There is something happening right now, in our corner of the world I would like to share with you all…
The 2012 Prois Hunting Award 12 Finalists were chosen a few nights ago. Can you imagine how I felt receiving the email saying that I was one of them?! (I hope so, I am still in shock, ~ truth!)
Why? (You may ask…)
Because I want nothing more strongly than to bring and guide more people into the wilds and wilderness of Alaska, safely. If I cannot, I want to ensure those that DO guide are the best of the best, and fit and able to guide you and (or) yours into the wilderness so that you may reap all the gifts that the Last Frontier has to offer, safely, always safely.
That’s the point, I think. The point of becoming a Professional Guide. To be able to share the blessings of nature and the untouched beauty of the wilderness …with anyone. To keep folks safe as they explore and discover their own dreams. To be confident that the answers are there, the direction is clear and the path leads to the dreams that led them to us, or simply into the wild.
I first became aware of the Prois Hunting Award for hardcore women a couple of years ago. I didn’t apply, because really… I am nothing special… I am simply a Mom and Big Game Guide. I didn’t grow up hunting as so many of these women I would see there have… I simply did what I did (and do) and did the best I could, always.
This year was different. This year, when I was asked to apply, the first thought that went through my mind was “women”. There have been quite a few articles that have come across my computer’s screen these last months, all speaking of women hunting…. and why they don’t.
It isn’t a dirty secret! Women love to hunt too! But why don’t we see very many? Why in over 20 years with Pioneer Outfitters have I only met a few women hunters? Why in all those years, have there been ZERO women, single or in groups, take a Horseback Adventure?
There is a truth that we do know, all of us. It is a scary world, for a woman to travel and hunt or go out into the wilderness on an Adventure (such as we offer) with a “Guide” and possibly a wrangler and camp helper… who are probably going to be men. Strangers.
This is the thought that I keep coming back to…
Since getting Pioneer up and running online, I have met many, many women who love to hunt and about 100 times that many amazing and wonderful women who love horses. Since getting to know some of these women, and learning so much from so many of them, I still find myself questioning, “Why?”
As one of Master Guide Terry Overly’s trainers for the Guide Training Program and the creator of the Professional Guide Ethics Class for Alaska, I have had four female trainees in our program. It is as hard as we can possibly make it, because really we can’t compete with what nature, herself, will and does throw at us in the field. Two dropped out, one bumped out and one…One very special young lady is kickin some serious butt!
THIS is why I entered. For her. For all the women and young ladies I have met and learned so much from and for all the young ladies and women I have yet to meet. For men and young men thinking of becoming Professional Guides, for all the Big Game Hunters, Horseback Adventurists and Alaska’s Wintertime Adventurers who want to experience all Alaska has to offer, show and teach them.
Yes, I want you to vote for me! Why? Especially, you may ask, after you have read the entries of the absolutely amazing and talented 11 other women chosen as finalists.
I ask for your vote for my children, for your children and for all the men and women who dream of experiencing the wild, whether they choose to ride through it, photograph it, be healed by it or to hunt it, safely.
I am asking for YOUR vote so that I may spread the word even further… I still remember something from one of the first articles I came across in my research to find others like myself… “When you teach a woman to experience and enjoy the wilderness, you teach the entire family.”
That is the point. Family. And keeping our families outdoors and safe.
Thank you, with all my gratitude and happiness.
~Amber-Lee, aka Alaska Chick