Nebraska Doe Hunt: The Princess

I’ve been here for five years, I’m the managing editor of NRA InSights, and I’ve never taken a game animal.

As the daughter of an Army officer who hunted deer whenever he could, I grew up around guns. Although I’m certain my father would have happily taken me hunting if I’d shown the slightest interest, I was much more focused on My Pretty Pony than My First Deer when I was young. Like many women, I didn’t get interested in firearms until I was a bit older—well into my twenties—and even then, I came at it from a self-defense angle.

Working at the NRA certainly broadened and deepened my interest. For the last five years, I’ve read every article that American Hunter published; I’ve talked to my friends and co-workers about hunting; I’ve heard the stories and read reader letters. I’ve got tons of theoretical knowledge about hunting, but, to my shame, no practical knowledge.

Yes, you read that right. I’ve been here for five years, I’m the managing editor of NRA InSights, and I’ve never taken a game animal. I think it’s about time to change that, and so does Hornady Manufacturing. They’ve graciously arranged for me and two of my friends—Kyle Wintersteen of American Hunter fame and Tom Rickwalder, Lead Developer of our E-Media Division—to come out to Grand Island, Ne., to try to take my very first deer during Nebraska’s muzzleloader season.

I have a secret to tell you. I haven’t shared this with any of my co-workers, but I’m going to tell you, my anonymous Internet audience: I’m scared to death. I’m afraid that I’ll make a bad shot and wound an animal. I’m afraid that I’ll act like a wimp and make my hosts sorry they invited me. I’m afraid that I’ll reflect badly on my beloved NRA and on women hunters in general.

And yes, I’m afraid that I’m going to look fat in my camo pants. So sue me.

Our Arrival
After a wonderful run through the airport and a rather precarious landing in Lincoln, we make it safely to our hotel. While we’re checking in, the hotel clerk informs us that the city—the entire city of Lincoln, Ne.—will be closing at six p.m. We landed at 4:30 p.m., and 90 minutes later the city shuts down. Good night.

Good morning. I am all kitted up and ready to go. I knew it was going to be very cold, so for my base layer I’ve brought Cabela’s Women’s Polartec MTP Heavyweight crew and pants with Scent Eliminator. Over that, I have fleece pants and a sweatshirt for a mid layer. Over that, I’m rocking Cabela’s Women’s Dry-Plus Silent Suede pants and coat. I have Cabela’s Women’s Polartec Power Stretch Balaclava for my face and neck, Cabela’s Kids’ Big-Game Fleece Thinsulate GloMitts (I have small hands) for my hands and Cabela’s Outfitter Series hunting boots. Here in the truck, I’m almost uncomfortably warm.

We're heading out for the first morning in the blind....

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