You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Ladies in Camo’ tag.


Guest post by Rebecca Gicewicz

IMG_7584My Nebraska hunt with The Roost was a fantastic adventure with great friends. The hunting was physical, involving covering lots of ground and enjoying the unique scenery. The style of hunting was new to me as I am a fledgling turkey hunter. I did my best to keep up with our 6 foot 6-inch guide and his long, swift legs. My companions were good at coaching me a bit to keep me on track and improve my odds of harvesting.

On our second day of hunting our other two hunting companions were tagged out and it was up to Nancy Jo and I to close the deal. It was my turn to step into the batters box and we saw at least two toms in a field along the Middle Loup River. When we got into position the guide frantically whispered that TWO LONG BEARDS were coming in hot. Nancy Jo looked at me asked, “Do you want to try for a double.” I didn’t need time to contemplate that question, the answer was, “Let’s do this!”

MirriamsIn an instant, the gobblers were in view and Nancy Jo asked me if I was ready? I said, “YES!” Nancy Jo fired and I shot a second later. Her aim was true and mine not so much. I had a follow-up shot opportunity, but it was strike number two. There would not be a strike three as my gun jammed. Too much crawling through the dirt, I suspect.

So my hunting buddy harvested herself a beautiful Merriam’s turkey! I was happy for her but felt like I had let the guide, the cameraman, and my hunting partner down. I wanted that double! So with mixed emotions of celebration for my friend and frustration at myself I took a few minutes to regain my perspective and composure. Once all those emotions were sorted out I was ready to be up to bat again!

We went to a new spot and called in a few jakes who were ready to brawl. It was awesome to see their displays! Our next spot was a cut corn field that had four toms and two jakes. The stalk was on! Nancy Jo stayed at the truck while, guide Dustin aka Dirt, cameraman Richard aka Mister and hunter Rebecca aka Slugger went creepin’. We set up and the turkeys weren’t visible. Dirt called and finally a few gobbles cut loose and he whispered,  “Here they come.” My heart was pounding and my hands were shaking but I was ready for the fast pitch. The red heads crested over the berm and they were running into the decoy.

Two were Rios and one was a Merriam’s and Dirt desperately whispered, “The middle one, the middle one!” At about 20-yards, there was enough separation between the trio for a clear shot and I hit it out of the park. Woohoo!

Rebecca-Merriams

The other two turkey never skipped a beat they were looking to beat up on the tom that dared to encroach on their territory. They finally eased off and I was able to check out my bird. I was thrilled to be able to take in the beauty of that Merriam’s Tom. The intricacies of the feathers, the iridescence of its coloring. Being able to convert my swing and a miss into a single felt good!


As all of us converged upon the lodge of Misty Morning Outfitters in Alden, Kansas, we were chomping at the bit to get in the fields hunting some birds. When we were sitting around the fire pit the first evening, we found out we would be hunting by a method none of us had ever experienced….FANNING aka REAPING, a term the Turkey Reapers had coined for this style of hunting through their hunting tactics. I was excited about the challenge, however I was also somewhat nervous. My Beretta Xtreme was set up to be effective for extended range shots, not rushed close range shots.

Our first morning started off a traditional turkey hunt with locating a bird that our guide had roosted the evening prior. Mister stepped out of the truck and let out a owl hoot and the silent, moisture thick air was cut with a hard gobble in return. We all scrambled! Troy, our guide, was gathering up decoys from the back of his truck and was headed about 80 yards into the field just off the road to set up decoys. Mister grabbed his backpack, video camera, tripod and chair as Rebecca and I loaded our shotguns, slung on our turkey vests and followed in right behind Mister. We quickly found us some trees to nest up against.

Troy and the gobbler rallied back in forth for the next hour, but the tom never did commit to coming into the field in front of us. The tom stayed on the property behind us at about 80-100 yards…property we did not have permission to hunt. We finally called the hunt in this spot, pulled up the decoys, gathered our gear and headed back to the truck. As we drove by the field that was behind us, we had the opportunity to see this tom and his hens. This would not be the last time one of the Ladies in Camo hunters would tangle with this bird; read Rebecca Gicewicz’s guest post to see how she saw this bird up close and personal.

After riding around for several hours we did spot some toms in a field and tried our skill at “Reaping” but because there were four of us, one fan and a lot of cow pasture to cover, we were not successful. I did get a taste of what to expect for the rest of the hunt: staying low, single file, crawling, kneeling, peeking and waiting.

Unlike any turkey hunting I have ever experienced, Reaping is an intense and aggressive hunt. A lead person holds a full strut tom decoy that has been altered with a handle and stake so that the person can easily hold the decoy in front of them as they crouch their head below the full tail fan and peek through the fan. The crawling, crouching, long shuffles to cover the distance to where the toms will see your lifelike decoy and take an interest is exhausting at times. Add to that, we were hunting in hilly terrain that I was not accustom to. The excitement and rush make all the effort worth every minute of the challenge–I was hooked.

After lunch, our group was split up and I was hunting with Matt as my guide and Mister behind the camera. We rode around for several hours glassing birds but most were in areas we did not have access too. We finally found a tom in an alfalfa field and we strategically closed the ground on him to get within 80 yards of him. I was on the edge of the field on a downward slope and Matt was behind the decoy working the tom closer to us. The tom had a hen with him and came within 70 yards of us but lost interest and walked back to the hen. We backed out once the bird was out of sight and decided we would come back later in the afternoon and see if this tom circled back through there. He didn’t, so we decided this would be the perfect spot for a morning hunt.

We returned to that field the next morning but never heard or saw a bird. After sitting in that spot until 8:30 a.m. we called the hunt and rode around a while seeking other birds. Several hours passed and we were on our drive back to the lodge when we saw a tom and several jakes in a small cutover ag field. Matt wheeled into the long driveway and spoke with the farmer who granted us permission to hunt the birds on his property that was on both sides of the road. We drove half the distance of the driveway and attempted a stalk on these birds by taking advantage of three short silos. Once we got to the silos, Matt crawled out on his knees just after telling me to stay tight to the silo, be ready and when he said shoot step out and be prepared to acquire my target and shoot. As he crawled out, the adrenaline I was feeling sneaking up the drive had my heartbeat blaring loudly in my ears. I heard Matt say, “They are coming. They are coming. Be ready!” I clicked my safety off. I didn’t know if two or all were coming, nor did I know if the Tom was in tow…phew, it was an intense moment as I played my role over in my head…step out, acquire target quickly and shoot!

As luck would have it, only two jakes came into the trickery of the bobbing and spinning decoy and didn’t even come straight to the decoy. They cut to the left and decided to come from behind the silos into the tom. Matt whispered to me that they were circling around so I quickly turned and repositioned myself for the shot in that direction. I caught a glimpse of one bird and it was a jake. The second bird came in and bumped the first so I had a pretty good idea that this was also a jake. We were able to back out from those birds and get back to the truck without spooking them.

The hens, jakes and one tom headed across the road and we were strategizing how to get into that pasture in front of them. We drove up the road to a higher advantage point where we were able to glass the birds and find out where they were going. Mister stayed at the truck as Matt and I went over the fence, into the pasture after this tom. Matt was carrying the reaping decoy and we were able to quickly get to the vicinity of the birds and we were lucky to have several cedars and some trees to use to our advantage. As I looked back toward the vehicle, I watched as Mister was scanning the pasture above us. I saw him look in my direction through the binoculars and when he saw that I was looking back at him, he made a sign for us to go back down low and around a little pond, he was seeing birds there, no doubt.

We had two jakes come into Matt’s calling and they didn’t commit when they saw the decoy…I had no plans on shooting a jake so we let them walk back into the woods without further pursuing. We heard a good mature tom gobble up above the pond so we quickly got up and took off in that direction. We were in a bottom and Matt made some yelps and on the terrace above another good mature gobble shook the air. We quickly climbed the hill, Matt with the decoy and fan in front of him and me glued directly behind him as if we were one unit, we were able to get to the top of the terrace when Matt saw the tom.

IMG_5932Being a turkey hunter, I have to be honest and tell you staying directly behind the decoy person, not being able to look around and size up the tom for myself was the hardest thing to do. I tried a few times and Matt caught me, growling under his breath, “BE STILL!” I did get a peek at the bird as it turned to walk in another direction and I saw beard…long beard. I could not tell if it were five inches or 10 inches but at this point I committed myself to take a shot at this bird.

Matt asked, “You ready?” I kneeled on my knees with my butt on my heels, clicked my safety off, shouldered my gun with the barrel pointed at the ground and said, “Yes!” I could only imagine this is what a bull rider feels like when the gate man asks that question…I had NO CLUE what was about to unfold, but I knew that this performance was up to me. Matt ducked and rolled to the left as I shot up onto my knees, quickly acquired where that tom was and I placed the bead midway down his neck and squeezed off my gun, expecting to follow up with a second shot. The first flipped the bird and he didn’t flop. I said, “GOT HIM!” as I stood up. Matt finally unfolded from his half fetal position on the ground and got up and said, “Oh yeah! Awesome!”

What a rush! I can’t tell you what part of that moment made it more exciting, not seeing the bird until the fan was moved, having to quickly acquire my target and shoot or the fact that we were slipping around in the wide open in stealth mode behind this decoy completely fooling the keen eyesight of this tom. My second Rio Grande was in the bag! I danced in the Land of Oz and I was now one bird away from my second Grand Slam.


Guest Post by Rebecca Gicewicz

IMG_6670I am here in Alden, Kansas enjoying hunting camp with old and new friends. Part of my mission for this trip was to do my best to harvest a Rio Grande. Our first morning in the woods was spent with Nancy Jo, Mister and our guide, Troy; which is truly a treat as I am usually in the woods alone. I don’t mind the solitude but sharing the experience with friends was really a special element I was looking forward to. That morning came and went with just a few gobbles from turkey in the distance, but no shot opportunities. No problem, it is hunting after all.
Our plan for the afternoon was to use a different strategy by splitting the group up. I was kind of bummed but I just rolled with it. This turkey hunting gig is all new to me so I thought, :Let’s do this.” The afternoon involved driving on country roads past known areas and unknown land. Lo and behold, there was a nice Tom strutting near a creek but we didn’t have permission to hunt that particular land. Troy had a plan; a few clicks on a smart phone app gave the property owners information. So off we went on a mission. A few knocks on the door revealed that no one was home, but the show must go on. Undaunted, we went on with our turkey quest.

IMG_8638We drove and drove, but as fate would have it nothing came together. The final act of this show was to go back to the morning spot where all four of us had started of and try to catch the birds as they circled around to roost. The decoys were set up and I sat back against my tree from the morning hunt. I was missing my other two companions and kept wondering how their hunt was panning out. As an hour or two ticked by, Troy called and there was intermittent distant gobbling but it didn’t sound as if it was closing the distance. The sun was beginning to set and I started to think of what our morning plan might be.

IMG_3816That is when I saw something red and black about 100 yards to my left; it was a Tom! The tom was running up the edge of the field towards my position. I frantically whispered to my guide “to my left, one is closing in.” My guide was not able to see and just kept saying hold still, don’t move, and let him come. That is what I did. The tom slowed up at about 50-yards and of course he was standing in my one and only blind spot. I thought, “Oh no, he is suspicious, has turned and gone into the woods.”

That was not the case at all! The tom continued to move into range and I could now see him but didn’t have a clear shot. Troy gave me the “Shoot when your are ready” command but I had to wait for a clear and ethical shot. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the tom moved into a shooting lane. I clicked my safety off, lined him up in my Ghost Sight and squeezed the trigger. Down went the bird and Troy shouted, “Good Shot!”

IMG_3809

IMG_3815
There were two other mature toms behind my downed bird. They kept closing the distance but I only had one tag; no double for me. Finally, they moved off into the woods and we got up to check out my harvest. I was anxious to see him up close. We looked at his spur on one side and it was a rounded nub; I have to admit I was disappointed. So, I focused on his fan, which was beautiful. I finally got brave enough to look at the other spur and when we did I was ecstatic. There was my unicorn; a stout, sharpened, 1-5/8” spur. I thought, “It’s ok that the tom only has one spur. He only needed that one.” I was super stoked! That is how I found my unicorn in the Land of Oz.


FullSizeRenderFor me, this hasn’t been a very successful turkey season. With spending the least amount of time ever spent spring turkey hunting in the woods, my lack of success was to be expected. As I scroll through social media and see all the successful harvests at each of the outfitters that we are traveling more than 15 hours to hunt with, I have high hopes that my luck will change at the two Ladies in Camo turkey hunts we are about to spend the next seven days hunting. Six ladies from four different states are converging upon Misty Morning Outfitters in Kansas to hunt Rio Grand turkey, and four are traveling on to The Roost in Nebraska to hunt Merriam’s turkey.

 

Rebecca

Rebecca’s 1st turkey harvest! Photo Credit: Rebecca Gicewicz

 

Rebecca, from Florida, is traveling with us…asleep in the back seat of Cletus as I type this entry. Kim and Marla are traveling together from Illinois. Sherry and Connie are traveling together from Michigan. None of us “NEW” to turkey hunting, however, this is Connie’s first guided outfitter hunt; this will be Rebecca’s 2nd and 3rd bird and species as she recently harvested her first turkey, an Eastern in Alabama; and Kim and Marla were just in the woods turkey hunting this past weekend.

 

I have been fortunate enough to have hunted some place at a point in time with each of these women, except Connie. I am looking forward to gaining a new hunting friend. It has been nearly eight years since I have hunted with Sherry, who attended my very first hunt I organized. It has been nearly four years since I have hunted with Marla and just last September that I hunted with Rebecca and Kim. I feel blessed to be able to call these ladies friends.

12976749_859208130868561_6502490979529047604_o(1)

Kim’s opening day harvest! Photo Credit: Kim Hessing

My plan is to share as much of this hunt with all of my blog followers and subscribers, as well as my social media friends and followers. I will post some contributed blog entries and photos from the ladies attending this hunt if they wish to contribute. Look for stories of our travels, our good times at the lodge, photos and tales from the hunt, and of course, all the shenanigans. Check out the Ladies in Camo and Life in Camo Facebook page, search the hashtags #LICMMO16 and #LICTheRoost16 in social media to keep up with posts from the Ladies in Camo Kansas and Nebraska turkey hunts.

 

2015 Wilcox CountyAs we are rolling through north central Oklahoma, crossing over into Kansas, with just two more hours of travel, my mind is already on the turkey hunt…wishing these ladies the best of luck in the coming days.

I hope we ALL have the opportunity to “dance with a fist full of feathers!”


IMG_9868I have had many people follow along as I have hunted a notorious tom I named the Grand Poopah this season. The GP is just “THAT” kind of bird. The kind of bird that haunts you during idle thought. The kind of bird that is your last thought as you set your alarm clock for 4:30 a.m. for the next morning and lay your head on your pillow.  Many mornings, as I drive out to the turkey lease, I have received many texts wishing me luck from friends. And yet, the Grand Poopah still haunts those Alabama pines. Still rules the roost keeping Down Low, Third Bird and every other tom in those woods quiet.

Our friends from Ohio, Kurt and Mackenzie Walters, visited this past weekend with high hopes of successfully helping me take out the Grand Poopah. Mackenzie will now have “THAT” bird ingrained in her mind for years to come. Here is her story:

Anticipation had been building as it had been a year since we last saw our friends Nancy Jo and Mister. I had been vicariously hunting through Nancy Jo’s text messages and blogs about birds named Grand Poopah, Down Low, and Third Bird. Each having their story and meaning behind their names. An early wake up and 800 miles were all that separated us from sharing the hunting woods again. The Jeep was fueled up and the bags were loaded waiting to hit the road. We left home around 5:30 am only making stops for gas and a bite to eat.

Upon arrival, we became acquainted with our accommodations for the next three days and started catching up with our hosts. Dinner was served followed by a quick trip to purchase licenses and a few other necessities. The only thing left was to get some sleep for the morning hunt. The alarm clock rang, coffee served, and out the door we went for the first hunt. We traveled a short distance to the hunting property and hopped on the cart. We dropped my husband Kurt off at a carefully selected location. I happily shared a set up with the Guru Huntress herself as she had done much scouting. Three different gobbles were heard as sunrise approached. Shortly afterwards, a shot was heard and a follow-up shot. Kurt had shot but at which bird and the reason for the second shot were not known. As we fretted, it was a miss and a follow-up miss. Based on the location of the gobble and the area the bird came from, we figured it was likely Third Bird; but Third Bird would not be the only encounter we had for the day.

IMG_0202The birds were tight-lipped much of the trip only talking the first and last mornings. It would take glassing and moving through the property quietly to see other birds. While checking a field, a bird popped out of nowhere late the first morning. Nancy Jo recognized him immediately as none other than The Grand Poopah himself! We all dropped down and found spots on the edge of the woods. Kurt called while I held my gun ready. Old GP would not budge from his strut zone. After calling for several minutes we devised a plan. I crept up to the top of terraced land only to see GP in full strut. I dropped down and backed out attempting not to be noticed. We continued to call but he did not move. Kurt suggested crawling to get a shot so on my hands and knees I moved towards Grand Poopah.

It seemed like it took forever to cover the short distance. As I got closer, I began a belly crawl. Before cresting the hill, I took a moment to pray. I then pushed my upper body upward so I could get a view. Must to my dismay, GP had already moved on.

Mackenzie's Game Face....

Mackenzie’s Game Face….

 

I found a place against another tree and stayed for a short bit of time while Kurt continued to call and Nancy Jo kept watch. I and my leg had fallen asleep while waiting for a shot opportunity. I heard a whistle waking me from my light sleep and attempted to stand up. I realized my leg from my knee to my foot was asleep but thought I could walk it off. I made one step and immediately fell to the ground. I could hear Kurt and Nancy Jo laughing at my expense. It would have been video gold had we been recording the whole Grand Poopah experience! As had Nancy Jo, I too fell victim to Grand Poopah’s spell. His image is forever ingrained in my memory.

Our game plan and strategy kept getting challenged...the birds just were not talking to us.

Our game plan and strategy kept getting challenged…the birds just were not talking to us.

 

Although we were not successful in harvesting a turkey that weekend, several other memories were made such as Nancy Jo trying to eat jelly beans through her face mask and plotting to use the gobble tube to wake us from our sleep as we were snoozing against trees. Nancy Jo and I watched a real hen that looked like a decoy and decoy that looked liked a real hen. Kurt and Mister had a good laugh as they watched Nancy Jo and I try to figure out if the decoy was real while trying to hide behind a single fence post.

A first occurred as a ribeye steak was placed in front of me and I could not finish it. A cat stole my contact lenses and case. This is the same cat that plays fetch! The cats entertained us all weekend. New games were played such as Cow Bingo. Im not sure I ever wanted to know what the prize would have been for winning. Cows followed us all weekend no matter the set up. We laughed and joked all weekend and potato became a dirty word. Kurt and I had given potatoes up for Lent. It was very kind for Nancy Jo and Mister to not eat potatoes even though it would have been fantastic with the steak. And sometimes having guests is the perfect reason to buy the coffee maker you always wanted even though you are not a coffee drinker.

A selfie of Nancy Jo with the gobble tube that she was so tempted to use while everyone was napping!

A selfie of Nancy Jo with the gobble tube that she was so tempted to use while everyone was napping!

Kurt and I attended a beautiful Palm Sunday service as the hunting came to a close and we headed back home. We packed our things, loaded the Jeep, and parted ways with a southern style sweet tea in hand. We both enjoyed our time hunting with Nancy Jo and Mister and hated our time had come and gone. I cried the whole way to the interstate thinking how it may be months or even another year before we would get to see our friends again.

Of course as soon as we left we came across a hen standing in the middle of the road and the tom strutting in the ditch; figures! The one thing I know is that I never want to see another cow while I hunt again! I think Mister got the last laugh as Kurt and I stopped for a sandwich only to be served french fries that we had to smell all the way home. The sweet tea accompanying my sandwich was not to the standard set in the south. We talked the whole way home about how we already missed our friends and our plans to return.

IMG_0269It did not matter we did not come home with meat for the freezer, the time spent with friends and the experience with Grand Poopah made the entire weekend. There is no way we could thank Nancy Jo and Mister for their hospitality, friendships, and adventures in the woods. Until we meet again friends!

 


Among the numerous bags I own, some of them are guaranteed to be on every adventure. Trophy Totes is definitely one of those bags. Check this bag out at the Ladies in Camo website. This is definitely a bag you are going to want to add to your packing list.

20130602-115101.jpg


I have found the perfect all-purpose knife for my backpack, turkey vest and purse. Read all about it at the Ladies in Camo website. The new 2013 colors are available now.
20130602-115929.jpg


In preparing to head out to the turkey woods in the morning, I figured it was time to get my vest out and give it a once over to make sure it was packed and ready. I purchased my Limbhanger turkey vest by Russell Outdoors in Mossy Oak Obsession over 4 years ago and it is still in tack and in fairly good condition; even though it has traveled to over 6 different states and has been through rain, mud, brush, briars and spent time riding in the front of Hank the HuntVe or in the floorboard of my truck.

My turkey vest is pretty much like my purse….pretty heavy, but organized. OKAY!! Maybe it doesn’t look organized but there is a place for everything and everything is “usually” in its place. I thought about weighing it, but I would put my money on 13 pounds; EASY.

20130421-180816.jpg
Three things you will ALWAYS find in my turkey vest: ESP, ThermaCELL & Winchester Premium Xtended Range ammo.

I thought it would be neat to share what I prefer in my turkey vest and maybe see what you have in yours. Here is what you will find in my turkey vest, starting with the left side of my vest:

Left side interior pocket:
ESP Ear Protection
License sleeve with mini pen
Lucky rabbit tail
Small retractable measuring tape
Leupold Range Finder
Knotty Huntress Turkey Lariat complete w/zip lock bag & rubberband

Left side exterior pocket:
A pouch of various mouth calls
A call sweetener
Two Slate Calls
Crow call
A small can of bug spray in my box call pouch

20130421-181244.jpg

Back pouch:
ThermoCELL
Gobble tube
Binos
shooting stick
small bottle of water
a turkey hen decoy or Little Runt
turkey stool
A limb saw/caliper clippers in a pouch
a turkey feather or three

Right side interior pocket:
6-3.5 #5s
1-2 3/4 #7s
hat brim light
chapstick
pair of gloves & extra pair of gloves
a mask & an extra mask
Several folded sheets of paper towels
small bottle of sanitizer

Right side exterior:
3 different strikers
small patch of sand paper
small patch of scrub fiber
Mini Mag Light

Yep, 13 pounds of “Pure Prepared”…. Care to share what you prefer in your vest? Good luck to you this season–I hope you dance!


As the founder, I am excited to announce the release of the Ladies in Camo website. This is a dream that has come to fruition for myself and to have the opportunity to be a part of it with several women that I have met through this journey is just amazing and humbling. Here is a little about Ladies in Camo and what you can expect:

    MISSION/GOAL

“Our mission is to provide women hunters with affordable hunts in an encouraging atmosphere; mentoring and advocating positive hunting ethics, effective conservation principles while promoting the hunting heritage. Our goal is to supply information through the publication of useful articles, product reviews, and through sharing the hunting experiences of others.”

    WHAT YOU WILL FIND ON THE WEBSITE

Featured Huntress: a different huntress will be highlighted bi-weekly
Tails of the Hunt: Archive of stories, photos from fans, staff and featured huntress column
Field Journals: Blogs written by region field staff, volunteer bloggers and guest bloggers.
Hunt Calendar: A listing of all hunts offered with a hyperlink to the printable announcement and other important information
Gallery: Photos and video for LIC hunts, photos submitted by staff and fans of LIC
Articles: Writings submitted by staff and guest writers
Product Reviews: product results from gear that has been tested in the field
Favorite Outfitters: Outfitters we proudly recommend
Favorite Gears: Gear and products we are proud to promote or use in the field.
Logowear/gear: a variety of branded products for sale {Designs will be posted later this week.}

    MEMBERSHIP

For a low membership fee of $35 you will get the option of a short sleeve logo wear shirt or a LIC ball cap, a vinyl sticker, 20% off your first order from the LIC store and you will be eligible for the membership-exclusive quarterly drawings for hunts and/or gear give-a-ways. You can sign up today using PayPal at the website.

PLEASE VISIT:
http://www.ladiesincamo.com

DON’T FORGET TO SIGN THE GUEST BOOK – you could be a winner!

In celebration, Ladies in Camo is giving away a hunt and some awesome gear. To get your name in the drawing, see the details in the attached flyer.


Ladies, are you looking for great hunting opportunities at very reasonable pricing? I have been fortunate enough to find several outfitters who are excited about promoting women in the sport of hunting and giving women hunters the opportunity of some great hunts. Here is a list of hunts that are on the calendar. Subscribe to my blog to be the first to know when a hunt is posted. Click on the BLUE link to take you to the announcement to read the details of each hunt:

December 8-11:
Ladies Deer, Hog, Bobcat & Coyote Hunt at Rack Nine Outdoors, Barbour County, Alabama

I have 4 spots available on this hunt.

January (26)27-29, 2012
Ladies Rut Whitetail Rifle Hunt and Quail Hunt with Mountain View Plantation, Clay County, AL

I have 2 spots available on this hunt.

I am working on coordinating a turkey hunt, bear hunt and two hog hunts. Deposits are non-refundable. Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog to be the first to know about future hunts. Hunt hard, harvest ethically and may your drag be short. ~Nancy Jo


Ladies Hog Hunt at Rack Nine Outdoors: Back row (L-R) Amber Markley, Shannon Markley, Charmen McAlpine, Michele Branning, Jennifer McKinney. Front Row (L-R) Cameryn Melton, Andrea Main, Nancy Jo Adams, and Michelle Harmes.

I had a hard time going to sleep Sunday night because my mind was still reeling over the happenings of the weekend. Eight women converged on the properties of Rack Nine Outdoors to hunt hogs. Over the last 2 months I have had the opportunity to scout and hunt hogs on this property and was even fortunate enough to remove two from the property with the chance to shoot several more.

The hog movement was a different story this past weekend; even after Terry Garrett of Rack Nine Outdoors spent an entire week scouting and shifting stands into areas with the most sign. A hog was not harvested this past weekend among these 8 hunters but that doesn’t mean we didn’t have a grand time.

Friday started off with a dinner of baked wild hog in a homemade BBQ style sauce, Macaroni & Cheese, potatoes in garlic sauce, cream corn, rolls and a special treat of Jennifer McKinney’s homemade potato salad—with a KICK!! Shannon and Amber Markley brought a delicious homemade pound cake that Shannon’s mother made fresh on Friday. Needless to say, the cake did not last long at all…

What was left of the Pound Cake Shannon Markley's mother made for us on Friday.

After dinner, the ladies changed, grabbed their gear and were ready to head to their stands for their first afternoon hunt. The ladies were broken up into 3 groups and taken to their stands in 3 different vehicles. I was supposed to sit with Cameryn Melton but she was not arriving until late so I stayed at the lodge to greet them. Shortly after Doug, one of the guides returned to the lodge from dropping his group off, he noticed some hogs coming out of the cornfield and going down the road toward for the woods. He first counted 6 but by the time I raised the binoculars and looked, there were over a dozen. This made me really excited for the ladies on stand.

When it got dark the guides started getting a few texts for pick-ups but some ladies stayed out several hours after dark. There wasn’t much hog action at all on this evenings hunt. Some ladies could hear hogs and some even seen deer. I went out with Doug, one of the guides to pick up Charmen McAlpine. It was a fun ride out there and it made me want to be in the woods.

Who said a LADY can't be a LADY in the field...Charmen McAlpine sporting her manicured nails.

Shortly after 11:30 p.m.several women retired to their rooms, a couple ladies and myself were talking about how the full moon amplified the fields and how we should be out there hunting. I looked at the group and asked, “You want to?” A smile crept over their faces and one asked, “Can we?” I said, “Shoot yeah! We can ride around the road system and check fields.” Then one asked, “How? How are we going to get out there?” I looked at them and smiled and said, “Hank the HuntVe.”

I got up from the couch quickly and said, “Grab your guns and let’s go.” Michele B, Michelle H and Shannon hustled to their rooms to grab their guns then to the mudroom to put their boots on. I ran upstairs and changed into a camo shirt and pants, grabbed my ESPs, a flashlight and my rifle. I quickly ran down stairs and started looking for my boots among the long row of women’s hunting boots. Shannon and Michelle H were giggling like schoolgirls; Michele B was on the back porch waiting. I started giggling too when I realized we were acting like we were trying to sneak out of the house without getting caught.

Shannon looked at me and said “Strut & Rut! That is what we need.” I was still putting my boots on so I told her where the stash was. She quickly went and got 4 of them. When she brought them to me and showed me she had 4, I quickly laughed shaking my head and said, “DON’T show those to Michele B. Good Lord, she has so much energy her head will be spinning!” I guess Shannon found that comical because we both erupted in laughter when Michelle H started laughing at us for laughing so hard. Michele B poked her head in the back door and asked, “What are you all laughing at.” We had to push out the back door before we woke the entire house up.

We giggled uncontrollably like high school girls sneaking out to Hank. We loaded up, fired up a ThermaCell, ran through a quick gear check, turned the key on, I looked at the ladies and said “Let’s go choot-a-hawg” and Hank was headed down the driveway to the cornfields. We rode a little ways, stopped and listened, doing this several times while in the cornfields. We made it to the road system and started down it. We drove across a section of road that had huge baseball and softball size rocks where they were placed for the timber rigs to get in and out of the fields. It was awful noisy and for some reason we found that comical…maybe because we were lacking sleep; everything seemed funny as we giggled along. Surely we didn’t have a chance to actually see a hog, much less shoot one.

We stopped and decided we needed to take some photos…needless to say the flash from the camera blinded us the first photo so all of us looked like Chinese. So we tried it again…which cut Michelle H’s head off. So just one more time…nope, that one didn’t work either. So we decided we all needed to be much closer. Squeezing in, we started laughing, seeing spots, trying two more photos where one would have their eyes closed and another their mouth wide open. Finally, we decided to all get off of Hank and try a photo that way. It did not go as planned. So we decided if we all just looked down at the camera with our heads pushed together, maybe we can get everyone in the photo…..WE GAVE UP…with our sides hurting from laughing we jumped back on Hank and moved out of the area; anything lurking in those woods was definitely in another county after all that giggling. We definitely took some bad photos but it was fun, no doubt.

Trying to get a photo on our Friday night hunt...FAIL...the flash was SUPER bright.

So we thought we would try again...but we were all laughing so hard and I was holding my breath to keep from laughing...another FAIL...

We thought maybe if we took it from the back of Hank it would be better. Nope the flash was still REALLY bright on this dark night....another FAIL..

Squeeze in...another FAIL...and seeing lots of spots in the dark night.

At this point we were teary-eyed and just giggling too hard to care. Another FAIL.

This is the last one, we all said, mostly because we couldn't see and I think half of us wet our pants laughing and the others had stitches in their sides.

We rode around for about an hour and a half before we headed back. Michele B remembered a field with a flat bed hauler parked on the edge of it so we went there and got up on the flat bed and stood a while listening. We heard a few squeals over the fence in the corn. We walked up the road a little ways; nothing.

Friday....err....Saturday morning around 3:00 a.m. waiting on hogs in the field. Michele Branning, Shannon Markley and Michelle Harmes.

We finally headed back to the cabin, parked Hank and giggled all the way up to the back door, snuck in… First, we were busted by Andrea Main; she said, “I came down hunting y’all.” We went into the living room and said down telling her about our trip. All of the sudden the front door opened and Richard walked in. Phew!! We made it back in the nick of time. But we were already busted so we told him that we had not been to sleep. I think it was Andrea who said, “they have been hunting all night. And I didn’t get to go.”

What a fun night!! But it was time to get day two started….already!


Ladies, are you looking for great hunting opportunities at very reasonable pricing? I have been fortunate enough to find several outfitters who are excited about promoting women in the sport of hunting and giving women hunters the opportunity of some great hunts. Here is a list of hunts that are on the calendar; there are a few that are still being coordinated and details worked out so stay tuned and subscribe to my blog to be the first to know when a hunt is posted. Some of these hunts are already booked full with a waiting list, some have a few spots remaining; book early to reserve your spot. Click on the BLUE link to take you to the announcement to read the details of each hunt:

August 12-14:
Hog Hunt with Rack Nine Outdoors, Barbour County, Alabama

I have TWO spots available on this hunt. This hunt was so much fun the first time, the outfitter agreed to coordinate a second hunt. You can read my June blog entries, along with several guest blogger entries and see photos of our first hunt.

September 10:
Bowfishing trip with Scale Damage, Bursa, Louisiana

This hunt is booked full.

October 21-23:
Whitetail Archery Hunt with Mountain View Plantation, Clay County, Alabama

This hunt is booked full.

October 28-30:
Whitetail Archery Hunt with Mountain View Plantation, Clay County, Alabama

This hunt is booked full.

November 2-6:
Whitetail Archery RUT hunt with Rack Nine Outdoors, Marion County, Illinois

I have 4 spots available on this hunt.

December 8-11:
Ladies Deer, Hog, Bobcat & Coyote Hunt at Rack Nine Outdoors, Barbour County, Alabama

I have 4 spots available on this hunt.

January (26)27-29, 2012
Ladies Rut Whitetail Rifle Hunt and Quail Hunt with Mountain View Plantation, Clay County, AL

I have 4 spots available on this hunt.

I am working on coordinating a duck hunt in Kansas and a turkey hunt (Rio, Merriams & Easterns) in Oklahoma. Deposits are non-refundable. Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog to be the first to know about future hunts. Hunt hard, harvest ethically and may your drag be short. ~Nancy Jo


YOU WILL NOT FIND A BETTER-PRICED, ALL-INCLUSIVE RUT HUNT IN ILLINOIS. Four day hunt with Rack Nine Outdoors, in Marion County, Illinois. This is a RUT hunt. This hunt is for one buck, a 125-inch minimum, no trophy fee. This hunt is limited to 10 women hunters and will fill quickly. Please see IMPORTANT information below on how to secure your spot.

Date:
Wednesday, November 2, 2011 through Sunday, November 6, 2011.
You will hunt Wednesday p.m., Thursday, Friday and Saturday a.m. and p.m. and Sunday a.m.; 8 hunts total.

Lodging:
Hunters will stay in lodging provided by Rack Nine Outdoors. Meals will be provided: continental breakfast, light lunch, a hearty dinner and snacks and drinks provided throughout the hunt.

The hunt:
Hunting will be from ladder stands, box stands and ground blinds; hunters can bring their own personal climber if they would like to. The 4,000 acres +/- of property is heavily managed and monitored with game cameras, and by owner and/or guides. This is a bow hunt only.
Hunters will arrive at their leisure on Wednesday. We will hunt Wednesday afternoon, Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning and afternoon and Sunday morning; eight hunts total. Hunters will depart Sunday around noon

Guide:
The guides will not actually be guiding hunters in the field; however, the guides will insure that the hunters get to and from stands safely.

Cost:
The cost for this hunt is $1,300 per hunter; discounted from the regular 4-day price is $2,050. There are no hidden costs; transportation to stands, meals, lodging, skinning and quartering of game are included in the cost. NO TROPHY FEES. This fee does not include your non-resident license, habitat stamp and Archery Whitetail Permit/Tag; see License below.
IMPORTANT: A $650 non-refundable deposit must be received no later than September 15, 2011; deposit must be received to secure your spot–first come, first serve. Please email me for mailing instructions at guruhuntress@centurytel.net.

License:
Licenses and archery whitetail permit/tag can be purchased after August 2, 2011 online at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov or by calling 217-782-7305. These are left-over tags from the lottery draw and are limited so make sure to purchase your archery whitetail permit/tag as soon as possible. Please make sure to insert the correct dates of 11/2/11 thru 11/6/11 when applying for the 5-day license.
The license is $37.75 for a 5-day or $57.75 for an annual license. Whitetail, Archery either sex AND antlerless combo tag is $410.00.

Suggested items to bring:
A safety harness. Required to be worn at all times in elevated stands.
Bring a cooler to carry home quartered game.
Rain gear

Contact Info:
Please contact me for information on where to mail your deposit check for this hunt or for any other questions you may have at guruhuntress@centurytel.net.

You may bring and consume alcoholic beverages if you wish to do so; however please reserve the consumption of alcohol for the evenings or after the days hunt. For safety and liability reasons, anyone drinking alcohol during the day prior to the hunt will not be allowed to hunt that evening. Drink responsibly.

This hunt is not affiliated with any group, magazine, or sponsor and is a HUNT, not an EVENT with silent auction, games and raffles—no frou-frou here—just an actual hunt. I am not a booking agent, guide or outfitter nor am I getting compensated for this hunt; I am simply organizing this hunt for women who would like to participate in a hunt with other women with like interests.


Rack Nine Outdoors, Barbour County, Alabama. http://www.racknineoutdoors.com Photo Credit: Life in Camo

Three and half day hunt with Rack Nine Outdoors, in Barbour County, Alabama. Buck, Doe, Coyote and/or Bobcat can be harvested on this hunt. Mature bucks only; no button bucks, spikes or small-racked deer with less than a 15″ spread. This hunt is limited to 12 women hunters. Please see IMPORTANT information below on how to secure your spot.

Date:
Thursday, December 8, 2011 through Sunday, December 11, 2011.
You will hunt Thursday p.m., Friday and Saturday a.m. and p.m. and Sunday a.m.; 6 hunts total.

Lodging:
Hunters will stay in the spacious Rack Nine Outdoors lodge. Meals will be provided: continental breakfast, light lunch, a hearty dinner and snacks and drinks provided throughout the hunt. For photos, see the YouTube video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6LL48-7ZK4

The hunt:
Hunting will be from ladder stands, box stands and ground blinds; hunters can bring their own personal climber if they would like to. The property is heavily managed and monitored with game cameras, by owner and/or guides. This is a rifle hunt; however compound bows or crossbows that meet the Alabama regulations can be used. Your best success rate will be with a rifle.

Hunters will arrive at their leisure on Thursday. We will hunt Thursday afternoon, Friday and Saturday morning and afternoon and Sunday morning; six hunts total. Hunters will depart Sunday around noon.

Guide:
The guides will not actually be guiding hunters in the field; however, the guides will insure that the hunters get to and from stands safely.

Cost:
The cost for this hunt is $700 per hunter; discounted from the regular price is $1,050. There are no hidden costs; transportation to stands, meals, lodging, skinning and quartering of game are included in the cost. NO TROPHY FEES. This fee does not include your non-resident license; see License below.
IMPORTANT: A $350 non-refundable deposit must be received no later than October 15, 2011; deposit must be received to secure your spot–first come, first serve. Please email me for mailing instructions at guruhuntress@centurytel.net.

License:
Licenses can be purchased online at Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources website. Please make sure to insert the correct dates of 12/8/11 thru 12/11/11 when applying for the 3-day license.

Suggested items to bring:
A safety harness. Required to be worn at all times in elevated stand.
Safety orange hat or vest is required while on the ground. These can be taken off while in elevated stands.
Hunting Clothes suggestions: Alabama’s temperatures in December can be somewhat unpredictable, however it is normally mild, if not warm compared to most states during the month of December. It is recommended to bring lightweight hunting clothes and some layers; just in case.
Bring a cooler to carry home quartered game.
Rain gear

Contact Info:
Please contact me for information on where to mail your deposit check for this hunt or for any other questions you may have at guruhuntress@centurytel.net.

You may bring and consume alcoholic beverages if you wish to do so; however please reserve the consumption of alcohol for the evening or after the days hunt. For safety and liability reasons, anyone drinking alcohol during the day prior to the hunt will not be allowed to hunt that evening. Drink responsibly.

This hunt is not affiliated with any group, magazine, or sponsor and is a HUNT, not an EVENT with silent auction, games and raffles—no frou-frou here—just an actual hunt. I am not a booking agent, guide or outfitter nor am I getting compensated for this hunt; I am simply organizing this hunt for women who would like to participate in a hunt with other women with like interests.


Dawn Gribb with SheeWee USA, LLC attended the Rack Nine Outdoors hog hunt over the weekend and although I have field-tested and published a product review on her company’s product, the SheWee, I have never had the opportunity to speak to her. Dawn was our only hunter that came with a fishing pole to wet a hook. Dawn was also thoughtful and brought each one of the ladies a SheWee. Thank you so much Dawn for sharing your company’s outstanding product with this group of women.

Dawn has only been hunting about 3-3.5 years and everything is still new and exciting to her as she has tackled new adventures. She is also going through what many of us ladies experience when we started hunting; confidence tampering thoughts that make you measure your bravery. Dawn did very well and you would have never know she was a new hunter. Here is her story about this new experience and conquering the fear that came with the experience.

Dawn Gribb, SheWee USA, attended the hunt as a new experience, knowing obstacles would be involved....she conquered them.

Conquering my fears

I heard about the trip to Alabama about two weeks before our departure. Wow! An opportunity to get away and go hunting for wild boar with my girlfriends. I am a novice hunter and I am a perpetual planner and like to think every situation through. I imagine how I will react to different situations. But what I experienced on the Boar hunt with Rack Nine Outdoors would open my eyes and force me to address some of my fears.

The first night was ladder stands and lightning – I’ve never been much for heights and had only been in a (large) tree stand one time before our hunt. As I climbed up the ladder and reached the top, I realized quickly that I was “white knuckled”. You know where you are afraid to let go for fear of toppling to the ground, rifle, backpack and all. The tree was rather large and as I tried to throw the safety harness around the tree, I felt a fuzzy vine going up the backside of the tree. My stomach sunk, I tried again to throw the belt around the tree, and finally decided to just turn around and sit down. I strapped myself to the ladder, and tried to look to see if there were any leaves of three coming from the vine above or below me. Hmmmm, it was too hard to tell. So I sat there sweating, and worrying about poison, falling out of the tree and (now realizing the lightning storm was much closer), getting struck by lightning. I knew my girlfriends would write a nice obituary about how I died doing what I wanted to do, but what about the poison all over my face. All of a sudden I heard distant squealing and grunting and my thoughts turned to hog hunting.

The second night was different dilemmas: spiders, getting lost, and total darkness. I was now in a narrower ladder stand and was far away from everyone. They told me I would have to walk in quite far. That wasn’t a problem, I asked my guide to walk with me to the stand. I had my reasons, I was afraid, but I didn’t want to show it. As we walked I had noticed the spider webs but the excitement overcame my fear and I quickly proceeded to the stand. About an hour after I was in the stand, I heard a rustling in the bushes behind me. I turned to see a large boar approaching and my heart started pounding.

Holy crap is this pig going to come to a place where I could shoot it? Forgetting that I was up in a tree stand I tried to whip around to where I could get a shot. But this time (the tree was smaller) I was able to tether myself to the tree and apparently didn’t do it high enough. It seemed like forever till he walked into my view. I took the twisted, turned-around shot and he jumped and ran away. Damn, how could I have missed? I turned around and silently hoped that he would come back, maybe farther away. Then I started to wonder if I shot him and didn’t put him down.

I sat with myself for a while and pictured how he ran a few hundred feet and fell over. Then, my phone started to ring.

Was that you who shot? Came the texts.

Did you get one?

I don’t know, I replied.

Did you look for blood?

Oh, it never occurred to me to get down and look. Holy crap, it’s getting really dark and I have to get down from the “safety” of my tree? What kind of hunter am I? The guide offered to come with a four-wheeler but to me that isn’t hunting. If I shot, I need to get my butt down there and check it out. And so I did. Leaving the comforts of my ThermoCell on the tree stand, I climbed down and slowly walked back to where I thought I shot it. Thinking this was going to be easy and quick, I had not planned on running into large, spiders along the way. As I spun and tried to elude their webs, I got myself all turned around. “Okay, where is the tree that I am supposed to be looking for?” They all look-alike. I turned around to get my bearings and find the tree stand but I couldn’t see it. I started to gingerly walk around looking and realized that I was lost.

Panic started to kick in. I could no longer hear all the bugs making noises. The only sound was my heart pounding in my ears. Anxiety started to kick in and I realized how vulnerable I was. It was now very dark and I held the only light in the forest. Every critter was looking at me. What about the blood? Was there a wounded boar waiting to run me down? All things flashed through my head, until I realized that I needed to calm down, get my bearings, take my time (all the while watching for spiders) and find the ledge that the tree stand was near. After about 15 minutes I was able to find my way back, and the tree stand never looked so good. I had conquered another milestone.

Later, as I sat in the tree stand, the darkness came. There was so much cover where I was that it was pitch black. I couldn’t see my hand right in front of my face. I had never experienced anything like this; sitting alone in the middle of the woods in total darkness. With the heat and humidity the air was thick, and there was the constant high-pitched sound of the mosquitoes and bugs. I tried to focus on listening for footsteps but my mind wandered. I had never been cut-off in total darkness. This was a new experience. It must be like being in solitary confinement, but it was my choice and I was not going to be fearful anymore. I was conquering my fears.

I can’t wait to get back out there and try it again. With every hunt comes knowledge. And next time I will be better prepared.

Richard and Hank the HuntVe bringing Dawn in from her morning hunt.

Follow Life in Camo – Shenanigans From the Field on WordPress.com

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 6,726 other followers

Categories

Click below for previous month’s entries:

Thank you for visiting my blog.

To find out more about me, click on the "About Me" tab in the menu bar below the blog heading above.

Proud Voting Member of:

Proud Member of:

Follow on Instagram

Good Morning! I was up and at it early this morning and already at my job in the concrete jungle. I have an hour to spend on my side hustle and then it is my 8-5'er. Wishing everyone a productive and amazing day! Nestled in my favorite spot at Village Coffee cranking out some text as the sky spits rain outside. A perfect day for writing. Wishing you an amazing day. #LifeinCamoMedia #LifeinCamo It doesn't matter if I am climbing a mountain or climbing into a treestand, I can count on  @alpsoutdoorz. #POMA2017 #exceedyourexpectations With all this rainy weather and the Indoor AC cranked, it is a perfect afternoon for a cup of #yogitea. My brew today is Sweet Tangerine Positive Energy.
%d bloggers like this: