By Jenna Taylor
Photos by Hunter Forbes
Hunter and I started the 16-plus-hour trek to Hutchinson, Kansas at the beginning of February. Headed to yet another hunting trip of the year, this time was a bit different. Instead of being the only girl in the blind, I would be one of six waterfowl hunters, all female. Oddly enough, the owner of Big Kansas Outdoors, Ben Webster, his guides and Hunter were the minority this time.
We got in town that night and before heading to the cabin, we all met up at a little barbecue joint to have dinner. It was the night before our first hunt, and we were excited to all be together and share a couple days of hunting in a prime location for lesser Canadas and Specklebelly geese.
Every single one of us was from a different state—Illinois, California, Texas, North Carolina, Florida, Alabama and Nebraska. I’m sure you’re wondering what in the world got us all together. Simply put, it was the power of social media. Each of us has a strong following on Instagram and had spoken through messages and comments before. From there, we had met at various trade shows and through companies that we worked with in the outdoor industry.
It would be our second year hunting together, plus or minus a few girls. It is my favorite trip of all, being in February and after everyone’s hunting season was coming to an end. It always allows us to chat about our hunting stories of the year and plan for the following year.
The guys at Big Kansas Outdoors would be our guides for the next few days, and they didn’t fall short of any expectations that we had. The first morning we had a 3 a.m. wake up call. After all seven of us girls spent time getting ready out of the one bathrooms that we had to share, we headed to the gas station for coffee and to meet the guides. We drove two trucks and spent 15 minutes that morning jamming out to ‘90s hits before the guides arrived. A hilarious, entertaining and oddly hyper morning, followed by our arrival to the winter wheat field that we would be hunting over.
The first day, we left the field with 40 geese and were ecstatic. The guide, Austin Moffet, did an impressive job at calling and getting the geese to land right on the spread where we wanted them. At one point, hundreds of geese were 20 yards above our heads and all around us. At this point my eyes were huge, my jaw dropped, and I tapped him on the shoulder to show him my excitement and eagerness. It was an incredible sight to say the least.
The second day, we were surprised when we arrived to see about a dozen people getting the blind and decoys set up. Unknowingly, Ben Webster had all of his guides come hunt with us. Hunting with 17 people is very rare, as it is difficult to hide that many hunters. At the same time, it’s just that much more fun. They set us up in A-frame blinds, which made us essentially look like a standalone tree line. That day would be one for the books, one that none of us will ever forget. Not only did we see thousands of birds, the guides worked them all around us and ended the day with a 17-man limit. The mood that morning radiated. It would be the best hunt of our lives. The people, amount of birds, the atmosphere…it was unrivaled.
Throughout my life, I’ve mainly hunted with men—my grandpa, dad, uncles, etc. I’m still getting used to being with a group of girls who all share the same passion for the outdoors and hunting. It’s not the norm, but we sure are working towards it. The conversations, the bellyaching laughs, the unforgettable memories that we made those two days. The friendships cultivated and the incredible hunts that we got to experience. That right there will go down in my history book.
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