Becoming a Hunter — Part I: An Introduction

I have never hunted, ever. I've never shot an animal period, not even so much as a squirrel. That's not to say I've never had exposure to hunting. I come from a long line of hunters. I've been to deer camp in my homeland of northern Wisconsin, I've helped my brother process elk and I've been an accomplice to many a gopher hunt, but I have never pulled the trigger.

Much of my childhood was spent in Wisconsin where gentle, rolling hills and beautiful oak forests are crisscrossed by babbling streams and dotted with small lakes. My family moved to Montana when I was 9-years-old. Back then I was more interested in dolls than hunting trophy bucks.

I love Montana. It's a beautiful state, filled with rugged mountains and remote wilderness. It's not a hunting location for the faint of heart though. When I became old enough and big enough to hunt, as an adult I'm still barely 100 pounds soaking wet, I wrote it off as something that would most likely kill me.

I went along my merry way, attending college, reaping the benefits from my brother's elk and antelope hunts and not giving a second thought to harvesting an animal myself. My brother worked at onXmaps and gave me a shirt, which I thought was cool. When the time rolled around for me to do my internship, I put the word in at onXmaps, and lo and behold, here I am.

I am IT, which means computer-nerd, data-driven, glasses-wearing, more excited about a spreadsheet than any normal person ever should be. I gather hunting information and statistics to help to improve our product, and yet I have never hunted, or even fired a rifle larger than a .22.

I decided it's time to change that though. I love the outdoors. I spend hours horseback riding and working outdoors and I'm less worried about dying in the wilderness. Montana is not my ideal hunting location, as a new hunter I am very intimidated by the giant mountains, and as an IT nerd, I'm especially intimidated by the lack of cell phone service. Google maps? Meet onXmaps.

Click here to continue reading BECOMING A HUNTER—PART 1: AN INTRODUCTION

By: Margaret Persico

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