I sat alongside my daddy on the edge of a field; the sun quickly descending into the sky. My heart pounded with anticipation as I watched a healthy doe heading out toward us. My thoughts were racing with expectation and wonder at what might happen. I sat shivering; it was so cold, but I didn’t care. This was AWESOME! Even though I knew it was coming, I startled when my dad pulled the trigger. YES! He got her! My heart was pounding so fast, I could hardly keep my excitement quiet! I was so proud of my dad for making such a good shot, and I couldn’t wait to have backstraps for dinner! We’d just harvested part of our meat for the winter! I knew in that moment, as we reaped the rewards of our efforts, I wanted more. I became, an Extreme Huntress.
From an early age I lived to hunt, and my daddy taught me that we hunt to live. He taught me to have respect for the animal, and that hunting is a blessing and a privilege, not just for the trophy and the glory. He taught me to be an independent huntress. Even as a kid I packed my own gear, dressed my own game, did everything, just like “one of the boys”.
I have hunted various species over the last 13 years from big game, predators, upland game, small game, varmints and more! I have hunted and guided many different types of terrain and weather conditions. Those difficult days made the reward of harvest all the greater! Nothing can compare to the rush you feel when you are hunting your prey; the bigger the challenge, the more determination comes over me!
A few years back, I was 8 1/2 months pregnant with our first child. My husband and I were hunting the backcountry in our outfitting area. It was hot. I was miserable. Much to my surprise, a nice black bear came saundering along, only about 100 yards away! I pulled my rifle up and shot. He instantly dropped and I was SQUEALING with excitement! All of the sudden, he jumped up and took off down the hill. I knew I had hit him fairly well, so we gave him a few minutes and down we went after him. We found him about 450 yards down a steep hillside. I was so relieved and so grateful to find him! Now, we had to pack him back UP that steep hillside! At 8 1/2 months pregnant, that is easier said than done! But I was too excited to let my enlarged belly stop me from trying!
So what does it take to be an Extreme Huntress? It takes courage, hard work, determination, and tenacity to push through the many days of coming home empty handed, the bloody blisters on your feet from miles of hiking and the grueling weather conditions that you sometimes face. In a male dominated sport, there’s also a lot of pressure to endure! It takes humility, integrity, passion and positivity, to push through those rough days, to be grateful that you got to spend a day in Gods beautiful creation, and leave the woods calling your hunt successful, even if you have empty hands! I know for myself, I always leave with a full heart!
Along with hunting hard, I think part of being an extreme huntress is about passing on the tradition and your knowledge to the next generation. So many of our youth are being left behind and I feel it is so important to get them out there! I am so thankful I had a family that passed the tradition on to me!
Every day my love for hunting continues to grow. I’m so appreciative for the opportunity to provide food for my family. I’m thankful for the camaraderie and friendships that hunting builds and I am thankful for the challenges that hunting brings and the lessons learned. I am thankful for the rough days, and I’m thankful for the perfect, lucky harvests. I am thankful to be able to pass on the knowledge that I have been given and I am thankful to be, an extreme huntress.