Friday, June 14, 2013

Five For Friday

5 for Friday ~ June 21, 2013

This week has been an absolute blur... but in a good way! There have been a lot of good things happening at DeerPassion and in our personal lives. Sometimes I just wish I could add a few more hours to the day to catch up on sleep... but, like my Grandma used to say, you can sleep when you're dead!!

1) Our June Huntress of the Month was revealed this week! Emily Anderson, From The Draw, offered an amazing interview and photos that show her in her true element and with her husband, Troy. Emily's kindness, intelligence and her selflessness has drawn me towards her since we first met via Twitter several years ago. Read her interview HERE and then go check out her website.

2) Bow Sexy, a line of clothing for female archers, has offered to sponsor a few of our next Huntress of the Month features! The shirts are trendy, unique and definitely for a woman who loves the outdoors!! Be sure to check out their website HERE.

3) Our first bulk order of DeerPassion shirts shipped out this week and so far we've had good reviews! The best part? Seeing our customers and friends wearing our shirts!! If you want one for yourself.. just find the "STORE" link at the top of this page, or click HERE.

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 4) Brandi and family are finishing putting up and setting stands and cameras on their Kentucky lease this weekend. Even though it's just the beginning of summer, deer season will be here before you know it! What are you doing to get ready?

5) The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued a warning that humans, pets and livestock not drink or have any contact with 3 separate lakes in the state. Toxic blue-green algae has been found in the water and can be extremely harmful to people... They say boating and fishing may be ok but to avoid direct contact. For the specific lakes and more information, go HERE.

Have a great weekend, y'all!!!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Slow Cooker Venison Roast

Slow Cooker Venison Roast 

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Most people rave about fresh venison back straps and ground venison recipes are growing more numerous by the day, but the one thing that I struggle with cooking is a good deer roast. A beef roast with carrots and potatoes is by far my favorite meal... so when it comes to venison roast I'm always looking to make it a little different and a little more interesting. This venison recipe is easy and requires zero effort... totally my style! There are similar recipes circulating like crazy for beef roasts, but I see no reason to waste it on perfection... however it is the perfect way to add a little somethin-somethin to your venison roasts.

1 package dry Ranch dressing mix
1 package dry Italian dressing mix
1 venison roast

Place the venison roast (thawed!) into the slow cooker and sprinkle the package of dry Ranch dressing mix and dry Italian dressing mix over the top.* Then fill the slow cooker with water until it just barely covers the top of the roast.** Cook on high for approximately 4 hours, and then switch it to low for another 4
hours. Enjoy! :)

*Many popular recipes encourage whisking the dry ingredients together with a cup of water... however sprinkling the top of the roast will create a fine layer of seasoning that helps lock in the flavor, similar to a rub. There's enough seasoning that it will flavor the water as it is being cooked anyway. No need for extra work.

venison recipe deer roast slow cooker crockpot kansas easy cooking  **Fill that pot up with water!! So many people use one cup of water when cooking a roast, or two if it's a big 'un.... then people complain about roast being a dry meat. Roast is not dry, it's all about the way you cook it. Granted, there are hundreds of ways to cook a roast, but for the love of God, if you want a nice, juicy, mouth-watering hunk of meat... add some water!!! Quit questioning me too.. just do it.

One last thing, if you enjoy gravy with your meat and potatoes... one hour prior to serving, drain all but approximately a cup of water out of the slow cooker and add in a package of dry brown gravy mix. Over the next hour it will set up and make a beautiful, easy gravy for your venison roast.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Huntress of the Month

Huntress of the Month ~ June
Emily Anderson, From the Draw

DeerPassion: I first met Emily on Twitter where we ran in some of the same outdoors/hunting circles. I've always been impressed with her intelligence, her kindness, her willingness to get down and dirty and her willingness to learn and experience all things hunting. Since then, we've had the chance to chat here and there, discuss topics and stereotypes via blogs and support and enjoy each other's hunting adventures and successes! I was so excited she agreed to be our June Huntress of the Month!!!

DP: When was your first hunting experience? women hunting outdoor babes elk deer families

Emily: My first hunting experience occurred shortly after I got married.  I vividly remember my husband, Troy, asking me that Fall if he could go hunting.  While I appreciated that he asked me before heading off for a weekend adventure, I promptly responded with... 

“Sure, but what happens if I want to come with you?”   

I received a strange look, which I’m sure was due to shock mixed with perhaps odd delight.  (At least that is my interpretation of what I was reading on his face.)  Honestly, I think he needed some time to digest what he just heard.  He went hunting that weekend with his friend and we planned the next weekend just for us.  I’m not sure if he really thought I was serious about the whole thing.  After a week of talking about how excited I was, I think he was beginning to realize he may just have a new hunting partner after all. 

Upon getting outfitted in hand-me-down camouflage and receiving a quick lesson on what to expect, we were off to the mountains for our first deer hunt together.  We had a red Jeep Cherokee Sport and I remember taking it through numerous back roads before reaching our unloading point.  It was a long bumpy ride as we made our way down the dirt “road” through the mountains.  Finally we reached our destination.  

I don’t think we saw any deer that weekend, but I didn’t care.  Deep down I knew a bug was planted.  A new hobby, passion, or addiction as some call it began to fill my thoughts.  I loved everything about the experience and decided I never wanted to stay home again during hunting season. I have been hooked ever since!  The destination where we stepped out of a red Jeep that day marked the first steps towards a journey of hunting together season after season, year after year. 

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Oh, and we still have that jeep. It is parked in our pasture and needs a new radiator or something... we are hoping to fix it up before elk season this year! 

Who introduced you to the world of hunting and the outdoors? 

While my husband introduced me to the world of hunting, I give my Dad credit for encouraging my love for the outdoors.  I’ll have to admit here that it wasn’t always the perfect camping trip or ideal outdoor adventure, but I wouldn’t replace those memories with my family for anything!  Those mishaps or “non-perfect” vacations are the ones I seem to cherish most. 

There was the time we took a canoe trip to the Boundary Waters of Northern MN, almost got lost, and had snakes thrown at me by my brother.  That same trip, we portaged our canoes from lake to lake, butt-slid through small rapids, jumped off cliffs, had canoe paddle-splash fights, and endless campfires under starry-northern lit skies.  In my opinion?  Perfect! 

Summer fishing trips (or more like fishing attempts) with my dad also come to mind.  I say attempts because we never caught anything but a tan and a tackle box full of memories.  One of us kids once asked my dad, “Why don’t we ever catch any fish?”  He would look up from his book and reply, “Well, besides the fact that we are probably fishing at the wrong time of day, wrong depth, using the wrong lure and a multitude of things I haven’t thought of, I have no clue why we haven’t caught anything.”  Looking very serious and very Norwegian, he would return to reading his book.  We would smile, put the fishing rods down and jump in the lake for a swim... since we were in the middle of the lake and it was HOT. 

We also took numerous family vacations to Colorado, and hiked around on trails in the Rocky Mountains.  This is where we learned the lesson of not taking a sip of the crystal “clean” water from rushing streams produced from melting snow above. I think my sister got the worst of that one.  Montezuma had his revenge, if I remember correctly.  I now understand the importance and appreciate the water purifier that is safely tucked in my husband’s pack when we spend time in the backcountry.

I have so many other wonderful outdoor memories with my family and could go on and on.  The Mississippi river flowed through my backyard with an island situated the perfect swimming distance from shore, and a cornfield was just north of our house.  This provided countless summer days during my childhood of exploring the wonders of the outdoors.

What is your most memorable hunting experience to date?

women hunting archery bow babe elk colorado aspens fall camo
This is a hard one.  I have so many hunting experiences I cherish deeply.  They are memories tucked away ready to be recalled at any moment.  I think if I have to chose one, it would be one of our backpack trips that landed us above timberline.  Tents were pitched just above 12,000 feet where the tree line broke across the tops of the Rocky Mtns and gave way to grassy mountaintops that rolled over to the other side of the mountain range.  A high-alpine Mule Deer was what we were hoping to catch in our sights.  We didn’t walk off the mountain with packs loaded down with tenderloins and backstraps, but the memories and the experience of sleeping above timberline is something that I will always treasure.  One night we even had an elk herd surround our tents and I fell asleep to the sounds of cow elk talking all around while two bulls had an epic battle in the field next to us.  It was AMAZING!

What do you do when you aren’t hunting?

There is something besides hunting?  Just kidding.  I have the privilege of working at a world-wide family ministry located in Colorado Springs that is devoted to helping parents and marriages thrive.

In my spare time outside of hunting, I enjoy reading, sewing and running.  I once completely gutted an old camper and remodeled the inside - sewed camouflage curtains, painted and wallpapered it with an elk border.  It turned out pretty good if I do say so myself.... maybe there is a market for that? Camper flipping!

I have also been training recently for the Pikes Peak Ascent race.  It is a 1/2 marathon that starts at the base of a mountain and concludes at the top.  I ran it two years ago and told my husband as I crossed the finish line, “Never again! My body hurts so bad, and in places I never imagined would hurt.”  What do I do?  Sign up again and recruit a friend to run with me.  I figure... If I’m going to be in pain, at least I’ll have someone to share it with.  That’s what friends are for, right?   

As a female hunter are there any unique obstacles or challenges that you have encountered?

archery sunrise colorado women hunting families babes practice Colorado
Honestly, I’m fortunate that I really haven’t felt discrimination due to the fact that I’m a female in the hunting industry.  I know it is a reality for some, but I’m either oblivious to it or I’ve just been lucky.  I think as more and more women get involved in hunting, it has helped to dissolve the stereotype or idea that hunting is for men only.  So kudos to the men in my hunting circle and to those who welcome and encourage women to join in all that hunting has to offer.

Are you part of any outdoors-related online groups or active in social media?  How can readers connect with you and learn more about you?

I would love to connect and talk about hunting.  Please find me online and let’s chat!

I have a few Social Media spaces that I play in... Twitter (@FromtheDraw); Instagram (@Emily_FromtheDraw), Facebook (FromtheDraw), and my blog at

Troy and I recently had the opportunity to join the Pro-Staff for EvoOutdoors, which is a company dedicated to providing the best selection of hunting clothing and accessories.  Badlands, First Lite, Prois and Haley Vines, are some of the great gear you’ll find in a one-stop shopping experience on their site.

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Oh and I have to give a shout out to  Rudy, the man behind Huntography, came along on our 2012 elk hunt and captured some great moments on film.  The #ELKTOUR 2012 DVD has just been released and is available online.  We are super excited about the documentary!

When and why did you decide to start blogging?
I started blogging several years ago.  It was really just on a whim.  I was sitting around thinking about how I had recently fallen in love with my new hobby and after a few hunting adventures, I wanted to tell everyone what I had just experienced out in the woods.  I was gathering stories and needed an outlet to share them.  Starting a blog seemed like the perfect way to do just that.

Social media has not only provided the platform for sharing hunting stories, discussing hunting related issues, etc, but something I really didn’t expect was to meet so many great people who have similar interests as me.  Sure I knew I would have the opportunity to dialogue and interact with others online, but I was a bit skeptical of actually being able to meet them on a personal level.  Obvious disclaimer here - you do have to be careful and use discretion whenever playing online. But with that being said, Troy and I truly have met some wonderful people whom we now call friends.

bow hunting archery elk hunting marriage couples husband wife camo colorado aspens family outdoors
Thanks, Deer Passion, for the opportunity to share a little bit about myself and my love for hunting and the outdoors.  As I’ve said recently online...  “Hunting is not just something we do ... it has seeped down and become a part of who we are.”     

Friday, June 7, 2013

Five for Friday

The top 5 things that happened at DeerPassion this week: 

1. We are starting a Junior Hunter/Huntress of the Month feature. If you want a chance to brag on your kid  or you know of some kids that spend most of their time outdoors, let me know! We want to feature them on our blog!! 

2. I learned that I'll be heading to Wisconsin Dells late in June for a little vacation, corporate retreat thing. I've never been to Wisconsin so I'm excited to see the scenery and enjoy some R&R for a few days. If there's any must-see places nearby, make sure you let me know... I want to see it all!! I can sleep when I'm dead. 

3. The discovery of the website This website has everything regarding outdoor shows in your area. It's set up to search by month or by state. Check it out! 

kids children outdoors hunting fishing family rmef bugle 4. A photo of my daughter, Emma, was on both the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation's Facebook page and on their twitter account for this photo of her reading the latest issue of their BUGLE magazine! My mom took this pic and she was absolutely delighted it was posted all over the internet - so big thanks to RMEF for making her day!! This photo cracks me up because BUGLE was the first hunting/outdoors magazine I started reading too... It's what made me want to write about the outdoors and share it with the world. Obviously, it helped make me into the writer I am today and I'm excited that Emma is just as attracted to it as I was... Hopefully my parents don't have to hide it from her like they did me! Ha!
5. The first order of DeerPassion shirts are shipping out! Brandi and I are so excited to have something out there that is ours and something that we can wear that portrays the mission of  DeerPassion: Hunt - Nuture - Inspire.

I'll leave you with this quote that one of my favorite bloggers, The Maine Outdoorsman, tweeted this week: 

"It's ok to plant your roots locally as long as you live globally." 

How was your week?! Make a list of the top things that happened this week... if nothing else but to re-live all the smiles you had! :)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Venison Taco Pie

Easy-Peasy Venison Taco Pie

"Ooooo... This is good, Mommy."

Those were the first words from Emma's mouth as we tried this new venison recipe for the first time. It's fast, easy, and definitely good!! I love trying new venison recipes and I love some drool-worthy meals, but if something has too many ingredients or takes too long, I refuse to make it. Seriously, I have a three year-old... their attention spans are short, they're sampling all the ingredients and saying "Mommy," every other word. This is one of those venison recipes that kids can easily help with, has only a few ingredients and prep and cook time is relatively short.

1 can refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 lb ground venison
3/4 cup chunky salsa
2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
1 cup shredded cheese
shredded lettuce, as desired
diced tomato, as desired

Step 1
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Unroll dough, separate into triangles and place into an ungreased pie pan. Press over the bottom and up the sides to form the pie crust.

Step 2
Brown venison over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked. Stir in salsa and taco seasoning mix; simmer for 5 minutes. Spoon venison meat mixture into the crust-lined pan; top with cheese.

ground venison taco pie recipe ingredients photos

Step 3
Bake 15-18 minutes or until crust is deep golden brown and cheese is melted. Top with lettuce and tomato, as desired.
ground venison recipe cooked taco pie easy

Step 4

Give it a try and let me know what you think! I'm making this again this weekend... it has definitely become one of my new favorite venison recipes!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My Favorite *Outdoor Fitness* Things

Most hunters tend to be athletic. Not all of them are... in fact, many still embody that beer drinking, hands-down-their-pants-while-dozing-in-the-recliner, stereotype. However, I have found that most hunters are not only outdoors during their favorite hunting seasons, but also year-round. Hiking, fishing, checking trail-cams, creating food plots, scouting... and all of these things require at least some level of athletic ability.

As the weather starts warming up and we're outside more and more, fitness comes to the forefront of our lives - or at least my life. Following are some of my favorite fitness related things right now:

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#1 - Water
Get rid of all those special energy and exercise drinks and Gatorade wanna-be's. All your body really wants and needs is plain, ol' water. The only thing that your body needs more is oxygen. As temperatures start to rise and you're outside more, water can help prevent dehydration and exhaustion. It's also known to help rev up the metabolism, keep you feeling full longer, and can prevent muscle cramping. It also helps to give you amazing skin!! 

Tip: If you're going on long hikes, scouts or planning to spend an extended period of time outdoors, freeze bottles of water. They'll steadily melt and you'll have cool water throughout the day. (I HATE warm water.)

#2 - Good Shoes
Good shoes can make or break your time outdoors. For any long excursions make sure you wear shoes that are well broken in. The general rule-of-thumb is to replace shoes every 300-500 miles, or every 3 months. For people that don't run often, shoes will last longer but as soon as you notice that the soles are breaking down or the tread looks smooth, invest in a new pair. Also, more than anything, listen to your body. If you start feeling aches and pains in your feet, knees, or back, it's time to begin searching for new shoes. 

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Right now my favorite shoes are the FTHR Shield Running Shoe from Under Armour and the Saucony Triumph. Why 2 pairs? I tend to under-pronate (roll my feet outward) when I walk and run. So, I wear the UA shoes for non-distance activities and the Saucony shoes for any long-distance activity, as they're specifically built for people who under-pronate.  

#3 - Cell Phone
This is a pretty basic one for most people. Just for safety reasons, it never hurts to carry a phone. Most people also live and die by the music in their iTunes account, especially when working out. 

I also have several apps that I use to help keep track of my blood sugars, food & calories, and exercise. My favorite right now is My Fitness Pal. It probably has the most complete database of food and calories ever! Even for those restaurants that don't offer nutrition facts for their meals - this website has them. 

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These are the BEST HAIR TIES EVER. I've had waist-length hair most of my life, so trust me when I tell you that I have tried every single hair tie or hair product imaginable. These are absolutely amazing!!! Most women know how frustrating it is when you can wind a hair tie only twice around your ponytail, but it's still too loose and falls out with any vigorous exercise. These hair ties will stay without pulling your hair or without it being too tight. My 3 year old even prefers them.

#5 - Make Up Forever Aqua Eyeliner and Waterproof Mascara
These items were created specifically for a professional water ballet team. It's proven, and the best of the best. Even if you're going for a long run, eye make-up tends to smear as you sweat. This is completely smear-proof and waterproof, so you can look nice and still sweat like a pig.

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#6- Degree Clinical Deodorant
We often have months of 100+ degree weather during the summer. It's disgusting and hot. You're constantly sweaty and sticky, and that's just from walking from an air-conditioned car to the air-conditioned house. Spending any time outdoors requires hard core stink-proofing. Degree clinical is, by far, my favorite. It also doesn't leave ugly white marks on tank tops.

#7 - Vitamin B, Iron & a daily multi-vitamin
About six months ago I was diagnosed with low vitamin B levels and anemia. I was exhausted all the time, taking naps during the lunch hour and all I could think about was the next time I could cuddle my pillow. In addition to my regular routine of a daily multi-vitamin, I also take sublingual B and iron. Since then I've learned that it's not uncommon for many women to suffer from low B and iron levels, especially during certain times of the month. Even without that knowledge, Vitamin B is still a proven metabolism and energy booster.