Women in the hunting world have a harder time when it comes to certain aspects of the industry, specifically when they’re starting out. When I first began hunting in high school, I knew no other girls who hunted. I always went with my male friends, who didn’t mind me tagging along, but I still felt out of place. As the years progressed, I met a man who was an avid hunter (who will now soon be my husband). He goes on hunting trips every year with his dad and friends, but they are always “guys only” trips which seemed to be a trend.
Everything changed after meeting one of my now best friends, Brittney Glaze; she opened my eyes to a whole new world of female hunters like myself. I remember her calling me and telling me about a Georgia hog hunt with a group of girls who share the same passion for hunting as I do. She was part of the non-profit organization called American Daughters of Conservation who was hosting this hunt. I remember thinking to myself “why not? Go try it and see what you think” and that was the best decision I ever made.
American Daughters of Conservation is a non-profit, all women’s group, who hunt, fish and educate each other about everything outdoors. Their mission statement is “Women dedicated to North American wildlife conservation efforts, while inspiring fellow women and young girls to expand their knowledge of the outdoor sporting world.” There is a small annual membership to become an ADC member which is $40 a year. With your membership you receive a welcome packet with wild flower seeds to plant among other things. ADC is currently in 35 states with over 300 members and continues to grow each year. This organization gives way to a judgement-free, educational experience that is safe and most of all fun for anyone who attends the events.
I must admit, I was nervous going into my first hunt with a group of girls I had never met. Based on social media and other online networks, I had a skewed idea of women in the outdoor industry. Many images were focused more on the persons looks rather than who can actually take a clean, ethical shot to take down an animal or bait their own hook and catch something. I also worried that I would encounter judgement for never having been hog hunting or not being the most experienced but as soon as I got there, I knew it was not going to be the case. I had never met a group of people who were so down-to-earth! They were all so open and welcoming and I felt a sense of relief when I discovered that I wasn’t the only newbie to go hog hunting
The guides were phenomenal as well! They made sure each of us learned about hog hunting, the devastation they cause to the local crops and land in the area and different ways you can hunt hogs. We hunted with dog’s day and night, learning about different dogs to use – bay dogs versus catch dogs – tracking the dogs, night vision scopes and so much more. Since this hunt, I have attended two other trips with ADC, one in Maryland fishing in the Chesapeake Bay and recently, my first ever duck hunt, at Reelfoot Lake in Tennessee.
American Daughters of Conservation opened a whole new world to me. A world where women who share a common passion for the outdoors come together to encourage each other. You are never a stranger on any trip or organized events you go on with ADC. Whether you are an expert hunter, fisher, conservationist or you have never held a gun or bated a hook, this organization is a life changer. Through this organization you not only meet women who uplift, inspire, support and encourage you, you become family.