HISTORY of Shooting Experiences
Shooting sports include archery, rifle, pistol and shotgun. Shotgunning has been the most popular recreational shooting sport for over 100 years. Before shotguns, archery had for millennia been a popular recreational activity.
While shooting enthusiasts have introduced others to shooting sports for centuries, the concept of Shooting Experiences utilizing rifles and pistols has realized its greatest advancements in the first part of the 21st century.
Prior to 2009, the contemporary precursors of shooting experiences were two companies, Manhattan Shooting Excursions and Stellar Adventures. MSE founder Andrew Massimilian started his company in 2004 and remains a leader in the East Coast entertainment shooting experience market. SA began offering a short shooting experience as an add-on to their AZ Jeep tours in 2009. (Extensive internet searches in 2009 only found the term “shooting experience” used by SA and the closest business to today’s recognized multi-gun shooting experience was MSE.) Both laid the foundation for a Wyoming company, Jackson Hole Shooting Experience, to make a great leap forward and define the new industry sector within the world of shooting.
JHSE founder Shepard Humphries continues to lead the industry with innovative concepts for introducing others to shooting sports. JHSE co-founder Lynn Sherwood leads the growing female market segment with her High Caliber Women organization. Humphries & Sherwood also provide business consultation to newcomers in the sector they “invented.”. Rapidly growing newcomers in the industry are author LeGette McIntyre and pilot Jeremy Weintraub.
Today, dozens of shooting ranges use the term Shooting Experience to describe some of their packages and dozens of “shooting experience” firms are starting worldwide including Let’s Go Shoot in Florida, Take Me Out Shooting in Washington and the Moscow Shooting Experience in Russia. Some experiences cater to the luxury market while others offer only 10 shots through 1 gun for a low price.
Jackson Hole style Shooting Experiences aim to distinguish themselves from the Vegas-style turnstile machine gun entertainment and from indoor ranges that rent guns off the wall and sell ammo for them. Some have described this Jackson Hole shooting excursion as an “intelligent and thoughtful relationship in a market overrun with ignoble gimcrack shooting activities.”