Hey! I’m Jessica White. I’ve gone on every kind of hunting and fishing trip imaginable with my Dad. While he liked that part of the outdoors, my Mom, on the other hand, taught me the love of camping, kayaking, canoeing, rappelling, and all kinds of outdoor sports. I still enjoy trips with them, but I started Wander Woman to encourage other women to find themselves in the outdoors.
This hunter feature is for Jessica White. Here we go!
When I hit my early 30s, I hit a maturity level that challenged me to do something more with my life. Being an outdoors adventure-seeking woman sets me apart from my peers. However, the more I focused on doing things outdoors, the harder time I had finding things with other women. Wander Woman was established to provide a platform for connecting with other women and highlighting their adventures.
There is something deeply satisfying, and connecting, about sharing experiences with others. Not only do they provide great storytelling material later, they also provide new lessons about ourselves and our abilities that we did not know we possessed.
Why do you hunt and spend time outdoors?
I get outdoors because it’s fulfilling. When I look back on a weekend I like to feel like I accomplished something. That I woke up early in the morning and spent a full day outside. It is a feeling of accomplishment no matter what that activity was. Now I have exciting stories to share with others and new knowledge that I didn’t have before.
When was your first hunting memory, and how old were you?
The first outdoor memory that comes to mind is turkey hunting with my dad. I had been out in the woods with my dad many times before this particular hunt. I was 17 and we were hunting a property we had permission on during that time. The whole county was somewhere I had been visiting for years with our family. We called this location the “stump patch,” and were never disappointed with a consistent population of Eastern turkeys.
We spent the whole day sitting on the ground on the edge of this field. Birds not coming to our calls. When birds entered the fields, but wouldn’t come to us we decided we should belly crawl into the field to try and get closer. I will never forget being halfway in the field on my stomach when the birds started heading our way. My dad, as quietly as he could, laying on his stomach out in front of me goes, “Jessica, don’t freak out and do not move, but they might walk right on us.”
As I’m laying there I see two feet walk right by my face! Not even exaggerating! We lay there until they walked by then we belly crawled back to our chairs trying not to be spotted. Those turkeys we didn’t get, but we sat and waited until the evening hunt hoping a big Tom would come our way to roost. With the last opportunity of the day, we were in luck, a group of Tom’s and few Jake’s came out in front of us. I was able to take the shot on the Tom and dropped him. What happened next is still a mystery to me to this day. The Jake’s came over and started jumping on the tom that was lying there. Strangest thing I have ever seen.
After this excitement, we took my evening photos of my first turkey. My dad submitted the turkey to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks and I received a Trophy Turkey Award because of its score.
What do you love most about spending time outdoors?
I love the peace of being outdoors. It’s a way to clear my head and to just cleanse the soul. Sometimes you just need a day or two to get away from the busy lifestyle of the city, work, and school.
Do you have a favorite wild game recipe?
I recently won the National Wild Turkey Federation recipe contest. My favorite summer grilling recipe! Grilled spinach and feta pheasant burgers.
Do you have a dream hunting or outdoor excursion?
I recently signed up for a Her Wilderness noodling event in Mississippi! I can not wait.
What would you say to other women who haven’t tried hunting or spending time outdoors yet?
Just go for it. Don’t be discouraged or intimidated by it. There are so many women out there who are more than happy to encourage and provide tips for starting out. There are a lot of resources out there that can help guide you to learn. Even as someone who has grown up in the outdoors, I am still learning all of the time. There are women’s groups that you can join that will help you get out there, which is a great way to have a comfortable way to get into something you haven’t done before.
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