Editor’s Note: Lisa Jane Barron, known as the Writing Huntress, and her husband currently live in a township of 16 people in North Dakota, a far cry from her hometown of Rochester, New York. She’s been writing and spreading, according to her, “Social media hunting cheer,” for the past 3 years through her blogs Hunt Like You’re Hungry and Ask the Writing Huntress.
I took my very first deer with a Mossberg 500 Youth Model shotgun. From that moment on, I knew I wanted to get closer and learn to be a better shot. Johnson’s Country Store in Lockport, NY, was where I first glimpsed a fully-functioning archery shop. I had known I wanted to shoot a bow but didn’t know anything about it. Unfortunately, my ex-boyfriend didn’t know anything about archery either. He bought me a bow that was too short for my draw length, and forced my arm to bend at an awkward angle. The damage to my shoulder after 6 months of incorrect shooting form took a little while to heal, which gave me time to meet my future husband and buy my first well-fitting bow. I then fell in love with archery, since it’s a physically-demanding challenge. I discovered I liked archery, because it required constant practice to be successful. You also had to be close to the animal to harvest it. If I was shooting consistently and taking animals effectively, I knew I had to shoot 10, 20 or 30 yards regularly. However, I also enjoyed the feeling of being accurate at 50 yards. Today I won’t hesitate to take a shot at 60 yards with my bow, but I feel most comfortable taking a shot at 30 or 40 yards.
Unfortunately, the deer population has decreased in recent years in North Dakota. So, unlike North Carolina and New York, the two states I hunted while a resident, I had to enter a lottery to obtain a gun tag. Perhaps this doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it is when you’re a newcomer. This year is our first as fully-fledged North Dakota residents. So, we didn’t get drawn for gun tags. However, each person is allowed one archery tag to harvest an antlered or antlerless deer between August and January. We haven’t connected with our deer yet in 2013, but we have until January. Hopefully we can make something happen by then.
I’m often asked, “Why do you believe women should consider shooting a bow?” I believe all women should have at least a rudimentary working knowledge of firearms as well as archery. However, I like the challenge of a bow. You have to be aware of so many things about the bow from your form to anchor point to be able to shoot it successfully. I think every woman should shoot archery, because the sport is so unbelievably empowering. Each time I shoot, I transform into a strong Amazon woman who can take on any challenge. Also, shooting archery is a tremendous stress reliever. In years past, if I was having a bad day, I would play hockey. But shooting archery gives me the same stress relief. Each time I draw, I not only release my arrow but also probably 50 pounds of mental stress and anxiety.
Tomorrow: Lisa Jane on Why She Enjoys Social Media