"In that first round [of 25 birds], I might have hit three or four," she said. "The recoil from that 20-gauge was tearing me up. By the end of the second round, my shoulder was killing me. Another member offered to lend me his 28-gauge, and that was a lot easier on me."
The experience left Litton wanting more. She and her boyfriend became regulars at the club, shooting as often as two to three times a week.
"My scores have improved quite a bit," she said. "On a bad day I'll hit 15 or 16 in a round, and on a good day I'll hit 21 or 22."
Polka-dotted rain boots are no longer part of her skeet-club attire. A padded vest now protects her gun shoulder, and a shooting pouch hangs from her hip and holds her shells.
"I finally have a gun of my own, too," she added. "I just got it - a 28-gauge Browning Citori XS Sporting. I think having a gun that really fits me will help me to shoot better scores."
She's even giving thought to entering a competition or two.
"Todd and I have discussed going to some competition shoots later this year," she said. "We think it might be fun, and it might help us take our shooting to another level. Todd shot in a small competition recently, and he shot his first-ever 25-of-25 round. It was awesome."
Litton's experience with skeet shooting encouraged her to try some shotgun-oriented hunting.
"I took the online hunter safety education course, passed the test and got my hunter ed card," she said. "Todd and I went turkey hunting during the season. We went camping at Stonewall Jackson Lake. I didn't get a turkey, but he did. We also went fishing, which was great.
"I definitely want to try dove hunting this fall. Some of the guys at the skeet club have an annual dove outing, and I'm hoping to go along."
Becoming part of the so-called "gun culture" hasn't bothered Litton for even a minute.
"Guns - and the people who use them - get a lot of bad press," she said. "I've found shooters and hunters to be some of the kindest, most giving people I've ever met. Every time I'm around them, I'm impressed by how helpful they are, how willing to share their time and their things with someone they hardly know.
"I've never found another group of people quite like it. So far everything I've done with them, I've enjoyed."
Reach John McCoy at 304-348-1231 or johnmc...@wvgazette.com.