The Versatile Blogger Award

versatile-blogger-award

A few months ago, Her Arrow Points North nominated me for The Versatile Blogger Award which I am so grateful for!  Go check out her blog, it’s full of good posts and pictures!

It’s great knowing people out there not only read my blog, but enjoy reading it and look forward to my posts.  So thank you so much for nominating me!  Sorry it’s taken me so long to get around to making this post, my life seems to be running at two speeds lately, busy and busier!

The Versatile Blogger Award is to celebrate bloggers who bring something special to your life.  The blogs that I’ve nominated below are ones that I always get excited when I see they have a new post.  They share great hunting stories, amazing pictures, delicious wild game recipes, and make it an enjoyable read from start to finish.

Here are the rules:

– Thank the person that has nominated you
– Include a link to their blog
– Nominate at least 5 blogs of your choice
– Link your nominees and let them know of your nomination
– Share seven different facts about yourself

Here are some random facts about me.  This blog is very hunting focused so I chose things that have nothing to do with the outdoors.

01.  I hosted a classic rock radio show in college that won Best Rock Show, if the radio industry wasn’t dying I would’ve loved to go into radio!
02.  My music taste spans most genres, I’m the person that can sing along to any song on the radio and you want me on your trivia team when it comes to music questions
03.  I love to dance but can’t follow steps to save my life, I can only do my own thing to the beat
04.  I’ve only ever traveled to states along a coastline, my next trip to Texas continues this trend
05.  My top three concerts so far are:  Foo Fighters, Elton John, Luke Bryan (see, I love a lot of different music!)
06.  I love to write — like physically write on a piece of paper, my mind and creativity works better pen to paper than keyboard to computer screen
07.  I’m a tea drinker and hate the taste of coffee, even though I’ve been a barista twice

Here are my nominations!

04. From Field To Plate
05. Harvesting Nature

 

 

From Vegetarian To Hunter

You read that right—I used to be a vegetarian  long before I became a hunter.

It’s why when my dad tells people I shot a deer, he follows it up with, “she’s the LAST person I ever would’ve thought would shoot a deer.”

So how did I end up here?  Now butchering my own meat.

country huntress butchering deer

When I was around 16 years old, my best friend and I decided we’d become vegetarians.  There wasn’t much to it.  We likely watched some ridiculous video or read an article and decided it was a good idea.  To be honest, I think it had more to do with being an angsty teenager making things difficult for my parents by refusing to eat meat.  Sorry guys!  I’m sure karma will come back my way when I have my own children!

Here’s the thing, I still loved meat.  Not a day went by that I didn’t want to eat a piece of bacon or a steak.   It hurt to see someone ruin a perfectly good steak by ordering it well-done instead of medium-rare.  Obviously I wasn’t the greatest vegetarian.

So after a year, being a vegetarian became a thing of the past.  Fast forward more than a decade and now I’m a proud hunter.

country huntress deer hunting

How did the pendulum swing so far?

When I started learning more about hunting, one of the things to spark my interest was being able to provide organic meat for my family.  Knowing exactly where your meat is coming from really intrigued me.  It’s why when I shot a deer, I wanted to watch and learn all I could about skinning and gutting a deer.

Later, when my brother showed me how to butcher the meat, I was still intrigued to keep learning.  It was fascinating seeing how all the cuts are connected.  You don’t really realize how it’s all put together when you only buy packaged meat from a store.

Learning how to process a deer myself really gave a new appreciation for meat and where it comes from.  And now I’m able to cook delicious meals with venison and I have no questions about the quality of the meat.  I know because I was involved in the processing of the deer from step one.

One delicious venison meatloaf dinner!

One delicious venison meatloaf dinner!

So it’s a little funny when people who don’t agree with hunting tell me I should be a vegetarian.  Been there, done that—it’s not for me.  Just like hunting might not be for them.

I’m going to keep eating meat whether I hunt or not.  I’d just much rather the meat come from the field than a store!

So, what about you guys?  Anyone else make the same change from vegetarian to hunter?  Share below!

Hey Texas Huntresses!

 
I’ll be heading your way next month for my first ever Texas trip!

I know a few of you that I follow are from the Lone Star State and I can use your help! I want to maximize my time there to see and experience everything I can. 

I’ll be in the Houston area, so where should I go and what should I see to have the best Texas experience? I know the state is enormous so you might not be near Houston, but I’m looking for any restaurants or stores unique to Texas that I’d never find up here in Washington!

There won’t be any time for hunting unfortunately, but I’d love to check out popular hunting areas to see how much they differ from what I’m used to. 

My family has some Texas roots, so I can’t wait to see the state! And discover how good Texas barbecue really is!

Share your suggestions below and I’ll check them out! I can’t wait to plan this trip!

Country Huntress Turns One!

Today this little blog turns one year old!

I wasn’t sure what would happen when I started this, but I’ve loved the journey so far.  I’ve met some great people and pushed myself out of my comfort zone to learn more when it comes to hunting.  Without this blog, I probably wouldn’t have done all the things I made happen in the past year!

A big thank you to all of you who read this blog!  I wouldn’t be here without you!  I appreciate every follow, comment, and like you leave on my posts.  It’s been great learning more from all of you as well!

Country Huntress Social Media

So, with one year under my belt, I’ve decided to finally branch Country Huntress out to other social media platforms.  Feel free to follow me on any of them!

Instagram: HuntressJen
Facebook: Country Huntress
Twitter: @HuntressJen

Lets see what can happen in the next year!

Getting Into Hunting

country huntress

So, you want to learn to hunt and don’t know where to start?  That was me a couple of years ago.  It can be hard as a female to break into the men’s world of hunting if you don’t have a man helping you along.

I started my hunting journey with a boyfriend, but when that ended, I decided to continue to learn more on my own.  It meant a lot to me to be able to do it on my own, so I found myself seeking other women to learn from.  Read below for my tips to meet other female hunters and get more involved with hunting!

I’ve tried to meet as many women as possible to help me, but I’ve also gotten help from men along the way too.  Through researching and pushing myself out of my comfort zone, I’ve learned a lot and met some really great people in the process!

First things first, take a hunter education course if you haven’t already.  You can’t start hunting without getting your hunting license.  The class is easy and incredibly informative.  At the end you should know if hunting is really something you want to learn more about or if it’s not really for you.

There will also likely be other women in the class you can meet.  Just be sure to look into classes early!  I was on a waiting list to get into mine.

If you know you like hunting and want to learn how to get more involved, click below to read my 5 ways to connect with other women to learn more about hunting.

Continue reading

Waterfowling Workshop!

After constantly checking their website to see when this would happen, registration finally opened for the Washington Outdoor Women’s Introduction to Waterfowling workshop!

I’m so excited! I’m planning to attend with a girl I met at the last retreat. I’m looking forward to meeting more women that love hunting too. Hopefully enough women sign up! They had to cancel last year’s event because not enough women signed up. 

I’ll be knocking out two goals in one weekend, this workshop and my 5k the next day. This year’s off to a busy start but it’s doing things I enjoy!

Can’t wait!

2016 Hunting and Fishing Goals

Country Huntress Goals

Another year means another set of goals!  It’s a little late, but here are my  hunting and fishing goals for 2016.

01. Get in shape
Like last year, this is my main goal.  I’m already off to a good start!  I signed up for a 5k in March that has kept me training consistently.  I also plan to get into weight lifting to help me build arm strength for bow hunting.

02.  Buy a bow and practice weekly
I’m hoping to be able to buy my first bow in the next month!  I have a friend who is willing to join the same shooting range with me so we can go practice together.

03.  Shoot my first buck
Last year, I shot my first deer which was a doe.  This year, I hope to shoot my first buck!

04.  Hike and scout more
Living in a new area, I have a lot to do to learn the land around me.  I plan on looking into public land around here to then go out and hike/scout.  Hopefully I can find some decent public land spots around me.

05.  Learn how to use my elk call and get out for elk season
One of my presents for Christmas was an elk call which I’m so excited about!  Now I need to learn how to use it because I’m sure the sound I’m making is NOT right.  I hope I can get out for an elk hunt too!

06.  Cook more wild game recipes
I’m going to steal from the Deerslayer’s Wife here and add that I want to be more adventurous in my cooking!  I’ve got a good chunk of deer meat left that I need to think of great recipes to cook it with, I’m excited!

07.  Find a good, local spot to fish
I really want to get out fishing more this year.  My goal is to find a spot near me that’s good for fishing that I can go to often.

08.  Go duck hunting and get my first duck
I’m hoping to attend a Waterfowl class this year, put together by Washington Outdoor’s Women.  Since the timing never worked out last year, my brother has promised to get me out a couple times this year.

09. Go upland bird hunting
This may require me to head back toward the area I used to live, but I’d love to get out for grouse or pheasant hunting this year.

10.  Get involved and volunteer with a conservation group
I’m really hoping to get more involved with conservation groups this year.  I’m attending some events, but I’d love to be able to volunteer and help out with their conservation efforts.

Hopefully I’ll be able to mark the majority of these off at the end of the year!  My main goals are to get into bow hunting, go elk hunting, and volunteer with a conservation group.

Most importantly, I just want to enjoy the year and get out to enjoy the outdoors more.  I can’t wait for it to be spring so I can get back outside!  I miss the sunshine!

Do you have any big goals you’re hoping to achieve?  Share them below!

Easy Venison Chili Recipe

Country Huntress Venison Chili

This past weekend, I cooked up a batch of delicious and easy venison chili!  With the cold winter months, nothing is better than a warm bowl of chili.

I love chili that’s simple—meat and beans.  Add in peppers, corn, and celery and I feel it begins to border on becoming a stew.

This is an easy recipe with only 7 ingredients.

Country Huntress Venison Chili Ingredients

Country Huntress Venison Chili

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 5
Calories: 333 per serving

What you’ll need:
  • 1 lb of ground venison (beef or turkey could be used too)
  • Four 10 ounce cans of diced tomatoes and green chiles
  • Two 14.5 ounce cans of pinto beans (or whatever bean you like best, kidney or black beans would work well too)
  • One large onion (chopped)
  • Three cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1-2 tablespoons Chile Powder (Depending on how much heat you like, add to your preference, I love spicy food so I use 2)
  • 1/2 tablespoon Ground Cumin
Directions:
– Heat a large pot over medium heat, add olive oil and brown one pound of ground venison
– Add in the chopped onion and minced garlic once the ground venison is browned. Cook until the onions are soft (about 5 minutes)
– Drain the liquid from the two cans of beans and rinse with water.  Add those into the pot and the tomatoes with green chiles
– Add in 1-2 tablespoons of chile powder and half a tablespoon of cumin
– Mix all the ingredients together and bring to a boil
– Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for at least 20 minutes

You can simmer anywhere from 20 minutes up to an hour.  I think the flavors develop more the longer you let it simmer.  But if you’re rushing to get dinner on the table, 20 minutes will do!

Venison Chili!

The chili definitely has a kick to it from all the chile powder.  I love spicy food.  If you don’t, maybe add only a tablespoon of chili powder.  I’m definitely an “eyeball” the measurements cook, so feel free to change what you’d like to your preferences.  This is a great base chili you can really make your own.

Venison Chili Sour Cream

To top it off, I add a nice dallop of sour cream.  This helps cut down the spicy heat when you’re eating it.  You can also add cheese, green onion, or olives.

Try it out and let me know what you think in the comments below!

2015 Goals Revisited

Country Huntress

2015 went by in a flash!  I made goals at the beginning of 2015 for hunting and fishing.  Some were accomplished and some weren’t.  So here’s a look back at the goals I set and if I achieved them.

1. Get in shape
This didn’t end up happening with a move across the state and a new job shaking things up more than I expected.  But I’m back to working on this goal now with a 5k coming up in March.

2. Shoot first deer 
Yes!  This one was accomplished with a doe shot on Decatur Island during late season.

3. Hike and scout more 
Again, with the new job and move this didn’t really happen.  I’m in a new area so this year I’m hoping to get out more and scout.

4. Go duck hunting
Nope, unfortunately.  I tried several times to set up a weekend to get out with my brother but our schedules didn’t line up.  He’s promised to take me out next season!

5. Go upland bird hunting 
Nope — same reason as above.  I feel like a broken record!

6. Fish More
Yes!  I caught my first salmon and tried out surf fishing.

7. Cook Game Recipes
Yes, and I cooked  some delicious ones!  Meatloaf and steak oscar!

So the year didn’t quite go exactly as I wanted.  But a new job got me back around friends and family so I’m happy with that!

Next week I’ll be posting my 2016 goals.  Some 2015 ones I’ll try to make happen again and some new ones.

What were your 2015 goals?  Did you accomplish what you wanted?

Venison Meatloaf Recipe

A few weekends ago, I made my first venison meatloaf and it turned out incredibly delicious!

I hosted a “Friendsmas” dinner with several friends and made a feast of venison meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole (my personal holiday favorite).  Meatloaf was one of my grandma’s specialties and I’ve always liked it.  So I was excited to try out this recipe because I hadn’t eaten it in years.  It didn’t disappoint!

The feast!

The feast!

To make the meatloaf, I first needed to grind up some of the venison in my freezer.  This meant I got to use my new meat grinder for the first time!  I took out a couple packs of stew meat to thaw out so they’d be ready to grind.

country huntress deer butchering

I read the manual, it seemed easy enough so I started grinding the stew meat.

wild game meat grinder

I ran it through a coarse grinder plate on the first pass through. Then, I switched it to the fine grinder plate on the second.


When it was all done, I was left with over a pound of venison! So cool and really easy to use.  I can’t wait to try out the sausage stuffing setting on there.

Over a pound of ground venison!

Over a pound of ground venison!

For the meatloaf, I followed this recipe. The venison weighed out to around a pound and a quarter, so I increased all the ingredients a bit.

Egg, crushed saltine crackers, barbecue sauce, onion, sage, steak seasoning, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce

Egg, crushed saltine crackers, barbecue sauce, onion, sage, steak seasoning, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce

Like my grandma always said, the only way to mix meatloaf is to get in there with your hands.  I combined all the ingredients together and then filled a small loaf pan. It smelled amazing, but to make it even better you add some bacon strips on top.

venison meatloaf
Mine took almost twice as long as the recipe said to cook. An instant thermometer was a life saver cooking this one!  Make sure the inside temperature is at least 160 degrees.  I poured over the BBQ sauce mixture and viola!

venison meatloaf
Not everyone at the party knew they were eating venison.  But they all said it was one of the best meatloafs they’ve had!  Definite success!

One delicious venison meatloaf dinner!

One delicious venison meatloaf dinner!

I think the next time I make it, I’d form the meat into the rectangle shape on a baking sheet. That way you put full slices of bacon over the top and sides.  And the entire meatloaf will be covered in the sauce that everyone said was their favorite part.  I think the sage adds a really great flavor to this recipe so don’t skip that ingredient or swap it out!

Writing this post makes me want to cook this again, it was so delicious!  This meatloaf is also great the next day between two white slices of bread with mayo.  But it’s not likely you’ll have leftovers!

Try it out and let me know what you think!