Mia Enstrom was born a hunter. Now, that way of life is providing for her family by both putting food on the table and by also providing income through her work in hunting-related businesses.
According to her, hunting is simply a part of who she is. Enstrom’s family hunted and shared with her what she describes as the “heritage” of the hunt. She took a hunter’s education course as soon as she was old enough to be licensed.
What her family instilled in her was a moral code of hunting.
“It was passed down to me to embark on a hunt with the upmost respect for the species I pursued and to ethically harvest that animal and bring it home to provide and feed my family,” she said. “That passion fuels me to get back out there every year. It’s a full-circle experience for me, from the planning and preparation, to the adventure, and to bring my harvest home to provide as nourishment.”
For Enstrom, hunting is not a sport at all; In fact, she defines it as a tradition.
Now hunting has become her life’s work, too. She is employed by Prois Hunting & Field Apparel as the state coordinator and their social media coordinator. Prios is a Gunnison-based company that is specific to women. Prois prides itself in making the highest quality of hunting gear for ladies.
Additionally, Enstrom and her husband own and operate Taxidermy of the Rockies at home in Nucla. Their business was established in 2009 and for them, it’s a way to socialize with other hunters, especially visitors.
Inspiring young females is something she takes seriously. She’s seen first-hand the number of women who are learning.
“The presence of women hunters in the hunting community is growing at an incredible rate,” she said. “More and more women are taking to the woods to stand toe-to-toe with the male hunters and be providers for their families. It is an awesome trend that I am proud to see.”
She said she wants aspiring women to take pride in their skill and never apologize for participating. She said those woman play an important part in land conservation, and that their being a part of the outdoors and bringing home nourishment to feed a family is something to be quite proud of.
Enstrom said the hunting experience is one in which a woman can enjoy being in the wild, completely at one with the land. She said those are experiences to be cherished.
According to her, the completion of the hunt, the fulfilling of the tag, then calls for “complete gratitude.”
Enstrom has seen the rise of female hunters, not just through working for Prois, but also through her participation in organizations like Artemis Sportswomen, which focuses on conservation of the hunting heritage, and also public lands.
“As a hunter I am a steward of the land and feel great responsibility in the part I play in conservation,” she said. “Everything must have balance, and hunting is the most efficient way to perform that for wildlife management. …. Hunting is conservation, and the dollars we spend help preserve the heritage of it.”