Nikita Dalke

Dalke_1The definition of being an Extreme Huntress to me is having passion, dedication, hardwork and determination. But having good friends and family also plays a major role in becoming that huntress. My Nana has always been my mentor, a woman that believes the outdoor life is the way of life and that kids should be raised that way as well. I got that passion as a kid whether it was going hunting with Nana, trail rides with the horses, fishing, or camping – I loved being outdoors. After meeting my husband in 2005, his love for the outdoors helped my passion grow to a new level. Our date nights weren’t going to a fancy dinner and  a movie, it was backpacking into the backcountry looking for black bear, elk or even just to do some scouting. Now that we have 2 children I get to take on the role of mentor and get them outdoors. I am very lucky to be a stay at home mom, I get to take them out hunting and fishing with me or we can spend our day out looking for sheds and hiking around.

Living in Southeastern British Columbia gives me a very wide range of animals to hunt, but it also allows me to Dalhke_2hunt year round. Hunting in the mountains is a challenge and can be dangerous. It takes a lot of hardwork and determination to climb those mountains to chase my quarry in the middle of Grizzly country and the weather can change rapidly. But it’s not just grizzlies we have to be aware of, we have a high predator poupulation of cougars,wolves and black bears which can be a danger also. But my passion to be in the mountains is the reason why I work hard year round, making sure im physically fit and mentally prepared. Hunting here is on public land and 100% DIY. I hunt with my .270 and my Bowtech Heartbreaker bow. I have hunted using ground blinds and treestands but I prefer to do spot and stalk. My favourite is backpacking into the backcountry with my husband. I love getting up high, glassing for game then pulling a stalk once we have spotted an animal, it’s a lot of blood, sweat and sometimes tears but nothing is as satisfying as harvesting the animal in this rough, beautiful country. So far I have hunted for mountain goat, elk, mule deer, whitetail, cougar, black bear, wolf, turkey, coyote and small game.  

When I was younger I had a terrible phobia of bears and I couldn’t be in the bush when it was dark. When we came across one I would freeze up. Not the best situation for a hunter living in bear country. As I got more involved in hunting, I decided I wanted to hunt one with my rifle. My husband was worried I would freeze up when the time came, but he supported me and helped me. The first few bears I pulled a stalk on my nerves were in painful knots, but I got to observe them and get an idea of what I can expect and my confidence started to grow. At the end of the day we started heading out, we came around a corner and there was bear standing in front of us. It took half a second and he was running straight up the steep hill, my instincts kicked in and I ran up the hill after him. By the time i got to the top he was at the bottom on the other side walking away, until he heard me. He stopped to look for me and I instantly put my rifle up, got him in my crosshairs and squeezed my trigger. I got my first bear, got over my phobia and they are now one of my favourite animals to hunt. I respect and use great caution with them, but I also understand them better.  

Hunting to me isn’t about how many places you have travelled, who has the most animals or if you got a trophy animal. Hunting to me is about conservation, passing on our heritage, family and enjoying nature and the adventure. Hunting has taught me patience, humility and strength. The patience to sit and wait, to be grateful for any animal I take or for just being outdoors, and the strength to push myself physically and mentally past my comfort zone. I’m so thankful to live where I do, that I get to pass on the lifestyle to my kids and see them grow into hunters.