Northern Ontario woman leads hunting camp for women
By the end of the first day of a hunting trip, women are 'smiling and making plans for next year'
A northern Ontario woman is taking pride in teaching more women how to hunt.
Amanda Lynn Mayhew is originally from Manitouwadge but now lives in southern Ontario. She hosts a television show called Just Hunt on Wild TV.
"I was working in a gun store about eight years ago and the girls had started recognizing there was a female working behind the counter that was selling firearms," she said.
"They were a little intimidated by asking guys questions. So they came in and they felt comfortable talking to me."
Eventually, she started a range day, to teach women how to shoot a gun. After that, women started asking her who they could hunt with.
Mayhew decided to start a program called Take Me Hunting. She says many of the women had little experience hunting.
"There was one lady … who had never been on a trip before, who had never gone on a trip with strangers before and who had never been hunting," she said.
"She was completely out of her element and yet by the end of the very first day, she was smiling and making plans for next year."
The course took place at a rented cabin near Sturgeon Falls this past fall.
"We did it when calf season opened because I did have a calf tag," she said.
"We did it in a way where they could hunt partridge."
She says it included tips about moose calling, spotting tracks and how to harvest and clean a partridge.
If more moms do this, more children will do this- Amanda Lynn Mayhew
"It was a real, live hunting weekend," she said. "There was no classroom, there was no books."
She says she realized how fortunate she is for learning these skills while growing up in northern Ontario.
"They felt so empowered and so independent and so responsible of their own lives and what they're putting in their own bodies," she said.
"I think it's important to get the women out there doing this because it's going to filter down to our children. If more moms do this, more children will do this."
Mayhew says she plans on taking more groups of women out hunting next fall and intends to make those trips into television shows.
With files from Up North