Guest Blog: Wingshot Gets to Know PF through Internship
The crisp, cool air hit my face as I stepped out of the pickup. “It’s going to be a nice day,” I thought as I started to load my 20 gauge shotgun next to my father. “Pooh Bear,” our family friend’s English springer spaniel, was going stir crazy in the back of the pickup. His owner soon dropped the tailgate of his truck and the hunt was on.
Sunflowers slapped at our faces and blaze orange vests as we trudged through the field in search of roosters. Suddenly, Pooh Bear let out a howl and kicked up the first bird of the day. Within seconds my dad shot and a sharp-tailed grouse fell back to the ground. My heart was racing. I knew I wanted to shoot my first upland bird.
Throughout the rest of the day I watched intensely as our friend’s pup worked the field in front of us. Finally, I heard a commotion and then just as suddenly as the first time, “poof” a giant clump of colorful feathers rose to the sky, it was a rooster! My heart pounded as I raised my gun to align my shot… “BOOM!” My gun fired and I stood there in shock as a chorus of cheers and whistles erupted from the other side of the field. The next thing I knew, Pooh Bear was dropping a beautiful rooster at my feet. My father had the biggest smile on his face as he jokingly mentioned “Well it’s not a grouse, but it still works.” I had just shot my first rooster pheasant and I couldn’t have been happier.
I’ve always loved hunting; you could say it’s in my blood. Typically, whenever my father or grandpa grabbed their guns, I would be close behind. Usually I found myself surrounded by fathers and their sons, but I never felt out of place – just disappointed there weren’t more girls interested in spending time in the woods and fields. This past spring I graduated from North Dakota State University with degrees in PR and Advertising and Agricultural Communication. Right before graduation I was searching for a job when my brother suggested I look into Pheasants Forever. I inquired and ended up finding an internship available over the summer months. I couldn’t apply fast enough! As you can tell, I was offered one of the internships and on the second day on the job I received the opportunity to attend Pheasants Forever’s 2012 Shotgun Review. What better way to start an internship!
Over the past month my knowledge of PF, habitat, hunting dogs and hunting has grown exponentially. There is more to this organization than a person realizes. The people here are passionate about wildlife habitat conservation and hunting, and they talk about their personal experiences with the craft every day. Just as in the hunting world, this is a highly male populated work place, but I’m helping to change that. I know if I continue to show the world of conservation and hunting is one that should be embraced by everyone, regardless of age or gender, other people will take notice and even more women will continue to get involved!
Brittney Traxinger is a Pheasants Forever marketing intern. She returns home to Claremont, South Dakota, each fall to hunt upland birds and big game.
The Over/Under blog is compiled by Andrew Vavra, Pheasants Forever’s Marketing Specialist.
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