This year my dad shot a wild turkey for me to cook on Thanksgiving. This was an extra special turkey for me. Most of you know that I don’t eat any store bought or factory farmed meat,so it was the first time in almost 6 years that I’ve had turkey on turkey day.
I decided to try something a little different and went with a recipe that Steven Rinella from Meat Eater Tv made on his show. It’s called turkey galantine, which is turkey stuffed inside venison ground meat then is wrapped up in the turkey skin. Sounds weird but it was very yummy.
I should have read the instructions a little bit better before attempting this on the day of thanksgiving but it made for a fun time. Watch the video to see for yourself.
Original recipe can be found here.
If you are following me on social media then you know I recently went on a snow goose hunt in Nebraska. It was an all girls trip that we planned through social media. I feel so grateful to have had the opportunity to hunt with such amazing women. It was a one of a kind experience I will certainly remember for the rest of my life. In the video I did my best to transfer the feeling of being there. I think I came quite close, although it was difficult to capture how much fun we really had into a 4 minute clip.
The geese were being stubborn, none of them wanted to decoy for us.
The sunrises and sunsets were stunning. It was one of the most beautiful sights to witness and a very humbling experience.
Sunset on the last evening.
Special thanks to Dirty Bird Outfitters for guiding us on our hunt. Especially our guide Dewey, who worked so hard for us. You are the best Dewey!
Happy leap day everyone, it is already time to share my February Favorites with you. I cannot believe how fast this month went. I have been so busy planning our wedding and trying to purchase a house. I hardly had any time to blog the month. This is an exciting time for us but it seems like there is always something we need to do. Hopefully once we close on the house things will settle down a little bit. In the midst of all the craziness I still managed to find a few favorite things for the month.
1| Benelli SBEII- Cinderelli, Cinderelli my beautiful new Benelli. The Super Black Eagle II shotgun is my new semi-automatic shotgun with an Ultra-reliable Inertia Driven system and ComforTech recoil reduction system. I purchased this gun specifically for my upcoming Nebraska snow goose hunt. Everyone I talked to recommended the SBEII and after some research decided it would be the best gun for me. I’ve only had a chance to shoot it one time so far, but I am completely in love. I feel like Ralphie from the Christmas Story when I talk about it. The only thing that it is missing is the compass in the stock.
Thank you to High Grade for special ordering it for me. If you are from western PA I would highly recommend this shop. They people were very friendly and the price was unmatched
2|First Lite Uncompahgre Puffy Jacket- I have been wanting some First Lite fusion gear for a while, although I was hesitant to order it since they currently do not have women’s outerwear. But when it went on sale I decided it was worth a try. Since I was ordering all mens wear I contacted Outdoor Allie, who works for First Lite, for sizing tips. She was very helpful in helping me choose a style that would be best for a women’s frame.
It is a little bit baggy on me but I can easily layer up for a better fit. I am in love with the pattern too. The fusion is great for all seasons which is one of main reasons I bought it.
PS. Allie’s just posted a video on her YouTube channel which she talks about the new women’s line coming out this year! So if you are thinking about purchasing some First Lite gear you might want to wait for that to launch.
3|First Lite North Branch Soft Shell Pant- I also purchased the First Lite Fusion pants to go with the jacket. I am excited to really put them too the test out in Nebraska on the snow goose hunt. They are a highly water resistant, wind proof, durable pant made from patented 37.5 Active Particle technology. Here is some information on the technology taken from the website.
- Proprietary water-tight zipper system provides complete thermal regulation and instant “call of nature” response.
- Designed and engineered to work within the First Lite layering system
- Integrated gaiter system protects ankles when post-holing through snow drifts or during quick stream crossings.
- Exclusive 37.5 fabric uses Active Particle Technology moving perspiration (your human signature) to the outside of the fabric where it is functionally neutralized.
- Built-in stretch for complete range of motion.
- Tailored with biomechanically accurate shooter’s seat, knees and gaiters.
- All zippers, pockets, closures and adjustments quietly managed on-the-move and do not interfere with targeting.
4| Life and Little Things Antler Studs– I am a total sucker for hunting inspired jewelry, accessories and fashion. When I came across these little antler studs I couldn’t resist. They came from the etsy shop Life and Little Things run by two sisters, Amanda and Bonnie. The two of them share a passion for life’s little things. Their motto is that the little things that can make us happy. The little things that allow us to set ourselves apart, to be unique. They hope to bring that piece of unique happiness to you via their shop. Check out their shop and give them a follow on instagram for cute jewelry trends, daily inspiration and more.
5| GoPro Hero 4 Session- This little guy was purchased to replace the original GoPro I bought Tom a few years ago. I wanted something small for traveling but also high quality. After doing some research I ended up going with the new session and here is why.
- It is 50% smaller and 40% lighter than other HERO4 cameras
- HERO4 Session is a rugged and waterproof camera that you can take down to 33’ (10m) without a separate housing.
- When the camera is mounted upside down, Auto Image Rotation automatically adjusts the capture orientation to right-side up so there’s no need to flip your footage in post-production.
- HERO4 Session is compatible with all GoPro mounts.
- HERO4 Session maximizes battery life by only using power when the camera is recording. It automatically powers off when not recording. This means you can capture a full day of photos and video clips or record up to 2 hours continuously on a full charge.
- HERO4 Session features two microphones: one on the front of the camera and one on the back. When you’re filming in windy conditions or during high-speed activities like motorsports, the camera automatically switches to the mic that’s best-suited for capturing optimal audio. The result? Reduced wind noise and enhanced audio capture—no matter what the conditions or activity.
- Auto Low Light mode intelligently changes frame rates based on lighting conditions for optimal low-light performance, enabling you to move between bright and dark environments without having to adjust your camera settings.
So after reading all of that I determined that the session would be the best GoPro for hunting and fishing. I am just getting the hang of it so stay tuned for videos and footage from upcoming hunts.
The Great American Outdoor Show is a nine day event dedicated to hunting, fishing and the outdoors. The show features hundreds of exhibitors ranging from guns to fishing poles and everything inbetween. Not to mention concerts, fundraising dinners, speaking events, archery competitions, celebrity appearances, seminars, demonstrations and much more!
I have never attended anything like The Great American Outdoor Show before this trip. I had no idea what to expect and nothing to compare it to. The only thing I knew about it was that it’s where the biggest brands in the outdoors, hunting, fishing, and firearms come together under one roof. I should have known two days was not going to be enough time to see everything, but I made the most out of the short time I was there. I met some awesome people, discovered new brands, and purchased a few items. I can’t wait to go back again next year.
Tom and I arrived at the show around 10am Saturday morning. I learned right away how massive the show was when I had to leave Tom at the entrance to go locate my ticket at willcall. I was there representing Sportsmen’s Box so I got a fancy VIP badge with my name on it. We made our way to the Sportsmen’s Box booth and finally got to meet the founders/owners, Adam and Will. I also met fellow field operatives, John Harman and Hanna Frank, who were also there representing the field opts team. It was wonderful meeting people with similar passions for the outdoors. Everyone was so genuinely nice and easy to talk to. It was humbling and made me even more appreciative to be a part of the team.
We spent most of the day helping pass out coupons and telling people passing by what Sportsmens Box is all about. If you don’t already know, they are a monthly subscription box that delivers hunting and fishing gear to your door. The price varies based on the amount of months you sign up for. The average cost is around $38/per month but the price of the items you receive is a much greater value. It’s a great way to discover and test new products. Sign up for a box and receive $5.00 off when you use the coupon code: FODELATTRE.
We were at the booth when Kip Campbell from Red Arrow TV stop by to meet fans and film the February “unboxing” video. I enjoyed seeing the look on the faces of his fans as they approached him for pictures, particularly the younger ones who looked up at Kip completely star struck. He was really down to earth and easy to talk to. We chatted about hunting, guns, and game of thrones… three of my favorite things. You can watch the new season of Red Arrow TV when it returns July 2016!
After the show on Saturday we joined Adam, Will and John for dinner at a place called The Brew House. It was a nice opportunity to get to know them better. All of them are true sportsmen that share the same passion and love for the outdoors. It was fun sharing our different hunting and fishing stories. We even discussed some plans for a future field operatives hunting retreat. It is top secret so I can’t say anything more.
Sunday we got up early so we could get a decent parking spot and also help prep the booth for the last day of the show. Doors didn’t open until 10 which gave us a chance to walk around to check out the other booths. First stop was obviously the archey section. I had a blast looking at all the new 2016 bow models. Tom even convinced me to test out a Matthews (I’m more of a bowtech girl). I can’t lie, it was a really smooth. I also shot a recurve for the first time. I was a little hesitant but John gave me a few tips and I ended up really enjoying it. I think I need to buy one for myself. Also, John if you are reading this thanks for the tips. I had a chance to say hello to the boys from Bowhunter Brotherhood who were working at the flying arrow booth, they were really nice and I am excited to see what the future has in store for their brand.
Shopping time! If you know me at all then you know I didn’t leave empty handed. I purchased myself a beautiful hat from The Buffalo Wool Company and some smoked trout. Two completely different categories, but I love food and fashion so it makes sense. We also spent a decent amount of time in the firearm showroom. Talk about getting distracted. Everytime I turned around there was something to look at. Guns, guns, and more guns. It was awesome! Benelli and Smith Wesson were probably my two favorite booths. I just ordered the Benelli Super Black Eagle 2 for my upcoming goose hunt, so I kept going back to look at it. Next year I hope to spend a little more time in the firearms area.
Finally the perfect ending to a great weekend was meeting Lee and Tiffany from Crush TV. We were getting ready to leave when we saw them hanging out at the Polaris booth. There was hardly anyone around so we decided to go say hello. They were both so nice in person. We got to talk to them for a little bit about archery hunting and even showed them the bucks we harvested during the season. They are truly an inspiring couple. Tom and I hope we will be able to hunt together all over the world someday too. They are living example of the phrase “couples who hunt together, stay together”.
If you spend a little time with me you will quickly learn I am very clumsy. Which is why it doesn’t surprise me that I tripped over the sportsmen’s box sign a few times. The best part is that John happened to be filming a timelapse on his GoPro and caught me graceful moment on video. Here it is, enjoy!
A few weeks ago Jeremiah Doughty, the mastermind behind From Field to Plate, posted a photo on his instagram account. In the post he was talking about how social media has skewed the way some people look at hunting. There are so many hunters who want to be sponsored or on T.V. they tend to create this “false” reality of what hunting is truly about. They get too caught up on trophies and lose sight of the true purpose.
The post was extra meaningful so decided to message Jeremiah to let him know how much I respect his views on hunting. I also told him about the personal experience I had on the topic. After he heard my story he asked if I would be interested in answering a few questions for his blog. I was honored that he wanted to interview me and I agreed to do it. Below is the interview we did together. You can find the original interview on his blog.
I did a separate interview with Jeremiah on his views of social media and the role it plays in the hunting community. It will be posted soon so be on the lookout.
How long have you been hunting?
I first started hunting when I turned 12 years old. That was the legal hunting age in PA at the time. I got away from hunting for a few years during high school and college. I got back into it when I started dating my (now) fiancé, which was about five years ago. This past season was my first year hunting archery and most certainly will not be my last.
Who introduced you to hunting?
My family has a deep history with hunting. My dad and his siblings are all incredible hunters, which they inherited from my grandfather. I was introduced to hunting very young thanks to them. When I was a little girl I would often help my dad process his deer in our garage. My girlfriends thought I was weird but that didn’t bother me. I couldn’t wait until my 12th birthday so I could finally get my own hunting license.
How did you feel when you harvested your first animal?
Emotional—I cried right after. Taking a life is not an easy thing to do. I hunt for food and quickly reminded myself of the purpose. I then was overcome with a sense of accomplishment. I will never forget my first hunting experience.
How did you feel when you harvested your first big game animal with a bow?
I was in shock at first. It all happened so quickly; I barely had time to process it. I knew I’d hit him, but he took off running and I wasn’t able to see where he’d run off to. I was shaking with excitement as I texted my dad what had happened. Tom and my dad came to help me track it down. The moment we found him I was filled with joy. I started to jump up and down with happiness. You can see how proud I am by my expression in the picture.
The story continued a week later when I took another buck with my bow. This time it was a 9 point that I shot from 14 yards away. He only went a few yards then went down. I couldn’t believe what happened. I kept repeating, “no way, no way, no one is going to believe me”.
Two bucks in two states exactly one week apart in my first season! This is when I started to become angry that I removed the first buck from social media.
Why did you post your picture to Social Media and how did you feel when you did?
I was proud of myself for what I had accomplished. When I purchased my first bow at the end of the summer everyone seemed to doubt that I would hunt with it. I was told that I should practice and wait to start hunting next year. My goal was to prove that I was capable of hunting with a bow and I was serious about hunting.
Every day, rain or shine I was outside practicing. There were a few lost and broken arrows, but eventually my groups became consistent. I watched hours of archery hunting videos on YouTube and reached out to fellow female hunters on Instagram for pointers. All of this was to prepare for the season. When it was finally time to hunt my fiancé was gracious enough to take me out to teach me what to do. We went out every chance we got. Eventually I felt I was ready to go out on my own. All the time I put in finally paid off. I posted the picture to show I succeeded in reaching my goal.
How did you feel when you got negative feedback?
Let down. It was not up for very long because I could not get past the negativity. It made me really angry that I was being ridiculed for something I felt so passionate about.
Why did you take the picture down?
I took it down was because I felt I was being discredited as a hunter. The “booooo, girl hunters shooting small deer just for Instagram likes” comment I received was the one comment that led me to delete the photo. I didn’t want people to think that was my reason for hunting. More importantly I worried that I’d made other women in the hunting social media community look bad.
If you could change anything would you?
Given a chance to do it again I would have left the picture on Instagram. I regret feeling ashamed of the antler size. I wish I had taken pride of the fact that I shot my first deer with a bow. It was my first year of archery and I successfully filled my buck tag. That is an awesome accomplishment. Not to mention I was hunting alone and had no one there to guide me. Some hunters go years without having success so I am extremely grateful for my first kill, regardless of the size.
In your own words how do you feel social media affects the hunting community in the following ways?
The most positive thing I have discovered through social media is the support from fellow female hunters. In my experience most of the women help inspire and empower one another. That is a great thing for the hunting industry. So many companies are coming out with apparel lines and products specifically designed for women. The growing online presence of female hunters on Instagram, YouTube and Twitter only benefits that even more. It is also great to see girls embracing the best of both worlds. I wish there was a #socialvsstealth when I was growing up. I was shy about telling people I was a hunter in fear of getting made fun of.
Anti-hunters commenting on pictures is one of the most negative things I see on social media. My dad always says there are hunters, anti-hunters and non-hunters. Be the best hunter you can be and lead by example. Strive not to give the non-hunters a reason to become anti-hunters. It’s hard when you put yourself out there online for the world to see. You are bound to get some heat but how you handle it will show your character. When I get negative comments or messages from anti-hunters I just delete them. It is when I get the hate from fellow hunters that I am most disappointed. We are all fighting the same cause so we should do our best to support one another.
Why do you hunt and how has this changed you?
I hunt for food. Plain and simple. I will not eat meat that has not been harvested by a hunter. I feel that is the way nature intended it to be. I don’t believe in factory farming and avoid supporting it whenever possible. I even went vegetarian in college when I had no access to wild game. I won’t order it at a restaurant either. When people ask me about my diet I jokingly say that I am a “gametarian”, it’s a word I came across in a hunting cookbook that describes someone who only eats wild game.
That is my reason for hunting and it has forever changed the way I feel about food. It has also uncovered a talent for cooking and recipe developing that I never knew I had. I find knowing where my meat comes from, how it was processed, and what went into making the meal the most rewarding part of it all.
My goal on social media is to show hunting is a good thing. I want to be an example of why we do what we do. Not all hunters kill for the sake of killing or for acquiring a trophy. That is what upsets me most about getting negative comments on my small buck. I realize now that the size of the antlers does not define you as a hunter. I shared my story with you because I am proud. My first buck with a bow might have been small but it sure was delicious and that is what matters most.
Happy Friday everyone, I am excited to share my January Favorites with you. It seems to be a popular topic in the blogging community, so I thought i’d start my own monthly favorites collection. These can include food, fashion, hunting or whatever else I enjoyed over the month. The sky’s the limit. So without further ado, here are some things I have been loving this month.
1| Hide and Hunter Bag– These custom handmade purses have been on my radar for a while. I discovered the brand on instagram one day and i’ve been swooning over them ever since. I used my birthday as an excuse to email the designer to see what was available. Everything she had in stock was amazing. I choose to go with black (go figure) since it goes anything. I also ordered myself a Hide and Hunter camo hoodie. When the package arrived it was almost too pretty to unwrap. Fitting for this post since it was literally a brown paper package, tied up with string. Those are a few of my favorite things. Get it? I crack myself up. Anyways, the bag is stunning. More beautiful than I imagined it would be. I’ve received a ton of compliments each time I wear it out.
I asked the Hannah, owner/designer, of Hide and Hunter if she would give me some information on the Brand. Learning more about them made me like my bag even more. Here is what she had to say about her Company:
- Hide & Hunter was founded in 2014 by Hannah Christine after being inspired by her senior runway show at the University of Alabama
- The leather is sourced in person by Hannah to ensure not only a great quality product but an ethically sourced hide
- All bags are cut and assembled by hand
- Due to the handiwork involved in making the bags, every design varies, even just slightly, from the next. She believes her designs are a representation of her customers. Each is different and unique, no two are alike. That’s what makes the bags special.
- This last year they added clothing which has been very sucessful. Each tee, tank, and sweatshirt is examined closely to ensure a soft fabric that will maintain its shape and feel over time.
- What a lot of people don’t know that they donate a portion of their sales from certain products to a charity that rescues and houses women and children from the human trafficking industry. Which is totally amazing if you ask me.
2| Beauty Ignited Lipstick- I have posted several instagram photos of this lipstick brand. I’ll admit I’m a sucker for cute packaging. When I saw these lipsticks designed to resemble shotgun shells I had to order some. I wasn’t expecting to like them as much as I do. They are nice quality, the consistency is smooth and the colors are very pigmented. They remind me of Mac Cosmetic’s Matte lipsticks, but these are more affordable. They cost around $11 each, whereas Mac start around $20 each. My favorite shade is winey cowgirl followed by ruby revolver. If you are a fan of lipstick I would recommend giving them a try.
3| The Pizzeria Pronto – We were invited to a Party this month hosted by family friends. It was a build your own pizza night where this pizzeria was the star of the show. It changed the way I feel about homemade pizza forever! I do not actually own one yet, but I wanted to list it as a favorite because I am completely obsessed. We had a blast building the pizzas ourselves then watching them bake to perfection. I was told the key to great pizza is having an oven hotter than 500 degrees Fahrenheit. According to the website the Pizzeria Pronto can reach up to 700 degrees Fahrenheit! Be prepared for homemade pizza recipes when I get one of these bad boys.
4| The Little Red Book of Hunters Wisdom– This book given to me as a gift. I received this from my soon-to-be mother and father in law for Christmas. I cannot stress enough how much I enjoy this little book. It is full of quotes, insight and wisdom on hunting and sportsmen ship. It really comes in handy when I am struggling for a good caption. I just pull this little book out to find a good quote. I even purchased a copy for my friend Nicole, a fellow hunter, whom I thought would enjoy it.
5| Arrow Journal – This was gifted to me by my amazingly talented web designer, Sarah. I have been filling it up with ideas for the blog. Each time I use it I am reminded of her and all the work she did on making this blog so beautiful. I could not be happier with how it turned out. She purchased the journal here, but it is no longer available. I found a similar one on this website if anyone is interested.
I am sure by the title of this post you can guess that today is my birthday. It just so happens to be my sweet 16 . . . +10. I’ve always enjoyed celebrating birthdays. Not just because it’s an excuse to “Treat-Yo-Self” or have a party in your honor, but also because it means you’ve been blessed with the opportunity to add another 365 days of stories, adventures, and wisdom to your life. Twenty-five was a great year. It filled with excitement and travel. It also was a year of learning and taking on new passions. It’s bittersweet to watch another year go by so quickly, but I know twenty-six will be a wonderful year too. I get to be a bride this year which is crazy to think about! So goodbye quarter of a century, and hello to 26. I am ready for another wild trip around the sun.
Here are just a few of the highlights from 25th Chapter of life
| Tom proposing at Annapalooza 2015 | Snowcation with family and friends in Park City, Utah | Chuck and Lori getting engaged on our hike at Wasatch National Park |Atomageddon aka Tom turns 30 years old | Visiting Rebecca in Washington, D.C. | Surprising Tom with a trip to Europe | Getting our Engagement Photos taken | Picking a wedding date and venue/ planning the wedding | Traveling to Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Bremen | The Cordaro wedding | Getting my first Bow | Skydiving | Tom shooting his first buck with a bow | Shooting my own first buck with a bow | Becoming a Sportsman’s box field Operative | Becoming a CamoGirl Brand Ambassador | Our trip to Utah for the Lengle Wedding | Launching Outdoor Anna Lea |
Okay, so I’ve been on a little bit of a break from the blog and for that I am sorry. But I swear I will make up for lost time with some seriously yummy recipes in the next few weeks! I just recently got back from a winter vacation and got some wonderful inspiration for new recipes. Everything about the vacation was wonderful and I can’t help but share a few photos. I would highly recommend a ski/snowboard trip to Copper Mountain ASAP. It was great for the whole family.
I loved my mimosa to-go-sta! Top right- Tofu scramble with roasted Tahini, Sunflower Seeds, Scallions, Soyrizo, Spinach, Nutritional Yeast, & Arugula . Bottom right – Veggie omelet filled with roasted carrots, mushrooms, broccoli and tomatoes served with gluten free toast and fresh fruit.
Dinner was never a disappointment, I enjoyed every dish I ordered during the trip. Top Left- Ancho spiced fresh seared scallops on top od a black bean cake and sautéed spinach topped with a cilantro aioli. Top right- Diced tuna with soy sauce, sesame seeds, macadamia nuts and scallions with a mango tomato relish and avocado rose. Bottom left- Thai steamed mussels in a coconut, fresh lime red curry and cilantro sauce. (Might be the best mussels I’ve ever had. I literally drank the sauce like soup!) Bottom right- Grilled Mahi Mahi served with sweet potato cakes, curry scented guacamole, bok choy- shitake mushroom stir fry with a ponzu reduction.
We worked up some big appetite’s while skiing that’s for sure! Tom also got a pretty intense goggle tan.
visit www.coppercolorado.com for more info!
Last year I decided to finally commit myself to becoming a blogger. My goal was to create a place where I could write about food, travel and adventure to share with friends and family. It was going to a marvelous blog with great pictures and a uniqueness all its own, but unfortunately I blew it. So this year will be the year I commit to making this thing happen.
Nilla and Bailey thrilled about their stylish NYE accessories.