Author’s Note: Linda Powell is Director of Media Relations for Mossberg (www.mossberg.com) and handles the company’s advertising for print, TV and online. 

Linda Powell has hunted in Africa four times, has made seven or eight elk hunts, hunted grizzly bears once, and has been bear hunting in Russia. She says she has a passion for bear hunts and has been on more than 25 hunts for black bears. “I have taken more than 18 black bears, but I really enjoy watching the bears and learning how they behave. So, on some hunts I don’t take a bear. If I see a bear that seems like he wants to go home with me, then I take him.”

We asked Powell about the transition from being a nurse in the medical profession to being the only woman in a hunting camp. Powell answered, “The medical profession also was a male-dominated profession, so I was accustomed to working with men. My first year of hunting and shooting was really challenging for me. I was in my mid-thirties and had to learn the vocabulary of the outdoors. I approached this new job with Remington as though I was learning a foreign language. I was so naïve in the beginning that I didn’t know the difference between a shotgun and a rifle. Then I had to learn about gauge, caliber, and ballistics. In that first year, I went home many nights and cried and wondered what I’d gotten myself into without knowing much. I asked myself, ‘Will this ever make sense? Will I ever be successful in the world of hunting and shooting?’”

Powell says that mentors made a tremendous difference in how quickly she digested the finer points of hunting and shooting. “After one year and nine months, some of what I was learning made sense. The thing that really changed me as a person and made me realize I wanted to be a professional in the outdoors was that first black bear hunt with a muzzleloader. After the shot, I remember walking up and seeing the bear I had taken. I had an overwhelming rush of different emotions all at the same time. The overriding emotion was realizing that I was now a hunter and would be for the rest of my life, regardless of what I did professionally. I knew that I had changed as a person.”

In our next article we detail how Powell adapted to being the only woman in hunting camps across the world.

Image courtesy John E. Phillips

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