I’ve grown up around guns and hunting. I got my first gun, a little Henry .22, when I was around 4 or 5. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know how to shoot a gun or safely take care of it. Around that same time, The Outdoor Channel would play in the background, while I would practice my bugle in a grunt tube that was left behind. Growing up I always knew that I wanted to hunt. My imagination was fueled by the desire to hunt big game animals.
A few years back, in a well-known hunting store, I was admiring the beauty of the Caribou shoulder mount hung on the wall. I’ve always dreamed of hunting one of those amazing creatures. Standing in line, I told my mom, once again, how I wanted to hunt a Caribou. When behind me a guy started laughing. He told me then that it wasn’t something he ever thought he’d hear from a girl’s mouth. If I were a boy on the other hand, it wouldn’t have surprised him. The store carries hunting gear for women, yet he was still surprised with what came out of my mouth.
When it comes to actual hunting and being in the field, some people outside of my family don’t understand how serious I am when I talk about wanting to be involved in the whole process. In the past, I’ve been told that terrain would be too rough for me, or that I wouldn’t like something. They obviously don’t know me if they think I’d let them tell me what I like or wouldn’t like about hunting. Give me a chance to prove myself and you just might be surprised. I know I’m not the only woman who has had to deal with these stereotypes, and I’m lucky enough to be around a lot of guys who are really welcoming. However, there are those that still believe that hunting should be for guys and that women don’t belong.
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About the writer:
Heather Reed is a Wyoming native, living just 30 minutes away from the best the Mountains can offer. She fell in love with hunting and the outdoor lifestyle at a young age, when she'd watch numerous family members bring back their harvested animals and share their animated hunting stories. While other kids wanted to play dolls or other games, Heather created hunting games and imagined shooting trophy animals. Now that she's grown, she still dreams of hunting these animals. If she's not hunting, or even thinking about it, she's out fishing, shooting or cheering on the Detroit Red Wings.