Georgia Mentor Competition: Krisha Faw
Krisha made the decision to pay her hunting heritage forward by taking a friend on a duck hunt.
Mentor Background: Krisha Faw works as an ecologist in the Athens area with a passion for the outdoors. She’s been hunting since 2011 when she harvested her first doe but has enjoyed fishing her whole life. She currently hunts deer, ducks and dove and enjoys hunting on both private and public lands.
Mentee Background: Colleen Piper, a 22-year-old Colleen Piper is a senior wildlife biology major at UGA and president of their chapter of The Wildlife Society. She considers herself a localvore when it comes to meat; only consuming protein that has been sustainably harvested.
By Krisha Faw
Colleen and I attended a managed DNR waterfowl quota hunt at Altamaha WMA, which I had applied for last summer. We have been friends for a few years and I knew that Colleen had not been duck hunting before, so I invited her along. During the weeks leading up to the hunt, we spoke in length about how the quota system worked, identifying ducks in air, when to shoot, and general expectations about harvesting game. I was able to secure basic equipment for Colleen to use during our hunt from some of my own hunting mentors.
After a five-hour drive the night before and a full Waffle House supper, we got up early in the morning, put on our waders and face paint, and headed to the check station to draw our blind number through the lottery process. We spent time scoping out the map, deciding together which blind to choose when our names were called and wound up with our third choice.
Once we got to the site, we paddled our boat out to some taller vegetation and worked together to create a makeshift blind out of palm fronds. Then we waited… and waited… and waited. We could hear others around us shooting but no ducks flew within shooting distance of our hideout. We knew we were well hidden and still enough because a flock of grackles almost landed on us. We did get to watch a bald eagle hunt right in front of us, the highlight of the morning. Although we didn’t harvest any game, we had an awesome adventure while I learned more about how to be an effective mentor. We plan to enter separate quota hunts next year and promised to take each other. I hope it’s a tradition we continue for many years!
Why Is Mentoring Is Important To Me
Although I grew up fishing with my dad and spent more time in the woods than anywhere else, I did not start hunting until I was 29 years old. I went to ABAC right out of high school and had many friends who hunted and would share their harvest. I wanted to learn to hunt but always felt too intimidated to ask and didn’t have the gear or knowledge of where to even start. At the time, I didn’t know any other women who hunted or to look up to. All of my hunting mentors have been (and still are) men who grew up around guns and in hunting camps. I’m forever grateful for them because they took me out for shooting practice, lent me mix-matched camo along with their shotguns and rifles, let me sit in their “lucky spots” and spent their time teaching me. I can’t think of a better way to pay them back for their kindness and patience other than to “pay it forward” with mentoring a new hunter.
I’ve been a member of the NWTF Women in the Outdoors program and have attended several of their events. I have met some amazing women who have conveyed the importance of women mentoring other women hunters. I knew when I felt confident enough in my own abilities, that I would do just that. I work in the natural resources field and have informal and formal mentees that I encourage both personally and professionally. Being able to take those young women hunting is just another tool to educate them on sound conservation practices and teach them about the land ethic. My hope is that I can create opportunities and positive experiences like I’ve had and continue to be a part of the driving force in increasing women in hunting and shooting sports.
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