When hearing the word “hippy,” most of us don’t exactly associate it with someone who hunts. But, that is exactly how Michelle Jones would describe herself; a hippy at heart who possesses a knowledge of plants and home remedies, and also happens to have a love of hunting and providing for herself and her family. Michelle was born in Georgia, and spent most of her childhood there before moving to North Carolina as a teen. The outdoors has always been something she loved, and thanks to her grandparents and her father, she grew up gardening, farming, hunting and fishing. It became such a part of her soul that as she grew to be an adult, it just stuck with her. Even after moving to the coastal part of the state, the outdoor lifestyle was something Michelle never wanted to lose.
A single mother at the time, she began teaching her young children how to raise, grow and hunt for their food. Together, they started growing their own food and raising hogs; providing locals with a source for all natural pork and her children with invaluable experiences. Giving her kids a strong base-knowledge of a self-sustaining lifestyle, was something Michelle knew she wanted to do early on. She feels that it’s just important that people know how to source their own food, and have fun while doing it.
Michelle is setting an amazing example, not only for her children, but also for other women in the outdoor industry. Her nickname lovingly developed into her own brand. “Hippy who Hunts” became an outlet for her to share her outdoor, homesteading and homeschooling lifestyle with others, showing women and children how they can be independent in the outdoors and survive off the land. Helping women feel confident is something she aspires to do daily. Michelle is eager to teach women that it’s ok live off the land, to grow and can your own foods, to be a woman in the outdoors, to hunt, to clean and process your own meat, and to shatter gender stereotypes while doing it. The more women that become confident in their outdoor abilities, the more children will become involved and develop their own skills. So many women think they are alone in their passions, but when they come together and bond over shared passions, they become an unstoppable force.
And, an unstoppable force she is! Michelle is a work-from-home mom (with another on the way) that homeschools her children, incorporating the outdoors into their education. She is a proud member of the American Daughters of Conservation, a council member for the North Carolina BowHunter’s Association, a brand rep for a few outdoor companies, and part of the Black American Outdoorsman team as well. On top of all of that, she is working on completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. She hopes that after completing her education, she’ll be able to help so many others, combining therapy within an outdoor setting. She has done all of this while battling some pretty severe health issues of her own. Michelle wants to show her children that you should never stop dreaming, pushing yourself and following your passions, and that it is entirely possible to make a living doing what you love.
Being a woman in the outdoors isn’t always easy though. Women constantly have to prove their outdoor worth, or that they are a “true” outdoorsman. To top that off, some women even feel threatened or intimidated by other women making their way in the industry, consequently creating unnecessary bullying and drama. For that reason, Michelle created an all-women’s hunting group on Facebook that promotes building other women up, bonding over a shared passion and shutting out negativity that can sometimes happen in the outdoor world. “As outdoorsmen, we need to stick together and support each other, not judge. Outdoor lifestyles are being attacked these days and we have to stand as one in this world by sharing love, compassion and knowledge of the lands.”
Overall, Michelle is the epitome of what a “Pioneer Woman” should be. Forging her own path, she is making a name for herself, with a voice that speaks for many. It seems the perfect quote to summarize the essence of the Hippy who Hunts could also be great advice or anyone to live by. “Find your tribe, find your passion, build your dream, and then help others do the same.”