Whale Watching in the Strait of Juan de Fuca

humpback whale

This past weekend, I was lucky enough to have my first whale watching experience!  I was even more lucky to enjoy it with family on my uncle’s boat.  It was an incredible couple of hours seeing several orca pods and humpback whales.

killer whale

We headed out into the Strait of Juan de Fuca, a channel that runs between southern Vancouver Island, Canada and the northern Olympic Peninsula in Washington.  We had been out the day before and didn’t see anything, but heard guys at the dock later saying they saw orca pods two separate times.  We were really hoping we’d have better luck this time out.  After a few minutes of looking around, we saw the first dorsal fin come out of the water.

killer whale
It was by far one of the most amazing things I’ve ever witnessed.  The sheer size of these whales is enough to leave you speechless!

Click below to see a ton of pictures of orcas (even a baby!) and humpback whales!

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Washington Outdoor Women Fall Retreat Registration

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I just got my schedule in the mail for this year’s Washington Outdoor Women fall retreat!  I went last year and had the best time learning about duck hunting and archery.

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I’m really excited for the workshops I’ll be taking this year: Fly Fishing 101, Wilderness First Aid, Survival Skills, and First Aid for Dogs.

I can’t wait for Fly Fishing, the instructor seems amazing.  I remember last year a woman told me she took that workshop and now teaches other people how to fly fish from everything she learned.

I was happy when I saw they offered a Wilderness First Aid course this year.  I’ve been wanting to take something on first aid basics since you can be miles away from help when you’re out hunting.  I can’t wait to see what I learn in there.  Survival Skills is another workshop that’ll teach me skills I’ve been wanting to learn.  The chance of getting stuck or lost in the outdoors is always there, so knowing how to make shelter and fire will be great to make me more confident when I’m out hunting.

I can’t wait, I’m so excited!  September needs to hurry up and get here!  Definitely expect posts on everything I learn!

Registration is open until September 7th if any ladies are in Washington and would like to go!  You can find more information on the workshops and the registration here.

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!

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!

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!

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!

Finding My Happiness

 I read this quote earlier this week and it really struck a chord with me.

I’m in the midst of packing to move to a new city and start a new chapter of my life. Packing everything has been a trip down memory lane of my time here. From my hunter safety certificate to hunting boots with mud still caked on, I thought about everything that led me to create this hunting blog.

In some people’s eyes, I’m sure it looks like I’ve changed from the person who I was when I moved here. I’m leaving with lots of camo, hunting gear, and a new passion for the outdoors. But I  feel that more than changing­­, I just found myself.

I found something that excites me and makes me constantly want to learn more. I found something that has me looking forward to a 4am alarm clock. I found something that challenges me and makes me strive to be the best I can be. I found something that brought me closer to my family and connects me to nature.


I found something that makes me truly happy.

There’s more to it than merely changing. And if some people don’t like who I am now, that’s okay. Different things make different people happy. But I haven’t been this excited or motivated about something in a long time.

So am I leaving here the same person I was a few years ago? Not at all.

I’m so thankful to be the person that I am today, with a new, ever­growing passion for hunting.

PS – I’m going to do my best to keep posting during this transition, but it might take me a couple weeks to get settled in before I can put my full attention back to the blog. I have a lot of exciting hunting things planned for the next several months and I can’t wait to write about them!

Best Compound Bows for Women

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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!

Full Draw Film Tour

If you love hunting, especially bow hunting, check out The Full Draw Film Tour.  It’s stopping in several cities along the west and midwest, so check to see if it has a stop near you.

Above is the trailer for this year’s tour.  Unfortunately, I won’t be near any of the stops when they’re happening, but I wish I could go!

I love storytelling, so throw in hunting and I’m basically in love.  I have not actually gone to The Full Draw Film Tour, but I did go to the Hunting Film Tour last year and it was great.  Check out last year’s trailer below.

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Merry Duck Hunting

Duck Hunting 2 - Country Huntress

As many awoke excitedly on Christmas to open their presents, I woke up bright and early excited to head out for my first duck hunt.

With no holiday plans until the afternoon, my brother and I seized the opportunity to get out and see if we could shoot some ducks.  I’d been interested in duck hunting for awhile so I couldn’t wait to learn more about it.

Duck hunting is my brother’s favorite and he has his go-to spots around where he lives.  But since we were both home for Christmas, it was all new territory neither of us knew.  The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website has a great “GoHunt” feature that shows public land for different types of hunting.  I put in our location and found a couple of areas for duck hunting.

We headed out as the sun was rising and drove to a large lake outside of town.  We figured there wouldn’t be many other hunters out since it was Christmas morning, but boy were we wrong!  Several cars were parked along the road and we heard gunshots ring out almost immediately after stepping out of the car.

This area seemed to be along a migratory route as several flocks of ducks flew overhead and quacking echoed throughout the sky.  The only problem was they were too high to shoot.  As we walked along a small stream, my brother taught me about jump-shooting.  Unfortunately, we saw no ducks to actually jump-shoot.

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