I am a native Coloradoan, something that is rare these days. I was born in Denver and have lived in various places all over Colorado and have been living in the “banana belt” of Colorado in Cañon City for the past 20+ years (It’s warmer and has less snow in the winter than the average place in Colorado.) My husband, Bryan and I chose this place to live because it brought us closer to the mountains and closer to our favorite hunting and fishing areas. Almost all our spare time is spent either in the beautiful Sangre De Cristo mountain range near by, in the plains east of us, or on some lake or stream that has promise as a good fishing spot.
I have been married for 36 years to Bryan. He eats, breathe's and dreams about hunting and has since the day he was born. I on the other hand was raised in the city, but spent most weekends with my family camping, fishing, hiking or just plain exploring the outdoors. My father was a Boy Scout leader and I often talked my dad into letting me go with him on camp outs with the Boy Scout Troop. This is where I learned to love the out doors(aka hang out with guys!) and develop my own out door skills. As an adult I became a Scout leader myself and passed the tradition on to my own son.
Before I even married my husband he had me out with him on his various hunting trips. The first one I remember was a very snowy elk hunt in southern Colorado. I wasn’t a hunter yet, but I had a lot of fun catching him under a snow-covered tree and knocking the snow down on him. I’m surprised he ever took me hunting after that. But Bryan was very patient and loving when it came to coaxing me to hunt. His first present to me was my own re-curve bow and all the accessories to go with it. For over 20 years I accompanied him on almost every hunt he went on whether it was archery, black powder or high-powered rifle. I even started getting my own licenses and carrying a rifle. It wasn’t until he introduced me to black powder shooting that I finally began to hunt. Because of black powder shooting and the history associated Mountain Men I really began to connect the tradition of shooting as it related to hunting and began to feel the urge to be a hunter myself. The exact reason is hard to put into words. I have always prided myself in being a western woman. I admired the independence and self-sufficiency that was characteristic of early pioneer women. My own ancestors came to Colorado in 1887, the male of the family died their first winter, but the woman stayed and carried on the desire to settle the open prairie. I have always felt the need to live up to their pioneering spirit and learn to hunt as many of those brave women did. Any way, the first animal I ever hunted was a doe mule deer, and I shot it with my own 50 caliber black powder rifle. It was a proud and exhilarating moment for me, and one I will always remember. Black powder hunting is still my favorite way to hunt because it gives me the opportunity to get so close to animals that I can hear them breathe or see their eyes blink.
Since that day in 1989 I have come to love hunting almost as much as my husband does. I have had the opportunity to hunt Elk, whitetail deer, mule deer, coues deer, axis deer, black buck and have even gone to Africa where I got a beautiful record book Greater Kudu, an impala and a springbok. That was a trip of a lifetime.
Aside from hunting, my interests and abilities cover a variety of things. I have double Bachelor of Arts degrees in Art and Theater as well as a teaching degree. My husband and I worked together in our everyday business for 18 years, which is a Floor and Decorating Center. That business was closed in 2005 and each of us decided to try individual careers for a change.
I am passionate about passing my love and knowledge about the outdoors and hunting to other women and children. There are two organizations that support my philosophies about the hunting and shooting sports so I have become very involved with these organizations. The first is the Friends of NRA. This is the non-profit side of the NRA that raises funds for the education and supports hunter safety, women’s issues, wildlife conservation, shooting range development and improvement, and youth safety and education. My husband and I are in our tenth year as committee Chairmen for our local Friends of NRA annual banquet.
I am also a lifetime member of Safari Club International. This organization actively works to preserve our hunting rights in the USA and globally. I am a member of our local chapter and served as secretary for the Sables division. The Sables are dedicated to the same wildlife conservation issues as SCI and have taken on education as their special emphasis. Annually the club sends 2-3 women and teachers to either the Becoming An Outdoor Woman program or the American Wilderness Leadership School in Jacksonhole, Wyoming.
I am the mother to two wonderful children, who are now grown up. They both enjoy the outdoors in different ways. My son shot his first bear when he was only 13, but now fishes more than hunts. My daughter married a man who is an avid fisherman, but wants to learn to hunt. Both of them go with us on many of our hunting trips. My daughter doesn’t hunt but tags along with her husband just like I did. I’m hoping my daughter will catch the same hunting bug that I did so that someday I can be with her on her first hunt. I’m also looking forward to the day when I can hunt grandchildren so I can pass on to them my passion for hunting and shooting and all the memories that go with these activities.