There is a saying that goes like this…
“You are the average of the 5 people with whom you spend the most time.”
In a world where so many young people are striving to become relevant and we are overwhelmed with misinformation on the internet, I’m proud to work in an industry where I can easily surround myself with like-minded peers. Specifically the women and young ladies who have bravely made the conscious decision to work in the hunting and fishing industries.
Many young girls get their start in hunting from their Fathers or Grandfathers, which may just be a core reason why they have high standards and a good grip on life. Teaching young girls not only how to shoot a gun, but also how to clean and care for that gun, can only breed a generation of positive and inspiring young women who know how to take responsibility for themselves.
I’m proud to be a part of the female movement in our industry. We don’t just put on our camouflage and sit in the blind while someone else does the dirty work. We educate ourselves and take pride in putting food on the table for our family. We wake up before the stars have gone to bed, and sometimes we struggle to put on all of the base layers that we so desperately need to guard from the cold. We live and breath the culture that is hunting. We love the smell of fish slime on our hands. And hearing somebody praise us for a job well done and a trophy well earned causes us to immediately forget that stinging cold wind and the growling in our stomaches from not having time for breakfast. We are hunters.
Because I have been in my industry for over a decade I’ve seen some women come and go by the wayside because they weren’t genuine. They were here for the free meal, not to put the meal on the table. Now I find myself surrounded by ladies like Jana Waller, Eva Shockey, and Melissa Bachman (among many others) and it makes me proud to be a part of the hunting and fishing heritage that we fight so desperately to keep.
Surrounding ourselves with like-minded and positive people can only make us better in the long run. It’s not a competition, it’s a team effort to pass this down to the next generation of hunters and gatherers. When we stop trying to be the best, trying to know it all, and striving to set ourselves apart – that’s when we will realize that we are stronger as a group. Our voices resonate louder, and as long as we are all shouting the same thing, it will be difficult to argue.
In many industries the women fight over who is prettiest or most popular. I find that it’s difficult to fight with a group of talented ladies who are well trained in weaponry (and likely have a sidearm at all times), so instead of trying to be the best, we encourage each other to keep up the good reputation and continue setting a good example for the young girls who so desperately want our jobs. And with a little help and encouragement, hopefully someday those little girls grow up to be just like Jana, Eva, Melissa, and countless other talented huntresses that I have the pleasure to work beside.