Brenda Valentine, also known as “The First Lady of Hunting®” is an extreme hunter, an award winning TV host, a champion archer, an acclaimed author, and an outspoken advocate for guns and hunting as well as leader of the current women’s hunting movement.
She is a 19-year veteran member of Bass Pro Shop’s National RedHead Pro Hunting Team, National Spokesperson for the National Wild Turkey Federation, an honorary member of the NWTF Foundation Board of Directors, an honorary board member of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation, and a member of the Tennessee Turkey Hunters Hall of Fame. She also had the honor of being the first woman inducted into the National Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame.
If that isn't enough to keep her busy, she is also an award winning TV host and radio personality who writes regular columns in NWTF’s Turkey Country, Heartland, and Mossy Oak Biologic Game Keepers magazines.
She will tell you right up front that what is most important is her love of the land and the animals that thrive on it. A lifelong hunter, she is committed to the sustainable lifestyle that hunting promotes, as well as an avid conservationist.
Dream Sporting Trips is honored to have this opportunity to interview The First Lady of Hunting®.
Dream Sporting Trips
Brenda, thank you so much for this opportunity to talk to you. One of the things that strikes us the most is your commitment to a sustainable lifestyle that hunting promotes. You mentioned in one of your writings that “we” are the endangered species; that, in fact, the American hunter might very well be the most endangered species on the planet.
Would you please elaborate on this a bit? Is the answer to this problem to pass down the legacy and value of hunting to our children? How can we best do that?
Today's lifestyle is not nearly as dependent on hunting for food as in the past. There are so many other interests and activities available to our youth--they are often forced to choose between time commitments and, frequently, team sports wins out over outdoor time with family or friends. As the age of hunters advance, some are lost each year. If not replaced, the population of hunters will slowly dwindle. The number of women coming on board has held license sales numbers steady the past few years, but we need the recruitment of our younger generation if the hunting way of life is to survive.
Dream Sporting Trips
You’ve had the opportunity to participate in some exciting hunting activities. Was your family African hunt your favorite? Or was there another hunt you participated in that is particularly memorable? Can you share with us a favorite hunting story or moment in time from your adventures?
I am often asked what was my favorite hunt or where is my favorite place to hunt. I have been so blessed to have the opportunity to hunt exotic places and experience other cultures, it is difficult to pick just one. My favorite place to hunt is my own little farm here in Northwest Tennessee. I bought this farm myself and have worked the past several years to make it an ideal habitat for all wildlife, large and small. It is very satisfying to see what my labors have done and to know this is the real meaning of conservation. It is rewarding to take a kid or someone with special needs there and help them experience the wonders of nature and the feeling of self-sufficiency that comes with hunting your own food.
One especially memorable hunt was in northern Alberta when wildlife artist, Pam Kelly (AR) and I, plus two guides and a Bass Pro cameraman floated in 24 ft. cedar canoes for six days down a remote river in search of moose. That whole time we never saw a power line, road or bridge, but we did see beaver, bear and moose with the northern lights dancing every night while the wolves howled nearby. We looked like what I imagine Lewis and Clark may have looked with all our belongings balanced in the center of the long canoes and camping on a sandbar each night. Such a wonderful adventure.
I've never had much on my bucket list, preferring to just let life unfold and take me where it may since it has certainly taken me further than I would ever have imagined. However, for many years I had a real hankering to hunt cape buffalo--preferably with my bow and arrow. After much testing and practice, I was able to obtain a permit for such. It took me a year to work up the perfect equipment combo to produce the needed kinetic energy to efficiently take what many consider the most dangerous animal on earth. I am happy to say I took a very old dagga boy with one well-placed arrow. This was definitely a very high point in my hunting life.
I have told my children and grandchildren that I don't plan to leave them a large inheritance to squabble over when I'm gone, but I did plan to leave them with memories they would never forget. I have taken our daughters and sons-in-law on various hunts as the opportunity came about. Each of the four grandchildren have accompanied me on hunting trips to places they may never see again, but I'm sure they will always cherish. Thankfully, my entire family are good hunters. This assures me that we have done something right with their upbringing.
In Part Two of our exclusive interview, Brenda candidly discusses
her frightening reaction to Alpha-Gal, a tick-borne allergy
and issues a warning to others.
For more information about The First Lady of Hunting®,
please visit her website: www.brendavalentine.com
and follow her on Facebook at