Hooked on hunting

Sherry Martell
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Balfron woman primed for rifle, crossbow season, which opens tomorrow

Hooked on hunting

BALFRON - One of Heather Lowe's favourite pastimes is strolling through the forest with a stick and a piece of string looking for a bear to play with.
While that may be a frightening prospect for some, for an experienced bow and rifle hunter like Lowe, such a hobby is the most relaxing activity in the world.
"Some people go to the beach to relax and unwind, I head to the woods," she said.
Lowe said hunting offers her peace and quiet away from the telephone and hustle and bustle of work. But it also offers an opportunity to restock the family freezer.
The Balfron resident always loved the outdoors and about 15 years ago she became interested in archery, one of her husband's hobbies. At first, the interest was contained to simply practising her marksmanship without a desire to hunt.
"I just wanted to go shooting, not to kill anything," she said.
After gaining some confidence by shooting at stationary targets, however, she decided it was time to try her luck with live prey.
Lowe still remembers her first bow hunt and the time she spent sitting alone in a treestand, listening to the peaceful sounds of nature.
"You can hear everything when you are sitting still," she said. "Suddenly you hear crunch, crunch and your heart starts
pounding.
"When I drew back, I was shaking so badly the arrow fell from the rest and eventually I watched the buck go back into the woods."
It wasn't until two years ago Lowe achieved her first successful white-tail kill - a doe -
taken with an arrow at a distance of about 27 metres from her treestand.
"It was awesome," she said. "The adrenaline, I was still shaking three hours later. I didn't know if I could do it and that was the moment of truth."
Since the opening of black bear season in the region on Sept. 8, Lowe has been attempting to bag a bruin, but so far, they have evaded her.
"I like bears," she said. "There is a rush to see this big animal coming down."
Even though she now has been hunting for years, many people are still shocked when they hear her talk about her hobby.
"Some of them can't believe it," she said. "Some of them think it's great and sometimes they say: 'Why would you want to do that?'"
Come early Friday morning, when white-tail deer season opens in the region, Lowe will be settled quietly in her favourite hunting spot awaiting the arrival of her next moving target. And, thanks to new legislation permitting the use of crossbows, this is also the first year she will have the option of leaving her rifle home should she decide to head out with a different weapon.

Geographic location: Balfron

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