An article featuring interviews with the four final competitors in the Extreme Huntress competition ran in the December 2013 issue of Western Shooting Journal. We will be running each interview separately on this website this month. If you can’t wait to read them all, you can pick up the December issue of Western Shooting Journal in grocery stores and gas stations around the country for $4.99. Or, sign up for an electronic subscription for only $1.89/mth and get instant access. We’re running a special currently on the hard copy version of the magazine, only $19.95/mth for a full year of 12 issues, that’s 66% off the cover price (although it will be too late to get the December issue). Click on SUBSCRIBE or DIGITAL on the top right side of this site.
Meet the Gorgeous Finalists of Extreme Huntress
Dazzling And Daring Women Compete For Top Honor
Each year, the Eye of the Hunter Extreme Huntress competition seeks to find the most hardcore female hunter in the U.S. Organizer Tom Opre started the event in order to portray women hunters as positive role models, especially for kids. “It’s all about preserving our outdoor heritage,” Opre says. “If mom goes hunting, so will her children.” The competition is in its fifth year, and is decided half by a panel of celebrity judges and half by online voting. Readers can vote at extremehuntress.com. The ongoing competition, where the contestants face off against each other in extreme shooting situations, is being featured on Eye Of The Hunter, airing Sundays at 7 a.m. on NBC Sports. A winner will be selected in January 2014.
Western Shooting Journal interviewed all four of the contestants. We asked them how they got into hunting, why they should be selected as the winner, what advice they have for other women, and what kind of gun or bow they use.
CANDACE CRICK (Oklahoma)
As a child, I grew up with a mom who had a rare genetic heart disease. We spent a lot of together time, but were very limited on our activities we did together. My father never left my mother behind and always included her. Hunting was part of his childhood, but wasn’t something he dabbled in after marriage. I lost my mother at 15, she was only 35. As a young adult, I decided I was going to live my life to the fullest. I wouldn’t let fear hold me back. Or say I wish I would have done that. I met my husband Tim, nearly seven years ago. He was always in the woods and he loved it. I had no clue what he loved about it but his eyes lit up when it came to hunting. The woods were scary to me at first, until I realized all the up close and personal experiences I was missing out on with Mother Nature. From plants, berries, animals, migration and so much more. Strutting turkeys are so majestic to watch. And caribou migrating is something I feel most should experience in person, hunter or nonhunter, it’s breathtaking. All these things I never knew existed before him. We have five boys together and they all enjoy the outdoors. So I decided I was going to join them, and slowly came my archery addiction. It was fun, extremely fun! It was our together time as a family something we all did together.
I want this title because I feel it is an avenue to share my obstacles that I never knew I would overcome so greatly with so many other women. I feel that I can help give women confidence behind a weapon, no matter how unfamiliar. It’s kinda like the head-to-head competition at 777 ranch. I was way out of my league shooting guns in a competition-style shoots. But I faced that fear head on, even though it had been literally three years since I shot a gun. I stared it in the face and I didn’t back down. I put on my happy face and tried to remember why I was here to inspire other women to embrace the outdoor lifestyle and play active roles in their communities. I want to show the world that we can all be anything we want to be.
My best advice for other women who want to become a hunter is practice, practice, practice. There are a lot of ways to hunt. Start where you’re most comfortable and work your way up. There are a lot of styles of hunting gun, archery, crossbow, traditional, black powder the list goes on and on. Pick your style. Do not let anyone get you down, do not let your age scare you out of it; anyone can do it. And mostly just enjoy yourselves. You will not always be successful; learn from your successes and learn for your mistakes.
Before the EH competition I had not shot a gun in three years; I am an avid bow hunter. I currently shoot the Mathews Jewel pulling 63 pounds for hunting (which is one of my favorite secrets to share with women who struggle pulling heavy loads). I compete with the identical bow, Mathews Jewel, at a lesser weight. My traditional bow is the Fred Bear Super Magnum 48″. I am a archery guru. I live it, love it, and breath it!
I shoot literally year round. When hunting season ends; I jump right on into national 3d archery competition. We hunt bear traditionally early bow season every year now. And we even bow fish!