2020 found me in the woods more than ever, it wasn’t something I had planned, but it absolutely turned into a blessing. If you know me, you know that I live and breathe hunting, I just love it. But I never imagined that by taking new hunters to the woods, I would love it even more. This year I spent 89 hours sitting beside a new hunter, watching them, answering questions, and sharing my thoughts and methods. That’s more often than I hunted for myself. And I can’t begin to tell you what that feels like. There are memories just waiting to be made out there, let’s go make them together.
I was asked to give the co-keynote speech at the first ever Indiana R3 Summit on March 16th in Indianapolis, Indiana, along with the First Lady of Indiana, Janet Holcomb. It was my first time ever speaking in any kind of public forum, to any kind of group. But who better to ease my mind than a bunch of folks with roots in hunting, fishing and conservation? So while I was nervous and not sure how it would all pan out, I did it and thought I would share my story with those who weren't in attendance that day. I hope it inspires someone else to take a new person out hunting or fishing for the first time.
The opportunities afforded to me this year were were those of a dream. The people, the places, the new friendships, and the memories that will last a lifetime, were epic. At 42, THIS has been the best year of my life, which proves, we should always face the future like the best is yet to come, and if we’re lucky, the best just keeps on coming. In 2018, I ran my first half marathon, killed my first turkey on Doug Duren’s Farm, met the MeatEater crew, ran new trail races, became a Hunter Ed. instructor, went on my first dove hunt, in Wyoming I stalked my first muley, took a solo road trip to an all women’s deer camp in Montana, first pheasant hunt, etc. Just a stellar year of firsts. You’re never too old to go out and have a first of your own. Go do it.
I had to work for these deer, before and after the kill. I was by myself and had to drag the 10 point buck 75 yds. and the doe 60 yds. It took and hour and a half to drag them out. Worth every minute and sore muscle!
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