About The Author

Kim Hiss, an associate editor at Field & Stream, has hunted ducks, antelope, turkeys, and deer throughout the country, enjoying a number of women's hunts along the way. She lives in Dobbs Ferry, New York. Click here to email Kim.

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« The Best Shotguns, Rifles, And Bows For Women? | Main | The Women’s Blog is Back! »

July 09, 2007

This page has been moved to http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/fshuntress

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What's Your Weirdest Hunting Story?

Thanks to everyone who’s sent photos and ideas for the new women’s blog. I’ll keep posting them as I get them. In terms of topic suggestions I’ve received, I thought I’d start off with this note from Laura Benjamin in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Laura wrote:

Lauraselk1I'd like to suggest a topic for your blog on "The funniest thing that ever happened to me on a hunt" and see what comes out of it.

I started accompanying my boyfriend (can you really have a boyfriend when you're 50?) on hunting trips for elk and deer about 5 years ago. Then two years ago with his encouragement, I took my Colorado State Hunter Safety course and passed it! In January 2006 I went out with my very own tag and got my first elk! It really has been one of the most exciting experiences I've ever had. I was quite worried at first that I'd wound the animal and it would run off, but that didn't happen and we've had elk in the freezer since then. This coming season, I hope to go out with my son who is 23. He got his first deer last year. P.S. I must say that when the guys find out this 5'1" soft spoken, girly blonde took down an elk, they definitely have a different way of looking at you! —Laura Benjamin

So okay, the funniest thing that’s happened in the field. I’ll kick it off with a story of my own. Well, this wasn’t funny as much as it was shocking to me as a first time duck hunter.

Picture it. Oregon. 2004. (That’s my best impersonation of Estelle Getty on the Golden Girls starting one of her Sicily stories). I’d been invited to a writer’s hunt for ducks. As it turned out, I’d be the only girl with about 7 guys for the weekend. This would be my second-ever hunt, so I was still very green, and I’d be getting a borrowed shotgun and waders when I got there.

The scheduling wasn’t quite ideal. My flight got in a 1:00 a.m., I got to my hotel near the airport at 2:00 a.m., and the hunt coordinator was parked outside the hotel to pick me up around 4:30 a.m. I got into this virtual stranger’s truck and was soon having breakfast at a local restaurant with more strangers, with whom I’d be hunting with for the next 2 days. After eggs and coffee, we drove through the dark to a wooded area and parked. Everyone else was out of the trucks and ready to head into the black trees toward the water, but I was still unwrapping the new waders from their box and trying to get dressed by the glow of the truck cabin light. When I finally had myself together, the hunt coordinator handed me a gun, and we followed my thin flashlight beam into the woods.

I consider myself a fairly fit person, but this walk to the floating blinds was a stretch. For about 15 minutes, we trudged through weed-choked water that at times was so high, I had to carry my gun over my head and hold my flash light in my teeth. The bottom was so soft it was hard to get a foothold. When the blinds finally came into view, I pulled myself up into one, and tried to get set up. I’d brought along a pad to Velcro to the gun stock so it would fit me a little better. When the guide saw me putting it on, he said, “Oh you don’t need that, those things are just and gimmick,” and threw it across the blind.

All this time, from landing at the airport to sitting in the blind, had been in the dark. It lent a dream-like quality to the whole experience. When the sun finally did come up, and I could make out the trees and riverbanks around me, I had a disorienting, how-did-I-get-here kind of feeling.
The shocking part of the story came a few hours into the hunt. I’d already killed my first duck, and now, after another round of shooting, a dripping wet black Lab was bringing me another—this one still squirming. The guide had showed me how to hold a duck by its head and swing its body in circles in order to snap its neck. This was my first chance to try it. I wanted to give it a good, hard swing to make sure I was putting it out of its misery immediately, so I grabbed the head, jerked the body, and felt the bird suddenly get a whole lot lighter. I looked down and I was just holding the head; the rest of the duck was lying against the far wall of the blind. I didn’t know if that happened a lot, but at least I knew the duck wasn’t suffering anymore.

Of course, without its head the duck couldn’t go in the lanyard with the others, so I just placed both parts of it in my pocket for the walk back to the truck.

That’s the story. Not exactly funny, I know. But it was certainly a weird, surprising sort of experience.
If you have a funny tale from the field, feel free to write it below. I’m sure we’ve all had some wacky experiences out there. –KH


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My boyfriend was so excited to deer hunt with me one fall. He had tricked out our box stand with the backseat of an old car. Wait, it's not what you're thinking - he was looking forward to the HUNT, not the backseat if you know what I mean. I was skeptical about sitting on something that mice may have moved into. I have a fear of close encounters with mice - a big fear. He reassured me there were no mice. So as we sat silently in the pre-dawn light, I suddenly twitched. "There's something moving under my butt!" He scoffed, "Shhh, sit still!!" Then I heard a scuffle in the leaves in the corner of the blind. "I heard a mouse in the blind!", I squeaked. He again scoffed, "It's just the wind. Shh!" I tried so hard to ignore it, and watch for deer, but I was really just starting to watch for mice. The upholstery vibrated under my seat again. I softly pounded my fist on the cushion as my boyfriend glared at me. I hissed, "There's a mouse in there." Then I saw it, it scurried into the leaves in front of me! I jumped to my feet and screeched, "I TOLD YOU THERE WAS A MOUSE!!"

The natural result of a screeching, jumping huntress?

40 yards away from the stand, three deer sprang out of the tall grass and I swear I heard one of them say to the others, "I TOLD YOU THERE WAS A HUNTER!!"

Laura B.

One cold night during winter my Dad and I took his older female walker hound and I took my young male walker. The snow was piled up high, the wind a bitter chill and yet we were out chasing after midnight bandits. We set the hounds free and waited to hear them speak on the trail of a coon that would surely become treed. However that never happened. As we waited we began to walk around the woods we were in, trying to stay warm and look around some.
After a short time we came to a cabin sitting by a frozen pond...it put that spooky feeling over me. Small items of junk were tossed around it, making it appear abandoned. What was weirder yet was I never remembered seeing this cabin before.
We waited, losing hope that the dogs would come treed and hoping they would at least return to us soon.
It wasn't until we were trudging through the snow walking away from the cabin that a loud CRACK of ice sounded not feet behind us!
I was scared as I spun around to face the sound.
I laid my eyes and headlight on not some kind of ghost, but my young hound!
After we had him leashed up and with us I felt better about the night. We remained in this woods for awhile longer until we caught my dad's dog, but no more Cracks in the night.

Tammy Austin

When our youngest child entered the “terrible twos”, my husband and I experienced numerous escapades while taking our son hunting and fishing. One that stands out is when I was sitting in a duck blind, bow hunting for deer. Since bow season and muzzleloader season overlapped, one of us would bow hunt while watching our son while the other one would hunt with the muzzleloader. This particular day, I had our son with me.
Since it was the warm, early season, it was a little uncomfortable because of the heat. As I sat, quietly sweating, my son began to remove every article of clothing he had on. He continued until he was completely nude. The walls of the duck blind extended high enough to help conceal my son as he played in the blind.
As he was playing contently, a small buck began making his way toward the pond we were overlooking. I whispered to my son to be quiet, because a deer was coming. My son quickly began putting his clothes on. The buck continued to make his way toward the water, which would be directly in front of my shooting lane. I nocked an arrow, drew the bow, and then released the arrow. Sometime during the early part of releasing the arrow, I hear him squeal with delight, “Look, mommy, it’s a buck!”
Needless to say, I didn’t get the buck that day. However, I am fortunate enough to have a memory which still makes me smile fifteen years later.

Laura Bell

Any more Blog Updates?

Dana - The Wild Woodswoman

If you're wondering what happened to this blog, and why there's no posts after July 9th, I've got the scoop at my outdoors site for women -
I offered to blog for Field & Stream, but haven't heard anything back yet!

Laura B.

Kim Hiss is leaving Field & Stream? I would like to know what other hunting magazine she's going too, I always enjoyed her writing. (No offense to F&S) Lol You'll have me for a reader for years to come.
Just when we had out own thing going it gets put aside, darn. I write for a magazine, I'd be happy to help out and contribute to this!