Female hunters shoot their shot

Female hunters shoot their shot

Tradition brings family, friends together

Sitting in a tree stand, looking out at the beauty of nature, and smelling the fresh pine is how senior Addie Knotts likes to spend her time with family whenever the opportunity arises.

“It’s a time I can really connect with my family who hunts. Me and my dad don’t get to spend a lot of time together because of our different schedules. When we are going hunting, waking up early and sitting in a deer stand is a great way I can spend time with my dad and brothers,” Knotts said. “It is also another way to connect with other men in my family also.”

For Knotts, killing her first deer was a thrilling and eager time for a young hunter. The moment that a deer walks out of the woods, Knotts recalls an adrenaline rush and it’s as if time slows down, waiting for the perfect moment to shoot.

“I was living in Montana at the time and I was probably about 5 or 6 years old. I was bow hunting… I was so excited during an adrenaline rush and I know after killing it, I felt empowered knowing I was just a little girl and who just took down this whole deer,” Knotts said.

Senior Addie Knotts enjoys hunting not only as a sport but as a way to bond with family and friends. “Hunting gives us an outlet to explore nature and bond with other family members,”
Knotts said. (Izzy Burgess)

When residing down in the South, it is very common to come across other kids who have been raised on hunting. For Knotts, it played a big part in her family for providing necessities for their needs and giving her a sense of independence.

“We always have the freezer stocked with anything and everything we hunt for. It gives me a sense of being able to provide for myself and my family,” Knotts said. In the hunting community, the biggest hunts for them are the trophy hunts which only happen once or twice in a hunter’s life. Knotts hasn’t experienced one yet but she plans to in the future.

“I haven’t done a traditional trophy hunt before, but when I was 6, I tagged along to go grizzly bear hunting on horseback when I was in Montana. My dream trophy hunt is probably either a bear or a big cat,” Knotts said.

Similarly to Knotts, a quiet chilly day in the woods is how senior Madeline Richmond likes to spend her deer hunting season. While not being raised on hunting, she found herlove for it through mutual people in her life.

“My other family members hunted and I watched them growing up going out in the woods. When I moved down here from Ohio is when I really started getting into things because a bunch of my friends hunt and it seemed like fun,” Richmond said.

Senior Addie Knotts talks on
how often her family goes
hunting. ”Depending on
the season, we go hunting
around thirty times a year,”
Knotts said. (Izzy Burgess)

Despite the criticism this sport receives, especially for female hunters, there is a sentimental history for it.

“People shouldn’t always [look] down on hunting because in ways, we are providing for us and our family, also sometimes for other families as well. It’s honestly a way of life, ” Richmond said.

Since Richmond wasn’t raised on hunting, she turned to her dad for help as she had to figure out how to get started..

“My dad taught me how to shoot a gun, since he knew how to do all of that. My dad’s friends are the ones who took me out and showed me how to look for stuff when hunting and what I needed to do,” Richmond said.

Izzy Burgess

Freshman Peyton Walters recalls looking out excitedly as she makes a shot she believes to be perfect.

“One of my best moments was when I shot my doe [dead] because normally if you don’t shoot it perfectly [it’s] going to run off, so the first doe I killed was my best hunt. I felt really nervous but I was so excited [when] I saw it drop,” Walter said.

Hunting either in groups or alone is common, but for Walters, she enjoys hunting with someone becauseit adds more entertainment to it.

“It is so fun to sit in the deer stand and just talk about anything. It will also bring you closer with them since you’ll be stuck with them for a couple of hours in the deer stands so you get to talk to them more,” Walters said.

For a lot of hunters, hunting is a sentimental activity that can be cherished , if that involves family or even family tradition.

“It means I get to spend time with my family and

friends. I also get to be out in the wilderness,” Walters said.

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