Editor’s Note: This article contains straightforward descriptions and images about hunting in the Northwest. Please be advised.
Ask just about anyone to prioritize their lives, and family will usually top the list. For Tiffanie Baker, hunting has always been a big part of family togetherness and building memories. Plus, there’s the bonus of filling a freezer with nourishment for the winter and beyond. We had the chance to chat with this mother of two who perfectly balances her professional life, personal life, and hunting life, just like her dad and stepdad before her.
“People don’t always see women as hunters,” Tiffanie said while cleaning her Browning BAR 30-06 for the coming elk season. “But we do. And we take home really big elk,” she added with a quiet laugh.
Many times, when a fellow hunter sees photos of Tiffanie and her trophies, they’re jealous.
“If we can get one other mom to start hunting and take her kids with her, then we’re doing a good thing.”
How did Tiffanie get her start? Just like everyone else, she was introduced to hunting as a child. When she was 12, Tiffanie’s dad took her hunting. At first she didn’t appreciate the adventure. But after just a few seasons, she was hooked.
“I remember vividly hunting in a coastal canyon in the pouring rain,” she said. “I looked up at my dad and saw his big smile. I’ve been hooked ever since.”
What followed years of hunting deer and elk, and the occasional duck or two, were strong family values and life lessons that she will never forget about sustainability, conservation, and natural preservation. Be sure to check out our article Hunting in the Northwest: Sustainability and the Circle of Life.
“It’s important to respect the land and the animals,” Tiffanie added. “But it’s always been about making memories and getting out into nature. Plus, we all need to disconnect. Especially our kids. When I take my son hunting, we’re completely disconnected from technology and distractions. It’s good for both of us.”
While Tiffanie’s daughter, who is a few years younger than her son, doesn’t hunt, she understands what it’s all about and respects the tradition. That’s because Tiffanie takes both kids out hiking and exploring our region’s many wonders.
Tiffanie sees some subtle differences between families that hunt and those that do not. As this Western Oregon college graduate and nursery industry professional explains it, people are getting tied up into gadgets instead of seeing the beauty in the world around them. Like many others who live a country lifestyle, there’s a worry that the next generation might be too reliant on electronics, which could lead to fewer family moments and a lack of togetherness.
“I’m in the middle of hunter’s safety with my son,” Tiffanie said when asked about taking her boy hunting. “I took the hunter’s safety course when I was young. Almost everyone in my class took it back then. Today, there just aren’t enough kids going hunting.”
For Tiffanie and countless others, hunting is a chance to teach firearm safety as well as a respect for nature and conservation practices that ensure healthy herds for future generations. See our article Keeping the Tradition of Hunting Alive for ideas on building your own family traditions around hunting and the great outdoors.
“When we’re out hunting, my son does everything with me. He’s experienced it all. He’s even helped butcher and package steaks. It’s my job as a mother to teach my kids what I believe. They know how to work hard, as well as respect nature and firearms.”
Looking back, Tiffanie can say with certainty that hunting with her dad and stepdad have been some of her favorite moments growing up. Now, she’s sharing those lifelong memories with her children.
“I’m also sharing a love for Coastal with my kids,” She added. Right now, it’s all about cowboy boots, hats, and camo gear. For me, I enjoy that I can find everything I need, from clothing to hedge trimmers, in one spot. Plus, Coastal carries hunting gear, too. It’s always one of our stops.”
Start Your Own Family Hunting Tradition
Be sure to start with a hunter safety course for both adults and kids. Online courses are available in Oregon and Washington, or you can find an in-person class near you through the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife or Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Coastal Knows Hunting, Fishing, and the Great Outdoors
Looking for hunting gear and answers to your hunting and outdoor activities? Your Northwest owned and operated coastal has you covered. Stop by today and we’ll help you go home with everything you need to start building your family traditions.
Tiffanie and her stepdad with the biggest elk either of them have ever brought home.
Tiffanie on an early hunt with her dad and nephew.
With her son, who was 10 at the time.