Pursuing Your Passion
By: Emily Oaks
Many stereotype me as being a “girly-girl” although part of it is true, I also enjoy being in the outdoor environment, which includes activities such as: hiking, hunting, snowboarding, and competitive archery. A “girly-girl,” to me, has a disdain for dirt. I cannot lie, I tend to be a girly-girl most of the time, but I also can be a “tom-boy” too as I am interested in girly-girl things, such as: makeup, cute clothes and shoes, shopping, and getting my nails done, however I am also interested in: snowboarding, dirt biking, archery, and hunting. I do not think any person should be limited to one passion based off of the way they are stereotyped. Any girls that are interested in archery and hunting can be able to have an interest in shopping and getting their nails done too, because there is a wide spectrum of ways to express yourself. Even though I am passionate about shopping and other girly activities, I am also just as passionate about hunting and shooting my bow.
During this past year, I was one of the few drawn for an archery elk tag in Wyoming and that is when the countdown to September began. I spent two weeks adjusting to the altitude change of 10,000ft above sea level, and living in a tent for two weeks that smelt like a sweaty locker room. But within our two days of scouting before the season started, two of the eight participants, which were Dave and I, went horseback riding searching for signs or visuals not much was found but progress was being made as time went on. I can still feel the rush of adrenaline when waiting in the meadow. Two decoys set up and four people calling, hearing branches and twigs breaking and my body began to shake. I looked beyond the trees blocking the view of the meadow and I see a dark chocolate patch, I was not quite sure if it had always been there, so I picked up my binoculars. My eyes grew as big as my stomach and what I am looking at is the biggest elk I have ever laid my eyes on. I am trying to count the points having to restart about two times because I cannot keep still and all I could make out was 7×6 maybe even bigger. I get ready, hoping it will come my way, but he took off in despair. Even though I was disappointed, I still had adrenaline and I wanted to do everything and anything, that is what is so great about my passion. A lot of time and hard work was being pushed to the limits, I remember contemplating each day that I must be out of shape if I can barely hike half a mile without the sensation of throwing up. The most brutal hike was hiking 2,000ft in a quarter of a mile and I would say after that I felt invincible.
Hunting, why do we do it? Is it the early mornings, long days and nights with minimal breaks? Is it the adrenaline you receive? Many haters wonder, and my answer is the experience, memories, friendships built, and knowing how much hard work and dedication was put in. Yes I wear makeup, cute clothes and shoes, with my nails done and yes I wear camouflage, face paint and put 10 plus miles on my feet each day with not many breaks. Therefore, any girl can achieve the same goals as men and be just as strong, because stereotypes do not define who you are, you can have any passion you desire, and can accomplish your dreams by having the right goal in mind.