Thursday, February 19, 2015

All About That Hunt

My fiance, Tyler had been hunting turkeys for years. I saw all the turkey fans, spurs, and beards he had kept throughout the years on display. When he talked to me about his hunts, I could see the passion in his eyes and so I wanted to try the adventure for myself.

I couldn't have asked for better weather for my first turkey hunt. Cool in the morning and warm in the afternoon. I was ready, or so I thought. Tyler and I had only the weekend to hunt the elusive thunder chicken so we made it our mission to spend as much time out in the blind. The first day went by and we didn’t see or hear anything. The next day we went back out and spent the morning in the blind again. I was getting discouraged after seeing nothing again and he could tell that I wanted to be done.

We took a lunch break and he assured me that the next spot was a “for sure” place to see something. All I could think of was why didn’t we go there first if it’s a ‘sure thing’. I started doubting Tyler’s ability to turkey hunt.

After we got to the other spot, I noticed that he didn’t grab the blind. Tyler said that we were going to stalk and move around a bit. I just rolled my eyes as we made our way towards the tree line in the distance because I was losing hope in bringing home the big tom of my dreams.

I was physically tired and cranky when we got to the tree line. The early mornings, fresh air, and hiking was taking a toll on me. He motioned to sit by a tree as he found his own tree to sit by. He could tell I was losing motivation. We sat in silence for a few minutes and he started to call softly. I heard my first gobble and drumming sound. My blood started pumping and adrenaline kicked in.

Tyler started calling more and the tom returned our calls. We silently moved in and set up our hen decoy in a clearing deeper in the woods. I positioned myself on the ground next to a tree facing a slight hill. As I sat with the decoy in front of me and Tyler behind, he whispered “He’s coming over the hill.” I readied myself for the shot as the tom made a quick peek over the hill, vanishing before I could react. I had never seen anything so pretty. The copper color of his feathers in the sun was mesmerizing. Tyler called from behind me in hopes to lure him back for a clean shot. The tom calls back but doesn't show. I started to shake not only from the excitement but muscle failure started to set in. I couldn’t hold this position for much longer. Silence. Tyler makes one more desperate call to the tom and he comes over the hill in full strut. The colors of the blue and red head are breathtaking. I shot and the big bird takes off in flight. I missed by a mile. All I could do was look back at Tyler and smile because I was hooked on turkey hunting.

It didn’t matter that I took a shot and missed or that my shoulder hurt badly. When the hunt got hard and it was looking like we were going home with nothing, we didn’t give up. Hunting isn’t about getting the biggest trophy animal, it’s about that experience, the people you’re with, and the sights you see. 

Written by Samantha Bickman-

Friday, February 13, 2015

Julie McQueen Interview

Julie McQueen found her way into the hunting industry as a pro staffer back before any other girl had even tried. Even before that she made a name for herself in the fashion industry by working in Los Angeles, New York, and all over Europe. She just might be the only woman to fly from a photo shoot in France, land in the U.S., and climb directly into a tree stand. Her trophy collection speaks for itself, but she isn’t doing this to prove a point or to try to compete with the boys. She hunts simply because she loves it. She’s the host of "Brotherhood Outdoors" with her husband Daniel Lee Martin, which is currently airing on Sportsman Channel Sundays at 11 a.m. ET. Julie and Daniel Lee motivate and inspire each other to work towards a common goal with their production company, Backstage & Backroads. Both are into maintaining a fit lifestyle to keep up with the high demand of their jobs, which involves lugging cameras over mountains to film that perfect shot. Learn more about America’s outdoor couple at Backstage & Backroads

Julie spoke with Huntress View recently for our monthly blog feature.

HV: You are co-host of Brotherhood Outdoors on the Sportsman Channel. Tell us a little about the concept of the show.

JM: I co-host Brotherhood Outdoors along with my husband Daniel Lee Martin. The concept of our show is different than all of the other hunting and fishing television shows out there because it’s not about us. Sure, we host it and produce it, but we feature a different guest on each episode. Through an application process, people write in to us to tell us their stories and we choose deserving and interesting people to go on these trips with us. Essentially, we take hard working people on their trip of a lifetime. Daniel Lee and I own the production company that handles the show, so we are involved from beginning to end. Our parent company, the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance, stands behind us and makes it all possible, and the show was actually their idea! Brotherhood Outdoors is airing in it’s 7th season right now on the Sportsman Channel.

HV: How did you get into hunting?

JM: I got into hunting through curiosity and perseverance. I didn’t grow up in a hunting household. Both of my parents were in the Army, so I had a good knowledge and understanding of guns. I mostly fished during my younger years, but when I turned 16 I asked my Dad for a shotgun for my 16th birthday instead of a car. I wanted to learn and improve my shooting abilities so that maybe someday I could take it to the field. Back then we didn’t have access to the internet like we do now, so I went to a bookstore and bought hunting magazines and books to read. I studied and paid attention, and then I went by myself for my first hunt. With a borrowed rifle and permission to hunt of a piece of private property, I shot my first animal while I was alone sitting next to a tree. That buck still remains the oldest one I’ve ever shot, and we aged him at around 9 years old. From there it became my passion in life, and now I’m thankful to be able to do those things for a living.

HV: I read that you have also worked in the fashion industry! What was that like?

JM: I did work in the fashion industry for a while. I was fortunate because I became successful at it. I actually did very well and made a comfortable living. The good thing about that industry was that people found it interesting, and they continue to ask me about it years later! I believe that there is this mystery that surrounds the fashion industry and people like to hear about it. The downside about working in that industry is the constant judgement and scrutiny. I felt pressured to stay a certain size and shape, and it wasn’t always healthy for my body. My work now centers more around my personality and my talents in the field instead of on my looks, so it’s certainly healthier both mentally and physically.

HV: I'm sure you travel all over the country hunting and filming for the show. Tell us about one of your favorite hunting experiences.

JM: We do travel everywhere to film and produce the show. In fact, Daniel Lee and I spend over 200 days a year on the road together. Instead of my favorite hunting experience being about one of the hunts that I succeeded at or an animal that I harvested, I have to say that my favorite memories are the times when I get to see someone else fulfill their dream. Sometimes I’m behind the camera when a guest on our show shoots their animal or catches their fish. I get to see an up close and personal view of these people living their dream in that moment. One of my favorites was a guy named Mike who we chose as a guest on the show. He had never taken a true trophy animal that he could hang on his wall. I stood next to him as he pulled the trigger on a huge trophy bull elk, and I hugged him when we recovered the animal in the field. Those moments are the reasons why I love my job.

HV: Is there any one weapon that you prefer or are most comfortable hunting with?

JM: I’ve been an archery hunter for about 14 years. Most of my big game animals have been taken with a bow, but I also have a long-time passion for firearms. I shoot a Mathew’s Jewel, and I’m a fan of how modern technology on archery equipment allows me to have a lighter draw weight and still carry lethal force with my arrows. If I had to choose a gun that I love most it would probably be a tie between my AR-15 (.223 caliber) and my .300 Ultra Mag. Between those two guns I can handle almost anything out there.

HV: One thing about hunting is there is always more to learn. What have you learned most recently?

JM: I’ve learned that the seasons fly by too quickly. I used to focus on “what’s next?” and getting prepared for the next season. Now I focus on what we are doing and living in the moment. When it’s elk season I put 100% into that instead of thinking about turkey season. Time goes by quickly when you have as much fun as I do, so each season passes by too quickly. I’ve learned to live in the moment, to have a good time no matter what challenge
I’m facing at the time, and to not take myself too seriously. Hunting is a way of life for many of us, and by focusing on what’s happening right now I’m getting a lot more out of my days.

HV: What is your advice to women who are thinking about going hunting for the first time?

JM: Relax and enjoy yourself!  The fact that you are wanting to go into the field for the first time to hunt is a big step, and something to be proud of! Going on a hunt doesn’t mean that you have to harvest an animal. The hunt is about our primal need to survive, our enjoyment of the outdoors, and our heritage of providing food for our families. If you don’t want to carry a weapon on your first hunt, that doesn’t make you any less of a hunter than those of us who have been doing this for years. Take a camera, or a book, or anything that makes you comfortable. When it’s your time to harvest your first animal you’ll know it without anyone telling you. Taking an animals life is a serious responsibility, and there should never be any pressure on you to do that. If you relax, enjoy yourself, and take in all of the moments in the field then you’ll begin to feel a connection with nature that makes hunting a part of your soul.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

5 Reasons To Take Up Bow Hunting in 2015

1) Extend your hunting season.

2) More opportunities to provide meat for yourself & your family.

3) Fewer people bow hunt than rifle hunt, meaning less hunters in the field during bow season & less hunting pressure on the animals.

4) You'll build confidence in yourself as you learn how much you're capable of.

5) You will learn more about the animals you hunt & their habitat, making you an overall better hunter & conservationist.

-Andrea Haas

Sunday, February 8, 2015

How To Get Started Hunting

So you think you would like to get into hunting but don't know where to start? Whether hunting is completely new to you or you grew up in a family of hunters, knowing how to begin can seem a little overwhelming at first. The good news is there are plenty of people and resources out there that can help you if you are willing to do a little research and put in some work.

Getting Started - Hunter's Safety Course

Getting the right introduction to hunting is important. A good way to start is by finding your state's wildlife agency and finding a hunter's safety course. Here is a great online resource from The National Shooting Sports Foundation with hunting information for each state: . You can find your state, get direct links to your state's Conservation Department, hunting regulations and more.

You can also take the test online through Hunter-Ed:

Next Step - Apprentice Hunter Program

Even if you do pass your hunter's safety course, become certified and buy your hunting license, it's still a good idea to go hunting with someone else first. If you choose not to go through a hunter-ed course until you are positive that hunting is for you, most states offer an "Apprentice Hunter Program". This means you can purchase a hunting permit and legally harvest an animal in the presence of someone who is hunter-ed certified. For example, I live in Missouri. Missouri allows you to do this for 2 years. After 2 years you must become hunter-ed certified in order to continue hunting & harvesting animals. 

Safety First

Most people begin by hunting with a firearm. While I encourage everyone to take up bow hunting, it's not something that I recommend doing the first year you hunt. Before you handle a gun, make sure you are familiar with the NRA gun safety rules: Even if you've been hunting for years, it's still a good idea to review these rules from time to time.

Another great resource for all things women hunters/shooters is the NRA Women's Network! They have weekly episodes that are fun & informative:

Practice With Purpose

To me, this is one of the most important steps to take in becoming a hunter. You must take into consideration that you are shooting a live animal. Strive to make the best, most ethical shot possible so the animal does not suffer long and so you can save as much of the meat as possible. With that being said, find a place where you can shoot, get out there and start practicing! 

We have about 200 acres of private land outside of the city limits where we can practice shooting. Private land is not available to everyone though, so if not try finding a gun range near you. Here is another great resource from the National Shooting Sports Foundation to help you find shooting ranges in your area:

Choosing Your Gun & Ammo

It's not necessary at first to rush out & buy your own gun. When I first started hunting, I borrowed a family member's rifle, practiced and hunted with that. Making sure you select the right gun is more important. Make sure you are comfortable with the gun and select the right type of gun & ammo for the game that you wish to hunt. The "Love at First Shot" episodes at NRA Women's Network are an excellent resource on how to choose a rifle & the proper ammo: 

Love at First Shot: Rifles 

Love at First Shot: Ammo 

Study Up - Learn About the Animals

Learn as much as you can about the animals you want to hunt. Study about their feeding habits, their senses (sight, smell, etc), and breeding seasons so you can be as prepared as possible for your first hunt. There are multiple organizations out there that have endless information about game animals and their behaviors such as the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF), Deer and Deer Hunting, Mule Deer Foundation and many many more. 

Learn The Area / Pattern the Animals

If you're able to, get out and scout the area you plan to be hunting before season starts. Start by becoming familiar with the land and your surroundings. Always tell someone where you will be and take your cell phone with you if possible.  

Here is a great blog from Dale Evans at EvoOutdoors about scouting new land:

Check for signs of the animal you'll be hunting and scout out good areas to put a tree stand or ground blind to hunt out of. Set up some game cameras near known trails and food & water sources so you know more about the animal's activity & patterns. 

Covert Illuminator & Stic-N-Pic Mini Ground Mount

Gear & Apparel

While it may not be necessary to purchase your own rifle at first, I do recommend investing in some of your own hunting gear, equipment & apparel. 

Some basic items you'll probably want to purchase:

-A good quality, sharp knife
-Rifle Sling
-Hunting fanny pack or backpack
-Scent Control Products, (depending on the type of game you are hunting)
    -For women, I recommend Her Non Scents scent free shampoo, conditioner & body wash
-Hunting Boots
-Hunting Socks
     -A good moisture wicking pair, try FirstLite & Minus33 brands at
-Camo clothing
     -The type of clothing you pick depends on where you will be hunting, what season it is & the type of animal you'll be hunting. 
     -Prois has a line of women's hunting apparel that meets the needs for any type of hunt you will be going on, whitetail, turkey, upland, etc. They even have a new safari line for 2015!
     -If you need help picking the right apparel for your hunt, EvoOutdoors Camo Concierge is a great option!


Make sure you do your part to learn as much as you can before you go hunting. I began by going on a whitetail hunt with my husband one year & watching him harvest a buck. I practiced a lot and asked him as many questions as I could until the following deer season. I went out by myself one afternoon and shot my very first deer!

I observed him hunting first, practiced and asked questions. By taking what I learned from that and applying it to my own hunt, I was able to successfully harvest an animal on my own. Not everyone has a family member or a friend to learn from though. Here are a lot of great websites, blogs and other resources to help you out!

Women Hunters:

  • Huntress View
    • Website:
    • Blog:
  • EvoOutdoors
    • Website:
    • Blog:
  • Prois
    • Website:
    • Blog:
  • NRA Women
    • Website:
    • NRA Blogs:
  • Women's Outdoor News
    • Website:
  • Girl's Guide To Guns
    • Website:
Youth Hunters:
  • Student Outdoor Experience
    • Website:
  • EvoOutdoors
    • Youth Hunting Apparel:


Most important, second to safety of course, is to enjoy yourself! Hunting is a great way to get outdoors, enjoy the peace & quiet of nature, and just relax. Observe wild animals in their natural habitats. You will learn something new each time you go out! Not only that, you will gain a deeper appreciation for wildlife and for the food that you eat, knowing that you are providing yourself & your family with healthier, organic meat, free from steroids & preservatives. Get out there & do some grocery shopping!

-Andrea Haas

Jalapeno Dove Poppers Recipe


-15 whole plucked dove breasts
-garlic salt
-black pepper
-1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese
-15 jalapeno slices, cut julienne
-2 pkgs of bacon, cut in half

Brown Sugar Glaze:
-3 Tbsp brown sugar
-1/2 tsp nutmeg
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1 1/2 Tbsp. water

-With a paring knife, separate the breasts from the bone so you have about 30 halves. Sprinkle lightly with garlic salt & pepper. Take a breast half, some cream cheese, and a jalapeno slice and wrap in bacon. Secure with a toothpick. 
For the Brown Sugar Glaze, mix all ingredients in a bowl with a whisk. Set aside until ready to use.

Grill the poppers until the bacon is cooked on both sides, about 3-5 minutes. When they are just about done, baste both sides with the Brown Sugar Glaze. (Don't do this beforehand because the glaze will burn)

-Andrea Haas

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Lesson in Safety

Not all hunting trips are full of happy memories. Sometimes you wake well before dawn, tear yourself out of a warm bed, and set up decoys in the cold, just to watch an empty sky. Three years ago on morning goose hunt much like that made an ordinary hunt, a life lesson.

My fiance, Tyler and I, two other friends, and hunting dog Ginger, were goose hunting in a chopped hay field one morning. Between flocks of geese, we often times chat sitting up in our blinds, with the doors open. Tyler decided he needed to stretch his legs and take a walk behind us. I thought it would be a good idea to stand up near my blind just to wake up. I put my gun in my blind, with my barrel pointed up and to the rear. I was particularly bored at this time and decided to call Ginger over so I could play with her. Tyler, back and ready to get back in the blind, told me that Ginger needs to get back in her blind because it wasn't time for messing around. I leisurely told her to get back but she didn't listen and I didn't really care because she was adorable and I always let her get away with little things here and there. 

A few seconds later, Ginger was still messing around and walking all over my blind, when she steps on my safety and the trigger all at once making the safety turn off and the gun fire off to the rear. No one made a sound. Ginger took off thinking that a goose has been shot in search of the retrieve. We all looked at each other in disbelief. Just a few seconds sooner and Tyler could have been seriously injured or worse. This was the scariest moment of my life. A freak accident that could have ended a life.

I remember thinking as we were packing up that I never wanted to hunt again. I initially put the blame on myself. I knew all about gun safety from growing up around firearms and being in the military. I knew better than to have a loaded gun laying like that. After talking about how I didn't want to go hunting ever again, Tyler informed why he was firm with his dogs. It never really clicked until that day in the field. There is a time and a place for playing with a dog and it's not when your hunting with loaded guns.

It took a while for me to get back out into the field but eventually I did. I became more involved with dog training once I brought home my pointer pup Avery. Whether hunting in a boat or in a field, a dog that doesn't listen and has no obedience becomes a dangerous recipe for disaster.

From time to time it takes a potential tragedy to remind us of safety. Hopefully by sharing my story I am able to possibly help prevent a lapse in judgment like I had made that day.

Written by Samantha Bickman-

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Alicia Meyer Interview

Here at Huntress View we are all about encouraging women to take up hunting & shooting. We feel one way to do that is for women to learn about it from another woman's perspective. With that concept in mind, we will be featuring 1-2 huntresses per month on our blog as a way to reach out to and educate even more women on hunting and the outdoors. The women featured can be new to hunting or well known in the industry, providing feedback on hunting from all experience levels and many different perspectives. So ladies, whether you are new to hunting or have been doing it for years, these blog features are for you! 
                                                                                                        -Andrea Haas

Our first huntress being featured is Alicia Meyer from Minnesota! Check out the interview below to get to know her a little better.

HV: What state do you hunt?
AM I hunt the beautiful land of 10,000 lakes, Minnesota.

HV: What types of animals do you hunt? Which is your favorite?
AM: I hunt all types of game. From waterfowl, turtles, upland game birds, small game and big game like deer. Being that Minnesota has so much water on it, you can just about bet you can find ducks. I find ducks to be one of the harder hunts for me up here. Trying to push and shove through the cattails and bogs with 5 layers of clothing on, because it's maybe 30 degrees that mornin'. Then of course come the freezin' hands once you get to the decoys. But, I'm not complainin'. Duck hunting is unique and more of a challenge, which is why it is so rewarding. Central MN offers a lot of farm land, so I do enjoy hunting geese as well, especially in the corn fields because I am able to get so close. It really excites me when they fly right over and I can hear their wings. I don't do a lot of pheasant hunting, being that I don't have a dog. But my boyfriend's family is very into it and they live in western MN where the pheasants are more prevalent. I harvested a great turkey last spring with my Hoyt bow and put a perfect shot on him. I love the fall for deer hunting and breakin' out all the blaze orange. My dad got me interested in hunting at 11 years old, because of deer hunting. 

But my favorite animal to hunt...Goes to the Snappin' Turtle. I have been huntin' turtle for a couple years now. And needless to say, I am hooked. And I would love to show and teach women how to turtle hunt. It's so different and that is probably my most favorite thing about the sport, nobody else does it. A lot of people will come watch me catch turtles out in the swamp and it sure is a good ol' time to say the least. I use my turtle traps, so no turtles are harmed in any way. I would love to show women about this sport and how fun it is.

HV: How/when did you get started hunting and who was your biggest influence?
AM: I got into hunting when I was young. My dad would go out and bring back these gorgeous deer, it was amazing to me, to see them and touch them, as a little girl. I didn't turn away from the blood and guts at all. My dad put me into the Hunter Safety Class and I had so much fun. I remember that I did very well on my exam even. I still do some of the things that those old instructors taught me way back when. I kept asking and asking my dad to take me hunting through out the whole year and he got so tired of it I remember... But my birthday came in July and my dad bought me my very first own gun, a 243 Rifle, bolt action. I don't have anything from my dad anymore but that gun and I treat it like a baby and will always have it and think of him. 
My dad was my influence.

HV: Tell us about one of your most memorable hunts
AMOne of my most memorable hunts is of course with my dad... I was much younger then... My dad and I would wake up in the early mornin', he'd have his coffee and cereal and I'd just have my cereal. I would put all my blaze orange on. Hunting in a rifle zone, my dad always made sure I was orange head to toe and then some. He would walk to the stand with my, coffee in hand. And for some reason there was always a skunk smell around us, I've now been sprayed 4 times, but that's a different conversation... The sun was just comin' up yet still a bit dark. We could see a deer jumping over the corn field rows about 300 yards away. My dad asked my 3 times quick if I wanted to take the shot, as a good dad would. Being new, I said, "No, you do it dad"! I was very excited! 

My dad lines it up and shoots his 270. I see the deer do 2 full flips in the air before it hit the ground because he shot it while it was jumping. We could also tell it was a good size buck. I sit there with my dad so excited and anxious to go see it! We get on the ground from the awesome deer stand he built. We had a little ways to walk, but I ended up finding the blood trail and I was so dang proud of that. 

No matter what I did my dad always kept in front of me as we are walking through the corn. He told me probably 3 times to "stay back" but I was pumped and full of adrenalin. We find the deer and it had a huge clearing around it, there was no standing corn at all because he hit the ground hard. My dad tells me once again to "stay back", my eyes were huge, it was an 8 point buck. The biggest deer I've  ever seen at that point. My dad puts the flashlight on his face and I stand by the rear of the deer. My dad walks around him 3 whole times and keeping the light on his face. 

That 3rd time he walked around the buck. Before I could get out a word. I see the eye ball follow my dad, in a circle. If that ain't scary! About a second or two after, it's on his feet! Snortin' and stomping the ground with his head point right at me! The buck moved so incredibly quick, he was down then more alive then ever. 
It all happened so fast I remember I lost my breath because I was standing in front  of a very very angry big ol' 8 point buck. As he jumps to his feet just like that, he snorts and stomps, shakes his head and lowers it at me. This all again took a second or two. At that moment, everything seemed to be in slow motion. I don't know what it was, I know that this happened very quickly but as he was gearing up for me, I remember seeing all the muscle this deer had and how strong he was. I remember the sound he made when he jumped to his feet and stomped the ground. 

While I'm seeing the buck lower his head and shake it, I froze. I didn't have my gun with me... As the deer charges me, bang! My dad grabs his 44 Mag Smith n Wesson and drops him and he was about to charge me as I stood 10 feet maybe from the deer. Again, this was about 2 seconds. The deer drops right in front of me! I look at my dad and he is wide eyed and in shock. The first thing I do is run up to him and give him a hug. 

I drug that deer back home through the corn field...That is my most memorable hunt. It still don't do it justice.

HV: Do you have any hunting related goals for this year?
AM: My hunting goal this year is my usual. To have a blast and get close to nature. I would love to get a 50lbs or more Snappin turtle this year!

HV: -Do you have any advice for women who are new to hunting?
AM: My advice for new women hunters....

          -You won't always get "the big one" so keep your chin up. 
          -Practice makes perfect. Especially for archery. Keep your skills sharp and try new things. You'll be surprised at what you can pick up easier than others. (Another great reason to hunt diff. game)
          - Know the land you hunt on. Know the wildlife. Set trail cams! 
          - ALWAYS keep your side arm on you! 
          - Hunt with the people you love.