JUN 20, 2022   |   Voice of Leadership Panel

Hunting Isn’t About The Harvest; It’s About The Adventure.

By Karen Butler - Founder/President, SLG2, INC DBA: Shoot Like A Girl

When you think of your very best hunts, what comes to mind? For me, it’s the stories of adventure. One of the first memories that popped into my mind was when I was hunting archery elk in Montana, and a huge thunderstorm rolled in. I can still remember the feeling I had huddled up under a tree while Miranda, my guide, and I experienced this force of nature right in its heart. I didn’t get an elk that day, but I had the adventure. Of course, in all honesty, if the rain stopped and an elk appeared, followed by a good shot, well then, that would have put the adventure over the top!

This past turkey season, Shoot Like A Girl had the great honor of hosting two all-female hunts, plus going on a hunt with our leadership team. We were incredibly successful, with 20 of the 21 hunters harvesting birds. Many of our hunters were first-time turkey hunters, making our success even more special. At the end of the hunts, when the ladies were packing up, the stories they shared were about the adventure and not the harvest. That’s when we knew we had made a positive impact on them.

The first hunt we hosted was the Bass Pro Shops | Cabela’s Shoot Like A Girl Signature Rio Turkey hunt in Great Bend, KS, at Kansas Trophy Experience. All 8 of our hunters tagged out. My hunter, Cathy, touched my heart and has inspired me. Her daughter, who was six months pregnant, had wanted to attend this hunt, but it had a requirement to book in pairs. None of her friends were available, and when she was telling, her non-hunting mother, Cathy, said she would accompany her and buy it for her birthday (the last day of our hunt). Cathy was nervous when we climbed into the blind to pattern her shotgun. She was not only scared of what was ahead but she was also scared she would disappoint her daughter. As we hunted, we had a nice bird come in, and we couldn’t get a shot off; then, there was a miss. I sat with her in her pure emotions that only parents of adult children understand – that desire for your children to find new respect and admiration for you. We made a ton of noise in the blind as we talked, she cried, and I reminded her of the steps she would need to take to get a shot off. After all this commotion, I asked her whether she wanted to try again. She said yes. We pulled our facemasks up and started hunting. If you can imagine, it was like we went from being at a rock concert to being in a library. To my surprise, I called in another group of birds, and she made a beautiful shot. The next day, she stated that not only did her daughter have a new respect for her, but she also had a new respect and confidence in herself. Her story is an adventure of a lifetime and is like a good book. She experienced many emotions and was the heroine of her adventure.

In our next turkey hunt, we hosted an all-girls industry hunt for Beretta at Midwest Whitetail Adventures in Clay Center, KS. Again, we heard of our impact that went way beyond hunting, even for the one hunter who didn’t tag out. As part of this hunt, Beretta, and Shoot Like A Girl host a contest to bring one non-industry person who is new to hunting on the hunt. Due to a last-minute cancellation by one of our guests, we had two contest winners this time. Again, these ladies had incredible stories to tell at the end of the hunt. I especially loved that Beretta brought Kim Rhode, a six-time Olympic Medalist, on this hunt as their brand ambassador. The best part of this hunt happened inside the lodge. Kim had brought her medals for us to see, and she let the ladies try them on. As one of our guests got her photo taken with Kim and her medals, she said, “I feel like the National Anthem should be playing.” I started softly, “Oh, say can you see”, and the entire lodge stood up and sang the National Anthem. It gives me chills just thinking about that moment of pride for our country and our Olympic athlete, Kim. Granted, we would not have won American Idol, but you would never have known it from how loud we sang. That hunt was a marvelous adventure.

Our team hunt didn’t disappoint with success either. We paired up into two teams, Melanie and Christa and Me and Dub. The first morning Mel and Christa doubled. Their story is filled with adventure in that they hadn’t expected the second bird to come in, and they clumsily rearranged to put it all together. Dub and I had an equally exciting adventure, as unbeknownst to us, we set up right underneath a roost. I have never sat so close as to hear them repositioning on the branches. Of course, they probably had spotted us setting up and flew down on the opposite side. This was followed by an opportunity to call a big Tom up to us. We saw him, and we could get down and position ourselves where we could call him up to us. We set up, I started to call, and I noticed that I had placed the Avian X decoy near a fence post. Usually, that would be no big deal until I realized it was made with a six or eight-inch metal pipe, and we were 10 feet from it. We had to move away from that scenario and try again. That afternoon, we could call in two birds, and yes, we doubled, too. However, what I remember, other than the overjoy of getting Dub her first bird, was the story of the fence. Now that was an adventure.

What do you take away from your hunts? I hope it’s the experience, and I encourage you to take someone that has never hunted out to create an adventure for them. Be sure to share your hunt stories with your network to improve understanding that hunting is more than just the harvest.

2021-2022 The Hunting Wire Voice of Leadership Panel

The Voice of Leadership Panel is an appointed group of outdoor industry leaders who have volunteered to contribute their voices on key hunting and outdoor recreation issues to inform, inspire, and educate participants within our community.

  • Cyrus Baird - Senior Director of Government Affairs, Delta Waterfowl
  • Karen Butler - Founder/President, SLG2, INC DBA: Shoot Like A Girl
  • Eric Morris – Producer & Host - N.onT.ypical Outdoorsman TV
  • Ken Perrotte - President of the Association of Great Lakes Outdoors Writers (AGLOW)
  • Brenda Weatherby - Director of People and Culture, Weatherby, Inc.
  • Courtney Nicolson - Associate Director of Communications, Sportsmen's Alliance


  • James “Jay” Pinsky, Editor, The Hunting Wire
  • Peter Churchbourne, Director, NRA Hunter Leadership Forum
  • Jim Curcuruto, Executive Director, Outdoor Stewards of Conservation Foundation