I am a woman who hunts
I am a woman who hunts. I am “female”, mother, daughter, sister, aunt by title. Although I was raised in the south, where as the song says” where the green grass grows”, I never felt I was at peace with my environment, almost as if I was not yet “far enough detached” from the roads, trains and scarce street lights. I always have had a sort of wanderlust as best I can describe. Yet not per say in the sense of travel, but in the sense of finding solitude in detachment through being in the depths of nature.
Although my family was not one vested in the hunting traditions, I knew very well the sense of the forest. I had nothing more than a pocket knife, some snacks in a pocket, a walking stick and a fresh water spring to reach for hydration to be my long summer days companion.
EVEN THEN I WAS AT HEART A HUNTER OF THE WILD
It took many years before the whimsical wishes of my mind became a reality for me. No longer a wishful pretend play of a child as I unknowingly but willingly gave my very sense of happiness and peace to the forest I knew as my comfort. Choosing as I grew the more minimal aspects and necessities, reveling in my abilities to create with my hands. I enjoyed spring breaks tucked in the woods off a creek by a fire instead of a sandy beach somewhere in south Florida. Even choosing abnormal meat cuts and picks as an adult in the effort to personally display my ability to prepare for my family whatever my mind could think of as abnormal to most.
Moving forward to the present, I no longer dream of being the able hunter, swift and silent through the forest. In today’s reality, I am living the life I so childishly mimicked. The most amazing part of this, is the fact that my dreams and ideas have been far surpassed by what I have found in the forest in reality. I can never forget my first time walking the forest in the dark, alone, seeking a tree to climb. I was scared in my mind, but realized, that was false chains placed on me. The moment I looked down and realized I was capable and able, climbing trees 30-40 feet without hesitation…because
I AM A HUNTER, I AM A WOMAN WHO HUNTS.
Breaking my mind and body free, showing my inner child that she was right, she was extraordinary just as her childhood self-believed.
Many hours, miles, a few moments of frustration and let’s not forget the beef jerky! I look back on every day my body was angry at me for pushing past it’s comfort zone, hours spent learning instead of sleeping and the times I had to just admit, I was wrong…but I regret nothing. Knowing I am anxiously awaiting the kick off date to go through this all over again. Like it’s my first time realizing what Christmas is and the excitement waiting. Every tear, cut, blister, cramp, frost nipped digit and rain-soaked clothes, I long for once again, like an addiction unlike anything I have seen in my years as a nurse. I know why I go to sleep thinking about it, wake up working towards it, succumb to obsessing over it. The reason is becuase …
I AM A HUNTER, I AM A WOMAN WHO HUNTS.
In unison with my personal life finding new joy, I came across an underlining yet not hidden idea of female hunters. Over time as well as recently I came to know of various shows with odd titles to say the least. I choose to not specify as I am in no way attempting to discredit the women who were involved and in fact are validated and proven hunters. The women you can look across any social network and see a display of knowledge, effort and ability to hunt and harvest. Yet at times some women may be in fact exploited in way that are not in effort to bring respect to the community of women who hunt. These women are simply used to be viewed for like, shares, comments. Why not provide the public with shows displaying dedicated women showcasing how skilled they are, not centered on “proving”, women who may not even have a few hundred followers, a perfect body, or youthful attributes? Although I am very aware that networks are out for money, yes I know it’s just business, but why at the expense of the respect for women who hunt? One show in particular, is based around social media “famous” women who claim to be hunters, being placed in front of a camera, to prove they deserve the title. This is a multidimensional problem being faced by the female population of hunters. How odd it is to find a situation where a female must “PROVE” herself. Like the chicken and the egg ancient question, which came first? False individuals, and their false representation of female hunters or the attention on female hunters, causing some to decide to attempt and many times succeed as “fake” female hunter seeking the spot light by any means. Many, many times I come across stories, posts, comments of women in outcry for their right to be respected and seen as equals in the hunting community. The upset of “imitation/fake” female hunters is reality that each woman has to face now. This being an example of how but a few can bring negativity to the whole flock.
It brings me sadness in my own short time as a hunter, which makes me even more saddened for woman who have lived the life of a hunter since childhood. Now to be questioned at any given time in regards to legitimacy thanks to a hand full of others and ill driven companies losing site of what pays their checks. The hunter can never be replicated, only imitated and those who matter sees this, and by all accounts are increasingly growing weary of it, cutting ties to the companies that continue to fuel the flame. I write to you today to say to every woman who has taken the time to build my spirt, inspire my ambition and feed my soul. I write to every mother, daughter, sister, young, old, new and experienced, new generation and old. I write to say.
WE ARE HUNTERS, WE ARE WOMEN WHO HUNT
If a woman needs to go on television to prove she is a hunter, maybe we, meaning me, maybe you, could be any of us failed to show love and support. The thought of needing to prove on a camera what should have been evident in a lifestyle insane. Being a hunter should be easy to see from the attitude, an unmistaken way of life, a distinguishable knowledge and more, should have been displayed to the public. If these things are lacking, maybe this shows the what should be seen as doubt to the public in females who “claim” the title of hunter. Taking a step back and asking ourselves, if false presentation was the reality, why anyone felt they had to falsify themselves to be accepted. Many failures have lead us here, evident to me in a very short time. So, I say this in hopes of remedy in the future. Remember, each of us was once a beginner, waiting various lengths of time to harvest our first wild game, be kind to those you know are making their best efforts to hunt. It is like black and white to those who truly know the meaning in the word hunt, which women are true and which women are decoys. It can be upsetting to see but it’s best to not think defense mode to any new comer, give each a chance to prove where their heart lies. Lending a wise word if asked when decisions arise in the “Industry” that are clear attempts to misuse this individual. After all, why would anyone buy or use product from a person with no display of hunting experience, or knowledge in the area. When the only comments on post are “you’re hot”,” so sexy”, and you know the rest. These followers and friends don’t appear to be a crowd looking to buy hunting gear in my mind. I have seen individuals unable to simply tell another hunter what type of deer populated the state just north of home, not even 4 hours away. Yet that individual was being approached to represent hunting products as a hunter. Not her fault, you can’t blame the woman for what the companies do. Coming back to the main topic, keep in mind when we see the exploitation of women in these distasteful competitions to “Prove” they are truly hunters and not putting on a facade remember…. when did men have to prove themselves as hunters? Place upset where it belongs or should I say speak boldly with respect to the entities creating these none truthful platforms to use women as eye candy. Not choosing women based on skill, but on appearance as the priority. Taking a lifestyle many hold high and respect, take pride in, and making it a “trend” for a pretty face to represent instead of an educated mind and skilled able body, is not what the future of female hunting needs. The more we stand together in making it known that this is not acceptable, the sooner life can return back to respect and for women and role models to our daughters.
I can’t say enough how abundant in love the community of women who hunt has been to me as I have grown in not only my ability as a hunter, but as an example. I am an example as are many, many others of what the heart of humble true sportswomen can produce as we pass on our passion in hopes of a bright future for generations to come.
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