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Test Article Dec 27

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Dec 27, 2009 – 11:27:54 AM

We all need a social life

Written by: Stephanie Brown

I’m a mommy, wife, web editor, photographer, pseudo-web geek,
and professed social media indulgent who hunts. Recently, through Twitter, I’ve
found a group of women (and men) who share the same passion for hunting and the
outdoors. 

Scattered across the United States from Louisiana to Wyoming
to Wisconsin, and everywhere in between, the women I’ve met through Twitter have
made me even more proud to say, “I’m a hunter.”  Stacey Huston, a wildlife
photographer from Clark, WY, and fellow tweeter stated best how technology has
changed our passion: “It’s nice to have a bond with a better world and to know
there are like-minded women who share the same values.”

In a highly, male- dominated past time, the amount of women
hunters is quite low. No, I didn’t do any extensive research to validate my
hypothesis, it’s reality. With the increase in hunting television shows, women
surely are making their way into the hunting world – finally! Still today, I
hear “You hunt?” from both men and women. To peak their interest further, I tell
them I both archery and gun hunt. I’ve had men who hunt ask, “Do you have a
sister?” Sorry guys, no sisters. I read facial expressions to determine what
tone I need to use in the conversation. Each question becomes an opportunity to
educate people about hunting. 

To help build a greater women’s presence in the outdoors and
hunting, programs are being developed for women who are interested in learning
more. Team Huntress “was formed as an avenue to direct and empower women on
their path toward outdoor success. By providing exploration and discovery in a
safe and secure environment, ladies will be aligned to boost their confidence
and self esteem” (www.teamhuntress.com). Dave Olsen proprietor of Pheasant Phun,
Inc. at Olsens OJ Bar Ranch noted, “In guiding ladies, I have found it is not as
much about filling the game bag as filling their hearts with friendship and
recharging their souls.”

 The
programs are helping break down the hunting stigma and are getting more women
involved. These programs coupled with great advocates –both male and female –
are breaking down the “boys” only attitude.

The women I’ve met are moms; we tote our kids to ball games;
we pack lunches each morning; we work full-time jobs. Yet, we may pack a
concealed weapon, shoot in archery tournaments, or hunt with traditional archery
equipment – it’s what we do. Resoundingly, the women I’ve met would say hunting
isn’t just a hobby and it surely isn’t just killing. It’s much more than that.
Personally, hunting is peace, and one of the greatest challenges I’ve ever taken
on – well, besides raising three fabulous babies. Every hunting season while I’m
perched in my tree presents new challenges.

Through technology, my passion for hunting has changed
drastically. I have become more outspoken about my beliefs and have chosen to
share more of what I know with others. I know the difference between true
hunters and those who only hunt two or three weekends a year. And, I am a true
hunter.

I shoot my bow weekly. I shoot my gun regularly. The land we
lease is reevaluated each spring and we walk miles to find potential run-ways. I
know the animals I hunt. I understand their habitat, their sleep patterns, their
silly tail flicks, and I appreciate the doe that stands guard as her fawn feeds
obliviously on the fresh chickory. I understand the tentativeness they feel
every time they step into the vast fields surrounding our island of woods. I
understand the necessity to manage and maintain a herd of wild animals. I don’t
sit in a shack with a heater, (but I have because Michigan in December is just
damn cold.) and I gut my own kill.

I find myself along with my husband counting down to October
1 – opening day of Michigan’s whitetail archery season. The anticipation is like
that of a child on Christmas Eve. It is our time. It is the time when we don’t
have to work in the woods anymore, a time when we can enjoy the relentless
scouting efforts, and the tactical positioning of our trees stands. October 1 my
sights focus on the possibility of seeing a trophy whitetail, and with skill and
confidence, dropping the animal. It doesn’t happen in one afternoon or one day,
rather, I spend countless hours in my tree – waiting. The passion is refueled
each and every time a deer steps into my shooting lane or I hear fallen autumn
foliage crunch in the distance.  

This passion is not easy for many to understand; finally,
through Twitter, what I do doesn’t seem so remote. For the women who already
hunt, help share the passion. For the men whose wives stay home during deer
season, invite them along. If you don’t want to, one of the great women in the
outdoors Twitter circle will.

 

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