As we get close in on Nov. 1st. when the top 10 Hardcore Huntress finalists are posted on Tahoe Films Ltd. website, I thought now is a good time to share my essay with you. Regardless of the outcome I hunt because I am passionate about it. Hunting is a large part of what makes me tick and has enriched my life beyond words. I am thankful to those who have helped with my questions early on in my blogging and have become friends through the pages of Women's Hunting Journal. A few individuals in particular I wish to extend my sincerest thank you to;
Cristina Acosta, for her encouragement, support, guidance and inspiration. Color Conversations
Daphne Hougard, who has an amazing eye for capturing women in action through the lens. DaphneHougardPhotography
Suzanne Schlosberg, for her expertise in writing, editing and knowing the right questions to ask. Suzanne Schlosberg
Without further ado, I present my Hardcore Huntress Essay and photos:
My dad began taking me upland hunting and waterfowl hunting in southern Oregon when I was 10 years old. Those excursions set in my mind search patterns for doves, mountain quail, pheasants and waterfowl. Though my dad died when I was only 17, the values and ethics he instilled in me while hunting shaped my actions in the field and transcended the hunt to enrich all aspects of my life. He taught me that a responsible hunter is a steward of the land and its resources.
About 15 years after my first hunt, I reached a time in my life when I needed to clarify why I was hunting. The taking of life had become too heavy of a burden. For several years I stepped away from the field to better understand my motives. Each autumn, I felt the change of seasons pulling me back. I missed the sounds of the marsh at daybreak, the annual migration and witnessing the arrival of a new day in landscapes rich with life. Whether I went afield with a weapon or not, I learned that my father had nurtured the heart of a hunter.
I reentered the field on a lovely October day. My sabbatical had served me well and I found myself renewed, my senses magnified. When hunting, my pace harmonizes with nature's rhythm. I become the predator, putting aside my own comforts. A successful hunt might end with 4 days of goose hunting lying motionless in a ground blind, and not firing a single shot, or spending an October night in a freezing- rain lost in a mountain forest.The challenge of surviving in the wild, the tensions between predator and prey and beauty of nature fuels my passion and commitment to hunting that keeps me in the field more than half the year.
Hunting is about paying dues and putting in time. I have stalked for hours with the scent of elk in my face encouraging me along when my leg muscles were screaming. I've hunted bear during a sodden spring in the Oregon Cascades. Hiking ridge after ridge in tick and mosquito infested vegetation in hopes of seeing bear sign. I was rewarded with a one-shot kill of a big 7 square bruin with my 7mm Remington Mag at over 200 yards downhill. Dropped him in his tracks and then the work began. The rain pounded all night. I was so tired I could barely chew my sandwich.
Decades afield have taught me that hardcore hunting is conscious hunting. The success of the hunt is not measured in hearts rendered idle, but in the total experience. Preparation, dedication and knowledge of one's prey and one's self ensures that the hunt is a privilege to be enjoyed, savored and appreciated regardless of the outcome.
Women's Hunting Journal Integrity For The Hunt