It’s nothing new when some people say hunting is both unnecessary and cruel. On the contrary, those who support that proposition have probably never held a bow and arrow, a fishing reel or a hunting rifle and genuinely felt their skills and abilities tested to the limit during the activity. It’s natural to fear–or hate–what we don’t understand. It doesn’t necessarily mean that those who choose to do something about that hatred or fear should be criminalized. A real hunter believes that the sport is not just all about the act of killing but rather the opportunity to outwit your prey and survive. A truly successful hunter studies their prey and learns its habits, behavior and tracks. Hunters should also understand the capability of their weapons or equipment and know how to make the most of it. What makes hunting truly a great sport?


Hunting is environment-friendly


Hunters ensure that the wildlife population of their game species is sustainable from generation to generation. They support the efforts towards the diversity of natural habitats by keeping those habitats intact, untouched and free from pollution due to overpopulation. In other words, hunters contribute to the population control of game species, all for the sake of conservation. By hunting overpopulated species, the hunting community reduces the strain on nature that the game species gives, ensuring that shelter and food sources do not get depleted at a fast rate. Through the population control that hunting provides, game species get a more humane, less painful and swifter death than what they would get if they die from disease or starvation.


Hunters also promote the maintenance of undamaged, clean and natural wild habitats through their search for suitable hunting locations. This is also something that ecologists do on a regular basis for their research and studies. In fact, even birdwatchers, hikers and wildflower researchers visit habitats teeming with wild flora and fauna that remain untouched and therefore uncontaminated.


Hunters support the economy


Every year, hunters have to seek and/or renew their hunting licenses. They pay to hunt in specific hunting properties they want to check the potentials of. The money they pay goes to the state or federal government, which uses it to fund the management and maintenance of wildlife refuges and parks, the enhancement of wildlife habitat and conduction of research and surveys to monitor the status of both game and nongame species. The tax on hunting goods that hunters pay supports wildlife management agencies. Hunters contribute in their own way to support the natural environments and the economy as well.

Hunters work harmoniously with other wildlife and outdoor enthusiasts to support the ecosystem.


dum5Hikers, hunters and birdwatchers prefer habitats that promote their own interests. A relatively quiet habitat would be what a birder would want to explore, while hikers go for trails. Land management that supports their favorite game mammal or bird is what a hunter would like to learn about. Generally, hikers, hunters and birdwatchers prefer to keep their distances from one another, being careful not to infringe on each other’s territories and not to be where the other is at the same time. This brings up time sharing issues despite that fact that each type of individual is after one thing: the benefit of the outdoor ecosystem.

Surely, the time will come that hunters can partner with the other groups since they are all after the benefit of the creatures in the small wetlands, streams and forests. This has started with the partnerships forged between the hunting community and research ecologists, wildlife recreation groups and habitat protection organizations. The ultimate objective may be diverse for each group but the conservation and restoration of forests and natural habitats remains an unchanged goal shared by all.


I’m always negatively surprised to see how small the number of women who decide to take up outdoor sports is. It is true that activities such as biking or running are popular among both women and men, but others, such as fishing, are not. It doesn’t seem logical to me, especially since fishing is not a physically demanding sport, as is climbing, for example. From my point of view, fishing is a sport that could appeal to women as much as it appeals to men.


Firstly, it is a relaxing way of spending a day outdoors. It clears your mind from the daily problems, family issues and other organizational tasks you have to perform as a routine. For me, personally, it is the perfect getaway from the day-to-day stress.


dum3Many women, with whom I had the chance to discuss this issue, usually raised one of the following objections: firstly, they found it difficult to use the specialized gear and, secondly, they didn’t like killing living creatures and then eat them. I can understand the displeasure that some women may experience towards fishing for food, but I believe the first one is only the result of disinformation. Tackle gear is nowadays so varied that it is quite unlikely that you don’t find some piece of equipment that you can use with ease. Rods are extremely light and designed so that they are easy to use and they come with certain features that allow even the smaller individuals to handle them with preciseness. In addition, the mechanisms used are simple, thus mastering a rod doesn’t require any special skills or increased physical strength.


It is true, it may take some effort in the beginning, but so does any other activity that you learn from scratch. Once you understand the simple techniques, it is a pleasure to spend a couple of hours away from the hustle and bustle of your daily life, somewhere in nature. As for the second objection, fishing doesn’t necessarily require you to catch and cook fish. If you prefer it, you can release them back into the water. You don’t even have to deal with living bait, as most of it is plastic made and only resembles a certain insect species that fish usually feed on. As such, there’s no real harm you are making. If we were to take things to the extremes, you can see fishing as a survival skill. Who knows if, one day you won’t find yourself in the situation in which you need to provide food for your kids that you have to catch yourself? I know an apocalyptic scenario is quite a long shot, but you never know, do you?

** ADVANCE FOR SUNDAY JULY 25 ** Joanna Decker, 49, a delegate from Washington State, who will be heading to Boston for the Democratic National Convention, she spend some time flyfishing on the Snoqualmie River in North Bend, Wash., on Friday July 23, 2004. She is a flyfishing instructor who spends time in the outdoors of the Northwest. As the delegates gather in Boston for this week's convention, an Associated Press survey of Washington's 95 delegates reveals who they are and what they care about. (APPhoto/Kevin P. Casey)

Besides that, precisely because many women see fishing as a demanding activity, you should attempt learning it. You will face a challenge and overcoming it alone will make you feel better.


Sitting at home in summer is a waste of time. So, I decided to get ready and explore new fishing places and techniques. Something that I haven’t tried in long is fly fishing, thus, I’ve left home one day and decided to acquire some new tackle gear, as I didn’t have anything nearly as professional as I wanted. In the end, after reading many reviews and studying the price offers of many fly fishing combos, I finally found my soul mate. As I’m already familiar with this angling technique and also possess some equipment at home, I decided I should concentrate on finding a great reel and rod combo, as my old one got a bit shabby. But, since I consider myself a connoisseur when it comes to fishing, I haven’t bought a ready-made combination, but dared teaming up the reel and combo myself, using my own brains.


dumm5I’m pretty happy with the result, so I’ve decided to talk about the two here, starting with the rod: the Okuma Crisium. This is a graphite, 2-piece 9 foot long rod (which is the all-round length for fly fishing) with a medium action that will masterfully serve all angling purposes. It is hard to put in words how precise and smooth castings I accomplish with it. In this, you can see the hands of the Okuma experts, as the line smoothly passes through the guides when you cast. Also, the graphite blank senses any vibration coming from the water, so it’s really difficult to miss even a small bite, if it happens. Of course, it is not only the sturdy but sensitive build of the shaft that convinced me to buy it, but also the cork, comfortable grip with which it is fitted. Most of my rods have foam grips and I’m always happy to find an affordable alternative combining graphite and cork in one product. In addition, all parts are made with quality and durable materials: the guides are made with stainless steel and titanium oxide, both of them corrosion resistant and the reel seat is made with rosewood, a heavy and long-lasting material.


dumm4I teamed up this great rod with the Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Reel, as I considered it to be not only a great partner for this rod, but also a bargain, considering the money I paid on it. The second reason why I bought it is that it is a well-engineered piece of equipment. Firstly, it comes with a disc drag system, which means I can use it for bigger fish species. Secondly, the corrosion resistant properties of the materials used make it ideal for saltwater fishing. This reel is built with CNC-machined aluminum alloy, and this too ensures resistance and waterproof properties. The disc drag system is made with stainless steel and has a one-way clutch bearing. The mid-arbor design ensures an easy retrieve and the reel can be converted for right or left hand use easily. You can find more info on this reel here.


I tried it outside to see how it works and the results gave me great expectations for my next fishing trip!


Every season has its own specific fishing rules that you need to obey to if you want to land fish. These rules are not always related to the species you target, but also to the surroundings. So what do you need to know about summer fishing? I have chosen four things that I consider to be most important for the hot fishing season.


Dress in an appropriate manner

Canada, Newfoundland, Northern Peninsula, Viking Trail, Tuckamore Lodge, young lady fishing, Amanda, "Model released"

Fishing clothing is important no matter the season. For hot days, wear airy garments, a good sun protective hat and sunglasses. Don’t underestimate the importance of materials: sun protective and waterproof materials are a must for such circumstances, but your basic fishing clothes should at least be made with quality materials, that will make you feel comfortable. Don’t forget to take with you a hoodie for cold evenings and mornings and sunscreen.


Protect yourself from harmful insects and mosquito bites

You can do this in two ways: you either buy a set of clothes that are made with mosquito repellent fabrics or you use bug spray. If you want to make sure mosquitos and other bugs won’t touch you, you can do both.


Adapt your gear to the circumstances

dumm2I’m strictly referring to the fishing circumstances here. The best way to reel in some fish is to carefully study your surroundings. One thing you should keep in mind when you go fishing on a summer’s day is vegetation. You may have visited the same place in spring or autumn, but it will definitely look so much more different now, with all the herbs growing around it or in water. Vegetation can get your line and bait into trouble. The problem with water plants is that you get to see only what’s on the surface. If your line gets stuck in algae or other plant roots, good luck getting it out of there. Many fishermen have broken their lines or even rod this way. In addition, remember that fish will look for cooler spots, provided by trees shadow or water plants, so they will hide among these, if necessary. If you want to catch something that day, make sure your rod is able to handle rougher fishing conditions and that you use bait that floats or has small chances of getting tangled.


Check out new fishing spots

There’s no time like summer to discover new places to go fishing. The day is longer than usual, the sun shines brighter and you rarely need to endure cold or rainy days. Of course, that also depends on where you go fishing, but, normally, summer is the best time to explore unknown places and discover some fishing spots that will make your friends envious.


I’ve written before about how hard it can be for a woman to learn the basics of fishing since the sport is mostly practiced by men. In spite of the fact that I used to be a member of fishing clubs back when I was in college, once I started working it wasn’t so easy anymore. I wanted to go out fishing by myself or with a girlfriend who also wanted to learn the works of baitcasting but I had little time. In the end, we decided that we’d try out our best at getting together every Saturday or Sunday, depending on when we both had a bit of time off from work. This blog post is going to be all about my learning experience with regard to baitcasting and about some of the fishing gear that I started utilizing in the beginning.


dumwiam2Seeing how I’m not a well-seasoned fisherwoman, I wanted to spend my money on something worth the while, but I had no intention on getting an overly expensive rod or reel that I couldn’t use properly. I started my quest for the perfect equipment by going through some rod &reel reviews and ratings, which is what I recommend to anyone who wants to learn a bit about fishing, in general. Soon enough, I realized that baitcasting was not the easiest technique ever to have been invented, but since I’m ambitious enough, I wanted to learn the basics as best as I could. I learned that the most important part of a baitcasting setup was the reel. From what I gathered, a cheap one wouldn’t do because the parts should have been made out of high-quality materials. I decided to go for the Piscifun Black Baitcasting Reel because I was impressed with the level of critical acclaim gathered by the item and it seemed reasonably priced and well-built. This product is a medium-speed option that I could use regardless of my expertise in the field or the fishing circumstances that I would come across. Even though I wanted to get some fluorocarbon line, I decided to go against it and settle for monofilament instead, because I noticed that experts recommend this type of line for beginners. It’s supposed to be easier to cast.

dumwiam3Both the hunting and the fishing community seems to think that getting a rod and reel that hasn’t been manufactured by a big brand is the wrong way to go about things. I don’t know if this is a healthy way of thinking, but I was able to find a rather affordable alternative, the Abu Garcia Medium Veritas Casting Rod. This pole seems to be durable and well-designed, and the neat thing about it is that it comes with guides that have been constructed out of titanium alloy. Since I was resolute on using monofilament, I found that titanium alloy was the best material for guides as they would withstand the abuse and traction.

While baitcasting raises some difficulties to first-time users, I’m pretty sure that with a bit of practice, I’ll get better. I won’t be discouraged by backlashes as everyone gets them in the beginning. What I’m more interested in is learning how to cast properly, as now I know that I should practice it as much as I can. Maybe if I go fishing every weekend, I’ll learn how to cast on longer distances in due time.


Growing up, I was the tomboy of my neighborhood. I was always playing out with boys, while my girl toys would stay forgotten in a corner gathering dust or be used for the most unexpected employments that had nothing to do with their original purpose. Though my parents expected this to be just a phase, I continued to stay unaware of girlish activities and continue my exploration into preponderantly male activities and sports. Once I’ve finished high-school, my parents gave up all hope that I would ever resemble a normal girl. However, as they weren’t judgmental people, they never imposed on me or dictate my behavior in any way.

fisherwomanI began taking great interest in fishing and hunting when I was in college. It was there where I met passionate people that introduced me to fishing clubs and took me in for hunting parties. I don’t think I was ever more enthusiastic than in those years, when I could, unhindered, enjoy my favorite activities. It was in that period of my life where I’ve met other women that loved fishing and hunting, which made me feel less out of the ordinary.

However, what I also noticed in women enjoying such sports was that, given the small number interested in fishing, an activity that has always been regarded as an only-male-allowed field, they were in difficulty when finding a group that allowed them to participate, were insecure about their hobby and they also encountered difficulties with finding the right gear. Compared to the variety of hunting and fishing gear for men, the available models for women were substantially reduced back then, and are even nowadays, though in less obvious proportions. Added to their many problems, women are also confronted with physical difficulties when carrying heavy equipment or using heavy-duty gear.

fisherwoman2This blog will be all about how you can take up fishing and hunting yourself, if you’re a woman. I will try keeping women posted on the latest specialized equipment for hunting or fishing (or even try other “manly” activities), I will share tips and advice for how to cope with the difficulties you may encounter during hunting parties as a woman and I will do so sharing my personal experience.

Since I’m a veteran in this area, I can definitely share some of my experience to help others. I’m quite sure some of my stories will even make you laugh, though at the moment the whole situation didn’t look funny to me. Though we consider ourselves to be better organized than men, even we can forget essential items or things to do before going in a fishing trip, as I did more often than I would like to admit.

I will also try documenting my future experiences using photographic captures and videos that illustrate both positive and negative events. Who knows, maybe this way, a greater number of women will become interested in these activities or regard them as a way of surpassing one’s individual limitations. Hopefully, many of you will find this blog useful and will this way be able to avoid accidents and gain useful knowledge.