Have a Blast

20 May 2024

Jackson Hole Shooting Experience offers first-timers or longtime firearm enthusiasts a safe place to learn and recreate

Summer/Fall 2024

Written By: Jessica Smith | Images: Courtesy Hole Shooting Experience

The Jackson Hole Shooting Experience blends the Wild West with modern day for a whole lot of fun. Started by Lynn Sherwood and her husband Shepard Humphries in 2010, the Jackson Hole Shooting Experience offers guests of all backgrounds and experience levels a chance to safely learn and recreate with firearms in a controlled environment alongside a knowledgeable instructor.

Entrepreneurship isn’t new to the couple — they’ve shepherded a number of business ventures over the years, but the Jackson Hole Shooting Experience is the one they’ve held onto the longest, and it’s clear why. Both Lynn and Shepard share a passion for the shooting sports, and are eager to share this appre- ciation with as many others as possible.

For Shepard, the business wasn’t just a natural extension of his career experience in law enforcement in both California and Wyoming. A catalyst of starting the Jackson Hole Shooting Experience was a friend who’d enlisted Shepard’s help. The friend had inherited a number of firearms after his father had passed, and asked to tap into Shepard’s expertise. After their lesson, his friend said, “That was amazing, you’re a good teacher. You know, you could start a business teaching city slickers like me!”

For Lynn, shooting is not a sport that she grew up with, and she admits to feeling nervous when she took her first pistol class at 37 years old. She described being teary and trembling before taking her first shots on the range, but she was determined to give it a try and face her fears.

“I took a few shots with my coach and I looked around and I was like, ‘hmm, that’s actually not what I thought this would be like,’” Lynn says, remembering that first class. “About 10 shots in, I was just hooked. It’s like this lightbulb went off in my head.” Joining her first range competition just two weeks later “for the camaraderie and community,” she says, now she’s a true enthusiast, a trained instructor, and dedicated to giving other newcomers that exact same opportunity.

THE EXPERIENCE

Newcomers are, in fact, welcome at the Jackson Hole Shooting Experience. Many groups are family units, within which several members may have experience with firearms and several may not. “This  family dynamic is our niche, our specialty,” says Lynn. The most popular option is their Multi-Gun Rifle & Pistol Experience, which allows clients to learn about and get comfortable with a variety of different firearms and target distances.

Once an experience is booked, the guests will meet their instructor, receive their safety gear and then be escorted to their reserved space on the range. “Each family or group has their own private coach, with 100% attention dedicated to them,” says Lynn. The coach begins with a safety briefing and will then walk through the fundamentals of several small caliber firearms, working their way through the different types, allowing the guests to become familiar and comfortable with a variety of options.

“The coach will engage the family in some competitions against their personal best and against each other,” Lynn explains. “It’s a really fun and safe way to learn about shooting before getting into the larger calibers and longer distances.” The company has over 70 guns at the ready, with steel targets placed between 15 and 600 yards. “It’s so satisfying to hear that ‘ding’ when your bullet hits exactly where you wanted it to,” says Shephard.

MAKING CONNECTIONS

Building an afternoon of family bonding and memo- ries is the true experience that Lynn, Shepard and the instructors seek to create for their guests.

“We want families to have big connections,” Lynn says, and what better way to do that than through a unique experience that pairs new knowledge, new skills, and a healthy dose of friendly competition. Lynn has numerous heart-warming and humorous stories about guests moving through their fears and blossoming on the range. Some family members remember their previous shooting experiences, and offer tips. Instead of texting or scrolling on their phones, kids are taking photos and videos of their family members hitting the target. An ideal situation, Lynn posits, is that, 10 years from now, a family is sitting around the dinner table, reminiscing about their Jackson Hole shooting experience, and sharing fond memories of being together.

Personable instructors are an integral part of the Jackson Hole Shooting Experience — spending several hours one-on-one with guests to make sure they feel safe and have an enjoyable time.

“We’re incredibly fortunate to have such an amazing team,” Lynn says. Many of their instructors have been working with them for over five years, and some more than a decade. The instructors and employees also make lasting connections with their guests.

“A longtime guest in her 80s feels like an old friend,” says reservationist and booking guru Ashleigh Allan Read. “Every time she calls, I jump to answer the phone because I know we’re going to have a fun conversation. And I love it when I get to give her hugs on the range and see how well she knows all the longtime coaches!”

CHOOSE YOUR EXPERIENCE

In addition to the family favorite Multi-Gun Rifle & Pistol Experience, guests can opt for a number of experiences, including shotgun clays or archery. “Some of my wonderful memories have been with families enjoying archery,” says longtime instructor Scott Austin. “I have watched many families develop tighter relationships while enjoying their newfound family sport.”

Those interested in extreme long-range options can choose the Nomad Rifleman experience, which features steel targets for guests out to 2.5 miles away. In fact, in September 2022, the team and friends achieved a new world record, hitting a target at a mind-boggling distance of 4.4 miles.

Whether your group consists of family members, friends, co-workers or you want to ‘give it a shot’ solo, and whether you’re learning something new or simply eager to enjoy a familiar hobby — the Jackson Hole Shooting Experience has something to offer. Learn more by calling (307) 690-7921 or going online to www.shootinjh.com.

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