When it comes to the most memorable hunts in my life, it’s very seldom about the size of the animal but rather the people that were there with me, and the adventure that took place. For me, hunting has always been a family event but I’ve been super blessed over the years to bring my immediate family along with on some amazing adventures. Below is a rundown of my top 10 most memorable hunts of my life, along with a video link and brief description of what made it so amazing.
1. Yukon Moose
Many adventure hunts consist of freezing temps and straight up uncomfortable conditions, but I’ve been lucky enough to find a moose hunt that is absolutely amazing in every aspect. From giant moose to great guides, this hunt really has it all. My husband and I have experienced this hunt two times, and we have another one booked for 2024. We spend the day hunting and fishing; the evening eating amazing food and laughing with our now good friends; and finish off each night with a stunning Northern Lights show. All without any cell service or distractions in the beautiful Yukon of Canada. In my opinion this is really as good as it gets!
2. Grandma Rose’s Mule Deer Hunt
A few years back I was able to bring my Grandma Rose, who was 79 at the time, on a spot-and-stalk mule deer hunt in Colorado. I found some old tapes when she was young, hunting mule deer out west with my grandpa. She told me she never went again (mostly because she shot the biggest buck and was never invited back). It was one of the best hunting experiences because we had so much fun together. She did amazing and her message was even better. She wanted everyone to know that it’s never too late to get out there and enjoy the outdoors.
3. Jax’s Turkey Hunt
Our little boy, Jax, had two dreams when he turned 3. He wanted to play baseball, and he wanted to shoot a turkey. Well, my husband, Ben, and I were determined to make that a reality. The baseball part was easy, but the shooting a turkey would take some work. We sat with him over and over in front of the TV having him practice on turkeys with his setup. He learned his right from his left, where to shoot the turkey and how to squeeze the trigger gently. Next, we brought him out to the range and had him shoot his little .410 over and over, and finally he was ready. We got him a tag in Nebraska and the rest is history. Truly the best bonding experience you could ever ask for!
4. Rosebud Elk Hunt Part 1 | Part 2
Hunting elk can be a downright grueling hunt with the long days, extremely long hikes and rough terrain. This hunt was all of that and more. The “more” part came because just 10 days earlier I had given birth to our son, Jax, and was determined to get out elk hunting with these highly coveted tags. My husband and I each had a tag, and I didn’t want mine to go to waste. So to make elk hunting even more difficult I added in a newborn, the fact that I had just given birth, and acting as general contractor on our new home we were building. Thanks to a wonderful support system, we were able to make it work, and this is a hunt I will never forget.
5. Canada Waterfowl with My Dad
Growing up in central Minnesota, we did a lot of waterfowl hunting on public land. My parents would take my brother and me hunting, and we always had a blast. I wouldn’t say it was the best hunting in the world, but it was sure fun. After experiencing the downright spectacular waterfowl hunting Canada offers, I knew this was a hunt my dad would enjoy. The weather was perfect, the birds were plentiful and we had a wonderful time together making memories and seeing waterfowl like we had never experienced in all our years prior.
6. Brown Bear Hunting with Ben
Brown bear hunts fall under the category of fun and amazing, but they require so much mental and physical toughness. The weather and conditions are brutal; you’re going weeks without a shower; sleeping in a tiny tent; and physically and mentally maxing out. With that said, they are also the most rewarding, especially when you can do it with your significant other. My husband, Ben, and I have now done two brown bear hunts together and it’s a wonderful experience. I believe through some of those hard times you grow even closer together. When you find success, you celebrate together as well. This past hunt we were both able to take monster brown bears—mine was with a .375 H&H, and Ben’s was at 4.5 yards with his bow and arrow. The footage will make you understand how mentally tough and prepared you need to be to make something like this happen.
7. Hog Hunting with old 30/30 Lever-Action
We have an old Winchester 30/30 lever-action in our family that has been passed down through the generations, and I wanted to do a special hunt with it. My dad took me out to the range and we shot it together. I then decided to bring it down to Texas for a hog hunt. There’s something super special about using a gun that’s been passed down through the generations and knowing all the stories and memories that go back to the gun.
8. New Zealand Tahr Hunt
When booking this hunt at the SCI convention, I was determined to do a high-country tahr hunt, but I wanted it to be all on foot. Many times helicopters are used to get you up where the tahr live, but I found a hunt where we could start at the bottom each day. This was a great idea in theory, but when it came time for the hunt, there was a turn of events. I was 7 months pregnant with Jax, and climbing those steep conditions would prove to be much more of a task. Not wanting to be babied, I skipped telling the outfitter that I was pregnant and went on with the hunt as is. We worked extremely hard and ended up with a tahr of a lifetime. Luckily my husband was there the entire time by my side in case something happened, but in the end I look back and know this is one of those adventures that I will never forget.
9. Mom & Me: Nebraska Mule Deer Hunt
Although we grew up hunting whitetails in central Minnesota, mule deer were not something we had a chance to pursue very often. With this in mind, I knew my mom would really enjoy a hunt in the Nebraska Sandhills for mule deer, as we always see so many deer and hunt with great people. Luckily, we were able to both shoot beautiful bucks on this trip. To be there by her side as she got her first muley buck was something that we will both remember forever.
10. Predator Calling Alaska Black Bear
Do-it-yourself hunts are always super rewarding, but this one was especially fun. Back in the day I used to fly up to Alaska and get dropped off at a location with a tent, kayak, my gear and SAT phone. The outfitter would come back and get me 10 days later, or I could call if there were any troubles. I did this for years, and definitely ran into some issues along the way, but what better way to learn that out in the Alaskan wilderness, you are all on your own. This hunt in particular was amazing, as I called in a black bear from 150 yards all the way inside 20 yards using a predator call emulating a wounded fawn in distress. There was nobody backing me up, just a cameraman with a camera and a shotgun at my feet just in case. The amount of adrenaline and hard work that goes into a hunt like this is incredible and truly stands out as one of my all-time most memorable hunts.