I couldn’t have been more excited when I got a phone call from Jessica of Follow Her Arrow asking me to join her and a group of ladies on a Texas whitetail adventure. Her step-dad, Todd, was nice enough to invite her and a few friends to come hunt cull-buck at RBR Ranch in south Texas. This was my first time hunting in Texas so I had no idea what to expect.
I flew into Austin, TX where I was greeted by Jessica, her husband Braxton, Nicole Oliver and Jennifer Ferries. We all spent the night at Jessica and Braxton’s house which was basically an awesome slumber party where we shared hunting stories and talked about the upcoming hunt. The next morning we loaded up the truck and headed for Beeville, Tx.
The ranch was even more beautiful than I had imagined it. There’s the main house where the boys were staying, equipped with a beautiful large kitchen where Jeremiah, From Field to Plate, could work his culinary magic.
Behind the house was another cabin that us girls had all to ourselves. It reminded me of my days at girl scout camp with a big room full of bunk beds. It was decorated with true Texas flare and on the walls hung trophy bucks with some of the largest racks i’ve ever seen. We quickly unpacked our things and prepared for our first evening hunt.
We drew names to decided which guide we were going to be hunting with. I drew Todd, Jessica’s step-dad, which made me extremely nervous at first but that didn’t last long. Todd is a very nice guy who in a way reminded me of my own dad which made hunting with him a lot of fun.
On the first night of the hunt I took a shot at a beautiful 9 PT cull buck at 17 yards. Todd and I both watched at my arrow stuck into the bucks side and take off. The shot was slightly back from the ideal placement but Todd and I both thought it was a kill shot nonetheless. We waited until the sun went down and for the others to meet up with us before we started to track.
We had a good blood trail that lead us to my arrow and a pool of foamy looking deep red blood, but no dead deer. My excitement quickly turned to worry and I started to replay the whole thing in my mind over and over. We took a break for to eat and to meet up with Jeremiah Dougthery and Jeff Quigley who just arrived. After a quick bite we continued on the search for the deer I shot. Everyone gave 150% effort into finding this buck, we crawled through the thick south Texas bushes and muddy swamps with infested with rattlesnakes and wild hogs. Todd even called in dogs to track the wounded buck but still no luck. After hours of searching we were exhausted and decided to call it a night. We never ended up finding the buck although we looked again the next few days. It was a heartbreaking blow for me but also a learning experience. Jessica said it best while trying to stop the tears from rolling down my face, ” this is a part of hunting, as hunters we never want to see an animal wounded. It happens to the best of the best but keep your head up and your arrow flying straight.”
Jessica ended up harvesting a BEAUTIFUL buck and the next day she shot a doe, which Jeremiah used to made the farewell dinner. Venison lollipops that were to die for! I ended up harvesting a beautiful mature doe on the last morning of the hunt and Nicole also shot a buck the last day.
At the end of the trip I ended up taking home more just a cooler full of meat. I took with me friendships and memories that will last a lifetime.
Thank you so much to RBR ranch for letting us come hunt. Also to Jessica and Braxton Byers for everything they did to make this trip so amazing!
Check out Follow her Arrow’s video of the weekend below!
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!
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!
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!