Unlikely hobby forms traditions

Maddi Anderson Opinion Editor


 I get a small amount of amusement from the look on people’s faces when I tell them that one of my favorite hobbies is hunting. The typical response is disbelief and surprise before realizing that for once, I am not using my well-known sarcastic tone. 

Over the years, I have deduced I get this response for the simple reason that I defy the image of the stereotypical hunter. I am female, grew up in the west metro area of the Twin Cities, and I’m an English education major. For most people, these things do not add up to being a hunter. 

Nonetheless, from the age of about 10, every November I have headed out into the woods at 5 a.m. to sit with my dad and wait for a deer to walk through. Every year I anxiously await opening weekend so I can escape for the weekend and head to my second home in Lake Benton, Minn. Every year, whether it was a successful hunt or not, I see the weekend as time well spent. 

That being said, I have to admit that I am probably not the typical hunter for a couple of other reasons. 

Every year, my dad has to stick his head in my room to wake me up in the morning, and every year this seems to come earlier and earlier. I stumble out of bed and down the stairs and we drive out to our secret spot. This is where I like to take advantage of the fact that the season doesn’t open until a half an hour before sunrise and take a nap. Some might say this makes me a weak hunter, but if you ask me, why not take advantage of the down time? I mean 4:45 a.m. is really early for any college student, and take my word for it; I am no ball of sunshine in the morning.

Other than napping, I always have a second source of entertainment with me out in the woods. As an English major, it probably won’t be hard for you to guess what I might bring with me. Without a doubt, alongside my hand warmers, thermos of hot chocolate and box of 20 gauge slugs, I always have a book. In fact, I probably have more than one. Once the sun is up, I sit and read, and listen until either dad nudges me to signal a deer coming through, or my growling stomach sets off the alarm that it’s time to head in for hot breakfast made by my lovely grandmother.

Some ‘hard-core’ hunters might mock my hunting habits, but the chances of me changing my ways are slim to none. I have always been an advocate of breaking stereotypes, but hunting has never been about that for me. I don’t hunt just to prove that city girls can fill a deer tag too. I like the traditions that I have built over the years, and I can guarantee that no amount of shock or misunderstanding from a stranger will change those traditions.

Madison Anderson is the opinion editor at The Collegian. She can be reached at [email protected]