A Look Back At 2015

Happy New Year!  I can’t believe it’s already 2016!  I don’t know about you but last year went by in a flash.  I hope everyone had a great holiday with family and friends!

It’s crazy to have my first year of this blog in the books.

Country Huntress 2015

I thought it’d be fun to do a look back at the 10 most popular posts from the last year… so here we go!  (Click any of the titles to read the posts!)

  1. The Value of Female Hunters
    Remember when a man working a booth at a hunting expo ignored me and focused his attention on my male friend?  This was an unexpected post I never thought I’d be writing, but I loved all your comments and learning about the experiences other females have gone through being in the male dominated hunting world.
  2. Huntress – What’s In A Name?
    The word huntress — surprisingly debated in the hunting world.  I personally like it, how else would you know a lady ran this blog if I just called it Country Hunter?  Again, it was great to see how other women view the word and what they like being called!  Regardless if you love it or hate it, we should support all female hunters.San Juans Sunrise
  3. Salmon Fishing in The San Juans
    This was a lovely trip to the San Juans and I was lucky enough to catch my  first salmon.  The backdrop was absolutely gorgeous!  I actually have several pictures from this trip framed in my room.
  4. Washington Outdoor’s Women – Duck Hunting
    One of my posts from the women’s retreat I attended last year.  I learned so much about duck hunting and met some great women.  I’m looking forward to going to their duck hunting workshop this spring!Oregon Coast Surf Fishing Sunset
  5. Surf Fishing on the Oregon Coast
    This was a great experience learning about surf fishing.  Not sure when I’ll get the chance to do it again, but it was definitely cool to see.  It was another weekend that had gorgeous sunsets for the backdrop.
  6. Washington Outdoor Retreat – Day 1
    What a great weekend, I encourage any women in Washington to attend this next year.  If you live in another state, see if there’s a similar retreat for women that takes place!  I’m definitely planning on going again this year!
  7. Shooting My 1st Deer
    I’m so happy I was able to make this post this year.  I shot my first deer and learned so much that I’ll carry with me every hunting season forward.From Field To Plate
  8. From Field To Plate
    My delicious first meal I cooked with the venison meat that I was taught to butcher myself!  I promise I’m posting that recipe next, it was so good!
  9. Failure To Launch: Learning How To Fish
    This makes me laugh this is one of the more popular posts I had last year.  My somewhat embarrassing first moment of learning to fish at night.  I’ve grown a lot since then and now enjoy night fishing!
  10. Taking A Woman Hunting?  Avoid These Mistakes!
    A great read for men who plan on taking a woman out to hunt for the first time!  I’ve definitely had my own experiences that sound like what’s listed in the article.  How you act on a woman’s first hunt can definitely shape how she sees hunting and if she’ll keep her interest.

Thanks for reading along as I continue to learn more about the world of hunting.  Thanks to everyone who helped make some of these posts possible!

Here’s to a great 2016!

What was your best hunting moment of 2015?  Share below!

From Field to Plate

 
When my interest in hunting first started, the idea of providing meat for my family is what pushed me to sign up for the hunter education course.

This past weekend, I served my first meal from the doe I shot weeks earlier.  It was a great feeling!

I used my new meat grinder to make ground venison for a delicious meatloaf recipe.  I’ll share it later this week, everybody loved it!

Everyone has their own reasons for why they hunt.  Providing meat to eat is probably my biggest reason. I can’t wait until I have my own family and I’ll know exactly where the meat they’re eating came from.  It’s feelings like this that make me so happy I got involved in hunting. 

First Deer!

 
Here are a few more pictures of my first deer that I got on Decatur Island!

More pictures and story to come after Thanksgiving!

I can’t wait to eat the back strap on Thanksgiving! 

Washington Outdoors Women – Duck Hunting 101

The second day of the Washington Outdoors Women workshop had us all up bright and early!  Breakfast was at 7am sharp so my alarm was set for 6:15am.

Everyone woke up groggy.  Our area of the cabin was next to the bathroom which meant we fell asleep to a symphony of flushing toilets, creaking doors, and muffled voices.  Needless to say, it took a couple hours to fall asleep.  Luckily, the excitement of the day ahead had everyone in a good mood!

Duck Hunting 101

I walked over to the Duck Hunting 101 workshop after breakfast and met our instructor.  The class was set up in a “blind” with our decoys out in front.  She told us to grab a bag and take a seat.

Washington Outdoor Women Duck Hunting 101

Our makeshift blind for class

The bag was full of the first round of goodies I got that weekend.  Inside was a Ducks Unlimited baseball hat, a waterfowl identification guide, a couple decals, an issue of Ducks Unlimited, and information about duck hunting.  It was unexpected but really awesome to receive.

We started the class by first going over a handout that covered everything in the workshop.  Since I went duck hunting with my brother last Christmas, I knew a few things already.

We covered safety with firearms, staying warm, knowing the weather and area, and letting someone know your hunting plan.  I’m a person who’s always cold, so it’s going to be really important for me to figure out the proper layers to stay warm.

Our instructor had a great tip in case we did get really cold while sitting out there waiting for ducks.  Take two hand warmers and then place them in your pants, directly on your kidneys.  It’s a point that will warm your body faster.  I’m definitely trying it out!

Next, we went over shotguns.  She covered proper fit which was great to learn as a woman.  Since most guns are made for men, they don’t always fit the best.  She recommended cutting stocks down so the gun fits perfectly to your arm length.

An incredibly useful exercise she went over was “shoot the moon.”

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Washington Outdoor Women’s Retreat – Day 1

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Driving up to camp, I had no idea what to expect.  They gave us a list of what to pack and a rough outline of the weekend, but nothing about what would happen once we were actually there.  I was greeted by women on the WOW team and directed to park in a field with all the other cars.

As I began gathering my stuff, I noticed a couple girls walking toward camp with only a backpack that had their sleeping bag attached at the bottom.  Now I don’t think that I’m someone who needs a lot of stuff for a weekend, but the list they gave us included a lot of items I wouldn’t normally bring.  I had about three bags for clothes, sleeping stuff, and my day pack with hunting boots in there.

As I was closing my trunk, another girl walked by with several bags and said, “Oh thank god someone else actually brought a lot of stuff with them!”  We walked over to the main barn to pick up our welcome packets.  It was both our first times at the retreat, so it was nice having someone else to be somewhat clueless with.

We picked up our packets and were told to go find a cabin with an open bed.  After talking to the girl more, we realized we went to the same college and both loved Bob Seger which meant we became fast friends, or as we affectionately called each other—buddy.

It was interesting, even though I’m in my late-20s at a camp with women of all ages, it felt like being a kid again going back to camp.  The same thoughts went through your head… will people like me, where will I sleep, I hope there are cool people in my cabin, who will I eat with in the dining hall?

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WOW Weekend Success!

Clockwise: Washington Outdoor Women, my two arrows in the yellow, my shot at the bear target, skinning a duck to get the breast meat.

Before I make several big, long posts about the amazing weekend I had at the Washington Outdoor Women fall retreat, I just wanted to quickly post about how great of a time I had. 

I highly encourage every woman to look for something similar in their state. I know when I googled it before, several of these groups came up in different states.

Not only did I learn some great skills during the three workshops, I met wonderful women with shared interests in hunting and fishing. It was refreshing to be able to talk about it with a group of women who all understand the same love of the outdoors. 

I’m not sure exactly what my expectations were for this weekend, but I do know this far exceeded any expectations I had. It was a weekend I didn’t want to end and won’t soon forget. I’m already planning the workshops I’ll sign up for next year. 

I’ll be making my first long post full of pictures on Wednesday. I’m excited to share some of what I learned on here. 

P.S. I fell in love with shooting a bow, I can’t wait to get my own bow and head out for archery season next year!

Gearing Up for WOW’s fall workshop!

I’m starting to pack and get ready to head out this Friday for the Washington Outdoor Women’s 17th annual fall workshop! I can’t wait.   The workshops I’m taking are: Duck Hunting 101, Archery, and Big Game Hunting Basics. I’m really excited for all of those and know I’m really going to benefit from this. I wish I could’ve gotten into a fly fishing class but there’s always next year!

I’m glad I’ll be taking the duck hunting workshop since I’ll hopefully be out doing that soon with my family. 

Outside of going to learn these skills, I’m really looking forward to meeting other women with similar interests. It’s harder than I thought finding women who share a love of the outdoors.  Hopefully I can come back from this on Sunday with a couple hunting and fishing female friends. 

Expect many posts about everything I’ve learned when I get back! 

Salmon Fishing Pt. 2

During our salmon fishing trip in the San Juans, we caught a couple of fish that I wasn’t expecting to catch—a dogfish!  Basically a little shark.

Dogfish caught

San Juans Dogfish

San Juans Dogfish

We caught two dogfish that day and it was really interesting to see them up close.  Both had completely different markings.  We looked at them, took pictures, then threw them back in the water.

Here are more pictures from that weekend.  It was a beautiful day from start to end!

San Juans Sunrise

San Juans Salmon Fishing Reel

San Juans Panoromic

San Juans Salmon Fishing

San Juans Sunrise

Women’s Outdoor Retreats

Women’s outdoor retreats, a weekend geared toward women learning new skills in the great outdoors. This year, I’m attending the Washington Outdoor Women’s weekend workshop to learn new hunting and fishing skills. I’m really excited!

Here is a snapshot of some of the workshops offered this year.

Through the course of the weekend, you take three workshops. I’m hoping to take archery, duck hunting, and fly fishing. Regardless of what I’m able to take (workshops can fill up and you get your second or third choice), I’m really looking forward to learning new things in the world of hunting and fishing! 

I’m also really looking forward to meeting other female hunters. Part of the reason I started this blog was to connect with women hunters and hear their stories. It’s great that there’s an event in my area that allows me to meet several other women also interested in the outdoors.

Check to see if your state has a similar weekend. My quick google search showed similar retreats in several other states.

I can’t wait for September! A great event to kick off hunting season.

Have you ever attended a women’s outdoor retreat? Did you like it? Share your experience below!