Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Tiny Girl Army

I've read that women are learning to hunt in record numbers and account for most of the growth in hunting interest nationwide.  Great programs like Becoming an Outdoors Woman probably exist more in response to this trend than are responsible for it; but whatever case, it is a welcome development.

Here in the Sportman's Paradise (!) we are doing our part to balance the gender distribution among bloodthirsty, mud-splattered, briar scratched children.  I call them the Tiny Girl Army, and they are awesome to behold.

Comprised of my own twin girls, B and Maggie, our friends the Williamson's towheaded twins, Kate and Emily, and new recruit Ali (second from left), the daughter of my falconry apprentice Jeff.


There's a perfect field for little legs to navigate in the town of Rosedale, about 20 minutes west of Baton Rouge.  The land is flat, the grass is not too thick and there are few briars.  The place holds rails and woodcock and a few rabbits along the edges. Best of all, we have landowner permission and a place to park the minivan.

"Going down to Rosedale, got my riders by my side..."
When the army marches, the fun begins.  Holding Ernie on the T-perch before them like a regimental standard, there is little that escapes their attention or their efforts at the re-flush.  Ernie is in Hawk Heaven with a trained staff of beaters keeping him in birds and cotton rats.

These have been great days in the field.  Although I'm often grouchy around my own children (and moreso around others' offspring), there is just no way to keep from smiling when you hear a chorus of kids in unison yelling, "Yeah!  He got one!"

I'll leave you with another picture of young Ali with her neighbor Mr. Landry in their native habitat.  In the foreground is her dad's red-tail on a very apropos swamp rabbit.  There's something timeless about the image, as much a picture of the future of Louisiana hunting as of the past.


Janeen said...

My kind of girl power!

Steve Bodio said...

Coolest thing I have seen this year!

Matt Mullenix said...

Agreed, both!

Cat Urbigkit said...

Cool girls!

Tyler Williamson said...

Raising the fitness level of our youth, waging war on the local rodent population and teaching young ladies a survival skill......does it get better????
Thanks for sharing this blog!
-Kate and Emily's Dad