ANETTE WACHTER 30CALGAL INTERVIEW
...Of Violins and Sniper Rifles
by Guns and Lace admin Jessica
I recently had the great pleasure of going distance shooting with
mentor and friend, Anette Wachter. In addition to being one of the
sweetest people you would ever want to meet, she is the holder of many
National and International rifle titles and her shooting resume is
beyond awesome. She embodies the spirit of a confident, self made woman,
who has worked hard and devoted many hours becoming proficient with a
wide range of firearms. Anette was kind enough to take time away from
her busy training and competition schedule to go shooting with me and
patiently introduce me to this new world where 600 yards is only a
starting point rather rather than a distance shot!
If you can imagine me, a girl with a Ukelele getting to meet the master violinist, Anette, you'll understand the excitement and butterflies I had when we got to the range. Anette opened her rifle case and out came her rifle, a handmade beauty that she lovingly explained the intricacies of and was so generous to allow me to observe and even shoot. It was like being handed a Stradivarius and even with my limited distance experience and a ton of help on ballistics, wind direction and speed from Anette, the anticipation of the first rounds I sent down range were in the black at 600 yards. Though really all I did was pull the trigger, it was a very exciting experience and the bullets flew as true and pure as drawing the bow and playing middle C would be on a fine and rare violin.
The violin maker, in creating a fine instrument, brings together years of experience and craftsmanship, a unique outpouring of conscious effort and creativity, that draws symmetry and beauty from raw materials and passes to them a life of their own. All while hoping that the finished instrument will be discovered and taken up by a master who will bring forth the potential of the instrument.
Watching Anette, a serious world class competitor play was amazing! I use the word play, rather than work, because no matter the long hours of training, the sun, wind and rain, the early mornings and travel and hauling gear, she truly loves the shooting sports. Her smile tells the story of that sweet music as it touches her eyes in a radiance that speaks to the great joy of a girl enjoying the pursuit of her passion. - Jessica
ANETTE WACHTER EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW by Guns and Lace admin Jessica
Jessica: Jessica with Guns and Lace here and I am super excited to be talking with Anette Wachter, 30calgal herself, for an exclusive interview to share with you Guns and Lace fans. Anette, I understand someone very special taught you to shoot.
Anette: [laughs] Yeah, you could say that, my husband Charles, he introduced me to High Power competition about 8 years ago.
Jessica: Wonderful, tell us about your first trip to the range.
Anette: Well, I would say my most memorable trip… Like I said Charles took me to the range, put the AR in my hands and showed me a couple of basic things and then we went straight to a match and the very first match that he brought me to was the Washington State High Power Championship. There were probably one hundred people there and I was one of only two women. I did not really understand the proper attire to be worn, and I wore shorts that day. Well and it was a rare warm Seattle day as we rarely have. I had to borrow a shooting jacket from another friend. We wear these big, leather heavy jackets. When I got up and into the position of offhand, where you’re shooting standing, I couldn’t figure out why there was a crowd gathering behind me. I kind of sensed something was happening. Turns out my jacket just barely reached to the bottom of my shorts so it looked like I was wearing nothing underneath it and so… Yeah, I still get razzed about that to this day.
Jessica: Well, [laughs] there are many that suggest leaving the men at home, maybe that would by, but when it comes to learning to shoot. What do you recommend?
Anette: I am a big fan of going and paying for professional training, whether it’s a private lesson or a class. Sometimes it can be difficult, as we all know, to be taught by our significant other, man or woman. To me, emotions get involved and it’s just so much better to go to a third party professional who can give you the instruction you need without any emotion tied to it.
Jessica: Definitely, basically save your marriage and hire an instructor.
Jessica: Now going to the range with your husband to being a member of the US National Rifle Team is quite a leap. What inspired you to pursue competition shooting?
Anette: Well, I didn’t know any better. He was competing himself and asked if I wanted to join him. At first, I wasn’t too interested but I realized if I didn’t I’d be the golfer’s widow pretty much. It takes a lot of time to do that sport. So I gave it a try. I offered it one year of my life to take to it and I loved it! From there I was asked by another competitor to try the long range shooting, and I excelled at that really quickly. I heard about the US Team at that time and that was my mission to get accepted to the team.
Jessica: What do you enjoy most about distance shooting?
Anette: It’s a unique niche and there is a lot of technical skill involved, not just aiming at the target and pulling the trigger, you have to read the wind, understand all aspects of that, a lot of ballistics, I mean you have to know your caliber and then how the wind affects it. It’s a big challenge but I love it!
Jessica: Let me embarass you for a moment and tell our Guns and Lace fans your amazing accomplishments. In 2011 you were the second woman and first American woman ever to win the B.C. Rifle Championship in 127 years. You hold the NRA 300 Yard Civilian National Record, 3 National Records, 3 National Team Championships, 24 International trophies and the list just goes on and on... What is your most treasured memory out of all those experiences?
Anette: I definitely go to the British Columbia Championship. Being the first American woman to ever win that, it was an incredible feeling. The first year I did that match, when the first woman actually won, she was a British woman. The British Team came over to Canada that year, and won that match so she was the first woman to ever win that match. Then I came 3rd behind her and that was the first time in doing it and I was so excited. And I looked at her… and the winner of this match gets carried in a sedan chair by her teammates back…
Jessica: Oh wow…
Anettte: It’s pretty cool. It’s a tradition to do that, I just said, ‘I am getting that chair. That’s all there is to it. Next year that is mine.’ And I did it. I couldn’t believe it. It was such an incredible thing. I'll cherish that memory forever.
Jessica: Well, and as if your long distance shooting skills weren't enough, tell our Guns and Lace fans what you are branching out into.
Anette: Yeah, the last couple of years, I've been shooting 3 gun, which is exactly as it sounds, we've pistol, shotgun and rifle and these are a little more action packed. It’s an obstacle course that you kind of making your way through and not only do you have to hit targets accurately but you need to do it in the quickest amount of time. You’re shooting at paper, steel targets, moving targets, you’re shooting under and over and through things. It’s really a lot of fun. And then the other one, which we're actually headed out to a match this weekend, is Sniper Rifle. Picture like a sniper challenge, you have a big giant back pack on with your rifle in there, with all your ammo, and all your food and water and gear for the day and you hike out in the mountains where they've the stages set up. These are timed stages and there are steel targets all at long range, anywhere from 200 out to even 1700 hundred yards. Again, you have certain obstacles you might need to shoot around or through, or under. It’s really a lot of fun.
Jessica: It sounds like the perfect reality tv show. [laughs]
Anette: Yes, it does. In fact, now that you mentioned that, I’m kind of talking to some producers about something like that. [laughs]