A desire to spend more time with her family has sparked a new passion for Dusty Ross, real estate agent for Coldwell Banker Kline & Associates. Ross has been buying and selling real estate since her two boys were little, almost 11 years ago.
She became an agent for two reasons. When she bought her first house, she felt like she wasn’t treated as well as she would have been if she had been buying a more expensive house. She thought no one should ever feel like that, so she put her “can do” attitude to work and became a real estate agent. Ross likes to help others enjoy their home-buying process, but in addition, she also likes the flexibility it has allowed her to spend time with her family.
As her sons got older, they started spending a lot of time hunting with their dad. Ross began to feel left out when the guys would head out on a hunting trip. She missed the time with her family. “I finally realized, if I can’t beat them, I should join them,” she laughs.
Ross’s philosophy about hunting is not only family time, but food for her family. “I grew up on a dairy farm in Onalaska,” she explains. “There, if you kill it, you eat it. We eat everything we shoot. If you shoot it, you look for it to make sure you didn’t just wound it. We don’t hunt for trophy. It’s what we eat.” But in addition to providing meat for the family, Ross enjoys other aspects of hunting. Getting out in the woods, hiking, and even watching animal’s behavior. “We saw three bears playing, scratching their backs. That was amazing! Watching animals is as cool as filling your tag,” Ross says.
Ross relates that hunting is not very easy. You have to hike far and it can be hard, especially when you’re a short woman. Taller people can see over the brush easier, but she has to stretch. But she also appreciates the good workout. Ross also admits that when her adrenaline is pumping in excitement with harvesting an animal, it changes. Ross smiles as she explains, “I complained all the way out but didn’t even notice the brush after getting my deer.”
For other women interested in hunting, Ross advises to practice shooting. Don’t just try to pick up the gun and shoot it the first time you see an animal. Be patient. That can sometimes be the hardest part. Take a breath and take your time when you do see an animal.
Ross relates how one time she shot and missed because she was so excited. “I had buck fever!” But she knew it even as she was doing it because her uncle used to tell her not to rush, and she could hear his voice in the back of her mind as she was moving too fast. She also has some advice for men who would like to get their wives or girlfriends out hunting – “Be patient. Help them. Explain things. But mostly, be patient.”
Ross has a wish list for manufacturers such as lighter guns, clothing for shorter women, and better shoes. “And maybe someone can make little windshield wipers for glasses,” she jokes. She also has a wish list for herself as she’d like to visit other states such as Wyoming, and try hunting different animals.
Ross’ sons are now 19 and 16. While she no longer needs the flexibility of real estate to take care of her sons, it does fit well with her passion for hunting. “I can do a home inspection in the morning, and be out tracking an animal in the afternoon,” she says. “Many times I’ve answered calls from clients while I’m sitting out waiting for a deer to come by.”
While Ross does hope to continue hunting with her boys, since that is her favorite part of the sport, she is hooked on it. Ross wants women to realize that hunting is not “just a man’s sport. Women can do it, too. It is amazing how many people are surprised when I say I hunt,” she relates. Ross is not alone, according to the most recent Census Bureau statistics, the number of women hunting exploded by 25% between 2006 and 2011, and many hunt in order to have the relationship with other hunters in the family.
Ross admits she used to get irritated with her husband when he and the boys would spend every weekend and evening hunting, never wanting to do anything else. But recently she realized she had made plans for a trip on the opening day of “Late Buck” season. She was very annoyed with herself for not realizing that before making plans. “Now I’m the one not wanting to do anything but hunt,” she laughs.
To talk hunting (deer or house) with Dusty Ross, call her at 360.219.5251 or reach her via email at email@example.com.