Broken in the Backcountry: Preparing for Emergencies

Broken in the Backcountry:

Preparing for Emergencies

By Lisa Halseth

EvoOutdoors ProStaff

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It was the weekend before the 2014 archery opener, my dad, Dan and I had just finished setting up our hunting camp.  It’s our home away from home in the fall, tucked in the endless mountains of Montana. Since the hard work was done we decided to head out on the horses to do some evening scouting for bulls. It was a beautiful evening, the weather couldn’t have been better. After a six mile ride, as we crested the highest ridge we spotted a couple bulls down below us in a lush meadow. We tied up the horses, and sat down to get a better look.  We stared in awe, as we witnessed eighteen bulls grazing, sparing and raking the ground. It was an amazing August evening that I was lucky to share with two of the best men in my life.

An evening I would never forget.

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As we rode back towards camp that evening, I had a serious case of elk fever. We anxiously discussed our game plan for the following Saturday, which would be opening morning of the archery season. While daydreaming of those big bulls, I completely lost focus on my horse and the horse I was ponying behind me. As I looked over my shoulder to check on Kimber who was following behind me, my horse decided to snag a quick bite of grass. As she reached down my right rein slipped from my hand and fell to the ground. I turned back and realized what had happened. This was not a big deal, I was just going to reach forward and grab the rein which was hanging to the ground from her bridle.  As I stood in my stirrups and leaned forward toward her head to grab it, she simultaneously stepped on the rein and jerked her head to release the tension that had pulled her head down. As her head jerked back, it met my face hard.

All I remember is hearing a loud crunching noise and seeing stars.

The next thing I knew I was on the ground on all fours holding my face and completely out of it. The blood immediately started to flow. Once my dad and Dan realized I was on the ground they came running.  There was so much blood gushing from my face that they weren’t sure of the extent of my injuries. My dad threw me his handkerchief as he said, “I hope you didn’t break your nose!” At that moment I brought my fingers to my face and then I knew my nose was not in the right place. It was pushed to the right side of my face. Luckily, I had enough adrenaline going through my system that it numbed my face and I wasn’t able to feel where my nasal bone had pushed through the skin on the bridge of my nose. The guys were on their knees trying to get control of the bleeding as the blood began to pool up below me. They were trying to play it cool and not let on how bad the damage really was in order to keep me calm. Luckily, my dad was prepared and had a first aid kit in his saddle bags. Granted, it had been in there for years and he wasn’t sure how stocked it was. It was more than Dan and I could say. We hadn’t even thought to pack something as simple and important as a first aid kit on the ride. We managed to find enough gauze to pile on my face hoping it would stop the bleeding or at least slow it down. They helped me to my feet.  I was very light headed and every foot step felt like another sharp blow to the face. The pressure of every little movement I made was felt in the fragile fractured bones of my face.

image7We were still a few miles from camp and I knew I wouldn’t be able to handle the rough ride out on horseback.  My only choice was to start hiking.  The guys grabbed the horses and we began our slow trek back to camp.  I had so much gauze piled on face, I could only see my feet and the trail directly below me.  We eventually made it to camp and left the horses with my dad. Dan unhooked the horse trailer, got me in the truck and we made our way to the nearest hospital. Three hours after smashing my face, we finally pulled up at the ER.  After a six hour visit in the emergency room, my face was x-rayed and finally stitched up after 8 hours of heavy bleeding.  I was a few drops short of a blood transfusion. I had a concussion, three loose front teeth, compound fractured nose, broken cheek bone and eye socket. Five days later, once the swelling had gone down, I laid there, looking up at my doctor used his thumbs, with as much force as he could, to push my shattered nasal bone back into its proper position. It was the most painful experience of my life but thankfully it wasn’t on the right side of my face anymore. I was devastated to miss that opening weekend, but thankfully I was able to make it out the rest of the season and it was a memorable one. After six months of healing, the bones had finally healed and the pain was gone. My nose and face will never quite be the same but I’m thankful that I healed up as well as I did. Considering how many breaks there were in the left side of my face, the doctor said I’m very lucky that the whole left side didn’t shatter. Taking that hard of blow directly to the face from my 1,200 lb. horse and considering we were miles from civilization, this incident could have been so much worse. God was watching out for me that day.

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This whole experience made me realize how caught up I was on getting to hunting camp and chasing the elk that I never took the time to really think about the things that could go wrong out there and the preparations I should have taken. I knew the terrain well and had two others with me to help get me out of there but not having something in my pack as basic as a first aid kit was an eye opener.  I realized that one can get so excited and distracted by the excitement of big game, that we can lose focus and get sloppy. That is the moment accidents can happen and unless we are prepared, those moments can be disastrous.  Growing up in the saddle and being an experienced rider, I have had my fair share of accidents but never something so severe and never in the backcountry. After spending so many years riding I have become very relaxed in the saddle and maybe a little too relaxed at times. I was guilty of this that night and should have paid more attention, instead I was daydreaming of those big bulls and opening morning which was fast approaching. It’s crazy how fast accidents can happen.  Thank goodness I had my dad and Dan there to take care of me and get me out of the mountains safely. As traumatic as my accident was, I wouldn’t change a thing. I will continue my adventures in the backcountry but from now on I will be more prepared for accidents that could occur.

I will be sure to do the following and I hope all of my fellow hunters and outdoorsman will take these things into consideration.

  • If possible, hunt with at least one other companion or leave a detailed plan of your excursion with a loved so they have a general idea of your location and when to expect your return.
  • Familiarize yourself with the area you are hunting, know the terrain, and weather forecast.
  • Carry a map, a compass, and/or GPS system with extra batteries.
  • Educate yourself on basic first aid and always carry a first aid kit with you.
  • Pack a flash light, fire starter, food, water, or water filtration system, space blanket, knife, flares, or mirror
  • Dress in layers and wear clothes that are weather appropriate and be prepared for a change in the weather.
  • Carry a cell phone in case you have service, or two way radio if you split up from your partner.

Venturing in the great outdoors has provided me with some of the best and most memorable experiences of my life. In nature is where I truly belong but I will always be sure to use caution for it can be unpredictable and things can change in an instant. Tagging the big one or just filling the freezer will do no good if we end up injured, lost or worse.  With the fall hunting seasons beginning, I wish all of my fellow hunters a great season.

May your hunting season be fun, successful, memorable and most importantly safe.

-Lisa Halseth

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Lisa continues to spend every archery and rifle hunting season at their family hunting camp, tucked away in the endless mountains of Montana. When not in the saddle or at hunting camp, you will find her driving her Percheron draft horse team, spending time with her family, exploring the great outdoors, and photographing her adventures along the way.

Shooting for the Shot: Are you ready for the challenge?

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Tracy Harden, co-owner at EvoOutdoors recently shared how she is preparing for her backcountry trip to Idaho to bow hunt elk.

“Each year I try to challenge myself to be more physically and mentally fit for the backcountry. As we prepare for our first trip to Idaho in September and my first chance at a bull, I want to prepare myself as much as I can. So in that moment… no questions asked, I am ready.” -Tracy Harden

By developing and using this training checklist Tracy practices different shot distances, stances and situations to elevate her archery skills. Designed so that the archer can pull back their bow with confidence for any shot. We challenge YOU to use her checklist to practice your archery skills.

The idea is to shoot each distance three times. Then measure the distance between the farthest apart arrows. The goal is to decrease the diameter between arrows as your practice. Of course, safety is always first. Feel free to alter the challenge as needed based on your comfort and ability however, challenge yourself!

Check the EvoOutdoors Facebook, Instagram & Twitter pages for weekly shot challenges during the month of June.

Share your results with us on social media: #ShootingForTheShot #EvoOutdoors #PracticeWithPurpose

Are you ready for the challenge?

Click the link below to take the challenge

Shooting for the Shot

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Sporting Clays: How to get started

I shoulder my shotgun and yell “pull”!

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I take my aim and miss the first two clays. I’m at my very first sporting clay competition and to say that I’m nervous is an understatement. I hear encouraging words from the other competitors behind me as I shoulder my gun again and prepare for the next two clays. Again, I yell “pull”, but this time I bust both clays! The other competitors in my group start cheering for me and giving me high fives, easing my nerves as we walk to the second station.

I recently shot at the 16th Annual Women’s Charity Shotgun Event hosted by the Ozark Shooters Sports Complex in Branson, MO. The proceeds from this shoot went to the Shriner’s Hospital for Children, a hospital that provides high quality care to children in need, regardless of the family’s ability to pay.

Before now my only experience in this area was shooting trap in my backyard a few times, as well as hunting doves, pheasants and crows. One thing that I truly believe is that you learn the most by forcing yourself to get out of your comfort zone. Going into this sporting clay competition by myself, not knowing what to expect was definitely a little uncomfortable for me, but I am so glad that I did it!

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The women competing in this event were not only very friendly and encouraging, they were excellent shooters and I was happy that they were willing to give me some pointers. One tip was to lift my right elbow up just a little higher & keep it parallel to the ground. This creates a “pocket” in your shoulder that the shotgun fits into better which helps with recoil, especially after shooting 50 shells. I learned that other shooters really want to help you and want to see you succeed. Sure, it’s a competition, but it’s all in good fun and for a great cause.

For those like me that are new to sporting clay shooting, here’s a basic run down on what to expect:

How It Works

AndiEvo4_copyOut of all the shotgun sports, sporting clays is the closest thing to actual field hunting. With skeet and trap you have clays thrown at generalized distances and angles each time. Sporting clays are designed to simulate actual wing shooting of ducks, pheasants and other upland birds. The clays can be thrown from any direction, at any speed and any angle. Some clays even vary in size, giving you the next best thing to real world hunting conditions.

Sporting clays are usually shot in squads of 2-6 people and is played over a course of about 10 different shooting stations throughout fields and the natural features of the land. Being from the Ozark Mountains, our stations overlooked some beautiful scenery and was naturally, very hilly. Each person in a squad shoots a determined number of clays, usually around 4-6, before moving on to the next station.

Safety

Like all shooting sports, safety comes first in sporting clays. As soon as you remove your gun from the vehicle, make sure the breech is open and the gun is not loaded. If you shoot an over/under shotgun, make sure you break it open and the barrel is pointed down or up towards the sky. Even if you know the shotgun is not loaded, always treat it as if it is.

Ear and eye protection are also a must any time you are on a sporting clay course.DSC_0071_copy3

Shooting a Round

Once each squad is at their designated first station, hand the score cards to the referee. Before anyone shoots, the referee will show you the targets so you can see how they are being thrown.

Step up to the station when it’s your turn to shoot and load your shotgun. Point it safely towards the firing area and yell “pull” once you are ready. The target is considered a “dead bird” if any part of it is broken. When you are done shooting, make sure the breech is open and exit the station. Remain behind the station until everyone in your squad has finished shooting and is ready to move on.

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Shooting sporting clays is a great way to sharpen your shooting skills and “extend” your hunting season. If you feel sporting clays is something you would like to get involved in, here are a few ways to get started!

Join a Local Club. Check out the National Sporting Clay Association (NSCA) website to search for clubs in your area.

Link: http://www.nssa-nsca.org/index.php/nsca-sporting-clays-shooting/clubs-associations/club-search/

Once a member, you can use your clubs facility on a regular basis and meet other shooters. Like I mentioned above, my experience with meeting other shooters was a positive one. They were very helpful, encouraging, and these ladies could shoot very well!

Join the NSCA. The NSCA is the ultimate resource for all things sporting clays. They are dedicated to getting more people involved in shotgun sports, no matter what level they are at, and promoting healthy competition within its membership.

Shoot In a Competition. I think one of the best ways to improve your shooting skills is to actually shoot in a competition, like I did. You can watch other great shooters and learn from them. Don’t worry about “not being good enough”. You only compete within your own class, so you’re only competing against others that are at the same level as you.

Keep Practicing! Shoot, shoot, and shoot some more! Experience really is the best teacher. Also, if any upland seasons are open, get yourself a tag. I ended up getting 1st place in my class and I feel that my experience with hunting live birds prepared me the most for sporting clays.

-Andrea Haas, Huntress View

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Bow Shooting Tips

Bow Shooting Tips written by Andrea Haas was originally published via The Huntress View



With more & more people getting involved in archery & bow hunting, I feel I should share a few basic, but important, archery tips that help me when shooting my bow.

-The number one, most important thing to me is that you shoot the exact same way each time. Form & consistency is everything so make sure you are anchoring the same way each time. I have a kisser on my bow that really helps find my anchor point quicker each time.

-Loosen up your grip. Gripping the bow too tightly can cause you to torque the bow left or right & make your shooting off.

-Shooting at smaller dots on your targets help improve your accuracy & will help you shoot tighter groups. If you always shoot at the biggest dot on the target & can cause you to get a little sloppy. I like the Mckenzie Shot Blocker.

-For the women bow hunters: Here’s a tip to see if you are pulling back too much weight with your bow: Get your bow & sit down in a chair. Pull your feet up so they aren’t touching the ground & pull your bow back. If you can’t get it back, or are struggling too much, you are pulling too much weight. I only shoot about 45 pounds, and that’s really all you need.

I ♥ Deer Heart

 grilled venison heart recipe photo by holly heiser

In the pursuit of big game a lot of hunters aim for the heart however, I try to avoid making a direct heart shot if possible. “Why?” you might ask. Many people are familiar with using deer quarters, the loins, the backstrap, etc., but have you ever tried the heart?  Yes, the good ol’ pump station! Now do not be quick to blame my Louisiana roots on this craziness. The crazy Cajuns down here have been known to eat just about any part of any critter. Even here in Louisiana not many people have been brave enough to try the heart, but those few brave souls that have are delightfully rewarded with a beautiful cut of meat.

 

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Tips on Preparing the Heart (think back to your old anatomy classes):

  • Remove all of the blood and blood clots by rinsing thoroughly. Be sure to get deep down into the chambers of the heart and even submerging it in cold water while giving it a few squeezes will help flush any remaining blood out.
  • Cut away the “crown” of the heart leaving behind the main muscle. Cut away excess fat and connective tissue from the outer part of the heart, then butterfly and trim the remainder of the main artery, valves, and the fibrous tissue. What you are left with is gorgeous, filet-like meat that lacks the grainy, fibrous texture of the more traditional cuts of venison. The overall misconception is that it has a liver-like flavor when infact it does not.
  • Need step by step instructions? Click here!

 

 

 

“The Instant Grill”: Because what better way to enjoy your fresh wild game then on an open fire after skinning and quartering it?

IMG_5666Simply prepare the heart as previously mentioned, then season it as you would your favorite steak. I like to use garlic powder, season all, salt, pepper, and olive oil ( I also sometimes marinate it in beer, but its not required).

Light up the fire pit and sit back and relax until the embers and coals are nice and evenly hot. Throw the meat on the grill and cook to a medium rare and then remove from heat.  Let it rest for a few minutes before slicing to ensure that the juices do not run out. Enjoy! Best served with some awesome garlic mashed potatoes!

“I ♥ Fajitas”: Bring your typical boring fajitas to a new level with all fresh ingredients and a little venison love. 

Fajitas can be as extravagant or as plain as you like but this is my favorite way to eat them! After preparing your deer heart, slice into strips and season with your favorite fajita/taco seasoning mix and a little bit of garlic and cilantro. While that is resting, slice up some green onions, purple onions, yellow and red peppers, mushrooms, garlic, and more cilantro. Toss the mixture in lime juice and sear the veggies in a screaming hot skillet and cook until they are barely limp, then remove from the skillet. After the veggies are done, toss in the heart slices and cook until medium rare. Best served on a corn tortilla with the heart, veggies, avocado/guacamole , fresh cilantro (yes, I use a lot of am obsessed with cilantro), pico de gallo, and a drizzle of sriracha sauce on top.

Over the years I have had venison heart prepared in a few different ways, so be adventurous. Above are a few of my favorite ways to prepare the heart. In addition, a couple other good ways to prepare the heart include smothering it with onions, stuffing it with sausage or another stuffing of choice, and this awesome looking bruschetta recipe.

To those that have never tried it or were afraid to try it, would you be open to the idea of keeping and cooking your next big game heart? If so, which recipe would you indulge in first?

 

Sarah Fromenthal
EvoOutdoors Prostaff

Cold Weather Layering

A women’s hunting apparel guide for when the temps start to plummet! All of the apparel listed here is what works for me when I’m sitting in my deer stand for long hours at a time and what I recommend for long, non-active hunts during the winter months. -Andrea Haas

1.) Prois Sherpa Beanie

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* I love the fit of this beanie. It’s long enough to cover my ears perfectly and doesn’t allow cold air/wind in.

* Available at www.EvoOutdoors.com and www.ProisHunting.com

2.) Prois Sherpa Fleece Neck Gaitor

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* This is great for extra warmth or added camo coverage. I carry this piece into my spring turkey hunting season as well for the added camo coverage.

* Available at www.ProisHunting.com

3.) Base Layers

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* The key to staying warm in cold temps starts with your base layers. You want your base layers to help wick moisture, that way if you sweat while walking to your stand, you won’t freeze later on when it starts to evaporate. Merino Wool is great for wicking moisture and isn’t itchy.

* I recommend The Women’s Expedition Crew top and Bottoms by Minus33, available at www.EvoOutdoors.com

4.) Mid Layers

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* The Turas Long Sleeve Shirt by Prois is one of my favorite shirts to keep in my hunting gear bag year round. I add this top over my base layer for some extra warmth that’s not bulky at all and is extremely easy to move in. It’s available at www.ProisHunting.com

* In extremely cold temps, I like to add a fleece mid-layer as well and have found this is a really great way to add some extra warmth; and if you find the right layers, you won’t add bulkiness along with it.

* Polartec fleece is my favorite, available at www.cabelas.com

5.) Prois Extreme Pants and Jacket

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* I absolutely love the Prois Etreme Pants and Jacket for cold weather hunting. The wind stops here, ladies! They do an excellent job at stopping the wind and also helps to keep you dry while hunting in rain, snow, sleet and drizzle. Plus, the jacket has an added “duck tail” feature to extend the length and help keep you even dryer.

* Available at www.EvoOutdoors and www.ProisHunting.com

6.) Gloves

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* For bow hunting my personal favorite are the Women’s Bow Ranger by Manzella. They are fleece with a 4-way stretch fabric for a great fit, which also makes them easy to get on and off. They also have a bow-release collar, making them a great choice for bow hunting.

* Available at www.EvoOutdoors.com

7.) Socks

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* A good pair of moisture wicking socks is imperative in order to keep your feet dry and warm. When walking to the stand my feet often start to sweat, which is a bad thing once the sweat starts to evaporate. Merino Wool is known for its moisture-wicking abilities and helps keep my feet dry and warm.

* The Day Hiker Sock by Minus33 are my favorite. Available at www.EvoOutdoors.com

8.) ThermaCELL Heated Insoles

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* If my feet do start to get cold in the stand, I love these rechargable heated insoles by ThermaCELL. Just replace the insole to your boots with these (you can also cut these to make them fit better). You can adjust the temperature to high or medium with a small remote that easily fits in your pocket.

* Available at www.BassPro.com

9.) Women’s Muck Woody Max Boots

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* These have a 100% waterproof rubber outsole, and are fleece lined on the inside. These fit close to your fit to keep cold air from getting in.

* Available at www.cabelas.com

Pheasant Hunting Gear List for Women

A head-to-toe pheasant hunting gear list written by EvoOutdoors ProStaff Team member Andrea Haas.

Prois Reversible Sherpa Fleece Vest and Blaze Orange Cap

For the ladies! All of the gear listed here are my personal favorites for pheasant hunting and would be a good option for most upland hunts.

1) Blaze Orange Hat

  • I prefer to wear a blaze orange ball cap but it’s a good idea to bring along a blaze beanie as well, depending on the wind and the temperature!
  • This Blaze Orange Cap with Waxed Bill from Prois is a great option, available for $26.99

Prois Blaze Orange Hat with Waxed Bill

2) Blaze Orange Vest / Upland Vest

  • The Prois Reversible Sherpa Fleece Vest is one of my hunting staples because I can use it year round and for multiple hunts. One side is blaze orange fleece, perfect for rifle season or upland hunting. The other side is camoflauge, making it great for hunting, deer, elk and other game. It also has scapular pockets designed to hold activated hand warmers! It is available at EvoOutdoors for $170.10

Prois Reversible Sherpa Fleece Vest

  • Another great vest option is the Badlands Upland Vest Pack. It’s lightweight, has multiple pockets perfect for holding shotgun shells and other loose items. It is available at Prois for $179.99

Badlands Upland Vest Pack

3) Long Sleeve Shirt

  • If the weather is warmer I recommend a lightweight top that wicks moisture. My favorite is the Prois Ultra Long Sleeve Shirt available at EvoOutdoors for $50.40. You can pick from Realtree AP, Realtree Max-1 or Black.

Prois Ultra Long Sleeve Shirt

4) Jacket

  • If the weather turns cool, keep the above top on as a layering piece & add a jacket. Last season on the cooler/windier days I paired the above top with the Prois Pro-Edition Jacket and that was perfect. You can find the Prois Pro-Edition Jacket at EvoOutdoors for $215.10

Prois Pro-Edition Jacket

5) Brush Pants

  • The Prois High Plains Brush Pants are a comfortable, yet durable option for the female upland hunter! They have Cordura facings, pleated knees, boot zippers, multiple pockets, and the waist rests at the natural waistline. These are available in Khaki at EvoOutdoors, or at Prois in Olive, $161.10 to $179.99

Prois High Plains Brush Pants

6) Gloves

  • I found on my first pheasant hunt that despite warmer temperatures, the wind can still cut like a knife! For days like this fleece gloves are perfect. The Women’s Ranger Glove by Manzella are fleece with a 4-way stretch fabric for a great fit. You can find these in size S/M or M/L at EvoOutdoors for $22.00

Women’s Ranger Glove by Manzella

7) Socks

  • A good pair of moisture-wicking socks are imperative for a long, active hunt like pheasant hunting. Whether it’s warm or cold you want your feet to stay dry! The Day Hiker Sock by Minus33 is made of merino wool which is known for keeping your feet dry and comfortable in any weather condition. You can get these socks from EvoOutdoors for only $13.00

Day Hiker Sock by Minus33

8) Boots

  • A good pair of waterproof boots are a must for pheasant hunting. My personal favorite for pheasant hunting in the flat, Kansas plains are these SHE Outdoor Avilla 16″ Waterproof Rubber Boots. They are fully lined with 5mm Neoprene and are easy to pull on & off. I like that they are taller, making it a good option for hunting in deep snow. I walked the pheasant fields for miles at a time & had no problem with them rubbing my feet or creating blisters. They are available at Bass Pro Shop for $99.99

SHE Outdoor Avilla Boot

9) Shotgun Case

  • You definitely need a shotgun case to protect your shotgun while transporting it from your home to the field. The Tenzing TZ SS54 Shotgun Case has a soft water-resistant outer shell and a fully surrounding 1″ foam interior padding. You can find this case at EvoOutdoors for $99

SHE Outdoor Avilla Boot

10) Pets

  • Don’t forget about your pet! If you hunt with dogs keep them protected from the elements in the Pointer Dog Vest by Rivers West. It’s made with micro fleece, very insulated and waterproof. One great feature is the top zipper has an inside fleece fly to keep your dog’s hair from getting caught in the zipper! It is available at EvoOutdoors for $49.00

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I hope you find this gear list helpful when planning your next upland hunt!

-Andrea Haas

Be sure to check out Andrea and other women hunters like her on the Huntress View blog.

 

Naturalist Huntress: Keeping It Simple and Scent Free

Let me start off by saying, yes, I am a tomboy by nature, but I also enjoy some of the girly things in life as well.  Although I can usually keep up with the best of the boys, my hair is one of those things that I am sort of on the particular side about. Is it always perfect? NEGATIVE! But, I do like it to be out of my face and not looking like a hot mess. With all of this being said, I wanted to share a few super simple tricks I personally use along with my favorite scent free shampoo and conditioner while hunting, fishing, hiking, etc. to keep my hair trophy photo ready.
Simple Ingredients (Aloe not in Picture)ME

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scent Free Salt Spray — Recreates that awesome beach hair you had during your pre-hunting season beach vacation.Salt Spray Ingredients

  • Adds texture and volume to hair (great to use on fine hair that doesn’t hold styling well)
  • Add to damp hair and it helps create beachy waves (because you can’t exactly flat iron in the backcountry)
  • Helps battle winter time static (no more “finger in the electrical socket” look)

What you’ll need: Spray Bottle, Water, 1.5 T Epsom Salt , 1t. Sea Salt,  0.5t. Scent Free Conditioner, and 1t. Aloe Vera Gel

Mix together Epsom Salt (use more or less for different amount of texture), Sea Salt, Aloe Vera Gel, and of your favorite scent free conditioner. Add 1/2 cup of warm (not boiling) water and mix well  and then let cool before pouring into spray bottle.

You can also easily make a scented version by adding a few drops of essential oils of your choice.

Scent Free Hair Spray — Will it hold as good as your grandma’s aerosol? Nah, but it will serve its purpose out in the field.

Scent Free HairsprayWhat you will need: Spray Bottle, Water, 1.5 T White Sugar (yes, the same white sugar you add in your coffee in the morning– add more or less for amount of hold but too much will leave hair sticky), and a 1/2 t of rubbing alcohol (optional, but without it must be refrigerated)

Mix sugar thoroughly with 1/2 cup of boiling water and allow to cool to room temperature before adding the alcohol  to stabilize the mixture. Pour into spray bottle.

To use: Spray lightly and allow to dry before adding another layer. Adding too much too quickly will leave the hair sticky. Also combine with the Scent Free Salt Spray for awesome texture and hold.. and NOOOO it won’t attract bears!

Scent Free Detangler/Leave-in-Conditioner -Ok yall, This one is a tough one!Scent Free Detangler

What you will need: Spray bottle, Water, 1 T Scent Free conditioner

I’m sure you figured this out already, but mix well and put into spray bottle and spray onto damp hair.

 

Other hair tips for outdoors:

  • Thinking a little hair is not too important? Try sitting still in a stand with that trophy buck in bowrange and have an aggravating hair sticking to your eyeglashes or even worse tickling at your nose. So, moral of the story: KEEP YOUR HAIR OUT OF YOUR FACE! Be sure to pack extra hairbands and bobby pins.
  • While ponytails are obviously good ways to keep hair out of the way, try changing it up with a bun or braid. Even on short hair, braiding the front bangs can help keep your hair out of your eyes to make that crucial shot. For longer hair, I like a french braid with my favorite EvoOutdoors headband.
  • Oily hair? Sprinkle some scent free powder on your roots and brush through to absorb the oil.
  • When all else fails or the weather is just down right horrible, throw on your favorite ball cap from EvoOutdoors selection of headwear.
  • Throwing on a HooRag  is also quick and easy, and it has so many functions [from a neck gaitor, ponytail holder, facemask, beanie, balaclava, headband, doorag, etc.] that it comes in handy for just about anything!

EvoGear Womens HatFrench BraidEvoOutdoors HeadbandFront Braid

The Unorganized Packer Getting Organized – Packing for your Hunt

Packing for Your Hunt


Packing for your hunt

How do you prepare for the hunt? Each season I seem to re-evaluate the successfulness of packing my gear. We typically drive 1-1.5 hours into the remote wilderness, set up the wall tent and stay 7-10 days in the Cascade Mountain Range. That being said, we cannot carry a ton of gear into camp especially apparel. Most of our luggage is the basics of camp and food. Yes, that means no shower for up to 10 days but I think I may have it down to a science. (For my own personal hunt.) Here I have attached my checklist for packing my  gear.  I left a few open spots for you to be able to make this a working list for your hunt. I would love to hear what you removed and added. (This list starts off September Elk, and I make seasonal adjustments)   HuntingCampChecklist

HuntingCampChecklist Click to Print

 

Why these items?

Hoo-Rag: I have extremely long hair so I love pulling it back and using the rag for a headband. It keeps the hair and sweat out of my face. It also doubles as a facemask during the early/late chill and while putting the stalk on.

Witch Hazel: A natural astringent. I use it to clean my face, cuts, bug bites and it’s also good for poison ivy or oak. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witch-hazel)

Dry Shaving Cream: A girl has still got to shave! I use EOS Ultra Moisturizing Shave Cream. First because it works, Second because they offer it in Vanilla (Most similar to the smell of dirt) If they sold pine I would use that. (http://evolutionofsmooth.com/ultra-moisturizing-shave-cream-2724.html)

Sheet: It’s usually hot in mid September but you never know in the mountains. I put a sheet down in my sleeping bag just in case it’s too warm to sleep inside it.

Conditioning Spray: Using unscented conditioner, add 1-2 tablespoons of conditioner for every 8oz of water. It’s just enough to keep my hair in control and get the brush through it.

Have a great season. Hope this helps you as much as it has helped me.

Packing for your hunt - gathering essentials

Game on the Go: Quick and Easy Meals for the Busy Hunter

As many of you know,  I am ALWAYS on the go between working full time as a Medical Technologist and being an outdoors obsessed woman.  Although I do not always have a large amount of free time, cooking a home cooked meal using the game and fish that I have harvested/caught is always preferred over a fast food burger or boring salad.  So here are a few of my favorite “quick” meals that I throw together when in a time crunch.

Crock Pot Wild Game Spaghetti:

Deer Spaghetti What you will need:

2 Large onions, 2 bell peppers, and garlic (chopped)

Wild game meat of choice (my personal favorite is to use green onion seasoned ground deer and deer stew meat together to have varying textures)

Can each of tomato sauce and tomato paste

2 Cans of stewed tomatoes

Mushrooms (canned or fresh)

Seasonings: Italian herb blend, garlic powder, “Tony’s” Season All, Salt and Pepper

Large Slow Cooker and a Large Skillet

 Before bed, brown your wild game thoroughly and saute the vegetables until tender. Throw this along with the cans of  stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, paste,  mushrooms, and two cups of water into the slow cooker and stir well.  Season to taste using the above seasonings (for added spice I throw in cayenne also).  Set the slow cooker to low and get some rest it will be there waiting for you after the morning hunt!

**CAUTION: IT WILL BE HARD TO SLEEP WITH YOUR HOUSE SMELLING SO AMAZING**

 

Grilled Fish with Creamy Crab and Mushroom Sauce

RedfishBluegill
Fish and Veggie NoodlesWhat you will need:

Fish of choice ( my favorites: redfish “on the half shell” or scaled whole bluegill)

Can of  low fat cream of mushroom soup

Lump crab meat

Onion (chopped) , Garlic (minced), and Mushrooms (now is a good time to use the morels you’ve been collecting)

Butter and Lite Italian Dressing (I prefer using the Olive Garden Light dressing)

Seasonings: Garlic powder, Louisiana hot sauce, “Tonys” Season All, Cayenne, Lemon juice

The fish: Marinate the fish with the minced garlic, hot sauce, Tony’s Season All, Garlic powder, lemon juice, and a little Italian dressing.  Make a basting sauce of softened butter, Italian dressing, hot sauce, garlic, lemon juice, and Tony’s/Season All. Grill until fish is thoroughly cooked basting regularly throughout the cooking process.

The Sauce:  Saute onions and garlic until tender, then add cream of mushroom and a half a can of water. Toss in crab meat, mushrooms, and desired seasonings then simmer on low while you grill your fish.

I like to serve the fish and sauce along with fresh vegetables from the garden such as squash and zucchini which are delicious grilled on the pit or cut into “noodles”.

Back Strap Salad

Back Strap SaladWhat you will need:

Whole Deer Back Strap (or for the brave… same recipe can be used on deer heart)

Baby Spinach or Spring Mix Salad

Red onion and garlic

Feta cheese and Parmesan cheese

Beer or wine (or for the non alcoholic version… Italian dressing)

Seasonings: (I think you get the hint by now that I put Tony’s, hot sauce, and garlic in everything)

Marinate the back strap with garlic and seasonings along with beer/wine/Italian dressing.  Sear the back strap in a skillet until cooked medium/ medium rare.  Set strap aside and DO NOT CUT until the meat has rested 5-10 minutes to allow for the juices to soak back into the meat. In the same pan, add a handful of chopped onions and some garlic and cook down until tender then add any remaining marinade and more of the beer/wine/dressing and reduce by half.  Mix together your salad, cheese, and raw red onions. Top with the sliced back strap and the reduced pan mixture.

 

Sarah Fromenthal – ProStaff EvoOutdoors