Country Is Where The Heart Is

Jason Aldean Concert

I’m writing today’s post still reeling from the Jason Aldean concert I attended this past weekend.  It was incredible.  I’ve been going to concerts my whole life, but this was my first country show.  My interest in “country” things has grown in recent years, so I’ve had a lot of “firsts.”

I didn’t grow up country, I grew up in the city.  I’m glad to have found my way to the country side of life.  Looking back on how I was raised, I don’t think it’s surprising I ended up here.

I’m the only girl with two brothers.  Being girly was never the norm for me.  Sure I loved my Barbies and Polly Pockets, but I also loved Legos, Hot Wheels, and getting dirty.  I spent part of my childhood in Northern California playing in the sun, climbing trees, chasing geckos, and digging in the dirt.  I have the freckles on my face to show for it.

Country Huntress Fishing Young

Proudly displaying the day’s catch. You’ve gotta love the 90s fashion!

My dad is very much an outdoorsman and my summers were full of exploring the Puget Sound.  Making forts out of driftwood was a pretty common occurrence, as was exploring new areas, caves, and hiking trails.

Country Huntress Driftwood Forts

One of the many forts we made out of driftwood growing up.

Country Huntress Beach Driftwood

I have a lot of great childhood memories playing on this beach.

Country Huntress Exploring

My love for exploring the outdoors started young.

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Huntress – What’s In A Name?

You wouldn’t expect it, but the word “huntress” is actually quite polarizing in the world of hunting.

By definition, a huntress is a woman who hunts.

Huntress Defined

Simple.

In actuality—it’s not that simple.  Some women are so absolutely put off by the word, you’d think it means something completely different.  When researching reasons why women hate the word, I found a lot of people saying they’re not “that kind of girl.”

Of course, I had to dig deeper to find out what made someone “that kind of girl.”  It appears the term refers to women who are perceived as high-maintenance, want rhinestones on their pink camo, a cute gun to tote around, and is more concerned about how they look than shooting an animal.

To me, that definition stems from people letting their preconceived notions make the word far more loaded than it truly is.  Not to mention putting limitations on what they believe females can do.

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The Value of Female Hunters

Bighorn Outdoor Adventure Show

This past weekend, I went to the Bighorn Outdoor Adventure Show with a friend of mine.  It’s a sports and recreation show with over a hundred booths for all things hunting, fishing, and outdoors related.  I didn’t go for any specific item.  I mainly wanted to look around and see what was there.

One of our last stops was at a booth for an app that tells you if the land you’re on is public or private.  Several people have mentioned this app to me before and said it’s a great tool to use when hunting.  I’ve seriously considered purchasing this app knowing that I’ll likely be hunting on public land this year.  So I was happy that we found the company’s booth.

The man working at the booth overheard me saying I was interested in the app and walked over.  Immediately, he focused his attention on my male friend.  He gave him the whole sales pitch, not even glancing my direction.  I was pretty taken aback.

Part of me wanted to stop him mid-sentence to say, “Hello!!  Hi!  Interested, potential customer over this way!”  Instead, I just stood there waiting to see if he would include me in the conversation.

He never did.

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Failure to Launch: Learning How To Fish

Female Hunter Fishing

For this post, I’m taking a trip down memory lane to the time when my then boyfriend taught me how to fish.  It’s a tale of frustration and triumph.  I can’t help but laugh every time I think back to how ridiculous we must’ve looked out there trying to fish in the dark.

To set the stage, I’ve only had two real fishing experiences growing up.  The first was when I was 4 years old and we were using my dad’s super secret bait—beans and cheese.  I’m sure you’re surprised to learn it didn’t work and we caught no fish.  The second experience was when I was a 14 year old who wanted nothing to do with forced family bonding time.  We spent a few hours at a lake, but no one caught a fish then either.  This meant, I had never dealt with actually catching a fish.

Fast-forward to now.  My boyfriend at the time tells me we’re going fishing this weekend.  I was excited.  I hadn’t been in over a decade and wanted to learn more about his favorite hobby.  With the word “weekend,” I assumed we were going Saturday morning.  He, however, had other ideas.  Night fishing, his favorite.  When we got to the lake, the sun was setting and I took in how pretty it was.  We had a secluded lake out in the country all to ourselves.  It seemed like it would be a good night of fishing.  We started setting up our spot, getting out the lantern and spotlight for when the sun went down.  We covered ourselves with bug spray since the bugs were out in swarms.  Pro tip: Don’t get bug spray on your lips, they get all numb and tingly.  Plus it tastes repulsive.

My first task was to learn how to bait the hook with worms.  I’ve never had a problem with worms.  Digging in the dirt at recess was pretty normal growing up.  My friends and I heard if you cut them in half they’d grow back whole, so obviously we had to experiment.  Young curious minds!  This meant grabbing a worm to put on the hook wasn’t bad… until I stabbed it on the hook and the thing squirmed between my fingers.  I’m sure I’d squirm too if someone was trying to poke me with a hook!  But I had a job to do, and after a little bit of finagling the worm was securely on the hook.

The next lesson, how to cast the line.  This I vaguely knew and was decent at, if memory served me right.  Well… my memory was wrong, very wrong.  My boyfriend said to cast it straight in front of me.  I brought my arm back, then forward and let go of the line with my finger…  and watched it as it veered far to the right, almost into a bunch of lily pads.  I can’t tell you what happened, other than I wasn’t the best and my boyfriend really didn’t like the line being that close to the lily pads.  I tried again, carefully focusing on what I needed to do.  This time, the line actually went straight!  And right smack dab in the water a mere three feet from my shoes.  In a nutshell, I was awful.  By this point, the sun had nearly set and the night sky was becoming our only light.

For some reason, I couldn’t grasp the concept of letting the line out slowly.  I say it’s because I couldn’t see what I was doing.  My boyfriend maintained he could see great in the dark, unfortunately I’m not equipped with the natural gift of night vision.  My boyfriend was annoyed that I either let the line out too fast or wasn’t holding the reel correctly to let it out.  I can’t tell you what I was doing because I couldn’t see the seemingly foreign object in my hand.  The realization started to sink in—I knew nothing about fishing.

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