The past couple of months, I have become connected to so many new people in the "limb difference" community, either via Facebook or this blog. After looking at my pictures, many have wondered "how I hunt?" The question always comes up as to "how" I pull a trigger? Well, I never really stopped to think about "how" I do it...I just do it! But, my first thought was, "with a gun?" But then I realize that's not what they are really asking. So, my next thought was, "just like you?" But then, still, I got the "you've-got-to-be-kidding-me" look! It's true! I know, it sounds like I would be a path of destruction, but actually, I am not THAT bad...and I still have one good shooting hand to prove it! So, to anyone who is born with, or has a limb difference, of any kind, don't let anyone tell you you can't do something! Like I always say in all my posts..you can! It may not be exactly like a typical person, but it will lead to the same ending result! It is all about logistics...and determination!
As many of you know, I was born and raised in Texas, which means you grow up hunting! This past January, I was visiting my family on their ranch, for an elk hunt. When we arrived, we got the game plan and headed out to scout for some animals. There were 7 of us in a Ranger: me and 6 guys! I Co-piloted, hoping to scope out the animals and point my Uncle in the right direction. And, that is where the fun began...
When you have two fingers, there are only so many ways you can point, or signal. In fact, I have the SAME signal for EVERYTHING! (Left, Right, Hi, Stop, Bye, Hold on, 1, 2, No, Yes, you get the point...) So, of course, I would point at a herd of elk and he would go the opposite direction. I would then point "harder" in the direction I wanted him to go in, and he would continue to go the wrong way. Clearly, I am pointing left...and right...How would you not understand which direction you need to go!? After a few sharp turns and a very patient Uncle, he nicely said, "If Bri is going to sit in the front, we need to give her a stick to point!" Brilliant! Never occurred to me I was not pointing in the "right" direction...now I know! Nevertheless, everyone had a good laugh!
After that, I grew fingers! Just kidding! :) We solved that minor issue, and there were no longer mis-leading directions, and was back on track! A couple hours into our hunt, we came upon an elk and was given the okay to hop out and "choot'em!" So, we all bailed and my cousin found a spot for me to rest my gun so I could keep it steady. At this point, I was shaking in my boots...literally! This was my first elk hunt...with 6 guys watching...using a gun I had never shot before! So, no pressure, right? After what seemed like an eternity (about 10 seconds), my cousin takes a deep breath (for me, I think), and I shoot! ONE shot! I was scared to look when I hear my dad yell, "You got her...you got her, Bri!!" Everyone was just as excited as me, if not more! I'm not sure if it is because they survived my gunfire, or because they just witnessed a "one-armed girl" shoot and score, but either way, it was probably the most amazing adrenaline rush I had ever felt. I achieved my goal, and for anyone who knows how that feels, it is AMAZING!
Not everyone likes hunting, so I will spare some detail, but I do...and that hunt is something that I am very proud of!
Love to all,