By Liana Jacob
MEET THE mum-of-two whose love of hunting has caused online trolls to say she should be KILLED and MOUNTED like her prey – but she insists she only kills to put food on her family’s table.
Business owner, Carly Brasseux (34) from Texas, USA, was first introduced to hunting by her husband, Will (36), who she wanted to connect with in November 2011.
She uses a Tika rifle to hunt down wild animals such as deer, Barbary sheep, coyotes, boars and birds. The largest animal she has hunted was a 21st 6Ib Barbary sheep. They use the animals as sources of food and freeze the remains for future consumption.
In 2014, Carly and Will welcomed their eldest son and when he got older she began to introduce him to the outdoors.
Her aim is to raise her son with an open mind and to make his own decisions regarding hunting. She also has a three-year-old daughter.
“I started hunting because I fell in love with a true outdoorsman and even though my hunting journey started because I wanted to connect with my husband, I ended up finding myself and something I really love to do,” Carly said.
“I am now a female hunter, conservationist and outdoors enthusiast. I hunt to conserve our land and animal populations and put food on my family’s table.
“I spend time with my family outdoors and encourage all women to get outside for their physical and emotional health.
“Hunting is spending time in the outdoors. Any outdoor adventure by someone who may not hunt looks very similar. The only difference is that an animal is harvested and food is provided for our family.
“I’m not a very good cook at all, so I usually stick to the basics with lots of ground vension; we prepare meals of spaghetti with ground vension and chilli.
“We cook lots of fried backstrap, dove poppers are my favourite. We cook at least two meals a week made up of the animals we hunt. I haven’t purchased ground meat or steaks from the supermarket in years.
“Many times, when we go out hunting, we may not take a single animal. I think people may think hunters are just shooting and killing everything in sight.
“But our family may only harvest one to two deer a year, even though we’re out in the field much more often than that.
“There is a connection to the land and animal that goes far beyond what is shown in pictures; a connection to our food. A connection to our past.
“For me, it’s simply time spent outdoors; it’s time I get to watch a sunrise or sunset. It’s time I get to spend out in the country with no cell phone service. It’s time when I can enjoy the gifts God’s given us.
“I hunt to conserve our land and animal populations and put food on my family’s table. I spend time with my family outdoors and encourage all women to get outside for their physical and emotional health.
“I’ve maybe received a couple of comments over the years that were a little harsh; they both said they wished someone would kill and mount me on their wall.
“After the hunt, the animal is processed, and the meat is either eaten fresh or put in the freezer to eat throughout the year.
“Our five-year old has tagged along on a couple of hunts; our children will be free to make their own choice whether or not to hunt.
“Our job as parents is to show them all sides of life and provide an understanding of how and why things are as they are.
“It is our hope that our children will have a deep connection with the outdoors and wildlife no matter what they choose.
“I am a rifle hunter mostly and shoot a Tika .25-06 and the largest animal I’ve hunted was a 300Ib aoudad sheep.”
Carly says that people have been very supportive of her hobby and while she does receive some negative backlash, she uses this as an opportunity to educate people about hunting.
“The hardest thing about hunting for me has been learning; it takes years to understand even a small portion of everything there is to know about the outdoors and wildlife,” she said.
“I’ve been blessed that my husband has taught me so much and allows me to ask lots of questions. I’m actually writing an e-book right now with lots of the fundamentals I’ve learned along the way.
“I knew nothing when I started and had a really hard time finding information; I want a quick reference out there for women to be able to learn the fundamentals and basics without either being too overwhelmed or having to Google too much.
“There is typically an overwhelming show of support from people who see my pictures. The hunting community is a big family and we all support one another.
“In life, there are always going to be people who disagree with you. The point is to listen to those who are trying to have a conversation about what we do but may not agree with it; there is always opportunity for learning on both sides.
“There is always a sense of sadness for the life lost, and this is completely natural. Hunters have a deep respect and love for wildlife.
“At the same time, this sadness is coupled with an understanding that it is our responsibility to be aware of and take part in where our food comes from and help in managing wildlife populations.
“We are in a time where there is an obligation to understand where our food comes from and play an active role in our land and animal conservation.
“You’ll hear a lot of hunters talk about conservation; it’s a very broad concept meaning the protection of wild plants, animals and their habitats.
“But hunters know that by shooting or harvesting an animal, we are helping to conserve the population by keeping them within carrying capacity.
“Biologists and wildlife managers know the formula for improving herds and conserving our land and animal species which allows our wildlife to truly thrive.
“Populations have grown, urbanisation and overhunting are an obstacle, so hunting has to be controlled and managed.
“Do you know what happens when there are too many animals (and even plants) within a particular area? Do you know what happens when there is too much wildlife and not enough resources such as water, food and shelter?
“The animals starve; they starve to death, and not with a quick death. Non-hunters ask how you can take the life of an animal, but if one, two, ten or fifty deer, turkey or dove need to be harvested in order for the rest of the species to thrive, hunters can be the ones to give the one, two, ten or fifty quick and easy ends, and use the food – it’s really a win.”