Kassidee Dunford is the latest addition to Browning’s pro staff program and a joy to work with according to Scott Grange, director of public relations and shooting promotions for Browning.
Browning currently has a total of seven professional shooters on the team, four in the sporting clays discipline and three trap shooters. Dunford is currently the only female member.
Unlike many other companies in the industry, Browning’s focus is on quality rather than quantity when it comes to pro staff personnel. Grange was proud to say, “We are as interested in a person’s personality and other human aspects as we are in their shooting accomplishments.” Grange said that Dunford possesses all these attributes plus she is driven. “Just look at her academic ambitions.”
He joked that being a Browning pro staff member will not cover the mortgage payment. Most members of the team are compensated with product and a humble payment incentive attached for winning major events. He said, “These folks do what they do because they love the sport and are true competitors.”
Dunford started competing internationally at the age of 14 in a program called YHEC (Youth Hunter Education Challenge). At that time she shot archery, muzzleloader and a .22 rifle and shotgun. She won the state championship twice in the rifle event, but the shotgun was always her favorite. Dunford said that shotgun was always more of a challenge and that made it more fun.
Dunford has a motto, “In life there will always be losses... It’s up to us to focus on the next day.” This has carried her through life as well as her competitions.
A love for shooting was bound to be in Dunford’s blood. Her dad and brother love to shoot as well. She loves to hunt with her family. “There is nothing better than spending time with family and enjoying God’s beautiful country. The animals are the bonus,” said Dunford. She has always had a love and natural ability for shooting and that has taken her far.
She attended Morgan High School and graduated in 2011. Her junior and senior year she also played on the tennis team.
Once Dunford graduated from Morgan High School, she could no longer compete in the youth programs where she had enjoyed so much success. She decided that competing in the Olympics was the next step for her. “I knew it was going to be incredibly hard, but I am always up for a challenge, especially considering how much support I have from my family and the Morgan County community.”
Currently, Dunford shoots a Browning Citori XT Trap Gold and says she is absolutely in love with it. She has been to four preliminary Olympic try-outs. During those events she brought home two medals, one silver and one gold. Dunford is currently ranked number 23 in the nation and she expects that number to rise with the last gold medal she brought home. For official standings, you can visit usashooting.org.
The requirements to be on the Olympic team are constantly changing, but Dunford plans to keep trying until she achieves this goal. She competes in Olympic trap. In this competition, clay pigeons are thrown and you get two shots at each. The birds are thrown at more difficult angles and at a much faster speed than American trap.
Dunford is excited to have the opportunity to represent Morgan County, Browning, Utah and hopefully soon, the USA. She can’t wait to take the entire community on her journey and promises to keep us all updated on her Olympic dreams.