Being a mentor does not have to mean that you are an expert. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a huge responsibility and one I take very seriously, but it doesn’t take being a professional to take a new hunter to the field. I don’t know that there has been anything about being a hunter that I have enjoyed more, than taking someone new out for their first time. I am honored that someone would even ask me to take them on their first hunt, but it means so much that the parents of the kids I take out trust me not only with their kid, but their kid with a firearm. In 2020, I spent 89 hours in the field with new hunters, both adults and kids. First harvests were taken, lots of laughs were had, new skills were learned, and memories were made. If you want to see the hunting tradition continued and you want to ensure that conservation dollars are generated in the future, take a new hunter to the woods, to the field, or up on a mountain. Sometimes an opportunity like that can change a life, I know it did mine.
As the Director of Education for Hunt to Eat, I am proud of to announce our Hunt Camp program. If you are searching for a safe, inclusive learning environment to learn more about what it means to be a hunter, and to gain hands on experience procuring your own food, please click on the button below.
"I used to spend a lot of time daydreaming about hunting. When hints of fall would appear each year I would promise myself I would be ready to hunt next season. I found myself intimidated by the unknown. Where do I go? Do I need a closet full of camo? What the heck do I do when/if I see a deer? These questions kept me from the woods during hunting season. Within a few months of meeting Cindy I was in a blind on the edge of a field. Cindy taught me about deer movement and behavior before, during, and after the rut. We talked a lot about safety and ethics and recommended gear and tools. Having a mentor has given me the confidence and space needed to ask questions, try new things and actually got me out for a hunt! I'm so grateful for Cindy and her willingness to help a new hunter. I can't wait to get out again and hunt deer in Indiana and now believe a big game western hunt could be something I can do someday!"
"To me having a hunting mentor means more than just having someone take you hunting and help you find a deer. It means getting to learn about the ways of hunting and conservation. It means learning from their past experiences and learning how to do it right. For these things I thank my mentor Cindy Stites for helping to teach me how to hunt."
"A mentor is someone who gives their time and uses their talents to teacher you what they know to help you do your personal best.
A hunting mentor is a person who is kind, honest, compassionate, caring and
teaches you how to hunt safely and ethically.
Cindy is my hunting mentor. Cindy teaches me about hunting and how to hunt by hunting together. We have had a lot of fun, eating deer meet, practicing shooting with targets, deer hunting and squirrel hunting together in the woods.
When we hunt, we talk about doing the right thing. Cindy told me once a shot is fired, I cannot take it back, I always remember that I am hunting to eat, and I want to respect the animal. I look up to Cindy, I trust her, and I know that she is helping me become a good hunter."
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