Prois Hunting Apparel is excited to announce our second featured Extreme Huntress Finalist! Despite the fact that there can only be one announced winner to the Prois Extreme Huntress contest, the stories of the top 10 finalists were all simply amazing. We felt that each of these finalists deserves a moment in the spotlight.
“Whether it’s a long days work in the saddle or in the freezing rain waiting for that trophy animal to show, the passion I have for the outdoors consumes me. Growing up on a cattle ranch, which is now in its 5th generation, hunting was instilled in us. My brothers and I were taught the importance of wildlife management. Having the responsibilities of being a part of a successful ranch, habitat and conservation are not taken lightly. We have put countless hours into the improvement and conservation of our public lands. We have used the tools of modern grazing techniques to enrich the landscape. Along with my father, Mitch Hacking and uncle Brad Horrocks, we have put together an organization called “Grazing for Wildlife”. Giving information on how proper grazing techniques are a vital tool to habitat for wildlife as a whole. I believe being part of your local sportsmen groups and taking the time to know the issues going on locally with wildlife concerns is every sportsman’s responsibility. Management of ALL species is key to successful and healthy wildlife. I am involved in many proactive sportsman’s groups such as Sportsmen for Wildlife and Big Game Forever. If we don’t get involved there will be no future hunting for our children. Hunting is a privilege not a right!
As for me, I took great pride in my rabbits, prairie dogs, and rock chucks as a kid, but when I tagged my cow elk at age 14 hunting ran through my veins. Spot and stalks to blinds and water holes and the rush of adrenaline when that animal shows is second to none. My .243 Browning was my pride and joy until my hubby literately forced me to pick up a bow and try it. Archery has put a whole new spin on the hunting experience. When I killed my first animal with a bow my respect for wildlife came to a peak. Blending in to the surroundings, controlling your body to allow that animal to be drawn in to a close distance, and focusing in on placing your shot is as much of an addiction as tagging that record book animal. I was spoiled for my first bow kill. With my husband, Beau’de, calling behind me, the screaming bull was heading my way in a hurry. With all the new scenario’s of bow hunting vs. rifle, my head was spinning. 20 yds away and beautiful broadside shot, I let that arrow fly, hitting its mark and bringing me my first archery kill…a beautiful 5 point general season Utah elk. Having that feeling of accomplishment was as if I had just killed that coveted 400+ bull. Hunting in the great state of Utah has given me the privilege of harvesting antelope, bear, deer, elk, and turkey. I have been VERY fortunate to take animals in other states but my pride and joy is the mountain caribou I tagged in the Northwest Territories Canada.
I will admit I have had more than my fair share of what not to do’s . Those are the experiences that make every hunt a learning process. Like the time I slept on the cold ridge top so I could be in that perfect spot come morning. Settling into the trail just as the sun peaked the elk were heading my way. Lets just say, it’s really hard to knock an arrow when you have none. Without realizing my entire quiver had come off and was somewhere between point A and point B with hundreds of sagebrush in between. BUMMER! Or the time when I took my three amazing children all under age 6 deer hunting. We spotted a nice general season 2 point and they were excited. I told them to stay on the four wheeler and watch mom put a stalk on the buck. I mentioned several times no talking or the deer would spook. “Okay mom” they softly whispered. I had a great opportunity with this buck as tall sarvis berry bushes were between him and I. Peaking around the bush to get a amazing 30 yd shot I hear. “MOM!!! Daegun’s not being quite!” yep the gig was up. Even learning the hard way that when you lay on the ground, flat on your back, flat on your back, to make a good shot on the bear who has found the tallest tree to tree in, the recoil of that 30.06 has nowhere to go! Ouch! I will just say there have been many more “live and learn” moments.
While we were growing up, my dad always said that seeing his kids fill their tags was the same excitement as if he had tagged out himself. I always thought that he was crazy watching someone else take the shot. For the first time, this past October, I found out exactly what he was talking about. I had the opportunity to take out my trusty .243 and teach my mom how to use it. She drew out for the Utah limited entry deer, South Slope Diamond Mountain . With a couple days of target practice she was comfortable with the gun. Few days into the hunt and making her turn down some amazing deer my brother JD called saying he had him spotted in the cove next to us. Her heart was pounding so hard I could hear it. We put a stalk on him over the ridge. With spectators watching from down below, she set up for the shot. As she tried to breathe through the nerves and shaky hands she touched ol’ Browning off. 200 yds and a beautiful heart shot she had her first animal. And talk about a trophy! He measured at 30 wide and scored around 175 gross. Her father was one of the spectators and was there to witness this with us. Tears in his eyes he told her how proud of her he was. With all the excitement I felt as if I had tagged him. I was so proud of her and I can wait to experience that with my children.
Raising three awesome kids Daegun 11, Hayden 8, and Thailer 8, loving life on a ranch, and being able to enjoy the privilege of hunting, life is good! I love to see my children learn as I did why we hunt, management being first and foremost and hoping to someday to tag that trophy with never ending inches of horn as an incredible bonus. I hope my children grow with the knowledge of respect of the animals they hunt, rather it be cow or bull, big or small, that knowledge and respect will be key to insuring their kids have the same opportunity! Happy hunting!”