Dec 10 2013

Tips and Tactics: Run the Action

NRA Women presented by Smith & Wesson.

In this week’s Tips and Tactics video, Il Ling New explains why keeping the gun in a firing position while you run the action helps you be ready to take the next shot that much faster.

Nov 26 2013

The Bugout Kit

Peabody on Il Ling's Bugout Kit, Ready to Go On The Wild SideSome of you have asked about my bugout gear, so I’ll tell you what MY packs have — everybody’s kit will be different, but should have the basics. Mine weighs more than the recommended “25% of your body weight” — it comes in at just under 50 pounds. But I’ve made sure I can lift, stand, and hike with it if I have to. The cool thing is there is a smaller backpack that zips off the front of the large pack. I’ve loaded what I consider to be the most critical items in it, so I’m still ready if I only have room/energy for the smaller pack. This photo gives you an idea of size: Peabody is a 11 pound mini-dachshund.

(I use ziplocks and/or space saver bags — both to protect stuff, but also to have the bags available.)

This list is NOT in order of importance!

Small (Critical Items) Pack:

  • Water filtration system+steel cup+collapsible water bottle
  • Fire starter+candles
  • Disposable towels
  • Head lamp+ batteries
  • Comprehensive first aid kit ( also includes trauma stuff, rubbing alcohol, saline, dental floss for sutures, etc.)
  • Duct tape, paracord, zip ties
  • Garbage bags
  • STORM whistle
  • Fixed blade knife
  • Multitool
  • Permanent marker
  • Socks
  • Fleece stocking cap
  • Non-battery flashlight
  • Clothes (including waterproof stuff)
  • Saw
  • Neoprene gloves
  • Nitrile gloves (also in first aid kit)
  • Alcohol wipes (also in first aid kit)
  • Orange safety vest
  • Orange surveyor’s tape
  • Orange bandana
  • Survival suit
  • Space blanket
  • Strobing blinker
  • Breathing mask (dust, etc.)
  • Copies of passport, etc.

(Personal defense tools go on my person)

Bugout Gear: In the larger pack (which, again, zips to the smaller)

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Extra clothing
  • Quick-dry microfiber towel
  • Permanent marker
  • 5-hour energy
  • Large garbage bags (the dark, thick ones)
  • Water proof pads – can be used together as tarp, or individually to carry, wrap, funnel, etc.
  • Tissues
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Emergency poncho
  • Baby wipes
  • Additional first aid supplies (to supplement those in small pack)
  • Extra shoes
  • Playing cards (aside from obvious use, can also be used for paper, etc.)

And of course,
Peabody’s Pack — which goes into a dog carrier, just in case we need that for transport, etc. (ditto the muzzle):

  • Food
  • Stainless food and water bowls
  • First aid kit (I put it together just for dog stuff)
  • Extra copies of rabies, etc.
  • Extra leash
  • Extra collars, including lighted collar
  • Extra harness
  • Blinker (can attach to leash, collar, harness, etc.)
  • Extra ID tags (harnesses and collars also have ID attached)
  • Muzzle
  • Poop bags
  • Quick-dry micro fiber towel
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Thundershirt
  • Rescue Remedy (herbal calming drops)
  • Treats
  • Toys

Nov 25 2013

Have A Plan

1. Have a Plan. Those of you who know me professionally have heard me talk about this. And “What If” scenarios. Having thought about both, particularly in the event of fire (a fact of where we live), I’d already made up my mind to JUST LEAVE. I don’t know what I don’t know, but I DO know that I don’t know fire. Not a thing about it. So my plan has always been to ESCAPE, stay out of real help’s way, and not panic. (Hint: Having made up my mind to JUST LEAVE helps with the not-panic part.)

2. Be serious about your bugout kit. Have one (don’t just talk about it). Check it. Update it. Be able to GET to it. And have one for the important beings in your life: Peabody has her own, though she’s a little small to carry it by herself. I was able to get Pea, both kits (and mine is comprehensive (= heavy)), and me in the car in about 5 minutes.

3. Have a 3G or 4G capable cell phone. It was vital for getting info, nevermind calls, texts, etc. And even after getting home, when power and phone were’t working, I had a link to others. And keep it charged. You don’t know when you’ll have a chance to charge it again!

4. If you possible can, don’t run out in your flipflops! Get out with as much hard core gear on your person, as you can : boots, clothing with pockets, gloves, hats, eye protection.

5. Extra lights (not just your personal one): even in non-rural areas, you might not have power. You might need lights to guide emergency personnel and vehicles, signal, keep yourself visible while moving about, etc. The key is EXTRA, and in different configurations, in addition to your daily carry light.

6. Firearm: I always have one on an overbelt (which I use everyday when dog-walking). It has a spare light, ammo, loaders, etc. Though I had others as well, I grabbed the overbelt on the way out, and had that much more, all ready to go.

7. Make peace (as is possible) ahead of time with potential losses. Having thought about the possibility of fire before, having executed my plan — and thus having the most important things out with me, I found that I was calm. The prospect of losing the house and its contents was very real (I really believed it was a goner), and not pleasant…but I had already decided, before this ever happened, that I wouldn’t worry about “just stuff.” My dog was safe. I was safe. My neighbors were safe. We’re good. It hadn’t occurred that this would help me, but it made the watching and waiting SO MUCH more bearable!!

8. Be thankful. There is always something to be thankful for. Find it.

Nov 23 2013

What Am I Thankful For?


First, it’s never to early to be thankful, especially at a time like this. Here’s what I am thankful for today (Nov. 23, 2013) — IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER:

1. Heroic neighbors — the one who, on smelling the smoke through his dog door, only had the time to get his three generations of family members out (including a baby), but THEN, ran all the way over to another neighbor’s to pound on their door to warn them. In his underwear (no time!) We live in a rural area, and that was a football field sized run. THANK YOU, NEIGHBORS!

2. More heroic neighbors — the pounded-door neighbors divided tasks, and while one ran around grabbing stuff, the other took the time to call ME and another neighbor, to warn us. Fire? What fire?? I had NO idea. Where I was in the house, I could not smell, or see, ANY of this. And who knows WHEN I would have figured out there was a fire headed my way (someone later said, “the fire crews parked in your driveway would have been a clue…)”? THANK YOU, NEIGHBORS!

3. And more neighbors — There is only one road in and out to my home — and that one way was now in flames. But there is a dirt path leading from another neighbor’s place. It’s a switchbcck, since we’re all atop a big hill. It’s unlit and little used, it can be treacherous and daunting in broad daylight — nevermind the dark of night, with a fire on your heels. One of my neighbors waited for me, and led me down the trail (the other, who is a retired firefighter, stayed behind, to see if he could help). THANK YOU, NEIGHBORS!

4. And all my neighbors — We gathered at the volunteer fire station at the bottom of our hill (yes, I’m thankful for that too!!), looking up at the flames consuming our hillside, wondering if anyone’s home would survive. The first two neighbors’ places were completely surrounded when they left. The neighbor who led me down the path sat in my car, and we spent the rest of the night in camaraderie. She kept us updated with messages from the one who stayed behind. From time to time, all of us would exit our vehicles and brave the cold to gather to exchange news, thoughts, predictions — but really, I think we were just glad to be there with and for each other. For me, knowing that every one of my neighbors had reached out to help each other, made things a lot better. No matter what, we were all safe — thanks in large part to each other. THANK YOU NEIGHBORS!

5. Our firefighters. (Remember, I said in NO PARTICULAR ORDER, because it’s impossible to judge….) Heck, ALL firefighters! Our volunteer firefighters, along with units dispatched from neighboring towns, were on the scene in what seemed like minutes. And again, remember we are in a rural area. But when that siren wails, those men and women are on it. In the deepest darkness, up a very steep one mile hill, they drove and hiked up to save our homes. Not a single home burned, and I’m telling you the flames were so close, my first two neighbors drove through them to get out. When I was allowed to return home at midnight (those first two neighbors didn’t get back until 0400), there was an engine in my driveway, with three firefighters from another town, positioned there to protect the structure. And there they remained, through the night.

6. Gifts of nature and fate: Earlier in the evening, we had winds roaring to 35 mph. For whatever reason, they decreased a bit during the fire, and despite them, our firefighters were able to contain this hell. Cold: Not a friend of fire. I’ll never complain about it again. Rain: after the driest period ON RECORD, we finally had two days of rain — two days ago. Had that NOT happened…?

7. Luck: ’nuff said. But it includes the fact that we were able to drive our way out. That there IS a volunteer fire station within a mile. That somehow, we’re all safe, and have not lost much.

Oct 4 2013

Going Long Distance

Going for the long shot in Afghanistan. Il Ling New On The Wild Side

For those who have never shot long distances, nestling behind a rifle for 600-yard or longer shot can seem daunting.

With all the hype about long-range shooting these days, a “short-range” shooter might feel a little left out. I’m a die-hard hunter who believes that getting close is as much a part of the hunting experience as is making every shot a clean vital-zone hit.

As a rifle rangemaster at one of the nation’s most popular shooting academies, I’ve seen and heard of my share of excellent shooters and hunters. One that garnered my particular admiration was a sheep hunter who, having gotten his Grand Slam, was working on international species—his and personal goal was to take every one at 200 yards or under. Of course, this could have been an exaggeration, the same as those stories of successful shots at a 500-yard running elk. How refreshing to hear someone speak proudly of hunting—not just shooting—skills.

Yes, I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to hunting. Here I am, decades into my shooting career—as a guide, client, and rifle rangemaster at the nation’s oldest private firearms training facility—and I just took my first shots beyond 500 yards.

Read the rest of the article at American Rifleman.

Sep 19 2013

Tips and Tactics: Maintaining Distance From a Threat

In this week’s Tips & Tactics video, Il Ling New talks about the importance of maintaining your distance from a potential threat, and explains where some of those potential threats could be.


Sep 9 2013

Be Better When it Counts: Training Tips for the Budding Defender

Il Ling New demonstrates the proper Weaver stance to her Gunsite students. On The Wild Side

Longtime firearm instructor Il Ling New has provided her top 10 tips on becoming a better marksman.

It’s no secret that, to improve any skill, you’ve got to practice, practice and practice some more. So, if you want to be a better gunfighter, you’ve got to dedicate yourself to practicing with your sidearm—and yes, there’s a right way to go about it. Here are 10 suggestions that can help focus your practice.

1. Learn and understand the safety rules. I recommend the Four Safety Rules. Adhere to them without fail, and be able to do so without fear. This is the foundation of being in control of yourself, and thus, your firearm. With these, you control your situation.

2. Learn how your firearm works—inside and out, backward and forward. You don’t have to learn every part, or every function, but you should understand it well enough to be able to explain the main buttons and levers, and the basic mechanics of how it fires.

3. Get aggressive. Now that you get it—the firearm, that is (see No. 1 and No. 2, above), there’s no reason to be afraid of it in your hands. Yes, there will be some recoil—especially if you need to fire more than once—which is something you always should be prepared for. So get strong on the gun. Understand that your body position can help or hinder your ability to manage it, and learn to use your entire body properly.

4. Focus on the job at hand. As Jeff Cooper used to say, “The purpose of shooting is hitting.” Be in the present (you never knew that yoga and meditation practice would help, did you?). Don’t worry about the noise, don’t think about the recoil. And, to keep your eye properly on your sights, don’t look for the holes! As much as is humanly possible, imagine that target out there is a bad person intent on harming your most beloved. You need to stop it, and you have the power to do it. Apply the mechanics you were taught, and get it done.

5. Take breaks when you want to. Throughout your shooting session, give yourself time to process the mental and physical efforts you’re exerting—these can be considerable if you’re training properly. Don’t be in a rush to finish a sequence or a session.

Read the rest of the tips at American Rifleman


Aug 15 2013

Tips and Tactics: Hunting Safety

Whether you consider yourself an expert hunter or this hunting season will be your first, it’s always important to review safety rules. Il Ling New reviews hunter safety in this week’s Tips & Tactics video.

Jun 30 2013

Il Ling New Profiled in NRA Women TV’s ‘New Energy’ Series

See Il Ling’s profile where she reveals the four things her dad told her everybody should learn to do, and how taking stock and following your bliss can make all the difference.

Bonus: Cameo appearance by Il Ling’s Dachshund sidekick Peabody.

Jan 22 2012

Il Ling New 1 of 4 Stellar Inductees for Outdoors Hall of Fame

Il Ling New is the No. 1 female firearms instructor and hunting guide in the United States.

Tom Stienstra, Chronicle Outdoors Writer
Sunday, January 22, 2012

Il Ling New, America’s No. 1 female firearms instructor and hunting guide, was the top vote-getter in this year’s balloting for the California’s Outdoors Hall of Fame.

New was inducted at a ceremony Saturday at the Sacramento International Sportsmen’s Exposition, which ends a four-day run this weekend at Cal Expo.

The Circle of Chiefs also inducted fishing tackle pioneer Sep Hendrickson, hiker Scott Williamson and fly fisher and scientist Jim Adams.

Others considered by voters this year include snowboard Olympian Shaun White, bicycling guru Austin McInerny, Marin outdoor historian and hiker Barry Spitz and renowned trekker Leo Le Bon.

Anybody can nominate a candidate for the Hall of Fame. The award is based on a vote of past winners and leaders in the outdoor industry, media and government, free of any faction. All candidates must fill two requirements:

  • The nominees have inspired thousands of Californians to take part in the great outdoors and/or conservation.
  • The nominees must have taken part in a paramount scope of adventures.

For information, go to

Il Ling New
Born in San Francisco and a Yale graduate with an MBA, she turned her back on a lucrative marketing career to teach people self-protection, how to handle firearms, and hunting. She is America’s No. 1 female firearms instructor and No. 1 female freelance guide. She has hunted across the hemisphere and to Africa twice, including for Cape buffalo, and trains hunters from across the hemisphere prior to world-class expeditions. She has hunted ducks in California since age 10. As an instructor, she has had a profound influence on people across America, and has taught Marines and police as well as housewives and hunters of all backgrounds. Her skills are world-renowned; with a handgun small enough to fit in her palm, she can put three shots in a pie plate in 5 seconds, has competed nationally for skeet titles, and is versed as an expert in all rifles. She has a stunning ability to improve others’ skills and safety. Named on more than 75 percent of ballots.

Read the rest if the article at SF Gate.