Liv­ing the life

Emma Cox joins Deb Meester and Ben Richards as a Field & Game Aus­tralia am­bas­sador and tells us how a life­time in the or­gan­i­sa­tion has taught her the value of habi­tat.

Field and Game - - NEWS -

Field & Game Aus­tralia brand am­bas­sador Emma Cox doesn't re­mem­ber a time when she wasn't a part of the or­gan­i­sa­tion. Since she was a tod­dler, Emma has been a reg­u­lar at Shep­par­ton Field & Game where her par­ents Ker­rie and David ran the kitchen. “Un­til the age of 12 I went to the con­ser­va­tion events with my dad be­fore I started hunt­ing ducks," she said. "It was fun, I learnt a lot about the bush and ducks. “I'm still mates with all the peo­ple from FGA that I started with, and their chil­dren." She re­mem­bers clearly her first duck: a crosser, which per­haps gave an early in­di­ca­tion of her tal­ent with a shot­gun. "When I was 12, I would go up the Gunbower Creek with Dad and my cousins,” she said. “My first duck was a teal fly­ing straight across the creek and I got it with a 410, I was too small for big­ger shot­gun. “My dog went and re­trieved it. It was fun." Emma is still a Field & Game reg­u­lar de­spite branch­ing out with great suc­cess into the In­ter­na­tional Shoot­ing Sport Fed­er­a­tion (ISSF) and Aus­tralian Clay Tar­get As­so­ci­a­tion (ACTA) shoot­ing dis­ci­plines. At the time of writ­ing, Emma was lead­ing the qual­i­fi­ca­tion race for the ISSF World Cup Fi­nals in Rome this Oc­to­ber af­ter tak­ing gold in the Women's Trap at the re­cent World Cup Shot­gun event in San Marino. While Emma won't be com­pet­ing at the Rio Olympics, she will be watch­ing closely be­cause the com­pe­ti­tion re­sults will count in the qual­i­fi­ca­tion race. She has set her sights on the 2020 Olympics and did not waste any time mov­ing on from Rio. Hav­ing trained ex­clu­sively for Olympic Trap (trench), Emma dis­played her ver­sa­til­ity by switch­ing to down-the-line and win­ning the DTL Nationals in Wagga Wagga. In July she was head­ing to the DTL World Ti­tles in Ire­land as captain of the Women's Mackintosh Team. "I dropped one sin­gle bar­rel to fin­ish with 749 out of a pos­si­ble 750 points," she said.

"No other per­son at the Nationals did that."

Emma's pur­suit of suc­cess at an in­ter­na­tional level leaves lit­tle room for shoot­ing Sim­u­lated Field but when­ever it fits her sched­ule, you will find her on the range. "Sim­u­lated Field is a big part of my train­ing. ISSF and ACTA are hard but you are shoot­ing the same tar­gets all the time," she said. "A month be­fore a com­pe­ti­tion, I go back to Field & Game and get my gun swing­ing again."

Emma was 15 be­fore she started shoot­ing clay tar­gets, mainly be­cause of dry con­di­tions, which re­stricted duck hunt­ing. "I got into tar­gets when it was quite dry and there weren't a lot of ducks," she said. “I needed to keep prac­tic­ing and de­vel­op­ing, so I shot Sim­u­lated Field and ACTA."

Emma be­lieves her hunt­ing ex­pe­ri­ence gives her an edge in com­pe­ti­tion, es­pe­cially if fickle winds are chang­ing the flight of tar­gets. "I'm quite a nat­u­ral shot be­cause I shoot a lot in the bush," she said.

"If it is windy and the tar­gets are chang­ing, I feel more com­fort­able."

Emma grew up par­tic­i­pat­ing in wet­land clean-ups, pest-con­trol ac­tiv­i­ties such as fox drives, and con­ser­va­tion work, in­clud­ing erect­ing and main­tain­ing nest­ing boxes.

These days her sched­ule is filled with train­ing and com­pe­ti­tion (and a nearly com­pleted univer­sity de­gree in teach­ing) but her love and re­spect of the bush is some­thing that is ever present. "A lot of my con­ser­va­tion work isn't or­gan­ised: I go out into the bush on my own a lot and I pick up rub­bish wher­ever I see it,” she said. “Con­ser­va­tion is cer­tainly some­thing that draws me to Field & Game."

There is an­other as­pect of Field & Game that re­mains an im­por­tant re­lease from the pres­sure cooker of in­di­vid­ual com­pe­ti­tion. "It can get de­mand­ing, so to go back to Field & Game and just walk around in a squad with my mates, it's fun and it re­minds you why you love the sport," Emma said.

"I like how we are also try­ing to get rid of the red­neck stereo­type that per­sists with hunt­ing, I'm glad I can be in­volved in it."

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.