Challenged, Empowered and Bullied No More with Miss Kansas Theresa Vail

Miss Kansas

Theresa Vail from Manhattan, Kansas, is the reigning Miss Kansas. In college, Vail majored in Chinese and chemistry and has one year left. She’s a dental hygienist in the U.S. Army and she plans to earn a dental degree and serve as a dentist in the Army.

“I am always looking for new challenges to try and about a year ago I needed a new challenge,” Vail said. Although Vail had been hunting with a rifle since she was 10-years old, she and her dad decided they both would take up the challenge of bowhunting.

Here are four ways hunting and bowhunting have improved Theresa’s life:

A Source of Pride

When I shoot my bow, the adrenaline rush and the feeling of empowerment are feelings I can’t get any other way. This year I took my first buck with my bow, but I’ve also taken two does with my bow. The buck finally came in on the last hour of the last day of hunting season in Kansas. That was one of the proudest moments of my hunting career, taking a buck with my bow.

A Confidence Boost

With the ‘Hunger Games’ movies so popular now, many girls and women are seeing that you can break into bowhunting – what was previously believed to be a male-dominated sport. Even though you’re very feminine, with bowhunting, you get the feeling you can be very powerful. I don’t feel like I give up any of my femininity by being a bowhunter.

An End to Bullying

Because I was always an independent thinker, I had been bullied all my life. I was always considered one of those weird kids. Most children don’t like other children who are different, but I was. When I was 10, I tried to commit suicide. My dad told me, ‘There will always be people who will look for ways to not like you. You need to find something that makes you feel confident.’ So, he started taking me hunting. Hunting gave me the confidence and self reliance that I always had lacked.

A Quiet Place

In the woods, I don’t have to worry about other kids or my brothers and sisters (I come from a family of eight children). The woods always have provided my alone time. I think that bowhunting, spending time in the outdoors and learning about wild animals can help young girls build self reliance and calm their spirits. As they become more acquainted with the woods and the animals in the outdoors they will feel stronger. When you add in the bowhunting factor, they’ll feel even more empowered.

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