Salmon Fishing in the San Juans

  
This past weekend, I had the amazing opportunity to go salmon fishing in the San Juan islands.  It was my first experience with salt water fishing, completely different from what I’ve done before!

We started the morning on the water at 5:30am and went to pick up another couple heading out with us.  It was a beautiful morning—calm water, perfect temperature, and beyond stunning surroundings.

We started trolling an area with one other boat, there were three lines in the water.  Three of us were new to salmon fishing so we decided to take turns with who would reel in the lines.  I was standing in the back to watch the lines and take pictures, it was a breathtaking view.

 
I noticed one of the lines starting to bob up and down and mentioned I thought a fish was on the line.  They yelled to grab it, but being totally honest, I froze up a little.  I knew this was expensive fishing gear and I had the worry I’d either mess something up or drop the pole in the water to never be seen again.

The main guy taking us out came back and got the pole then handed it to me while saying, “Reel!!”  Having only reeled in small catfish in a tiny lake, reeling in a bigger fish with a current was a bit harder.  I reeled and eventually got the fish to the surface, several yards behind the boat.

It was a salmon!  I kept reeling as he got the net ready to scoop up the fish.  I was worried the salmon might get off the line as it got near the boat, but it was close enough for him to net it and get it into the boat.

My first pink salmon!

 
We spent the day on the water trolling for more salmon.  One more was caught that day.  A few made it on the line but were lost.  It was an incredibly fun day. 

 
I also caught another first, but I’ll post about that next week.  Here’s a hint, you can only catch it out in salt water!

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Best Compound Bows for Women

Archery

I’m ready to take the plunge and get into bow hunting!

I don’t know many people personally who bow hunt, so I’m hoping some of you hunters can help me with my search for the perfect compound bow.

I’m looking for a bow that will be in the middle of the pack price wise, I can’t see dropping $800-$1,000 right out of the gate as I’m learning.  I want to use it for deer and elk hunting next season.  And, since I’m not a fan of the colors, no pink or purple bows.

I’m so excited to get out and start learning!  I’ve been interested in bow hunting since before I even took the hunter safety course.  It looks like something fun, as well as challenging.  I don’t want to rush getting a bow, so I’m ready to spend the next several weeks going over articles and product reviews.

What all did you feel you needed to buy to be ready to go out in the field?  I’d love to hear your experiences with the bows you currently use or have used.

So, what compound bows do you love and recommend?  Are there any brands you’ve found that are better than others?  Let me know in the comments below!

Huntress – What’s In A Name?

You wouldn’t expect it, but the word “huntress” is actually quite polarizing in the world of hunting.

By definition, a huntress is a woman who hunts.

Huntress Defined

Simple.

In actuality—it’s not that simple.  Some women are so absolutely put off by the word, you’d think it means something completely different.  When researching reasons why women hate the word, I found a lot of people saying they’re not “that kind of girl.”

Of course, I had to dig deeper to find out what made someone “that kind of girl.”  It appears the term refers to women who are perceived as high-maintenance, want rhinestones on their pink camo, a cute gun to tote around, and is more concerned about how they look than shooting an animal.

To me, that definition stems from people letting their preconceived notions make the word far more loaded than it truly is.  Not to mention putting limitations on what they believe females can do.

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Waterproof Gear – What’s The Best?

Rain Cloud

Spring has arrived!  Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and rain is falling.  Lots of rain is falling!  In my neck of the woods, we seem to be stuck in an endless cycle of sunshine, rain, another glimmer of sunshine and then more pouring rain.

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I’m quite accustomed to rainy weather.  I actually really like the rain and get excited when it’s in the forecast after weeks, or even months, of sunshine.

The recent gloomy skies had me thinking about hunting season and the torrential downpour I got stuck in last season.  November, much like spring, in Washington can be an unpredictable month weather-wise.  Sometimes we get snow, sometimes it just rains, and other times it’s just cold with beautiful skies.  We really never know which way it’s going to turn out.

Not knowing the conditions I’d be out in, I wanted to be prepared for the worst case scenario.  My goal was to find a hunting coat that would keep me warm, dry, and not break my budget.  The search was harder than I thought.

I always read reviews online before buying a product.  This time was no different.  I spent hours reading countless reviews on several coats.  I was surprised by how many waterproof jackets had reviews where someone ended up being soaked after wearing it.

I don’t think bad reviews necessarily mean a product is bad.  But, I didn’t want to find out a coat was in fact not waterproof as I was out hunting.  Eventually, I found this coat from the Bass Pro Shops SHE line.  It was true to size and comfortable to wear.  It kept me warm and I could easily add layers underneath if I needed to.

SHE Outdoor Insulated Waterproof Jacket

One of the things I love most about this coat is how quiet the material is when moving around.  Overall, it definitely lived up to what they said the coat would do.  Being in the rain for a few hours and finding my upper body completely dry after taking the jacket off was proof enough.  The only downfall to the coat is the lack of pockets (three small pockets doesn’t cut it when they can barely hold more than a couple of shotshells).

This year, I plan on investing in waterproof hunting pants.  I’m prepared to spend a little more for these.   With plans to bowhunt in a couple of years, I want clothes I can use for both rifle and archery seasons.

What waterproof hunting gear do you use and swear by?  I’d love to hear what you’ve found works the best before I get back to scouring the internet for product reviews.

Book Review: “The Total Deer Hunter Manual” by Bestul & Hurteau

The Total Deer Hunter Manual

I recently finished The Total Deer Hunter Manual (Field and Stream) by Scott Bestul and Dave Hurteau.  Filled with 301 essential skills, this book has deer hunting tips, tricks, and facts for everyone from the novice to skilled hunter.

Pictures of bucks, does, and hunters grace most of the glossy pages.  Detailed diagrams and illustrations further explain techniques mentioned.  Scattered throughout are amusing author anecdotes, stories of the greatest deer hunters, and pictures of the greatest deer scored.  The humorous writing style keeps the book informative and entertaining from beginning to end.

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Update: The Company’s Response

Great news!  I’m pleased to say the company I mentioned in my previous post, has responded to my email and addressed the incident exceptionally well.

Last week, after thinking about it for awhile, I sent an email which echoed what was written in my blog post.  I decided this was too important of an issue and I should address it.  The next day, I received the following email.

Company's First Response

As you might imagine, when I received the email, I wasn’t quite sure if this was simply to appease me or if they would actually make good on their promise to escalate the issue to the top.  This week, I received the following email from the company’s Creative Director.

Company's Second Response

I’m very pleased with their quick response, as well as how professionally and personally they addressed the situation.  It was great having a woman reach out who understands what it’s like being a female in the hunting world.  It means a lot that she shared her personal story with me.  That really went above and beyond what I had expected.

She makes a great point that as a female hunter, you need to be sure your voice is heard.  It was similar to what a few of you shared in your comments on the last post.  This was definitely a learning experience for me.  Taking her advice, plus what some of you wrote, I know I’ll be more confident in a situation like this if it happens again.

I’m happy with how they handled the situation and it has restored my respect for the company.  My intention in sending the email was to make the company aware of the issue, but I do appreciate their offer of apology.  I look forward to trying their product and will give an honest review after using it.

I’m glad that this unfortunate situation now has a good ending and that I can continue on knowing I did what I needed to do to make sure the issue was addressed. I hope this experience of mine can help you in handling similar situations if they should ever arise.

 

Weddings, Babies, and Hunting Season

Sometimes, as you’re dreaming of white tail deer, your friend is dreaming of their picture perfect wedding day.  Every now and again, these happen at the same time.  As a woman in my late twenties, there’s an ever growing number of engagements, weddings, and babies happening in the lives of those closest to me.  That can mean trading in your camo and rifle for a dress and heels.

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