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LadyHunter Magazine

Sept/Oc t 2013

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Welcome to Lady Hunter Magazine Your online destination for female-focused hunting. It’s time the women of the hunting world were recognized in their own publication.

From the Editor Contributing Editors Kristi Lynn Hair Megan Johnson Kimberly Snyder Anita Williams Candy Yow Teresa DePalma Joella Bates Beka Garris Christy Turner Judy Erwin Branham

Thanks for choosing Lady Hunter Magazine. We would like for everyone to welcome our newest writers to the Lady Hunter Magazine team: Kimberly Snyder, Megan Johnson, Judy Erwin Branham, Beka Garris and Christy Turner. In addition to our writers we would also like to welcome Mary Dugie who is in charge of Marketing and sales.

Special Thanks to Mary Dugie Marketing and Sales

Since our last issue we have created a Facebook page ( ) that currently has over 1200 likes in less than one month and continues to grow. This is a testament to our writers and their popularity in the hunting community. I hope everyone has had a chance to participate with us and if not please go today and give us a like. We will be trying to stay up to date with as many current events as we possibly can across the country and bring them to you through our Facebook page and website ( ). We will also be searching out other sites that fit with our mission of helping build the brand of everyone involved with us.


We think you will enjoy our latest issue as once again our writers have taken their adventures from the outdoors and shared them in our magazine for your reading pleasure.

4336 Milsmith Road, Chester, VA 23831 No part of Lady Hunter may be reproduced in any form without written permission of the publisher. Copyright 2013.

Thanks Team Lady Hunter Magazine | Lady Hunter Magazine | Sept/Oct 2013| 3

Table Of Contents OUTDOORS WITH ANITA Pronghorn Buck Hunt Anita Williams...........................................................................................8 What Benefit is Technology to Hunting? Teresa DePalma........................................................................................12 BACK COUNTRY HUNTING Hunting “Pilgrim” Candy Yow................................................................................................14 For The Love of Waterfowl Kimberly Synder......................................................................................18 Hunting “Majestic” Christy Turner..........................................................................................22 The Hardcore Huntress Point of View The Story of How a Little Girl Turned Into a Hardcore Huntress Megan Johnson.........................................................................................25 The Hardcore Huntress Point of View It’s Hunting, Not Killing Kristi Lynn Hair......................................... .............................................28 The Ladies of Traditional Archery Judy Erwin Branham...............................................................................31 Girl Guide: My Experience as a Female Guide Beka Garris..............................................................................................38 Got Moose.........Not Yet! Joella Bates..............................................................................................42

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Kimberly has been hunting since a very young age but her passion has become Waterfowl hunting. Kimberly is a dedicated Waterfowl hunter who loves spending her time on a river, in a pond or a creek and feels at home when she is in a duck blind. She volunteers her time to Ducks Unlimited Events, giving back to Waterfowl Conservation efforts and volunteering in any area that will enhance youth hunting or Wounded Warrior efforts. She is a member of a Women’s hunting team at Widewater Waterfowl, in Widewater, VA and is a Pro Staff Hunter for Southern Duckmen in LA. When she was asked what hunting means to her, her response was “When I’m hunting, I feel near to God. To be surrounded by his creation and looking at and for his creatures is a great blessing”. She currently resides in King George, VA with her Kimberly Anne Snyder grew up in a rural small husband Walter, her children Mackenzie, Brooks, town in Virginia. She attended Radford Univer- Jacob and Matthew and her two amazing Duck sity and currently works at Lockheed Martin as a Hunting Labs Muck and Steelshot. She can be conCurriculum Developer and also works as an office tacted via Facebook at manager for her husband’s company, SWAMPS (Storm Water and Management Pond Specialists).

Kimberly Anne Snyder

Teresa DePalma

Teresa DePalma was introduced and taught to appreciate the outdoors at a young age in a small town in southern Oklahoma where hunter’s safety class was part of the curriculum in school. Being a small town country girl, her love for the outdoors and appreciation for wildlife only came natural. Over the years she has harvested many deer and turkey with her gun and bow. Her proudest hunting moment came this past winter when she har-

vested her first bobcat while on an out of state coyote hunt. She has since taken her passion for the outdoors to many levels. Teresa in the Creator/President of ThroughCamoEyes, a web based site providing product and service reviews within the hunting industry. has become popular among hunters for its interactive/collective style of hunting product evaluations through social media. She joined the team at Forever Wild Outdoors in 2012 and is now a host for the upcoming hunting show Adrenaline Adventures that will start airing in December on the Sportsman Channel. Teresa is a member of the NRA, IBO and several rod and gun clubs. In addition, she works with several companies and organizations in the hunting industry providing marketing support. Teresa now lives in New York, where she can be found on the tractor tending to food plots, maintaining the property’s landscape, fishing the lake at her local rod and gun club or sharpening her shooting skills at a 3D shoot. But when the leaves start changing and the temperatures drop, then you are guaranteed to find her in the woods chasing big game and turkeys. | Lady Hunter Magazine | Sept/Oct 2013| 5

man’s Channel in January 2013. Joella is actively involved in outreach programs that connect youth, women, and families with the outdoor world through archery programs. Joella is the Archery Director of the Shooting for Women Alliance. Joella is a certified BAI and BAIT (Basic Archery Instructor Trainer) for the National Archery in the Schools Program. After attending the University of Tennessee at Martin on a rifle scholarship and earning a B.S. in Natural Resources Management, she added a M.S. in Biology with emphasis in Fisheries Management from Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, TN. Joella Bates is a Wildlife professional and dedi- In 1996, Joella became an inductee into the UTM cated outdoors participant. She has worked as a Athletic Hall of Fame for the sport of rifle. naturalist, wildlife officer, fisheries manager, and environmental scientist prior to becoming an out- In 1989, Joella took up archery for bowhunting; doors promoter. She can do it all: hunt, fish, shoot she has taken 65 different species of animals with any type of weapon with considerable skill. Joella her bows including becoming the first woman shoots compound bows, crossbows, recurve bows bow hunter to harvest a Cape buffalo in 2001; a and longbows. She is also a writer, speaker, in- Wild Turkey Grand Slam in 2004; and the Big 5 (listructor, coach, sales person, and motivator draw- oness, elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard and green hunted a white rhinoceros) in 2009. She is the first ing many persons into outdoor adventures. bow hunter to take the Big 5 of Africa in a single She was honored as a 2011 inductee into the Leg- safari in < 30 days.

Joella Bates

ends of the Outdoors National Hall of Fame and a 2005 inductee into the Outdoor Channel’s Circle of Honor. In 2004, Joella was selected as the Event Coordinator for the Jack Daniels – Field and Stream Magazine’s Total Outdoorsman Challenge. Joella coordinates many outfitted hunts for groups. She is currently works with ERCO TV (Ebarb’s River City Outdoors) that will begin airing on the Sports-

Joella has claimed five 3-D Archery World Championship Titles – four as a Woman Pro and has earned over $100,000 in tournaments along with numerous national, regional, state, and local titles until an injury in 2003 sidelined her from competition. Watch out, she will be back in full swing and better than ever.

Beka Garris Beka Garris was born and raised in Northern NJ and started hunting with her dad at a young age. She is obsessed with bow hunting and has traveled all over the US hunting and fishing. Beka currently resides in NJ and is pursuing a career in the hunting industry. Facebook “Beka Garris WildernessBabe” Official Miss NJ Huntress USA 2011 Hardcore Huntress Top Shot 2013

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moose sightings occurred often. This sparked Anita’s passion for the outdoors. She has fished and hunted in the countries of Canada, New Zealand, Costa Rica, The Galapagos islands, and The United States. The past two years, Anita, has further developed her hobby of photography and filming. She has filmed and fished with Outdoor Bound TV and Itasca Public Television. Anita, also, takes senior portraits.

Anita Williams Anita lives in Grand Rapids, MN and is the mother of two adult children. She has been a hairstylist for thirty years. Her empty nest allows time to pursue interests of photography, fishing, bowhunting, travel and food. She grew up with four brothers, three sisters, and her parents. They lived and farmed both in Iowa, and British Columbia, Canada, a providence where

Her hunting photograph has been in the Bear Archery catalog for four years. Her love of nature, photography, food, and outdoor adventures has turned into a business: Outdoors with Anita. Williams writes a monthly column about her adventures for Adventure Sports Outdoors Magazine, The Outdoor Gazette, Lady Angler Magazine, UpNorth, Bone Quest Magaizne, and Whitetales. You can follow her on facebook , youtube and

Adventures, Hartcraft Xchange, Orca Coolers, Bens Trophy Buck Mix, Lady Hunter Magazine & Hips Archery Targets. Kristi is a dedicated archery hunter & is fearless. She feels most comfortable 30 ft up in the tree. Her ability to place an arrow in the kill zone is incredible. Kristi is ethical & lethal. Kristi has hunted all over the U.S. Her true passion is hunting whitetail with her bow. Kristi has taken 6 Pope & Young Deer, turkeys, sheep, hogs, squirrels & antelope. Kristi has taken deer from 125” – 194”. Kristi donates several deer each year to: “Hunters for the Hungry”.

Hardcore Huntress: Kristi Lynn Hair

Kristi is a professional hunter who prides herself specializing in archery. Kristi is Pro~Staff Hunter for: Hartcraft Hunting

Kristi sponsors several women & youth each year. Her goal is to introduce many & make them lifelong hunters. Kristi believes in paying it forward & sponsors several Veteran Hunts every year. Kristi believes in being self-sufficient, providing for her family from killing it to grilling it to eating it. “Now then, get your equipment--your quiver and bow--and go out to the open country to hunt some wild game for me.” ~ Genesis 27:3 | Lady Hunter Magazine | Sept/Oct 2013| 7

Judy Erwin Branham A seasoned huntress of almost 30 years Judy became interested in Whitetail Deer hunting in 1984 when the unemployment rate was reported to be 18% where she lived in Northern Indiana. She harvested a 195 pound field dressed 8 point buck her first time out and fell in love with hunting. The family residing on the farm where she hunted allowed her to assist butchering the Deer educating her how to save even more financially. Judy has successfully harvested many Deer over the years with gun and bow. Hunting for Wild Turkey is one of Judyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fa-

vorite pastimes. She began with harvesting eight in her first seven years of Turkey hunting, including one from Kentucky. Judy met her husband via Turkey hunting and they have many stories of the outdoors to share. Having been an active member of the NWTF, Pheasants Forever and a Hunter Education Instructor for the State of Indiana she has assisted in diverse ways to see growth in the population of the Eastern Wild Turkey and the conservation of other wildlife. Cooking Wild Turkey breast is a special treat in the Branham household. Every chance she gets Judy shares her love of nature with others. She is a Freelance Photo Journalist and Pro Staff for Mountain Dames who promote the outdoors for women and girls. Judy enjoys her three grandchildren, gardening, traditional archery and attending church. Graduating with a BS degree in Journalism, magna cum laude, in 2011 from Indiana State University, Judy studied Film Editing, TV Production, Research Methods, Writing and Photography along with other Multimedia. She holds an Associate of Applied Science degree in Visual Communication from Ivy Tech Community College with a Photography emphasis. Judy is an award winning Photographer and an accomplished writer being published in local magazines and newspapers.

they have 4 beautiful daughters, 5 grandchildren and 1 more on the way. Being a wife, mother and grandmother is the best job in the world, but what makes it even better is showing them the lifestyle of enjoying the outdoors Candy is a firm believer in ethical hunting, Fair chase, DIY, Public lands, Back country, Western Big Game hunting. Hunting of any kind is fun but putting a couple mile sneak on an elk for mule buck is the ultimate challenge. Appreciation for the harvest is so important; no matter how hard we work for these animals we can never give enough thanks when we harvest them. Candy believes in hard work and works out daily to stay in shape for her Back Country hunting. God created this beautiful world for us to enjoy and she is going to try Candy Yow is 50 years old and has spent her whole her best to see and share as much of it as possible. life working and loving the outdoors. Candy is For more information you can contact her at canmarried to Randy Yow of Extreme Desire TV, they make their home in Central Oregon and together

Candy Yow

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By Anita Williams

Pronghorn Buck Hunt | Lady Hunter Magazine | Sept/Oct 2013| 9

Beep, Beep, Beep! The alarm cuts the early morning silence. The floor creeks as hunters wake and move around the rustic Wyoming lodge. Ryan, my hunting guide, will be here in thirty minutes to take me to the hunting blind. I prepare to sit until dark. A rooster crows loudly as my feet hit the floor. Guzzling milk, I swipe peanut butter across toast. I dress in camouflage, and pull my hair back. Slipping a cap on my head I quickly pack a cooler with Gatorade and a sandwich. I place binoculars, range finder, and trigger release into a backpack. I slide the quiver of arrows onto the bow and jump into the white Dodge pickup. Ryan greets me with a warm, “good morning.” I repeat it back. He quips, “It feels like a good antelope day to me.” We drive the dusty trail through the sage brush. Gazing through the early morning darkness I see badlands and rolling hills. This is a working ranch with horses and cattle, and it’s also prime territory for antelope (pronghorns). Ryan pulls up next to a pond. I settle into the blind as my guide plans a strategy. We calculate which direction the goats will come from to water. Using a range finder, I determine distances of various locations around the pond: Sage brush, due left: 18 yards. Pond’s edge, straight ahead: 15 yards. Top of the ridge: 40 yards. Far side of the pond: 32 yards. Curve in pond directly in back of me: 23 yards. Knowing these distances will let me know where to set my sight pin. A 1/16 inch change on the bow setting will equal ten yards difference at impact. I pull my bow back and aim at an imaginary antelope at each location. I let down my bow and prepare for many hours watching the badlands. Morning turns into afternoon as I wait for antelope to come to the watering hole. I lift my cap and feel moisture on my brow. I am hot and thirsty; soon the pronghorn will be seeking water. Red Angus cattle are the first to pop over the ridge and plod toward the pond. I see three at first, and then 18 come to drink. In a hushed whisper I ask my guide if the cattle will ruin my chances of seeing a speedy goat. “The cattle will water then leave if we are lucky.” He continues “This heat is good and the antelope will be here, we must be patient.” Sitting motionless, I watch for action when all of a sudden something

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smacks the side of the blind and I jump almost out of my skin. Tumbling out of the chair, I hold my scream of terror inside and do not utter a sound. My guide reaches for me and makes a ‘shooing’ sound at the steer. I settle back into my chair, nervous with cattle around all sides of the blind. Finally, the cattle make their way up the hill to graze. Peering through binoculars, I notice movement ahead - pronghorns! Their plump bodies are getting larger as they run straight toward the pond. Placing the binoculars down I grab my bow. Pronghorns can run as fast as 65 miles per hour. Adrenaline is racing through my blood as I hook my trigger release to the bow. I take a deep breath to calm my nerves. They crest the ridge at 40 yards and I scan to see which one is the largest buck. There are nearly a dozen pronghorn in all. My eyes shift from buck to buck comparing each one. I hook up my trigger release. They are within the magical 25 yard range, when all of a sudden my guide looks over his shoulder around back. There he stands! A

beautiful buck and he is 23 yards away. I drop to one knee, pull my bow and set my pin a little below the white line in his belly. I release my arrow, and watch it sail right behind his front shoulder. Thwack! I recognize the sound of a solid hit. The buck takes off running and almost immediately I see his legs begin to wobble. His body gets weak and he is down. I raise my head toward heaven and give thanks for this animal that will provide many delicious meals. My guide congratulates me as I proclaim, “You are right! It sure is a good antelope day.”

Anita lives in Grand Rapids, MN and is the mother of two adult children. She has been a hairstylist for thirty years. Her empty nest allows time to pursue interests of photography, bow hunting, fishing, travel and food. You can follow her on facebook , youtube and

For those of you who like to fish please check out Lady Angler Magazine | Lady Hunter Magazine | Sept/Oct 2013| 11

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What benefit is technology to hunting? By Teresa DePalma


rom blood trail detecting devices to beacon wired broadhead attachments to game call apps for your iPhone. The hunting world has come along way when it comes to spot, chase and find that buck of a lifetime. Although I have yet to try any of those so called new age hunting devices, I have found myself becoming very addicted to wireless trail cameras that are able to text or email you pictures. I have them on my property in NY and even on a farm I hunt in OH. I have become obsessed with these cameras. I remember the times of having to take the film in to be developed and going through hundreds of pictures of squirrels or wind moving weeds to find only one good buck picture out of | Lady Hunter Magazine | Sept/Oct 2013| 13

the whole bunch. Although it was all I knew at the time, it felt like such a great tool for seeing how the deer on that particular property where moving. But now with the ability to receive a picture via phone or email in real time is remarkable and why I say I am obsessed!

I bought my first wireless trail camera this past winter at a trade show from HCO Outdoors called the UOVision Panda. This particular camera is by far my favorite of the few I have tried. I was able to put it to good use during spring turkey hunting this year as you will see on the upcoming season of Forever Wild Outdoors Adrenaline Adventures TV Show on The Sportsman Channel. I put the camera in an area on my property where I had seen significant tom tracks weeks prior to opening day and low and behold the tom I took on the 5th day of the season was that of the one that had been texting me throughout the week. I have several of these cameras now and have stretched them to the limit by putting one on a farm I hunt in OH over 500 miles away. I receive pictures throughout the day of turkey and deer that I would not have been able to see from my home in NY had I not put this type of camera out. There are many advantages for using this camera as oppose to a standard trail camera. As any great hunter knows not disturbing the deer while replacing and/or viewing the memory card is definitely a bonus. Having several of them out at a time can also give you an advantage by determining which stand you want to hunt on the morning of, which can be crucial to those who are only able to hunt on the weekend or very limited times each week due to work or travel. Everyone

who reads my blogs, post and articles know that I am a trail camera nut. I put them out everywhere I can and love to monitor the woods during hunting season as well as the off season. I never stop trying to learn about the woods and what’s roaming in them and if I can do it from afar without disturbing them, then EVEN BETTER. We have one rule on my property here in NY… Stay out of the woods as much as possible unless its hunting season! These cameras have allowed us to do just that.

I know trail cameras aren’t for everyone as some believe the advantage of knowing deer movement is not as appealing as “hit or miss”. But I just merely love it and see it as a luxury of seeing the sacred world of the wild without being there… I love the advantage of getting to know my woods from a “fly on the wall” type of way. Although they are a tad pricey and a continual monthly fee… I personally believe they are worth it!!

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Back Country Hunting By Candy Yow

Hunting “Pilgrim” | Lady Hunter Magazine | Sept/Oct 2013| 15


old engulfed me in the early pre-dawn morning, my labored breath rising with each step down the steep narrow trail. My stomach churning with butterflies at the thought of this great hunt today. New Mexico muzzleloader, this is my first muzzleloader hunt but I have confidence if we can get close enough. So we head out long before daylight hoping to get a couple miles in before we start hunting at the crack of dawn. I filmed a hunt in this area the year before and saw lots of great bulls, although the draught has caused horn growth to dwindle this year I am still excited. I had spotted a pretty nice bull the day before on the far ridge, and nick named him Pilgrim (it’s the week of Thanksgiving), so that is the general direction we are headed at least until we have daylight to see to spot other directions. The terrain is steep and difficult to maneuver in the dark, but we keep quiet and press on as fast as possible. As the sunlight comes over the distant hills we take a break to soak in the beauty of it all, pinks, yellows and blues mingle in the air as the sun breaks over the top. I don’t think I will ever get tired of looking at a sunrise; it is truly one of God’s most beautiful gifts to us. Once the sun is up we begin to spot, we saw several other bulls in different directions but most are pretty small rag horns so we turn our attention back towards “Pilgrim”. He is not really that much bigger but something about him kept drawing me back. We spotted for some time trying to decide which direction to go.

Pilgrim was grazing on a steep hillside pretty close to the top, the side hill was shale rock and the climb up would be next to impossible for 3 of us, Randy my husband and Robert Bonine the camera man. With this being day one of the hunt

we finally decided to give it a try, as we all wanted a closer look at ole “Pilgrim” and we would have to climb that shale hillside to get that look. So I made up my mind right then and there. “If we can put the sneak on that bull and 3 of us make it up that hillside without blowing him, I don’t care how big he is, I am going to take a shot because I don’t think we can do it.” They both laughed and said it wasn’t gonna be easy, but lets give it a go. Packs back on we had quite a hike still ahead of us so off we go. With a direction now we moved pretty fast until we were directly across the canyon from him, now it is time for sneak mode.

We tip-toed down the hill being very careful to not roll rocks or trip, then up the creek a short ways to approximately where we think he is, now he is directly above us and we can’t see him so it is sorta like a guessing game. Once we start up it gets really difficult, we would literally take a step or two then stop to make sure we didn’t roll rocks, by now the sun is on us and the strain of trying so hard to be quiet was warming us up rapidly. Some of the times I literally crawled due to steepness and trying so hard to be quiet. Yet the whole while I am ecstatic to see if he is still there and unaware of us directly below him. Something about spot & stalk hunting has always intrigued me but this one is exceptionally difficult. We are now where we can only use hand signals and we don’t dare stand up, we believe we are getting to within 150 yards or less of where we think he is. Whether from the climbing or excitement I am sweating pretty good, Randy inches around a rock and try’s to take a look at where he thinks Pilgrim should be and yes we

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cannot hear him crashing at all so I finally convince Randy to let me slip up the hill a bit and check it out. We sneak to where he was standing when I shot and see blood, lots of blood and it didn’t take long to track him then “Bull Down”!!! He had only run about 80 yards. Tears of joy, hugs and “Thank you Lord” fills the air. What an incredible stalk that was, what a wonderful day of memories, and what a great bull. I am forever thankful for my adventures in the Back Country, and my hunt for “Pilgrim” will be forever a great memory. Candy Yow Extreme Desire TV are right on only closer than we thought. He motions me up to a spot he thinks I can get a shot with Robert right behind me. You could hear a mosquito buzz it was so quiet, its like we didn’t even breath for a couple minutes. I saw Pilgrim and got immediately into position, but he spotted us at the same time. No time to get this right, we are spotted and its all over if I don’t take a shot now, Randy whispers 80 yards to me, I put him in my crosshairs and squeeze. A cloud of smoke rose while I wait to see if I made contact, it felt good but then it was quick so I was very nervous. Randy & Robert both say, “He’s hit” so we sit tight for a couple minutes, (which seems like an hour). We | Lady Hunter Magazine | Sept/Oct 2013| 17

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For the Love of Waterfowl By Kimberly Snyder

My name is Kimberly Snyder, I grew up in a very small town where the annual tradition of opening day for deer everyone took off school and coming in late was acceptable while we all wore blaze orange upon arrival. | Lady Hunter Magazine | Sept/Oct 2013| 19


o my father I was his only son for years and working outside with my dad tending to the animals, garden or working on repairs was something I grew to love. My father loved the outdoors and instilled in me at a very young age how to appreciate what God had provided to all of us and how to not only learn to live off what God has provided but always conserve and give back to the land.

When my father asked me at age 10 for the first time if I would be interested in going hunting with him the following day I remember thinking “This is it, my chance”. I don’t believe I slept a wink that evening, only to rise out of bed 2 hours earlier than anyone in the house that morning, shower and look perfect for my first hunting experience. The look on my father’s face was priceless as he said “Well don’t you look pretty, too pretty”. He proceeded to cover any smell he could on my body and to this day I am pretty sure he put me as far away as possible from all the other hunters as to not ruin anyone else’s hunt. I didn’t see

anything that day, but I sat there with the feeling of anticipation, respect and admiration for everything I saw, from every sway of the tree to every noise in the woods. That is when I fell in love with hunting. As the years went by, my father began to teach me about scent control and all the things he possibly could about hunting, to the best of his ability. But as time went by sports took over, school and of course life in general and hunting became something I just missed but didn’t have anyone to share it with or the time. In God’s infinite wisdom he brought my perfect mate into my life, within the first week of meeting my husband he asked “Have you ever Duck Hunted?” To which I replied, “No”. That is when the seed was planted back into my life to not only get back into the woods but to remember what I loved so much as a child with my father. The first cold morning with my husband in a duck blind I sat there in awe of the scenery, the amazing sunrise, the sound of birds flying by, and the camaraderie that I witnessed by everyone around me. I laughed, I smiled, and I felt like my spirit had been renewed just by the beauty around me and the friendships that are bonded together within minutes in a duck blind. Waterfowl hunting is like

no other category of hunting. There is no greater feeling than the sound of a flock coming into your decoys, you can talk and share hunting stories within the blind, there is no scent control but you sure need good camouflage, you can cook breakfast in the blind, and it has become a passion of mine beyond words.

I have personally grown just by Waterfowl hunting; you probably ask how that is possible. I have learned that you are never too old to learn new skills, I have been taught perseverance, I have learned to understand failure, I have seen success, I have been given the opportunity to share Waterfowl with my children (creating family memories and bonds with my children that money can’t buy), I have found peace. No matter how bitter cold the morning may be, how long a ride may be to a blind, how sometimes you don’t always see birds, I have become a Waterfowl hunter and I live for every moment on the river, in the pond or near a creek. When you are Waterfowl hunting everything melts away, the daily stress that we all witness isn’t in a duck blind, all there is to feel is peace

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and beauty. I have become more active in Waterfowl conservation through my Waterfowl hunting, volunteering for Ducks Unlimited events. This is a tremendous organization that protects and preserves the Waterfowl and their habitats. I am also an honored member for a Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Waterfowl Hunting Group that is located and hunts at Widewater Waterfowl in Widewater, VA. Widewater Waterfowl is well known guided service. They support Wounded Warriors events, are active members in Ducks Unlimited and they sponsor many

youth activities for young Water- Waterfowl for our future hunters, fowl hunters. I have been fortunate to meet many amazing people through this establishment and created bonds that will last a lifetime. I am also a pro staffer for Southern Duckmen, located in Lafayette, LA. This guided service is focused on keeping the tradition within our youth hunters because they are the future to restoring and conserving our wetlands for waterfowl hunting. With these organizations I have learned to not only grow within Waterfowl hunting but also how to give back to the habitats and | Lady Hunter Magazine | Sept/Oct 2013| 21

including my children. My off seasons have now become preparation for the Waterfowl season to begin, scouting areas to hunt, practicing my duck call, building duck blinds, working with our dogs and practicing my shot. I live for that opening day, the sound of the birds and the moment to take that shot. My life has been renewed through Waterfowl hunting, bringing me back to my childhood and the love for what I first witnessed as a child in a tree stand. I am very grateful to my husband for all his patience and kindness as he has never treated me like a woman, he has always treated me like a friend, teaching and guiding me along the way. I have been blessed to share mornings and evenings hunting alongside my best friend and experiencing what God has been so good to give for me to enjoy. For every year God blesses me with in the future, I will never take for granted the experiences I have gained, the great shots I have taken, the friendships that have formed and the opportunities that have been given to me, not because I am a woman but because I am a Waterfowl hunter. Genesis 9:3 - Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. Duck, Duck, Goose Kimberly Snyder King George, VA

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Hunting “Majestic” By Christy Turner


oday as I write this we have fifty-four more days until opening morning of bow season. I sit in my office dreaming about sitting high up in my tree stand instead of this office chair. I think about the sun slowly and peacefully rising up and smiling at me and kissing my cheeks, instead of the fluorescent office lights and phones ringing off the hook. I am anxiously thinking about seeing all of the wildlife waking up and starting their days with the birds singing and the big bucks chasing does, instead of waiting for 5:00 and then traffic jams. I sit here in my office chair with a smile on my face while all of this chaos goes on around me. My mind is three hours away in Priddy, Texas at the Jeskey Ranch, sitting fifteen feet up in that tall Live Oak tree. It is only fifty-four days and twelve hours away!

I am hunting a specific Buck that I have named “Majestic”. The first time I saw him it was opening morning of bow season three years ago. He stood a hundred yards away from me which seemed like hours but it was probably only a few minutes. He was, and still today, the biggest buck I have ever seen while out hunting. I was shaking so bad if he was to come in range that day I don’t think I could have even pulled my bow back, I was such a nervous wreck. It seemed as though the clouds parted right above him and the Heavens were shining their Holy white light down on him. He just seemed to glisten and his coat was more of a dark red instead of brown like the other bucks I have seen. I was so amazed at how big his body was I never counted how many points he had. I just knew his antlers had some thick mass, dark in color and a whole lot of it going on. | Lady Hunter Magazine | Sept/Oct 2013| 23

I sat in my stand for the rest of the day to try and get a glimpse of him again but I did not. In fact I never saw him the rest of that hunting season. I presumed one of the neighboring ranches must have shot him or he died of old age. The next year I could not wait for opening morning to try and see if my Majestic Buck was still around. But once again I was disappointed I did not see him throughout the whole hunting season.

Opening morning of bow season last year, it happened! I saw him! I could not believe he was still alive! Of course not within range but I saw him! I had my binoculars trying to get a good look but once again I was shaking so bad it was hard to make out how many points he had. He walked like a stud, real stiff legged and his red shiny coat just shook as he walked, his skin was so loose on his old body. What an amazing sight. I saw him several times and watched where he came out and where he would go in. I could not wait for rifle season to open. I was bound and determined I knew his path and I could get him with the rifle. Opening weekend of rifle season, I took the week off of work. This was important and I had a plan. Day one, I saw him but still too far to shoot. I just watched him through the spotting scope. Day two, move to a stand that is closer to his new path. Same thing, I could only watch him with a spotting scope. Day three, move a lock on stand to a tree that should be right in his path. Perfect plan! He

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walked out right in front of me. I got my rifle up and looked through the scope. I have him in the crosshairs. I take my eyes off for just a second to take my gun off of safety and when I looked back in the scope he was gone! Vanished! I almost cried, I was so close and had it right on him. Day four, same thing I had him in my sights once again only 70 yards away. He stopped turned broad side, I moved my eyes for a half of a second to take my gun off of safety and look back and he had vanished once again! Nowhere in sight! Day five, I am lying on the ground under a dead Cedar tree. I see him come out about a hundred yards. There are several doe and smaller bucks. I am watching with my binoculars and decide to get the rifle, it was time. I look through the scope and a heavy fog rolls in fast. I can’t see a thing! Nothing! When the fog finally moves out, all the deer are gone. For the afternoon hunt I go back to that same spot on the ground and like clockwork here come the doe and some young bucks. I had my gun propped up on a branch and ready. All of a sudden I seen a buck broadside with a big rack and I flung that safety off and squeezed that trigger. I saw the big buck drop! I was shaking once again and ready to scream! I called my husband Billy on my cell phone telling him I just shot Majestic!! He asked if I had seen him go down and I said, “Yes, he dropped and I can see him laying over there.” He told me to go over there while I was

still on the phone with him. When I walked up to him and noticed that it was not Majestic. I almost threw up. I was crying and so upset. Billy, on the other line was freaking out wanting to know what I shot, hoping it wasn’t a young two or three year old buck. Which it wasn’t, it turned out to be a four and a half year old eight pointer that was on our Cull Buck list. So needless to say Billy and the others on our lease were glad I shot a good Cull Buck, but that was my only Buck tag for the year. Like I said, fifty-four more days. I have been waiting for this all year. I hope that old man Majestic is still around to give me one more try. | Lady Hunter Magazine | Sept/Oct 2013| 25

The Hardcore Huntress Point of View The story of how a little girl turned into a Hardcore Huntress By Megan Johnson


ost know me as an accomplished huntress, but few knew how I got there. I could give you the cookie cutter version of who I am, what I do, and what I’ve accomplished…but instead, I’ll give you my story. The story of how a little girl turned into a Hardcore Huntress.

After learning of my not-so-feminine hobby, this question almost immediately follows: “How does a girl like you get into something like this?” They seem to find it hard to believe that a girl could get into hunting on her own free will, without the influence of a man. I usually just smile and say, “I grew up in Alaska.” After an upbringing like that,

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hunting wasn’t exactly an outrageous pursuit. When most little girls were playing with Barbies, I was playing with fly tying material. (Cut the hook off a Pike fly and you have instant entertainment for a kid). I thought salmon-flavored tap water, daily Griz sightings, and 30” Rainbows on the first cast were normal. It took all four of my family members to make the lodge run. Dad as the bush pilot & head guide, mom as the chef, and my sister and I as the maids/waitresses. Although as a teenager I heavily resented having to drop my life and friends and haul off to Alaska every summer (conveniently missing any warm weather season) I secretly loved it. The removal from the clutter and influence of society and being placed in an atmosphere that emphasized what is most important in life – family and the outdoors – molded me into who I am today.

Sure, it eliminated my ability to retain a normal social life and pursue any school-oriented sports, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It’s no wonder most of my classmates couldn’t quite figure me out. I didn’t understand it then, but I do now. I got used to the “Have fun with the penguins this summer” yearbook signings, the strange looks when I came to school in camo, and had no idea what the latest celebrity gossip or current fads were. Quite honestly, I didn’t care. I came back to school

with an entirely different mindset than my peers. I’m sure my apathetic attitude towards what most teens my age cared about seemed strange, maybe even intimidating. It probably didn’t help that about this time I went from awkward teenage girl to suddenly morphing into my mom. I think I would have been easier to stereotype if I was, well, ugly. But by this time I was about 15, and the damage was done. Fitting in to the conventional teenage girl world was quite literally about as impossible as it could get. So I gave up. It was shortly after this realization that I decided to take Hunter’s Ed and get my first rifle. Way cooler than pom poms and a letterman’s jacket, in my opinion. That .270 Ruger became my new pride & joy, and buck fever began to consume my mind. Hunting became my sport. I was always too independent for team sports anyway. I hunted primarily by myself that first season, against my parent’s wishes of course. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. But, I was glad to be doing it by myself. Despite my efforts and a few skipped days of class, the season ended without success. I was one unhappy girl Dec. 2nd, 2002. In the peak of the rut the following year, I finally got my first deer. A decent buck, actually. From then on, I was hooked. For a rookie hunter, there is simply nothing more exciting than tagging your first buck. | Lady Hunter Magazine | Sept/Oct 2013| 27

I went elk hunting for the first time that year as well, and thanks to the North Idaho alders, didn’t even see one until 3 years later. As far as I was concerned, their existence was indefinite. I remember one year hunting in monsoon-like weather (only freezing) with my dad in Avery. I had taken two weeks off work (and college - but he didn’t know that). It was the last day of season, and we hadn’t seen anything but rainy, miserable skies. There was a rock outcropping at the top of a ridge that had been taunting me ever since we got there. Since at this time I really had no idea how to properly locate elk…I was convinced that simply hiking up the nastiest, steepest, brushiest country was my best bet. Actually, I wasn’t too far off on that assumption. After some persuading I convinced my dad to join me. Let’s just say that this hike was 50% 6’ alders and 50% pure rock climbing, straight up. Did I mention it was raining? It was at this moment I thought to myself for the first time…”WHY am I DOING this??” We got to the top of the ridge, sat down on what seemed like the top of the world, and it started to snow. At a time when we should have looked at each other and said “This is terrible!”…we just started laughing. No, we didn’t see any elk that season. Yes, it was 90% miserable hikes. But moments like those make up for all that. According to some I had 6 unsuccessful years, but I could go on for hours listing memories and experiences that I would never trade. Hunting isn’t always about killing. That’s why they call it hunting. You have to genuinely love it to continue doing it here in North Idaho. You have to be ok with going years without even seeing the animal you’re chasing… and putting miles of strenuous hikes, hundreds of dollars, and countless hours in anyway. This is the mark of a true hunter.

Since then I’ve continued to challenge myself each season, and pride myself in hunting almost 100% DIY. There is simply no feeling comparable to when your mental & physical discipline pay off and you are successful in your hunt. It is the ultimate form of adventure.

In February of 2013 Kristi Lynn Hair and I founded Hardcore Huntresses, a company with one sole intention: to get more women into the hunting lifestyle in an encouraging, Christ-like atmosphere. We believe hunting is an escape from the strains society places on women. It encourages us to be self-sufficient, providers, and survivors. Our mission statement summarizes it best: “At a time when dependency is becoming the norm, we are here to promote the opposite. We are here to promote the ideals only hunting can provide…ideals on the verge of extinction. We believe this is something all women, both young and old should experience…and it is our goal to make it happen.” I still reside in North Idaho, and live to hunt its rigorous terrain each year. Hunting is more than a passion. It is a way of life, and allows us to connect with history itself - and it is my sincere desire to share my enthusiasm and resources in a way that will encourage women to take part in this wonderful sport. -Megan Johnson

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The Hardcore Huntress Point Of View.....


f you turn on any hunting show & have no experience with hunting, they make it look so easy... One would think, a hunter gets a kill every time he/she sits. Where is the challenge? That is so far from the truth. I would like to explore this topic with you all, hopefully clarifying why I consider it hunting, not killing. Recently I went to Texas with my partner, Megan Johnson and my husband, Clay Hair. All three of us were filming for Hartcraft Hunting Adventures with Terry Hartcraft. I had just scored a monster sow in Tennessee a few weeks prior. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve also arrowed a monster boar a few years ago. I just KNEW I was going to arrow a piggy in Texas. My expectations were high. I was certain that this would be a successful harvesting trip to Texas.

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hunting, Not Killing By: Kristi Lynn Hair | Lady Hunter Magazine | Sept/Oct 2013| 29

Upon our arrival, it was over 100 degrees and the hunting was extremely hard. We put in many hours in high temps, in a very unwelcoming environment, rattlesnakes & cactuses were in abundance. My partner, Megan Johnson, scored a hog on her 4th hunt. Additionally, my husband harvested 2 hogs on his 3rd hunt. As for me, I sat a total of 5 hunts & everything was perfect. The wind was in our favor, we were hunting over a watering hole and there was food in abundance. The pigs just would not come in. The entire trip I only saw 3 itty bitty baby hogs, definitely not shooters. However, I had a great time and relished in my partners & husbands successful harvests.

pigs come in, the wind would suddenly shift & off went all the piggies... like darts. Pigs have noses unlike any other wild game I’ve ever pursued. I am very big on scent prevention as is why we’ve developed our own scent elimination line (www. When hunting pigs, you have to have the wind in your favor. That is a fact. I’ve successfully harvested pigs in the past, wind direction being the key factor. On the last hunt. Terry & I sat with the wind blowing directly at our faces for over an hour. PERFECTION!!! The feeder went off & in came the piggies. Terry says, “Oh Yeah!” It was still to dark to shoot, so I picked out the hog I was going to take, slightI’m human, I must admit I was slightly bummed ly greyish/black in color. We had about 3 -5 minout that I did not have the opportunity to kill a utes before we had enough light for filming. Then hog. Heck, I wasn’t even afforded the opportunity out of nowhere the wind suddenly shifted directly to get drawn on one. Terry so graciously offered for me to fly back out to Texas to give it a go again. Terry Hartcraft and I sat for 4 hunts, temps over 100 degrees, even using skunk as a cover scent. Yes, we were in a box blind, with temps over 100 & using a skunk cover scent. We were basically in a skunk sauna for HOURS. The things we will put ourselves through to get the opportunity at an animal. We headed out at 4:30 a.m. & didn’t head back in until 10:30 p.m. We hunted HARD. The wind was swirling like crazy. When we did have

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into the area where the pigs where. It was unreal. Unbelievable. Here we had a perfect wind all morning, then when it comes time to get it done. Bam. The wind gusts in the opposite direction. The pigs scattered like darts. They did not come back & once again.... It just wasn’t meant to be. It hit me. I’m here to HUNT. Killing is merely a bonus & should never be expected. This is the part of hunting most non hunters do not understand. We put in many hours, hard work & effort... A successful harvest is never guaranteed. With that being said, I focused on all of the positive experiences gained throughout both trips & I left Texas feeling completely satisfied & joyful for the experience. In summation, I made 2 trips to Texas, hunted a total of 9 hunts and never had ONE opportunity to draw my bow back. I was reminded that it is hunting not killing. If you go in expecting to kill, you sell yourself short of the entire experience. Okay, I didn’t kill, but I had so many other valuable experiences, made memories & enjoyed the comradarie of my friends & family.

ing hole & chasing the new ones coming in off as if protecting their territory. I even saw an Axis deer. I had such an amazing experience & I was reminded... It’s hunting, not killing. Go afield with a positive attitude, not expecting to kill, but just to enjoy being outdoors. Appreciate your right & ability to hunt & relish in the experience. Enjoy being amoungst creatures & observing them in their natural habitat. Focus on what you are gaining from the each hunt, enjoy yourself & when you work hard & do eventually harvest an animal, you’ll be so much more appreciative for it.

I’ve killed over 30 animals with my bow. Yet, as I reflect upon some of my most memorable times hunting. Quite a few of those times are when I did not harvest. Sitting in the blind or deer stand with my sons, husband, friends, a mentor or even mentoring a youth... You form an undeniable bond while becoming one with the woods simply enjoying the stillness & peacefulness of it all. Those times are precious & are forever engraved in my heart. So for those of you who are expecting to kill every time you hunt, you are selling yourself short. Appreciate everything, take it all in, watch the animals behavior in their natural habitat, enjoy the comradarie, be thankful you have the ability & right to hunt. It’s hunting, not killing....... I sat in the blind with Terry Hartcraft, he is much Peace, Love & Venison more experienced than I. I asked him a million Kristi Hair questions and he answered them all with joyful exuberance. I listened, I learned, & I came out a more knowledable hunter. I cherished those moments, learning from someone I truly admire, one of the best, most ethical hunter’s I personally have had the pleasure of hunting with. Terry & I saw does fighting like crazy for dominance, we witnessed fawns frolicking in the water, we watched road runners running back and forth to the water- | Lady Hunter Magazine | Sept/Oct 2013| 31

The Ladies of Traditional Archery By Judy Erwin Branham


obin Hood and his merry men have nothing on the ladies of traditional archery! Donning bows, arrows and quivers these ladies are fun loving and care free on weekends; during the week they are career women, mothers, wives and students. These ladies from diverse backgrounds and all walks of life hold careers that range from Nuclear Plant Operator to Bowyer, and travel from all over the world to share their passion. Some are hunters, while others enjoy the archery competition aspect of the bow alone. True comradery between female groups is sometimes difficult to find, but in the world of traditional archery there seems to be an aura of “I’ve got your back” with hugs, laughter and smiles which draw the ladies in.

enjoyment of shooting archery; 528 people registered to shoot the competitions. Traditional archery is building bridges across financial, educational and age gaps through the love for archery competitions and spending time in the outdoors. More important are the lifelong friendships being built while enjoying this traditional outdoor sport. Young and old are appreciating spending time together in the outdoors while enjoying a friendly competition. Mentoring youth to relish this sport as adults currently do is an important task for today’s technological society.

From Herrin, Illinois 11 year old Molly McHargue competed against the adult female archers withJuly 19th - 21st archers gathered at Cloverdale out a flinch. Lady archers took her under their Indiana’s Conservation Club for the 2013 Inter- wing and were encouraging and supportive of national Bowhunting Organization’s (I.B.O.) Tra- Molly during the shoot, as they were to each othditional World Archery Championship; where 33 er. Fishing and archery are her hobbies along with women and female youth traveled to share their deer hunting with a gun. “I like traditional archery

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because of the people,” she said. Molly placed 2nd in the 2011 World Championship and holds the 1st Place title for 2012 and 2013.

are a great group of people and I love it.” Olivia placed 5th in this year’s I.B.O. World Championship Eagle class. She has won the Montana State Championship two years running.

Encarna Garrido Lazaro from Navarra, Spain

Olivia Potter age 13 (left) and Molly McHargue age 11

Olivia Potter from Missoula, Montana, age 13, competed with Molly and other youth in the Eagle competition. These fine archers both scored 11’s twice during the competition, an 11 is score for the smallest circle area of the target which is usually about 2 inches or less in diameter. She explained, “I am really glad I started competition in archery as it is an excellent family sport. Traditional archers

Olivia Potter age 13 (left) and Molly McHargue age 11

One lady from Navarra, Spain, Encarna Garrido Lazaro holds the 1st Place title for many competitions in the United States, Spain and France. She walked away again this year with a 1st Place in the I.B.O. Female Longbow competition (FLB) giving her five World titles from the United States. She also won $1000 in the 3Rivers Archery Hunter Challenge Shootdown, defeating not only the female competitors, but the male competition also. Another $500 was awarded to Encarna for winning the Bohning 10 Ring Shootout.

Fawn Girard shooting the 3Rivers Hunter Challenge Shootout | Lady Hunter Magazine | Sept/Oct 2013| 33

Fawn Girard competed in the I.B.O. Female Recurve (FREC) competition for a 1st Place win. She is from Martinsville, Ohio and shoots a Recurve bow for hunting and competition. She is a Pre-School Special Education Teacher and has a 3 year old son named Talc. Fawn has won shoots local to her area along with the Triple Crown in 2011, the Traditional Nationals, OSTA State shoots and the World Female Recurve 1st Place this year!

hunt and enjoy being in the woods,” Cindy said. She was 2002 I.B.O. Southern Triple Crown Champion in Female Traditional and holds a 1st place from this year’s I.B.O. National Triple Crown Traditional Teams. Cindy also accomplished 3rd place in this year’s FLB competition at the Cloverdale I.B.O. Traditional World shoot.

Angela Hyman, of North Vernon, Indiana, mother of five and Assistant Manager at a Dollar General store switched six years ago from compound to traditional archery stating, “There was no challenge to it after ten years, so my husband and I switched to traditional archery and love it!” Angela came in second place in the World FLB.

Cindy Baldwin (left) and Encarna Garrido Lazaro (right) front bottom, Julia Norris top left

Linda Graham resides in Mt. Pleasant, North Carolina holding over 50 1st Place scores in State shoots along with two World Championships. She and her husband craft custom bows. Linda was inducted into North Carolina’s Bowhunter Hall of Fame in 2010, and has harvested Elk, Deer, Russian Bore, Bear and Hogs via archery. According to the Fawn Girard left, Angela Hyman in center getting ready for I.B.O. World Traditional Archery Shootdown NCBA website “Linda Graham has led the way and set the stanJulia Norris from Coker, Alabama shoots a long- dard in the field of archery instruction for women bow her husband crafted. She currently crafts ar- archers and bowhunters. She promotes traditional chery accessories such as hats and bow socks. “I archery everywhere she goes, for women, children shoot traditional archery because I love it. More and men.” than a sport, it is a hobby which is an art. My husband and I are retired and we travel archery shoots in the southeast during the summer and then hunt in fall and winter,” she said. Julia is a retired RN and placed 2nd in this year’s I.B.O. World Traditional FLB. She holds ten National titles, two I.B.O. World Championships, State Championships in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Ohio and Mississippi. Cindy Baldwin from Quincy, Indiana has been shooting archery with a longbow for 33 years. “Traditional archery is a very good stress relief for me and is fun. My husband and I usually camp and enjoy the company of the other archers. We also

“After four years of hunting this was my first shot at this young 4 x 5 bull at 22 yards quartering away lung to heart he went 100 yards,” states Linda Graham.

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Linda said, “Traditional archery is very relaxing, fun and I meet really nice people. I shoot longbow and recurve archery.”

Sandy McCain and husband Gary competing against one another in the Bohning 10-Ring Shootout

Sandy McCain from California attended the Cloverdale shoot and according to the I.B.O. “Won the Lancaster Archery Mixed Team Shootdown female winner.” Sandy has won dozens of Championships Linda Graham’s first longbow harvest. from around the United States. She also teaches Debbie Rash of La Grange, California is Operations archery and bowhunting mentoring women, men Manager at a TJ Maxx store. Debbie took a Ram- and youth. Sandy was inducted into the California bula with a longbow during April this year in Liver- Archery Hall of Fame in 1998. She is an accommore California. Her husband Mike and son Bryce plished hunter. started a Bow Company. “I shoot Longbow and Recurve. We hunt Deer, Wild Boar and Ram and enjoy bow hunting as a family sport. It keeps our family united, working together and supporting each other,” she said. Their bow company hosts an annual hunt at Bows and Boars Ranch in California.

Sandy McCain

Debbie Rash took a Rambula with a Longbow April this year in Livermore California

Jessica Taylor from Middletown, Ohio shoots a longbow. “I really love the atmosphere and support from all the competitors. Everyone is friendly and helpful. We all cheer each other on and offer advice. It’s a competition but not abrasive or pushy. I love the friends I have made and hope more women join us shooting in this great sport. It’s really fun for our entire family,” Jessica said. | Lady Hunter Magazine | Sept/Oct 2013| 35

hitting the 3D target was an achievement shooting arrows spined for a 90 pound bow but actually pulling 40 pounds. Towards the last few targets the bow loosened up enough I could touch my cheek to anchor my shot. Although this was challenging I desired to shoot for similar reasons as everyone else; the comradery, enjoying the woods, making new friends and most importantly to mentor my grandchildren. I hope they will one day hang the old bow up and look at it remembering the grit it took for me to accomplish my feat.

Sandy McCain

Additional archers interviewed included: Myrna Jetton a retired Nuclear Plant Operator from Soddy Daisy, Tennessee; Nicole Clouser from Ohio is an Instrument Music Director and Double Bass Player for Cleveland Heights University; Carolyn Bolen from Salisbury, Indiana works as a Certified Pharmacy Technician; and Lisa Gilland is a Mortgage Underwriter from Tupelo, Mississippi. According to President of the I.B.O. Bryan Marcum, â&#x20AC;&#x153;With the traditional side of archery more women compete than on the compound side. The I.B.O. has classes for all ages from cubs to 90 years old. We encourage archery to be a family sport. On the traditional side I see a lot of younger ladies and we love to get them involved in archery and with our National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP). Granted they are using compound bows, but they are more like traditional bows because there is no let-off. It is a constant pull and they are shooting with their fingers and not a release so it is easier to transition them into the traditional side than it is the compound side. A lot of the kids I teach like the recurve because they are not as intimidated by the high tech equipment and they are much lighter in mass weight.â&#x20AC;? Attending the shoot and meeting these awesome ladies has been an honor. Having the opportunity to compete with such an elite group was a once in a lifetime opportunity due to the I.B.O. coming to my home area of Indiana. Over 20 years ago I began building an Osage selfbow. Completing the bow and three arrows Friday morning of the shoot I joined in the competition for the first time. Just

Judy Branham shooting her Osage selfbow she crafted from a tree

Judy Branham with World Champion Dewayne Martin (left) and Chris Randle

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Many archers are hoping the shoot will return to the Cloverdale venue next year. The I.B.O. was pleased with the area and the turnout. The Conservation Club and the I.B.O. have 60 days to make a decision if they are returning to Indiana or going elsewhere. Keep an eye on the I.B.O. website and Facebook pages for future updates. To all of the female archers young to old give this a try as I think you will be challenged and enjoy the experience immensely. Perhaps the smell of a morning campfire or the sounds of wind whispering through forest trees are what draw the crowd to shoot; or the morning sunlight streaming through the tree tops as they walk with fellow archers and create a bond of friendship for life. For some it is just the thought of going back in time when their ancestors hunted traditional archery to survive. Whatever the reason, they come from near and far to experience each other and to share their connection of enjoying the outdoors. I leave you with a quote from Mother Teresa which is appropriate to how traditional archers treat each other; “Joy is very infectious. We will never know just how much good a simple smile can do. Be faithful in little things. Smile at one another. We must live beautifully.”

Judy Branham’s first Deer

Judy Branham shooting 35 Remington Thompson Contender

Judy and Ken Branham Turkey season 2013 | Lady Hunter Magazine | Sept/Oct 2013| 37

Judy Branham with granddaughters and harvested Eastern Wild Turkey

Judy Branham 175 lb 8 pt buck Compound bow

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Girl Guide: My Experience As A Female Guide “There are some things in life that you just have to chalk up as an experience and just keep on trucking.”

By Beka Garris


y 2012 deer season as a guide for an outfitter in Kentucky…that would be one of those things. At the ripe old age of 24 I have literally been all over the United States; hunting, fishing, filming, vacationing, you name it. I have always been the kind of girl to fly by the seat of my pants and live in the moment, especially this past year. Therefore when I was asked to come down to Kentucky

and guide for the 2012 deer season, I (hardcore huntress that I am) of course jumped at the opportunity. My friends asked me, “Aren’t you afraid to be in the woods after dark? Aren’t you afraid of getting lost? Aren’t you afraid of meeting strange people? Aren’t you afraid of being the ONLY girl?” No. Not really. | Lady Hunter Magazine | Sept/Oct 2013| 39

In July I drove to Kentucky to check out the lodge and the general area where I would be staying. The scenery was gorgeous, the deer on trail camera were big, and the lodge was liveable. It seemed pretty cool except for the complete lack of cell service in most areas. Not being completely dependent on my phone decided I would give it a shot.

My first week in Kentucky consisted of cleaning the lodge, learning where the stands were, baiting stands, and checking stands. The outfitter instructed me not to job search yet as he had plenty of work for me to do and would pay me. Sounded good to me. Opening day of Kentucky bow season dawned unseasonably warm and rainy. I was a little nervous as I wasn’t sure if the hunters would take a 23 year old girl from NJ seriously.

The last week of August I packed up the basic necessities into my truck, bid my family farewell and once again left New Jersey behind.

Well, being taken seriously didn’t turn out to be the problem, not seeing deer was the problem. As weeks went by and more and more hunters trickled in and out of camp, things continued to take on a pattern.

Now, here is how deer season was intended to pan out according to the outfitter: Since he lived out of state and only came up on weekends, he would tell me what needed to be done each week. I would guide on weekends when we had hunters. I would stay at the main lodge and was allowed to hunt when no one else was there. I would look for a job so I could make some extra cash during the week when I wasn’t guiding. Did I get talked down to because I was a girl? No. Was anyone inappropriate? No. Tips were generous, hunters were friendly and polite, and I enjoyed guiding and making new friends. I had the opportunity to guide several women and children and witness the happy occasion of them killing their first deer. That is something that is hard to beat.

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I got to hunt every week. A die hard bow hunter I was out there every day that was possible. But...I wasn’t getting paid as promised. The outfitter started disappearing for long periods of time, leaving me to take care of the lodge, the hunters, and guiding. A very small number of deer were taken, and the few that were taken certainly didn’t meet the expectations that the hunters had. When I hunted I saw very few deer, and none of them very big. Worst of all, many hunters left angry, disappointed, and discouraged. Money was tight, I was living off of poptarts and coffee, plus dealing with the increasingly short tempered outfitter. Looking back, the whole situation was humorous Not being one to give up, I made the decision to stay and guide through the season. It was a challenge, not the end of the world. I certainly didn’t want to waste the $200 spent on my license and buck tag. And quite simply, I was enjoying meeting the hunters and spending time with them. By November I was pretty fed up with the whole ordeal. The outfit wasn’t being run as it should, and it became increasingly obvious that the owner was more concerned about managing his own personal property than the property that he leased for his outfitting business. Stands were over hunted, under baited, and in order to take care of the properties correctly there needed to be more than just one person working there all week.

One evening I was instructed to take several hunters out to their stands. As I didn’t agree with the stand choices, I voiced my opinion but was told to stick to the plan. I have never been one to do what I am told…and that evening I was particularly annoyed that no matter how I tried to help, my input wasn’t even considered. Call it spite if you want to…but that night I placed one of the hunters in a stand of my choice. Much to my elation, he shot an 8 point buck that night… the outfitter wasn’t overjoyed about my decision to go against his wishes, but he couldn’t exactly be angry with me. | Lady Hunter Magazine | Sept/Oct 2013| 41

I would be lying if I said I never did that again., Now, in September I had found a lab mix puppy abandoned and starving, and had taken him in and given him a home. It was nice to have company during the week when I was alone, and he was a good watch dog. Though the outfitter permitted me to keep the puppy, I know he wasn’t exactly fond of him.

As it started to get dark and he still hadn’t appeared, I knew something had happened to him. I contacted the outfitter hoping to get some answers, but no such luck. My truck was packed the next morning. I left the lodge and didn’t look back. Would I say that I had a bad experience? No... it was something I will never forget, the good or the bad. If given the opportunity I would do it all over again.

Right before thanksgiving I took a few days to go hunt Indiana, and left my puppy at the lodge with plenty of food and water. I had left him alone before to hunt Ohio for 3 days, and he was always sitting on the porch waiting for me when I got back. To say he was attached to me was an understatement. He had found a good home and he knew it. The weekend passed and I returned to Kentucky, only to find my puppy missing. He hadn’t been left alone long, as the outfitter had been there all weekend with hunters. Figuring my puppy had wandered up to the pond as he was prone to do, I called his name and hit the alarm on my truck a few times, expecting him to come running to meet me as he always did. No such luck. I called and called. I searched for him, walking all of the properties that he could possibly be on.

Beka Garris Facebook “Beka Garris WildernessBabe” Official Miss NJ Huntress USA 2011 Hardcore Huntress Top Shot 2013

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After 3 trips in 3 years, Joella finally gets her moose in the last hour of the last day of the hunt in a rather unconventional way – from a treestand overlooking a rutting pit after his cow enters the meadow, he follows her and answers Dennis’ cow in heat calls.

“Bwuuuahhh bwuuahhh bwuuuuaaahhhhhhhhh,” I heard coming from the thick bush on the remote island on Hives Lake near Atikokan, Ontario. Tamaracks, balsa, blue spruce, and black spruce were mixed among the aspen, alders, and willows on the ridge tops and valleys. The cracking of tree limbs under the bull’s heavy hooves slammed me to reality. He was headed my way. My pulse quickened in anticipation of his arrival. Albert cupped the end as he dipped the birch bark megaphone-shaped moose call in the shallows of the lake, filling it with water. Albert raised the call above his head then poured the water back into the lake. The splashing water imitated a cow moose urinating in the shallow water along the lake’s edge. Add a cow call and it was a combination the bull could not resist. The possibility of sneaking in to court the hot cow overwhelmed his senses as he sped toward the hot cow imitation.

in the 67-pound Mathews Black Max, I hooked the Scott Little Bitty Goose to the string loop. With the low amount of let-off, I had to time my draw, so I would be strong when the bull entered the shooting lane.

My guide Albert Clement reviews footage while sitting at our island camp. The orange tarp is our tent serving as kitchen and sleeping quarters.

I hid behind a black spruce and waited. The crunch- In 1999, I had hunted whitetails for over 31 years. ing and cracking got closer. With an arrow nocked Still thinking like a whitetail hunter, I believed it | Lady Hunter Magazine | Sept/Oct 2013| 43

necessary to hide my draw behind the tree. I anticipated the bull walking down the trail just feet from the tree that I was hiding behind. That’s what a whitetail would do, but I wasn’t hunting whitetail. Prior to this trip, I had no previous experience with moose. I had seen my first live moose just five days ago.

The moss is about a foot deep making a great mattress to sleep on.

Throughout the restless night, the beavers slapped their tails protesting my snoring and our presence in their territory. A pair of otters courted in the still-water lake formed in the interior of the larger island. Their twisting, turning, and soft communication revealed their deepest desires. The whistling loons and hooting barred owls and great horned owls echoed calls throughout the night. These distractions and my excitement, made sleeping difficult, but finally, I dozed off. Albert woke me. “Hey kid, it is time to get up,” he proclaimed. It was dayAlbert paddles from the back of the canoe as we travel across 3 light. “Had I failed to set the alarm or had I bumped different lakes to get to the area where we hunt moose. My bow is in the cream colored case laying in the canoe. it during the night pushing in the button or was it that I had slept through the alarm?” I questioned. Earlier in my hunt, Albert Clement, my guide, and What mattered now was the thick fog would cover I had boated across Marmian Lake, known by lo- us as we canoed to the opposite shore. cals as the Flood Waters, to a large remote island then canoed supplies to the tiny island base camp located on Bog Lake. After erecting a tent, we secured the hunting supplies, sleeping bags, clothes, and food inside camp; I stretched out my sleeping bag over the 10 inch deep moss forming a perfect mattress making for comfortable sleeping conditions. With near freezing temperatures, I was grateful for my Raven Wear clothing. Because we were camping in an area seldom if ever inhabited by man, we avoided building a fire. Over the next seven days, I grew accustomed to canned herring, sardines, pork-and-beans, cheese, apples, granola bars, crackers, homemade cookies and brown- Albert steadies the canoe that I am about to step into when we hear cracking of limbs in the woods just to our left. ies. Not considered gourmet by any means, but perfect for the occasion. My hunger was satisfied and my energy level was high. Actually, the food We loaded the canoe quickly and quietly. Albert brought back fond memories of fishing trips with paddled. He stopped occasionally to call and lismy daddy. I was willing to make most any sacrifice ten. We heard a moose walking in the water. Still necessary to enhance my chance at a bull moose. socked in by fog, we floated closer to the shore

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and the wading moose. Eventually, the fog lifted revealing a cow and calf moose. With this being early in my hunt, I chose not to shoot. When they moved ashore, we paddled around the bend, dragged the canoe onto the bank, and stalked in their direction. We concealed our movement in the shadow of the willows, slowly maneuvering through the shallow water and thick vegetation working our way to a trail that connected the two lakes. Prior to my arrival, Albert had spent three weeks clearing trails and hiding canoes near portages to inland lakes, so we could hunt in very remote areas. Quickly, his hard work paid off. At the next landing, Albert waded into the second lake, pushed the canoe into the lake, and held it for me to climb aboard. A bull grunted in the bush up the ridge and just around the bend. I sat in the canoe and readied my bow. Albert doused mare urine in the trail, snapped limbs, cow called, and hid in the bush to my right. Limbs cracked and rocks rolled down the ridge as the bull rushed toward the call. Fear overwhelmed me. Not fear that I couldn’t make the shot, but fear that the bull would erupt from the ridge straight into the water where I sat in the canoe. Fortunately, the bull stayed on land as he circled the shore and hit the urine stream. He stopped momentarily and sniffed the mare urine, probably catching wind of our human scent on the leaves along the trail. Sitting twisted at full draw, I waited for his appearance. As he whirled to escape danger, I got a broadside opportunity, but pass when I saw his spike antlers. Twice in 45 minutes, I had experienced heart stopping action. I had not come to Ontario to settle for just any moose; I wanted a good bull. With ten days to hunt, I was certain a chance at a rutting bull would occur.

worth two in the bush. I even considered shooting the small bull if he made a second appearance after being chastised by people I had talked hunting with.

Albert cow calls to get a bull moose’s attention from the ridge overlooking a pristine meadow.

With time running out, we decided to return to the rutting pit hoping to find the bull. After spending three hours calling, Albert got an answer.

In the distance, I heard the bull. “Bwuuuahhh bwuuahhh bwuuuuaaahhhhhhhhh,” He continued my direction, but instead of coming down the trail, he made his own. The 46-inch bull pushed his way through the alder thicket breaking any tree or bush that impeded his progress. I drew the bow when I the bull approached twenty yards, but he wasn’t on my trail. I was facing the wrong direction. I backed up while still at full-draw and turned my bow and body in his direction. The bull stopped a mere 14 yards from me just yards from the downwind position, but the alders were so thick that I could only see his face, Bullwinkle-nose, and gigantic antlers. He was so close that I could see the snot and brownish-black hairs on his nose. His We spent the three days on the island, but no bull. gigantic brown eyes rolled back in their sockets We had spent many hours paddling, calling, and exposing the red blood vessels engorged from his sitting near a rutting pit. With so much territory passion. I felt a gentle breeze ruffle the loose hairs to cover, the moose could be even deeper in this on the back of my neck and in an instant, the huge wilderness. One thing we knew for sure was that moose swapped ends. As quickly as he had come a bull had been there. With darkening skies and in, he was gone. increasing winds, we returned to Albert’s home to hunt local areas. The harsh weather arrived with “How could you not have a shot with an animal freezing rain and snow, but cleared off after two as large as a moose standing 14 yards away? I days. Despite having covered many miles, we had thought. not attracted a bull. I agreed to go back to the remote islands believing that a bird in the hand is Albert burped like a bull hoping to instigate a con- | Lady Hunter Magazine | Sept/Oct 2013| 45

frontation, but it didn’t work. The bull continued turned to my right and stopped behind the tree. to break limbs as he got the heck out of there. Had I been shooting anything but a bow, I could have downed him there, but his vitals were again I was so exhausted that it took little time for me to covered. He burped again. When the cow didn’t drift into a deep sleep. After a short night, we re- appear or return his vocal affection, he turned turned to the area. Albert had a plan. This time, he around and swam back across the lake. hoped to entice the bull across the lake to another interior island. Albert believed that the bull would “Unbelievable, totally, unbelievable,” I thought. swim the lake if a hot cow resided on this island. Again, I was close, but not bow close. UnfortuWe were 150 yards across an embayment from the nately, I had to return to Tennessee --- moose less. spot where our bull had approached the previous SECOND TIME’S A CHARM ---- ALMOST day. Hiding among the short alders, I waited with my arrow nocked again anticipating a response. Having experienced four close encounters, I “Bwuuuahhh bwuuahhh bwuuuuaaahhhhhhh- longed to return to Canada for another moose hh,” Albert called then repeated. “Bwuuuahhh hunt, so when my best friend, Susan Hindbo, ofbwuuahhh bwuuuuaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh,” Al- fered me a moose hunt with her husband, Dennis bert repeated again. In the far distance we heard Hindbo – owner of Tamarack Outfitters in Caroa response. Bwah, bwwah, we heard again, this line, Alberta, I anxiously accepted the offer to hunt time obviously closer. With every breath, the bull during October 2001. repeated, “Bwah, bwwah,” as he closed the distance. Within minutes, we saw a huge 60 inch bull standing on top of the cliff where he momentarily stopped and thrashed the alders to shreds before running down the near- vertical cliff. When he reached the bottom, he continued running into the water ---- never missing a step. As the water deepened, the bull swam gurgling and burping as his nose submerged then busted through the water’s surface. I ranged the far shore at 110 yards. The bull swam in a straight line across the lake, headed directly toward me. With only one large tree between me and the bull, I confidently waited for him to stand and stop. At the last minute, he Snow and single digit temperatures make for easy spotting and hearing in the Alberta wilderness.

Accompanied by television host, Bob Coker, I began my second moose hunt. Dennis walked us to a tree where he had erected two portable treestands. Bob and I passed the morning perched 25 feet above the marshy meadow vista facing the distant Canadian Rockies. No moose. That afternoon, we walked at least four miles on an old logging trail paralleling a lush valley overlooking a small creek. No moose. We finished the afternoon exploring another wooded area. The howling pack of wolves explained the lack of fresh moose sign. With darkness setting in, I was ready to get out of there. A fresh moose track gets the hunters excited

46 | Sept/Oct 2013 Lady Hunter Magazine |

We spent the morning of day two overlooking a He fled into the bush. Having drawn a bull inside meadow that stretched for miles. Around 9:00 AM, bow range, Dennis and I were optimistic about my a bull appeared on a cut-line on the opposite edge chances. of the meadow. We moved along the field edge shadowed by willows and alders until we reached a small wood lot. I hid among the pines with my arrow nocked on the 85 pound Mathews Ultra Max. Bob prepared to film over my right shoulder. After an hour, we moved closer. This time, the young bull loudly snorted after running head on into our scent trail. It was over for the morning. We picnicked then napped in the shade under the pines and Dennis searched for moose sign. Later, we would hunt the cut-line near the log yard where Dennis had seen a bull, but not until closer to dark. I woke hearing a noise from a truck pulling behind our vehicle. It was Canadian Wildlife Officers. They checked my license then went on their way. That was the most excitement we experienced that afternoon. Bob decided that he had a commitment back in Alabama demanding his return, so Dennis and I would hunt alone.

The day turned from blistery to a total blizzard, but Joella stayed in the woods all day in hopes that her moose would come strolling by.

With all the gear necessary to stay the day, Joella and Dennis watch the valley and listen for rutting moose.

Early the next morning, Susan took Bob to the airport in Calgary while Dennis and I went back to the creek where we had spent the first afternoon. Dennis cow called several times before a 36 inch bull came crashing from the alders across the stream from us. I thought to myself, â&#x20AC;&#x153;You are one day too late to be a movie star.â&#x20AC;? The bull paused at 80 yards before crossing the stream, entering the alders in front of me. He kept coming, but his vitals remained hidden below the tops of the alders. The bull crossed the ridge tip continuing on the side-hill headed in the direction of the calling cow. A shifting breeze blew my scent into the crosswind and toward the young bull creating alarm.

The foul weather persisted, interfering with our travel, but it didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hamper my excitement. Since we seldom get much snow in Tennessee, I enjoyed hunting in it. On day eight, a real blizzard hit. Dennis and I went to the overlook at the big meadow, but no moose. We traveled several miles to another overlook area where we drank coffee, ate muffins, and watched the snowy meadow. Refreshed, we traveled nearly a mile before I spotted a moose traveling in the meadow. Dennis backed up and let me out. I ran, as best I could, across the kneedeep snow. I hoped to intercept the bull, but his long legs allowed him to travel faster than I could. I returned to the truck, totally winded. We rushed back toward the pull-off where we had done coffee just in time to see the bull cross our tracks. Just down the road, again we found moose tracks crossing the freshly fallen snow, but after following the tracks for nearly two hours, we decided to | Lady Hunter Magazine | Sept/Oct 2013| 47

go back to our creek overlook. We hoped that with the blizzard, moose would continue to be active and pass by me. The previous two days, I had seen a bull within a mile of the creek. Two days ago, Dennis and I had chosen an ambush site on the east bank overlooking the dammed stream. Dennis cow called. Immediately, a bull answered. Shortly, a spike bull came from the spruce thicket making a bee-line in our direction. As he stood inspecting the ice upstream of the beaver dam, a deep grunt echoed from the same thicket. The spike bull carefully tested the frozen creek, tamping the ice with his hoof. After a second deep grunt, the spike decided it was safer to step onto the ice than to stay there, but he crashed as he skated across the frozen creek. I guessed his previous encounters with the deep-throated grunting bull frightened him from approaching the cow. After regaining his footing, he rapidly turned north and disappeared into an alder and spruce thicket. The next day, a grunting bull sporting a two-foot bell crossed the stream headed southeast. The rapidity of his travel indicated his obvious mission. With so much previous excitement, I just knew the creek overlook should be hot --- hot enough to possess me to choose to sit through a raging blizzard. Dennis took me to the creek overlook. He cut my plastic Pepsi bottle making two plastic cups, so we could share the remaining coffee. Dennis reluctantly left me hidden securely protected by the spruce. Dennis and his wife, Susan, are the owners of Raven Wear of Canada – the makers of the best made-to-order cool and cold weather fleece clothing on the market. This blizzard would obviously put my clothing to the test. With the severe storm approaching, Dennis returned home to feed his cattle. Afterwards, he prepared us sandwiches and other food to restore our energy level. At times, the blizzard created a white-out, blurring out my view of the whole valley. Dennis returned four hours later. My clothing had kept out the chilling wind and subzero temperatures, but the nourishing food and warming hot coffee, returned me to a cozy comfortable physical and mental state despite the brutal conditions. Having experienced so much excitement earlier in the day, I patiently waited three more hours before the action started. Dennis had randomly cow called hoping to capture a roaming bull’s attention, but the gusting winds and blizzard muffled the sound. With lit-

tle daylight remaining, a bull appeared 400 yards south of me. Adrenaline filled my body, creating an encouraging warming sensation as the bull came closer. The bull kept coming, but spooked when he started down the creek-bed bank. I ranged him at 110 yards, but even Dennis’ desperate cow calls failed to entice him one step closer. Obviously, a big bull dominated this territory and kept all lesser bulls sufficiently intimidated that they feared approaching even a begging cow. Since I had stayed on stand, I had to know that I could have drawn the 85-pound bow, if the bull had gotten close enough. I tried and I succeeded. My Raven Wear clothing had kept me very comfortable and my muscles very pliable. Despite several close encounters during these ten days, I again returned to Tennessee without a moose.

Joella blends in well with the Alberta snow in her Raven Wear Custom Camo clothes, but better yet, she is cozy and warm despite the single digit temps.

NEVER EVER GIVE UP! Many people would have considered 20 days sufficient time to take a moose or give up on it. But I am not most people and the previous experiences while hunting moose had just made me more determined to try until I succeeded. I returned to Alberta for an additional 10 day moose hunt with Tamarack Outfitters in October 2004. From day one, the encounters with moose were numerous, but we could not get a moose close for a bow shot. Hunting is not allowed on Sundays, so Dennis and I went for a drive in the country armed only with a video camera. I captured some incredible video. It had finally turned cool overnight. I taped a cow and calf in an alfalfa

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field. The moose were immersed in a cloud with each breath. Less than a mile down the road, we observed a young bull roaming a meadow in desperate search for a hot cow. He had his nose stuck to her scent trail. With each step, the bull burped. He stopped at the road’s edge, looked both directions, continued across the road, passed into the willows and then into the field previously occupied by the cow and calf.

both sides of the trail. I ranged him at 110 yards, but he began circling through the willows going farther away. Dennis cow called again. This time the bull responded. He stopped and thrashed a bunch of alders before burping hoarsely. When he raised his head, he saw the cow. She was walking away headed north up the meadow 40 yards from my stand. She got the bull’s attention. He started swiftly walking toward me on a trail that would pass 30 yards from me. If I was lucky, the bull On Monday, the weather turned warmer and we would walk in the open down the old field road didn’t see a moose that day. We saw both cows passing by the rutting pit. This trail was well within and bulls during each of the next three days, but my bow range. The bull was rapidly approaching, no response. On day seven, Dennis and I heard the but veering into a trail headed into the thicker part insanely desperate calls of a cow moose obvious- of the meadow. ly receptive to the companionship of a bull. We spent that afternoon and the following day trying to come between her and an interested bull, but neither calls of another cow nor threats from an aggressive bull were enough to do the trick. The weather got increasingly colder with rain, heavy winds, and the chance of snow. We awoke on Friday morning, the last day of the hunt, to below freezing temperatures. I had to be at the airport before noon. I could hunt until 9:00 AM and still make it to the airport. The ground was frozen solid without even a hint of wind. Dennis and I returned to the treestands overlooking a rutting pit located within two miles of their home. We climbed to the treestands for the brief morning hunt. Dennis cow called before I got settled. As I attached my Hunter’s Safety System harness to my tree, I heard crashing in the woods across the meadow. I hurriedly buckled my release aid on my right wrist. I removed an arrow from my quiver then sharpened the 175 grain First Cut broadhead. Before I returned the Redi-Edge sharpener to my pocket, I heard a moose crunching the icy grass with each step as it crossed the meadow. Frozen branches snapped, as the moose ran toward me on a trail 140 yards directly in front of me. “Turn on the camera,” I told Dennis. “I see a bull,” I said before realizing that it was a cow. No sooner had I gotten the words out of my mouth that I spotted the bull approaching from another trail 30 yards to the southeast. The bull’s antlers filled the trail smacking willows, cattails, and tall grasses on

With time running out, Joella uses a spotting scope to view the meadow, so she and Dennis can make a plan of attack.

I drew my Mathews Outback and aimed. I held my 30 yard fiber-optic pin aimed toward the trail where I anticipated the bull would cross. Dennis called and the bull stopped. He was at 27 yards, but his vitals were blocked by the brush for what appeared to be an eternity. Focused on the pin in the trail, I waited for the bull to make just two more steps. With focused energy, I remained at full draw. The bull stepped into the opening totally exposing his lungs for a mere second, but that was long enough for my arrow to be subconsciously released traveling directly to a tiny spot just above his heart. The arrow disappeared into the moose. A scream of elation escaped even before the bull responded to the hit. The bull crashed through alders and willows traveling just 45 yards before bouncing off a dead tree. He struggled briefly then crumbled into the frosty grass and icy alders. At 8:10 AM, my arrow struck home. The Carbon Ex- | Lady Hunter Magazine | Sept/Oct 2013| 49

press Terminator tipped with a heavy cut-on-contact two-blade broadhead had completely passed through both lungs via my 62 pound compound bow. Dennis ran to the truck, returned to the house, and brought Susan back, so she could share in our celebration. Following photos, Susan and I left Dennis and their son, Greg, to care for and process my bull. After I took a quick shower, Susan and I loaded her van and raced to the airport. Persistence had paid off. After 30 days of intense bowhunting for moose spanning over six years, I had finally scored on a 40 7/8 inch bull moose. I experienced moose elation at last. I GOT MOOSE!!!

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Lady hunter sept oct final 9 12 13  

Lady Hunter Magazine features some of the most fascinating women in the outdoor world. Follow their extraordinary accounting of their experi...