For the Love of Hunting – Teri Lancaster

So what is it that drives a hunter to set that alarm clock so very early in the morning to hunt?  And I’m not talking just 6am – I’m talking 3:30am, 4:30am, 5:30 on a WEEKEND as well as on VACATION… crazy huh?

I used to think so too, but maybe it’s more the love of hunting, the anticipation of the excitement of what the day holds.. the adventures to come… I AM now one of those crazies!  I will share that it is still difficult for this Florida girl to be motivated to get out of a nice, warm bed on a Saturday morning at 5 am–when it’s BELOW 30 degrees. Yeah, that’s COLD for a Floridian!!  I do it though, however not so fast on those cold mornings. I feel like the Pillsbury dough boy in 5 layers (or more) of clothing–which NEVER seem to be warm enough when you’re sitting in a stand for hours on end–and as many hot hands that I can fit in any empty pocket. It is when you arrive to that stand and you see your breath in the air and the sun is peeking up over the horizon and you see the frost on the ground that you forget that you crawled out of bed at 5 am.

The longer I hunt, the more I seem to appreciate the experience and not just the kill.  Some people just don’t get it. They ask, “how do you kill an innocent animal?”  I let it go in one ear and out the other. Sometimes I like to ask them, “do you know how many animals I let walk?”  Often the success of the hunt is just sitting and observing God’s creations. There are some days I would be just as content to sit in the stand and ‘shoot animals’ with a camera as much as my rifle or bow.  I can’t explain it; it truly is an addiction–that is the only way I can explain it.

Of course, when you find another female that you can talk and chat with about the same ‘love’ it takes your friendship to a different level.  Don’t get me wrong, I love getting my hair done, I always have my toe nails painted and I like to buy new clothes and shoes.  Most people are quite surprised that I hunt – I usually get the “Wow! You’re so girly” comment. I am not sure what that actually means except do I provide a HIGH PITCH squeal and RUN when I see a snake? If so, then yes, I AM a ‘girly-girl’. I’m am even not fond of being in the woods in the dark, by myself; way too many critters out there, you know?

So, for all my female hunter friends who I have met in person, spoke to on the phone, or only know through social media, I just wanted to say THANK YOU for sharing your love of hunting with me. All in all, I have decided that I need a much bigger thermos to put my coffee in for that 5am wake-up call.

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