It is August 18, 2017 memories flood my facebook page with the last 10 years of my life and antelope hunting. The journey laid out perfectly in pictures, comments and memories from my friends. From my first antelope hunt, to taking my family on my hunting journey and getting them their first antelope, to meeting friends for the first time, first time archery hunts, first big game kills, building relationships and friendships, building our sisterhood.

A good support system….

You can try hard, you can work hard, you can work harder but sometimes you need good help.

I became a licensed antelope hunting guide this year with the help of a ton of people, my support system.  From family and friends, to colleagues and my employer.  All giving me advice and helping along the way.

When I finally got my license in the mail I needed to find some quality hunting places to take my new clients.  I started  driving through familiar lands hoping to spark something, writing down numbers on posts, trying to remember who was who and where I was at.  It all became very overwhelming.  One day I sat at my desk, frustrated and confused so I decided to try out an app I had heard about, onXmaps. After it was installed on my phone, I began looking at the information it provided, I began calling landowners and recognizing where places were and before I knew it I had some great new places to take my clients.

onXmaps has become one of my biggest support systems in providing me with landowner information and details so I know where I am at all times and will be a big part of my success as a hunting guide this year.

Follow me...big things are coming your way!

I had a vision as a hunting guide.  A vision to create a hunting experience like no others have.  It is about friendship, memories, and family.  Booking the hunts came easy at first.  The annual BBB ladies antelope hunt – SOLD OUT.  The ladies archery antelope hunt – SOLD OUT.   The couples hunt – SOLD OUT.  I wasn’t being greedy, but really needed to book a few more hunts for my season and the youth hunt I offered was not selling very well.  For a short time I felt defeated and lost.  But then I remembered why I was doing this.  All the lessons I have learned.

Not Your Average Hair Stylist

Most people never bat an eye when I tell them I'm a hairstylist. Its a pretty average job in my eyes, especially living in the suburbs of Milwaukee. I have been working behind the chair for 12 years now, and I really enjoy my job. Making people look and feel good is extremely rewarding. The time I get with each of my clients is 100% all about them, from the service itself to the conversations we have building our trust. When we get to that point in our relationship and the conversation shifts and my clients want to know more about my hobbies and interests, they soon find out that I'm not your average hairstylist!

Up to this point I already had a productive bow hunting season.  I had harvested two does.  Buck fever got the best of me in the early part of bow season and I missed a monster buck.  I had numerous encounters with other decent bucks, but couldn’t seal the deal on any.  I was patiently saving vacation days until I thought the time was right.  I want to think that I am becoming more knowledgeable at hunting whitetail, but I think luck plays a part also.  I had been watching the weather and a front was going to move through the state later in the week.  I thought this may be a good time to take off.  The buck activity had also been picking up.  I knew a particular area where a monster buck had been seen regularly.  I had always wanted to hunt this area, so I thought I would give it a try.  I hunted the area early in the week one evening & saw several doe, but nothing came close enough.  Later in the week when the front was moving through, I decided to give it another try.  I set up in the evening.  I didn’t see a thing.  I left my climber and decided I would give it another try in the morning.  It rained most of the night.  I kept a close watch on the radar.  As it got closer to time to getting up I had to make the decision of going in to work or getting a little wet.  It looked like the rain wouldn’t last much longer.  I just had this gut feeling I needed to be in a tree when it did quit raining.  So I put my rain gear on and headed out.  By the time I got to my tree the rain had let up and it was just a light drizzle.  I pulled my bow up and got situated.

My hunting journey started when I was just a young girl. I was fortunate enough to have a father who was willing to let his daughter sit with him in his deer stand and talk his ear off, while constantly moving around on opening morning of WI deer hunting. Our early mornings and late evenings together during deer season is where some of my best hunting lessons came from. For my 12th birthday my father bought me my first shotgun. That was my going to be my first year being able to hunt with a gun. I practiced with that shot gun all summer, completed my hunter safety course and was ready for the November rut and opening morning. This was the first time where I got be the hunter and my father was the one talking my ear off. One of the best things he told me in the stand that opening day was, " Sarah make sure you always look beyond your target before you shoot." That day I shot my first whitetail deer. That lesson my dad taught me has held true for me my entire youth, and still holds true for me today.

So you have went on your first duck hunt and now your hooked. You watched the guide sweet talk those birds down out of the big sky to give you that opportunity to harvest your ducks. Now you would like to be a part of that. You want to be able to call ducks in also. With so many choices in the market how do you pick out a call?

There are several major duck call makers and they all make a good call. There are also a lot of individuals that make there own calls. Some of those are really good and some not so much. I would recommend starting out with a call from a reputable call maker. Echo, RNT, Hobo, Refuge, Elite are just a few proven duck calls on the market, although there are many more that are well known calls too.

Everyone has heard the saying “if there is a will there is a way”.  There is so much truth to that statement, especially for me in the way I started my hunting journey.

I came from a farming family.  Both of my grandparents were row crop and cattle farmers.  My dad followed suit in his younger days until he gave up row crop farming for pipeline work.   So being in the outdoors was always in my blood, but not so much from a hunting standpoint.  One of my grandpa’s was a hunter and the other grandpa loved to fish.  I believe that is why hunting was in my blood even though I did not grow up doing that.   I always had a love for nature and the outdoors, but it wasn’t until later in life that my desire to become a hunter was fulfilled.

I grew up in a family full of hunters, and hunting and fishing, and the outdoors.  I wish I would have learned to appreciate all of the experiences in front of me before now.  I guess that is why they call this a life lesson.  You learn from things in your previous years, hope to not make the same mistake and then pass these lessons on to others.   I have great memories of my childhood, hunting into my forties and the journey in between that has brought me to my passion in life.

Last summer I was planning my first ever Wisconsin black bear hunt. I was beyond excited, as it took me 7 years to finally draw a tag! So much time and effort was put into baiting and checking trail cameras all summer long.

I set up my stand near a creek bottom, where it was extremely wet and swampy. The cover was so thick, many times I even took the wrong trail leading to my bait pile. I had several bears throughout the summer hitting my bait at all hours of the day. I had the perfect spot, everything was good to go.