Habitat & Conservation  |  05/07/2021

Mom, Thanks for Raising Me as a Bird Hunter

By Bob St.Pierre

As I approach Mother’s Day 2021 living two states away from my mom without a card or gift in the mail, I thought I would attempt to do one better than a token social media post acknowledging the critical role my mom has played in the career I cherish at Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever. So, please indulge me as I salute my mom, Joann (Maurer) St.Pierre, for helping raise me as a hunter, bird dog lover, and conservationist.  

To Mom,
Thank you for bucking the cultural norms for a mom raising kids in the ‘80s and ‘90s. What may have seemed like insignificant moments are the childhood memories I cherish the most.  
  • I barely remember the night at Little League when I struck out four times in one game, but I vividly remember you throwing me batting practice afterwards until the darkness forced my tears dry. I learned the importance of failure, practice, and resolve.  
  • I remember every summer vacation with you, dad, and Matt fishing out of canoes. You always took the stern so Matt or I could spend more time fishing from the front of the canoe rather than steering against the wind from the back. I learned the importance of selflessness, wilderness, and patience.  
  • I cherish the memories of spending autumn days carrying shotguns down logging trails with you in search of “partridge.” I learned to respect firearms, to eat what I killed, and to be humble in nature.  
For a long time, people have been surprised when I have reminisced about the important role that you, mom, played in my development as a hunter. Your love of the woods, water, wildlife, and time together nurtured my embrace of bird hunting, affinity for dogs, respect for firearms, and the value I have for a healthy environment.

Thanks to you mentoring two boys into a life outdoors, it is not a surprise to find Matt as a biologist with the U.S. Forest Service and me at Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever. We have careers and lifestyles we cherish because of you.

Thankfully, mom, it seems that decades-old gender paradigm of moms who don’t hunt is finally dying away. You’ll be pleased to know I read and follow other hunting women like you who I am pleased to call colleagues and friends.  

Here is a sampling of my favorites: So, Mom, on this special day, I wanted to thank you for pitching all those baseballs, netting all those fish, and helping me learn to shoot grouse on the wing. Happy Mother’s Day!

--- Love Bobby

p.s. Yes, Dad, I’m well aware Father’s Day is right around the corner 😊