Judy Derrickson's Bio
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I am forty-six years young, and am beginning a new and exciting chapter in my life. I have a married son, Ben, and a grandson, Andrew, just over a year old, living in Colorado. My beautiful daughter and favorite hunting partner, Lisa, is nearly eighteen, has her high school diploma, and is pursuing a career in art and horses. My two youngest, Gregory, nine, and Teresa, seven, are excited about being on our new South Carolina farm, where they can learn to hunt a lot younger than in Pennsylvania.
I recently re-read my original biography here and decided that a revision is long overdue. So much has changed since I was blessed by the invitation from Sue to write for this site four years ago! I feel decades younger than I did at forty-two. Back then, my life was dominated by pain and constant illness, frequent doctor visits, endless medical tests (and bills!), three surgeries, and severe limitations on the outdoor pursuits I had come to love so much. In those long dark years, my faith and the wonderful ladies I met through WomenHunters gave me the strength to carry on when all hope for a normal and productive life seemed gone.
My prayers and that of so many others, including my pastor, who anointed me, were finally answered. Determined to once and for all put a stop to the medical merry-go-round and the continued decline into chronic and debilitating illness, I did extensive research and discovered that the root cause of my frequent sinus infections, my muscle and joint pain, fatigue, memory loss, weight gain, asthma, and occasional mild depression, were not simply "allergies", but were a result of fungal infections both localized and systemic. I convinced my doctors to try the anti-fungal sprays invented by the Mayo Clinic for my sinus disease, and target the systemic fungal symptoms with Diflucan. In addition, I changed my diet. To my delight, the best diet to fight fungal disease is no sugar, no grains, but lots of meat and vegetables, with snacks like tree nuts and berries, much like the diet Native Americans had before being driven off their hunting lands. How appropriate for an avid hunter to be healed by a hunter-gatherer diet!
My husband developed the exact same illness when he did the mold remediation on our home in an effort to make me get better. (He should have worn a Haz-Mat suit, we now know.) He underwent extensive sinus surgery, which failed to cure him. I talked our doctors into giving him the same treatment that was working for me, and he went on the anti-fungal diet. It helped, but what we both really needed was to move from soggy, cloudy Central PA to a different climate. Since we both improved greatly whenever we visited my parents in sunny SC, which is where we decided to move. We still need our diet, but we are so much better now.
My article, "Farewell", describes the conflicting feelings I had about leaving the land I had come to know and love. Soon I intend to write about my new home, which I have quickly come to love as well, for many different reasons. I so many ways, I feel as if I have always belonged here. The South fits me like a good shooting glove.
I suppose I will always miss the mountains of PA, but life was so hard there both physically and politically. Hunting is under severe attack there from the radical environmentalists, with one official from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources actually bragging in public that hunting in PA is a thing of the past, and that "eco-tourism" is the wave of the future! Due to the DCNR's influence over the PA Game Commission to drastically reduce the deer population in the name of the United Nations style "eco-system management" and "sustainable forestry initiative", there are no more than 250,000 deer left in the entire state. That is down from one million just five years prior! Fortunately, a lawsuit by Unified Sportsmen of PA against the Game Commission has put a stop to the limitless doe licenses and extended doe seasons.
I am not one to run from a fight, and my last year there was spent in the heat of the battle to stop the decimation of our deer herd and save hunting for the next generation. Had it not been for my husband's health, I would be there still, fighting to preserve a great American and great Pennsylvania tradition. I imagine, though, that my activism is not yet a thing of the past, as I now hear the whisperings of "herd reduction", and "balance", and "unlimited doe harvest" from the department of natural resources in my new state! The green dragon is slithering South at an alarming rate, and the good people here still believe that our agencies have nothing but good in mind for them as they are being tempted with promises of more bucks with bigger antlers. One thing the greenies did not count on was the immigration of a feisty hunting mom (grandma!) who has heard all the lies before. I pray that I am not too late to educate my fellow SC sportsmen so they will not fall into the trap that PA sportsmen did. Eternal vigilance is required to protect our traditions before they are just a fond memory.
I want to thank my fellow South Carolinian, Sue, for giving me the opportunity here to promote and protect our fabulous outdoor pursuits. We are the keepers of the future, and we must not waver in our efforts to preserve and protect hunting for the sake of our children and grandchildren.
Articles by Judy Derrickson
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