Move over Katniss Everdeen – these Canadians are shining real-life examples of women who know how to use a bow and arrow.
Three western Canadian women are vying for the title of Extreme Huntress, an international competition that pits women against each other in televised hunting challenges.
Semi-finalist Jeanette Hall, a 39-year-old taxidermist from Wildwood, Alta., told CBC News she began sourcing her own meat after she was diagnosed with and treated for a brain tumour.
"I grow all my food. I have my own garden. I hunt all my food. So I know where my food comes from. There's no chemicals, there's nothing injected in my food. It's all real," she told CBC.
"Ultimately, I like to know where my food comes from."
For her, hunting is not about celebrating the death of animals.
“To me that’s wrong. You should pay respect to that animal because it’s given its life to you, to keep you going and feed you,” she said in an interview with 660 News.
Saskatchewan semi-finalist Danielle Bergen agrees.
"The point of hunting, for me, is not just the kill. It's not just a picture or an animal hanging on the wall," Bergen told CBC News.
"And that's one reason that I practise, and I practise, and I practise, because when I take that animal, I want to know it will die, it will not suffer."
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Bergen, 20, took down her first black bear at the age of 13, using a bow and arrow.
Since then she has gone on to hunt white tail deer, mule deer, moose, elk, antelope and wild boar.
Nikita Dalke, from Cranbrook, B.C., also has an impressive list of hunted game under her belt.
Using both bow and arrow and a rifle, Dalke has hunted for mountain goat, elk, mule deer, whitetail, cougar, black bear, wolf, turkey, coyote and small game.
According to her bio on the Extreme Huntress website, her passion for hunting took off after she met her husband in 2005 and the pair began going on hunting "dates," tracking down elk, black bears or to scout locations.
"Hunting to me isn’t about how many places you have travelled, who has the most animals or if you got a trophy animal. Hunting to me is about conservation, passing on our heritage, family and enjoying nature and the adventure," she wrote on the Extreme Huntress website.
Dalke told her local paper that she has often had to defend her pastime and has "stood up against a lot of anti-hunters to help support fellow hunters and to defend myself and my lifestyle."
However, she told The Townsman hunting is important to her "because it provides healthy meat, it keeps wildlife populations at healthy levels, and it teaches good values."
Voting for Extreme Huntress semi-finalists continues until June 1, where people can log on to vote for one of 20 women, from as far away as Australia, South Africa, Europe and elsewhere.
Those with the top six scores will travel to Hondo, Texas for a televised skills contest.
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