WON Landing Page OCT 2022

Babbs in the Woods: Why Mississippi? Aren’t there any teenage girls that hunt in Maryland?

National Public Radio correspondent Tamara Keith went all the way to Mississippi to tag along with 15-year-old Magan Herbert on a deer hunt, in a story titled “For Some Girls, The Ultimate Goal Is To Kill A Buck.” Comments range from snarky to sniveling to “Atta Girl!” The story follows Magan from a cheerleading competition to a deer hunt, with her mom, Marcy.

I like how the story features the mom, too, and talks about how the Herbert family fills its freezer with free-range, healthy and organic venison for a year, just from a deer season. I wonder who the guy is that is whispering to her to put down her phone and take the shot.

Then, there are the comments, and thanks to J.R. Robbins at NRA’s Hunters’ Rights website for pointing out the diversity among comments. You’re always going to get nasty comments about hunting. A small percentage of the population does not approve. They sometimes write threatening personal comments, and I know of two women in the industry whose children have been threatened by animal rights’ lovers. So much for civility.

Please, though, do not misinterpret this next point, but aren’t there any young women in New York or other northeast states who hunt? Did NPR seek a young woman with a soft drawl for insidious purposes? Were they hoping for a redneck woman or what? What drew them from the studio in D.C. to the woods in Mississippi? Why not neighboring Maryland? And why a state that allows hunting over bait?

Believe me when I write that I do not look down on people with Southern drawls. In fact, we lived in rural Virginia and my two little boys attended a rural school and one day came home telling me about their friends’ daddies who went “bar hunting aboot the woods.” Later, we moved them to England and their accents changed again. By the time we landed in Southern California, they were accent mutts with extremely interesting vocabularies. In fact, we took Baby Boy back to Lincolnshire a couple of years ago, and it was like he was home again. He could understand everyone and well, he just fit in. Ordered bangers and mash and mushy peas on his chips. Could make change easily. Half pence? No problem.

What do you think? Do you think NPR purposely found a Southern girl to interview, just to bolster the image of hunters being ignoramuses from the South? I hope not.

Or as my Southern daughter-in-law would say, “Bless her heart, I hope she didn’t do that.”

  • About Barbara Baird

    Publisher/Editor Barbara Baird is a freelance writer in hunting, shooting and outdoor markets. Her bylines are found at several top hunting and shooting publications. She also is a travel writer, and you can follow her at https://www.ozarkian.com.


The Conversation

  • Traci Schauf says: December 14, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Maybe it’s a “regional preception” thing. Some people think of hunting as belonging to the south, or only to rural folks, and think of sports in more northerly areas as consisting of, say basketball. Or maybe this young lady was articulate and easy to work with. I have to agree, I enjoyed the story. And I didn’t relly notice the accent either, but maybe that’s becaue I’m from Oklahoma! People as far away as Kansas think I tLk funny!

  • Brenda Valentine says: December 12, 2010 at 11:35 am

    It sounds like your kids are all American and speak with the distinct flavors of many of the best areas of our country. Let’s all give thanks that even if we have to “Press 1 for English”, it is still our home language!

  • Women's Outdoor News says: December 11, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    Gretchen: Same thing, here. I listen to NPR because I want to hear more than one side of the story so I can make up my own mind. However, I rarely agree with their “take” on things and despise that my tax dollars fund any media outlet. Just seems wrong.
    Deb: Great idea!
    Brenda: Of course …. what was I thinking? 😉 You’re right about the accent and I loved it when my kids talked like that … now they have a combined English, Southern California, rural Virginia, Hillbilly accent!

  • Brenda Valentine says: December 11, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Perhaps the folks at NPR simply wanted to enjoy listening to some sweet southern talk! If the accent could be packaged and sold a lot of folks in the south would be rich.

  • Gretchen Steele says: December 11, 2010 at 7:58 am

    Great ideas there Deb! I would very much like to hear how the young lady from MS was selected..

  • Deb Ferns says: December 10, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    I think the young gal from Mississippi should be offered the opportunity to write a story for you and tell us from her perspective if she enjoyed the company of the NPR person. Teenagers are VERY receptive to whether someone is making fun of them. And I wonder if the NPR reporter would like to state WHY they picked someone from the south instead of from say Michigan or Maryland or heck, how about Missouri? Common sense says they (NPR) would NOT want to make a life long enemy from a teenage girl, after all they text and Facebook the WORLD when someone does them wrong!

  • Gretchen Steele says: December 10, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    Hmmmm…. once again you have me thinking ….
    I was happy as all get out as I listened to the it yesterday morning on my way to the goose pit. I have to honestly say that I really didn’t even consider the accent or that the teen was from Mississippi. Mostly I just thought it was great that NPR shared the life of a teen girl that hunted. But now that you have brought this up I have to wonder.
    I did cringe when they began talking about the bait..remember I’m from IL where even putting out a salt or mineral block will land you a heap of trouble – but thankfully the reporter did note that baiting is controversial and illegal in some states.
    Bless your heart Babs, you’ve been thought provoking yet once again!