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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September 13, 2007

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Finding Field Time

I remember the exact moment that I first fully realized there was a limited amount of time in a day, and not everything you wanted to do was going to fit.
      It was a warm September afternoon during my freshman year of high school, and  I had just found out that Indoor Guard, for which I was about to try out, practiced at the same time as Vocal Jazz Ensemble, of which I was already a member (yup, I was both a band geek and a chorus nerd). At the time, I also played French horn in the Brass Choir, was on stage crew for the musical, and sang in a community chorus. So far, all those activities fit into a week, but Indoor Guard—which I really, really wanted to join because the boy I liked was in it, and the year-end competition would be in Wildwood, N.J., which was cool—would demolish my delicately coordinated extra-curricular routine.
      That schedule conflict was the moment at which I realized you couldn’t do every single thing you wanted. You had to prioritize, then you had to pick.
      Now the cruel limits of a 24-hour day are never far from mind. And moving to Manhattan, with its unending opportunities and non-stop activities made my tendency to over-schedule even worse. Just finding time to write this blog post on finding time has been a challenge.
      But, of course, you make time for the things you love, and hunting is one of those things. Luckily, working at Field & Stream made hunting part of my job, so finding field time hasn’t always been a challenge for me. But I feel like I’m constantly hearing from others how hard it is to get out there—work, family, school, after-school—the list of demands on your time can seem unending. In that Field & Stream Women Hunters Poll, 20% of respondents said that, Finding time away from work and home responsibilities to hunt, was the No. 1 challenge that separated women from men hunters. 
      I realize there are plenty of women much saner than myself, who have built an outdoors life that naturally allows for time in the field. But how much of a struggle is it for the rest of us to carve out time to hunt? Do you take time off of work? Line up babysitters? Or maybe you simply say, “To hell with it all, I’m just going!” –K.H.


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Kristine Shreve

Finding time is always a challenge. I don't hunt yet, but I'm working hard to spend more time in the outdoors. The problem is that I work a lot of hours. So, I'm having to teach myself to schedule time to be outdoors and not feel guilty. Sometimes that is harder than it sounds.

Laura Bell

I was home schooled from kindergarten to 12th grade (this year). That opened the door for me to be able to hunt as much as my dad would take me. Better yet the teacher that checked my home work thought it was awesome that I hunted and encouraged me to include my hunting experiences into my home work. Yes!
A plus for me is my job is hunting related and I get to go about what I would have done anyway and get paid. I'm Thankful for that!
However a few years ago I started to take on more responsibility and sometimes that gets the best of you. With my families schedules being full, I'm normally the one that makes supper, does the clothes, etc. Sometimes I just got to say "heck with it, go hunting!" But other times I feel guilty for leaving the chores and have to say "Family First."
What To Do, What To Do.... :)


I have an hour commute to work and live 70 miles from the city I work in and work full time. The weekends and my vacation time is pretty much the only time that I can squeeze outdoors activity in my schedule... but it is do-able. The only part that really bothers me is letting my housework go. Sometimes I have to choose between dusting and vacuuming or being outside. It is hard to get the housework done in the evenings because by the time we get home, get supper cooked, on the table, put up and the dishes done... it is way past bedtime. So for me the hardest part of fitting the outdoors into my schedule is just saying "Aw shucks, the wash or vacuuming or dusting can wait". But...it usually does just that, waits.


Growing up in high school, hunting was just the thing to do. Hunting never seemed like a big deal, but I was blessed with family land with plenty of deer. Now that i'm a senior in college, trying to finish up school and get out in the woods to check on the feeder and stand is becoming more of a challenge. Being the dedicated hunter I am, I'll put off homework and studying for the extra couple of hours in the outdoors. That time in nature seems to clear my head and help me relax for the rest of the day, and maybe even the week. Making time to get into the woods is a must for me, no matter what I have to do.


I always save a week of vacation time to go deer hunting in the fall. I started out by going with my husband and his father, now it's just my father-in-law and me, cause the hubby can't get the time off. I squeeze in some bird hunting on the weekends, and if I try really hard, I can talk my brother into taking me ice fishing with him on weekends in the winter.

Wanda Hyleman

I know I am fortunate to only live 10 miles from where I hunt at, I spend the whole weekend hunting, while my 11 year old is at his dad's, as I can't seem to get him interested in hunting yet..
some days in the fall, I will take my clothes & gun with me, leaving the gun in my truck of course & I will change clothes before I clock out & I will drive to the farm, go jump in the stand for an hour or two, even if it's only for an hour it is worth it ... I go by & pick up my son from my sister's & come home, he doesn't get in from school til 5 & it gets dark at 6:15, so I am not taking much time away from him, a good idea is to cook something the night before, if I know I will hunt the next day, so I don't have to rush home & cook.I have had a few times before he was born, that I would go hunt for a while in the morning & take my clothes with me & change before I went to work. just concentrating on raising my son & finding time for the things I enjoy like going hunting... I am sure it's easier because I am single & I don't hunt on the weekends when my son is with me. I also will use my paid time off from work, I usually just take a day here & there, I will put him on the bus at 7, pull out after the bus & go to the farm, even the bus driver knows I hunt lol.
I have already requested Nov 16th off, that week is usually our peak of the rut here, I think our season is longer than some of the Northern states, bow season started 9/8 & gun season runs 10/20 thru mid January.
As I have gotten older I don't worry so much about the dusting & vacuuming, it will still be there when I get home... or I will stay in the stand til 11 go home do some chores go back mid afternoon & hunt til dark, finish my other chores after dark...
Just balance your work & play, make time for yourself.


Last year I met up with a group of women in Alabama and that has made my love of the outdoors even more enjoyable if that is possible. I grew up in the bootheel of MO and I used to go squirrel hunting with my dad when I was very young and I always enjoyed the peace and quiet that I experienced while we were hunting. I have always been outside with the horses and dogs as I grew up, but I am now starting to experience the excitement of wanting to go hunting. I won a deer hunt at an event I attended in June of this year and I will be going on that hunt in December so it will be my first official deer hunt and I am getting so excited. It is great to read the comments on this website about the other ladies that are truly taking advantage of this outdoor life. I am a grandmother for the first time and it is a little hard sometimes to choose between seeing the grandbaby and going out to practice shooting my bow but I am resolved that I can make the time for both. I don't like to stay in the house and do much house work but I have made a deal with my husband that if we work together it gets done faster and we both can be outside, so that seems to work pretty good.

Jodi Kotimaki

I commute 45 miles one way to my teaching job. So if I really get out of school on time I can get out in the field to bowhunt at about the right time. Someone already mentioned taking their clothes with them to work. I've done the same thing. I'll change after work and zoom home.
Earlier in my teaching career I used to coach basketball and volleyball. Now, that left me with no time to do anything but crash on the weekends and hope for a night out in the field during the weekend.
Now I've freed up my schedule some, but it still can be difficult to get everything done. I still haven't figured out what I'm going to do when I have kids! I'm thinking my husband and I will have to take turns staying home. Hmm... we'll see how that works. :)

Dana @ The Wild WoodsWoman

I was going to say it's fairly easy to find time to spend outdoors, but then I realized that it's because of major life choices that I have made over time. I specifically found a job close to the land our family owns. I quit my "career" to have a "job" so that I can mentally leave it behind me at home and feel free to do what I want (which is usually outdoor things). So it's only easy, because I've arranged my life so that it can be easy. And I slack on the housework!! :)

Amy (Boomer)

At this time in my life it is very hard for me to fit everything in, especially hunting. I am currently in college and working to pay rent, groceries, etc. And I had to move to attend college so I know have to face a 2 1/2 hr drive to get back to my hometown where I normally hunt. Thankfully this Spring I met my fiance where I attend college and his family owns land down here so we have options when it comes to hunting now. We can visit my parents and hunt or stay at my apartment and go hunting at his family's property. Either way I feel that our hunting season is going to be a good one. Of course, requesting time off work is always hard, but depending on where you work it may be easier. If you work in a place where most of the employees are men you might have a hard time, but if most employees are women it may be a lot easier. I don't think that I will have a problem because I am a hostess at a restuarant and most of my fellow employees are women, but my fiance may have a hard time getting time off at FedEx where almost everyone are men! But we will figure it out I'm sure.