MPW.70 / 2018 The Huntress by Jennifer Guyton
Jennifer Guyton Palmdale, Calif.
Team Lee

Recipient of the Team Lee Award
Story Summary

Hunting remains a way of life in the Ozarks, even as the total number of hunters in the U.S. declines. For the next three months, it’s bow hunting season in Missouri, and hunters are flocking to their tree stands in search of deer and turkeys. Most of these bow hunters are men, but more and more women are taking up the sport. One of those women is 27-year-old Maria Lawler, a former mechanical engineer who now sells hunting properties with her husband Evan. “There can be gender stereotype issues in this industry,” she said. “But we all come from different backgrounds and bring different qualities to the table. We also have different goals and definitions of success. We’re all fighting stereotypes.” So, unburdened by others’ perceptions, she becomes the huntress.

Maria and Evan live with their four dogs on 40 acres with a chicken coop, vegetable garden and feeder crops to attract deer. Hunting is a thread that weaves through every aspect of their lives and helps bind them together. “Before you get married,” Evan says, “hang some tree stands with the person you like. See if you can get through it.”