The Bird Bustin’ Babes started informally as a group of women shooting in a sporting clay league at the MN Horse and Hunt Club almost 10 years ago. Our name came from one of the spouses because we needed a team name for the registration. Sandy Austin, our defacto leader, started the team because she was tired of shooting with the guys. We gathered as a group of friends among our connections with the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program, and sporting organizations such as PF and RMEF. Once established, we've continued to attract other women shooters.
Six years ago, one of the BBB’s, Kristi Backer-Palmer, was saddened by the loss of public hunting land in her home state of North Dakota and elsewhere and as part of a leadership and development training course project was inspired to do something about it. She enrolled the rest of the gang as avid outdoors women, hunters and shooters, to create a sporting clays fundraiser called Clays for a Cause. Over the last six years, we have raised almost $28,000 for the purchase and or restoration of 1,201 acres of habitat in Minnesota.
The first year of Clays for a Cause, the lodge at Horse and Hunt burned down and it was -8 degrees during the event. We still had almost 40 shooters and raised $4,197 for the Veteran’s WMA in Wright County. Our 3rd year, the leadership of Metro PF came to us and asked to become our partner. Since partnering with Metro PF, we have continued to grow our event and raised over a combined $20,000 for the James Meger Memorial, Tiger Marsh and Blakesley WMA's. We actively promote the event to women, youth (including the high school trap teams) and shooters of all experience levels. Now in its sixth year, we are excited to see what 2019 Clays for a Cause will bring!
Other projects we are actively involved in with Metro PF are their Youth Wing Shooting Series and our Women Teaching Women Wing Shooting event. In 2017, we began partnering with Becoming Outdoor Women and completed a Women's Learn to Hunt Pheasant weekend. In 2018, we were honored to receive the Minnesota Partnership of the Year Award from Pheasants Forever for our work with Clays for a Cause.