Last year, I was quite the nervous wreck about SHOT, as I had never experienced it and had frankly no idea what I was going to do while there. Luckily, I survived the experience with a hefty appreciation for good footwear, amazing friends and the power of social media for putting me in the crosshairs for opportunities with some of the greatest outdoor companies out there. This SHOT, I’m looking forward to co-chairing the third-annual Women's Outdoor and Shooting Industry Dinner along with a few great ladies, namely miss Britney Starr, Julie Golob, Whitney Bodenheimer and Carrie Zylka. I'll also be fortunate enough to be helping out at the Prois Field Hunting and Apparel booth.
Of course, as fate would have it, I shot my first ever turkey after 6 seasons of fruitless gobbler chasing 15 minutes into North Dakota’s opening day. He had one foot and was aptly named PegLeg Pete, after the nub he so lovingly perched upon. It became extremely apparent why he wasn't so eager to run away from my awaiting barrel. That round of tagless soup came full-circle on Thanksgiving when I was finally able to eat my first wild turkey along with masses of homemade stuffing, mashed potatoes and homemade apple pie.
While we had a lot of fun out there in the arctic north, watching the northern lights shimmy their way across the sky with the ferocity of migrating waterfowl, opportunity lay elsewhere, namely far away in the desert.
Our third cross-country trip in four years brought me to tears, while as happy as I was to escape the -60 degree temperatures; I was extremely unprepared to be forced to live next to actual people in an actual neighborhood. As we fell out of the vehicles we had lived in for the trip, tears dripped from my disbelieving eyes; People, I thought, People everywhere. We lasted exactly 5 months in the rental house in the city that drove my husband’s allergies to the brink; he claimed it on mold, I on civilization. We bought a little lot in the outlaying county where tumbleweeds outnumber cars and internet isn’t available at all. Sure, the coyotes come a little close for comfort in their unending scavenging but they’re far preferable neighbors to humans in the city who balk at a deer being skinned on one’s front yard.
We were able to explore this new landscape with a short dove hunt that produced, besides the delicious meat and lasting memories, a ghost from the past, a friend who I had missed deeply since his passing into the happy hunting grounds.
Come to think of it, I’ve never documented those beautiful days of hunting, darnit lack of internet and adult responsibilities, so besides sharing this picture, I’ll keep the story to myself for a few days at least. Just to whet your appetite dear reader, I had the best hunting experience of my life with an absolutely amazing group of ladies. We laughed hard, hunted harder and made lasting friendships. One of my fellow huntress and soul sister Katherine Grand and I even got the opportunity to take a semi-mature jackalope during the trip, a tale that will be told as soon as soon as Grand, who ended up losing half of one leg during the hunt, resurfaces from her commune hideout in Joshua Tree, Arizona where she fled the bloodthirsty horned bunnies.
Many thanks to all for continuing to check in, as my internet situation has made it increasingly difficult to post anything at all, especially these rambling missives of the life of the Writing Huntress. Do keep an eye out in the coming days for the story of my three-deer weekend and the jackalope massacre that ensued, as well as my #RoadtoSHOTSHow adventure!