Hunting Workshops: A Perspective on State Programs Promoting R3

For new hunters, just knowing where to begin can be a daunting task. What are the license requirements where I live? What are the season dates? What tags do I need? What kind of gear should I buy? What caliber, gauge, and shot size are right for my target species? What is a controlled hunt?
The list of questions goes on. As an adult-onset hunter myself, I was fortunate enough to have family and friends to whom I could reach out and guide me in the right direction for the basic questions. The shooting and stalking skills I had to develop on my own.

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Mourning Smoke

The dove opener is a fancied event in many states across the U.S., including my Virginia hometown. While I personally looked forward to October squirrel and whitetail seasons most, I always made time for a few sultry evening tree line sits with friends, awaiting a passing shot at a dodgy mourning dove as it traveled between cut silage corn and farm ponds.
Fast forward 20 years to living west of the Rockies in southeast Washington, my interest in mourning doves had increased tremendously, largely due to a growing passion for upland bird hunting in general. Throw in the Eurasian collared dove and you’ve got the makings of a connoisseur of the dove species. Interestingly, my daily and season bags remain comparable to those of my youth, although my wingshooting has improved somewhat over the years, but 2020 had some tricks up her sleeve that led to the most memorable mourning dove season on record.

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Women’s Profile: Carly McCallister

CORAM NY – Carly McCallister is a provider, led by a primal urge to provide her family with the highest quality sustenance she could. This yearning led the Long Island based handcrafted soap-maker to start hunting.
“We try to keep it hyper-local and organic in our house,” McCallister said. “I work at the farmer’s market and bring all our vegetables home from local farms. Hunting was just a natural extension of that for me, bringing back my own meat.”
She wants her children to comprehend where their food comes from. While purchasing eggs from a local farmer, the farmer warned her of a hanging pig that was slaughtered for a pig roast. She did not shield her daughter from it. McCallister wants her to understand what it takes to have meat on the plate.

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Women’s Profile: Karen Wilcox

Karen Wilcox did not grow up athletic. She was not interested in sports, did not feel competitive and hated gym class. But now about nine years into bowhunting and target shooting, this self-declared “tomboy chubby kid” has found her groove.
Wilcox frequently competes in 3d archery shoots and travels around the Northeast for bowhunting trips.
“Archery has opened a whole new world to me,” Wilcox said. “I didn’t even realize that it was such a huge thing, especially in this area.”

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The 3 Books That Convinced Me to Start Hunting

Hunting doesn’t run in my family. In my late 20’s, even though I lived in Michigan at the time, I still didn’t have any friends that hunted. That means there was nobody to convince me to give it a try. No one was there to talk me into or bring me along just to watch. Nobody offered me a meal from an animal they had killed, so I had no real reason to start hunting. Except a little urge inside of me that wouldn’t go away.

I ventured over to the local library. I read and listened to a few books about hunting, eating wild food, the health benefits of wild game, and the adventure that comes along with it all. After just a few short books, I was convinced hunting was for me. After all, my last name means hunter in German. I guess I was born for this. Here are the three books I read that convinced me to give in and give hunting a try, that took me from oblivious to first my kill in about 5 months (small game, but still game).

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