Growing up in Texas, it was always easy to know when hunting season had begun.
As soon as the weather cooled, there was a noticeable thinning of the male herd in my neighborhood. The boys and men would go to deer leases. If their daughters, sisters, wives or mothers went, it was rare. But times have changed and markedly so. Anecdotally and by official tallies, more girls and women are spending time in tree stands and deer blinds, or wading in water to stalk their prey. Although men still account for the majority of the 13.7 million U.S. hunters, the number of women hunters is on the rise.
I learned several things as we put this issue together. First, I learned a lot of women in this region love the sport. They love it for the bonds they build with family and friends. And they love the thrill and the skill of it. We didn’t have any trouble hunting down women who enjoy hunting for this issue.
I also learned a great deal more about the importance hunters play in conservation. In this issue, you’ll find a feature on the local chapter of Ducks Unlimited. Galveston County is home to 500 members of Ducks Unlimited.
Those members have spearheaded numerous restoration projects, including refurbishing some 30,000 acres of habitat within 50 miles of the county.
Autumn also turns our minds to Thanksgiving Day and seaside gatherings. We have much to be thankful for on the Texas coast.
Coast Monthly food stylist Alicia Cahill gathered her dream team to offer some savory and sweet recipes for the perfect holiday meal.
Coast Monthly Editor
• We couldn’t have imagined a more perfect backdrop for our Seaside Soiree feature this month. Susan-Walker Benson and her husband, Rick, graciously opened their gorgeous home on Offatts Bayou for a long and detailed photo shoot. Susan Walker-Benson also happens to be a superb cook and agreed to pitch in and share her sweet potato recipe. We also wanted to thank Rick Benson for helping, including gallantly ironing the tablecloth. Look for their home to be featured in full in a later edition of Coast Monthly.
• We’re fortunate to have beautiful models in this issue. And we’re lucky that Mary Kay Independent Sales Director Desa Polivka was available to help us enhance the natural beauty of our hunters — Tiffany Stakes and Jennifer Provaznik. Call 409-682-1113 or visit www.marykay.com/desa to reach Polivka. Rebecca Rivera, of Total Technique Salon, 3226 13th Ave. in Texas City, created the perfect side bun for Provaznik and the braid for Stakes.
• And thanks to Knapp Flower Shop, 1122 45th St. in Galveston, for the beautiful arrangements for the main table in the Seaside Soiree feature.