero from the moment I met him. I'll never forget when I was able to switch to his two and two '97 technique and he noticed right away. It was one of my proudest moments as a shooter. Whenever I get complimented on anything to do with my '97 or anyone talks about roasting marshmallows, I always think of Jake. 

How much do you practice, how many rounds a month do you send down range?
Ha. Ha ha ha. These days, not at all. But Dad and I were never great at regimented practice sessions. I'm lucky to shoot one match a month with my current work schedule. 

Have you won any state, regional, national or world championships?
I've been Overall FL Lady a few times and won a few state and regional titles in Cowgirl. I was Buckarette World Champion way back in 2009. 

Tell us about your most memorable match:
There's been so many, but last December's Raiders Christmas Match sticks out because I hadn't been able to shoot for about six months thanks to weekend classes. Getting to enjoy beautiful weather, great stages, and my shooting friends felt even more special after having been away for so long.
As for a less pleasant memory, at the FL State Championship in 2016, I got a Stage DQ on the second to last stage, costing me the state lady's title, a clean match, and a place in the shoot off. Having to shoot that last stage was one of the hardest things I've ever done, then I had to walk away and wrangle my emotions. I got a trademark Stan pep talk and was able to shake it off. 

What is your favorite aspect of CAS?
The answer that everyone says...the people. I've gained a second family and an endless support system. My out of state friends that I never would've met without this game are icing on the cake. 

Is there a story behind your alias, and what is that story?
Of course. I started off as Delta Gin, but it was just a little too close to Delta Glen...we both responded whenever someone called it out! Dad and I were in Colorado and I kept picking out deer and antelope before he saw them. He called me "Hawkeye" and the rest was history...but as I got older and my eyesight got significantly worse it became even funnier. Hawkeye Gin who couldn't see a darn thing. 

Do you have a travel/shooting buddy? (you know that friend that makes this game what it is)
Well, Dad of course. We've traveled together for over a decade along with the rest of the Cracker Crew. 
My shooting BFF is Pistol Whippin Patti, who unfortunately moved away and doesn't shoot anymore. Someday we'll be reunited and then...look out!

Where is your favorite place to shoot? (range or match past or present)
I have some of my favorite memories about Orlando and The Last Stand. I used to look forward to that match and working with the committee for basically the entire year. 

What category do you shoot?

Have you tried other categories? What categories have you shot and how did that go?
I haven't, but maybe someday. 

What is you posse job of choice?
Timer operator or score keeper 

What is the time of your fastest clean stage?
We had an all shotgun stage at the Raiders one month and I had the fastest time with 15.10. I beat both Dad and Stan and while it might not have been a traditional stage (obviously), I'm pretty proud of it. 


What was the best advice you got from a fellow shooter, and who was it?
Unrelated to shooting, but after a hard month and the death of a pet, Red River Ray sent me "Life is always straightforward, but many times we are not ready." I saved the quote and it has stuck with me for years. 
As for shooting, Stan taught me the importance of not causing a scene when a call goes against you or you have a bad stage. Once you've become someone that any shooter looks up to, then it's important to set a good example. 

What advice can you give to some of the shooters reading this?
I'm not at the level of my mentors as far as wisdom goes. But ditto to Stan's above lesson and...always pick a '97 over a double! :) 

Is there that one rival that delivers a little extra sting when they beat you?
My little Sis, obviously. Beck A Boo keeps me on my toes, no doubt about it. 

What keeps you playing this game?
My family and the lifelong friendships that I've made.

What is your favorite thing to do when you are not on the range or shooting?
These days? Sleeping! But I love my job and when I'm off work and not shooting, I'm probably writing. 
Like (20)
Love (2)
What a great Cowgirl!
February 10, 2020
Razorback Red
Great interview!!
March 20, 2022
John E Law
I'm hoping to get back now that my little one is getting old enough. Gin, that pic of you getting your badge brought a tear to my eye. Welcome to that family! Stay Safe!! Hope to see you all soon! JEL
March 21, 2022
Great sport and well written answers. A lot of pride and appreciation for mentors. This young lady will do well in life. Best
March 21, 2022