Jaclyn Carder: 2021 Teddy Roosevelt Sportswoman

On the final night of the 9th Annual Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt (2021), a hunter was recognized who brought with her a deeply moving story. Jaclyn, a 36-year-old from Kansas, lost her husband earlier that year to a heart attack. She had accompanied him on many hunts, and they were planning many more. Jaclyn is now a single mother, raising two girls.

The Hunt was a deeply important experience for Jaclyn and her family. I asked Jaclyn for her thoughts on her Hunt experience.

How did you get interested in hunting? 

“Until I met [my husband], I had never shot a gun or spent any time in the outdoors. He taught me everything that I know about the outdoors and the conservation of the land and animals.”

Jaclyn reflected on how hunting trips were deeply important for the couple. With the loss of her husband, hunting changed meaning for Jaclyn. It was, of course, a way to remember him. But it also signified determination and self-reliance for Jaclyn and her family.

When asked what drew her to the Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt, Jaclyn said:

“I want [my daughters] to grow up to be passionate about the outdoors like their dad. I want to show them that I can still do this even though their dad is no longer with us. I want my husband to be proud of me for trying something that gets me out of my shell. I also want to show them that women can do anything a man can do.”

This kind of grit and resilience is exactly what made her a perfect mentor for Roya Platsis, a 39-year old from California.

I asked Jaclyn what it was like to mentor a hunter during her first harvest?  

This was her partner Roya’s second Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt, and her first time to harvest. It was Jaclyn’s first opportunity to use everything she had learned with her husband to help another hunter.

Jaclyn remembers, “My partner got her doe in the early afternoon. I got to watch someone that has never killed a big game animal take one. Her look of pure joy is what made my hunt.”

At the 2021 Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt, Jaclyn was recognized as the Theodore Roosevelt Sportswoman, an award sponsored by the Boone and Crockett Club. Named after the founder of the Club and the “father of American conservation,” this recognition is bestowed each year on the hunter who shows exceptional fortitude—whose adventurous spirit is unhampered even when the odds are against them. These qualities were obvious in Jaclyn as a hunter, but also as a mentor for Roya.

It was an honor to recognize Jaclyn for her grit and character. That recognition was obviously important to her. But, as we finished our conversation, Jaclyn discussed a moment that was even more meaningful for her.

What will you remember most from the Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt ? 

“Standing on top of what [my guide] Fritz called a blip—or a mountain, to this Kansas girl—I learned that I needed to be there. I needed this time and this hunt to find out that hunting is more about helping other people hunt or teaching them land conservation. It was something that my husband taught me and something I want to continue for him. I am incredibly proud of being a Sister of the Sage, and that I got to share my story with these amazing women.”

Quotes from Moving Forward, Giving Back: The Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt written by WYCF Communications Coordinator Daniel Galbreath in partnership with WYWF Events & Communications Coordinator Alex Shannon. The full article will be printed in the Spring 2022 issue of Fair Chase as part of the Boone and Crockett Club’s Mentorship Series, available mid-February.

This interview was made possible with the help of the Boone and Crockett Club. Read about past hunt collaborations.

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