10/01/2020: There are those fortunate enough to have grown up in a family/community environment in which her elders took her under their collective wings and taught her, groomed her, educated her in the ways of coexisting with nature. Some learned to hunt and/or fish. Others benefitted from the skills of farming and agriculture. Still others, those I would tend to designate as the most fortunate in this circumstance, learned aspects of all of these skills…Then there were people who grew up like me…
Now, don’t get me wrong, I was by no means a sheltered child. I learned numerous skills when it came to building, repairing, and doing things that truly get your hands dirty; but hunting and fishing were never introduced into my wheelhouse. Those were skills “best left” to the men. The desire to learn these skill never left, but did take a back-seat to the other responsibilities of life. Now, with changing circumstances, I have been afforded the support and opportunity to begin learning what I have wanted for so long to know.
It all started with catching my first fish…a trout…a tiny trout…but, none-the-less, I was hooked. One of the biggest challenges I have discovered is the lack of the comradery, offering of pointers, and blatant lack of encouragement that is commonly afforded the men who discover these activities in adulthood. As my interests and activities expanded to include hunting I discovered the extent to which a woman’s access to these activities are truly hampered. This, by no means, is meant to imply women are prevented or excluded from hunting and fishing. We are, in fact, well received by many of the established fishing and hunting participants throughout our great countryside. The trick is to find those opportunities and resources. A trick, not often accomplished by many of the women just starting out on this educational path.
Through our struggles with learning the skills, perfecting our own techniques, and finding our own places within this remarkable community; Amy and I came to realize that there is a need for a place to go. A place for adults who are new to the sport. A place for women who are not (for any number of reasons) comfortable or feel welcomed in the general population. A place for everyone who loves the outdoors, the wilderness, the wild game that tastes so much better than the processed chemicals sold in our city grocery stores. A place for those who are focused on the conservation and preservation of a dying art…and yes, hunting and fishing is an artform in every aspect of the term.
A few years of us griping to each other of the shortcomings and deficiencies we have seen in the current system, the comparisons of things we would like to see change and develop, the frequent laments of why has no one done this or that…and the lightbulb finally lit…
Out of our discussions and activities an idea was born, an idea that has been slowly growing and developing for the past several years, the idea that has grown into the concept which is LJ Ranch Outfitters. Stage 1 is to test the waters, determine what you (our fellow hunters and fishing fans) want to see added to the community, and introduce ourselves to all of you. We are offering shirts with themes everyone can appreciate and that, hopefully, aren’t too masculine or feminine in nature. As our endeavor expands we will be offering more badges of honor (decals, sweatshirts, hats, etc.); a blog discussing the challenges we have, individually, faced in our endeavors to learn our hunting and fishing skills; and a subscriber site (currently under development) that will offer recipes specially developed for wild game and fresh caught fish, limited run t-shirts and decals, and special discounts and sales for our followers. In an endeavor to help promote and contribute to the ever challenging effort of nature conservation, Amy and I make a concerted effort to help clean up the areas we visit. The process has lead to multiple ideas of other resources and services currently in the planning and development stages that we will be introducing to our followers as the concepts become reality.
Amy and I, both, thank you for taking the time to learn a little of who we are and just what LJ Ranch outfitters is all about. We hope you will continue visiting, checking out our new products as they are introduced, and offering your input on what will help our community grow and strengthen in the coming years.