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What a year!! As my 2016 comes to an end, I take this time to reflect on so many neat things that happened. From my journey to “Tank” my New Mexico archery mountain lion in January and I could not have done it without my awesome brother-in-law, Jesse and his brave dogs. I did some small game hunting and then ended my year with a record archery Texas Hill country ram who I nicknamed “Old Warrior” and at about 11 years of age, boy was he ever! Tank is a full mount and my Old Warrior will be a shoulder mount by the most amazing artist/taxidermist, Robert Major of Major Wildlife Studio (pictured in this post!) I can’t thank him enough for doing such an awesome job on Tank. I can’t stop staring at his pictures and can’t wait till they both are finished!!
Here in New Mexico we have to put in for the hunts that we wish for. For a lot of our big game hunts, if you don’t draw out, you don’t get to hunt. This year, I was the unfortunate one who did not get lucky in the draw. I did however get to tag along and help out on two turkey hunts, an archery deer hunt and with our very own TOI owner, Craig Knowles on his 2016 archery Elk hunt.
2016 has brought me some amazing opportunities! Being asked to join the Bowtech Archery Hunt Staff was a dream come true this year and I can’t put in to words what an honor it is to represent the Bowtech Archery Women and be in the same group as the beautiful Eva Shockey and Theresa Vail just to name a few of the very talented hunting and archery ladies!! Along with that came my Gold Tip Arrow sponsorship, ALPS Outdoors, Kenetrek Boots and was recently asked to be a Brand Ambassador for BowAdx and Cherokee Sports Outdoors. Such amazing companies with the best products in the industry and I am blessed to represent each of them!
My 2016 NWTF Women in the Outdoors event was 3 days this year and was so much fun! I got to host almost 20 ladies this year at Camp of the Tall Pines in the beautiful Lincoln National Forest. We offered Archery, a 3D archery shoot, cooking with wild game, wilderness survival, gun safety, an elk hunting/calling 101 seminar, a turkey hunting/calling 101 seminar and a compass and orienteering class as well as fishing basics! We are looking forward to our 2017 ladies event, this year with the help of the National Hunting and Fishing Day Organization! Being the NWTF Women in The Outdoors State Coordinator sure is rewarding! I get to take it on the road in 2017 to each of our Sportsman’s Warehouse stores in New Mexico for an in-store seminar to promote our next NWTF WITO event in August 2017, which I can’t wait to do. Getting these ladies involved in the great outdoors is my mission and my passion, so this is a wonderful opportunity for me to do just that!!
Completing my NASP Archery Instructors Class was a big accomplishment for me this year as well. I help young kids and ladies at our Mesilla Valley Christian Bowhunters club twice a month and being able to teach them with confidence has made a huge difference. I love it!!
Another highlight to my 2016 was being chosen to be on the first ever Women’s Online Archery Challenge, Team 1 for 2017. I am so excited for our 2017 3D season as well as hunting season to kick off for my OAC Team the #10xHotShots!!!
Meeting up with our newest member of TOI, Chelsie Dugan, has turned into quite the adventure! We have even created a hashtag you can follow #AdventuresWithHelenandChelsie! Chelsie has just moved to New Mexico from Indiana and I am so glad she did, you are going to love her, I know I sure do!! Our first adventure started out with fall turkey hunting and even though we didn’t get our fall gobbler, we were able to get us some small game rabbits. Chelsie got hers first and the following weekend, I got mine. It was my first time taking a rabbit and my first harvest with my Eva Shockey bow!! Boy was he a big one, are there Boone and Crocket bunnies? LOL! Chelsie and I will be kicking off our 2017 getting to go on our first big game hunt together. We were fortunate enough to be invited back to the Peralta Ranch where we turkey hunted to try a shot at an archery mule deer in January 2017. This is going to be a blast so stay tuned for that blog!
Last, Trade show season is about to be in full swing!! Miss Chelsie and I will be attending SHOT Show together in January with members of our TOI team, so watch out Vegas!! We will then head to Music City USA in February and team up with more of our fellow TOI contributors there in Tennessee for the National Wild Turkey Federation Convention. Yep, looks like the #AdventureswithHelenandChelsie 2017 will be EPIC!!
I hope everyone had a amazing Christmas and here’s to a phenomenal and very successful 2017!!