Girls Can Hunt
By Ted Takasaki and Scott Richardson
We would say that they hunt for all the same reasons guys do… for the thrill of victory!
Have you ever wondered why women like to hunt? We had the opportunity to do some pheasant hunting with four outdoors women at Torrey Lake Lodge near Platte, South Dakota. Get some insight into what drives these women to “hunt up some critters,” just like the men do.
Already an accomplished hunter at her young age, Taylor Lewin, 14, is the daughter of Darin Lewin, owner of Torrey Lake Lodge. She has shot many trophy whitetail bucks and has an incredible 8×8 elk, which left me speechless as I gazed upon it, hanging on the wall. She also gets out to do some walleye fishing with her dad.
When it comes to hunting, Taylor says that patience is her number one attribute. “I pass on many average bucks,” she said, “until I see the one I want to shoot. And I still get excited every time a big one comes by!”
Ted’s friend Jammie has hunted with her dad and brother on many occasions over the years. She told us a great story about her dad taking her road hunting for pheasants when she was just 7 years old.
“My dad would stuff my mom, brother, two sisters, and me all in the back of his pickup truck,” she remembers. “We would then drive around the countryside looking for the elusive birds. The only way he would be allowed to go hunting was to take the whole family! When he’d spot a pheasant, he would slam on the brakes and all of us kids would slide forward toward the cab of the truck. While we were untangling ourselves, my dad would run out and shoot the pheasant. We’d all laugh and admire the downed bird. This experience was always a great time and I will remember the good times spent ‘hunting’ with my dad!”
Jammie’s daughter, Maryanne, 17, has a completely different motivation for hunting.
“The thrill of accomplishment is what trips my trigger,” she said. “I want to show up my guy friends at school and prove to them that I can shoot just as good as they can. I loved showing them pictures of the pheasant that I shot.”
Funny enough, isn’t that what us guys all do when we get around the water cooler at work while bringing up photos of our biggest fish or deer on our camera phone?
Kristi Takasaki, 25, is my daughter, and after all these years, I never knew she would like to hunt. I often took her fishing as she grew up, but didn’t ever take her hunting or couldn’t envision here holding a gun or a bow. She met her boyfriend, an avid hunter, while at college.
Now, she will sit in a tree stand for hours in freezing temperatures for an opportunity to shoot a deer. “I have always loved being outdoors,” Kristi said, “and relish the excitement that I feel when I finally shoot a big bird, deer, or any other species that I am going after. There’s something special about ‘living off the land’ and that’s what I get when we sit down at the table for some freshly prepared venison or wild turkey.”
It was a brisk, windy day as we all stepped into the Torrey Lake Lodge bus, which drove us out to the fields of standing corn and milo. As we all lined up to walk the first field, the excitement started to build in anticipation of getting after that first pheasant. Two of the girls, Maryanne and Kristi, had never shot a pheasant before, so I was keeping my fingers crossed. It was as if I was trying to will a pheasant to fly out in front of them. Immediately, birds were flying and shots were ringing out. Jammie and Taylor made the most of their opportunities and bagged a couple. No bulls-eyes for the ‘newbies,’ though, which was a bummer.
Day two was much nicer, as warmer temperatures and less wind greeted us that morning. To increase the girls’ chances of hitting a bird, we threw a few clay pigeons out over Torrey Lake, which is just behind the lodge. They proceeded to shoot trap loads until their shoulders were ready to fall off.
On the first drive of the morning, Maryanne took the first shot of the day and made a great left to right passing shot of about 40 yards and crumpled her first rooster. High fives and big smiles were immediately handed out!
Unfazed, Kristi kept hanging in there until the last pheasants were flushed out of a big stand of trees, toward the end of the day. A rooster came screaming out in front of her and immediately veered to her right. She took the shot and missed. She pumped the second shell into the chamber and took bead on the bird as it kept flying away. She remembered in the back of her mind to lead the bird and took another shot. We could see she was successful as she ran over to the downed bird even before the dogs could get there!
I was so happy to see both of them get their first ringnecks!
So why do girls hunt? We would say that they hunt for all the same reasons guys do… for the thrill of victory, love of the outdoors, and because they can do it just as well as a man can. All of these are great reasons for women who would like to hunt to get out and ‘just do it.’
Torrey Lake Lodge is a world-class resort that caters to all sorts of corporate and individual hunters. They also guide walleye anglers on Francis Case reservoir during the summer. Check them out at www.torreylakelodge.com or call 605-337-3700.
Reproduced with permission:
Mark Strand Outdoors
3077 Meadow Brook Drive
Woodbury, MN 55125