Everyone has heard the saying “if there is a will there is a way”. There is so much truth to that statement, especially for me in the way I started my hunting journey.
I came from a farming family. Both of my grandparents were row crop and cattle farmers. My dad followed suit in his younger days until he gave up row crop farming for pipeline work. So being in the outdoors was always in my blood, but not so much from a hunting standpoint. One of my grandpa’s was a hunter and the other grandpa loved to fish. I believe that is why hunting was in my blood even though I did not grow up doing that. I always had a love for nature and the outdoors, but it wasn’t until later in life that my desire to become a hunter was fulfilled.
When I was a teenager the flame for hunting began flickering for me. My brother was fortunate enough to have his friend’s dad’s take him under their wings and teach him hunting skills. I did not have that mentorship and me being a girl made it more difficult. I continued on through high school playing sports, horseback riding and being active in other outdoor activities. I eventually married my high school sweetheart. He is very passionate about athletic sports, but never had a passion for hunting or the outdoors. My desire to become a hunter and fisherman still was there. That never went away for me. It wasn’t until I lost my mom to a long battle with breast cancer did my attitude towards life really change. I saw that life is too short and there where things that I wanted to do in this life and hunting & fishing was one of them.
I was 36 or 37, I had no girlfriends that hunted, but I was determined to find away to fill my desire to become a hunter. I found a “Becoming an Outdoor Woman” seminar in my home state that was sponsered by the Game and Fish Commission. I loved it. I had a good friend that let me start deer hunting on her property. That began my passion for deer hunting. I learned to deer hunt by making a lot of my own mistakes. I also sought advice from friends that are experienced hunters. I started out hunting with a rifle. That eventually lead to my passion for bow hunting, which is still my passion and favorite type of hunting today.
I became a trap coach for my son and his friends. I had coached or helped coach youth athletic teams in the past. I have always loved working with youth. I was still learning about shotguns myself, but it was a great oppurinity for me to learn as well. I coached Jr. High and High School trap for 7 years. It was a great experience.
Then I started researching online for forums and other avenues to connect to other outdoor women. I found a forum called “Woman Hunter”. That eventually lead me to “Babes, Bullets and Broadheads”. It was with Babes, Bullets and Broadheads that has really shaped me into the hunter and outdoors woman that I have become. I went on my first duck hunt and turkey hunt with this amazing group of women. It was so refreshing to finally connect with women that just loved being in the outdoors. They are wives and mom’s just like me who just happen to love hunting. I have made lifelong friendships with these amazing women and I hope to make more friendships in the future.
I went on a several duck hunts with BBB. I really enjoyed the hunts, but I wanted to be more involved in the hunt by learning how to call. That has sent me on another journey in my hunting. I started taking calling classes in the summers at Echo calls. Echo calls is a duck call company based in Arkansas. I eventually decided to start competition calling and that has really opended doors for me in the duck hunting world. I work very hard and do a lot of practicing and it has paid off in a short amount of time. I have only competed for three years and the last two years I was first runner-up in the Women’s World Duck calling competition. My goal is to win the women’s world someday and to eventually qualify for the men’s world. I also have got to work at a guide service as a guide for four years. I have also made great friends in the duck hunting world which has allowed me to go on hunts that I would have never had the oppurtunity to do any other way.
I have also found that I have a passion for turkey hunting too. I have been fortunate enough to learn how to call well enough to call my own turkey in. Although there is a lot of room for improvement on my calling. I still have a lot of goals to reach in turkey hunting. One day I would like to complete a grand slam.
I grew up fishing ponds with my grandpa. Now I have set my sights on learning how to bass fish. I have a long ways to go on learning how to fish for the sporting fish, but I love every oppurtunity I get to be on the water.
I still have goals that I want to reach in my hunting and outdoor journey. Hunting and fishing is a never ending learning experience. I may not reach all my goals, but fullfing my desire to become an outdoors woman is the best thing I could do for myself. The connection with nature is fuel for my soul. I hope that I can inspire people to follow their dreams and passion. Don’t let your lack of knowledge or skeptics keep you from getting where you want to go. “If there is a will there is a way”.