I am a nurse by profession, a business owner through love, and an avid huntress by obsession. I have been a registered nurse for over ten years. I have been married eight years to my best friend, business partner, and trusted hunting buddy. My husband and I are owners of a local gunsmithing/gun shop. We opened five years ago with only a handful of guns, worked out of our garage, and with a bit of blood, sweat, and lots of tears we have grown and continue to grow, now with our own product line.
I am a dedicated supporter of Pheasants Forever, Ducks Unlimited, and the Big Bucks Club, and member of the NRA. I recently have been working with local law enforcement to become an NRA Instructor and to start a women’s gun league in our area. Shooting a gun is, after all, is what sparked my interest and lead me to hunting.
I did not grow up in a hunting family. My husband’s family, on the other hand, lives and breathes hunting. To say I am passionate about hunting is the understatement of the century. It all started eight years ago when I picked up my first shot gun. I would blow through box after box of shells trap shooting, my shoulder would be bruised and sore, but I would keep shooting. My first hunting adventures were pheasant hunting. A year later I graduated to a muzzleloader and went on my first Iowa whitetail hunt. I took down my first doe and became a hunting addict for life. After a few years of hunting with a muzzleloader I decided to take on bow hunting, which quickly became my first love. After my first night in the stand, with my husband close by, I knew for certain I had found a new obsession.
I have encountered success and failure, and lessons learned over the years. My first bow hunt will be one of those stories I will tell my kids over and over, and they will roll their eyes at me I’m sure! Sitting high up in the big cottonwood, the creek below us, surrounded by timber, corn and bean fields. It was early in the season, the leaves were turning, and the weather was comfortable. I could hear pheasants across the creek in the tall grass. Everything was so still. That is one of the many things that I appreciate about hunting, the tranquillity, being surrounded by nature, and waiting silently for a deer to move stealthily into sight. Life is never more peaceful, than when you are up in your treestand.
I spotted three deer across the creek; a large eight point, a spike buck and a doe. They crossed the creek, came through the timber and stopped right under my treestand!! The eight point was a nice full bodied mature buck. I could have shot any of those deer ten times over in the length of time they stayed to nibble on the greens below my stand. Instead I just stood there, arrow nocked, bow in hand, but didn’t pull back. They were 10 yards away! I wasn’t shaking, or sweating whether or not I could make the shot. I, being an inexperienced bow hunter, was afraid pulling back would get me busted! Not to mention the fact I had never been so close to a deer. It was an awesome experience. I didn’t want to move! My husband was sitting in a stand below me. Not knowing the reason I wasn’t pulling back, he couldn’t believe I was passing on such a nice buck! All too soon the three of them moseyed away, back into the timber, without ever showing a sign that they even knew I was watching them from that tree.
I didn’t take down an animal that year, but nothing was going to discourage me from coming out again the next year, or any year after that.
I have gotten tougher, become braver throughout the years. I have grown from only hunting and shooting with my husband to now scouting on my own, shooting on my own, and hunting on my own. I am now comfortable with myself and my skills as an accomplished huntress. It gives me an “I am outdoors woman, hear me roar!!” type of feeling.
I embody the average Great American Huntress. I don’t believe a woman’s status as a huntress is measured by the number of kills, the size of our game, or the locations we have had the opportunity to hunt. I do, however, greatly admire and respect the women who have worked hard to gain the opportunities to hunt game all over world. Unfortunately, sometimes even the most skilled extreme huntress may not be granted the opportunity to afford an over-seas or out-of-state hunt.
I believe the heart of an extreme huntress is built by our drive and desire. By the passion we exude. The image of a great huntress is created by our courageous nature and ability to take every obstacle head on. Huntresses are skillful creatures; built tough and with an unwavering determination.
I have a hunger for knowledge and an unrelenting desire to experience every opportunity to the fullest. I embrace my responsibility to pass on my skills and knowledge to others and take every opportunity to do so. As a successful business woman and skilled huntress I am always on display, and I use that influence to my advantage, to be a positive role model for other women and young aspiring hunters and huntresses. I proudly display my title as a huntress!
Hunting is not just about the kill, it’s the whole hunting experience that compels me to pull out my bow or gun year after year, months before season even starts, and count down the days and hours until opening day. I have two sons, 7 and 2 years old. I have witnessed the relationship between my husband and his father, built by many years spent together hunting, fishing, and being in the outdoors, teaching my husband to be the outstanding man that he is today. I want to do that for my boys; be present, teach them to be lovers of the outdoors and to respect wildlife, instill in them the values and ethics that we hold so high. I aspire to pass on my enthusiasm for the outdoors and hunting to my children. I hope to ignite a life-long passion that will produce years of enjoyment for my family, and their families as they grow. Life is an adventure; I choose to experience it outdoors doing what I love with the people I cared about the most.
The attached photo is from my favorite hunt. I am going to take a risk and go against the grain. It is my first kill with my bow and my very first solo hunt. A hugely proud moment for those reasons! That was one of the most memorable moments of my hunting career.