Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Family's Love for 3-D Archery

The Minor's

A Family's Love for 3-D Archery

by: Cindy Minor

What is 3-D Archery? Most people would respond “shooting arrows at foam 3-D animal targets.” This is really only partially correct as it is also leadership, mentor ship, friendship, competition, sportsmanship, self-confidence building, and so much more. I’d like to share some personal experiences in hopes that it will encourage others to love the sport as much as my family and I do. Our son, Seth, was a very shy, introvert young man. He expressed to my husband, Doug, and I that he wanted to try archery when he was 9 years old. A year or two later we heard about 3-D archery. Seth tried it and LOVED it. He loved the challenges the outdoors brought versus the indoor shooting. The various terrains, shadows, wind, yardages, and different targets made it intriguing to him. Since Doug and I had never shot, much less than owned, a bow we were at a loss on how to teach Seth. This forced Seth to inquire with other archers to learn the sport and we noticed he began to become more outgoing and more self-confident, not only with archery, but also with his overall general personality. As parents, we were thrilled!  Seth’s little sister, Cassie, began to show interest too. By now Seth had graduated to a bigger bow, but still had his original bow. We peaked in on the kids and saw Seth helping Cassie try to pull back his old bow. They both became so excited because she could actually do it by herself and the draw length wasn't too long! Doug and I quickly rushed back into the living room and pretended like we didn't know what they were doing. They came running into the room, both of them chattering at the same time in excitement; thus, another archer was born! A few months later, we went to a 3-D shoot and Seth won a new bow, but it was too big for him, so he gave it to Doug. So now everyone in our house was shooting with a bow and I was shooting as fast as I could with my camera.

Seth and Cassie on the Range
Until a couple years ago Santa (that’s what everyone calls him, but this Santa’s real name is Gerald) surprised me with a bow! I was so overwhelmed and truly touched. It was amazing how long it took to retrain my finger from clicking a camera to pulling the trigger on my release though. I never dreamed I would say that we were an archery family and owned a herd of foam animal 3-D targets! We love to have our own family rivalry and compete against each other to determine who gets the “bragging rights” in the household. Often it gets quite comical.
We've learned so much from other archers, both Professionals (aka Pro’s) and Amateurs. Everyone is always willing to teach you new techniques to help you progress as an archer. Our family grew from a family of four to a family overflowing with our extended archery family. One of the more humorous times was when Seth and I were on the practice range in Kentucky while Doug went with Cassie while she competed. Up walked 3 of the Pro’s and asked Seth if they could practice with us. I felt my heart start pounding so loud I swear it had moved up between my ears! It was my first year of shooting and all I could think was that I was totally going to embarrass myself and Seth (you know how teenagers are). The Pro’s were so awesome. They provided tips to Seth and I and I actually hit three twelve’s in a row (I was shocked)! Then they told Seth to step up there (by the way, Seth and Doug are my coaches) and he got an eight. He said he wasn't nervous, but I think he was. They then told me to step up there again and told Seth to watch me! I started laughing and told them, “who do you think taught me??” They laughed and told Seth to do what he taught me then…and he got a twelve! We all laughed so much and we still laugh about it today. That’s when I realized the camaraderie in 3-D archery is truly unique. Everyone is always willing to help one another. We have each had multiple opportunities to “pay it forward” and help provide equipment and teach what we have learned to other new archers.  It’s such a rewarding feeling to see a person’s face light up when they succeed in hitting the target where they wanted to.
Cassie, Cindy, Doug and Seth Minor
Cindy and Cassie Minor are both members of the Shoot Like A Girl Team. You can read more about Cindy and Cassie at www.ShootLikeAGirl.com and click on Pro Staff.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

For the Love of Bow Hunting!

I was recently given an amazing gift albeit indirectly, from Diamond Archery.  In order for you to understand the magnitude of the gift though I must digress and give you some back story!

Growing up as a military brat with two working parents you learn a lot of different things from both parents. This is, oddly as it may sound, about my mom who has never actually hunted a day in her life…(for an animal anyway!).  My mother was in the Air Force before I was born and was severely wounded in an accident that left her in a coma for a couple of months.  This accident left her with some disabilities that would increase over time rendering her a 100% disabled vet.  My mom is a fighter though and so after marrying my dad who was also in the Air Force she began college and after several moves and transferred transcripts she finally attained her college degree when I was in elementary and my brother in high school.  The example she has always set for us was to persevere at all costs. We were never supposed to give up!  It was ingrained into me that I be self sufficient and independent.  This is why when I delved into a male dominated degree field to get my own degree I didn't blink an eye. My mom has ingrained a “you can do anything you set your mind to” attitude in me.
After many years of teaching her disabilities eventually became so great that she was forced retire.  It wasn't very long after that we found out that she had breast cancer.  Obviously we were all shell shocked.  After a few years battling breast cancer and a double mastectomy she stands victoriously cancer free. This is why I’m so passionate about our “I Shoot For the Girls” tournaments.  She lost A LOT of muscle mass but has physically recovered through the process though that once fearless, independent, “get into anything” mom I love so much was transformed a bit and scarred emotionally.  I missed that fearless woman and withdrew just a little from this new woman that emerged victoriously from the wreckage that is always cancer.  Just attempting to type the truth of this out I can’t even see the screen because of the tears.

I mentioned a gift though.  I love to hunt. If you read my profile on our website you’ll understand that I owe the majority of that to my dad for teaching me how to shoot and my hubby and his dad for putting me in the woods.  Bow hunting has become an obsession of everyone in my household and so after 5 years my dutiful mother trying to reach out and have an even closer  relationship with me has developed a hunger to bow hunt herself.

This was something I got excited about because when she called to talk to me about it and to plan a bow shopping trip she sounded revived. I got a glimpse of that tenacity that was so much a part of her explosive character.  Yesterday she arrived at my house with her brand new Diamond Infinite Edge and a fearless gleam in her eye! OH HOW MY HEART INSTANTLY CONNECTED! My husband was able to set her draw length and then through some adjustment due to her lost muscle mass was able to find a draw weight she could personally handle.  We talked about the mechanics and parts and then went to the range.  She was apprehensive a little at first because she said that I made it look so easy for so many years, but when that first arrow was released and it made that beautiful, harmonic THWACK of connection with the target that all archery enthusiasts recognize as sweet music anywhere, she grinned and we high fived! I started to see her shot after shot grow in her confidence and that fearlessness come out.  Those qualities that I so love and missed about my mom were released and she stood before me the mom that I had so missed! She stood empowered! BY ARCHERY! BY THE LOVE OF BOWHUNTING!  What a gift!  I’m so excited about our future endeavors! I’m excited about the advances in bow technology that made this possible for her! I’m so excited to have witnessed at 58 year my mom pick up a bow for the first time and totally SHOOT LIKE A GIRL!

Check out www.shootlikeagirl.com and www.diamondarchery.com

Raychel Shaw is an instructor with Shoot Like A Girl.

Lesson learned with Lumenok

Opening morning of bow season this year brought much excitement! The warm weather couldn't keep me out of that stand! I couldn't wait to fling an arrow. Having my light ups just added fuel to my fire!
 I received the Lumenok in the mail from Shoot Like A Girl. I live in a small town that doesn't carry the Lumenok brand, but did carry a “copy cat” of Lumenok.  I had both opening morning.  The arrow I chose first to use had the copy cat. Finally saw a doe, took my shot with my copy cat and missed! I never saw a light!! EVER! I thought at first I had missed so bad that the arrow really flew and I just didn't see the glow. Luckily, the doe didn't run off. So I quickly grabbed another arrow with my Lumenok.  At this point she was 30 yards out, but I hesitantly rushed and took the shot.  Yes, I missed her twice.  However, my green Lumenok glowed up the sky!!!  I just knew I had lost my first arrow. I went to search, and there it lay, right where I aimed.  I found it because I still had some daylight and it just landed under the doe where I had originally shot.  This was a true testimony of  my new love for Lumenok.  Don’t waste your money on any other brand. Lumenok just doesn't fail. I may not have taken a doe that morning.  However, I always feel I learn a new lesson each time I leave the stand. That mornings lesson was to always buy Lumenok!! Thanks to Shoot Like A Girl for sending me Lumenok!! It was my first time to try, but not the last. I have since bought  more for my husband too!

To find more information on Lumenok go to www.lumenok.net

Tammy Mayfield is a team member of Shoot Like A Girl. For more information on Tammy please go to www.ShootLikeAGirl.com and click on Pro Staff

Don’t Choke Archery True Shot Coach Review

The True Shot Coach by Don’t Choke Archery is one of the greatest training tools I have used to date. A tight grip of the bow can lead to riser torque and bad shots. Shooting with the True Shot coach it helps to correct your form and improve shot placement. I was a little hesitant at first shooting with a piece of equipment in my bow hand and thinking my shooting wasn't too bad to start with. Boy was I wrong! After three arrows in a one inch grouping, I was convinced that my form and shooting could use some improvement! After shooting with the True Shot Coach several times I have noticed an improvement of my shot placement and scores at archery tournaments. The small size fit my hand best and great to see that this product comes in various sizes for all different types of shooters.  I highly recommend this American made product to archers of any level, beginner or pro.

For information on True Shot Coach by Don't Choke Archery go to http://dontchokearchery.com
Colleen Richardson is a Shoot Like A Girl Pro Staff Member. For more information please go to www.ShootLikeAGirl.com and click on Pro Staff.

True Shot Coach Review

I can honestly say I was not sure what to expect out of the TSC. I have been shooting competitive archery for about 12 years now and hunting for about 4 years and once you get into a form, and with shooting that way that long, it is always something very hard to change.

I decided to bring out my hunting bow with a thumb trigger release and give it a whirl which was difficult for me to do. I have gotten so comfortable with that bow (more than my target bows) over the years I always have a hard time changing things with it. It has brought me some decent kills over the years.  I also had my fiancé try it with his target bow. I noticed with the TSC my bow hand was much more relaxed than it had been. I shot it for a couple of rounds and noticed that I was grouping. After some little sight adjustments I was grouping the arrows in the yellow ring. My fiancé he needed a bigger size. I believe that size is crucial. If the sizing with these isn’t right you do not get the full effect of what they are made for.

Now that was the first time I picked up that bow since the end of the archery season in Pennsylvania and it was almost like I was practicing with the bow every day.
I cannot wait to try it out with some of the beginner shooters in our JOAD group. You see so many of these young beginners with an overextended arm or tight bow hand and by the end of the night they are so frustrated with themselves. I almost wish I would have had something like this in my beginning years of training because it would have saved a lot of hassle in the later years.
I also cannot wait to try it with my new target bow when it arrives soon!

I would recommend this product to anyone who is having problems with their bow hand or is just starting to shoot.

To find out more information on the True Shot Coach go to: http://dontchokearchery.com 
Jill Hazi is on the Shoot Like A Girl Team. For more information about Jill please go to www.ShootLikeAGirl.com

Shoot Like A Girl GamePlan Gear Bowcase Product Review

One word LOVE. I absolutely love my SLG bow case! When they designed this case they defiantly kept us women in mind.
It is not your normal bulky over weight bow case, it is slim, lightweight, fun and stylish! If you are worried about protection, do not be. They offer a sleek design with a ton of padding for protection and many different pockets for arrow and other equipment storage.
I go to many different of tournaments throughout the year including various states and always get a compliment on the case or people staring at the bold design.
If you are in the market ladies for a new bow case I would recommend this one 110%! Shoot Like a Girl!

Jill Hazi is a member of the Shoot Like A Girl Team. To find out more about Jill please go to www.ShootLikeAGirl.com and click on Pro Staff.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Hunter Safety System Review

The Hunter Safety System has been my hunting buddy ever since I started to hunt. Safety has always been the number one priority on my list and I would not trust any other brand besides Hunter Safety System.

I am a small-statured person, so I bought the children’s one because at the time they had not come out with the women’s fit and I must say it fits very comfortable and still allows for a wide range of motion when drawing a bow back. It also has plenty of pockets for mouth calls, range finders, etc. and the adjustable straps make for a secure fit. I could not tell you how many times I have been sitting/standing up in a tree stand not realizing how little the platform is, but when one foot goes off you begin to realize it is no joke.
The best investment I have bought for hunting has not been my bow, boots, clothing or range finder but my Hunter Safety System. Anyone who hunts from a stand I would recommend in purchasing one. Money well spent!

To find out more about Hunter Safety System go to: http://www.huntersafetysystem.com
Jill Pisani is a team member of Shoot Like A Girl. To find out more information about Jill please go to www.ShootLikeAGirl.com   

Where does your food come from? Simple Chili Recipe

The benefits of hunting and fishing are immeasurable.   Not only do you get to experience God’s creation and beauty, you also have a chance to bond with family and friends.  For others this is a time to find solitude, inner peace or just time away from the office and the fast paced world we seem to live in.  The above mentioned are all reasons that I hunt.

Another benefit to hunting is knowing where your food comes from.  The rule in our house is we only hunt for what we will eat.  I know how the game was raised (in the wild!) and processed, as we process our own meat.  This is about as organic as it gets.  Seemingly now more than ever this is an important factor.  Have you seen some of the news articles floating around?  Or some of the pictures circulating social media?  Granted just because it is on the internet does not make it true… however, I would rather not risk it.  Being a hunter you need to be healthy and in shape (hunting season is around the corner!) Take care of yourself with exercise and eating right.   A component to eating right is eating clean.  Knowing the food you are ingesting is not filled with chemicals and hormones is a good way to make sure you are getting “the good stuff”.  You cannot go wrong by harvesting and processing your own food.
I have heard complaints of harvested animals having a “gamey” taste.  There are many different ways to process your wild game.  The standard process is to clean and freeze it.  Expand your horizons!
Can it, add some spices for extra flavor- the canning process seals in the flavor of added spices.
Process it into sausage or sausage links, jerky or burger.  Mix in a bit of pork or beef fat, since wild game is super lean, this additive will add some texture and extra flavor (you can purchase fat from your local butcher to add in).
There are also resources available to refer to.  Personally, I like www.allrecipes.com and my go to for birds is Tiffany Haugen’s “Cooking Game Birds” recipe book.  Let your inner chef come out and experiment!
Below is one of my favorite wild game chili recipes… the great thing is you can either throw it in the crock pot and it will be done when you get home from a hard day or you can cook it on the stove top.  I have used either elk, deer or turkey burger (freshly ground ourselves).
Cheers to healthy, clean eating and here is hoping you have a memorable hunting season – whether you harvest or not!

Simple Chili
1-pound meat
1-medium onion (cut in medium-large pieces)
2-cloves garlic
1-TBSP olive oil
1-28 oz can tomatoes (with juice)
1-8 oz can tomato sauce
1-small can tomato paste
Ketchup (to taste)
1-can each: Black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans (with juice), white beans (without juice).
1- TBSP chili powder
1-TSP cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

In a sauce pan, lightly sauté onions and garlic in olive oil.  Add browned meat.  Add remaining ingredients and bring to a gentle boil for 10 minutes.  Cover and continue cooking on low heat for 30-minutes.
Place all ingredients into a crock pot.  Place on low heat for 6-8 hours or high heat for 4-5 hours.

April Mack is a team member of Shoot Like A Girl. For more information on April please go to www.ShootLikeAGirl.com and click on Pro Staff. 

Tips for Success in Hunting

No, I’m not talking about the past elections.
How do you measure a successful hunt?  Is it a monster buck or bull?  Is it a successful harvest? Or is it time out hunting, with your family, friends or by yourself? Do you measure your success of a hunt by the equipment you use and the gear you have? Or simply time spent in nature soaking up God’s great creations?

Me?  I measure success of a hunt by my experiences…. Time with family, time with God and simply the God given ability to get out and do what I love.  Oh, and then there is the success of being able to hunt without desperately gasping for air and bending to cling to my knees after climbing a hill.  I’m talking about being in shape.  Both mentally and physically, they go hand in hand.  There is nothing more rewarding to me then to gracefully, quietly and easily make my way to the top of a mountain without feeling like I just went through military boot camp.  Sure, it’s an ego boost as well when I look around and see all the guys sweating and huffing like draft horses pulling a 3000-pound sled.

All too often hunters get prepared for the upcoming hunting season by making sure they have their bow sighted in, have enough arrows and new broad heads along with checking equipment to make sure all gear is up to par.  However, rarely do hunters take into consideration the physical preparation needed for the hunt.  Being physically fit can be the difference of having an enjoyable hunt or a hunt that kicks your butt.  We all know getting up early is part of the hunt. That alone is a hard task for some.  But when you wake up the next day and your body is screaming for more rest because you are sore from the previous days hunt... What’s the fun in that?  When you are in shape physically, the mental portion follows suit.  It has been proven time over that physical activity (working out) improves mental clarity and relieves stress. You have enough on your mind when hunting such as spotting and stalking, calling, and concentrating on making that once in a life time shot.  You shouldn’t be thinking about whether or not you can make it up the mountain without needing CPR!
So, with that being said I would like to offer some tips.

  • Set goals; start off small and work your way up.  You will need to set both cardio and strength goals.  A good goal to start for cardio is walking 2-3 times per week, walk up and down your driveway to get started. Slowly increase the distance by a couple miles at a time, pickup your pace and change terrain. In addition to walking, add biking to the mix.  Make your routines fun, go for a hike in new territory, discover new places, or take up mountain biking.  Whatever you decide to do, make it fun, make it your own, make it challenging (repelling anyone?
  • You will need to be physically strong to not only carry all your gear around, but also to carry out your harvest.  Hit the weights at least 3 times per week. Remember the smaller the starting goal, the longer the time needed to increase so don’t wait a month before the season to start getting active.  You don’t have to be a gym rat to accomplish these goals; there are a lot of things around the house that you can use as weights.  Get creative; fill a bucket up with sand! If you are up for the challenge, hire a personal trainer with specific needs in mind (hunting with a bow is exercise specific). Exercises to focus on for bow hunting specifically include: shoulders (front to side arm raises, arm circles, shrugs and lateral raises) upper and lower back (back extensions, seated lat row, reverse fly’s and reverse grip lat pull down) biceps (curls and pull ups) and core (oblique twists, reverse curls and good ‘ol fashion crunches).  You of course want to balance out your muscles so don’t forget to throw in some chest presses and triceps pushups  just for fun!  In relation to the actual hunt and climbing mountains, your lower body needs to be just as strong if not more.  Your tail end is one of the biggest muscles you got… work it! Lunges, squats (they don’t have to be in deep range of motion) and hamstring curls will all target the gluteus maximus, aka your tail end.   Once you get started in your exercise regimen, you will need (and want!) to maintain your progress.  It’s much easier to consistently exercise throughout the year then to be a one-month warrior.  Schedule time in your day to workout.  You may even have to book an appointment with yourself.  Most importantly, be forgiving.  If you miss a day or two or even a week, don’t be hard on yourself or ride the guilt train.  Just pick up where you left off.  Being strong enough to draw your bow back is an essential part to hunting, not only does it make it more enjoyable for you, but it isn't fair to the game we have the privilege to hunt if the shot we make isn't steady.
  • Of course getting physically fit involves proper nutrition (sorry, facts of life!)  During the hunt (pack in/out intensity) you of course need higher caloric foods to sustain you.  However, with day to day eating, your choices should be a little more carefully planned out.  There is nothing new here and no magic pill.  Fruits and veggies, balance your proteins and fats and include carbs into your foods.  Now, when I say fats and carbs, I am not talking about ice cream, cookies, pizza, fast food joints and Ho Ho’s (although in moderation *gasp* it’s okay).  Our bodies need fats and carbs to function, but it is the good kind. (Real butter, avocado, legumes, nuts, occasional red meats, cheeses etc). And of course water.  Food has an amazing ability to heal the body; we just have to give it a chance.  I challenge you to try it… even if it’s not hunting season for you.  Make a commitment for at least one month.  Cut out boxed, prepackaged and canned meals.  Try to eat what grows naturally. When was the last time you saw a box of Hamburger Helper® growing off a tree?  You don’t have to get crazy and go all organic, but I would suggest you stop eating foods that are processed and full of preservatives.  Our bodies were not built to digest the chemicals in these foods.  You give this challenge a try and you will be amazed at the changes your body makes.

On a side note to physical fitness and proper nutrition, I want to mention the importance of having mental strength and clarity.  Have confidence in yourself and your abilities, now that you have exercised and gotten fit, you can do anything… right?  Confidence comes with knowing you can tackle the hunt, climb the hill and haul out your kill.  Be patient, positive and prepared (do I hear a triple “P” cheer?). Patients, well… you’re a bow hunter it’s a given that is an essential tool.  Positivity will get you a long way my friends, whether you are by yourself or with a hunting party.  Have you ever been around “that” person that see’s the down side to everything or is constantly putting themselves down?  I have and it’s not fun…  Keep your attitude up; after all there are worse things you could be doing instead of getting out to do what you love.  And finally, prepared.  Being prepared is such an important mental factor.  Having the right clothes for the weather, terrain and clothes that fit you properly (ladies - stop buying men’s camo clothes!) makes you feel, well, good. Being prepared to gut, wrap and pack your harvest with all the necessary tools leaves you without worry of how to get the job done.  Being prepared with extra food and water helps with the long process involved after taking that fatal shot.  To achieve all this, you have to be mentally strong.  To be mentally strong you have to be healthy.  To be healthy you have to be physically fit. Yes it’s tough to get started, but all things worth working for have great rewards.

Here’s to measured success!

April Mack is a team member of Shoot Like A Girl. For more information on April please go to www.ShootLikeAGirl.com and click on Pro Staff.

Ladies, where do we find time to prepare for hunting season?

In our busy lives as wives and mothers, we are often preoccupied with making dinner, doing laundry, and playing taxi to the kids.  When do we make the time for ourselves to workout, attend meetings, shoot the bow, work the dogs, and take care of other necessities including preparing ourselves for hunting?

Now, do not get me wrong, I love a busy schedule (it keeps me on my toes) and I am definitely not complaining.  It makes me stop and think though, what do other gals in this situation do to prepare for hunting season, all while trying to eat healthy, maintain an exercise-regimen and run a household? Let’s face it- If we want to be successful in hunting, we need to practice (whether it is bow, shot gun or rifle).  Not only is ample practice the right thing to do ethically to achieve a good kill shot, but who wants to come back with an experience other than a positive, memorable one?  Practicing takes time.

Let us not forget our other responsibilities like work and running the household.  We all know we cannot have a messy house…

It is easy to get overwhelmed with all that we have to do.  If you are constantly stressing over little things, the little things become big things.  Stop and re-evaluate what is important.  For some, making a list of daily accomplishments is a good way to tend to all your chores.  Keep the chore list light though! Remember that having priorities does not mean you can’t have fun. THAT should be a priority in itself. After all… “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t no body happy!”

Also, take a look at all of your extracurricular involvements.  Is it really necessary to volunteer for five different organizations?  Maybe cut that down to one or two and really focus on doing a great job with those commitments.  We seem to have forgotten how to simplify and enjoy our hobbies because we are too busy trying to play super-mom/woman.

Some of us hunt one-week (or perhaps even a full month) in a hard core, pack in - pack out scenario, while others hunt close to home nightly and on weekends. We work hard to maintain our health and physical fitness, but it is easy to let these priorities slip during hunting season!  Where in the world are we supposed to fit in our workouts?  After all, hunting takes precedence over such matters!  Doesn't it?

There is no rule as to how often one must work out to be fit.  You may not make it to the gym more than a couple days each week.  But that is okay!  What matters is how you workout when you have the time.  Make it count! You know how valuable it is to have 30 minutes to an hour to yourself for a good workout. Crank up the intensity- run, bike or ski on an incline rather than flat, or incorporate sprints. (I bet the more you push it, the more often your workout time will be cut in half!)  Hit the weights with some UMPH!  Lift heavier and max out around 8-12 reps.  Get your cardio in while you are lifting weights.  The old rule of resting 30 seconds to a minute between sets is just that… old.  Get some jumping jacks, mountain climbers, burpies or good ol’ fashion jump roping in there while your muscles recover.  Involve the whole family if possible.  Working out together as a family makes for great bonding time for all!
Maintaining top fitness is more than working out, but is also eating healthy.  Keeping family friendly meals on the table can be stressful when you are already short on time.  Just remember, not all meals have to be gourmet.  Keep meals simple and easy; the less time you spend in the kitchen, the more time you have to spend on preparing for the hunt.  Simple meals can taste great, and can be prepared quickly with healthy ingredients.  I love this time of year due to fresh garden harvests and the light fruits and veggies you can get at the stores or local markets. And of course our game meat that we eat is extremely healthy and lean.  Plan ahead what your meals will be for the week. Yes, this planning time will require you to sit down for more than a few minutes, but you can make up for it later in the week when your pre-planned dinner is cooking and you are mowing the lawn. (You forgot about that didn’t you?)  Try and shop one time per week with the exception of fresh produce runs to the store.  Planning ahead will really cut down on the amount of time you are away from home– or hunting.  If you want to eat healthy but you are not sure where to begin, focus on buying fresh, perishable foods, rather than packaged, shelf-stable foods from boxes, wrappers and cans.   Eating healthy really is one of the easier things you have to manage.

What’s that saying? “Time flies when you’re having fun?” Or “There are only how many hours in my day?”

Choose your battles wisely my friends!  If you are like me, high expectations (usually set by our own selves) keep us running in circles trying to get everything accomplished.  My kids don’t care if the house is spotless; my husband could care less if I don’t spend three hours in the kitchen to create some gourmet meal. (I have mastered the art of how many different ways a tortilla can be made!)  I have learned to pick out what is important to me in all the hectic schedules and “to do’s” in our lives.

For me, obviously after God and family, my priorities include keeping up my skills as a bow hunter and maintaining proper nutrition and my physical fitness level. (I must stay strong to haul out that monster elk I will one day conquer!)  I have learned that when I am able to focus on what is most important to me, I can relax a bit, enjoy the ride and get to the other stuff as time allows.  Thankfully, we are a family full of hunters and all understand what it takes to meet these priorities, so we all pitch in where and when we can around the house.  

I just remembered… I have to go wash the windows and paint the outside of the house.  So until next time.  Happy hunting, shoot straight and may God bless you with a bountiful harvest this year!

April Mack is a team member of Shoot Like A Girl. For more information on April please go to www.ShootLikeAGirl.com and click on Pro Staff. 

Hunters Safety System

I have worn my hunter safety system this year faithfully every time I have climbed up in a tree.  I have heard too many horror stories of people that do not wear them.  The new hunter safety system is lightweight and very comfortable.  Most importantly it has pockets, lots and lots of pockets with some very nice pink trim for us ladies.  If there is one thing us women need, that is a place to store stuff.  I loved the fact it had the binocular clips to make easy access to my binoculars without having to have an additional strap to get in the way.  The straps were very comfortable and easy to connect and disconnect.  I have never owned a system that I could or would wear walking to the stand.  This system felt like I had another small layer on and not like I was being strung up like a puppet.  I strongly advise anyone man, woman or child to use this system.  It is more thank user friendly it is a life saver.

To find out more about Hunter Safety System go to: http://www.huntersafetysystem.com
Debi Martin is a member of the Shoot Like A Girl team. For more information of Debi please go to www.ShootLikeAGirl.com and click on Pro Staff.

True Shot Archery Coach

True Shot Archery Coach
by: Debi Martin

True shot archery coach has been a very effective tool in teaching me to shoot correctly.  I am not the easiest person to convince that I am wrong, but seeing my groups without True Shot and with it are pretty convincing.  They are now tighter and have all but done away with my left/ right issues.
My step son Gage (9 yr. old) wanted to try it out as well.  Needless to say he liked it so much I could not fine mine.  After a long search through the house and all over our shop I finally I found it; it was in Gage’s bow stool.  He had claimed it for his own.  If it can convince a 9 yr. old and someone as hard headed as me, it has got to be a great tool.

Anyone looking to improve accuracy and to elevate torch should try this product.

Debi Martin is a staff member for Shoot Like A Girl. For more information about Debi please go to www.ShootLikeAGirl.com and click on Pro Staff.

My First Turkey Hunt

My First Turkey Hunt

by: Marissa Hoehn

To say the least, my first turkey hunt was very rewarding, except the fact that I left the woods empty handed. But it is not always about the trophy; sometimes the experience can be just as satisfying. It was my first true turkey hunt, and I decided to take it on all by myself. It took a lot of mental preparation, as well as the usual physical prep, but definitely more mental for me. Why so much mental preparation you may ask? Well the fact that I am a female in what is conceived as a man’s world. Most people will look at a female and think they won’t walk the miles it may take to track down a turkey, or the patience needed to call that big bird in. Well I decided to overcome the fear and take that hunt head on!
I recently moved here to Arkansas in August and have not been able to get into a lease yet, so I decided to hunt a walk-in area in the Ouachita National Forest. I started my preparation long before the morning of my hunt. I listened to my friends talk about their experiences, as well as stations on the radio that have conservation talks. I also read magazines, and of course the rules and regulations guide, to learn and soak in as much knowledge about turkey hunting as possible. I noticed when listening and reading, that no one hunts the same. Some people use mouth calls, some box calls. Some people hunt blinds over food plots and fields, while others do the listen and stalk. I feel that understanding a little bit about all the different experiences and ways to hunt helped make my hunt what it was. After trying to understand the hunt I had to become as familiar as possible with my location. I looked over topographic maps online, and also went out to the forest once before to scope out the area.
The night before I made sure my gun was all set up, laid out my clothes, made sure my backpack was packed with water and snacks, as well as my calls, flashlight, a knife, and extra shells. Alarm set for 4:30, I was ready to go. The next morning I made it to the woods before sunrise. I started my quiet slow walk into the mountains. Stopping every ten minutes or so to sit and hit my call. If I didn't have a response within 5-10 minutes, the slow walk started again. It was about 7:30 when I heard my first gobble, but I hadn't hit my call in a while, so I knew he wasn't answering me. I sat and listened for about 30 minutes to what I was hoping was a real hen and not another hunter. The last thing I would want to do was ruin someone else’s hunt. After 30- 40 minutes his gobble had started to fade farther away and I hadn't seen or heard the hen in a while, so the stalk on this tom was on. One thing I learned was that you can hit your call too many times. It was a major struggle not to call constantly while listening to him slowly fade out. But patience and perseverance were on my mind, I wanted to win this gobbler over. He kept gobbling and I hit my call rarely, I think this really kept him intrigued, you know like playing hard to get. Finally, I can tell he is on the ridge just northwest of where I was, so I trekked as quietly as possible to get just a bit closer trying to get a glimpse of this loud yet devious creature.
I listened and stalked him, finally catching a site of tail feathers through the brush almost three hours after first hearing him. This hard headed tom wouldn't budge though. I was sitting waiting about half way down the ridge of the small mountain we were on when I realized he isn't going to come find me. I was once told that the toms work their way to high ground towards midday so the hens can hear them better and they can search out hens more easily. Remembering this I decided I had to ever so quietly make my way to the top of this ridge to get this gobbler to make an appearance. So I did! Struggling with the dry leaves under feet I made it about 70 yds to his east. I finally found a good tree to rest on in a small opening in the underbrush. Settled in, I hit my call once, and to my surprise I hear another hen on the other side of this gobbler I’d been working so hard for. My first thought was that the last three hours were a waste of time and he was going to deviate from me and go after this other hen. To my surprise I see and hear this bright red head coming through the underbrush at me. Then, I see another, I was calling at two toms and had no idea. My nerves are racked at this point, gun up and pointed in the direction of my opponent. To add to the nerves of seeing my first bright red head, the long swaying beard as he walked didn't help. The tom, finally being at 30 yds and headed straight for me, stuck his head up to let out a gobble. Being green to the sport of turkey hunting, I couldn't wait any longer, he stuck his head up and I pulled the trigger. Thinking I was right on him with the kill, but to my surprise he flew away. Even though I knew he had no idea I was there prior to the trigger pull, my inexperience got the best of me and I shot long before I needed to.
I thank the Lord above for a beautiful day to experience my first turkey hunt. I think I learned more about myself that day then I ever have before. I realized that it doesn't matter what other people think, you’re the only person holding you back. There are no boundaries or limits to what you can do if you believe in your preparations and take your common sense and knowledge from other hunting experience and put them into use. Also, practice makes perfect when shooting a gun. I have duck hunted before but have never shot a shotgun at a still target. They are completely different! Pattern and be familiar with your gun prior to taking it out hunting!
I hope this story gives more women the courage and willpower to not be dependent on someone else to introduce you to a new hunting adventure. Take the bull by the horns, prepare yourself and believe in yourself. But most of all Shoot Like a Girl!

Marissa Hoehn is a Pro Staff member of Shoot Like A Girl. For more information on Marissa please go to www.ShootLikeAGirl.com and click on Pro Staff.