This female hunter feature is for Angie Kokes. Here we go!
Simply put, I was an outdoors girl before it was cool. I came from a hunting and fishing family and married the same, but I am largely self-taught. I learn by doing and I love to mentor others while encouraging them to do the same. I am proficient and hunt with a wide range of weapons including the spear and blowgun. Everything is possible if you have the faith and determination to make it happen.
Why do you hunt and fish?
I hunt & fish for many reasons, conservation, food, the drive it gives me and the simple tradition of it:
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” Genesis 1:26
I cook because I like to make things how I like them to taste, not how a box says it should taste. I am rarely indoors so obviously the outdoors is great!
When was your first hunting trip?
There is a story of me getting knocked on my backside after shooting a 12 gauge when I was 3. My dad stood just far enough back to catch me, and I’ve been on fire ever since.
What do you like most about hunting?
I love everything! Mainly I love that my success or lack thereof depends on me. Obviously, with the more primitive weapons, I use the challenge to hunt an animal gets more and more down to their level, which can be incredibly challenging and is something that drives me to better myself continually. My hunting has most certainly evolved over the years, from filling tags, then trophies, and now more method hunting.
What’s your most memorable hunting experience?
Without a doubt spearing my first whitetail will be ingrained like a tattoo in my head the rest of my life, and it was just a doe! The amount of work/training I had put in, hours in the field, and the challenge alone to take a non-baited whitetail was just insanely difficult. As soon as you think it is easy because as a bow hunter there’s always deer right under you (trust me, I have heard it a thousand times) you’ll soon find out it is anything but easy. The learning curve is off the charts! So, to accomplish it in my first season hunting was incredible. I’ve never been a very emotional hunter, but I was an absolute wreck when I watched that spear hit, and the deer go down.
Do you have a favorite wild game recipe?
Yes! Dove Rissotto! Which is why when September 1st arrives until the doves fly south you will rarely find me anywhere but out in a field with a shotgun or bow filling (yes, we wing shoot doves) my freezer with as many of those tasty breasts as I can!
Do you have a “dream” hunting excursion?
I have never had a bucket list of hunts, and I am content hunting in my own backyard. I would, however, very much like to try and spear a brown bear or grizzly again. I feel like that is something that got left unfinished when I left Alaska after spearing a black bear a couple of years ago.
What would you say to other women who haven’t tried hunting or spending time outdoors yet?
Do it! The opportunities for women getting involved in the outdoors are incredible right now. If a group is not for you then get out there on your own like I did. Never be afraid to make a mistake but take it as a lesson and learn from it.
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