DENVER (CBS4) – Going from a vegetarian to a big game hunter is not a common trend, but for one Colorado woman, the transition was a positive life change.
“If I’m going to eat meat, I’m going to do it my way and really have respect for that animal and understand where it came from; the process that goes into hunting, all of that was just really important to me,” said Stephanie Vu.
Two years ago, Vu’s life was much different.
“I was still terrified of shooting anything. I was terrified of guns, I was terrified of bows,” she said.
It wasn’t until her husband convinced her to try a gun safety class that things changed for her.
“It just kind of opened up a whole new world for me because after I shot that .22 caliber rifle, I just wanted to shoot everything so I shot hunting rifles. I shot shotguns. I shot bows.”
Bow hunting quickly became her favorite.
“In bow hunting you get to hunt during the rut which is super cool. You can try calling them in and communicating with them, so I think it just feels much more up close and personal with the elk bow hunting and I really enjoy that aspect.”
Vu wanted to share her experience with others, hoping to erase some of the stigma behind the hunt and prove that it’s never too late.
In June, Vu wrote an article entitled “At Home in the Woods” for Elevation Outdoors Magazine. It was this article that caught the attention of the International Sportsmen’s Expo.
The 2019 International Sportsman’s Expo is highlighting women in the outdoor world in many ways; Vu was among several women chosen to speak about her experience in the outdoors.
“We have a special presentation by a group of strong capable women called “Shooting Through Barriers.” This has been designed to grow the sport the correct way – as a fun, ethical way to challenge yourself, learn new skills and confidence, make new friends and stock your freezer with great protein. In a three part series these women share their challenges and how they overcame them, share their tips and tricks for beginners and experts and most importantly encourage women to be active leaders in the outdoors,” said Jeannie McFarland Johnson, a spokeswoman for ISE.
Vu will be speaking alongside two other women at the ISE on Saturday at 12 p.m.
“I feel like hunting is such a journey that I’m happy to be on and learning as much as I can each season,” Vu said.
She is thrilled to be able to share her story with others.
“I hope that it helps someone out there that was like me before that didn’t have a hunting family didn’t have any experience in hunting.”
If you are already an experienced hunter or just curious, the ISE has many hands on activities to keep you busy, including archery stations.