Why would anyone, especially a woman, want to do something like this? It all started with hours spent in a deer stand. My mind spins with ideas while I’m sitting there completely alone and quiet. Some ideas might seem simple to some, but to others, downright genius.
First, I want to make it clear that I am not a hunting expert. Yes, I now have a pretty respectable skill set with my rifle hunting, but my bird hunting—not so much! That’s the point! You don’t have to be an expert to get started with hunting. My goal is to encourage women to become involved in the hunting world, and I can’t stress enough that you are never too young or old to get started.
Being passionate about hunting, I wanted to share my experiences with others, especially other girls. With every hunt, these ideas, tips, thoughts, and experiences that rattled around in my mind would end up on paper, mostly because I wanted to remember them for myself. But before I knew it, I had enough material to start a blog. What could be better than combining two passions, writing and hunting?
To make it even more exciting, I coupled it with a commitment to wear something camo for the next 365 days. And Camo 365 | Girls who Like to Hunt and Fish was born. With the love and support of Trippett, my husband of 33 years and the best hunting buddy ever, I was on my way to becoming a hunter/blogger!
As a full-time realtor specializing in luxury properties in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for over 30 years, how would this 365 days of wearing camo work out for me? That’s where the fun begins. Obviously, I could not go full camo when meeting clients, so I started collecting accessories: a great tote bag, tons of scarves, hair ties, belts. I got pretty creative and was able to make some DIY camo by accessorizing pocketbooks, shoes, and belts with camouflage wrap that is typically used for firearms!
My biggest accomplishment was attending a black tie event and fulfilling my commitment to wear camo with a beautiful sequined camo evening bag. I had another challenge on a trip to New York while having dinner at Jean Georges at Trump Tower. I was able to add a special touch of camouflage on my black patent heels and my black clutch. I was set!
On weekends it was very easy as I have camo jeans and tops and tons of hunting jackets and boots along with my hunting clothes. The best part of this experience has been that it is a great conversation starter.
With my blog, I try not to take myself too seriously. Many times my blog posts are light hearted and funny, such as my last duck hunting adventure. I kept telling my husband that I thought I was getting closer to hitting a duck because I could see the feathers floating down.
“Nope,” he said, “that’s the wad from the shell.”
On another trip I was feeling out of my element in dark, murky water and nervously announced that I thought the swamp smelled so nice that a stand of cedar trees must be nearby. I was embarrassed when my hubby said the nice smell was from the Thermacell he had clipped on me earlier.
One of my favorite posts is more like a short story; “My First Big Fat Hog Hunting Adventure,” where I missed a 600-pound wild hog. How can you miss something that big? Well, you have to read it to understand.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a very serious hunter. Safety is always first, and I am constantly reading and studying so that I can gain knowledge to help me be the best hunter I can be. My goal is to always ethically take an animal, so accuracy is very important. I have had some amazing successful hunts, but that is not always what is most important. What is really important is respecting nature and giving back by participating in conservation efforts through memberships in various organizations such as NWTF, CCA, DU, and QDMA. I am hoping to get more involved by volunteering with my local chapters in 2017.
One of the best aspects of my blog is the celebration of women hunters all over the country. I am so happy to be networked with a group of serious women hunters . . . and up-and-coming ones, as well. My blog includes stories about a former Teen Miss South Carolina and her hunting skills and interests, a future surgeon who is honing her skills by working for a taxidermist, two sweet young girls who duck hunt with their daddy, and many other girls who have unique hunting stories.
There is no doubt that women hunters are on the rise, and many people in the industry are taking note of this by reaching out to women who hunt. But keep in mind, my blog is not just for women. I have plenty of men hunters who follow me and support my cause. I encourage guest bloggers, both men and women!
Another great opportunity has been one of giving back. Several of my blogs have raised awareness for organizations, such as CMO’s Kids, Wildlife Action Camp, and The Matthew Bellamy Project. The hunting community does so much to hold wonderful events for children to enjoy outdoor recreational activities, camps, and special events that they might not have been able to do otherwise.
My mission with my blog is to raise awareness of the importance of protecting our right to bear arms. Hunters know and understand the Second Amendment doesn’t have anything to do with hunting, but it is a topic that bonds us together. The importance of protecting gun ownership and discouraging more gun regulations can’t be taken for granted. We all desire to protect the tradition of hunting and gun ownership for our children and future generations. We are thrilled that our 3-year-old and 6-year-old grand babes are following in their “Gaga’s” footsteps and have been on dove and deer hunts with their daddy.
So, the big question is: Am I still wearing something camo every day? The answer is no, not everyday. However, I can hardly stay away from wearing it, since I am now a member of the Hunt Staff for Prois Hunting & Field Apparel (proishunting.com). I promote the line by wearing and reviewing the hunting clothes and gear on my hunts. This is the first line of women’s hunting apparel that is designed specifically for serious women hunters. No more wearing down-sized men’s clothes!
I love my Prois apparel; they have a full line of shirts, jackets, hats, and pants, and not just for hunting. They offer apparel and gear for any outdoor activity and in every climate from the heat of the desert to the cold of the mountains.
What is next for camo365.com? I am always looking for more hunts and adventures to write about, as well as finding female-friendly hunting facilities so I can share them with my subscribers. My hubby has been to Africa on three hunting safaris as a teenager, and we would like to go together some day soon.
So, if you see me, more than likely I am wearing my favorite color—camo!