My First Hunting Trip

Beth Cowgill from and I the morning before the hunt

Beth Cowgill from and I the morning before the hunt

Whenever I’m embarking on a new venture I attempt I force myself to do two things: shut up and pay attention. Especially when the venture I’m embarking on is with a group of experts.

My first hunting trip was one such venture.

A group of us girls were staying at a beautiful ranch in Missouri. I was completely out of my element. I had never been near the state of Missouri, much less hours from the airport, down a dirt road, and another dirt road, and another dirt road. Then to be in this strange environment full of parasitic bugs that could cling to me at any second, thick humidity and scorching sunshine, trudging through the woods in a camo tic suit, climbing through barbwire fences… Needless to say I missed out on my Frappucino that morning.

We were supposed to be coyote hunting.

I couldn’t believe everyone was actually dressed in camo. The girls matched the truck seats as we trundled up the hill toward where the stand was set up. They stuck an arrow with a feather on it into the ground, threw some beef liver on the ground, set up a speaker. The process was foreign but intriguing.

Then we all sat on camo chairs in a little camo-like tent. There were windows so you could see out, the guns were poking out. And there we sat. There was a noise maker hooked up to the speaker that played sounds that a cottontail rabit might make. There were also little hand-held noise makers that reminded me of a carnival kazoo

Mostly we just talked and giggled about the noise makers. We were watching, two of them had binoculars. Any time there was a sound we all payed rapt attention. There were no coyotes that morning. No guns were fired.

I don’t always understand the appeal of hunting, but I can certainly understand the appeal of good bonding time. I can understand the appeal of nature, the quiet mornings. Trudging through the woods with a yearning for a sense of accomplishment.

– Shelley Rae


  1. Glad to see you out in the woods. A lot of hunting is the friendships you build. I tried the calling thing, once, and never saw a coyote – and we were being quiet. We have the best luck cruising country roads in winter when there’s a blanket of snow. You’ll see one drifting across a field. If you miss with the first shot you’ll see speed you never thought possible. Miss again and they find an even higher gear. Amazing, tough, challenging critters that do a lot of damage to other wildlife and farm animals.

  2. So glad you joined us that morning Shelley! Look forward to spending more time in the field with you! ~ Beth

  3. Ah Shelley, me and a buddy used to go hunting. We never shot anything, we talked to much. It got so bad, we used to just tell people we were going camping. I lost my friend a number of years ago, those trips are still some of the best memories I have of my buddy.
    You are on the right path, just keep learning. As I get older, what I want the most from a partner or friend is good company.

  4. Great view from the perspective of a first timer. Enjoyed our time afield together Shelley!

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