This Female Hunter Feature is for Heather Shepherd. Here we go!
Hey y’all, my name is Heather Shepherd! I’m a Carolina girl, wife, and mama. I grew up in a family where hunting was a way of life and shooting sporting clays was the competition. Mama and daddy pushed us harder than most to respect the value of what we had and become involved in every aspect. More now than ever, I am grateful for their lessons in life as I raise my “lil pistol” the same. I have more stories than I can think of and they all have a special place in my past. I strive to educate and help others as they grow in their love for the outdoors. Whether I am teaching hunters education or mentoring another, I am increasing the love for the outdoors.
Why do you hunt?
The lifestyle of hunting for my family was around long before I came into this world. My brother and I were taught at an early age to respect mother nature and all she offers. Of course, as we get older, we can choose our own paths and this is one that will forever be a part of mine. Hunting is deeper than the eye can see. The journey, the struggle and the reward all hold so many valuable lessons.
When was your first hunting trip?
From my infant stages until now, I have been apart of hunting camp and all that falls in between. I have numerous memories sitting in the blind during deer season wondering how long the process took each time; back before kids were given toys to stay occupied and quiet! My favorite childhood hunts were in the dove fields. I would grin ear to ear every time a shot was fired because it released me into action and I retrieved the birds. After the morning hunt, we all gathered around a huge feast to kick off the hunting season for the year.
What do you like most about hunting?
My relationship with the outdoors is unmatched. Hunting is my escape from reality; it is my ability to be completely wiped of all negativity and consumed in my surroundings.
What’s your most memorable hunting experience?
All my memories are amazing and different! My first black bear was one for the books; literally all-time Boone & Crockett Book. My first turkey was heart-pounding and we all cried like babies over the success. My first duck was a wipe across the forehead. I could go on but the one that tops the cake was September 5th, 2015. It was the opening day of dove season and my baby girl went on her first hunt with me at the age of 3 and loved every minute. I knew from that moment on we were going to create a lot of hunting memories together.
Do you have a favorite wild game recipe?
I eat just about everything and love it all. If I had to chose, BBQ rabbit or quail would be at the top of the list.
Do you have a “dream” hunt?
My dream hunt is to chase sheep in Russia; I plan to achieve that goal in the next five years. But, every day in the woods is a dream!
What would you say to other women who haven’t tried hunting yet?
Ask for help and do not be ashamed. Take the time to get outdoors as much as possible. As Fred Bear said, “Immerse yourself in the outdoor experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person”.
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