Maryland Turkey: A Success

The red lights on the alarm clock flashed 1:58am I should have been sleeping, but the anticipation for my 3:30am wake-up had me on edge. Nestled in the heart of the Eastern Shore, the Manor at Schraders is an iconic plantation style estate offering wing shooting, hunting, and fishing opportunities. 

As I settled into my balcony view room, a plush king size bed summoned. As I lay there, I couldn't help but feel the history of the Manor. All 11 bedrooms, carry the name of a previous owner, offering a glimpse into this Victorian Manor's past life. The three-story Manor House provides an atmosphere of casual elegance and includes a library, living room, kitchen, dining room, sitting room, screened porch and a wide selection of comfortable bedrooms, each with its own private bath.

Thanks to Trish Boone & Andrew Farrow, I was here to hopefully harvest my first Eastern Turkey; a milestone I had been working towards for a few years

 
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The combination of the nerves and the midnight hour made donuts and Sprite at 4:30am the perfect pre-hunt breakfast. 4:45am, Andrew pulled up in the truck, it was go-time! 

A quick drive to the back of the property near the Sporting Clays course, we parked the truck and gathered our gear. Walking in the woods before the world wakes up is a serial experience every time. For those 5 minutes during the walk everything is quiet, only the sounds of Andrew and I's footstep as we headed toward the blind. Andrew had been in this spot last night, he knew there was an older bird roosted in the corner. The plan, wait for the woods to slowly wake up, then draw him in. We were all settled in, facing a logging road next to a large pond. Just before daybreak, we heard the first turkey wakeup off in the distance. Andrew called to the bird, no response. He called to the turkey again, again nothing in return. The bird we were after, suddenly had shut up. 

He and the rest of the woods. After what seemed like hours, Andrew decided it was time to go find a bird, on the carpet. He was confident they were in the woods and if they wouldn't come to us, we would go to them. 

So back to the truck and off to the next farm we went. 

This time, we parked on a sand logging road near the quarry. Time to walk, as we made our way into the woods, there were signs of birds all over the sand. Fresh tracks lay insight but no audible sounds anywhere.

A quick set up of the blind, several calls and still no answer. If the birds were there, they were not answering us. Clucks, yelps, purrs, gobbles, any call Andrew made, was not being returned. Maybe it was a combination of the heat or the light wind, but these birds were locked up. With time ticking down, we packed up once again an headed back toward the truck.

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Onto the third and final farm. Time for boots on the ground, walk a bit, sit a bit, call a few times, and repeat. That was the game plan for close to 2 hours, working our way through the farm. After a unanimous decision to try the swamp, "that just looked like where they would live", to the swamp we went. As we sat down at the base of a large tree and settled in, our spirits were lifted. Laughing and sharing commentary back and forth about Whitetail season. A text came in on my phone around 10:40am,  from a mutual friend asking how the hunt was going. Just then Andrew threw out a Hail Mary on the glass call... The call you save when you really need to sweet talk them. 

And just like that, things escalated very quickly. The first real gobble we heard all day came from the right! Andrew quickly instructed "get ready, gun up",  as he saw two Jakes working in towards us on a string. 50 yards, 40 yards, 30 yards, 25 yards, I still couldn't see either bird, I was focused off to the right where the first gobble came from. It was not until they came from around the back of a tree of my left that I had them in my sights.  

Seeing only their white heads coming through the brush, Andrew whispered again "get ready...get ready"... then SHOOT. 

Without hesitation, the safety was off and the Jake in my sights was flipped backward rolling in the dirt. Three years, multiple states, hours and hours of hunting, it had finally come to this. I had successfully made a connection with my first Eastern Turkey! Three farms, close to four miles walked, and with an hour to spare, Andrew had put me on a beauty of a bird! Time to celebrate! BIRD ON THE GROUND! 

 
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With the empty shell in my pocket, we snapped a few quick quick photos and I couldn't stop smiling! I was shaking with excitement and in that moment, I knew exactly why everyone says, "You will be hooked".  I was, I wanted more, another bird, another opportunity to shoot. Excitement and adrenaline were running through my body. We headed back toward the truck, bird in hand, to fill out tags. 

 

If you are looking for an incredible experience on the Eastern Shore, Schraders Outdoors is a must! From the first few moments of the hunt to cleaning my first bird, Andrew was fantastic! You will be hard pressed to find another guide who has the same passion for the woods, the birds, and teaching others about hunting. I highly recommend booking a hunt with them this fall! 

The Year of Fruition | 6 Month Check In

Your life is not a competition with others, it is a journey with YOURSELF!
 

In the fall of 17', my dear friend Brooke (@brooke.averill) challenged me to find a word that would represent my goals for 2018. I initially thought she was crazy then as I let it sink in, I realized how motivational it would be to pick one word and intentionally work toward setting and making goals with a purpose. The word I choose;

 

fru·i·tion: noun. the point at which a plan or project is realized

 

In my blog, Coming to Fruition, I set a handful of goals for twenty-eighteen. As I round out the end of six months since I set those goals, I wanted to do a quick check in to see how far I have come! 

 

Attend 4 Industry Related Shows as Staff - DONE 

Teach 5+ Fly Fishing 101 Classes - DONE

Build Programs for Fly Fishing & Hunting  - under construction 

Guide 80 + Days of the Water - getting there! 

Continue Growing my Firearms Knowledge - coming soon 

 

Just as I started to get comfortable in the New Year, God laughed and decided to teach me life lesson, the lesson of walking away. For years, when things hit the fan I would RUN away, I would turn on my heels and sprint in the opposite direction without looking back. This time, He taught me how to walk away with my eyes wide open. To see the negative in the situation and to deal with it the healthy way. It was within this lesson, I learned to walk away from the negative people, the negative situations, the negative behaviors and clean up the negative areas lingering in my life. And you know what? The minute I rationally walked about from all the negative in my life, I found an overwhelming sense of relief. For the first time in a long time, I was truly happy with where I was, not only from a business standpoint but in my personal life. I no longer felt like I had to carry the burden of other peoples negativity & my own self negativity. I made a choice to realign with what truly matters. 

It has been six months of truly believing in the power of self-love, self-care, and building even more self-confidence in who I am. As I begin to tell my story on a more public platform later this year, I will be sharing snippets of "my story" and how I continue to find motivation and inspiration in my daily life. 



I had always known I wanted a non-traditional career, always. As a kid I dreamed of having one of the "fun" jobs; marine biologist, dolphin trainer, zookeeper. If it was out of the ordinary, I wanted to do it. Fast forward two decades, my career may not be any of those jobs. But it is so much more than I could have dreamt up. I am no longer chasing my dream job; I am living my dream life. I set my own rules, my own hours, my own schedule & I absorb the outdoors on a daily basis. 

In 2015 when I decided to pursue a career in the outdoor industry full time, I was terrified. There I was at 25 years old, managing a customer service division, living in my parents home, and longing to be on an adventure rather than at work. I spent the larger part of the four years after college in the Insurance Industry living the "American or Cooperate Dream" climbing the ladder, shaking hands, and for what? A corner office one day? That was not enough. I wanted to break the mold, go my own direction and create the life I wanted, free of restrictions and boundaries. I simply wanted a life I did not need a vacation from. 

"


 

Need Inspiration? I Do! 

 

How do I juggle it all? The outdoors is my life - but what sits at the cornerstone? My story is unlike others, it is unique. I created this life, I forged the way for where I am. But now what? I am good at so many things, but a master at none {or some} ... And in today's world, is that enough? 


I think everyone battles with that same question, what is enough? Have I done enough? Have I accomplished enough? The varying forms of this question go around and around in my head on an almost daily basis. When the pressure of trying to answer that question builds up and I begin to feel overwhelmed, I turn to Youtube & Podcasts. My first stop... a video by Eric Thomas.

 

How Bad Do you Want It? 

 

For me, I need the reminder to stop seeking a reward for what I am going to do, to stop seeking validation for what I am trying to do. My feelings of being overwhelmed come when my focus has shifted from my why and on to my how. When I let the unnecessary parts of my business take control, the reminder that it is not about the product, but rather the process, I can regain the control. It will ALWAYS be enough if you are giving all of yourself to the process. Not the end goal, not the pot of goal at the end of the rainbow, but the process. 

This is your life, this is the life you are creating! In the moment that you understand that life is a gift you elevate yourself to that standard. This "process" is about the legacy you are trying to leave, the good you are doing for other people, the positivity you outpour to others, not the approval of everyone and the collection of things. 

The process is the rapture of being alive. 


What do you use to maintain daily motivation? What do you do to consistently get better. Let me know! 

xo

Summer Bucket List

Hello SUMMER... well the unofficial start of summer! Memorial Day Weekend has always marked the start of summer for me. The weather changes, my mood changes and all things fun are on the horizon & this summer is no different. Being on the East Coast this summer, means more family time, more time to relax, a bit more freedom, a TON more fishing and more outdoor EVERYTHING. Last summer I was too busy... surviving... just kidding... I was too busy living life that I never made a summer bucket list. 

This summer, my main goal...

Do more fun shit! Say YES to more nights out, YES to new adventures, YES to more family time, YES to treating myself and YES to more travel! 

 

Several items on my Summer List can be crossed off in a few weeks, but y'all know I get so much satisfaction from crossing things off a list. That movement of sliding a pen across a piece of paper is such a feeling of accomplishment! Here, I electronically cross off bucket list items as I reach each one & I will write about each one as I complete them! 


Wild Game Dinner 

Explore Local Hiking Trail 

Change up Fitness Routine 

Find Perfect Swimsuit 

Family Vacation

Pick Berries With My Mom

Fly Fish a New River in a New State 

Paint Night  

Finish a Wood Working Project 

Concerts

Camping 

Vineyard Tours 

Shoot a 3D Tournament 

Get New Bow Dialed into 60 Yards 

Beach Trip


Have you made your list yet? What are you waiting for? 

Make a list & make it an epic summer! 

In My Waders | Front Pocket Essentials

Fly fishing has become the most popular sport in recent years, drawing nearly 46 million Americans to the water each year.

For the new angler, knowing where to start with gear can be overwhelming! If you have ever walked into your local fly shop or a Bass Pro Shop, you will find endless isles adorned with small tools, flies, and multiple options for every single thing imaginable. The best advise I can recommend is to K.I.S.S. { Keep It Simple Silly } When you first start fly fishing, keep to the basics. Spend your money on what you need to get started and save the upgrades or more specific gear for later down the line. For every high end option there is a less expensive option that will do just FINE. 

Every angler has a different set-up or list of must have gear. Personally I choose to keep my must-haves in the front pocket of my waders. The less I have to access my backpack the better! Keep the things closest that you will need the most(est)... 

            |  The Bug Book  |  Pelican Case  |  Reel  |  Waders  |  Wading Belt  | 

           | The Bug Book | Pelican Case | Reel | Waders | Wading Belt

 

Here are a few of my recommendations 👇🏼


Fly Box... Two... or Three 

I have tried many types of boxes, from waterproof to sticky boxes. And I keep several types in my sling pack and boat bag. To me each box serves a purpose and some are better for certain situations. 

Midge Box: 

While touted as a “midge” fly box, this one is my go-to for my nymphs.  The slit foam strips on either side hold tons of nymphs up to about size 14. One box can hold most of the flies I need for a day on the river. The downside is that this box is slightly heavy and is more “water resistant” than “water proof”.

Tacky Fly Box: 

  • Holds flies tighter
  • Withstands extemes in temperatures
  • Light, sleek, yet extremely durable polycarbonate box
  • Clear lid for visible access to flies
  • Off-set slit design comfortably holds 168 flies
  • Latch-less magnetic closure system
    • Long lasting strength
    • Durability tested
 

Scissor Clamps & Nippers 

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Mitten Clamps:

Same basic concept as mitten clamps, but with a serrated scissor mounted behind the jaws. This addition allows for cutting tippet/leader material, trimming flies streamside or opening your favorite snack when your hands are too cold. 

Cost Effective Nippers:

  • Are easy to replace if you misplace them, or they get lost.
  • Have minimal versatility, but if you fish a particular way, such as mostly fishing 2x-5x tippet will do just fine cutting tippet and leaders.
  • If you dont get out quite as much as you would like, they will last at least a season
  • Typically cost between 3-10 dollar

High Quality Nippers:

  • If you fish quite a bit, these will not need to be replaced as often and can last multiple seasons without getting dull
  • Have much more versatility. High quality nippers will be able to cut 40lb saltwater mono filament when your out chasing tarpon, as well as be able to cut 7x tippet fine enough to thread through a size 24 midge
  •  Are generally more corrosion resistant. They wont rust out if you take care of them even after a heavy dosage of saltwater.
  • Typically companies such as Orvis, Abel, Simms, and Hatch are good about replacing blades if they do become dull, increasing the lifetime of your nippers
  • Typically run between 30-100 dollars
 

Leader & Tippet

Tippet is a specific gauge monofilament line that is attached to the end of the leader, to which you tie the fly. The tippet is usually the smallest gauge line on your rig and is virtually invisible to the fish. ... By tying on tippet, you can avoid losing taper. The fly is tied to the end of the tippet.

 

Indicators

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Air-Lock Strike Indicator

The Air-Lock is a new favorite strike indicator. It's super-buoyant, visible, durable, and easy to adjust. The best part about the Air-Lock Indicator is that it won't slip, kink, or leave your leader a mess. Easy on-and-off operation will make this your next go-to strike indicator. 

  • Secure, adjustable, and kinkless strike indicator won't slip or tangle
  • Easy on-and-off action saves time on the water
  • Simply loosen and slide indicator for on-the-fly depth adjustment

THINGAMABOBBER (my personal favorite)

Inspired by western guides using small balloons as strike indicators to improve buoyancy and sensitivity. The Thingamabobber combines all of the best strike indicator elements in one simple design.

  • Highly visible
  • Ultra sensitive
  • Casts like a champ in any weather condition
  • Easy to attach and adjust yet stays in place on your line
  • Never sinks and requires no floatant
Indicator descriptions were taken directly from manufacturers website. 
 

& The Random Items

  • Chapstick
  • Snacks
  • Hothands 
  • Cell Phone 
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Everything else goes into my Animas Watershed Dry Bag backpack. 

Need More? Read what I keep in my go-to dry bag for proper layering and what I keep on hand for emergencies. 

Best Catch 2017 | Missouri River Rainbow Trout

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Craig, Montana --- Missouri River

‘Big Sky Country’ where unobstructed skyline meets hundreds of miles of fishable water.  

Last spring I was fortunate enough to take a break from the fly shop to spend a week fishing and learning the Missouri River in Craig, Montana. This mecca of fly fishing is positioned at the headwaters of one of the longest river in the United States. Along this stretch of pristine fishy water, you will experience some of the most prolific hatches, big trout (seriously huge fish), easy access with over 14 boat ramps, and the most welcoming small town you happen upon in the west. 


Spring fishing on the Mo' means learning to adapt to changes in flows, sometimes daily. Having a few different set-ups in the boat proves to be the most productive. A nymph rig, streamer rod, and dry fly set-ups are key. This particular catch, we were floating down a small side channel, I was fishing river left toward the small island behind me. I was casting a 9' 5wt nymph rig with a #16 Rainbow Sow Bug drifting at the end of my line. In the middle of the drift, my line went tight and boy was this is hook-up a beauty! Nothing compares to shoulder days on the Missouri River. Trout like this are more common than not while floating along this incredible fishery! If you are in the west and looking for some incredible fishing, be sure to check out the Missouri River & all it has to offer! 

 

 

The Toll It Takes

It seems so far away. It's been 4 months since I left the west, and I feel different. 

Montana changed me; it broke me, but it also made me whole again. It breathed life back into my body. Death breaks you, it changes you, it rewrites the very fibers of your being. I did not know it at the time, hell I still don't feel it changing me, but it has. The west gave me the ability to cope. 

Since being back on the East Coast, I have become inspired. My desire to produce meaningful evergreen content has never been stronger. With this desire comes an internal struggle to sort out the purpose of it all, the "why". 

I was given a voice, a platform one could say. But what do I do with it? Am I good enough to have my story told? Or am I just a farm kid with a dream to do something great, something different than everyone else. 

I crave to live a life I do not need a vacation from.

When I look at my life presently; Do I want to guide full time forever? No - I'd be broke. Do I want to fly fish, hunt, hike, travel & explore the world, fly through the sky in the cockpit of a helicopter - damn right I do, but how do I capture the essence of my career and turn it into a cause? How do I use this platform for education to inspire others to live out their dreams? If I am not truly exclusive to one sector, how do I own the right to make a stand in that industry? Isn't that cheating? I am going for broke but as a whole, not just one part of me. I am an advocate, a resource, but how am I giving back? How do I corner this market from a different angle? 

How does one juggle it all; this is my life. The outdoors is my life - but what sits at the cornerstone? My story is unlike others, it is unique, it is genuine, it is mine. I created this life, I forged the way for where I am. But now what? I am good at so many, a master at some... and in today's world, is that enough? 

I'd be lying if only talked about the aspirations of inspiration. This path of entrepreneurship has its hurdles. 

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Time, money, resources, where does it all collide? What is the cost? 

Late nights, early mornings 

Lots of associates, very few friends

You will be misunderstood 

You will be single, unless you're lucky enough to find someone who understands your lifestyle 

People will want you to do good, but never better than them 

The price it pays? For these reasons, you will do many things alone. 

 

As I move further and further into this unchartered world of self-employment the quote above becomes truer. You see the highlights on my social media accounts, the picture perfect seconds that were captured. What you do not see, are the weeks of insomnia that follow a writing stretch, the friends who turn on you after a win, the nights at home not out spending money, rather saving for what matters. I won't ever complain about any of it, it is those negatives that keep me driving forward. It fuels me to be more, find more, & surround myself with more people who share the same mindset.

This may seem like wild ramblings, but I urge you to find your own truth in it all. Choose a path that begins to light a fire in your soul. You were given this one life to make a difference and to live it out at your own discretion. When you take steps to design and build your new life, people may not understand, but keep building. For today you will do what other's won't, so tomorrow you can do what others cannot. 


Over the next few weeks, I will be releasing content about finding inspiration, getting the most out of your life, and some how-to guides for what has worked for me so far.  

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4 Things You Need to Know About DSG

Outerwear That Truly Fits a Woman

 

Are you looking for functional yet fashionable hunting clothing for all climates & all seasons that is ACTUALLY made for a woman?  

Let me introduce you to DSG {Doing Something Great}!  DSG Hunting focuses 100% on women's clothing and puts a strong emphasis on fit as well as function, so that the outerwear and lifestyle clothing not only keeps you warm, but truly fits your body.

DSG offers head to toe outfits with multiple layering systems! Jackets, bibs/pants, lightweight sets, layers, gloves, boots, socks, accessories, luggage, and more!

 

In August I was preparing for the start of elk season in Montana, still wearing camo designed for men. It was 2017 and to date only one other company had released a full line up of women's hunting gear; that was until DSG. After some research and multiple conversations, I placed my first order. Within weeks, I had one oversized box of women's specific gear on my doorstep. From Montana to Pennsylvania and Maryland, DSG has held up time and time again. If you are considering purchasing new gear for 2018 DSG should be the first & last place you shop. 

 

Size is Everything... Right? 

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One unique differentiator is our sizing, which DSG worked very diligently on. It starts with fit models of all shapes & sizes to make sure our styles work for every woman looking to stay comfortable while hunting {all seasons} or enjoying any other winter or outdoor activity.

 

Patterns

DSG has cornered the market when it comes to patterns. DSG gear is offered in two great patterns by Realtree; Realtree Xtra & the new Realtree Edge. 

 

More Than Just Clothing 

What excited me most about DSG was the way the ambassadors & owners described the workshops and teaching opportunities on our first team conference call. DSG is committed to being involved in the community; through workshops & hunting trips. I thought to myself, what an incredible way for DSG to not only be a clothing company, but actually be a brand that gives back, gets involved in fostering this lifestyle and being the mentors that so many of us needed when we were younger. I look forward to these workshops; whether that be hunting, fishing, shooting, trapping, etc. It is ideas/trainings like this that truly emerge brands into all areas of the industry. 

 

Setting Trends

If you stopped by the DSG booth at any trade shows this season, you have seen the Blaze Pink! It has been the talk of the show, the eye catcher & the cause for some raised eyebrows. DSG was founded in Wisconsin, the first state to legalize Blaze Pink. DSG was then in turn the first company to design & release a full Blaze Pink hunting set for women. (see full release below)

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Within the all new DSG Outerwear hunting line released late summer of 2017, you will find everything from highly functional performance layering pieces to insulated jackets that are perfect for all types of hunting.  August 2018 will bring 3 new fully functional sets to the market along with additional casual & layer peices. All designed to enhance ladies performance in the outdoors.

Join us in Doing Something Great! 

 

Let's Get Social.

More and more frequently I get asked,  "how do I do this on Instagram, I want mine to look like that" or "tell me your secrets". Well, I am finally sharing some of them with you! I have been in the professional Social Media/Brand Management industry for over 5 years, I know the ins & outs of Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc., & I can tell you with 100% certainty they CHANGE ALL THE TIME. However, these 5 apps have remained constant and are key applications to keeping me on track, consistent, and ahead of the game. Keeping up with social media can he hard, but it is not impossible. Life was meant to be enjoyed off your phone... so do it, plan ahead, use tools to help & get to living

** Descriptions of apps are taken from iTunes -- no use reinventing the wheel 
 

VSCO



For creators, by creators, the VSCO app helps you reach your creative potential within a community that values honest and imaginative expression above all else.

As a member of the VSCO community, you can: 

Create — Use VSCO’s creative photo editing and journal tools to share your unique perspective. 

Discover — Draw inspiration from content curated by the VSCO team, as well as stories told by fellow community members.

Connect — Follow and engage with a diverse group of creators from around the world. 

Fees: Yearly subscription of $19.99

 

 

Typorama

Typorama lets you create amazing visuals by "automagically" transforming your text and photos into beautiful typographic designs. No design skills needed!

Just choose a background, type in your words and your creative typography is ready!

Use Typorama to:
- Make beautiful typographic text layouts
- Create Instagram, Facebook, Twitter posts with stylish text designs
- Create flyers and posters for your events or organization
- Make headers for your blog or wallpapers for your iPhone
- Enrich your family photos adding creative text styles and share your love

Features: 
- 47 different, randomly generating typographic text styles
- More than a hundred different fonts and typefaces from the world's top designers
- Badges, ribbons, curved text and artistic ornaments enriching your designs
- Ability to 3D distort, apply gradient colors, shadows to your text
- Ability to gradually delete parts of text, useful for placing your text designs behind other elements in your photos
- Professional photo filters, overlays and adjustment tools to polish your photo backgrounds
- Hundreds of pre-installed quotes to inspire you
- Fun color combinations for your words
- Thousands of completely free stock photography from Pixabay
- Endless stylish randomizations
- 2048 x 2048 high resolution super crisp output
- Advanced crop options to create the perfect size pictures for social media posts, wallpapers, posters, flyers and postcards.
 

Fees: FREE

 

Wunderlist

Wunderlist is a simple to-do list and task manager app that helps you get stuff done. Whether you’re sharing a grocery list with a loved one, working on a project, or planning a vacation, Wunderlist makes it easy to capture, share and complete your to-dos. Wunderlist instantly syncs between your phone, tablet and computer, so you can access your to-dos from anywhere.

Key Wunderlist Features:


• Add, organize and schedule your to-dos from your phone, tablet or computer
• Set due dates and reminders to ensure you never forget important deadlines (or birthday gifts) again
• Use subtasks, notes, files and comments to add important details to your to-dos
• Create lists to help sort your to-dos for home, work and everything in between
• Share lists and collaborate on your to-dos with family, friends and colleagues
• Be productive from anywhere, thanks to Wunderlist’s apps for your phone, smart watch, tablet and computer
• Swipe down from any app to get a glance of your due to-dos with our Today widget
• Quickly capture to-dos, and peek & pop tasks with 3D Touch on your iPhone 6S
• Save web pages and articles for later with the Add to Wunderlist sharing extension

Fees: Wunderlist is free to download and use. Wunderlist Pro upgrades your experience and gives you unlimited access to Files, Assigning and Subtasks to help you accomplish even more for $4.99 a month through an auto-renewing subscription.


Planoly 

Planoly is the first visual planner and scheduler for Instagram. We're the end to end visual management platform for Instagram. 

Manage your Instagram’s marketing campaigns and content visually before pushing it live. View your data and engagement rates for each post. Track and reply back to comments directly on the app. 


WHY PLANOLY IS THE BEST:
• The complete end to end platform for your Instagram account.
• Visually see how your Instagram profile feed will look like with our drag and drop feature. 
• Effectively manage all your content on our web dashboard or phone app.
• Schedule your Instagram posts days, weeks, or months in advance.
• Upload all your photos and videos directly from your computer, Dropbox, Google Drive, or phone.
• Upload multiple photos at once. 
• Upload videos and gifs.  
• Splitter feature to splice up a photo to create mini-campaigns.
• Discover user-generated content.
• Auto-populate #hashtags and @Instagram handles. 
• Manage multiple Instagram accounts.
• Add team members to help manage. 
• View your engagements for each post. 
• Track and reply to your comments.
• Plan your Instagram Stories.
• Create multiple Draft grids to play with the layout.
• Plan your Carousel multiple media posts.
• Create and save Hashtag groups to reuse

Fees: 

All accounts will start off with the FREE plan. You can upgrade to a paid plan at any time.

FREE plan features:
• 1 Instagram account
• 30/mo upload limit
• 1 month of Metrics and Analytics
• 5 latest posts for Comment Inbox

SOLO Plan features:
• 1 Instagram account
• Unlimited uploads
• 1 year of Metrics and Analytics
• 15 latest posts for Comment Inbox
• Subscriptions are available at a rate of $8.99 monthly or $22.99 for 3 months. 
 


Hootsuite

Share and schedule posts from your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn accounts all from one app.

Hootsuite is the world's most popular social media management app and is FREE for up to 3 social network accounts.

Use the Hootsuite Mobile App to:

* Bring the power of Hootsuite into the palm of your hand
* Post messages to your favourite social networks within one app
* Use AutoSchedule to spread messages out over a number of days, which is great for time management
* View and manage all of your favourite social networks from one place
* Use the Ow.ly link shortener to track click-through stats

Fee: Start your free trial or upgrade to Hootsuite Professional for $29 USD per month. This will give you access to manage more social networks, remove ads, and access additional powerful features on the web.
 

 Filter AV8. Find a filter you love or two filters you love, use them consistently on ALL your photos. This creates a more visually pleasing account. 

Filter AV8. Find a filter you love or two filters you love, use them consistently on ALL your photos. This creates a more visually pleasing account. 

 
 Add beautiful text to images, overlay images with 47 different text styles. 

Add beautiful text to images, overlay images with 47 different text styles. 

 Stock option from Typorama background library.

Stock option from Typorama background library.

 
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My top 5! My gift to you! These apps keep my life, my business and my brand growing without a huge sacrifice on time! Spend more time working your business than working in your business! Not all apps are free, but for a nominal fee you can simply your time and be more intentional about your screen time. If you found this useful or would like more content about Social Media, leave me a comment

Tricks of the Trade. Vegas on a Budget

Did you read that title twice, I sure did when I wrote it. Sounds crazy right? Vegas & budget usually are not synonymous or at least used infrequently in the same sentence. For most vacation is the time to splurge, forget the budget & dive into relaxation! But for those in the outdoor industry budget is our best friend! With 8 plus weeks of show season, watching your budget is a must. Uber/Lyft, Food, Shows; it all adds up and very quickly when in the city that never sleeps. Now I am no expert, but I did just manage to come home from a week in Sin City, feeling relaxed and with a few extra dollars in my pocket.
 


Food //

My best kept non-secret... planning ahead. When traveling, I pre-plan breakfast, lunch & snacks and do all my shopping before I even leave home. This usually costs me between $30-$40 depending on the duration of my trip. Doing it this way, allows me to stay on track with my eating habits, avoid over eating, eating the brands I am used to and not spend $20 on pancakes. As for dinner budget roughly $30- $50 for a decent meal out. That range accounts for a main entree and a drink. If you are in town for meetings - coordinate them over the dinner hour or plan to eat in a large group. Portions can be large, so sharing is always an option. The dining options in Vegas are world-renowned, so with one easy step before you even get to town you can enjoy a delicious meal of your choice every night guilt free!

 

Transportation //

Travel in packs! Uber or Lyft are the best bet when getting around town. A typical ride from one end of strip to the next is $8-10. The benefit of using one of these services is that the meter is not running while waiting in traffic. And trust me... traffic never ends. 

 

Use THIS code for a FREE ride with Uber or code laurelm222ue

Use THIS code for a $5.00 ride credit with Lyft or code laurelmcode

 

Gifts //

avoid them! Unless you are there to shop, you don't need it! Sightsee, walk through the shops, hotel lobbies or take a gondola through the Venetian. There is so much to see that spending money on gifts should be the last thing on your mind. 

 

Extras //

This is what Vegas is known for! Shows! See them! Chances are that if you plan ahead and use apps like StubHub or TicketMaster you can find killer deals on some of the hottest shows in town. 

 

Alcohol //

This can blow your budget. If you do drink, I would suggest finding a shot machine or table of choice and spend a few dollars. As long as you are gambling the drinks are free for you and your group. (they usually only serve 3-4 guests with you). 


Choosing Brands

It is that time of year again; the season for change. From November to February the outdoor industry erupts; with contract renewals on the table, the newest and most innovative products hitting showroom floors, and influencers starting to look for new brands & companies looking for new professionals to promote their products. For some this is a welcomed season; new partnerships, new products, exciting opportunities for the year ahead. But for others, it is an uneasy season and not all good change. I have been on both the positive and the negative side of this season over the past several years. I have made mistakes and have learned some valuable lessons along the way when it comes to choosing brands. I am no expert when it comes to influencer marketing but when it comes to choosing brands I follow the big 3. 


B.A.G.

My simple acronym for choosing the right brands 


Be Authentic

Chances are if you picked up your phone, scrolled to Instagram and opened your account; you would see thousands, if not tens of thousand of followers watching your every move. They look to your account for your latest adventure, your go-to products, or who you are wearing. (let's be honest we all do this) Your audience follows you for a specific reason, whatever it be, they chose to actively partake in your social life. When choosing a new brand, be conscious of your audience! After all are they the ones you should be taking into consideration; they are the ones who will aid you in spreading the word about what you are promoting and purchase items using your discount code (if you have one). If you choose to partner with a new company, how much will you have to change? Will you be giving up your authentic vibe in exchange for product? Will you lose your authentic value just to post 2-4 times per month for a company? 

 

Add Value

Value. This may be the single most important item when choosing to partner with a new brand. What value will this bring to you, your business, personal brand, company, etc? Will this product/company add any value to your audience? If the answer is yes; it will enhance my audience's education, awareness, skill set, then go for it! That sounds like the perfect brand to align with. If the answer is no, step back. If this is a one time partnership, or a product for post, or sponsored post, think about the people who look up to you for advice. Does this brand help you gain anything or did you simply say yes to gain free product? Let me pause. I am NOT saying your followers are the only people you should aim to please, but as an influence marketer or a "InstaFamous Celebrity" your focus should be on producing the best, most current content you can provide. Adding value serves your audience in an authentic way, which in turn makes you more successful. 

choosing brands should be like dating. get to know one another, develop a connection, decide if you want to move forward.
— Me

 

Go Deeper - Not Wider 

Who am I kidding, we all love receiving the emails or DM's offering us free products, hunts, gear, etc. You name it, Instagram has now made it possible to sell anything using influencer marketing. Now more than ever, it is crucial to choose brands that deepen your connection to your industry. For instance, if you are fully emerged in the outdoor industry, dig deeper into that! Do not start picking up companies like; Skinny Tea, Vitamin Gummies, or Teeth Whitening Devices. What value does this add? Rather, choose companies that will enhance your outdoor experience, whether that be a new pack or new bow, choose a brand that will build on your well laid foundation, not spread you thin.  

 

Social media marketing is not a race, let me repeat, IT IS NOT A RACE. It is also not a competition! There are 10's of thousands of outdoor companies, clothing companies, footwear companies, you name it, they are using social media influencers to develop their brands. There is enough to go around! And there are brands out there that are suited for different people. You are unique, you bring a different skill set, mind set, and background than the person next to you. Take the time to find companies that fit; both for you and for them. As an influence marketer, it is your job to be the voice for your audience. They have chosen to follow along with your journey for who you are, not who you are wearing or what fly rod you have in your hand. Be authentic! Choose brands that add value, align with your personal values, and brands that build up your foundation.

 

These are simply my options, my thought process, and what has proven to work for me. It may not work for you and it may not be your style, and that is 100% ok!

Essentials for Late Season. How to Stay Warm!

The "Bitter Blast" swept through the majority of the East Coast, bringing temperatures in the area as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit. The cold "blast" shut down schools, businesses, and transportation, but it didn't stop hunters from braving the arctic like conditions. As a hunter, this is the weather we pray for, what we hope for all season; "extra" days off during season to fill our tags! While hunting in negative degree weather may not be ideal, some great products can help us stay warm & hunt longer on those extra cold days.

I've rounded up my essential gear for staying warm in the field this late season. & when all else fails, it is ok to call it an early day, head inside and enjoy a warm cup of coffee! Let's face it, we all get cold sometimes. 


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Outerwear: (Shell Layer)

The weather protection later. The purpose of an outer layer (shell layer) is to protect you from the elements; rain, snow, wind. During late season, waterproof/breathable shells with a layer of insulation are key. (Gore-Tex falls into this category.) Look for jackets/pants treated with DWR (durable water repellent) and taped seams. 

My Go To

Jacket: Kylie 3-in-1

Bibs: Kylie Convertible Pant/Bib 

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Layers:

Moisture Management & Insulation

Your next-to-skin layer helps regulate body temperature, moving perspiration away from skin. For the most warmth, merino wool, synthetic fabrics, or silk are recommended. 

Your insulation layer helps to retain heat by trapping air close to your body. Fleece or natural fibers are great for this middle layer.  

My GO TO

Base Layer Top: D-Tech Base Layer

Leggings: Capilene Thermal Weight

Middle Layer: Performance Fleece


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No Cold Toes Here

Let's face it. The minute our feet get cold, it is game over. First things is first. Once the temperature drops and moisture enters the air, it is time to put away your regular season hunting boots and break out the insulated Muck Boot (or similar product). Look for boots that are "heavy-duty", 100% waterproof, provide heat retention properties, and have a lining (the above pair is rated -60 to 30). Merino wool socks are a must! Do not, I repeat, do not skimp on good late season socks. Pick socks with a heavy cushion, this will absorb moisture and keep your toes warmer than standard socks. Personally, I size up my late season boots a 1/2 size, this allows for an "air pocket" in the toe of my boot; trapping in all the warm air, also allowing me to move my toes around with easy. 


 This is a no brainer. The #1 product we all carry. HotHands. Find your style & stock up. I never leave the house without them. Two large "super warmer" go into each jacket pocket, it not only keeps heat close to my chest, but creates an oven for my hands when my gloves are off. 

This is a no brainer. The #1 product we all carry. HotHands. Find your style & stock up. I never leave the house without them. Two large "super warmer" go into each jacket pocket, it not only keeps heat close to my chest, but creates an oven for my hands when my gloves are off. 

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Accessories

The greatest invention ever? Buffs or neck gaiters. Whatever you call them, buy them. They are sold in almost every color & fabric combination. I prefer synthetics, fleece or wool depending on the situation. Every year I battle with finding functional gloves that keep my hands warm. I do shoot in gloves, so finding a pair that can easily be pulled off in a moments notice is key. I picked these gloves up at the start of the "bitter blast" and they have not disappointed. 

MY GO TO:

Buff: UV Realtree

Gloves: Shooting Gloves

We all wish for successful early seasons and ruts, but when faced with filling tags, we gear up and head out in late season. With some planning, the right gear, and a positive attitude, late season hunting can be tolerable & enjoyable. Good luck to everyone still trying to keep the tag soup at bay. Only a few more weeks, keep putting in those hours! 

Coming to Fruition. 2018 Goals

A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him

At times it feels like I am an imposter, living a life that is foreign to me. I didn't grow up in a bait and bullet family, I didn't hunt with my dad, or spend hours in the woods learning calls as a kid. I did however choose to explore the "world" of hunting and fly fishing. It was an active decision to alter my life, for the better, and create a legacy of my own. When I started getting more involved in fly fishing and hunting, I did not have many female role models, or male role models for that matter. I had myself and some really nice people at the sporting goods store. If I wanted to know how to do something, I sought out my own answers. I can remember sitting on the floor in Barnes & Noble reading book after book (purchasing way too many of them), spending hours watching YouTube videos, searching Instagram for the girls who were providing informational content, and calling and asking companies for advice. That was my foundation. I built it. It was not an over night job, it took me years to feel comfortable with my abilities! Thankfully now I have the tools I need to teach others, run my business, hunt different species and be educated while doing so. & I surround myself with the smartest people in the industry. You know that ole' saying, you are the company you keep? Well I keep my tribe full of highly qualified badass people! 

I get asked time and time again, "How are you qualified to guide?" "What makes you a guide?" "How do I become a guide?" My answer to all of that? It is my FOUNDATION. I run my guide service and my outdoor career just like I would a Corporate 9-5. I have a development plan, I have career goals I set for myself, trainings I schedule to better myself, workshops I attend, and a whole list of other bullet points. And every state I work in requires that I provide documentation backing up the above (they check that you are capable of guiding). I have a Bachelors in Biology, I studied Trout Entomology, I went to a reputable guide school, I applied for my guide license, and I show up everyday at my Outfitters ready to be the best "employee" possible. Do I know everything about fly fishing or hunting? HECK NO! But then again who does? I have a passion for aiding people in the outdoors, teaching them how enjoy the outdoors on their own, and I keep them safe while doing it. And at the end of the day, that is what being a qualified guide is. 


fru·i·tion: noun. the point at which a plan or project is realized

2018 is all about seeing my plans come to fruition. Twenty-seventeen was a milestone, I made a few very good business decisions that enabled me to be where I am right now. While I cannot share them all just yet, I will be sharing more soon! Here are some of the goals for this year that I can share: 

Attend 4 Industry Related Shows as Staff

Teach 5+ Fly Fishing 101 Classes 

Build Programs for Fly Fishing & Hunting 

Help with Raise Em' Outdoors Camp

Get More Involved with My Local Conservation Community  

Guide 80 + Days of the Water 

Continue Growing my Firearms Knowledge 

Complete Grand Slam for Turkey 

Get Better at Tying My Own Flies

While that list is short, I ensure you, most of those will take up months if not the entire year to complete. I encourage everyone of you to make a list of goals for the year. Not resolutions, goals. Create a plan, make actionable step, and then work on them. You are in charge of your growth, your education, and your foundation. Lay the ground work & get to work! 

 

 

A Year In Review. 2017

2017 you win & not in a bad way, this was a year for the books. A victory chapter. In January, 2017 looked like a lot of change, a lot of driving, a logistical nightmare, and a whole lot of trial and error. While it was all of those things and a handful more, this year turned out to be the most rewarding and gratifying. It held so much growth, positivity, & showed me just how much I am capable of doing on my own. There are certainly many things still left on my "to-do" list that will be rolled over into 2018, but all in all 2017 turned out alright!  

7,878 Photos & 377 Videos 

That is the current count from 2017 on my iPhone. Hundreds of photos serving as time capsules, memories forever remembered and the funny videos & landscape panoramic from the road. No picture or video will ever serve justice to the emotions of 2017, but they do remind me everyday how thankful I am to have this life. How thankful I am to my support group, my best friends, and my family for allowing me to lead this life. It is not easy, it is far from a cake walk, but every ounce of frustration is worth the small rewards that come along the way. I laid the groundwork this year for 2018. Everything I did this past year was to get me to where I am now. I see in hindsight that every closed door was to guide me to an open one. This is me going for broke, risking it all to have what few do... I created this life & I wouldn't have it any other way. 


Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle
- Napoleon Hill

In no particular order, the recap of 2017 

 

fully relocated to Montana 

saw Mt. Rushmore at dark.... just mom & I & the quiet of falling snow 

worked in a fly shop --- tied a lot of knots 

adopted Onyx, the most lovable little Black Lab German Shepard Mix 

caught my first cold smoke day...skied more in 2 months than in 10 years

road tripped to Kansas for an all girls turkey hunt... one of the most memorable hunts to date 

laughed until I could feel my abs weekly ... cried as a result of laughing more than ever before

fished with my best friends in West Virginia... multiple times 

FINALLY got my mom and sister catching fish on the fly 

braved several solo road trips across the county 

learned family history while in Omaha, Nebraska  

put the fly rod down and snowshoed through Teton National Park

got my nose pierced... love it!  

stood by my sisters side as she married the love of her lift  

put myself first: mentally!  

 
 

kept all my clients safe & alive & happy during guide season 

met the most rad ladies on the water and in the field 

learned A LOT about love, about losing love, and what I expect next time 

said yes more times than I said no 

shot my first West Virginia Black Bear & Canada Goose 

found the best sushi in Ogden, Utah 

guide life is not all its cracked up to be.. but it sure is rewarding 

fostered some very meaningful relationships 

left love alone when it was time to go 

worked with some outstanding companies in the outdoor industry 

 
 

watched the colors of the sun rise over the mountains many a mornings 

said adios to the negativity.. BYE BYE BYE 

ate the best breakfast from Jam! 

paddle boarded down a freestone 

hunted in 5 states 

visited my favorite guide in Canada twice 

took a job with Orvis! 

attended my first NHL finals game... GO FLAMES GO 

fished the Missouri River, Madison, Yellowstone, Gallatin. Montana's greatest waters 

taught children how to fly fish in Oregon 

set the hook on my first small mouth bass on the fly.... watching bass eat dry flies never gets old  

experienced the adrenaline of my first elk hunt & the rush you get hearing a 380 inch bull bugle 

 
 

I am not much for New Year resolutions, but I do set goals. Goals that are easy to achieve, ones that make me think long and hard about how to achieve them, and then the goals where it will take all year just to chip away at it. Write them down, discuss them, work on them! Cheers to 2017, let's write another victory chapter for 2018. 

 

Tomorrow I will be sharing my goals for 2018 & what I have on the calendar so far. 

Start to Finish: Scent Control Done Right

When I first started hunting, I had no clue where to start with scent control. Sure I knew the basics, but not enough to be completely scent free. I would wash all my hunting clothing together but with Tide Scent-Free laundry detergent, I would refrain from using any scented lotion or perfume, but that was as where it stopped.  Over the years, I have learned how propper scent control, leads to better experiences and shot opportunities in the field. By no means am I an expert, but I now have a system that works for me & maybe it will work for you. 

These are the four steps that I follow throughout hunting season to make sure I am scent free. For me, scent control starts at home. 


Step 1. Wash Clothing & Machine Dry

 I machine wash all my hunting clothing together using  Nose Jammer Laundry Detergent  in cold water. During season prep, all my thicker jackets and bibs get washed. As season moves on those larger bulkier items only get washed as needed. I tumble dry the items on medium heat with Nose Jammer Dryer Sheets. 

I machine wash all my hunting clothing together using Nose Jammer Laundry Detergent in cold water. During season prep, all my thicker jackets and bibs get washed. As season moves on those larger bulkier items only get washed as needed. I tumble dry the items on medium heat with Nose Jammer Dryer Sheets. 

 

Step 2. Hang + Spray Down

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 After I pull everything out of the dryer, it's time to for it to hang dry. I like to make sure that everything has had a chance to air out and fully dry. While everything is on the line, I use  Nose Jammer Field Spray  and go through each piece and spray it down. It is just one extra step to make sure things are scent free.

After I pull everything out of the dryer, it's time to for it to hang dry. I like to make sure that everything has had a chance to air out and fully dry. While everything is on the line, I use Nose Jammer Field Spray and go through each piece and spray it down. It is just one extra step to make sure things are scent free.

 

Step 3. Store in Scent Free Bag 

 After a few hours on the line, everything comes down and get stored in my  Watershed Dry Bags . They are  waterproof , easy to store everything in, and keep my clothing scent free while in there. 

After a few hours on the line, everything comes down and get stored in my Watershed Dry Bags. They are waterproof, easy to store everything in, and keep my clothing scent free while in there. 

 

Step 4. Spray Down 

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 Last but not least! Time to spray down. Right before I get into the woods, I spray down the bottom of my boots  & a quick dusting on my jacket. And I'm ready to go. 

Last but not least! Time to spray down. Right before I get into the woods, I spray down the bottom of my boots  & a quick dusting on my jacket. And I'm ready to go. 


There are several great companies offering an array of products from shampoo to laundry detergent to field spray. Do your research, choose the one that works best for you! Personally I choose Nose Jammer. I have used them for 2 years nows and their wide range of products and science behind them is why I put my trust in them.

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The Science 

Nose Jammer contains Vanillin and other natural aromatic compounds that have the ability to effectively jam an animal’s sense of smell. The compounds used in Nose Jammer are not alarming to game animals because they are found in lignin, a major support structure for all trees, grasses, and shrubs. The key is taking these prolific compounds game animals are conditioned to and delivering them at concentrated levels to overload the olfactory gland found in an animal’s nose.

High concentrations of Vanillin in trees allowed a single pulp mill in Ontario to supply 60% of the worlds market for Vanillin in the 1980s

In the nose, once a molecule has triggered a response, it must be disposed of and this takes time. If a molecule comes along too quickly, there is no place for it on the olfactory hairs, so it cannot be perceived. Olfactory Fatigue is the temporary, normal inability to distinguish a particular odor after a prolonged exposure to that airborne compound. For example, when entering a restaurant initially the odor of food is often perceived as being very strong, but after time the awareness of the odor normally fades to the point where the smell is not perceptible or is much weaker.

Just like an overly bright light can wash out a photographic image, Nose Jammer overwhelms the olfactory system and overpowers an animal’s ability to detect and track human scent.

** the above description was taken directly from Nose Jammer's website ** 

These are just my steps, everyone does something different but this works for me! If anyone has any other tips or suggestions leave them in the comments below. 

Top 10 Instagram Accounts. Promoting Women the Right Way.

Within the past year Instagram has become flooded with accounts "promoting" women in the outdoors. From country girls to arctic anglers, women hunters to cowgirls, there is a page to promote every kind of women in the outdoors. Unfortunately not every account is doing it with what I like to call "role model" standards. However, I am happy to report that there is an entire online community for both hunting & fishing that is raising the bar & standards! 

These 10 accounts in my opinion are the best ones out there. They genuinely support, encourage and grow the number of women in the outdoors. Each account has a different mission, but rooted at the core of each company is the same sole purpose; to educate and encourage women to get involved in the outdoors, be it hunting or fishing. These accounts are positive, clean, and pride themselves on putting out content out that all generations of women can use.  

This is not to say that there are not other accounts out there, but for me, these are my top picks!

If you are new to the outdoors, welcome! If you are a veteran, welcome! & if you are simply looking for an encouraging community to share ideas, ask questions, or simply connect with other like minded females, these account below will provide just that! 


Huntress View is a place where women hunters, whether they be experienced or beginners, can go to gain insight on hunting and shooting from a woman's point of view. I know women have a different outlook on things than men and hunting is no exception. After introducing some of my friends to hunting they told me they were glad that they learned about it from another woman rather than from a man. With this concept in mind I created Huntress View in October of 2013. 

 

At Huntress View we field test hunting products and give honest feedback, letting other women know what products are working for us. We share our hunting experiences, good and bad, give hunting/shooting tips, and share what we have learned along the way. By doing this we hope to encourage more women to get involved in hunting, shooting, and the outdoors.

 

Sportswomen United was created with encouragement in mind. Although we have seen a rise in the number of women in the outdoor industry, I fear beginners may get discouraged early on. it is still very common to see women put one another down online with the rise in social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. I know everyone has been guilty of judging others at least once, but I hope that Sportswomen United can help women come together and support each other.

We will provide reviews and honest feedback on products we have used before, letting others know what has or has not worked for us. We will share our hunting, fishing, or outdoor stories and experiences, whether they are good or bad. With these reviews and stories posted to our blog, we hope this will provide tips and support that will ultimately encourage more women to get involved in the outdoors.

 

The Women’s Outdoor News, aka The WON,  features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. With a band of columnists and reviewers, photographers and female correspondents, The WON engages its readers through a blog format and we invite you to talk to us. Network with us. Let us know what you’re doing outside and what you’d like to learn about. 

 

ADVENTURESS is a free digital magazine tailored for the outdoor woman and country lifestyle. With articles written by and photos showcasing fellow outdoor women, it is intending to inspire women to try new things and inform them for greater skills in anything outdoors, including hunting, fishing, gathering, gardening and do-it-yourself projects ~ HUNT. FISH. EXPLORE. LIVE.

Currently, ADVENTURESS is a quarterly magazine, releasing an issue each spring, summer, fall and winter. The magazine can be viewed from any digital device (computer, laptop, smartphone, tablet) as well as downloaded as a PDF for personal storage and offline viewing. Past articles can be found in blog format and searchable on the website.

 

It’s news to no one that society imposes values and expectations on women that are rarely more than skin deep. All too often, we are judged by our outer, superficial selves, and our real beauty – that which lies within us – goes unnoticed. Even though we intuitively know our real value and the beauty of our inner spirit, the weight of it all can sometimes make even the strongest of us weary. And that’s where Able Women comes in.

Able Women is a public outreach initiative designed to spread the word about fly fishing and the many emotional, physical and spiritual benefits it brings to women. Fly fishing teaches independence, strength, and creativity. It is a sport very much defined by grace. And who understands grace better than a woman? Fly fishing binds us to astoundingly beautiful creatures that live in remarkably beautiful places. And fly fishing binds us – perhaps most importantly of all – to our inner, most beautiful selves.

 

Welcome to the official She On The Fly website. Our company was born in the winter months of 2016. The brand started as an idea with the intention of sharing, creating, and collaborating with other female anglers from around the globe. By 2017 we experienced some amazing growth and changes. 

Our mission will always be to uplift women, inspire them to learn more about the sport, from novice to expert. Over time our image and intention has taken an organic shift that has brought us many opportunities to get our message out there. SOTF now has the opportunity to sponsor charity events with merchandise, collaborate, create and promote  with some incredible companies in the industry.

 

Watershed Dry Bags. What's in the Yukon?

I know that you're thinking, there is not much up in the Yukon. But, no, not the territory far north... I am talking about the most functional dry bag on the market. I recently accepted a position with Watershed Dry Bags during the tail end of guide season and I could not be more excited to represent this brand! These are some of the most functional, durable, and dare I say, the most waterproof bags on the market. For everyday boat use, The Yukon is my go-to! Being prepared is my modus operandi. I pack everything, all the time, everywhere I go, into organized bags. When I first relocated to Montana, I thought I was prepared for a full day on the water.  However I immediately learned that as quick as the weather changes, I needed more gear to truly be prepared. I needed more of everything! Weather in the valleys can change in an instant, and it was necessary to get the proper gear to be prepared. As a guide, I not only need to make sure I can sustain the elements all day, but I also need to be prepared with gear for clients who are in need. Being able to fish all day in any condition, rain, wind, snow, or heat is important! Fishing stops for no one, no element, no roadblock in Montana. Finally after a full winter and spring season here in Southeast Montana, I have it dialed in. Here's a look into what's in my Yukon:


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Spec: Yukon 

Weight: 2lb 7 oz

Capacity: 4200 CU. IN. (70 L)

Dimensions: 14"H x 27"L x 13"W

Opening Size: 24"

Closure Type: ZipDry


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Core Layer

There is nothing more important than base layers that keep my core warm! If the fishing is slow, the least you can do is be prepared to be outside all day long:

Simms Contender Gore-Tex Jacket 

Patagonia Nano Puff Vest 

Simms  - Freestone Waders 

Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover 

Patagonia Merino Mid-weight Crew 

Simms WaderWick Thermal Pant 

Cabela's Rainy River Gore-Tex Pant 

A full Gore-Tex outerwear set is crucial! Do not skimp on these pieces. You want to stay dry, you want your warming layers to stay dry. Make the investment! 

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Accessories. 

2 Wading Belts (I prefer the stretchy ones!) 

Socks: Wool, Regular, Neoprene (they come in handy during late summer/early spring when you are fishing in flip flops. Throw them on and your feet will stay dry & warm)

Gravel Guards

2 Buffs 

Gloves: Sun, Winter, Regular, Neoprene 

Beanie & Baseball Cap 

Water Wicking Towel/Shammy 


It might seem excessive to have this all in the boat on a bright sunny day, but think of it as the emergency kit in your car you never use, or the jumper cables in the back of your truck that you forget about. This kit is there as reassurance that when the weather goes sideways, you are going to be warm & protected from the elements.

The Yukon keeps me fishing in any storm! 

A huge thank you to Unbranded Photography for doing all my in-home photography for this post! 

Personal Post. She's Married!

Falling in love was the easy part for these two! They love to love, laugh more than any other couple I know, fight fair, and truly enjoy each others company. I honestly do not know any other couple that spends more time together than these two. From work to play, they are always together. This was inherently clear when looking back at all the events leading up to the wedding! 

Now, to truly know my twin sister, is to know that she plans everything! Not one detail about this wedding was out of place. From the beginning, it was her goal to bring their friends and family together. Something I think most brides forget when planning such a big day. Let me explain, yes weddings are about the bride and groom, but what Heather & Ron did will always stand out to me. The engagement party, bridal party meet & greet, wedding planning weekends, dress fittings, food tastings, a group bachelorette/bachelor party, and a truly inclusive wedding weekend, family & friends were at the core of all of it. By the time the wedding happened,  everyone was family.  How many people can actually say that? I have spent more time with my brother-in-laws family during holidays and weekend dinner parties, than most do in a lifetime. Simply because they have fostered it! They believe in unity, they stand for family, and they make it a priority!  

Sharing some of my favorite captures from the day & my toast to the new bride & groom. Enjoy! 


“It is such a happiness when good people get together -- and they always do.” 

 

Details. Let's Get Down to Them. 

Photography: Photography Jensen

Hair: Meghan Quinn & Mariela Pano Gomez 

Make-Up: Russell Borns & Emily De Stefano & Sarah Thacker

Venue: terrain (Glen Mills, PA) 

Event Designers: terrain gatherings: KB & Sara & Schuyler



I was so honored to stand by my sister as her Maid of Honor. Here's what I had to say: 

No matter how far you have traveled to be here with Heather & Ron this evening, know that it means so much to them! Have you ever seen a more beautiful bride? And I don't just say that because we look alike; let's be honest, most of you at some point have probably confused Heather & I, and today, it's more than all right because there's no one else I'd rather be confused with. 

I’ve got to admit, Heather didn’t think I had this toast in me. (Little did she know, I had a public speaking element in every college class I took). After the eulogy last August for my dad, she came around.. or realized what I was capable of. (haha) - pause (laugh)  I think her exact wording was; “ok, you can give your maid of honor speech at the wedding now, not the rehearsal dinner.” (Upgrade!)  Her only request, just make me cry… I am not sure when that became a measure for how good a toast is, but lets give it a try!  

Everyone in love talks about the “moment”, you know the one where time stops, & the clouds part, and you just know you have found your soulmate. Well, I had that moment…. but it was more of “I just found my next brother”. In the fall of 2014 when our dad planned his first “sneak attack” & backed out of our surprise family vacation at 4:00 am… Ron didn’t panic. Rather he took care of all of us, and when mom, heather & I all get together, that’s no small task. But he did it. He cooked more food than we all could eat, stocked up on candy, bought movies on demand, and surrendered his living room to all of us so we could regroup. It was then, that I knew he was the one. He would be able to provide for my sister, protect her, and always put her & our family first when we really needed it. It was that selfless act in a time of need, that I knew, "he was the one".  

Ron by now, I am sure you have mastered the art of "Heather"... How she only eats two colors of Sour Patch kids, you've realized that grace... well isn't her middle name.... & falling, tripping, and losing her balance is all part of her charm... and that in 5 years you'll need a whole linen closet for all the throw pillow she collects.. 

All kidding aside, Heather - Time has given us stories and memories that only we have and that only we can share. Time has given use a deep understanding of the importance of family and unbreakable loyalty through hardship and unwavering love and joy in each others happiness's. Time has made two girls into two women. And now time has given you the love of her life, and given me the honor of standing next to you.  

I read a quote the other day, that said, “If a guy can’t handle a girl in sweats then he doesn’t deserve her in a wedding dress.” So if that’s true, Ron you have earned every bit of this because we all know much Heather loves her some sweats and Sunday afternoon family time.    

So I will close with this: 

May the most you wish for, be the least you get. I pray your love breaks the tie, a love that gets the last word when you come to the crossroads, and above all else that you choose love at the end of the day. Not just the love that is a feeling, not just the love that feels good. But the love that is a choice, love that is a verb and an action, a willingness - to never fail one another in love.  And always be as persistent in the way you love each other as the moment you both fell in love. 

Here's to Heather & Ron! 


All photos used are copyright of Jensen Photography. 

The Hunt: Chasing Thunder

Monday, May 1st, 2017.  

This is happening. Did I prepare enough? Is my bow ready, am I ready? What are these girls like in the field? Will my calls measure up? On that afternoon, I had so many emotions, a touch of self-doubt, added to a mix of excitement.  

Here I was in the heart of Kansas, with three girls who I had known in person for less than 24 hours, a car packed full of gear, and 3 Muzzy Turkey Broadheads ready to go! Or so I thought.  

We arrived at the Ice House Lodge around noon and were quickly greeted by our guide Tony. He was ready to go! Full of energy, excitement & a touch of smartassery (is that even a word?). 

As we sat around the table, after we unpacked, Tony pulled out the land maps, and decided on two pieces of ground on opposite sides of the property. Rain storms had hit pretty hard in Hepler for the week prior to our hunt, and with more anticipated rain in the forecast, hunting the swamp bottoms was an unlikely option, but with the vast open fields edged with Osage Orange, we hoped the birds had taken higher ground. Since Cara and Courtney had more experience turkey hunting, we collectively decided that Amelia & I would pair up with Tony for the evening.  

As the truck door shut, and the sound of the engine revving met the calming breeze from wide open windows, we were off, flying down Kansas backroads. About 10 miles from the lodge, we arrived at a large cow pasture. Our first spot, the other side of the pasture on the higher side of the swamp bottom. Tony had been in there a few nights prior and knew what direction the Toms were coming in to roost, and was confident that we would get on top of them. We parked the truck, grabbed our gear and started walking. Mud, barbed wire, and a few hopped fences later, we arrived at our spot. A perfectly brushed wooded edge along a pocket of lush green field. Amelia took to the right, and me on the left. I had decided to start with my bow, Amelia her shotgun. 

I unfolded my Cabelas stool, secured my release, knocked an arrow and sat down. Like any athlete before a large game, hunters have routines when they get into position so to say. I am no different. Once I get settled, I always draw back once to make sure I am comfortable, have enough space, and more importantly that my shooting lane is clear. As I drew back, the tension felt "off" (no other way to describe it), I went to full draw, still not sure what was happening, as I let down to half way... my worst nightmare played out in front of me. One loud SNAP and off the Y string went.  Within seconds all the optimism I had for this hunt vanished. I knew I hadn't dry fired. I had checked my bow thoroughly before we left the lodge, and I was careful to not let the Muzzy Turkey Broadheads touch the strings. I was in shock, I couldn't figure out what happened. At this point, we were in prime time. There were no other options but for me to sit & wait & be there with Amelia. 

Around 4:30pm, the woods came alive! Squirrels, a raccoon, bull frogs, toads, the swamp was in full swing... or should I say full sing. Tony who was set up less than 5 yards away, put out a locator call, within minutes we heard a Tom gobble back. He was on the ridge to our right, moving right into position. Now, Tony being an old school turkey hunter, knew how to work these birds. He knew when to call, when to gobble, and when to just be still and let the birds come into us. After a few more calls, we could start to hear a bird moving through the field. Holy Bird! I immediately looked to the right and saw Tony motioning that he was a longbeard & a shooter. I froze, as the white head of our first Kansas Tom come into 40 yards, I whispered to Amelia, "Shoot him, he's huge!" What I didn't know at the time was Amelia had a branch right in her shooting lane & she could not get a clear shot on him. As I watched my first Kansas Longbeard slip down into the tall grass, my excitement was high. I wanted to race back to camp, re-group, and get ready for the morning! 

 

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017.  

3:00am. Any other day the sound of an alarm that early would have been enough for me smash it with a hammer, but not today. Today was our full day in the field. Lights on, EDM music blaring, pre-workout added to our waters... Amelia and I were awake. We quickly gathered our packs, any extra layers we needed and headed downstairs. First stop breakfast! Call me crazy or deprived (you can decide) but PopTarts are pretty darn good. With pockets full of snacks and Tony in tow, we headed out. Just before dawn, we pulled down the lane, parked the truck, applied more face paint, loaded our guns, and started toward the row of trees on the edge of the corn field. All in a line with our eyes peeled, we sat enjoying God's beautiful awakening. One of the prettiest sunrises I had experienced in years, being hand painted right in front of us. 

Now from sunrise on... our banter went a lot like this: 

Amelia: Laurel, "Shut Up" "Don't Move" "Seriously, Don't Move" "Don't F'n Move" 

Me: "I'm Not" "I Don't See Anything... or Hear Anything" 

Amelia: "Over There, 200 yards away!"  

Well.. let me tell you, those birds played us all morning! With hens far off in the field, we had two toms sticking close to them. Tony had placed several decoys and "Dr. Love" roughly 30 yards in front of the tree line, the intent to draw the Tom away from his hens. After some aggressive calling & a lot of waiting. We had a curious Tom start strutting like CRAZY! It was agreed upon early on in the morning that Amelia would take the first shot that came in, and I would be backup if needed. So with this big ole Tom going crazy, we both thought this was it! Birds are going to hit the dirt. We worked and worked this Tom, but no matter what we tried he wouldn't come in closer than 70 yards. For two hours, we watched him waiver back and forth on whether to leave his hens and come check out the decoys, strutting up a storm, gobbling, but not moving. 

At this point, we wanted this bird! We packed up our stuff and headed to the bird. If he wasn't going to come to us, we would go to him! Or so we thought. After a few of Tony's childhood hunting stories and no signs of the Tom, we headed back for lunch. 

Fast Forward. Our Last Evening Hunt.  

It is a good thing Amelia & I can entertain ourselves, because we went into this last evening just ready to enjoy a night in the outdoors. No real hope to get a bird on the ground, just to enjoy our last night. Tony made the call that we would sit near a roost site, with hopes of getting the birds right before they flew up to roost. As we sat along a muddy corn field, the hours past with no sight of birds. So what did we do? Changed up the game, quickly we were glassing at deer across the field. NOW, let me tell you (and Amelia will agree) the oldest doe we had ever seen was grazing on the opposite side of the corn field. 

Within seconds, the binoculars were down, the laugher stopped, and Amelia and I froze in our seats. From our left, the sound of crunching grass & rustling branches. A hen appeared from the tall grass, slowly making her way behind us. 40 steps, 30 steps, 20 steps, before we knew it, the hen had stopped at 4 steps behind me. She held behind me for what felt like hours (probably more like 30 minutes) but, remaining still for that long on edge is tough! Around 7:00pm, just as Tony had predicted the birds started coming in to roost. One by one hens flew up to roost in the tree behind us, with one lone gobble heard earlier in the evening, our anticipation grew as dusk set it. With only minutes left of shooting light, a white head appeared on the left! Amelia whispered, "I am going to shoot him, I am just going to turn around and shoot him!" As we both agreed, she prepared to make a quick movement to turn and take a final shot on this bird. One quick movement, a turn to the left, and a loud scream later, Amelia was in my lap. Simultaneously as she turned to take a shot on the Tom an opossum had crawled up into her lap just enough to startle her, sending the tom to roost and her flying backwards with shock. The laughter that erupted following was enough to clear out the hold tree line! Empty handed we left again, but this time we had stories to tell! 

 

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017.   

They say you cannot predict the weather... well at 3:00am when the claps of thunder and wind against the lodge rang loud before our alarms, we knew what was going on. No hunting today. Southern Kansas had sustained on again off again rainfall for most of the week and at this point the majority of the fields were too saturated or flooded to squeeze in a morning hunt. While disappointment ran through camp, Tony remained positive! As a veteran guide, he had a bag of tricks and was about to pull out all of them to make sure out last morning was just as eventful as the last. With full coffee mugs, all the rain gear we could find, and a dose of optimism we piled into the red truck and hit the road. As we drove around, the realization that Tony was right {no hunting} sunk in. Everywhere we looked, fields were under water, wind was whipping rain sideways, and definitely no birds moving on the ground. 

We pulled into a cutout on the highway, hopped out of the truck and slipped into an open field to start the search for sheds. The day prior Courtney found one side of a nice Kansas bruiser, and we all wanted to one-up it! The further into the field, the deeper the water. As we dredged back to the fence line, the trails of water widened, where there once was a field, now stood a raging flow of water. Water so powerful, Osage Orange roots littered the ground 5 to 10 feet down. 45 minutes later, we were all sopping wet, cold, and ready to warm up. Once last group picture to document the end of a great hunt camp, and back to the truck we went.  

today i wish you well....hunting is so very much as life is. sometimes the very reward you most desire not always comes in the form you had worked for. so if your hunt is not bountiful with birds it has certainly been bountiful with time shared with friends. what experience you have shared and many more. i pray you continue to know laughter is contagious, joyful, and memorable. may you continue with life long friendships.
— ms. marti

There are no truer words than those of Ms. Marti. Social media may have brought us all together, but it was and continues to be our genuine love for hunting that keeps us together. While we were unsuccessful in punching any tags in Kansas, we did not leave empty handed. Sore stomachs from laughing until we cried, inside jokes, hunting stories, and forever friends made the departure bearable. As we loaded the trucks and parted ways, I was reminded once again that, you get out of this adventure what you put into it. Never be so scared to take the trip, that you miss it. You should be scared by new opportunity, after all if it doesn't scare you, it's not worth doing! In the meantime, the countdown is on for next season when we all return for a full week, locked & loaded ready to put birds on the ground. 

Smoke Hole Outfitters. Fly Fish West Virginia

Flashback to May

Amelia Farrar and I were driving to Kansas City, after a week in Helper Kansas turkey hunting. As I pulled into the airport shuttle line, the car grew quiet, we both knew what was about to happen... we would be parting ways once again to return to opposite sides of the country. Fours days was not nearly enough time! Between teary goodbyes and puppy kisses, we vowed that another girls trip was needed, ASAP!  

Well ASAP  meant "as soon as I could drive back across the country" or as it happened 4 months later at Smoke Hole Resort with Josh and Rachelle Hedrick. Having lived only hours from Smoke Hole Resort a few years prior, I was familiar with both Josh and Rachelle, and was eager to get to West Virginia to fish! Amelia and Rachelle met up earlier in the summer, spent a few days fishing & hours laughing! It was at that trip that our end of summer girls fishing weekend came to light. 

Not a week later, I get a phone call from Rachelle anxious to arrange a weekend for us all to fish together. Of course my answer was... HECK YES... just let me know when and I will be there.  

 

Fast Forward... Way Forward.  

Sunday August 13th, my car is loaded the ceiling, my puppy is curled up in the back seat, and a full RedBull sits in the cup holder. My destination? Smoke Hole Resort in Cabins, WV. I had been looking forward to this trip for months. Not only was I going to be reunited with one of my best friends {Amelia}, but I was finally going to meet Rachelle. I had been following her for a year or so on social media {Instagram} and could just tell we would all hit it off. As the 4 hour drive trickled down to 3 hours, then 2 hours, then 1 hour to go, in the dark & without cell service... my anticipation grew. I don't know about you, but I love meeting new people & visiting new places so spending a weekend with Josh & Rachelle in a part of West Virginia I was unfamiliar with sounded like the right prescription.  

As I made my way up the switchback driveway to the main house, the only thing on my mind... LETS GET THIS WEEKEND STARTED! I was immediately greeted in the driveway with hugs all around! You know those people in your life where it doesn't matter the time that has past you just seem to pick up right where you left off... well it's safe to say that there was no shortage of belly laughs right out of the car door. Within minutes we settled in the for evening and began making our plans for the next morning. On the top of the list? Fly Fishing of course, duh!  

I won't bore you with all the details of the weekend, but if I am being honest there was not one boring part about the whole trip! Smoke Hole Resort is stunning! From the grounds to the cabins, the catch & keep pond to the #ItsInMySpringCreek trout, this is one place I will be going back to, immediately!  


August 14th. Rain, Rain, You Won't Keep Us Away 

We woke up to the sound of rain on the roof and a gray gloom hanging in the air. To most, it would have been enough to stay inside, pop in a movie, curl up & relax, but not for us. Rain was not about to stop us from checking out the Spring Creek. With Muck Boots in tow and raincoats on our backs, we headed to the Trout Shack. Within minutes lines were in the water, jokes were starting, and the familiar sound of "Fish On" was echoing in my head. This Spring Creek was unlike anything I had seen before. Rainbow, Tiger, Golden, Albino and Brook Trout all in one place! All eating Green Wooly Buggers! 

As the afternoon ticked away, we retired our rods, grabbed lunch, wrangled up the guys and headed to the brute section of the Spring Creek. On the docket? The Big Ones.  

fishing in the rain... that is worth at least 10 points


August 15th. Spring Run & Endless Mountain Views 

If you have had a conversation with Amelia lately, you surly know her love for Brook Trout. It is the only species she was after this weekend. She didn't care how big they were... she just wanted to catch one, a Native one! Josh, the head guide at Smoke Hole Outfitters (aka Rachelle's husband) joined us for the day. He suggested we go for a drive to Spring Run, a formerly private stretch of water that was sold to the state. Now a public fly fishing only fishery we were all excited to see what we could get to eat our dry flies. Fingerling Brook & Rainbow Trout did not disappoint!   

 

After a few hours of stealth fishing for Native Trout, we changed our gears. Time to see why people refer to West Virginia as the "Wild & Wonderful" state. The side-by-side was quickly loaded on the trailer and off we went. The "farm" as Josh and Rachelle call it hosts the most beautiful view of the valley. A 20 minute ride up to the top & a short walk out onto the rocks, I was speechless. Now, I know I live in Montana and our views are impressive, but this is in a league of it's own. West Virginia, you are beautiful! That 360 degree view will forever be in my mind. Rolling green hills, wildlife galore, and birds soaring overhead... its safe to say, West Virginia lived up to it's name. 

 

It is always hard for me to put into words the emotions I feel after trips like this. For 3 days straight I was surrounded by some of the best people I have ever met, doing what we all enjoy. For the five of use pictured above {Amelia, Me, Scott, Josh, Rachelle} the outdoors is our way of life. It is how we all collectively recharge, unwind, and find peace amongst our busy lives. Almost two weeks later and I am still laughing to myself about funny things that were said or how many times White Bread was brought up. The shear beauty of West Virginia is an attractor on its own, but when you add in great fishing, even greater friends, and the common bond that brought us all together, one can truly see the beauty that the outdoors holds.  

Turkey Time! Ladies Hunt 2017

Part 1: The Introduction 

Women never look so well as when one comes in wet and dirty from hunting.
— R S Surtees

Outfitter: Xtremehunts

Location: Helper, Kansas 

When: May 1-3, 2017 

Camo: Rocky Brands, Venator Camo 

(as always use code Monaghan25 for 25% off) 

Tags: 1 

Shotgun & Bow  


 

Meet the Ladies 

Sometime during 2015 our social media worlds collided. Four girls spread out across the United States, who under any other circumstance would have never met, who all share the same passion, the outdoors, came together. Over the next year, we continued to follow along with one another's hunts, travels, fishing trips, and life. In the early fall of 2016, we decided a girls trip was a mandatory! By Thanksgiving 2016 we had narrowed down our options, a turkey hunt was at the top of the list. Courtney had hunted with Tony at Xtreme Hunts the season prior and recommended that we look into heading back to Kansas for another trip. Since hunting was what brought us together, this was right up our alley. So we booked it! 3 days in southern Kansas on a semi-guided hunt chasing ole' Toms. These are some of the best women I have had the pleasure of sharing camp with! Get to know em', you'll be seeing a lot more of them!  

 

Amelia Farrar

My name is Amelia Farrar. I was born and raised in Alabama, but I'm currently living in a small town nestled against the muddy James River in central Virginia. The outdoors has always been and always will be a part of my life. Fishing grabbed be early, at just three years old I had a Mickey Mouse rod glued to my hands. By the time I turned five I had landed everything from Large-mouth bass in mossy farm ponds to Florida Pompano. It wasn't until the fall I turned fifteen that my brother would introduce me to the world of hunting.

"You dropped him!" my brother excitedly whispered to me after pulling the trigger on my first whitetail deer. From the chills, the tears and the blood kissed cheeks; the memory of my first harvest will remain clear and crisp in my mind for the rest of my life. Soon after, my love for the outdoors spread to dove, feral hogs, turkey, bear and kayak fishing. Of all my hunts and harvests, nothing from my life has seared into my memory quite like my first bow kill. Seven years ago, I saved every penny to purchase my first bow, a Parker Sidekick. It wasn't until I met my archery crazed husband that I really began to develop the knowledge and skills it would take to be an ethical and successful bow hunter. After a few seasons of hard hunting and persistence, I finally let an arrow fly and connected with a beautiful whitetail buck. Having filled archery deer tags on private land, the last few years my sites have been set on other game species. I now mostly hunt public lands in the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia but I am eager to venture westward.

 

Courtney Riser

My name is Courtney. I'm 26 years old and from Northeast Louisiana. Although I did not grow up hunting, I fell in love with the lifestyle when I was first introduced to it by my fiance around seven years ago. When I'm not working you can find me outside doing something. When in season we hunt whitetail deer and turkeys mostly. In the off season I enjoy shooting my bow either in the yard or at 3D archery tournaments. I started Sportswomen United to help other outdoor women come together. So often we see women putting each other down and I hope to encourage the opposite. Let's open the door for other women to feel more comfortable getting in the outdoors, whether that be for hunting, fishing, hiking or just watching the wildlife :) 

 

Cara Holland

My name is Cara Holland and I am from Little Rock, AR. I started hunting and fishing with my dad when I was three. My family operated a lodging and guide service near Stuttgart, so duck hunting was a major part of my childhood. I always had a gun in my hand. Even if I was too small to carry a shotgun I'd be shooting my BB gun right along with the guys!

Over the years I have developed an immense passion for the outdoors. I love the added challenge of bowhunting but enjoy hunting with a rifle or muzzleloader as well. I especially love to pursue whitetails, mallards, long beards, and elk! I trained my lab, Mya, and she has been retrieving ducks since before she was a year old! Even though Arkansas has a wide variety of wildlife I plan on traveling to expand my exposure to different game animals like antelope, mule deer, etc. 

I do not believe hunting is just about killing. I have been raised to love the experience of being in the outdoors and to enjoy the beauty in nature and wildlife that God created; that hunting is conservation and preserving wildlife for future generations so I can share the tradition with my children one day. Hunting is a way of spending time with your family and disconnecting from all the distractions in life. It’s a challenge, adrenaline rush, a series of highs and lows, and always an opportunity to learn. I look forward to sharing my hunting experiences with you and what I learn from them!   

 


Packing List:  

Now, this would not be a ladies trip if we all didn't over pack! I wish I would have snapped a photo of the cars! (oh, boy did we bring everything we needed and then some!) Since this was my first turkey hunt and my first hunt in the south, I was nervous... to say the least! Courtney put together a packing list that made sure we were all ready to go! 

  • ID, License & Tags

  • Gun

    • Plenty of ammunition (turkey loads)

    • Turkey choke

    • Sling for shotgun

    • Case for gun

    • Shooting stick (optional)

    • Gun tool for adjustments

    • Cleaning kit/oil&cloth

  • Bow

    • Plenty of arrows, broadheads

    • Quiver

    • Wrist release

    • Extra nocks

    • Hard case for bow

    • Bow tool for adjustments

  • Binoculars

    • Glass and lens cleaner

  • Rangefinder

  • Turkey Vest/Backpack

  • Small fold up chair for long sits or seat cushion if not one on vest

  • Calls

    • Pot/Diaphragm calls

    • Strikers for slate calls

    • Locator calls (crow/owl)

    • Protective case/ziplock bag for slate calls to keep from getting wet

    • Sandpaper or scotch-brite pad to rough up pot calls

  • Thermacell mosquito repellant

    • Extra butane & pads

  • Tick spray

  • Nose Jammer

  • Fold-able saw with a little pair of handheld limb trimmers

  • Zip Ties for attaching carcass tag

  • Knife & Sharpener

  • Face paint 

  • Hunting Clothes

    • 2-3 pairs of light, breathable camo clothes (some good for layering, temps may change frequently)

    • Maybe a black jacket or hoodie for blind

    • Light camo jacket

    • Face mask

    • Camo/neutral color hat (turkeys can see colors really well)

    • Camo gloves

    • Camo rain gear if you can bring it

    • Moisture wicking socks

  • Boots

    • At least a rubber pair for dewy mornings

    • Or waterproof snake boots

    • Boot dryer (optional)

  • Pop up blind and chair

  • Decoys (hen, jake & gobbler)

  • Ice chest for meat & drinks 

    • Bottled water 

  • Freezer bags

  • Chap stick* (Kansas is windy)

  • 2-3 pairs of regular street clothes

  • Flashlight 

    • Extra batteries

  • Camera 

    • Extra batteries/packs

    • Battery charger

    • Extra SD Cards

    • Tripod

  • Measuring Tape

 

Up next, the hunt!