I hunt, fish, run, horseback ride, hike, and do photography. I love being outdoors doing anything!
How long have you been participating in these activities and who introduced you and how?
When I was a child my dad was always hunting and fishing. I never wanted to hurt an animal and didn't really understand hunting so I chose not to. He took me fishing though and I loved that. I also loved going out in nature and capturing photographs of animals. Up until I turned 23. Early November of 2009 had me out coon hunting with my husband and my cousin...I was hooked on hunting. I took my hunter's safety course and tried for a deer the very next year. So I will say my dad started the flame for the outdoors, but my cousin ignited the fire. I however had to learn most things on my own. My dad did help me in the end though.
Are you involved in any outdoor clubs or organizations?
I am a member of Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever. I also am a member of the Clayton County Archers. My husband and I started Crazy Cooners which is our coon hunting team in 2012. I am on Pro Staff with Wild Game Drops, Rut Wrecker TV, and Strut Zone Rivals. I am on field team with Huntress Wear. I also recently started blogging on huntressdiaries.com.
Have you introduced any other girls/kids to the outdoors? If so who and how?
I am a very passionate person about the outdoors. Last fall I set up at a local vendor show and did my best to help other women get interested at least. Women hunters are the up and coming thing and if i even inspire someone then I feel like I am doing my job. I am also a mother to 3 beautiful children. Two of which are old enough to go with me. One will be as soon as she is a bit bigger. Seeing them fish or just go 'hunting' (hard to do when they are a little louder then I like ) with me and not get anything makes me feel amazing. Seeing your kids with the same amazement at the outdoors is a wonderful feeling. I can't wait for them to harvest their first animal. My oldest caught her first fish this summer. Her face was pure joy!
How do you encourage other girls/kids in the outdoors?
I offer to take them out. If they don't feel comfortable hunting that is fine. I am willing to go out hiking with them. It is good exercise. But I also feel like they should have a situational awareness if they are going to be out. Being prepared helps you come out of situations better then not being prepared. I have no problem showing people how to handle a gun safely, shooting a gun or anything. I am still learning myself so I have no reason to judge. Everyone can learn from someone. I don't know how to gut big game comfortably by myself....but I will be in there getting my hands dirty helping. The only way someone is going to want to go out and learn is to have a nonjudgemental person take them. If they feel welcomed they will go out. I take my kids out frequently. They think we are just hunting or fishing but they are spending some time and making memories with me that I will keep and hold dearly.
Do you have any advice for others that would like to get their significant other involved in the outdoors?
Don't be judgemental. Don't give them the gun and not give them direction. Teach them safety. Teach them gently. Be serious. Don't joke with them about being a girl. I have seen the videos of girls not properly handling a firearm. That just is bad news. Someone can get seriously hurt or killed. If they don't feel comfy doing something, do not make them. Force is never a good thing.
Is there anybody (living or dead) you wish you could hunt or fish with?
Well I love hunting and fishing with my dad, but if I had to pick anyone else it would Jim Shockey, Eva Shockey, or Chris Brackett. Jim and Eva are amazing role models and I started watching Jim's hilarious hunts when i was stocking ammunition at a retail job. Chris is a down to earth fun guy. I'm hoping to get him up coon hunting with me this fall!
Do you have any specific memorable outdoor trips?
Clique as it sounds, every time is memorable. I didn't always have a strong faith but I am connecting with God every time I go out. He provides the animals so that I can provide for my family. I respect the game I am pursuing and I always pray for a quick, clean shot, that the animal dies quickly, and then I pray a blessing over the animal. My grandma taught me about having faith and that is one thing I never realized until she was gone.
Fishing with dadMy first coon harvest with my cur Cricket and my husband's bluetick Jake.My first squirrel with my dad.My first squirrel on my own.My first deer shot with the muzzleloader as my dad looked thru the smoke because I couldn't see if she was down.Buying my bowMy first turkey with Strut Zone reaped at less then 5 yards while the camera was rolling. My daughter's first fish.
God was there for all of it. And I am very blessed and thankful for all the opportunities I have been given. My harvest resume may not be extensive but I got to go out and that is memory enough.
What are 5 things you always bring with you?
- water bottle
- first aid kit (includes toilet paper, waterproof matches, and other survival gear as well)
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