Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.



'Going against the crowd' - The plight of being a young, female hunter

Each year, Andrea Grandstrand pits herself into a fierce competition for at least one of two unlikely trophies hats that read "Big Buck" or "Big Doe."...

Each year, Andrea Grandstrand pits herself into a fierce competition for at least one of two unlikely trophies hats that read "Big Buck" or "Big Doe."

Grandstrand, a senior at Heritage Christian School in Karlstad, Minn., has been taking part in a pastime that generally is associated with men hunting. Since she was quite young, Grandstrand loved to help with the "hunt" in any way she could. So, when her 12th birthday came around, she earned her gun safety certificate and became an officially licensed hunter.

Grandstrand hunts with family members and friends on some land near her home in Minnesota.

"My first hunt was actually kind of boring. I was picky and nervous, so I didn't even fire a shell," she said. "My second year was much more exciting; I got my first deer!" And it wasn't just any deer, it was an official seven-point buck.

"If a girl shoots a bigger buck than a guy, that's saying something."


For her first four years of hunting, she used a .30-.30 Remington and, last year, she got a .308 Charles Daley. She explained that she switched because she felt a .308 could shoot with more accuracy from farther distances. Also, her brother just started hunting, so he needed the .30-.30, which is a good gun for beginners.

White-tailed deer are what she would refer to as her specialty, but she's also hunted sharp-tailed grouse and, in her spare time, has done some "varmint hunting".

"Cleaning deer is my favorite!" Grandstrand exclaimed when asked if she cleans any of the animals she hunts.

Ever since she was little, she's been observing the process. Once she started hunting, she was able to get her hands dirty and help gut the deer.

According to Grandstrand, when her family gets back to the farm, the deer is hung by its back legs and is skinned. The head and legs then are detached from the rest of the body, and next is the dirty job of gutting. She said it can be a pleasant experience depending on where the bullet hits.

Gut shots aren't pretty and have a foul odor; heart shots are messy; and anything else depends on the size of the bullet, Grandstrand said. In the hunting world, she is a minority, since people don't always hear about a lot of girl hunters, but that doesn't mean there aren't more out there.

"Hunting is such a huge thing up here in northwestern Minnesota" she said, "It's the third-biggest holiday next to Christmas and Thanksgiving."

Grandstrand explained that there's usually a lot of pressure on girl hunters from all the guys, but it just makes it that much more fun to show them up.


This year's hunting season for Andrea just wrapped up. She said she was extremely excited and had a blast. She's looking forward to sharing stories with her friends who hunt as well, many of whom are girls.

"Girls may use smaller guns, but that doesn't change our ability to hunt."

Galegher, 15, is a sophomore at Thompson (N.D.) Public School.

What To Read Next
Get Local