FOUR VERY ENTHUSIASTIC WOMEN SHARE WHAT THEY’VE Learned
When it comes to hunting, women are mostly discreet. They guide, they come along for the ride, they initiate other women, they hunt with their spouse or family, but in general, they share their exploits less than male hunters. However, their modesty notwithstanding, many female hunters have very sharp skills. And some of them are so passionate that they tell their stories with a sparkle in their eyes and provide food for thought about hunting that’s definitely worth sharing.
Through the stories of four enthusiasts, we hereby present the common mistakes to avoid when hunting moose.
1. VERONIQUE'S ADVICE: STAY ON YOUR TOES
Véronique Gagnon, a hunter from Stoneham in the Quebec City area, has over 10 years of hunting experience. She hunts most of the time with her spouse, guide David Falardeau. Her story is particularly relevant for those who use the services of a guide or who accompany someone with more experience than they.
2. CORINNE'S ADVICE: ADJUST TO THE CONTEXT
Corinne Gariépy grew up in a family of hunters. In 2009, she took over her parents' hunting and fishing store located in Prévost, in the Laurentians. A commentator and contributor for the QVO television show since 2015, she hunts moose every year with her spouse.
3. SOPHIE'S ADVICE: STAY IN THE ROLE OF THE ANIMAL
Sophie Boisvert harvested her first moose in her twenties, after several years spent accompanying her grandmother on hunting expeditions. She has been a guide at an outfitter establishment for four years now. Sophie always goes all out. As she describes it, when she hunts moose, she does not imitate the moose: she becomes a moose. A stance that makes sense when you listen to her story.
"It was an incredible morning. At dawn, our calls were being answered from all sides. There seemed to be two pairs of moose. My client and I had climbed up on a stump that was on top of a log. We had seen some movement, but for a while, nothing was happening. Then a female came out of the woods. We had a permit to harvest her in our pockets, but a hunch held me back and I asked my client to wait. Within minutes, a splendid male came out and was harvested.”
“This event made a big impression on me because it shows how our rhythms differ from those of the animal. When you're hunting, you're in a hurry for things to happen; you want everything to transpire quickly, at a human pace. But the animals are on a different schedule. They aren’t there for us. When you're out hunting, you have to take on the role of the animal you're tracking and stay in that role. For moose, that often means slowing down and waiting, over and over again. There are always moose; you just have to find them and be constantly at the ready, because you never know when things will happen. The other lesson this story teaches is that it's important to follow your gut reaction!"
4. MELANIE'S ADVICE: LEAVE WITH A PLAN
Mélanie Dion has participated in the last few seasons of the web series Chasse Québec. Her autonomy as a hunter and her general skills in the forest have taken a giant leap forward. She’s been involved with moose and interested in hunting for almost 20 years. Last year, she was hair’s breadth away from achieving a first: harvesting a moose that answered her very own call.
5. In summary
- If you’re with a guide, stay proactive, watch for signs, and remain focused on your goal. Keep in mind that your guide can't see everything. In short, stay on your toes, avoid being on automatic pilot, and above all, trust yourself at all times.
- Always be aware of the context in which you’re operating. This includes wind, light, terrain topography, vegetation, and time of day... This data can completely change your behavior on the ground.
- Stay in the role of a moose, act like a moose, think like a moose: slow down and be patient. Your instincts will be all the sharper for it.
- Make plans and discuss them with your partners. Hunting is unpredictable and requires constant adaptation, but by considering different scenarios beforehand, you’ll have the right reflexes and a range of strategies to react quickly in a particular context.
In conclusion, try stuff, take risks, and make mistakes. No matter our level of expertise, there are always new things to experience and learn from in the woods. That's the beauty of hunting, and that's what makes it so enjoyable. Then, remember that you become a good hunter by analyzing what you’ve done well or not so well, in success or in failure.
Happy hunting to one and all!