Representing Women in the Outdoors

If you haven’t seen it yet, the latest issue of Field and Stream features female hunter Mia Anstine on the cover.

mia anstine field and stream

I was really excited to see this.  Mia’s blog was one of the first blogs I found when I was getting into hunting so it’s great seeing her gracing the cover.  Plus, there are 10 other women making a difference in the outdoors inside the issue!

Did you know there have only been 3 women on the cover of Field and Stream in the history of the magazine?  The first, Queen Elizabeth in 1976.  The second, Eva Shockey in 2014.  And now the third, Mia Anstine in 2016.  While it’s small number, I’m glad it only took years for this to happen again instead of decades.

Representation is so important.  Seeing a magazine full of strong women in the outdoors makes me really happy.  When I was younger, I never saw hunting as something I could do.   Field and Stream magazines were always around the house growing up, but I never saw a woman on the cover.  I never looked at the magazine and thought, “hey, that could be me one day!”

Growing up exploring the outdoors

Growing up exploring the outdoors

Now, no one ever said I couldn’t hunt when I was younger.  Not even my dad or brothers said I couldn’t join them.  I just didn’t know any women who hunted nor had I seen a picture of a female hunting so it seemed off limits to me.  Now this doesn’t mean I grew up a girly girl either.  At my brother’s wedding last month, his best friend even told people there, “You wouldn’t believe how much of a tomboy Jen used to be growing up!”

Looking back on it, I wanted to be a lot of female characters I saw.  I loved the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and wanted to be April O’Neil.  I always chose Sonya when playing Mortal Kombat on Sega because she was my favorite from the movie.  I loved Sam on the sitcom Step By Step because she worked on cars and was also a tomboy.  Do you see where I’m going here?  In movies and shows, some geared for boys, I always identified with the women.  I’m sure there’s a fancy psychological term and explanation behind that but that’s out of my realm of expertise.  What I do know is the females that young girls see in media are important.

I often wonder what would’ve happened had I seen a woman on the cover of my dad’s hunting magazines.  Would I have told my dad I wanted to be a girl like that one day?  I guess I’ll never know.  But I hope that there are little girls who have seen either Eva Shockey or Mia Anstine on the covers and told their parents they want to be like that one day.

mia anstine field and stream

That’s why representation is so important—all it takes is one picture to open a whole new world to a child and create a new passion.  More and more women are being highlighted for their accomplishments in the outdoors and it’s amazing to see.  I hope by the time I have kids, females being represented in the outdoors is the norm.  Because I sure could’ve used it when I was a little girl.

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Summer Summer Summertime!

It’s been awhile but I’m back!

It’s been an incredibly busy last few months but things are finally settling down and I can’t wait to get back to posting on this blog!  I’ve got so many post ideas waiting to write!

Here’s a quick recap of what’s gone on in my life while I’ve been gone.

Trip to Texas!

Trip to Texas!

I traveled to Texas and fell in love with the Lone Star state!  Expect a full post on my trip with pictures galore!  The food was amazing, people were so kind, and the state itself beautiful.  I’m already planning my next trip back!  Also, hunting is so cheap there compared to Washington!

Weddings and moving!

Weddings and moving!

And the real reason I’ve been so incredibly busy the last couple months, I was a bridesmaid in two weddings and moved!  Both weddings were absolutely beautiful and I’m so grateful I was able to be apart of both their days.  Moving was stressful, but I love the new place I’m in.  So with all of that behind me, my attention can be back on this blog and getting outdoors!

I got back in the kitchen this weekend and grilled some venison bacon burgers!  Expect the recipe later this week, they’re juicy and delicous!

Venison Bacon Burger!

Venison Bacon Burger!

The one place I update regularly is Instagram.  So if you haven’t already, follow me on there!  HuntressJen and see posts like the ones below!

Follow me on Instagram!  HuntressJen

Follow me on Instagram! HuntressJen

Thanks to those of you who stuck around and are still reading my blog!  I really do appreciate it!  I can’t wait to get back to posts every Wednesday.

The one bad thing with all the craziness going on, I completely forgot to put in for special and late season hunts.  I’m bummed!  I need to build up points for those special moose and mountain goat hunts so I can do them before I’m 50!  Haha, there’s always next year I guess.

Did you put in for any special or late hunts this season?  Did you get drawn?  Let me know in the comments below!

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.

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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!

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?

Huntresses United

Click to Join!

Victoria over at A Texan In South Africa created a great new group called Huntresses United.  It’s for women who are passionate about the outdoors, educate others about conservation through hunting, encourage and support women in the outdoors, and embody being an ethical hunter.

I love her idea and gladly joined!  Even as a female hunter, it can be hard to find other outdoorsy blogs written by women.  Huntresses United is a place to easily find other blogs by female writers sharing their outdoor experiences, be it hunting or fishing.

Check it out here!  Find other great blogs to follow or join the list yourself!

Thanks for putting this together Victoria!  It’s great you’re bringing huntresses together!

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!

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!

Shooting My First Deer – Part 1

A week ago, I shot my first deer!  My life has been a bit hectic lately.  But when I had the chance to get out to the San Juan Islands for a late season hunt, I jumped on it.  I headed up on a Saturday to meet them at the marina and they took me over to Decatur Island–a small island in the San Juans not accessible by ferry.  The couple helping me hunt is the same couple that helped me catch my first salmon.

country huntress deer hunting

Decatur Island to the right

We ate lunch and made a game plan for the rest of the day.  Kelli and I would head out to an area that they’d seen several deer before.  I changed into my hunting gear and off we went.  We made our way back through trees until it opened up a little bit.  We found a large tree trunk that had a log in front of it that was a good spot to sit and have some cover.

country huntress deer hunting

Kelli and I waiting for deer!

One of my goals getting into hunting has been to find other women to hunt with.  It’s a lot easier said than done.  So it was an awesome feeling to be out there with another woman!  We sat quietly and the craziness of everyday life faded away.  One of my favorite things about hunting is feeling connected to the outdoors.

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