Diana, goddess of the hunt, stands as a Roman heroine to a long line of female hunters. Even today there are many who have followed in her spoor that deserve to have their name written in mythology.
Our Diana, we’ll call her Center-Fire Charlotte, is well known for her prowess up and down Hyde Creek in the high and wild country of central Idaho. The legend goes that one morning Charlotte was on her way to work in town when she spotted a bunch of does grazing by the reservoir.
She climbed out of her car, quietly closed the door, lifted her rifle from the trunk and started after them. Sage, bunch grass, rocks, brush and pine seedlings gave way as she stalked across the clearing in her cashmere sweater, skirt and medium heels.
Single-mindedly she tracked, eye on the ridge of the dam, swatting the occasional biting fly. Cresting the ridge in a crouch, she saw the deer beneath her. In the midst of the does a good sized buck reared his majestic head. Center-Fire drew down and dropped him.
She stood over the clean kill and asked the deer’s forgiveness. She carefully looked all around. Sensing the all clear she decided to gut him on the spot.
Several hundred yards away, parked at the airport sat a vehicle. The local game warden was sipping coffee from a paper cup in the front seat. He heard the shot. Scanning the slope below the reservoir, he spotted a suspicious movement. A woman wielding a large knife stood above a deer. She wore only a bra. Her skirt was tucked up around the waistband of her panty hose like a sumo wrestler’s loincloth. Cranking his binocs to 9x power, he recognized the sweating forehead of Charlotte.
By the time she had driven home, come back with the four-wheel drive, retrieved the fallen deer, cleaned up and gone to work, every human in the small mountain town was aware of her Amazonian exploits. Diana, goddess of the hunt, had returned!
It was only fitting that on her next birthday one of the presents she would receive anonymously was a new brassiere – in hunter’s fluorescent orange. Beneath each cup was sewn a strip of gunbelt complete with 30.06 shells lodged in place. Bandoleras on a cantaloupe.
No recent sightings have been made of Center-Fire Charlotte “in uniform.” But it is thought that she applied for a permit to conceal her weapon and now stalks the backcountry disguised as a Sierra Club consultant.