Monday, August 17, 2015

Evin's Hunting Tips

By ProStaff Evin Damuth

Over the last year I have had the opportunity to Pro-Staff for several outdoor companies. Through this experience I have become friends with countless women who share such a strong passion for the outdoors. It is because of this that led me to become interested in Huntress View.  

Huntress View is a community of women who are passionate about hunting and wildlife, are outdoors any chance they get and share their experiences. This community of women is coming together for each other essentially. Founded by Andrea Haas, Huntress View tests outdoor products designed for women, shares stories of successful and unsuccessful hunts, recipes, and tips for women. This website is for anyone who is new to hunting or who is a seasoned hunter. Since I’ve had the opportunity to be part of their Pro-Staff I have made friends with wonderful ladies and learned things myself. It is so wonderful to be able to create a network of women who want to genuinely help other women get started!   

With that being said, I have read numerous articles from both men and women’s perspective of getting young girls and women introduced to the outdoors. While the content of these articles are spot-on, I wanted to share from my own perspective. Even though I have spent a few years in the woods and have learned much, there are times when I need to remind my fiancĂ© or even my dad that I’m not as seasoned as they are. Here are my tips for women who are interested in hunting this season:

1.    Don’t have a pre-conceived idea of what it will be like. I think a lot of women have a bad taste in their mouth for hunting because of what they think they know about it. Who wants to smell like doe urine, sit immobile for hours, and get eaten alive by mosquitos? Throw out all pre-conceived thoughts you have about hunting and just go for it. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

2.    You don’t have to have the most expensive gear when you are just starting out. I can’t lie, I love Bass Pro as much as anyone else does, and I’m always willing to splurge a little on hunting. That’s because I know what I need and I may be hunting in frigid temperatures all bow season long. If you’re getting started and are accompanying your husband in a deer blind 150 yards from the feeder, don’t feel the need to spend $100 on a pair of scent-proof gloves. Get the essentials and build from there.

3.    Be patient. Be patient in every area of hunting. Whether that means you’ve been sitting under the same tree for three hours or you’re trying to learn archery. Be patient. It won’t come easy, it requires work, patience, patience, and a lot of patience.

4.    Hunting isn’t a beauty contest. I’m a little guilty in this area! I still want to feel and look good when I go hunting. But the reality is, the animals don’t care. Outdoor Channel may have warped our thinking on this because who doesn’t want to look like Tiffany or Eva posing next to their harvest? The reality is though, that we’re going hunting, we’ll get dirty, sweaty, and hopefully draw some blood. Leave the lipstick at home.

5.    Try to be ‘present’ during the hunt. For me, hunting is all about being away from stress, the phone and just spending time with whoever I’m hunting with. Take time to enjoy the beauty of the nature around you.

6.    You don’t have to be as strong as the men. I can’t pull back a 70 pound bow, load a buck in the back of my truck by myself or move feeders. I need help, and that’s ok. That isn’t to say that as women we are completely helpless or unable to hunt alone. I hope each year to be able to do things I couldn’t the year before. Just know that we can take our own pace, and that’s completely fine. 

7.    Don’t shoot out of your comfort zone because you feel pressured to. There have been numerous times when dad and Cody have whispered, “Shoot it, shoot it, shoot it now,” and I haven’t. What is a good distance or enough light for them might not be for me. I won’t shoot unless I feel confident about the shot. Cody target shoots his bow at 100 yards; I haven’t even attempted that. Know your limits and comfort zone and stick to it.

8.    You may get criticized for trying a ‘manly’ sport. People always look at me surprised when I say I hunt. Then when they find out I bow hunt suddenly I’m on a whole new level. Hey, girls hunt. I know a lot of girls who hunt a lot better than some guys I know. Hunting is easily a women’s sport just as much as a man’s sport now.

9.    Be open to teaching moments. When I first started hunting, there were a lot of tears. Frustration would get the best of me. If you want to be serious about chasing game then you have to be open to teachable moments. I’ll never know everything, and I will always have something new to learn. If you’ve made a mistake just remember it and next time improve from it.

10. Have fun, make memories. For me, hunting is where I make my best memories. I have moments where I feel so defeated, and moments where I feel I can accomplish anything. The best part is that I get to have those moments beside my dad and my fiancĂ©. I can’t adequately describe the feeling of walking down a blood trail with those who are the most special to you and see what you were able to harvest. The hugs, the laughs, the happy tears, it’s a complete package.

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