SCUGOG: Port Perry native Emily Head was recently chosen as a panelist at the Toronto Sportsmen's Show.
The 21-year-old, an avid hunter and angler, joins seven other women as speakers for the Women of the Outdoors panel.
"I was so excited. I was pretty shocked to learn that I was chosen. Most girls I know have been hunting and fishing for their whole lives and I've been into it for at least the last five years,” Ms. Head said.
The panel runs for two days, Wednesday, March 16 and Thursday, March 17. Ms. Head will be speaking on the Wednesday. She said that there are two aspects of the show that she is excited about.
"One of the biggest aspects is having my parents come and hear what I have accomplished and get a great sense of the sport. As well, I'm looking forward to talking to women about what their boundaries are and showing them how to succeed." Ms. Head said that she started out fishing when she was young, during camping trips with her family.
“I remember being a kid, I had raced dirt bikes since I was five years old, my parents always took us camping every year and I would always have a fishing reel with me. I rarely caught anything during that time."
However, she only started fishing competitively last year. Ms. Head told The Standard that her most memorable competition story comes from her very first tournament with her boyfriend Alex.
“Our Pre-fish was incredible. We caught about ten fish above three pounds so we came in confident,” she said. “However, it actually ended up being a difficult day, but it was humbling."
Nowadays, Ms. Head spends the majority of the time that she is not working, on the water fishing. She said that her favourite part about fishing is just how unpredictable it can be.
She said that there are some times where you will go out fishing “not expecting to catch the biggest fish of your life” but that ending up being the case. But she added that there are also times where you will leave empty handed.
Despite being an animal lover, Ms. Head also has become a skilled hunter.
"I never would've thought I was going to hunt. If I had told my ten year-old self that I was going to hunt, I probably would've hated myself,” she said.
Last March, she took a hunting course at Buckeye Firearms and Training.
“As I got older, I got more curious. I was disgusted reading about the commercially bred animals,” Ms. Head told The Standard. “So I took a hunting course because I didn't want to be blind and ignorant about where our food comes from. I decided that my meat needed to come from the most ethical place, and that was hunting."
The Toronto Sportsmen’s Show is being held at The International Centre in Mississauga.