Name: Donita (Doni) Spencer
Age: Old enough to know better
Marital status: Single
Children: I have a dog and a cat
Residence: Ontario, Canada
Home club: Guelph Rod and Gun, Guelph, Ontario
Educational background: High School; Business Careers Program; Customs College; National Firearms Safety Instructor; Customs Defense Tactics Instructor
Career: Canada Customs - currently an Instructor and Superintendent
What age did shooting interest start and why?
Firearms have always been a part of my family and my life. Guns were for hunting, and protection against predators, and not until I was 27, did I see handguns as sports equipment. It was the game of IPSC that hooked me, and the fact that it was a sport with firearms was incidental.
What type of shooting sports and hunting activities do you enjoy and why?
I love IPSC and I really enjoy Three Gun, but haven’t shot in years. I haven’t hunted in a long time either….IPSC definitely takes precedence. I love the challenge of applying my shooting skills to a variety of shooting problems. And hunting is more about getting in tune with (or back in tune with) myself. You can let all the day to day problems go, and just enjoy. I just love shooting!!
Other hobbies beyond shooting sports and hunting?
I like mountain biking; running; skiing; and driving my car…anywhere (yes, that’s right. I’m an Audi geek!!)
Most memorable moment in shooting: (competition or on the range in general)
US Open Nationals 2005. And not because I did well, but because of the physical challenges that everyone had to overcome. Quincy, IL, in July had the most oppressing heat I’ve ever felt. I believe that after surviving the heat and humidity and being able to think and perform through that…well, I can do anything!
What was the turning point that made you want to become a champion/become better shooter?
This one is easy. September 2004 – my first lessons with Eric and GG Grauffel. What a combination. I take lessons every year now, and they are the BEST coaches in the world! I am eternally grateful to their patience, their knowledge, and their friendship.
Who was most instrumental in getting you involved in shooting?
My step-dad, Larry Knudsen. He was a top IPSC shooter in Canada in the ‘80s and my first gunsmith. We still enjoy talking shooting and he loves my latest and greatest SV Infinity guns!
List of titles/records/achievements:
Canadian Ladies’ Open Champion (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006)
US Ladies’ Open Champion 2005
Mediterranean Cup Ladies’ Open Champion 2006
Many, many Area (Level III) Ladies’ Open titles from over the years.
List of equipment you prefer to use:
My guns are SV Infinity, all the way, baby!!! And on my open guns, only C-More for me! I shoot with Armscor brass and bullets…and I am extremely impressed with my CR Speed rig – holster, mag pouches and belt – excellent product.
Do you compete in any other sports? If so, which?
Nowadays, IPSC is my main sport. But I have enjoyed slowpitch softball, basketball, volleyball. I’m athletic and competitive, so whatever sport looks like fun, I’ll pretty much give it a try.
Any comments/reflections on women & guns, women & shooting sports or women in competition in general?
Basically, I feel that no matter who you are – don’t limit yourself. Don’t give in or believe the social or cultural stereotypes that are still out there. I grew up very lucky. My parents have always believed in me. They encouraged me to try anything I was interested in – sports, career, travel – whatever I wanted to do, they supported me. I believe in equal opportunity. I don’t care who you are, if you like it, are good at it – then you should be doing it.
The Ladies Shooting community is small, but it is growing worldwide. It’s fantastic, and I really think the guys dig it