Hunter and DogSome people are born into hunting families and are fairly knowledgeable about tracking a buck by the time they’re actually old enough. I grew up in a camping/hiking family, and while we spent a good portion of time in nature, we didn’t hunt. Instead, I married into a hunting family. It actually began with fishing trips, which hooked me right off the bat when we fought a Chinook Salmon. I never imagined myself hunting, and yet I felt drawn to it. I liked the idea of joining my husband (then boyfriend) in one of his passions, and I felt pretty excited when he drove up with a giant elk in the back of his truck. That meat lasted two years! I quickly learned elk burger is much leaner then hamburger with a similar taste, so it’s great for replacing hamburger in any recipe.

I think men and women hunt for some of the same reasons: the chase, the community and providing for your family. Women can be just as competitive as men when it comes to hunting, but for me it’s more about the collaboration of hunting together. People have long recognized the bond between a father and son when they hunt, but have you considered hunting with your spouse? The benefits include working together, being in nature, expanding your knowledge and skills, and of course filling your freezer if you’re successful. It never hurts to have two tags, or you can enjoy different seasons. My husband bow hunts for elk and then takes me out for rifle season. We can hunt bucks together and then I have a doe tag. If your family depends on wild game more than store bought meat, having extra opportunities can make all the difference.

I enjoyed learning how to track animals and call them in, and I taught him about berries. I’ve always loved the woods and noticed quite a few little details that can help when hunting. We often forage for mushrooms while hunting, adding to the experience and the gourmet experience. Hunting always provides a good day’s worth of exercise. Sometimes the exercise turns into a marathon when there is a mountain or large game involved!

You may want to invite your spouse, a relative or friend that is interested in hunting, even if that person isn’t sure about carrying a gun and hunting themselves. In today’s world, many people buy meat at the store and might not even consider where it comes from. Hunting provides that link in a close and personal way, and it can offer fresh, local and organic meat. 

Men and women most likely view hunting differently, and that is just fine. The lifestyle benefits both in many different ways.