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.
MINDY ARTHUR (Arizona)
My husband went on a muzzle-loader elk hunt in New Mexico with buddies in 2007, and he came home and told me the stories and memories he’d made. He spoke so highly of the whole experience – the camaraderie, campfires, and friendships. He had this zeal about it and excitement I saw in his eyes and in his voice. I decided right then I wanted to be a part of it, didn’t want to be left behind. I started out with bow hunting, practicing, I ventured out on my own black hear hunt in 2008, and made it into Boone & Crockett record books with that first hunt.
I have so much passion and so much to share with others. I teach others and share as much as I possibly can; including my kids and their friends. I want to be a positive role model. My whole goal is to catapult this whole lifestyle to young people, moms, and women of any age. It’s a ministry, something that means so much to me I want to share it. I’m living it and sharing in an overzealous way. It is such a privilege and an honor.
My advice to women is don’t hesitate. So many people miss opportunities by waiting and not seizing the moment. Start where you are, develop that curiosity, and reach out to someone who would be supportive of that, no matter how young or old you are. A lot of people worry that they don’t know a lot about guns or archery or aren’t good at something. Don’t worry about details, that will come in time. If you have the desire or curiosity, you can learn.
I shoot a lot of different guns; my Remington 7 mm Mag is my favorite It was a birthday gift from my husband. I’ve used it to harvested a lot of wonderful trophies. I also have a Matthews Passion bow and I absolutely love it.
From a believer’s standpoint, acknowledging God as the Creator of the whole universe, this lifestyle lends itself to enjoy God’s creation and the earth. It’s made my intimacy with the Creator grow, witnessing all the amazing things. It’s really deep on a spiritual level as well.
This article appeared in the November issue of Western Shooting Journal. If you enjoyed it, why not SUBSCRIBE? Only $19.95 for 12 issues right now, that’s 66% off the cover price!
Mountain Lions, Drug Runners, And Rattlesnakes Are Few Of Many Dangers
By Rachel Alexander
Chuck Makula of Peoria, Ariz., has spent several seasons hunting on Arizona’s border with Mexico. It is extremely dangerous, and we recently spoke with him about what hunters should know if they decide to dare the treacherous terrain.
RACHEL ALEXANDER What kind of hunting is there on the border?
CHUCK MAKULA We mostly hunt white-tailed deer, which are everywhere. You can hunt almost everything down there. There is also javelina, small bears, ground squirrels, doves, quail and mountain lion. Turkey is located farther north. It’s amazing there’s bear in the lower desert mountain ranges. We hunt in the Sierra Vista Mountains, located about 20 miles north of border, south of Green Valley, Ariz. Sometimes there is snow on the mountains. The location is section 34B on the hunting map.
R.A. What are the dangerous aspects of hunting on the border?
C.M. The main things you have to watch out for are the mountain lions, illegal immigrants and mines. There are open mine pits. They’re marked, but you still have to be careful. There is evidence everywhere of the illegal immigrants tracking through. On the top of the mountain there’s an inclave covered by trees that contains 10-15 backpacks, about 30 bottles of water, and canned food.
There are a lot of rattlesnakes up in those mountains. I am like a rattlesnake magnet whenever I go hunting. I was with my nephew, and we were going over a mountain range, and as I was stepping down, coiled up under my foot was the biggest rattler I’ve ever seen in my life. It scared the crap out of me. I jumped back and shot him with my rifle. It was at least 6-feet long, because when I held it up from my shoulder to the ground, the tail was still touching the ground, and I’d shot about 8 inches below his head off.
Right before our last hunting trip, we heard two people had been killed in the area. One guy, a hunter, was shot with a crossbow and left in a dropoff. The other victim was a Hispanic girl who was shot and found in a burned-out car.
The roads are dangerous. There are people walking around hunting who are not paying attention to the rules or their surroundings. Fortunately, nobody ever got hurt that I saw. There are also people walking around looking for minerals in the mines. I accidentally scared a few of them who weren’t expecting to come across me. We’ve seen a few groups of Hispanics out hunting, not clear if they were illegal immigrants or not. Surprisingly, there was nothing posted warning us about illegal immigrants or danger.
I’ve also hunted at Sierra Vista, closer to the border. You don’t know who’s coming across the border. There are drug smugglers and people trying to get here illegally. It’s a different breed down there, it’s scary. On the mountain, you can see the entire valley leading up to the border, and watch illegal immigrants walking through the desert. I never actually saw drug cartel members, but you don’t know who is who. I didn’t see an actual coyote transporting illegal immigrants, only people through my binoculars. I saw a passage they were using. It’s over a pretty tall mountain. You can see all the way to the border from the top of the mountain. It’s all Palo Verde and mesquite trees to the border.
I talked to a rancher down there and he said problems happen all the time. They clean up after people all the time there. It is a perfect area for that because there’s only like one or two ranches at the base of that mountain. One is around 100 acres. At the base of the range there’s actually some homes that are built in the desert, like one to two acres each all spread out, then it turns into a 20-minute drive from the base to Green Valley. It’s an hour walk to where the people are. If the illegal immigrants have gotten that far, they’re in.
We walked into a mountain lion den once, that was freaky. It smelled like a giant cat litter box. A mountain lion was sitting up on top of a rock watching us. We got out of there pretty quick. Another time we saw a bear. Although he ran from us, it was scary because it was clear he was sick.
R.A. What are the rules and permitting laws for hunting on the border?
C.M. There are certain animals you can’t hunt without a tag. You can buy the tag for mountain lion over the counter. We weren’t planning on hunting mountain lion, but in case we ran into one and needed to protect ourselves we bought one. Mountain lions are considered a varmint like coyotes so you can hunt them anytime of the year. You can hear them at nighttime. You can hunt deer during deer season and you need a hunting license and deer tag. The jaguar down there are very scarce so hunting them is prohibited. Javelina and bear require a tag. Dove hunting is allowed only during a certain time a year for a few weeks around September.
Hunters are prohibited from staking out watering holes. You must be 500 feet or so away from them. You’re not permitted to camp near them. If you’re caught, the Arizona Department of Game and Fish will fine you. Not only does it give you an unfair advantage catching game, but it hinders the rest of the livestock that are trying to get water. It’s all part of conservation and keeping a balance.
R.A. Have you had any encounters with law enforcement?
C.M. The law enforcement we saw the most of was the U.S. Border Patrol and Game and Fish. Game and Fish stopped us a couple of times. They check your gun to make sure it’s within legal limits. They also check for your hunting license and your tag. For the most part, they are very friendly.
We got stopped once by the U.S. Border Patrol. It was about 10 miles north of the border. They’re loaded to the T with military weapons. We were probably stopped because my friend had his adopted Hispanic son with him. You’ve got three white guys strapped with guns accompanying a Hispanic kid. They were really cool with us.
A guy who worked as a volunteer private “patriot guard” next to the border told me people would fire guns at the U.S. military. But the military was ordered not to shoot back, and to get in their vehicles and leave!
R.A. What kind of guns do you use for hunting on the border?
C.M. I use a .30.06; mostly lever-action, hunting rifles. My partners use a .270 Winchester, .30-30 or .30.06. That is sufficient since whitetail deer aren’t very big, maybe 100 pounds for a big one.
R.A. What is the terrain like?
C.M. You find interesting things from years past. It’s a piece of history. We saw a 1905 Ford pickup truck that was rusted out. There is old farm equipment and plenty of people around mining. There was a very old building with mining equipment located up in the middle of the mountains. It was completely deserted. It was probably originally for mining silver.
R.A. What kind of gear do you need?
C.M. We camp out, and I recommend bringing a four-wheel drive. You need camping essentials, water and food. During the storms, you have to watch out, a couple of times it rained, and if you’re not in the right spots, you get can get hit with a flash flood. One of our tents had a river start right under the tent and flooded it.
R.A. Are you going hunting there this season?
C.M. I won’t go farther south than the Santa Rita mountains near Green Valley anymore. I don’t buy that the border is safe. It’s a bunch of B.S. I’ve decided to stop hunting there because of the danger factor. Two people being murdered was enough.
Check out these Eastern Washington young local farmers and ranchers who grew up in the area and know all the honey holes for duck and goose hunting. Watch them effortlessly and accurately shoot waterfowl out of the sky, in this short county music-themed video. The boys have started a water fowl hunting guide service in the Moses Lake, Ephrata and the Columbia River gorge area. The motto of their guide service is, “If we don’t get you a shot, you don’t pay a dime.” The guides have over 30 years combined waterfowl hunting experience. If you are serious about duck and goose hunting, a real shoot fest, check them out at farmboyswaterfowlin.com.
Pre-season Hunting Tips: How to Find the Best Spot to Hunt Deer
The deer hunting season is only a few months away and I’m willing to bet hunters everywhere are getting the itch. Since there’s some down time until then, now is the perfect time to prepare for the upcoming deer hunting season. If you start now, you’ll be well prepared, plus you’ll be able to start scratching that ol’ deer hunting itch.
Whether you currently have a deer stand set up or not, this article will benefit those who are searching for a (new) place to hunt by providing tips on what to look for and how to prepare accordingly. Even if you have a deer stand set up already and you think it’s the best spot on your land, it might not be a bad idea to switch it up this season or at least perform some preliminary scouting to ensure you’re utilizing the best area(s) on your land for hunting. No matter what your situation is, it all starts with scouting.
Signs to Look for When Deer Scouting
When you start scouting, it’s important to search for signs of deer activity. Depending on how much land you own, this search could be long and tedious, but that’s why you’re starting early. Search for heavy, beat down trails, travel corridors through the timber, scrapes, rub-lines, obvious beds in leaves and grass on ridge tops and side hills. It’s also important to note the location of current or future food sources and watering holes. You can set up trail cams to discover their traveling and feeding schedules.
Scouting helps determines access points to potential different stand locations; where and how are the deer moving and how can you get in and out undetected to hunt during the season.
Ways to Scout
Scouting can be done in three ways; aerial, on foot and through a camera. To get the most out of your scouting, it’s important to perform all three ways and in a specific order, too.
Time spent studying aerial and topography maps is advantageous to locate creeks, ponds, funnels, possible food sources, stand sites, access routes and general “lay of the land.” You can use Google Maps, since they tend to update their maps frequently and same with TerraServer.
Once you’ve done the preliminary aerial and topographic scouting, now you need to put your feet on the ground and in the middle of the timber to fine tune the general observations gathered from your maps. Make sure to print out topographic and aerial maps to ensure its accuracy. Make sure to take notes, as well.
Lastly, trail cameras are great for getting an idea of what specific numbers are living on your farm, identifying travel habits and ratio of bucks to does. Cameras also help to determine whether certain bucks are living on your property year after year or ones just cruising through your property during a rut. Make notes on your topographic and aerial maps where you think might be good places to place trail cams and once you’re on foot, you can set them up.
Places to Put Your Stand
A good stand should be where natural terrain (saddles, funnels and pinch points) will encourage deer concentration as they move daily from bedding area to feeding area in the evening or in the morning where they return from either area. It should be well concealed and accessible without disturbing the herd while entering or exiting. Wind direction is critical. Stands should be placed on the down-wind side of traveling deer to keep scents hidden and the hunter undetected.
Make the Most of Your Area
The attraction to certain areas that the herd is travelling to and from is the most important part. Hunters want to be in an area that the deer move and hunters can see them but they can’t see the hunter. Hunting over a food plot where the deer are feeding at night will attract the deer to a certain location where the hunter has a good opportunity for a shot.
Hunters should try to set up their stands as noted above and take advantage of natural bedding, travel and feeding habits of the deer in the immediate area, rather than try to draw the deer to his or her stand site.
Sammy Jo writes for Hawkeye Mgmt & Real Estate, professional realtors offering hunting land for sale in Iowa.
Gibson Duck Blind Covers patent offers a versatile line of covers that can be made for any type of sunken or stand-up duck blind. The covers, made of light-weight steel tubing with powder-coating and Fast Grass material, are designed to be either permanent or temporary. GDBC come in 2,3,4,5, and 6 foot lengths.
They form a nearly complete horizontal canopy over the top of the blind when closed, but fall away easily with a gentle nudge when the hunter stands up to shoot. This gives the hunter a 360 degree view under the blind covers.
Quality construction and material facilitate their “flip-flop” movement. The blind covers also provide a bay-view opening under the main beam, so the hunter can see the birds working the decoys – without the ducks spotting the hunter. The covers conceal the blind exceptionally well from an areal view – a point that hunters often miss when they inspect a brushed-up blind from 30 yards out and 5 feet high. Several sizes and price configurations are offered.
The act of hunting provides sheer thrill to every hunter. The greatest thing about hunting is that it detaches one’s self from the daily grind and being one with nature (aside from bringing home the kill). Often you have only yourself and your gear when you wade out in the wilderness. As technology improves, more and more hunters are relying on smartphones or mobile devices to make hunting more enjoyable.
There are new applications that are designed for the outdoorsman and the hunter in mind. It can track your location and give information on everything around you. Who knows? The apps that you download today may save your life.
Here are five great apps that every hunter should have:
GoldenPic is initially intended as another photography app. Now, most of its working hours are spent with hikers, campers and hunters. The GoldenPic is one unusual photography app because it gives information on sunrise and sunsets including moonsets and moonrises. This application has the ability to show information about the moon phases that is useful for hunters. The app gives hunters and outdoorsman the Golden and Blue times which are the best times to take a snap.
iHunt is an application that hunters can use to track and record all hunting events and observations including other information related to your hunting activities. You can also get weather information as well as sun and moon periods. It allows you to remember all the important highlights of your camping trip once you go back home. The app can also give you the ability to take pictures of your hunting ground. The app also keeps track of known deer rubs and scrapes so you can plan the next hunt well.
Hunting Light & Blood Tracker
This app gives hunters better visibility in low-light conditions such as nighttime events. The app allows you to convert the display screen of your smartphone into a super flashlight. It has a blood tracking filter which enables the hunter to see the blood trail of a game. The green light enhances the night vision and blue light enhances green things.
SAS Survival Guide
This app is a survival manual that is written by a Special Air Force soldier. It gives information on how to survive and to be safe out in the wild. It also hold information on which plants are safe to eat and which are not. So next time you’re stuck in the woods or maybe you want to look something up, this can come in handy.
Ballistic is an app that calculates the trajectory, speed and velocity of a bullet. This will give information to the hunter on how to improve the chance of a kill. This is a must-have with any hunter’s smartphone.
Getting these apps will improve your hunting experience. The apps are designed for the needs of the hunters while outdoors. It is best to have a solar-powered charger with you so you would get the most from these apps on your smartphone or mobile device.
Ms. Inez Vaughn works for the website howmuchisit.org. Here, you can find more than 2,000 guides that tell you what things cost in life. Feel free to follow her on Twitter @howmuchforit.
Just letting everyone know that Western Shooting Journal just interviewed Whitney Isenhart and she will be on the cover of our June’s edition. More on her adventures in the future.
Here’s a quick bio on this modern day “Hunter”.
Growing up in Green Bay, Wisconsin Whitney had many opportunities to tag along with her dad hunting. Being her dad’s right hand girl growing up not only gave Whitney the chance to learn the art of hunting but also the passion to hunt. At age 7, she experienced the thrill of hunting when she shot her first pheasant on the fly. After her first successful hunt Whitney knew this was a sport she would pursue for a lifetime.
Throughout her hunting career she has had the opportunity to hunt both whitetail, and Sitka deer, elk, black bear, grizzle bear, moose and turkey. She has been on many exciting and adrenaline filled hunts, which include being drawn for an elk hunt in Arizona at 18 years old and harvesting a huge 6×6 bull. Spending 7 days on a boat in the wilds of Alaska, Sitka deer hunting was also truly an adventure. The Alaska hunt can be seen on Cabela’s Ultimate Adventure Show.
Deer hunting season is not here yet, but it is a good time to be rifling in and maintaining it. Shooting at paper target is different compared to out on the field with a real live moving deer and no benches. So the challenge is to engage the target at the right time. How do you simulate hunting conditions? Most hunters still do not get enough shooting practice under these conditions. Here are some guidelines to instill into your practice sessions.
While sighting in and working on the basics of marksmanship, using the bench is ideal. However, for field conditions you won’t be lugging your bench with you while hunting. Instead use the packback that you normally carry and shoot from it at every position. Standing, kneeling, sitting to prone will help you become intimate with the positioning you will know its weak and strong points.
Shooting with Both Eyes Open
During the off season its not necessary to shoot with your caliber rifle. Instead train with a .22 yes, the recoil is not the same. But cost effectiveness and productivity is well worth the time to invest in. By nature it is normal to blink with explosion near your face. Training with the .22 will develop your ability to not flinch.
Idealy we always want to be shooting from a stable platform, but there are times when this isn’t feasible. That is you must shoot a buck while standing and holding the rifle with both hands. Will be most difficult to maintain a sight picture. Practice viewing your scope on lower level magnification, at this level there will be less wobble movement. If you had the scope at higher magnification, the wobble increases. If you have to shoot from this position out in the field, be sure to get as close as possible. Obviously train at short to longer distances that you can handle.
When shooting at the range for target practice the trigger squeeze (push) with a surprise break, so as there is no anticipation which results in a jerk. But shooting a live buck is more difficult as the timing is not there as if you were at the shooting range. So train yourself to squeeze (push) the trigger within 1 second when you have acquired the target in your scope.
Always practice reloading your rifle once you’ve shot a round off. You can practice this anywhere so it gets ingrained into your muscle memory.