Women Go Hunting Spotlight: Mary Cabela

Mary Cabela was a recipient of the Diana Award, hunting’s most prestigious award for a woman hunter. Just this past May, Mary submitted the following story in support of SCI’s Women Go Hunting program, and to encourage woman of all ages to experience the outdoors as hunters.

“My husband said, ‘I need you to learn how to shoot a rifle.’ It was July 1987, when my husband, Dick, informed me that he had booked a nine-week hunting safari in Africa for us, and we were leaving in two weeks! I had TWO weeks to learn to shoot a rifle. 

“Over 50 years on this earth, I had hunted jackrabbits and birds but not large game. At that point and for most of my life, I was an anti-hunter when it came to big game species, although I understood it was sometimes necessary to put food on the table.

“That August we traveled to Zimbabwe, where I took my first large game animal – a zebra, followed by a waterbuck, kudu, southern bush duiker, warthog and three Southern impalas. From there we hunted in Botswana from late August until early October, where I took two additional warthogs, two tsessebe, a second zebra and a red lechwe. I brought home four record book trophies from that trip and was hooked. The rest is history!  

“I never dreamed I would be named a “Diana.” If I could become a “Diana,” each and every woman who hunts or desires to hunt is eligible to become a “Diana.”  You, as a woman in the hunting field, do and can make a difference!” 

Above: The first big game animal Mary Cabela ever hunted was a zebra taken in Zimbabwe in 1987.