Hey y'all, I'm Alyssa Schreiber! I'm from a small town known as Columbiana in Central Alabama. But I recently moved to Troy, which is in South Alabama.
Even though I've always lived in the South, I wasn't raised in the outdoors. Hunting definitely wasn't something that my family participated in, nor was it something that they appreciated.
Throughout my childhood, I was raised where meat only came from a grocery store, fish were meant to be caught then immediately released (and you didn't touch them with bare hands because they were slimy), vegetables could only be grown by farmers, coyotes were basically mythical because I had never seen one myself, snakes were just in the Bible, and wild boars were in another country (not my cute little backyard in our cookie-cutter subdivision). I am exaggerating a good bit, but I'm sure you get the point.
My parents never really discussed how our meat got to the grocery store, or that vegetables were actually pretty simple to grow, or that coyotes were definitely real and that they are an awful pest whenever they get too close to home, or that wild boars were just down the road and that they tasted pretty great when they were turned into bacon.
I definitely realize now that this particular life-style is extremely naive. However, I also realize that while I was living that way, I found it comfortable, safe, and very easy... Which is why so many people choose that way of life. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
But, at the age of sixteen, I knew that this "comfortable" life-style wasn't the one I wanted. It's the one I that was taught, and it was the only choice I had growing up. But as I got older, I was introduced to friends that participated in hunting, fishing, noodling, farming, and exploring... and those things were so exciting to me. I was so jealous of my friends that were taught how to load and shoot a shotgun, or owned their own fishing pole and tackle box. I envied their ability to go to a hunting club and sit twenty feet up in a tree. I wanted to know set up and bait my own hook, and where the heck I needed to go to catch a catfish with my bare hands... but I never had anyone that was willing to teach me. And I started to believe that I was incapable of ever doing things because I was considered "too girly" and because I had gone my entire life without trying any of it.
After hearing people say things like, "hunting is in my blood!" or "I've known how to _________ since the day I could walk!" I started to feel like I wasn't good enough to try it myself.
Luckily for me, I met the love of my life at the age of twenty... and he proved me wrong. And he continues to prove me wrong, every single day.
Since April of 2016, I have gained so much knowledge, learned many skills, and grown in tremendous ways.
I now own my very first rifle, my own compound bow, and my own fishing pole.
I've seen coyotes for the first time in my life. I've shot at wild boars and eaten what their meat gave us, which was incredible sausage and extremely tasty bacon. I've had fresh eggs out of our chicken coop, and I've watched the world wake up at 4:30 in the morning, while sitting twenty feet up in a tree. I've cleaned a deer and used every ounce of meat that it provided us. And I've sat four feet from a cotton mouth without even realizing it was beside me.
I have harvested my first doe, my first buck, and my first turkey.
I've caught a twelve pound bass with my own rod and reel. And I've caught a twenty-five pound catfish after sticking my hand in his hole and letting him bite me, which has been of the most exciting experiences I've ever had in my life.
And although some of these things may seem so easy or unimportant to some, they are some of the best moments I've ever experienced, and some of the best memories that I'll never forget.
I am so excited to participate in the Huntress View with this incredible group of sportswomen! Not only because allows me to share my experiences and to learn from all of theirs... but also because I now have the opportunity to encourage girls who are in the position I was once found myself in.
It is never too late to try new things. Challenge yourself. Allow yourself to grow. Who cares what anyone says, thinks, or assumes. There's no such thing as "too girly" to hunt. And you're never to old to harvest your own meat, or grow your own veggies. Do it for you. Prove it to yourself that you are so beyond capable of anything you can imagine. Be proud of yourself every time you learn something new. And find a group of people who encourage, empower, and teach you along the way.