#Loba of the Week: Jamie Barnes, 3 harvests in 30 minutes.

How did you get into Hunting?

I started hunting with my dad when I was a young girl.

I would go sit with him in the deer stand or duck blind and beg him to shoot small fawns when we would see deer, because being so little they looked big to me.  He would smile and say, “We can’t shoot that one.”  I guess it was in my blood.

father and daughter hunting

I started hunting on my own with my dad’s old 30-30 Marlin that he killed his first deer with, which I killed my first deer with in 2005 and I was hooked.   Today I have my own rifle, bow, and use my dad’s crossbow at times and enjoy hog, turkey, dove, and coyote hunting, but deer hunting is my main passion.

3 harvests in 30 minutes – what a day!

It was opening day of deer rifle season. I had got off work and hurried home to drive to our hunting land to get in the stand before it was too late. Me, my dad, and two of his friends were there.  I’m the only girl around our hunting land, so of course I always try to out-do the boys.

woman in tree stand

I debated for a while, like I always do, which of the many stands I should sit in.

I’m very indecisive but my gut kept telling me to go to the “Blow over field” named after a stand that blew over and we had to rebuild.  We have seen many deer and hog tracks/activity in there so I finally decided to go.  I got in the stand kind of late, and was busy killing wasps (which I’m petrified of) when I looked up and to my left a nice doe was out eating.

Being that I did not even pull the trigger the year before due to me being picky and “in the big leagues” now meaning 8 pts. or greater and outside the ears (since I’ve killed 2 bucks prior) I knew I had to take her.  I put my gun up, took a deep breath, and “squeezed the trigger” as I always tell myself in my brain when shooting. She dropped immediately and I couldn’t help but celebrate a little in the stand.

About 10 mins later 2 other does came out and I was not planning on shooting another doe since I only had 2 doe tags and didn’t want to use them on the opening day; however, I noticed one had white going up her right side meaning in-breeding and I knew we were trying to take those out, so once again I aimed at her and shot. I thought “Wow, this is crazy!” Little did I know it would get crazier.

I figured the gun shot from the first deer would have scared everything off, but boy I was wrong! A few minutes after I shot the second doe, I turned to my front and see this big black thing come out of the woods. It was a sow.  I couldn’t believe this.

She was not scared of the noises but did stare at the dead doe laying in the field when she noticed it and seemed a little spooked.  I thought, “Oh no she’s gonna run!” I maneuvered my rifle around to the other side slowly and pulled the trigger without much hesitation. She did a back flip and dropped.

My dad and his friends were texting me saying it sounded like “World War 3” going on over where I was.  I had killed 3 animals within about 30 mins on opening day….and the men got nadda!

Some details on your hunting history…

my first buck

I have killed about 10 does, 2 bucks, 2 sows, and doves. My goal this spring is to kill my first turkey.  The first buck was smaller but I was so excited and of course the men had to put blood all over me.  I was afraid at first we weren’t gonna find it because it ran and it was dark, but when we found it I think my dad was more excited than I was.

I also got my first deer (a doe) mounted (which is not common of course) because I was so excited (as well as my dad) and she was the biggest one I have killed yet and everyone comments on how pretty her eye lashes are.

As a mental health counselor, what role does hunting play in your life?

hunting is therapy

Hunting is my therapy; being in the woods is a way I cope and let go of my worries and have time to think and clear my head. I work with K-4 through 5th graders at a poor elementary school and hear all kinds of problems all day and it can be challenging.  The kids don’t have much and the parents hardly have transportation or phones so it makes it more difficult.

The little boys I work with LOVE to hear about my hunting stories and think it’s so cool a girl hunts, since most of them grew up hunting as well.  Hunting is something I can relate to with the little boys and build rapport with and this makes them open up to me more and feel like they can trust me more.

I always look forward to fall weekends in the stand watching the sun come up or set and just being out in nature, even if I come back empty-handed;  there is nothing better and more relaxing.

Advice for girls who would want to go out and hunt?

woman in woods

Jamie’s Advice:

“I truly believe in girl power and girls can outhunt a guy any day so practice, join, and encourage each other and don’t give up.”

  • Classes. Sign up for a class on shooting like a women’s hunting/shooting class to get familiar with it
  • Use Your Family. Start going out with family members to learn first.
  • Practice, Practice! Start practicing and don’t give up.
  • Use Social Media to Connect! I have learned social media works well because you can join/’Like’ many hunting pages and become a prostaff/field staff, get your name out there, and learn tips from other women hunters.
  • Be a Part of the Network. There are many groups/pages that support and encourage girls to get outdoors and help familiarize them with the outdoors.