This week Mia and Lea talk about the best ways to get in shape for your next archery hunt. They share ways to better your shooting and prepare your muscles for the journey. They also share ways to be successful after you were successful; caring for your meat. You’ll hear stories about their favorite game meats and how you can make yours taste even better by avoiding the “gamey” taste.
The dynamic mother/daughter duo share their hunting, shooting, and outdoor adventures. You’ll find tips, tricks, lessons, and tales from the trail. Mia is a mom, hunting guide, writer, and vlogger who lives on a ranch in Colorado. Her daughter, Lea, also a guide, is a passionate young hunter who’s in the first year of her college journey. TUNE IN because you never know what obstacles and inspiration they’ll encounter as they head outside for new adventures.
It’s National Hunting and Fishing Day. Will you be headed outside? Who will you be with, and what will you be up to? Today is all about the connection to the outdoors, traditions, education, conservation, and sharing it with others. What more could you ask for?
For this great day, I wanted to share a fun two-day hunt with you. My husband and I were invited to hunt antelope on a private ranch in Eastern Colorado. Since we live six hours away, there’s never enough time to scout. Watch the video below as the landowner’s son shows us the property boundaries, where the antelope traditionally travel and gives us a general low-down on what our hunt will be.
This young man is learning about wildlife and gaining a connection to the outdoors. Many youngsters never get this opportunity, and some don’t even notice the wild things around them. Today, as you head out, look around. Notice the squirrels, chipmunks, and birds you pass along the way. You say you don’t want to hunt or fish? How about looking at the plants. Did you notice the flowers growing along the sidewalk as you head into the coffee shop? Tell me what you see that you’ve never noticed before.
This is an archery hunt. That means it’s all about getting up close and personal. We bought a Montana Big Red Moo Cow Decoy we purchased long ago and you’ll see why it came in handy. What decoys do you use during your hunts? Getting close to animals is a challenge, in some cases a thrill, and definitely part of why I enjoy the hunt. Regardless of whether an animal is taken or not, the journey is always the best part.
2017 Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt will be held Oct. 12 – 15
LARAMIE, WY – Join the Wyoming Women’s Foundation for its 5th Annual Wyoming Women’s Antelope HuntOct. 12 – 15, 2017 at the Ranch at Ucross in northeastern Wyoming. Each year the event hosts 40 women from all over the country supported by corporate sponsorships, scholarships and individual hunters. The foundation is seeking sponsors for this year’s event. Based on its level of contribution, each sponsor will have the opportunity to invite women to hunt at the event.Founded in 2013, the country’s first all-women’s antelope hunt works to raise awareness and funds for the foundation’s mission to improve the economic self-sufficiency of Wyoming women. Since inception, it has raised more than $280,000 to help carry out its work. The hunt benefits participants through a focus on mentoring and developing camaraderie between women. Experienced hunters act as mentors and share their knowledge, experience and passion for hunting with a new or less experienced hunter. Each pair hunts with a guide. Hunters of all experience levels are welcome.
“In the past four years this event has grown into a truly powerful tradition for women–and for Wyoming,” said retired Wyoming Supreme Court Justice Marilyn Kite who co-chairs the hunt planning committee. “We look forward to continuing the tradition for the fifth year–and hopefully long into the future.”
The hunt honors Wyoming’s hunting traditions and culture while also teaching women how to harvest, process and cook the game meat. Skills learned at the event help women provide nutritious food to their families.
The weekend includes a fundraising auction dinner open to the public. The dinner will take place at the Ranch at Ucross on Friday, Oct. 13. State and local officials often attend the dinner in support of the event and the foundation. Tickets and dinner table sponsorships are available on the hunt website. The foundation is also seeking in-kind donations for the auction dinner on Oct. 13.
Please visit wyomingwomensantelopehunt.org for more information on full event or dinner sponsorship and individual participation, including scholarships.
About the Wyoming Women’s Foundation
The Wyoming Women’s Foundation is a priority fund of the Wyoming Community Foundation, which granted out over $6 million to nonprofits across the state in 2016. The Women’s Foundation builds on a permanent endowment that will ensure funding to enhance the lives of women and girls in Wyoming for generations to come. It makes grants to organizations that help Wyoming women and girls attain economic self-sufficiency, creates statewide awareness of the barriers to economic self-sufficiency, and supports systems change to eliminate those barriers. Since its inception in 1999, the foundation has invested $832,000 into almost 100 organizations. Learn more at www.wywf.org
Mia Anstine to be a media guest at 2016 Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt
Laramie, Wyo. – Mia Anstine will be a media guest at the 2016 Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt. She is a big-game guide, mentor, instructor, writer, and the first American woman to be featured on the cover of Field & Stream magazine.
Remington Arms Company is supporting her trip to the Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt, and she will be hunting with a Remington model 700. The hunt will be held Oct. 6-9, 2016 and will bring together 40 female hunters from across the nation at the Ranch at Ucross in northeast Wyoming for a weekend of hunting, mentorship, and camaraderie, as well as raising funds and awareness for the Wyoming Women’s Foundation.
Anstine is co-owner of Wolf Creek Outfitters, where she guides hunts for elk, mule deer, black bear or Merriam’s turkeys. She sits on the Colorado Sportsmen’s Roundtable and is the secretary of her local Safari Club International chapter. She has a lifelong commitment to wildlife conservation, hunting ethics, habitat, and preservation.
Anstine loves exploring, learning and sharing the modern day Wild West. She inspires others to get outside, hunting, shooting, or come together around the table, savoring all life has to offer. She’s hunted around the world, pursuing moose, brown bear, red stag, bull tahr, elk, mule deer, black bear, turkey, game birds, waterfowl, predators, varmints, hogs, carp and has more on her bucket list. Above all, she takes pride in guiding ladies and children for their first hunts. To learn more, visit www.MiaAnstine.com.
“I’m am honored to be included in this year’s women’s event,” Anstine said.”I look forward to inspiring new and longtime hunters, regarding our role in conserving wildlife through the hunt.”
“We are thrilled to have Mia Anstine join the hunt this year,” said Rebekah Smith, Program Associate with the Wyoming Women’s Foundation. “Her commitment to help and inspire others to hunt, especially women and children, is very commendable and a great fit for our hunt. We are looking forward to hunting with her this year.”
The Wyoming Women’s Foundation created the event – the first of its kind in the nation – in 2013. So far the annual event has raised more than $200,000 for grants and special projects to help women and girls across Wyoming. Special guest hunters have included retired Wyoming Supreme Court Justice Marilyn Kite, Wyoming State Superintendent Jillian Balow, Jana Waller from “Skull Bound TV” on the Sportsman Channel, Women’s Outdoor News (WON) Editor Barbara Baird, 2013 Ms. Wheelchair USA Ashlee Lundvall, and Julie Golob, captain of Smith & Wesson’s highly successful shooting team. Of the 40 total hunters in 2015, 36 harvested antelope, 11 for the first time.
About the Wyoming Women’s Foundation
The Wyoming Women’s Foundation is a priority fund of the Wyoming Community Foundation, which granted out over $6.1 million to nonprofits across the state in 2015. The Women’s Foundation builds on a permanent endowment that will ensure funding to enhance the lives of women and girls in Wyoming for generations to come. It makes grants to organizations that help Wyoming women and girls attain economic self-sufficiency, creates statewide awareness of the barriers to economic self-sufficiency, and supports systems change to eliminate those barriers. Since its inception in 1999, the foundation has invested $775,000 into almost 100 organizations. Learn more at www.wywf.org.
Expect roadblocks statewide during hunting seasons
SANTA FE – The Department of Game and Fish will conduct roadblocks throughout the state during pronghorn hunting seasons to collect harvest data and to detect wildlife law violations.
Pronghorn hunting seasons are underway or will soon begin in some parts of New Mexico. For more information, please consult the department’s Hunting Rules & Information booklet available at www.wildlife.state.nm.us or at area offices and license vendors.
At roadblocks, conservation officers also will check for compliance with the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Act. Drivers of vehicles hauling wood products will be asked to produce documentation as required by the Forest Conservation Act.
Department officers may be assisted by other law enforcement agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, New Mexico State Police or county sheriff’s offices. As a result, the public may encounter minor delays.
Hunters are encouraged to report any violations they may observe, such as shooting from a vehicle or driving off-road.
To report a wildlife-law violation, please contact a Department of Game and Fish area office in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Raton, Roswell or Las Cruces, or call the toll-free Operation Game Thief hotline at (800) 432-GAME (4263). Callers can remain anonymous and earn rewards for information leading to charges being filed. Violations also can be reported online at Operation Game Thief.
Antelope hunters know that we can look up the definitions of what antelope are legal to harvest. As we head out into the field, is the game department’s description the only criteria we use to determine if the buck is a shooter?
“Shooter” – What is a shooter? Well, there is the legal definition, which varies from state to state. Then there is the boundary, which we hunters set above that. My definition will probably vary from yours, and ours from others who hunt.
Let me start by saying that today I’m referring to archery hunting. I have a favorite antelope spot, but I haven’t drawn a tag there in a couple years. That being said, I’ve had to resort to hunting new areas, which include both public and private land.
Get outside. Explore, learn, hunt, fish, shoot, connect with nature. ~Mia
Public land tends to be pressured much more than private, so there is some appeal to hearing a landowner say, “You can hunt on my property.” In addition to there being fewer hunters on private land, in my experience, you also have an in place scout. If they occupy their land, the landowners see what’s going on day in and day out. They see what’s coming and going, and can be a great set of eyeballs when you live half a day away.
This year the land I received permission to hunt was suited as just a scenario. I received reports from the land owner, “I’m seeing bucks, but nothing big.” and “Today I saw a shooter.” With the mixed reviews, I needed to take a couple days to go see for myself. The family loaded up and we headed east for a few days before season began.
On day one, we saw a group of four bucks. One or two may have even been of legal “shooter” size. In my opinion, which matched the land owner’s, they were not shooters. Those boys needed to grow up.
The next day, we spent hours driving and glassing, in search of more mature antelope bucks. We saw one mature buck on an adjacent property, but these parcels are rather large, and the chances of that buck making his way down to the piece we’d hunt remained questionable.
After many hours behind the Swarovskis, we decided to make our hunting plan on the drive home. We chose to hunt the south end of the property, closest to the parcels where we’d seen the mature animals.
Opening day, we glassed and sat water holes. (Sitting waterholes… That’s another story.) We spied a couple does with their fawns trailing behind. Other than that, the day pretty much included bugs, dust, and a nice cool breeze. (That’s the other story. The weather wasn’t helping the hunt.)
Finally, we saw the buck that may have been a “shooter.” This guy would be a prize to any archery antelope hunter. Actually, just tagging an antelope with your bow, period, is a prize, but as a conservationist, we sometimes pass on decent “shooters.”
From the blind, we eyeballed this buck. He wasn’t within bow range, (Actually, he was more than way out of bow range on the other property.) so we assessed him (okay mass, prong almost as tall as his ears, slight curl, not much spread, bow worthy) and contemplated what we would do if he came near.
What would you do? This is the only mature buck we, and the landowner, have seen in weeks. If he comes before your blind on opening day, do you shoot him or pass?
I say, “Pass.” You ask, “Why?” Well, because it’s opening day. There’s always the saying, “Never pass on anything the first day, that you wouldn’t shoot on the last day.” I don’t always live by this mantra because I love to hunt.
I enjoy being out there. I enjoy the time, seeing does with their curious fawns. The adrenaline rush of being unseen by a young buck, whose horns are no taller than his ears. Seeing the bugs, seeing other wildlife, even watching the cattle. All of this is why I enjoy being out there and also part of why I hunt. Other than being a legal hunter, it’s not about the size at all for me.
Another reason I say, “Pass” is because this is the only mature buck we’ve seen for miles. Although this guy is mature, he’s still on the young side. He needs to grow up some more. This land obviously needs a rest from the hunting pressure.
And YES, sometimes passing means you end up with tag soup, but I’m okay with that. On that note, we’re headed home (Lea starts school tomorrow), and we’ll make another trip back to hunt the public land.
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Our LG brings home antelope for dinner, but there’s a story to go with the hunt. As new hunters grow into sportsmen, their interests in methods of take expand. The Little Gal (LG) has developed into quite the young hunter. This year she went beyond her traditional methods of hunting and got an amazing result. She took her bow and took her time to complete a beautiful first archery harvest.
(Lea Leggitt photo)
LG has harvested multiple big-game animals with her rifle, but after competing in shooting sports, she wanted to expand her horizons. She shoots indoor competitive archery league, 3-D archery tournaments and Youth Hunter Education Challenge archery events. Through the YHEC program, there is a focus on hunting and hunting safety. She wanted to take her skills to the field.
Mia & the Little Gal is sponsored by Girls with Guns Clothing.