(Note: This interview with Mia Anstine is from the book Why Women Hunt by K.J. Houtman and was excerpted with permission from Wild River Press.)
What is your favorite type of hunting and why?
“I like all hunting, because I learn something different from every kind of hunting. I started with a rifle, but I’ve hunted with handguns, crossbows, muzzleloaders, and archery. My favorite is spot and stalk. As a writer, I’ve been able to experience other methods of hunting. I do like to move and get about. Sitting in a tree stand is tough for me personally, more than climbing from 9,000 to 13,000 feet, but I’ve taken bears, whitetail, and other game animals from just sitting. I love it all. Each has its own purpose—you can learn from one method of hunting to help another.”
What is your favorite state to hunt?
“The mountains are my home, so it has to be Colorado. We have 330 species of wildlife in Archuleta County alone, many of which we can hunt or pursue with a camera. Ours is one of the best states to hunt.”
Do you prefer to hunt solo or with someone?
“I love both, but I’d have to say solo time is cherished, in general. I love quiet time, listening to screaming bulls or turkeys gobbling and the art of sneaking up on a big black bear!”
Who do you wish knew and respected your hunting world better?
“I just wish non-hunters understood hunting better, but the burden is on us to help them understand. I wish they’d take a hunter education class, even if they weren’t going to hunt. Sometimes we don’t get anything after a long day. It’s not always easy, and it’s never guaranteed. Some people don’t know and some have a misconception fostered by watching hunting TV shows. We need to demonstrate how we achieve healthy wildlife herds and how we affect animals in a positive way through hunting.”
What is your favorite sound in the woods or on a hunt?
“The sound of a bull elk bugling.”
What is your favorite smell in the woods?
“The smell after a rain and the musk of a bull elk.”
Do you prefer boots or shoes?
“Lady Danner boots. I bought my favorite pair in 2010 and broke them in the first day! They’re waterproof. They started to wear out, and my husband was looking for new boots for me as a gift. He found a store that had some of these same boots, so he bought me two more exact same new pairs. They are my favorites.”
Alive or dead, who would be the most surprised of the life you lead now?
“A lot of my friends from high school in San Diego are the most surprised. When they find me on Facebook and go, ‘Wow,’ it’s a joy, especially when they message me to show me their hunting and fishing success.”
If you could hunt with any celebrity, who would it be?
“Brenda Valentine. I met her at the first SHOT Show I attended, and I was in awe to see her in person. I would enjoy sharing camp with her and talking about the changes she’s seen in the industry.”
Do you conquer fear, meet fear head-on, or “what fear?”
“I’m usually a ‘what fear?’ person. My daughter laughs that I’m not afraid of anything.”
~By K.J. Houtman
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Do you love to fish, hunt, camp, or hike? You can count on K.J. Houtman’s books (and magazine and web-based articles) to celebrate a love for the outdoors. As a writer-member of Association of Great Lake Outdoor Writers (AGLOW), Southeastern Outdoor Press Association (SEOPA), and Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), K.J. ties the outdoors to everything—from children’s books to adult non-fiction. Several of her books have been awarded “Excellence in Craft” from writers within these outdoor organizations. Based in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, K.J. is a graduate of Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Illinois.