How to Eat Tag Soup

I write this in an effort to normalize these feelings, to be authentic, and in some ways, to help me cope with the emotions. To those “muggles” who do not share our passion for the outdoors, I sound dramatic, but I live for this stuff. It truly has affected my life the last few weeks. I self-prescribed a social media hiatus, reinitiated morning runs, and strategically avoided hunting conversations. But why does it have to be like this? I partially blame our hunting culture. It seems gone are the days of deer camps focused on procuring venison for the looming winter with nary a care of who pulls the trigger. The media instead constantly paints an unrealistic picture of successes afield and creates a highlight reel of others’ experiences. And further yet, as a female I feel an immense amount of additional pressure to prove myself. It sometimes seems like it is not enough to just identify as a hunter, if I do not harvest anything it is assumed that I lack skill, effort, passion or all three. Whether that assumption is true (although I have experiences that support that it is), those emotions are real and I have a hunch I’m not alone in feeling them.

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