Thursday, May 14, 2009

Huntress!

Through the dense underbrush the hunter silently creeps along the forest floor. Every muscle on edge as the hunter creeps on moccasin clad feet toward the elk. The wilderness has hardened the hunters lithe body through countless trails walked and innumerable mountains traversed. The bow is strong in the hunters hand as the elk steps into a small clearing at the edge of the forest. Strong arms pull the string to full draw, a razor sharp broad head tips the wooden shaft of the arrow. Turkey feather fletching along the back of the shaft will guide the deadly projectile toward the elk when the hunter releases the string of the bow. The elk is completely unaware of the danger lurking just inside the timberline. As soon as the bull nears the center of the clearing, the hunter releases the deadly projectile. The arrow slices through the air impacting with the old bulls body with an audible thump. The hunter knows the hit is good and stands up in the shadows along the tree line.
She stares in the direction of the mortally wounded bull, the sound of the large animal falling to the forest floor leaves no doubt that the magnificent animal has succumbed to the arrow. With practiced stealth she approaches the downed elk, after saying her prayers of thanks and honoring the fallen prey she begins the arduous task of butchering the carcass and carrying the winters supply of meat back down the mountain.
With a full pack of elk meat, the old bulls antlers crowning the final load, she will bring down the mountainside this year, she surveys the countryside. Aspen groves alternate between towering spruce and pines along this ridge. A cascading creek flows down the mountainside creating a small but beautiful waterfall near where the old bull fell. Four trips down the steep mountain so far with boned out meat and this is the last one. In a nearby tree hangs the arrow which took the old bulls life. An offering to the spirit of the hunt and a token of respect for the fallen elk. She shifts the heavy pack upon her pack and begins her descent back to civilization and the comforts of home. On an adjoining ridge she spies movement, four horsemen followed by several heavily laden pack animals are heading up the mountain, they have enough food and gear for fifty men and are making enough noise to run every elk clean out of the country. She begins walking back down the mountain on strong legs, muttering to herself about the foolish boys who feel compelled to come to her mountains every year. And as usual they are just a little too late, the elk herds have already crested the summit early today and will be in the high basin by this time tomorrow. Her blue eyes sparkle as she grins to her self, and enters the dark timber with her hard earned trophy. Boys will never learn.
I this modern world of ego driven males and their desire to be the greatest of the great hunters, we must not forget the wild women with which we share the forest. Only one on fifty of our fellow hunters is of the feminine variety, yet many of our wives , girlfriends, daughters and even mothers and grandmothers would gladly join the ranks as fellow hunters if they felt they were welcomed and accepted into the sport. Some of the finest outdoorsmen I have ever known were in fact ladies. So next time you head out into the wild places ask your special lady to come along, you may just find that she is a huntress just waiting for the chance to stalk the wild places.

14 comments:

fishing guy said...

Hawk: Welcome back to the blogging world. That was a great story for you comeback and I'm sure you have your lady with you on some of your hunts.

Tom Sorenson said...

Glad you're back! Good story - and a good point. It's good to remember - I'd hate to drive my wife away from enjoying the outdoors the way I do.

Stacey Huston said...

Great story Mike. thanks for reminding everyone that the outdoors is not just a "boy's club" It is there for all of us to enjoy~

Sandy said...

I know several women who hunt. Welcome back!

TSannie said...

Great story - looking forward to the next chapter in the huntress' life.

RainforestRobin said...

Hi Hawk, I was very touched by this post. As you know, I love and have lived with the wild. I really resonated with it. I want to learn even more. I don't think it ever stops. That was one of the magics of living in the wild, was that I always saw and learned something new...every day. I think the learning is as infinite as nature herself.

If you ever do a piece on how to make a bow (and arrows) or know of good info. let me know. :)

Also I ran across this recently. A slightly different area of what you speak but nonetheless related.
And thank you for such wonderful writing. RainforestRobin

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Environmental history books have mostly focused on men’s roles, and generally women’s involvement with nature has been ignored. Even historical texts have been deficient in writing about women participation in environmentalist actions. So, the result is that women’s role in environmental struggles and debates about nature has been hidden from history. However, in reviewing recent centuries’ environmental crises, we can see women of every social class, nation, or color had raised their concerns about the environment more noticeably and openly. According to Bella Abzug, one of the founders and regional co-chairs of U.S. based Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), women by their increasingly nature-focused activities want to prove to the world that they can make a difference, and be a powerful force for positive changes in the environment and the world around them. [1]

Bugler said...

Great story, you are right if women
like and want to hunt they should.

fishing guy said...

Hawk: Where are you, I miss your stories.

Cherie said...

While personally killing a little critter is beyond this sensitive heart of mine - I guess I've never been hungry enough, hey - I do enjoy target practice. My dad and husband call me 'Dead-eye' for I'm a pretty good shot.

From a family of hunters who hunt with gratitude to the animals, kindness and consideration, I do thank you for this good balancing post. My mom used to shoot rabbits and quail during the depression to take home to her family when she was a kid.

Surf and Sheds said...

Great ode to all Women Hunters! We proudly take the honor of sharing space with all the fellow men hunters out there! Just ask and you might be surprised.... is so true!

Marian Love Phillips said...

I have been a huntress for over 20plus years now and have enjoyed this grand sport only because my husband-to-be at the time took the time to show me after I told him one day early on that I could do this! Not only am I a Mother, grandmother but also a great grandmother now and still going strong. I don't want to ever give up hunting! I love being in our great outdoors! It gets in your blood. A good post Hawk!! :)

Two Crows said...

Hi Mike,

I just read your article about hunting with your kids in Primitive Archer-- very inspiring. I would like to know the Lakota prayer you say after a take-- I want to teach my kids reverence and respect as well. Can you email to me?

Mike "Hawk" Huston said...

TWO CROWS, PLEASE EMAIL ME YOUR ADDRESS SO I CAN SEND YOU THE PRAYER.. HAWK

Kristine Shreve said...

What a great post and so true. I don't hunt (yet) but I have been privileged to be welcomed into the outdoor community by a lot of male hunters who think like you do. I shudder to think what my first experience would have been like had I met primarily the other sort.