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Danielle_Lynise Jan 10th, 2019

A New Hunter’s Perspective

“I want to become a hunter, I don’t come from a hunting family, and I don’t know anyone who hunts. How would you suggest I start?”

This was the first thing I asked about 100 different people at several outdoor conventions. I was determined to learn how to hunt, but I had no clue where to start. That was about a year ago, and I can definitely say that a lot has changed since then.

A few challenges

I’ve always been interested in hunting, but I never knew how to begin. Looking back, I was very ignorant to a lot of things. Just like most non-hunters, I didn’t understand how much hunters contributed to conservation, and how strictly hunting is regulated. If you’d asked me about public land, I wouldn’t have known what you were talking about. I didn’t understand how people hunted, but I knew it was a possibility. And after various health issues in 2017, I was dead-set on learning how to harvest the most organic meat on the planet.

Women in the Outdoors

It can be intimidating trying to become a hunter – especially being a female in a male-dominated industry – but luckily there are a lot of new programs that are making it easier. For instance, I joined the NWTF in New Jersey where they’ve started a Women in the Outdoors program to introduce women to hunting. This allowed me to find two mentors who took me on a number of hunts. These hunts didn’t result in an animal harvest but allowed me the chance to learn much faster than I would have on my own.

My first harvest

On October 27, 2018, after 4 turkey hunts and 2 deer hunts with no meat to show for it, I finally harvested a beautiful 8-point buck with one of my mentors, Christina. This was only a few weeks after placing a poor shot on a doe that I was unable to recover.

Walking up to the deer I’d harvested, I was overwhelmed with feelings of accomplishment, gratitude, and a bit of sadness for the life I had just taken. But this was a small part of a much more fulfilling journey I experienced. All of the things that I’d learned and the people I’d met culminated to this point

Preparing the meat

On October 27, 2018, after 4 turkey hunts and 2 deer hunts with no meat to show for it, I finally harvested a beautiful 8-point buck with one of my mentors, Christina. This was only a few weeks after placing a poor shot on a doe that I was unable to recover.

Walking up to the deer I’d harvested, I was overwhelmed with feelings of accomplishment, gratitude, and a bit of sadness for the life I had just taken. But this was a small part of a much more fulfilling journey I experienced. All of the things that I’d learned and the people I’d met culminated to this point.

A new perspective

Hunting has given me a new perspective on how I view myself, nature, and conservation. When I began, I had no clue how many species of animals that were right here in the United States. I didn’t know about the near extinction of a lot of those animals. Or the tremendous effort made by hunters to restore those species.

I was also able to learn about my own resilience and patience, all while making dozens of new friends along the way. Hunting has made me feel more connected to my food and the world around me. I truly believe hunting has made me a more compassionate, confident, and knowledgeable woman.

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