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Field Notes

All-Ladies Muzzleloaders Hunt Brings Fun & Friendship

By Brenda Valentine
First Lady of Hunting®

December 15, 2010

December 15th I traveled to central Nebraska for a long-awaited all ladies muzzleloader hunt. The hunt was planned early last spring with Mark Elpers who owns ElperzTime Outdoor Connections. ElperzTime helps hunters book with the right outfitter, book travel, get licensing, etc. for whatever their dream hunt may be.

Mark's right hand, Patty Fairchild, actually did most of the detail work. After much discussion, it was agreed that Nebraska Trophy Bucks 'N Birds would be a great place to invite a group of women wanting a quality hunting experience. Although it was a typically cold part of the season and we would be hunting with front-stuffin' firearms, we could shoot either a whitetail or a mule deer. Nebraska hunting licenses are sold over the counter at a reasonable price which is a big plus these days.

Our hosts, Jim Kuhn and Scott & LaCaylla Fink, were fantastic for our group. The lodge was sparkling clean with plenty of room for all the gear required for cold weather hunting. LaCaylla served up some of the finest meals I've ever enjoyed in a hunting camp.

Although every lady came from different walks of life, each contributed a valuable element to the group. It was a good mix of age and experience. A couple of things we all shared was a to-the-core enthusiasm for hunting and a genuine southern accent! Everyone hailed from southeastern states. Thanks to Mark Elpers and Nebraska Trophy Bucks 'N Birds for bringing ladies together who departed as friends.
Kristin Booth
This huge 19-point non-typical whitetail was taken by Kristin Booth from Alabama on the first morning of the hunt.  It was Kristin's first muzzleloader kill.

$ Ladies, 4 Deer
As can easily be seen, this was a super successful hunt. Friendships were formed, memories were made, trophies were taken and confidence was gained. This is what hunting is all about! Watch this hunt next season on Bass ProShops' 100% Real Hunting TV show on Verses Network.
The high racked 9-pt whitetail buck I took was prime and fat. Scott and LaCaylla made him into jerky for their spring turkey hunters to enjoy. The cameraman and I used rolls of hay in an open pasture for cover. The deer never noticed us there. I used my Ultimate muzzleloader with Triple 7 pellets, RedHead Expedition Fleece outerwear in Mossy Oak Infinity pattern, Vanguard binoculars and shooting stick.
Lauren Der held steadfast in her quest for a nice mule deer and was certainly rewarded the last day for her diligence. This was Lauren's first muzzeloader buck and her first mule deer. She was our tiny trooper gal who traveled from Florida on her Christmas break to do one of the things she enjoys most, hunting!
Kristin Booth set the bar high for the rest of us with her monster whitetail. She and guide, Scott Fink, spotted this old buck early the first morning in the sand hills. They ran, crawled and stalked several hours before Kristin could get a shot. The 19-pt sports 7 brow tines so everyone calls him old No 7. I predict that Kristin's smile has become permanent, it sure was all week while we were in Nebraska!
Pat Lucas got a very old buck with unique rack that she fondly nicknamed Harley because of his handle bar right beam. She made a fantastic almost 200-yd shot.  Pat is a tough hunter that also handles a tough job in the corporate world. 

Scott Fink and Brenda
Scott Fink lends a hand with dragging my buck to the truck.

Dinner Table Viewing
Each evening we gathered around the dinner table to check out  pictures taken that day. Left- Right; Joe Parker, my Bass Pro videographer, Pat Lucas from Roanoke, VA and Lauren Der from Plant City, FL.

We saw a ton of game in the wooded pockets and creek bottoms scattered through the huge expanses of sand hills such as this flock of Merriam's turkeys.


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