I have been active in the outdoors my whole life, from my dad teaching me to fish and to shoot at a very early age, digging for gem stones with my family growing up, showing horses and then later hunting with my own family. I am a bow hunter, I also hunt with guns and am learning to be a better pistol shooter. I am not great with a muzzleloader as I missed a giant pronghorn a couple of years ago, but loved the hunt with my son anyway. I went to South Africa a couple of years ago on a fabulous hunt and brought down a gemsbok, bushbuck and blue wildebeest. I, like anyone else who has hunted Africa, left my heart there and would go back in a second.
As an outdoor writer for many years, I am a member of several clubs and organizations that promote hunting and gun ownership. I have been a sponsor of the Friends of NRA for years and am an NRA recruiter. I am a life member of Safari Club International and the Professional Outdoor Media Association. I attend SHOT (Shooting Hunting Outdoor Trade) Show each year and am a Field Staff member for Prois Hunting Apparel for women. I am the co-leader along with my good friend Elizabeth Blackwood for The Well Armed Woman Pikes Peak Chapter and I have been heavily involved in the legislative process of avocation for our Second Amendment and feel it is imperative to the U.S. to fiercely protect it.
Helping kids and other women learn about the hunting/shooting world has been such a huge part of my life. I helped coach my children in 4-H shooting sports where they all became excellent shots and my fondest times have been watching them compete while sitting and cheering them on in the hot sun and dirt. Hunting with them has also been so much fun. Freezing with my son while watching for pronghorns under an old windmill, watching them take down a bull elk, and seeing them work together as a family to bring it all together.
My advice to anyone hoping to encourage their wife, daughter or any other woman to become involved in the outdoors is simple. Don't talk down to her and make her feel stupid for not knowing and quickly help her find other fun gals to shoot with, like The Well Armed Woman. We have clinics each third Thursday evening and also shoot together. Men are great instructors, but there is something magical that happens when we do it together. I have seen the eyes of women who are told they couldn't shoot well up with tears when they were simply shown how.
If I could hunt or fish with anyone living or dead, I would love to go with Theodore Roosevelt, Annie Oakley and Ernest Hemingway. What fascinating lives they had and stories to tell. They grabbed life by the horns and made it exciting. I also want to go fishing with my dad again this summer. He is my hero and we haven't been able to do that for years.
Five things I bring on every outdoor activity are proper shoes, great friends and family, my camera, my gun, bow or fishing pole and lip gloss.
Thank you very much Anne for doing the interview!! I love Anne's advice about not talking down to the girl you are encouraging in outdoor activities. I think her list is the first in all of the interviews we have done that someone included proper shoes which are SO important. I have been doing a lot of boot shopping this year to make sure I have proper shoes. Ice fishing was much more enjoyable after finding my new cold weather boots.
If you are in Colorado Springs, be sure to stop by Magnum Shooting Center to tell Anne "HI!"