Life Of A Hunter's Daughter

Life Of A Hunter's Daughter

The struggles and rewards of those who hunt.

The joys of sleeping in, waking up to the smell of morning coffee, and food cooking in the kitchen. Having to wake up on the weekends is one of the best feelings in the world. That is, unless you're a hunter's daughter. If you're like me, your dad wakes you up around 4 AM to get dressed in gear and have the car loaded in time to reach the hunting stand. Now, you have to reach the stand before it's daylight or you've basically ruined the whole trip. Having a father who's hobby is hunting is time consuming but rewarding in numerous ways. Here's the inside scoop of the life of a hunter's daughter and all she accomplishes.

1. Waking up at 4 or 5 AM to get to the stand before sunrise.

2. Sharing your birthday with your dad's favorite hunting season.

Let's be real, having a November birthday is probably one of the best. Fall has begun and depending on weather you can hit the beach or have a bonfire. Well, unless you're similar to me and spend most time around your birthday in a tree stand looking for that 10 point you've had your eye on all year.

3. "Vacation" means putting up tree stands in the woods.

4. Living at Bass Pro Shops.

Most people I know love this place. It's basically a second home to most fishermen and hunters. I receive endless gift cards for my birthday for this place (along with my dad) to which we both save up for that one specific item we've dreamed about having. It's not just a store, it's a life choice.

5. Learning how to fit camouflage into your wardrobe.

6. Getting shunned for trying to be a vegetarian.

7. Preferring venison (deer) or gator meat over beef.

Yes, the meat taste different. No, I will not try to explain it to you. If you haven't given yourself the opportunity of experiencing both, you may want to extend your comfort zone. You could also do as I did and eat it thinking it was a normal burger since your parents told you it was. It's a cruel way to explore new food, but satisfying.

8. Doing homework in tree stands.

I won't lie to you, I worked on this and multiple homework assignments while in a tree stand waiting for deer to pass. Yes, sitting in a stand can be a long and time consuming time. Investing in homework is a must. It's not like finishing up an assignment will make unbelievable noise and scare the deer off. Work with your school and hunting schedule, never against it.

9. Enjoying the outdoors more than normal.

10. Understanding the bond of a hunter and his hunt

There will never be enough words to sum up the family and bonds I've been accepted into from being a hunter's daughter. Not only will you have endless memories to share with those that couldn't experience the trip but you'll never forget how it shaped you. Hunting is more than a hobby. For some, it's a means of survival and how some will provide for their families. Getting to meet such extraordinary people, ones that truly respect and understand why hunter's do as they do is something I wouldn't trade for a lifetime.

Thank you dad, for introducing me to something I wasn't as accepting of before I tried it for myself.

Cover Image Credit: Shushi 168

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You Need To Watch The Planet Earth Series...Seriously, Go Watch It Now

Can six episodes really make that big of an impact on somebody?

Around a week or two ago, a friend of mine introduced me to one of the BBC’s gems, “Planet Earth II.” Based around the older “Planet Earth”, the mini-series focuses on six different habitats in the world where plants, animals, and relationships flourish.

Now I’ll admit, I was hesitant.

Growing up I wasn’t always a great science student and found environmental issues to be something I, personally, couldn’t do a lot about.

But I gave in and gave it a view and I’ll tell you, it was eye-opening to say the least. The visuals and high definition of this 4K-produced show are enough to make you think you just bought the newest television at Target – you know exactly which one I’m talking about.

Aside from the stunning quality of footage, the show keeps the audience so engaged in what they’re documenting that you feel guilty looking away. The playful relationships of monkeys in the jungles, the incredibly crafty nature of birds living in the desert, and the maternal instincts of island penguins are enough to get any animal lover completely addicted.

After finishing “Planet Earth II,” the same friend told me to watch “Blue Planet II” – a similar sequel to the original’s sister show, “Blue Planet.” This series particularly comments on the effects of pollution on ocean life and consistently begs of humanity to help reduce this effect.

The “Planet Earth” series is a meaningful, enlightening, thought-provoking message wrapped in animals and plants that we either don’t know well enough or know at all.

These six, one-hour episodes, serve as an efficient and immediate way to view into a life completely unknown to us humans. They beg the question, who are we as humans, and what can we do to help?

If you feel at all passionate about the state of the world, animals, or nature in general, I highly encourage you to watch this series. You’ll find it awe-inspiring and self-initiating to say the least.

This is the power and beauty of our planet, Earth.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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In The Company Of Wolves Part 1

The fate of the village is in her hands, if only she cared.

Frozen. Everything was frozen, not just the land but the village, the people. Frozen in time, in fear, a perpetual winter. It had been this way since before the girl was born. Long before her parents died and she was brought to this place. Before the Chief’s spoiled daughter named her Yliren, “girl”, and told the village children that she was raised by wolves.

The stories of their people were told by the elders around ritual fires on their sacred nights. Yliren would sit behind them, just out of the light, in the shadows of the homes and listen. She knew them by heart now. How they were nomadic people first, moving from place to place, hunting, farming, prospering. Then they would receive a sign from the gods, and travel to the next place the gods deemed worthy. They were a great clan, living, learning, adapting to each new place. Until they came here, and it found them.

The people were adjusting to the cold, frosty terrain. Learning how to farm the hardened ground, studying the animals. They were making this place their home, then the Knawl came. Some believed it to be an evil, magical creature, others thought it to be a demon. No one who had seen it lived to tell of its appearance, but everyone knew the sound. It blasted the defining howl through the air just before it killed. Something like a roar and a wail released simultaneously. When she heard it, Yliren could feel the chill in her marrow.

It normally came every two months on the night of a dark moon, when it could slink through the blackness, and take a victim. Sometimes it was two if the villagers got brave and tried to escape or fight. They tried to leave, many times, but they only moved in circles, always ending up where they began. Then the Knawl would take a second victim, punishment for attempting to escape. It always left the body behind, a gnarled, bloody heap.

What was left of their face was twisted, contorted in the pain they experienced in their last moments. For years, the elders prayed, worshiped, performed rituals, but their gods were nowhere to be found. Forsaken, they settled into this cold, motionless existence, waiting for something, anything that could release them from this torture.

Many had tried to defeat the Knawl. Their best warriors had set out to hunt the beast, and they were never seen again. Each generation had the stories of the brave men and women who attempted to kill the Knawl. This time they were four young men and two young women with whom Yliren had grown up with.

This would not have bothered her, for she hadn’t formed any connections with the children she had trained with, save for one. A boy, Kymn, who had befriended her when the others had teased and bullied her relentlessly. He refused to hide their friendship.

"What you think does not matter," Kymn explained to them.

No one messed with him about it after that. He was brave and caring, and when the others decided to go after the beast, he could not allow them to go without him. Even when she begged him not to.

He simply replied, “If it were you going, I would do the same thing. I cannot let them go alone when I can stand beside them.”

Yliren had been angry. She’d yelled, called him names, told him he would be useless against the Knawl. He shrugged off the words as if she hadn’t insulted him and declared he would miss her. Then he disappeared into the wind-blown snow.

That had been two weeks ago. Yliren knew because she had counted the days without Kymn. She had appealed to the village Chief, these were their young men and women, the future of the clan, they already lost a villager so frequently. She was unsuccessful. Yliren knew she would be, but she also knew she had to try. If the Chief would not attempt to find them, she would do so herself. Kymn would do no less for her.

So, in the dead of night with her bow and arrows, she stole away from the home of the widow who kept her. She took a dagger and staff from the village armory and started east in the direction the Knawl was believed to reside. Firelight stopped her at the edge of town. The Chief's daughter, Neyl, stood torch in hand. The beautiful raven-haired girl, the Chief heir, gave her a look of disgust.

“I knew you were going to go.” She smirked, “You’re so foolish. He’s dead. You’re going to die too.”

“Then at least you won’t have to look at me anymore.” Yliren juggled her pack on shoulders and stood tall. Neyl would not get in her way.

“Oh, I have prayed to the gods every day that you would go back to the animals you belong with. I’m just amused that you think you can rescue dead men. You always were stupid.” Neyl sneered.

Yliren never knew why Neyl hated her so much. It never really mattered to her, and it still didn’t, Yliren wasn’t curious enough about the woman to wonder what made her hate. The names, the bullying, she never gave it a second thought. Sometimes, Yliren felt there was something wrong with her as Neyl claimed. She just didn’t experience those emotions. She was numb to most of the villagers and their oppinions or comments.

“Why would you risk your life for him? Neyl asked.

Yliren sighed. It was a prospect that Neyl would never understand, but she would explain it anyways, “It’s loyalty. Those with power and position can buy it, but for the rest of us, true loyalty is more important than anything. If it were me out there, he would do the same. I won’t give up on him.”

“Do you love him that much?”

The question caught Yliren by surprise. Did she? Or was that another emotion she didn't have? “I don’t know what love is, Neyl. But if I did, I suspect it would be him. Now get out of my way.”

She pushed forward, passing Neyl without a second thought.

“I’m telling you he’s dead. You’ll be dead too!” Neyl yelled at her.

“All the better for you, since there is no point in living here without him.” She called over her shoulder as she continued into the darkness.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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