Resolved to Hunt

CITNB Co-Founder Heather on her first hunt.

CITNB co-founder Heather on her first hunt.

For almost a year, I’ve been working on this blog to encourage women to hunt, fish and otherwise enjoy the outdoors. I fish, target shoot, camp and hike but unlike my co-founder, I had never been hunting (check out my first post for the background).

We’ve been able to share a lot of inspiring stories on this blog. Women who started hunting to spend time with family. Women who started hunting to know where their food is coming from. Women who are passionate about conservation. So on January 2, I went on my first hunt.

My husband, our friend and I won a goose hunt at a TRCP dinner two years ago. We missed the first season because of scheduling conflicts so I was determined to  hunt this season. About 50 emails of coordination later, I got a note on Christmas Eve that we could go in the next week. It was finally happening!  

I looked at a post we did a while back on a hunting checklist for clues on what I should be rounding up. My main concern, as a person who would use a space heater in July, was warmth. I made sure I had layers and layers, and bought hand warmers. I also talked to an old co-worker for tips. Geese are big so they look like they’re going slower than they are. Aim for the beak. Grab the corner spot of the blind so you have more of a swing radius (I kept that one to myself).

The night before, we packed up our stuff and showered so we could roll out of bed at 3:30 a.m. I then browsed through some books to decide on the goose recipes I would be making. My husband, who has hunted before, wisely warned that I was “putting the cart before the horse. There’s no guarantee we’ll get anything.”

Of course we’ll get something! After all of this time and coordination – and personal build up – I will be able to proudly serve goose tangine and goose fajitas. Obviously.

The morning came and we drove the hour and 45 minutes to the duck blind. We were excited. This was my first hunt, and my husband and our friend hadn’t hunted goose before.

At 6:30 a.m., we walked to the blind, loaded our guns and waited. And waited. By noon, we’d heard geese… but they hadn’t come in close enough for us to even try to take a shot. Only once had it seemed worth switching off the safety, but they still didn’t come down low enough.

After more than five hours in the blind, we were skunked. I climbed into the backseat of the Jeep and rode home next to the cooler that remained empty.

I was bummed; we all were. Of course I grew up knowing my dad would come home from hunting without anything. But for the first time, I had decided: Yes, I want to go hunting. It sounds silly, but it hadn’t really occurred to me that my resolve to go wasn’t enough. I wanted to go and had decided I would not be squeamish about pulling the trigger when given the opportunity. But the geese put this planner to shame.

Still, as bummed as we all were, we had a good time. We had hours of story telling and laughing. I’ve read about that a lot in the last year of blog posts. There’s a lot of waiting that comes with hunting and it’s filled with camaraderie.

I left my first hunt resolved to go again. I have now been hunting, but I still need to take my first shot.

6 comments to Resolved to Hunt

  • Jay Gore  says:

    Thank you for trying. Don’t give up. Jay Gore

    • Heather  says:

      Thanks, Jay! I will definitely be trying again!

  • Alison Fenn  says:

    Great story, Heather!

    • Heather  says:

      Thanks, Alison!

  • Teresa  says:

    You are terrific, and would be so fun to go hunting with! You know, with that kind of planning and positivity, you are bound to come home with something before too long. Who got to run the goose call on this trip?

    • Heather  says:

      Thanks, Teresa – I really appreciate it! We were with a guide who handled the call.

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