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Hunting is my passion, as I can imagine it is the passion for most everyone here. I was born with this drive to pursue wild game, to harvest an animal and bring to my table the meat provided. Ever since I was old enough to remember I have been hunting. Growing up in Dallas, Texas with a father who has a passion for the outdoors I can remember long sits in the deer blind, the pre-dawn hours nestled into the tall milo fields waiting on the first signs of doves and of course the great fishing that the lakes around our house provided.

Sharing My Passion

Me and Autumn 2Sharing my passion with others regarding hunting and wildlife is an opportunity for me to get others involved with the outdoors. It seems that the youth these days are disconnected from nature, spending much of their time on their electronic devices. Adults can be just as bad, and they set an example for their children. Being a hunter I love it when I am asked to be a mentor for a youth during youth season or even to help certify a new generation of hunters through hunters education.

Me and AutumnBut what I really love to do is teach others about falconry. You may recall that I am a permitted falconer through the state of Missouri and through the federal government. My permit allows me to hunt with a trained bird of prey in the pursuit of wild quarry. It is one of the oldest hunting sports known to man kind and I generally get asked to present five to ten programs a year on falconry to the general public. But just recently I was asked to present to the Kansas City area, and was able to allow the public an up-close encounter with my two hunting birds, Autumn and Mr. Tiggs.

Mr Tiggs with TreyThe looks on the children’s faces is enough to make me know that what I am doing is the right thing. But when I can make an adult say “Wow”, then I know that I have changed a life forever. It may be the sheer fact of them being that close a wild bird of prey, of being able to see such magnificent animals so close. It may be that they are taking what they have learned and realizing that there are so many other hunting opportunities in this world. It could be a child discovering that they have something new to like. Whatever the reason, if I can get them to smile then I know that I have done my job. My two falconry birds are ambassadors during the off season and allow the public a glimpse into their otherwise very private lives.

Me and Mr Tiggs 2I know that what I do makes a difference. I often get stopped in my local town by children who call me “the bird lady”. Though this name can seem strange I smile because I know that they remember me and what I have taught them. I have children who have gotten involved in hunting because of me and my programs. I want to encourage everyone to take a moment in their very busy lives to stop and think about who may be watching them. Provide a teaching moment to your children. Turn off all devices, go outside and enjoy nature. If you are a hunter consider taking a youth hunting or even their parents. Remember that you can make a difference in someone’s life.

Photo credit: Kristi Caruthers

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