Huntress in Red

Hello everyone! I am very excited to be writing a blog for the television series Queens of Camo and share my hunting and outdoor experience with you all! First off a little bit of a background on me. My name is Brandi Jo, born and raised in central Wisconsin. I have been hunting for several years and have been greatly involved in the outdoors since the time I could wrap my hands around a fishing pole. I am located in central WI and I am currently in the United States Air Force (Reserves). However, I started off active duty specializing in Intelligence and came to the reserves roughly 3 years ago to come home and immerse myself further into hunting and fishing in the great state of WI! I am an avid trap shooter and compete 9 months out of the year including at the state and national levels. Additionally, I am an extremely devoted duck and goose hunter (it’s my life). I do like to pick up the bow and go after turkey, deer, and bear. That’s not all! I also enjoy gun and muzzleloader hunting and this past winter I have started predator hunting and I was able to bag my first coyote! During the winter months you can mostly find me shooting in archery competitions and participating in the many programs that I am a part of, I am a current member of Women Fish Too, Monarch Outdoors and soon to be part of the Undercover Sportsman Team. I am part founder of Delta Drop Tine Outdoors and take great pride in what we do as we are veterans helping veterans in the outdoors. I am dedicated to helping others with gun handling, shooting and hunting, it gives me the greatest feeling and is extremely rewarding. I am a coach for my local youth trap club along with being the State of Wisconsin AIM Director (which is the youth trap shooting association for Amateur Trap Shooting Association.) Furthermore I am an instruction for introduction to trap shooting classes and for the Central Wisconsin Youth Heritage Days. I am also involved in many groups such as: Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Walleyes for Tomorrow , Whitetails Unlimited and a dedicated NRA member. Now, enough about me! Grab some hot chocolate and get ready for story time!
I got a late start into hunting, I started fishing as early as I could remember but my family does not have a background in guns or hunting. It was 2005 and I was 16 years of age and a family friend ask me one day, “Hey, want to go duck hunting this year?” The next day I was getting signed up for hunters safety class. At first, I thought I was nuts! I am too old to get into hunting and learning how to shoot a gun. Through words of encouragement I stuck it through and finally passed the class and went out with a shotgun to learn gun safety and how to shoot. The first gun I shot was a 20 gauge Winchester 1300 (which now I own and still hunt with time to time) when it came down to shooting, we places old pop cans on stumps and hung some from branches and right away I was hitting them! I didn’t want to stop, I fell in love instantly and couldn’t wait to go duck hunting. My first day out ducking hunting, it was a beautiful sunny day on Lake Wausau, opening day of the year 2005 and I couldn’t wait to shoot at a duck! The day was filled with learning patience and being quite. Ducks flew over and I was scared to shoot, my new hunting partner says, “Ok the next one is yours, Brandi Jo are you ready to kill a duck?” I laughed and said, “I think so.” A few minutes passed and a woody came in right down the center of our pocket. Put up the gun, safety went off and boom. I picked up my head and there was a duck doing flips through the air and SPLASH into the water. There were a few moments of silence and then my hunting partner and I look at each other and I had the biggest grin on my face and started to giggle. I was so excited! The adrenaline rush, the excitement, I could feel the blood moving through my veins. At that instant I knew ducking hunting will consume my life.
Forward to this year, my best friend, hunting partner, trap shooting partner, partner in crime Kyle. Kyle is the hardcore deer hunter and archer, constantly made fun of me for ducking hunting and always said it was easy. So I challenged him, he comes to duck camp and learns the ins and outs and whoever shoots the most ducks gets hunting spot choice. He agreed. I get him all set up with good shells and all the licenses and we wait for the day to come for deer camp. This is really the first time I get to teach someone from scratch all about duck hunting. I have taken out youth for the youth ducks hunts but none of them have been new to the sport, so this was extremely exciting for me. We get to camp shortly after noon and debate on hunting that afternoon. After looking through migration reports and the weather we decide to go for it. We get to our spot we are going to hunt and I explain to him about setting up your spot and about decoy placement. We get all settled in and get our guns loaded and do a few calls and right away we have ducks on the horizon. A pack of ring bills start to work our decoys, one pass… two passes… I go to Kyle next pass we are shooting. Third pass, boom, boom, boom. Splash, splash, splash. I look over at him and he’s smiling as big as a little kid on Christmas. Right then and there I knew we was going to be hooked just like I was my first time duck hunting. We ended up getting both our limits in ring bills, although he wouldn’t clean them we sat and watched how and helped out a little bit. It was such an amazing time just like any time you are out hunting. We stayed out for a bit and watched the sunset fall and just sat there in piece and quite listening to the sounds of nature and took in what mother nature has to offer. I have learned through the years that hunting it not about just going out and getting the most ducks or the biggest buck. It’s about bonding with those close to you and connecting with nature. There is nothing better than sitting in a climbing in the middle of the woods on open day for deer and watching the snow slowly fall and cover the ground and the trees. Everything is quiet and peaceful and all your senses are heightened. You see things you never noticed before, and hear things you never heard before. The laugh of a squirrel, the snow falling from the tree tops as the morning sun melts it, the small little twig breaking beneath the weight of a human or animal. My church is the woods. I can go there and relax, think about things alone and just be at peace. No cell phone, nobody there to talk to you, no TV, nothing just you, your thoughts and Mother Nature. Nothing seems to matter, everything seems perfect for those few hours until your pulled back into the real world of work, social media, and materialistic things. As I am sure most hunters can agree on there is nothing better than just sitting there in your stand and just taking it all in, and if that big freak buck comes in its just all the more emotions to take in.
My last story I want to share from you is a story everyone loves and asks me to tell on a weekly basis. March of 2014, it is my off time from trap shooting competitions and in between hunting season so I move into archery tournaments for fun. This particular tournament is called a retro. You and a partner (that is picked from a hat) use a bow that is 20 years old or older and shoot 3D targets. I decided to use a friend’s old Fred Bear Whitetail bow the day before. I was nervous, to say the least. Went to my local Gander Mountain and get it all sighted in. I was pretty confident, 10-30 yards I was pretty spot on. The next day me and a friend go to the tournament hoping that we will be picked for partners. My luck comes out and we have different partners and he’s 6 lanes down from me. First few targets are going ok some 6 points and some 8. Not doing the greatest at the longer yards, but it seems to be the same way for the entire group. Come up to my 5th target, it’s a bedded down doe about 8 yards out. I am thinking, perfect! Pick up my bow, nock my arrow and pull back. Get on target and feeling good about this shot. Take my breath and release. Stared right at that doe, but wait where is my arrow? Look at my partner and he looks at me with a jaw dropped white as a ghost face and says, “Brandi Jo, look down”. I look down and there is my arrow, still nocked to my string and sticking through my left hand. I didn’t even feel it. So we get the arrow off my bow and find my friend so I can go to the clinic, after numerous pictures and some laughs I got in the truck and went up to get the arrow out of my hand. After I got released from the clinic with a bloody arrow in my hand I went back to shoot to cheer on everyone else shooting. So now what everyone wants to know! The arrow was a brand new arrow from a major company and had a weak point and it ended up snapping when I hit my release. The arrow was safety tested before I shot it and was sent in to the manufacture after it was removed from my hand and was deemed a faulty arrow. My hand is fine now! I just missed my major tendon and it bumped up right next to the bone and now I only have some nerve damage. It took 7 weeks till I could pull my bow back and start shooting again but now I am back full time and working on getting my poundage up and being comfort to where I was before!
Thanks for taking time to read my stories! I hope you like them and I can write more for you all to read! Stay safe. Hunt strong. God Bless
Brandi Jo “Huntress in Red”

Feb 13, 2015 | Category: Blog, Brandi Jo's Corner | Comments: none


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