A mom of five who loves the hunting lifestyle
Tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
I grew up mostly in Nephi, Utah, but was born in Tooele and lived for several years in Bear River City. My family and I have been in Parowan for about five years now, but pieces of my heart were left in Logan and Ogden as we moved for work opportunities. I am so blessed to be a stay-at-home mom. I have five kids ages 5 to 15 years old; one boy and four girls.
I love creating in all the ways: food, poetry, clean spaces, fun family trips and happy rosebeds. Whether it's a buttery, flaky pastry sparkling with turbinado sugar and overflowing with rich and sweet blackberries, a moist flank of venison seared to crusty brown topped with herb-infused butter, or an education-packed trip to Mount Rushmore complete with four hotel stops and wildlife scavenger hunts, it all makes me happy!
Why do you hunt?
I hunt in part because of tradition, and in full because it's a lifestyle that I love. My family members have been avid hunters for many generations, and it continues to speak to us.
As a child, I enjoyed hunting as a way to spend time with my family and soak in the wild mountains and windy fields. I have vivid memories of admiring the kaleidoscope of colors on a rooster pheasant, and standing with my grandpa at sunrise, waiting for the first sighting of a good buck on Middle Mountain.
As an adult, I enjoyed hiking along with my son as I mentored him on his very first deer hunt. I will never forget the crisp, bleached snow, the quiet of morning betrayed by the crunch of our boots, and our garb of safe, flashy orange.
We have benefited greatly from organic, fresh game meat. With a family of seven, how to feed everyone is a constant and forefront thought in my mind. My kids have grown up on elk, venison, game fowl and fish. There are years when I rarely have to buy any meat from the market. It is a family affair at harvest time after a hunt: We set up an assembly line to process the meat, and all of us look with pride on our freezer full of nicely packaged hunks of steak, massive roasts and burgers.
How did you get into hunting?
I have been hunting since I could walk. I can recall many a frosty morning wrapped up in a blanket, an old-fashioned jelly-filled doughnut in one hand and strawberry milk in the other, my nose pressed to the window and eyes peeled. Some adventures involved a gun, others a fishing rod, and still others just a sturdy pair of shoes as we scouted for "the good ones" we would hope to bring down during the hunt. So, it was natural for me to marry a hunter who had had similar experiences, and to create those experiences for our own children.
What is your favorite hunt you've been on?
It is impossible to choose a favorite hunt! Each one is unique and special. The October rifle hunt up Manti-La Sal with my cousins, grandpa and dad; my first pheasant hunt; my husband's first antelope hunt on the Parker Plateau and (of course) my son's first mentored deer hunt. Utah is gorgeous, and hunting provides a way to see the landscape, fill your lungs with the good air, and get an up-close-and-personal view of God's furry and feathered creations.
What are some tips you would offer someone who is interested in learning to hunt?
My advice is to find a good teacher. Hunting is a skill and there is a lot to it. Rise to the challenge.
Learn how to process the harvest. Elk and venison are delicious and there are a myriad of ways to cook them, so experiment until you find the recipes that your family loves.
See it as an adventure. There is always something to learn from each hunt: Find the takeaway. Most importantly, have fun. There's no better place to be than out of doors — to breathe it in, really see it! I promise you will love it!