Before I started writing this blog, I was researching bowhunting and archery on my own. My interest in hunting was sparked when I was researching my piece on women hunters and local food for National Geographic and had the opportunity to talk with so many women hunters, both bow and rifle. It became an idea in the back of my head that grew and grew until I thought, “If they can do it, so can I,” and I’ve been on a mission to learn since then.
Because of that research as well as other writing projects, I’ve continued to have the opportunity to talk with many different women bowhunters, hunters, and archers, and wanted to share some of the tips they’ve offered that other women interested in pursuing archery, bowhunting, or hunting, may be interested in.
Vicki Cianciarulo: “Practicing is going to be key. The more you practice in archery, the more it becomes a natural thing to do. Make sure your anchor point is always the same every time so your sights are always in line every time. It’s really about keeping it fun and enjoying yourself. There’s a world out there that I never knew existed until I started bowhunting.”
Tiffany Lakosky: “Do not take your husband’s or boyfriend’s old bows. You want to be successful right at the start. The best thing to do is to go to an archery shop, try out a bunch of different bows and get fitted properly.,”
Lily Raff McCaulou: “The biggest piece of advice that I have is allow yourself to be really picky about who you hunt with. You can’t learn to hunt all by yourself. There will be people helping you and who you associate with along the way and you should make sure that they are people you’re really comfortable with.”
Georgia Pellegrini: “Bring things that will keep you as comfortable as possible because a lot of hunting is waiting and being in the elements. The goal really is to enjoy nature and participate in it and if you’re uncomfortable, you won’t have a good time.”
Archery seems to bring people together no matter what our differences may be. There aren’t too many things left in life that can be so unifying and exciting at the same time. Be true to yourself. Yes, it’s important to acquire the necessary equipment, clothing, mentor and attitude, but it’s up to you to take it seriously and concentrate on acquiring the correct skills necessary for success. Don’t devalue yourself as a beginner — use this time to learn, ask questions, practice, and thrive.
Hunting isn’t a solitary sport. Whether we end up in it for a single season or a lifetime, there are knowledgeable people available to discuss strategy and outcomes, hunting surprises or letdowns. Social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn offer various platforms for open and supportive discussion. Like-minded women (and men) interested in hunting are great sounding boards for gear questions, location options, and general hunting information. Don’t do this solo! Networks specifically geared towards women are always looking to help new hunters learn the process. Reach out and you will be amazed at the genuine friendliness of the hunting community. I know I was.
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