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!!!
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.
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?
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?
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 www.FromtheDraw.com
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.
Oh and I have to give a shout out to Huntography.com. 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.
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.”