John's Journal...

Cristie Gates - Benelliís Lady with a Gun

A Lady in the Hunting Industry

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Cristie Gates of Accokeek, Maryland, media and exhibit manager at Benelli U.S.A., recentlyClick to enlarge took her first turkey with the new Benelli Vinci, a semi-autoloading shotgun. This week, Gates will tell us about her hunt, the new Vinci and the many opportunities for women in the hunting industry.

Question: Cristie, what’s being the only lady in a hunting camp full of men like?
Gates: I’m not really a girlie-girl. I grew up as a tomboy, and I enjoy outdoors activities that most guys enjoy. So,generally in most camps, I fit-in, and I’m treated just like one of the guys – no differently than any other hunter in camp, which makes me feel really good. I don’t feel like I need special treatment.

Question: How much opportunity for women is there in the hunting industry? You’re in a top position in a male-dominated business. Are there opportunities for other women in hunting companies?
Gates: There are opportunities for other women, but I’d be lying if I said that the good old boy’s network didn’t still exist in the outdoor industry. I think that as long as a woman is willing to immerse herself in the outdoors and Click to enlargebecome a part of all that’s in the outdoors and not just be a bystander, the opportunities for women in the outdoors are limitless. Click to enlarge

Question: Why would you encourage other women to consider a career in the shooting sports?
Gates: My job is exhilarating. I find it very rewarding, and I really enjoy getting to know all the other hunters in camp. I love being a part of the excitement and the moment when a fellow hunter becomes excited about an animal or bird that she or he’s taken. I’ve made lifelong friends in many hunting camps I’ve visited. You have time at camp to get to know others and share experiences – both victories and defeats - that bond you to the individuals you meet in hunting camp. I’ve made great friends over the years in the hunting industry.

To learn more about Benelli’s Vinci, go to

Tomorrow: Benelli Knocks the Kick Out of Recoil

Check back each day this week for more about "Cristie Gates - Benelliís Lady with a Gun"

Day 1: Turkey Hunting - A Huge Adrenaline Rush
Day 2: From the Farm to South Africa
Day 3: A Lady in the Hunting Industry
Day 4: Benelli Knocks the Kick Out of Recoil
Day 5: Benelli and Gates 10-Years from Now


Entry 505, Day 3