Here’s to 2021. I started Wild Women in the beginning of the year, and although it has grown significantly I will be the first to admit it has been neglected a bit since the 2021 hunting season opened and I was fully wrapped up being in the field. My biggest goals for 2022 are to keep moving forward, keep writing, sharing, and most of all to keep connecting with other women who share my passions. That’s why I started writing in the first place; and why I started sharing the Wild Woman Spotlight – to grow this community of women who share my passions.
I connected with Felicia first in an all women’s group that we were both a part of and then in a group that she founded, but I will let you read the details on that in her words. I watch her stories and read her posts all the time. She is another amazing woman with so much strength, knowledge, and most of all passion. I figured there is no better way to end my writing for 2021 than sharing her story.
She was born and raised in Michigan, and has been working in healthcare for the last 9 years. Felicia is the mother of two wonderful feral boys. We live our lives revolving around the outdoors.
Don’t forget to check her out on Facebook and Instagram as well as her group page for Women of the Wild!
Thanks again Felicia for putting this together, you are truly an inspiration!
I have been fishing since I could hold a rod and reel, I grew up on Lake Erie and fishing Canadian waters as well. I wasn’t the “typical little girl” I have had a passion for the outdoors for as long as I can remember. I didn’t grow up in a hunting family, I remember watching hunting on television and just wanting to go. I was in my teens and started by going with friends, their dads or family members. From there I absorbed whatever I could and learned so much. I learned what to do and what not to do. It was another few years before I picked it up myself and eventually really got into it with an apprentice license. Needless to say, I have been hooked ever since! I have dedicated myself to learning more primitive ways to use everything I can and eliminate waste.
With everything that has happened in my years of being in the hunting and fishing community I have experienced a lot of negative interactions with being a female. I recently decided I wanted to devote myself to changing that for not only us but our future generations. I wanted to start a group specifically designed for creating safe, comfortable learning experiences for more women to get outdoors. To provide opportunities that some may not be able to find on their own. In doing this we create a bond and a sisterhood. I started up Women of the Wild which is an online private group for women to have a hub for these kinds of events. We have built a great team with two other incredible women. One I met locally on a fishing trip, and we have had a lot of great adventures together. The other we met through Facebook and eventually got her out with us on a bowfishing trip. Since then the rest has become history with some incredible memories.
My favorite fishing is trout or salmon, gosh I just love catching anything on a fly rod really even just little blues; it’s all just fun. But Ice fishing, that hard water fishing just gets me! I have been working on a pike through the ice for many years and just can’t seem to land it. It’s always a good time spent with a bunch of Ice holes…Hunting though.. I LOVE me some turkey hunting, I recently picked it up a few years ago and it has become such a challenge and adventure. I have been blessed enough to get my dad back into hunting with me and being out with him or my boys is really just some of the best memories. I obviously hunt here in Michigan, mostly private land but occasionally public depending on the hunt. I will hunt anywhere my pocketbook will allow!
A major influence for me as I am sure so many other bowhunters, I would have to say the late great Fred Bear. I have been instilled with his ethics, morals and try to embody his spirit.
When I asked Felicia about the best advice she’s received, she made me laugh, and let’s face it there is nothing I love more than a great woman with an even greater sense of humor. Best advice… Bill Dance “don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story” hahaha, no just kidding but in all seriousness, I have to go with my idol. Fred Bear “if you are not working to protect hunting, then you are working to destroy it.” And also, his quote “A hunt based only on trophies taken falls far short of what the ultimate goal should be.”
My most memorable harvest would have to be my 2021 spring turkey. I have worked so hard, putting in the blood sweat and tears (literally). I had done solo hunts, hunts with friends, my dad or children and came home empty handed for 2 years in a row. I was out turkey hunting one season when I got the call at 6:04 am that my grandfather had passed. He was a big part of my life growing up and we spent a lot of one-on-one time together. He also was a veteran who had to fight his fight alone due to COVID restrictions. When my son and buddy asked if I wanted to head in, I replied, “not a chance he would have kicked my ass for calling a hunt”. A cardinal had sat in that field all morning and we never saw another bird that day. The next time out I had missed a shot due to a gun malfunction that had left me scared. I needed redemption. I had become obsessed!!! Went and got a brand-new gun and felt I needed a fresh start!
So, the next season I went out religiously every time I sat, I only had hens come in. The toms were there. I had them on the cameras. So finally, I decided for a change again. I had gone walleye fishing all day and then straight out that evening to bow fish. 4:30 am rolled around and I didn’t want to give in on chasing that big tom. My best friend and I decided sleep wasn’t as important as a good rainy morning. So, to the field we went with no blind, some great camo and my go to Nature’s paint on my face. Walked out in the dark and waited about 45 minutes until legal shooting time. Wouldn’t ya know it they started to come down from the roost just 100 yards away! Watching that big ole tom strut, gobble and run the 6 or so hens he was with was incredible to watch. But then the wind changed and my decoys moved and he came running!!! I was so excited but nervous about any movement and I was done for. I slowly raised my gun which felt like an eternity. Everything lined up perfectly that morning and BOOM. The shot was taken, and he was down. Flop drop and roll right! I couldn’t contain my excitement. I was absolutely blessed with a beautiful mature tom 10 ¾” beard, almost 23 lbs and 1” spurs. Hard work and persistence does pay off!
When asked if women’s hunting is different from men’s I can’t help but laugh. YES, yes it is by a long shot! I don’t mean this in a bad way or disrespectful, but they are just night and day different. The experience with an all-girls group is just like the song “girls just wanna have fun” . We laugh, play, and just have a great time. We are one another’s cheerleaders, and we also can get a bit raunchy too. However, not that hunting with a group of men isn’t fun, we still have a good time and honestly there is a lot to learn regardless of who you hunt with. Typically, here at home I hunt with groups of men or my male best friend. But other states are usually always women’s trips or solo hunts.
Why do I love to share hunting with other women? Well because for some of us we haven’t always been able to jump in the truck and just go. I feel women have the most struggle to get into the sport. I feel a lot of our hesitation has gotten much better as more women come out and show our strengths and show others you can do this too!
Feicia’s goals are absolutely amazing, first and foremost to start with, getting more women and youth involved! The more we educate, involve, and welcome into our community the stronger our conservation will be. Hence starting Women of the Wild, we will have some incredible things to show as we grow. She’s not stopping there tho! Felicia also wants to create more opportunities and safe environments for getting more people into the outdoors!
She also has a passion for assisting Veterans and disabled soldiers with opportunities for them to get into the outdoors and to have the ability to have positive experiences. To support and honor them, to help prevent and raise awareness for veterans and soldier suicide. I have teamed up with South Slope Hunting Co and Untamed Outdoors to assist and promote this amazing cause.
My hobbies outside of hunting span from gardening and harvesting from the land to working with my 2 bloodhounds on tracking and running the boys to their sports. It’s never a dull moment in our home! I love to bake and cook, I tie my own flies, crotchet, paint, tan hides, I mean the list is endless. I just love to try new things and keep myself busy! I try to be as self-sufficient as possible and enjoy teaching that lifestyle to my children. I am often asked if there is anything I can’t do? But really, I will try anything twice. So, this topic could go on longer than anyone would care to read.
Felicia has some great advice for any woman who wants to get into hunting or fishing – and I have to say I couldn’t agree more. Don’t let fear or frustration get in the way! Come out and experience everything, there are so many different styles and types of game to pursue and how you pursue them that I can almost guarantee there is something everyone can enjoy if they open mindedly give it a chance.
I also would say to the women that are just having a hard time finding someone to hunt with or where to go.. I encourage them to get a hold of me to add me and start that conversation. I will assist them to find a group or event!
Thank you for sharing my story. I wish all hunters a hunt that will leave them with memories, a safe trip home and full bellies when they get there! Play the wind my friends!