Hunting is hard. Flat out. It takes patience, courage, and grit. More often than not you are left with an unfilled tag in your pocket and a long walk back to the truck. So why do it? Why put in so much time, money and effort if percentages do not go in your favor? I know why I do it. I do it because the effort it takes to successfully harvest an animal is unlike any other feeling in life. Because with no risk there can be no reward. It is what makes hunting and harvesting your own meat so special.
Being new to hunting, I constantly second guess myself and have doubt about if I am doing the right thing, especially since I never had a mentor to bounce questions off of. It is my weakness. It is the internal battle that I struggle with when hunting. Have you ever had questions about what others would do in certain situations? Maybe you catch yourself not staying in the game mentally. I know I often do. I find myself double guessing a move or a plan of attack when I hunt. Being new to hunting can be frustrating and defeating, so much that it is hard to stay motivated.
This blog series is meant to be a way to inspire and motivate you and others when it comes to hunting your dreams, and at the same time making a difference in recruiting new members and building community in the hunting world. Hopefully the advice and insight shared by our guests can help you feel like you are not alone in your struggle against the wild, as well as build confidence in your chase.
WBC: What is your name?
Taren: Taren Weigandt
WBC: Where are you from and where do you currently live?
Taren: Born and raised in a small town – Scappoose, Oregon.
WBC: What is your day job?
Taren: I’m a stay at home mom but I also run the family construction and property management business from home.
WBC: Do you have any family or pets?
Taren: I am the proud mother of a 7 year old girl named Jordyn, and identical twin boys named Hayden and Trask who are turning 4 in just a few days.
WBC: How and why did you get started into hunting?
Taren: I was born into a hunting family. It was just a part of my upbringing and I really didn’t know any different. We lived right on the Multnomah Channel so I grew up reeling in salmon and following around my parents in the mountains of Central Oregon chasing mule deer. I learned at a very early age where my food came from!
WBC: Did you have a hunting mentor? What did you learn from them and or what did you want or wished to learn from them?
Taren: You could say my biggest mentors growing up were my mother and father. I didn’t idolize anyone on television and there wasn’t really social media then. They did the most important job of introducing me to the outdoors and teaching me the basics from hunters safety, to field dressing an animal, to showing me where our food comes from. It wasn’t until I graduated from college that I really became addicted to the outdoors though! I have grown leaps and bounds in my hunting journey since then.
WBC: What has been your favorite hunt? Why?
Taren: I don’t think I can pick one individual hunt. My last two archery elk seasons have been highlights in my hunting career, even though I didn’t shoot an elk either season. Each year I learned so much, including how to bugle, which has been a huge confidence booster. I called in my first bull last season, and then another! Before I started bowhunting, I took a beautiful 6 pt bull with my rifle, but nothing compares to close encounters with a hot bull during bow season. NOTHING.
WBC: What has been your biggest struggle when it comes to hunting?
Taren: Honestly, trying to juggle hunting and raising kids. There is so much that goes into preparing for a hunt, but when you throw in a young family, it becomes 100 times more complex. It’s worth it, but it’s a constant juggling act and it takes a ton of planning and preparation.
WBC: Our strengths can also be our weaknesses. What are your weaknesses that can inhibit you on your hunts?
Taren: Really, my biggest weakness when it comes to hunting is finding the time to go out. I feel like I’m always on a clock, knowing I have kids at home, and a grandparent or nanny to relieve. It takes a village to raise kids, and I am fortunate to have a terrific village, but it doesn’t mean it’s always easy. The last two seasons, my daughter came elk hunting with me and the two of us had a BLAST. The twins are still a little young to go on hunts but it won’t be long until we are all out hunting together and finding childcare won’t be an issue!
WBC: What piece of gear can you not hunt without?
Taren: My onX hunt app! Hands down, this has been the biggest game changer for me over the last 4 years. I have learned so much more about the areas I hunt because of this tool. It’s allowed me to feel more confident out in the woods. I will never hunt without it again.
WBC: What is your favorite place to hunt and or species?
Taren: I grew up hunting mule deer in Eastern Oregon and it will always hold a special piece of my heart, but the west side is growing on me. For the last few years I’ve only hunted blacktail deer and Roosevelt elk and I’ve got to tell you, they are addicting.
WBC: What is one piece of advice you would have liked to have or know when you first started hunting?
Taren: Just to soak it all in! The hunt is about more than the second it takes to pull the trigger. As an adult, I now appreciate all the little things from the sounds of nature to time spent with my loved ones to the meat in my freezer. Hunting really is a way of life, not just something you go do a few weeks a year. Cherish every bit of it.
WBC: What is your social media account handles or website?
Taren: I am on Instagram, Facebook and I also run a blog/website.
Facebook: Future of Hunting
We want to thank Taren for sharing her insight and thoughts. If you want to know more about Taren and what she does as well as how she balances family life with hunting, be sure to check out her Instagram accounts as well as her blog at www.futureofhunting.net. She has also been featured on the By Land Podcast in episode 008 (LINK to Podcast).
If you enjoyed reading the blog or can think of anyone that could benefit from the insight given, please share it with others. It is “OUR” job to continue the growth of the hunting and outdoor community. Be sure to invite someone to start hunting with you, you never know what type of impact it may have for them and their life. Remember, mentorship is conservation.
If you would like to be featured in the blog series or know someone who should be, let us know by emailing us or direct message on Instagram.
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