Meet Queen Meagan… The Falconer

We all share this passion for hunting, otherwise why would we be here? We all can relate to the experience of the hunt, of the hammering of your heart when that animal steps into your line of sight, the twang of your bow string upon release, the sounds of the rifle or shotgun exploding to life as you pull the trigger. I am happy to introduce myself to you all, a 28 year old hunter with a relentless passion for the outdoors and all that it has to offer. My name is Meagan Duffee-Yates, a graduate student with a masters in Biology and an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Management and Ecology. You could say that hunting and the outdoors are in my blood.
I am a native Texan, born and raised in Dallas. I was lucky to be shown into the outdoors as a small child, going on hunting trips with my father ever since I can remember. Early mornings waking up, dressing in my fathers extremely large camo clothing and sitting among the milo fields as we waited on the first light and the whistling of doves flying overhead. After graduating from high school I moved to Missouri to attend college and fell in love with my husband. Although we have been together for 9 years, we have only been married for four months. I had to wait until I was done with college fully in order to marry him. My husband is nothing but a miracle in my life, and I am truly blessed to have such an amazing man who understands my passion for the outdoors and hunting.
I have hunted with rifles and shotguns for my entire life, but going towards the more primitive aspect was something that had always called to me. I began my long and trailing journey into primitive hunting by taking the road towards obtaining my falconry permit. For those who may not know what falconry is, I am permitted by the state and federal government to hunt with a wild bird of prey on wild quarry (prey). Falconry is the oldest hunting sport known to man, but it is also the most highly regulated hunting sport in this nation. Birds of prey (hawks, falcons, eagles and owls) are protected under federal law, and I must meet all requirements and inspections before I can obtain my bird.
I have hunted with a red-tailed hawk, Autumn, for 8 years now. We have taken squirrels, cottontail rabbits, pheasants and various rodents through the years. The thrill of hunting with a wild bird of prey, having their trust and willingness to hunt alongside me, is something that I could never live without. I spoke about the sounds of hunting, the string of a bow, the shot of a rifle, but there is a sound to me that is magical all in itself and that is the sound of my hawks hunting bells when she is in direct pursuit of her prey. I get a front row seat to one of the most intimate hunting scenes nature can provide. Nothing keeps my bird tethered to me while hunting, she has full free reign to come and go as she pleases. But she knows that in the care of a falconer she will always have free food, shelter and opportunities to hunt wild game in ways she otherwise would never have.
Experiencing falconry I have wanted to venture into more primitive methods of hunting and have been bow hunting for the past five years. I can never express to others the thrill of waiting for a deer to step within my 30 yard pin range, wait on the perfect shot (which may never been presented to me) and have my arrow go free from my bow. The hammer of my heart inside of my chest, the nerves that claim my body after the arrow has been released and the thrill, nerves and excitement we all fill when blood trailing our game. It all builds up to the moment that we see our game and know we have made a successful harvest. This is why I hunt! Whatever method is in season and available I take advantage off. Providing meat to my husband and I, my family and his and to those that are not fortunate enough to be able to get outside and hunt is why I love being outdoors.
I am an avid educator to the public about not only falconry but also hunting in general. I want the non-hunting public to understand why I harvest game, why I provide the freshest meat available to us for myself and my family. I am also a firm believer in getting the youth involved outdoors and most importantly showing young girls that they are fully capable of doing anything and more than men can do. I am the kick-start presenter for the past four years to a group of sixth grade “Girl Empowerment” club, teaching them about falconry (I am one of five women in my state who hunt with a hawk), and teach them about hunting in general. I tell them that they can do whatever they set their minds to. And afterwards, months later, it warms my heart when their mothers see me someplace and thank me for making such a wonderful impact in their young daughters life. I look forward to sharing my experiences in the outdoors and hunting world with you all. I always love to hear your stories, to see your pictures and know that women can do whatever we want in this world! Get out there, get some wild game into your freezer and enjoy what this beautiful world has to offer to us!!! Happy hunting everyone!

 


Jan 23, 2015 | Category: Blog, Queen Meagan | Comments: 1

 

One comment on “Meet Queen Meagan… The Falconer

  1. Dana

    Meagan,
    I am truly impressed with your dedication to being an outdoorswoman. Nothing fazes you. You are an inspiration to so many people by not being a “traditional woman”. You impact so many people in ways that you don’t even know. People that have only met you a few times are constantly telling me how impressed they are by you. I know it only took one meeting for me to know what an impressive person you are.
    Good luck on this new endeavor!

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