Back in December I posted on a few fishing groups to see if anyone wanted to get together to do some ice fishing, and that’s how I met Vikki. We chatted briefly online and said heck ya, let’s set it up! So, low and behold, Vikki traveled to Western Mass and I met her and her boyfriend at one of my favorite ice fishing spots. We hit it off immediately. She’s such an awesome human being, and ironically, we are as she says “the same” in a lot of ways. Vikki, you are one of the most honest, kind, and humble human beings I have ever met, and I am honored to call you my friend and sister.
Naturally, it was a no brainer to have her write something up for a post, so here it is! Vikki lives in upstate NY and is a quality control analyst. Check out her Instagram account and give her a follow! Read her story, and share it far and wide. It’s women like Vikki that inspired me to start my blog in the first place and it’s WITH women like her that I hope to share many more outdoors experiences with. Love ya Vikki!
I was humbled and excited when Sheryl asked me to write a little ditty on my interest in the outdoors, my experience, and how I got involved in the hunting & fishing community. So here goes!
All my life I’ve been an outdoor enthusiast. I’ve always enjoyed hiking, camping, creek walking, boating, and canoeing. Fun Fact: I love getting my feet wet looking for creepy crawlin things under rocks and brush in the streams!! I have very fond memories of Girl Scout camp in Fort Ann, NY in the early 80s and being outside ‘amongst the trees’, fishing with my Pop at Ann Lee Pond for sunnies and ‘rainbow fish’ as we called them and my uncle hunting and hanging his dead deer in the tree behind my parents house (while my mom was gagging and cursing that dead deer) but i never had the interest or opportunity to get involved. I was raised in a family where hunting & fishing were not really a part of my immediate world.
I have always been a Biology nut (A&P is my favorite) and a bit of a hippie when it comes to living life. I wanted a simple life but that was mostly not my reality for many different reasons.
‘The Trees’ always brought me peace and centered-ness. I’ve recently been divorced for the second time and the only place I found solace was ‘amongst the trees’. I started hiking again, lowlands and wilderness – no high peaks – with a local chapter of the HikerBabes group eventually becoming an Ambassador and leading hikes.
My boyfriend is an avid hunter & fisherman and what he did, where he went and the landscapes he was in became very intriguing to me. I asked questions and watched him for a year and finally this year was able to open my work/life/kid schedule enough to tag along during striper season on the Hudson River…well I was hooked by not only the perspective shift that happens when you are on the water looking at land but the color of the water, the beauty of the fish and the FIGHT of the giants! I caught a 38” mama striped bass and THAT was definitely a highlight for me! Fun fact: I didn’t believe it but you can tell the difference of the type of fish on your line by how they act…catfish roll and stripers fight like hell!
After a few months of watching & listening to him (and the awesome Steve Rinella) I wanted to hunt. The love and the passion for the animal, its habitat and the hunt/tracking – is right up my alley…i had no idea! This goes right along with my lifelong desire to live off the land, provide healthy food for my family and go off grid. Human made conveniences have a place in the world for sure but the stewardship of natural resources and the enjoyment/peace/centered-ness I get from the outdoors and God’s design is unbeatable. So I signed up for a Bowhunting 101 women’s workshop weekend and connected with women who share my conservative ideals, interests (archery, hunting, tracking, canning, foraging, gardening, etc) and heart. I knew I was where I was supposed to be. I am building knowledge, strength & confidence in all these new skills every day with the hope of killing my first white tail deer this fall!
Being a woman I’ve found it to be slightly (to say the least) intimidating to get involved in traditionally male dominated sports but I think those were my own internal obstacles as most men have been helpful and encouraging. There are tons of FB groups geared towards getting women into hunting and fishing, outdoor type women love to share their experiences and connect with others who do the same. In more recent months I’ve become a Reel Camo Girl brand champion and share stories with women all over the country and LOVE to hear stories of women doing things I aspire to … Felicia Marie in the Midwest, Laura Jenkins in Canada, Andraya Grangroth in Colorado to name a few … all amazing & inspiring women who work (and play) outdoors!!
I’ve been ice fishing in MA & NY, charter fishing in Boston, fished small ponds and big rivers, and have been to Lake Ontario trout fishing. I don’t have a favorite yet but I’m thinking small shallow river fishing might be my gig along with ice fishing.
I want to learn to fly fish and fish for Salmon someday, early mornings of tracking & hunting white tail deer and definitely go turkey hunting (I found out about the guillotine broad-head and using THAT would be amazing!) I tend towards a competitive spirit so any stealth tracking is a draw to me.
As a female just getting into these sports, first and foremost, don’t ever let yourSELF believe you can’t…because you CAN! Go out and look for other women that know what you want to know and friend them, hang out and absorb knowledge from them, share stories, ask questions…it’s about connection and relationships!
Last question that Sheryl asks is who is your inspiration…not an easy question for me … my gut response is likely the women i mentioned earlier, Laura (Mom of boys, photography, bear/deer hunting), Andraya (elk hunting and mountain alone-ness, general comfort with herself), Felicia (FISHING!) and Gina (gardens, Texas, God, country girl inspiration), all for different reasons and abilities. My boyfriend Kris has also been an inspiration to me…the water runs deep in him, it’s like blood in his veins … what keeps him alive and centered and happy. I long to find the thing that does this for me on this earth and I have a sneaky suspicion that I’m gonna find it in the next phase of this journey.
My future goals: to kill and eat a white tail deer and a turkey in the fall/spring 2022-23, keep my freezer stocked, bellies of those i love full, home warm and faces smilin’ all with a grateful and content heart with someone who loves me equally …shots of whiskey and cold Yuenglings wouldn’t be turned away either 🙂 and eventually getting more and more off grid together!
Here’s to dropping the hammer in 2022 and living life from MY heart! This ought to be terrifying … How exciting … LOL
Best advice I’ve gotten “…when you’re fishin’ … slow down … and when you think you’re going slow enough … slow down some more”.