Interview: Team Benelli Captain Dianna Liedorff-Muller
Outdoor Hub Staff 09.14.16
Editor’s note: This exclusive OutdoorHub interview is one of a many focusing on the amazing females who are challenging society’s norms and breaking down gender barriers in the process. Dianna Liedorff-Muller is one of three diehard shooters featured in CarbonTV’s “Women Who Shoot” online special (below).
This original “Women Who“ series explores a woman’s take on typically male-dominated pursuits. Whether it’s shooting, hunting or farming, these women make no apology for who they are and aim to inspire the same passion in others.
OHUB: First things first – thank you for your 22 years of service in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as a law enforcement officer. We can only assume it was a tremendously challenging job at times. Anything you want to share?
Dianna: My career in LE was amazing! I really enjoyed it, but I must say I feel like I got out at the right time. It seems popular to hate the police these days. It’s extremely gratifying to get to help people out and chase the bad guys to keep the good guys safe. The communities really need to get behind the police and stand up for the good guys!
OHUB: Barrel racing was a big part of your life before jumping into shooting sports, correct?
Dianna: I lived in a barn for many years, so I’d say it was a big part of my life! Horses, horse shows and barrel racing have been a part of my family since before I was born. My first competition (walk-trot class) was at 4 years old! After college, it took a couple of years to get my feet under me and get back into barrel racing, but that was my primary hobby from 1994-2011. I found 3 Gun in 2009 and started dividing my attention between the two sports, but by 2011, I decided to give up the farm and focus on shooting. I just loved the people and the sport. I say it’s a God thing, because I would have never envisioned my life without horses.
OHUB: Were you introduced to firearms and shooting at an early age?
Dianna: Our family had guns in the home, so respecting firearms and gun training started before I can really remember. My father and I went deer hunting when I was 15 and 16 years old. I harvested my first deer when I was 16 – with a handgun! Although I appreciated the deer jerky, I didn’t care for sitting still and freezing in the early morning hours, so my father turned our attention to handgun competitions. We enjoyed going to pistol matches for several of my high school and college years, but horses were still my first love. During that time, I focused on horses – guns came later!
OHUB: You compete regularly in various shooting sports disciplines. Do you have a favorite?
Dianna: Yes, 3-gun is my favorite! It incorporates the pistol, rifle and shotgun in timed courses of fire. It’s been called the X games of the shooting sports, with a lot of running and gunning! The variety of stage designs never lets the game get monotonous, and I’m always learning something. In fact, I still document the good, the bad, and the ugly after every match.
OHUB: Is there one “so close you could taste it” moment during a shooting competition that sticks in your memory?
Dianna: Oh yeah. The 3 Gun Nation Ladies Finals 2013, Las Vegas, at night, getting filmed for the TV show, 3 Gun Nation, going for $25,000 dollars. Lena Miculek and I were shooting head to head, best two out of three runs. She had won the first bout and I had won the second bout, and we prepared for the third. I reloaded my rifle laying in the box instead of picking it up like usual. I didn’t know until after the first shot on the rifle that I hadn’t seated my magazine. After the first shot, the magazine fell out and it was all Lena needed to cruise ahead of me and win. Hard lessons learned!
OHUB: Tell us about your role with Team Benelli.
Dianna: In 2014, Benelli named me team captain. Our team is comprised of top 3-gunners across the country. Our focus is to not only compete at a high level, but more importantly, be good ambassadors for the company and the sport. We also work with the sales staff to promote the products at dealers and shows. People may notice that one of our jerseys is a Realtree camo pattern base. This was an effort to appeal to the hunting crowd and let them know that there is a shooting sport out there that may supplement their hunting skills, and perhaps give their guns something to do in the off-season!
OHUB: What is your conceal carry gun of choice?
Dianna: I really like the size and feel of the Smith & Wesson Shield in 9mm. I did an episode of “Shooting Gallery” on the Back up Gun Nationals. During the filming before the match, I tried out several different carry options, including the air-weight Smith revolver that I had carried for many years. Over the years of qualifying with it for the police department, I knew it was a beast to shoot (being so light made the recoil very aggressive) and I always shot high with it. So, during that session, I settled on the Shield going forward.
OHUB: This November, Americans will choose their next president. How big of a factor in your voting decision is a candidate’s faithfulness to the U.S. Constitution, and specifically the Second Amendment?
Dianna: I’m extremely concerned about the next election. During the first Democratic debate, my mouth hit the floor when Hillary Clinton said that she was proud to call the NRA an enemy. She just called 5-6 million law-abiding AMERICANS, enemies! ME? An enemy? It still makes me shake my head.
The Second Amendment is definitely under attack, and it’s my opinion that it is the spine of our constitution. It’s more important than ever to reach out to those that may not have the experience or the opportunity to shoot and understand firearms.
This past July, The DC Project came to fruition. Last fall I had the idea of reaching out to our legislators, so I started inviting women to join me. It’s a grassroots effort of 50 women, one from every state, meeting in DC to establish relationships with their respective law makers, giving them a face and a story of a real gun owner and a 2A supporter. We even had a rally in front of the Capitol! Ultimately, it would be great to get each and every one of them to the range.
I plan to start working at the state level on getting firearms education back in schools. One of the things I would tell your audience is that they, too, can reach out and meet their legislators. They don’t have to go to DC. The DC legislators have offices in their home states and split time between the two. You can also meet your state legislators, even your local elected officials. Most have websites and it’s easy to request a meeting with them!
OHUB: You were recently featured in CarbonTV’s “Women Who Shoot” series along with Niki Jones and Becky Yackley. Do you see yourself as a role model for other females who are interested in shooting?
Dianna: I don’t look at myself as a role model, but I understand that I might be. I really love the shooting sports and specifically 3-gun. I love my country even more, so I really try to live my life as a good American, and hopefully that would be something others can look up to. I certainly see Becky and Niki as role models. Becky is like the Energizer Bunny; she accomplishes more in 1 hour than I do in the entire day! She’s the upbeat, “let’s do this,” and do it with all the bells and whistles. Niki has been a force in the industry, specifically focusing on the women.
OHUB: Final question: If you could take part in only one more outdoor adventure, where would you go, what would you do, and who would join you?
Dianna: My final outdoor adventure . . . I would like a guided (pampered) tour of the Yukon Trail in Alaska and sleep in a glass igloo under the northern lights. That’s on my husband’s wish list and it sounds pretty cool, and I would, of course, take him! If it’s a big igloo, I would take our families. We love hanging out with them and playing cards. LOL