Me, wearing RealTree Camo jeans & top (for that slimming "all camo" look), RealTree glittens (hunting mittens with pop-off tops, that have adorable little magnets to hold the tops back), RealTree Pink polarized sunglasses, RealTree Pink rhinestone-encrusted handbag with rhinestone Hello Kitty charm, 6" camo spike platform heels with pink rivets, my Armed Hello Kitty pendant, and, to complete The Glunting Look, Maybelline Color Show nail lacquer in Pinkalicious, & Flirt! lip gloss in Coral Me Fabulous. (Note: You CANNOT mix RealTree and Mossy Oak in one outfit- they clash. LOL) Here's the best part: my US Army Retired, 3.5 tours Vietnam Vet Tough Guy hubs thinks I'm nuts, (of course), BUT he actually went to Wal-Mart to get me the pink nail polish- and got Just the right color! Amazing man! :-) NOTE: Wait till you see the posts of me in my REAL hunting gear: hunting bibs, parka, thermals, Frogg Toggs Rain Suit, wool socks, hunting boots, & Elmer Fudd hat... I look like the Michelin Tire Woman. LOL)
While hubs is a very experienced and successful big game meat hunter, who has hunted in Alaska, Canada, Korea, & Virginia, among other places, I am a newbie huntress, and this will be my first time big game hunting. (I've done some pheasant hunting in upstate NY & with hubs in Korea, but although I shot At pheasants (and ate the pheasants my hunting partners Did land), I never actually landed one myself... Trust me- hitting a bird on the wing ain't easy!) Hunting together is something hubs and I have talked & dreamed about doing for a decade- since we met in 2001, actually- as I've always wanted to seriously learn to hunt for meat, and he is THE guy to teach me! I have "talked the talk" about hunting for decades, because I have hunted and fished, and I know that hunters and fishing folk are THE best conservationists on the planet because they REALLY care about taking care of the environment- but I need to actually "walk the walk" at least once in my life. I need to bring down an animal, butcher it, and eat it. Or find out that I can't. But one way or the other, I have to do this. Steaks do not arrive by magic in your supermarket in a hermetically sealed Styrofoam box. Steaks are animals that are killed and butchered before they wind up on your grill. As carnivores, we owe it to ourselves to "walk the walk" at least once in our lives so we "get it". I've done it with fish, but warm-blooded big game are a whole different kettle of fish, as they say.
But hunting in AK- where we originally wanted to go, as we both Love AK- hubs from living and hunting there for years while in the US Army, and me from 6 amazing weeks with the USCG as an Official USCG Artist (plug in "Elisse Jo Goldstein" and many of my 35 paintings in the USCG Art Collection will come up) and fishing in Kodiak- has become SO expensive that it's now only for the super-rich and independently wealthy: $15,000 PER PERSON for a one week, two person, one animal hunt?! But in Canada, hunts are still affordable for "normal people", and in British Columbia, Canada you can do a 2 person, 2 moose fully-guided hunt for about $8500- which, while expensive, is something that is at least Possible For Normal People to save up for. Over a year ago, when we found what we thought would be a great fully-guided hunt in BC, Canada (through posts I made on TripAdvisor's Canada forums), we decided that we'd better do this ASAP- while 1) we were still in good enough physical shape to do it, and 2) we still Wanted to do it! So Now Was The Time! As soon as we made the down payment on the hunt I went into Serious Trip Planning Mode, which meant plotting the 10-day drive to BC, Canada via www.mapquest.com in such a way that we could both use our 1000s of accrued hotel points for free hotel stays, and see and do a lot of cool stuff on the way! It also meant Shopping. :-) There was a LOT of stuff we truly needed for this hunt, including cold weather sleeping bags (that zip together- because he's my hubs and the love of my life, and I want to sleep in his arms even in the wilderness! ESPECIALLY in the wilderness!), hunting bibs and jackets, long underwear, hunting Glittens (glove-mittens with pop-off-tops), hunting boots, rain gear to go over our hunting bibs, hunting hats and socks, hunting knives, ammo, and a rifle for me that I could shoot accurately, but which wouldn't be so high-powered that it would flip me head-over-arse like Dan's did... (and no, that experience was Not a lot of fun. The blood running down my cheek freaked out a lot of people at the VA winery. LOL) Naturally, I also want to make a Major Style Statement, and so I began hunting on Cabela's and Wingsupply.com, as well as other hunting sites, to find what I Really wanted, and then on eBay & Overstock.com to try to score bargains!
The first thing we did was buy me a rifle- a Lady Savage- at Cabela's. Bob, the really knowledgeable guy at the Charleston, WV Cabela's, was Extremely helpful, and spent a LOT of time giving me a great deal of info and advice over the phone, and so Cabela's won our business. With all my wonderful research I was hoping to buy a used rifle with a short stock at Cabela's- perhaps a "youth" hunting rifle, or a "package" that included the rifle and the scope. Not happening. If you want a rifle with a short stock you have but one choice: a brand, spanking new Lady Savage. I went in expecting to pay $400 for a rifle and a scope, and wound up spending $1000 for the Lady Savage rifle, the Nikon scope, and a "shooting stick", which I can rest my rifle on to help my accuracy. It was great to get it all in one place, but financially it was a Truly Big Ouch... The funny part was seeing the Bubblegum Pink 22 Rifle at Cabela's. It is Too Freaking Cute- the Barbie Rifle to beat all- and I would have opted for it in a heartbeat, but a 22 is NOT going to bring down a moose! So I either have to bling out my Lady Savage with rhinestones and a glue gun, a la Martha Stewart, or just hang my Hello Kitty charm off the strap. LOL
The next thing I did was score the stuff we Truly need for this hunt: After a stupid amount of time-consuming online research (which I actually enjoy, as I am OCD... LOL), price-comparing, & perusing size charts and online reviews, I ordered the following things: zip-together sleeping bags, matching (LOL) RealTree Camo hunting bibs and jackets, pink thermals for me :-), Hunting socks (pink camo for me, normal stuff for Dan), a long-sleeved camo top for me (for that slimming "all camo" look), hunting "glittens" (glove-mittens) with pop-off tops & little magnets... Then I said "wot the hell" and got a roll of camo duct tape (because if I still have to bandage my wounded legs, by gum I am going to do it in style...) & a compact of camo face paint, so I can "be like a tree" and disappear into the woods- or not, depending on where & how I wear it. :-) WingSupply.com was an EXCELLENT source- best prices, and their customer service was superb- I highly recommend them! Cabelas.com was also great, and so was Overstock.com- I really have no complaints about any of the companies I ordered from!
On eBay I scored the Cabela's HER hunting boots and a fur-lined hunting hat (tres Elmer Fudd) that I really wanted, for Way less than retail (good women's hunting gear is Insanely expensive...), and RealTree Camo jeans (Note: I have No Problem with Gently Used Clothes, dating back to my 1975 NYC Antique Boutique days...), as well as some incredibly cool fun stuff: 6" camo spike platform heels with pink rivets, a RealTree & Pink rhinestone-encrusted handbag, RealTree & Pink polarized sunglasses, a huge Hello Kitty rhinestone purse charm & Hello Kitty Camo shirt, & the classic "Hello Kitty with a Rifle" pendant. Yes, Virginia, they really do make this stuff! Google "Hello Kitty Camo" and a LOT of stuff come up. Google "Real Tree Pink" and even MORE stuff comes up. When I saw the RealTree taffeta ball gown on eBay ($220) I almost wet myself with longing! LOL I have a dark brown velvet Coldwater Creek gown I got at Goodwill, which I think will look Absolutely Fabulous with those heels and that purse! :-)
Our plan is to drive from WV to northern BC, Canada, which is a 10 day trip, towing a freezer in the pick-up truck to (hopefully) bring back all that moose meat- moose kebabs are EXCELLENT! So naturally our chest freezer up and died, and Dan had to go out and buy us a new one- one big enough to hopefully bring back 1000 lbs. of moose meat!
After Boo-Boo Goldstein got her very own rifle, Hunter Dan and I piled His & Hers into the UTV & rode up into the wilderness of the McDowell County mountains, had a picnic, stuck targets up on a tree with duct tape, and practiced shooting. And, if I say so myself, I didn't do half bad! I learned that yes, I can still shoot, and still make Very Nice Groupings- meaning I can hopefully hit what I'm aiming at when the pedal hits the metal!
Where & how we ATV! With an axe!
Hubs, doing his thang!
His and Hers!
Why we live in McDowell County WV! Yes, it is freakin' gorgeous!
"Nice grouping" :-)
And now we're getting ready for our AbFab Glunting trip! Woohoo!