Taylor Drury grew up watching her dad, Mark Drury of Drury Outdoors, shooting his bow. She started hunting alongside her dad at age 4, and typically gun-hunted. As she grew older and wanted a greater challenge, Taylor turned to bowhunting. She’s now a freshman at the University of Missouri and has been shooting bows for six years.
Taylor isn’t a stereotypical hunter, and hopes to encourage women to take up archery and bowhunting. Here are seven things you should know about Taylor, who plans to major in business and go into the family business with her dad and uncle.
1. She’s a City Girl
Many of my guy friends think my being a hunter and bowhunter is great. Most people stereotype hunters as boys who’ve grown up in the country and love to hunt. They see me as different because I’m a girl and grew up in the city. They think the idea of a city girl who shoots the bow and goes hunting is really neat. Of course, shooting bows and hunting isn’t the average city girl’s hobby.
2. She Loves Chaos
When my dad thought I was strong enough to pull a bow I could bowhunt with, he got me a PSE Chaos. I love, love, love the Chaos because it’s a lightweight bow, and you can add poundage to it as you get stronger. Regardless of how many pounds you pull and how heavy the bow weight, it still draws very smoothly and is extremely fast and accurate. I’m a girl, and I don’t shoot a very heavy bow. I’m shooting about 42 pounds, but the Chaos bow is lightning fast.
3. She Got Dropped from a Tree as a Kid
I started climbing trees and sitting in tree stands with my dad when I was little. Even when my mom didn’t think I should be climbing trees, my dad did. We went hunting one afternoon, and my dad let me climb this tree, which I thought was the coolest thing ever. My dad had a safety harness on me so I was safe from the time I left the ground until I got in the tree. We stayed in the tree until dark and I got upset about climbing down in the dark. So, my dad climbed down the tree, and my Uncle Terry climbed up the tree to sit with me. Then Uncle Terry held me by the arms, lowered me, and dropped me into my dad’s arms. After I’d been dropped and my dad caught me, I thought it was so fun. I’ve never had a problem hunting from a tree stand since.
4. She Killed the “Entertainment Center”
We called the 7-1/2-year-old buck “Entertainment Center,” because on shed hunts we have every year on our farm, we found both sides of his shed rack. Dad put the shed antlers on the entertainment center at our farmhouse. The day we hunted Entertainment Center, I released the arrow from my bow at 20 yards as soon as the buck turned broadside. When I finally put my hands on the Entertainment Center’s antlers, I was relieved and excited. I was most excited to see how proud my dad was that I had taken my biggest buck with a bow.
5. She’s Popped a LOT of Balloons in Her Lifetime
As a kid I had a plastic bow and suction-cup arrows. Instead of having conventional targets, my dad blew up balloons and taped them to a backstop. I loved trying to pop those different-colored balloons with my arrows. My poor dad bought and blew-up an awful lot of balloons. When I was in middle school, I finally went hunting with my dad. Many of my classmates didn’t know I hunted but my close friends knew. My friends thought my shooting a bow was really neat. Most of them played softball, soccer or other sports, but they were all interested in seeing what I did, and how I did it. Back then, bowhunting for girls was something you didn’t see every day.
6. She Reminds Her Friends of Katniss
When I was younger, I really didn’t know how to talk to people about hunting. I just didn’t think it was a big deal. Now that I’m older, I can explain to folks who ask why I like to bowhunt, and why I’m on television with my family. Many of my college friends think bowhunting is different, cool and interesting. Some of my friends watched “The Hunger Games” movies. They told me, “Hey, seeing that girl shooting the bow reminded me of you.”
7. She Sees More Girls Shooting Archery
While in college, I’m helping out with Drury Outdoors’ social-media programs. My cousin Matt and I read every comment and story that comes in on Facebook and Twitter. In the last two years, I have seen a big increase in the number of girls who write in to tell us about their bowhunting successes, or how they’re starting to shoot archery and want to become bowhunters. I also go to a lot of hunting trade shows with my family, where I’m seeing more girls getting involved with target shooting and bowhunting. I’m convinced we’ll see more of this trend.
Girls realize they don’t have to be super-strong to shoot the bow accurately. They can go to a sporting-goods store or an archery shop with an indoor range, get fitted for a bow, and start hitting a target within 15 or 20 minutes of practice. So, if you’ve never shot a bow, I strongly recommend you go to a bow shop or a sporting-goods store and let someone show you just how much fun archery can be.
To find the best archery equipment, visit your archery shop.