The Support System

I’ve mentioned Karen Lee, editor of Women in the Outdoors magazine in a previous post. She’s a great hunter, and hands down one of the funniest people I’ve ever met—she’ll come out with these one-liners that will have you on the floor in hysterics. She's also just a marvelous person in general.
Women in the Outdoors (both the organization and the magazine it puts out) has done a lot to introduce ladies to the field. So Karen offered (since I'll be out of town for a few days) to write a guest post on how she got into hunting, and the support that helped her continue with the sport. So without further adieu…--K.H.

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I didn’t grow up hunting or in a family that hunts. We always were more of the canoeing, hiking Karen_2 types. In fact, I didn’t even know my father owned a gun until I started work at the National Wild Turkey Federation and became editor of Women In The Outdoors magazine.
Thinking back to my first hunt (a turkey hunt in Mississippi) when I was 22, I smile at my parents’ reactions. The hunt happened the week before Easter, so I made a side trip on the way home to spend the holiday with them. Dad had me pose in full camo with our dog—a stray mutt that adopted us when I was in grade school—for a picture I still keep in an album titled Favorite Photos. And Mom weeded through the turkey feathers picking out the prettiest ones to pass out to her students at school.
Now, both of them are active participants in the wild game dinners at their church. When they’re flipping channels, they pause on a hunting show just to make sure my husband or I are not on it. And both of their vehicles sport NWTF stickers. Neither of my parents hunt, nor are they in danger of picking up the habit anytime soon. But they are 100 percent supportive of me. And I am thankful.
When you’re a novice hunter, it’s important to have a mentor to show you the ropes in the field. But it’s just as important to glean moral support from family and friends. Surrounding yourself with people keeps you energized and excited about your new adventure.
You never know. You may just recruit a new hunter along the way.
But I just can’t imagine my mom in Mossy Oak…
Karen Lee
Editor of Women In The Outdoors