This Female Hunter Feature is for Barbara Baird. Here we go!
Barbara Baird publishes Women’s Outdoor News, an online publication, and writes for several firearms, travel, and outdoor publications. She is a contributing editor at SHOT Business and SHOT Daily magazines, and the managing editor for the new SilencerCo blog. Barbara’s business, DISA LLC, also manages social media and designs websites for outdoor industry
clientele. Her daughter, Jackie Richardson, is her business partner and does all the design work, as well as editing and writing. Barbara lives in the Missouri Ozarks with her husband, Jason, and has 4 children and 9 grandchildren. She’s a classically trained pianist, former professional clarinetist, as well as former half-miler on the track team, STEP aerobics instructor, firearms instructor, and Sunday School teacher. Barbara started Women’s Outdoor News (The WON) because in 2008, especially, women didn’t get many bylines in outdoor publications. WordPress had just started, and thanks to her son (who works at Apple), she took his advice and started this thing called a blog – written by women for women who love to hunt, shoot, fish, and live outdoorsy, adventurous lives. The outdoor industry took notice, and through sponsorships and partnerships and lots of content marketing about outdoorsy women, The WON has taken off, reaching millions of readers.
Why do you hunt, fish, and spend time outdoors?
I hunt, fish, and spend as much time outdoors as possible because I love it out there.
When was your first hunting trip and how old were you?
I was 40 when I first started hunting. We have 3 sons, and I quickly realized that going to the mall or playing tennis wasn’t going to keep them happy/busy. We had always hiked and spent time outdoors recreationally. Then, we started shooting together, followed by hunting. We fished a bit, too. At that time, I had started working at a newspaper and writing a self-syndicated column called “The Accidental Ozarkian.” People started inviting me to go gigging, bowhunting, upland hunting, caving, boating…and all the things. I love it. The more I spent time outdoors hunting and fishing — as opposed to running and playing tennis, as before — the more I realized I must be genetically wired to be this way.
What do you like most about hunting?
I love, not just like, that no two days are ever the same, nor are two visits to the same place in the outdoors. It’s just incredible to take it all in, and to experience all types of weather, and observe changes that occur naturally. I also like that our wild game freezer is more full of meat than the other freezer. Right now, it’s loaded with turkey, duck, pheasants, dove, catfish, and venison.
What’s your most memorable hunting experience?
The most memorable time for me was the first time I pulled a trigger and shot and dropped a whitetail deer in a field in northern Missouri. I still replay that in slow-mo, and all the thoughts that ran through my mind before I decided to take that life. After that, my guide (on a women’s hunt for the NWTF) showed me how to field dress the doe, and the women and I cut it up and put our deer meat into coolers for our trips home. After that day, I knew that I could be a hunter and go through with everything — from start to finish. I field dress animals when I hunt solo or with family members. Sometimes, I’ll still do the butchering, but we are fortunate that a family runs a meat processing business near us, and does a fine job on sausages and roasts. My roast-cutting skills are lacking. I think I’ll have another memorable time, though, in the near future — since my granddaughters want to learn to hunt. They’re only 9 and 10.
Do you have a favorite wild game recipe?
Recently, I made a venison curry in the Instant Pot, and frankly, it was melt-in-your-mouth amazing. Those dove poppers on the grill last week hit the spot, too.
Do you have a “dream” hunting or fishing excursion?
I have spent a “wee bit” of time in Scotland, and frankly, I’d love to go fly-fishing there. I got to hunt for hares, ducks, and pheasants at Ripley Castle in Yorkshire (UK) a few years ago, and that was amazing. We lived in the UK for a few years before I started hunting and fishing, and I’d love to go up to the mountains of Scotland and fly fish. I am hoping to go to Ireland next spring for a wedding — maybe we’ll sneak away for a quick fishing trip. That would work, too!
What would you say to other women who haven’t tried hunting, fishing, or spending time in the outdoors yet?
If you are the least bit interested, you should do it. There are so many women’s organizations out there that will help you and find you a mentor. We have a free list available at Women’s Outdoor News for this purpose. Our writers and videographers are available through our social media and website to answer your questions, too.
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