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Author Topic: Interview with Nancy Jo Adams by Beaglepup  (Read 609 times)

Offline TalkHunting Mag

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Interview with Nancy Jo Adams by Beaglepup
« on: March 03, 2013, 05:25:07 PM »
Recently I had the opportunity to talk with Nancy Jo Adams, driving force behind Ladies In Camo.

Just like most ladies she started hunting with her husband, Richard, who introduced her to hunting in late December 2006. He had asked her many times over their years together and had even purchased a hunting license for her in the few years leading up to her actual first trip to the woods as wishful thinking. Usually her reply routinely was, "No, I am not going to go sit in the woods in that uncomfortable metal stand, in the cold, waiting for an unsuspecting animal to happen along just to shoot it." It just did not make any sense to her.

Honestly agreeing to go hunt with her Husband equated to the fact that, since they would get home after dark, they would probably ride into town for dinner, and she wouldn't have to cook. Nancy Jo took a deep breath and agreed to “go along”.

For her first trip into the deer stand she donned a pair of borrowed hunting pants, an old dark green Henley, a camouflage jacket Richard handed her, tan leather gloves, an old camouflage ball cap and her Timberland hikers. I am sure all lady hunters can surely remember this hodge-podge of thrown together clothes (we had to all been a sight and it is a wonder we ever saw those first deer).  My own first trips afield found me in an orange toboggan, blue jeans, farm boots and a tan jacket that I wore to the dairy barn.

They hunted out of a shooting house on a green-field that afternoon and as luck would have it, a nice 8-point buck came to the edge of the field to work a scrape. They watched as Richard explained to her what it was doing. He asked her, "Do you want to shoot it?"  She replied, "I don't think so." He encouraged her, "That is a nice buck and would make an awesome first buck for anyone. You sure you don't want to shoot it?" She didn't reply. In her head she told me, “I was contemplating the fact that if I shot this beautiful animal, could I live with the fact that I took its life”. She waited a little too long to make her decision because the buck walked off the field into the woods. She remembered feeling that it took the weight off of her for the moment.

“Within a few minutes, several does started coming out onto the field. Richard said, ‘That buck will come back out. Trade seats with me in case you decide to shoot.’  As we settled back into our chairs, the buck stepped back out onto the field. This time, I didn't have time to think. Richard put the gun up in the window and was still holding it. He said, ‘If you want to shoot him, now is the time.’ I took the rifle and held it for a minute or two as the buck walked a little further into the field. Richard gave me a quick once over about the safety, scope, trigger and where to aim. I looked through the scope and he asked ‘Can you see through it good? Can you see the entire circle? Can you see the crosshairs? Don't shoot unless you see the entire ring clearly and have the cross-hairs where you want the bullet to hit.’ He asked one more time, and he was so close I could feel him breathing on me, and his arm was touching me. I bumped his arm with mine and said, ‘Move. Give me some room. I am going to shoot.’ I think he held his breath. I really do.  I placed the cross hairs where I wanted to shoot like he told me. He said, ‘Just squeeze, and don’t pull.’ I remember hearing that as I squeezed. BOOOOMMM! WOW!! That was EXTREMELY loud. My ears were ringing instantly. All I remember seeing was the buck jump and kick out like a horse and then a white flash of rump high-tailing it out of there. Richard said ‘GOOD SHOT!!’ with excitement. All I could think of was how loud that sound was. I said, ‘My ears are ringing. That was loud.’ He said, ‘Yeah.... You got him’.”

Well, somewhere Nancy Jo remembered either reading or hearing that you are supposed to wait to trail your deer. How long she didn't know. She told me that day, that was not the case. Richard took the rifle from her, ejected the casing and put the safety on, and he was down the steps of the shooting house in two leaps, with excitement in his voice shouting for her to "Come on!"

She was still in a state of not knowing how to feel about taking the life of this animal and her ears were still ringing. When they retrieved the buck, she was the one who found him. After some hugs, 3 cell phone calls Richard made, and a few photos, they were back at the lodge.

The next day, she was on the computer looking up everything she could find on hunting. It was clearly a madness, a bug that took over like a sickness. She had to research and learn everything she could. She claimed she had to get back to the woods, and this time she wanted to do it herself. Three weeks later she harvested her second buck, a ten point, sitting alone in a tripod. Now, she was bitten and forever plagued with this sport called hunting. Yet, it was Richard's fault, he created this monster.

Although we would all like to, we don't make our living hunting, and Nancy Jo is no exception. She is a certified paralegal and has worked in the practice of Real Property since 1991 and works full-time in a law firm in Montgomery, Alabama.

It is pretty much a given that her husband, Richard, is her favorite hunting partner. Even though they are husband and wife spending a large portion of our time together, when it comes to hunting, they are a team, a partnership of a different sort. They travel many miles and spend countless hours together. She said one of the best parts is that their strengths and weaknesses complement each other. Richard rarely hunts because he laid his gun and bow down in 2010 to pick up a video camera; he now experiences hunting in a whole different realm, “he has to get the perfect shot of the perfect shot."  She claims they both are hardheaded, thick skinned, competitive and determined, which are only assets on the journey they are on. Nancy Jo states “Our motto is ‘Success is when opportunity, perseverance and luck collide’."

When she was asked what part of hunting was the most rewarding, she replied: “It is a culmination of things that make hunting rewarding for me. Everything from the preparation, the challenge, and the time spent in the outdoors; the people I share it with; to the actual harvest and putting the meat on my table, I have been fortunate to have more than my fair share of luck in harvesting game and for this I am ever grateful. Each new hunt is a new challenge, a chance to experience a whole new situation and possible outcome.”

Nancy Jo holds herself to a high ethical standard and respects the law of nature and is always thankful for a harvest, respecting the animal even after the harvest. It is her personal creed to make every effort to pass that on to those she comes in contact with. 

 As women who hunt know it can be very frustrating participating in a sport that is still primarily male driven and Nancy Jo still struggles with this is the question the most. I have been fortunate enough not to hit any roadblocks or hardships in this sport, but she has heard horror stories about what others have experienced and feels lucky not to have to have had to deal with some of the same issues. Maybe it is her character or her tough skin, but she just doesn’t get the animosity that some women experience. Besides, if she did, those causing it would only get a challenge or a debate because it is just her nature.

 She says: “I am also fortunate that I came into the sport of hunting at the same time that the industry was starting to boom with the increase in the women's hunting demographic. Products that were designed for women, such as hunting clothes, footwear, and shorter draw bows were hitting the market monthly. It also helped that I was a product review specialist publishing articles, so I was kept abreast of new product releases before they ever hit the market.”

When talking about “Ladies in Camo” she said harvesting her first two bucks were enough to get her excited about hunting, but her first few turkey hunts were enough to make her fall in love with hunting. What she experienced on those first few turkey hunts was something she truly wished EVERY woman could experience just one time. If they didn't enjoy it, no problem, it just wasn't their "thing."

She wanted to share with her friends, of which only a few had ever hunted, all of the beauty, excitement and total peace that she had experienced. She also wanted them to experience the passion that she had for hunting and the outdoors and how it felt to provide food for your own table.

She really wanted to share this sport with other women, so she sought out organizations like the NWTF's Women in the Outdoor and Becoming an Outdoor Woman. Those were fun and informative events, but they were more of an instructional and fund raising type events--SHE WANTED TO HUNT. After searching and searching, she found it difficult to actually find hunts she could attend, or better yet, afford. In the fall of 2008, she decided if she could not find hunts she would just coordinate her own. That is what she did...only coordinating a few her first year to nearly 25 hunts across the United States scheduled in 2012. 

THUS, Ladies in Camo was born.  The mission of LIC is to provide women hunters with affordable hunts in an encouraging atmosphere; mentoring and advocating positive hunting ethics, effective conservation principles while promoting the hunting heritage. LIC's goal is to supply information through the publication of useful articles, product reviews, and through sharing the hunting experiences of others.

Women are usually the last one in the household to splurge on themselves; it is just our nature. It is also true that most women are not the sole breadwinners in the household, but, in a typical household, they are the backbone, or the glue that holds the household together. It was important to make those hunts not only affordable but also to make them conveniently located where women could easily travel.

LIC has been very fortunate to have quality outfitters who are adamant about promoting women in the sport of hunting. These outfitters have been more than willing to offer their hunting packages at a discounted rate in an effort of encouraging and mentoring women in hunting. They have told her time and time again how much easier a group of women is to hunt with than a group of men. Women don't have to harvest; they can witness a squirrel, a bobcat or some other animal in their natural environment and tell their story with passion in their voices.

I asked Nancy Jo what she would like to see Ladies in Camo become in five years and she replied:  “I envision a regional host/representative in every state and hunt offerings in those states. I also have some ideas for some instructional events that will truly encourage those women who are novice or have never had the opportunity to shoot a gun or bow. It is my goal to host a hunter annually through a scholarship hunt or drawing. I am currently working on building a staff that not only can host hunts in the various states but who can also contribute to the website with writings and instructional articles.

LIC currently has logo wear and will soon be offering its own line of custom made licensed turkey calls by Jeff Wade at Roost Em Calls. They will also be carrying their own line of LIC licensed Busted Arrow Jewelry and many more licensed products are in negotiation. She is excited about them, and the future surely looks bright for LIC.  LIC 1 booth pic

We then turned back to hunting, and she told me that every hunt has a special place in her heart but the one that truly brought her to tears and a flood of emotions was her Minnesota bear hunt. She was fortunate enough to find out about Bowhunters of Alabama (BHA-www.alabamabowhunter.com) during her first year of hunting because it was her goal to harvest an animal with a rifle, bow, muzzleloader and shotgun. BHA taught her through 3-D archery competitions how to effectively shoot a bow in various hunting conditions. The people she met through BHA became mentors and were gracious with their time and coaching.

At her very first 3-D shoot in June 2008, on the third target, a standing black bear, she remembered bellowing out a growl and saying to my group, "I am going to shoot a bear one day just like that one with my bow ." Of course, they all laughed. There she was, a novice shooter at her first 3-D shoot, making a statement that she was going to shoot an animal that even some folks that have hunted for years have never harvested.

She did just that! In the early fall of 2010, she coordinated a women's bear hunt and five women traveled to Minnesota to bow hunt black bear. Her hunt was storybook perfect and her bear was absolutely beautiful and was the perfect size to make a nice half mount for her wall. You can read all about that hunt on her personal blog at http://njadams1.wordpress.com/2010/09/13/1653/  She added that bear meat is DIVINE, and she cannot wait to harvest another one. LIC actually has an economical bear hunt scheduled in Maine this fall.

Nancy personally wants to invite every woman interested in hunting, regardless of whether  you are a first-timer or a veteran, to visit the Ladies in Camo website at www.ladiesincamo.com and browse the articles and stories; search the calendar for hunts and sign up for a hunt. While you are at it, make sure to check out the logo wear and wear your passion proudly. Check the website often for new stories, articles and store items and to see who this week's Featured Huntress might be. She even encourages others to send in their writings, stories and photos to us for publication. Email those to tailsofthehunt@ladiesincamo.com.

Not only does Ladies in Camo offer women's hunts, they also offer hunts for couple and the prices are often less than 2 for the price of one. Right now they have a great Kansas muzzleloader Whitetail hunt, an Alabama Whitetail archery hunt and an Arkansas duck hunt to offer to hunting couples. They have just about every type weapon and game you may be seeking to hunt and even several combo hunts: turkey, pheasant, duck, gator, hog, deer, bear, and even deep sea fishing trips. The hunts scheduled in over half a dozen states from Florida to Missouri and from Maine to California. Next year they hope to add antelope and possibly an elk hunt.

Everyone, look for the Ladies in Camo booth at expos near you and stop by and say hello; the events/expos. They will be attending which are reflected on the LIC calendar. She hopes to meet you at an event/expo or have the opportunity to share a campfire with you at a hunt somewhere in the future. Hunt hard, harvest ethically and may your drag be short.

Your author, for one, understands the frustration that can come from not being accepted as readily in the field, and I have seen so many wonderful changes taking place since the turn of the century.

Beaglepup

 

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