When I announced I wanted to take up Shooting Sports as a hobby, it went over like a fart in church. I can still smell the distinct odor the affair raised”and it wasn t gunpowder. I heard the Doubting Thomases and the harshest critics say: JoAnna Zurinsky, if you ever manage to blast a clay bird out of that sky, it will be the day monkeys fly out of our butts! Now call it what you will, Daddy says it s a case of good-old fashion German Stubbornness, I call it American Woman Resolve. I was going to hit a clay bird. I was going to do it regardless of whatever anyone said. Daddy and I went out to the field in the back of our barn, and he threw the clays. I took his 12ga Remington pump shotgun, and blasted the smithereens out of a bird, first try! It felt so good. I did it again, and again that afternoon. Sure I missed my fair share, but I didn t focus on what I was doing wrong, I only focused on what I was doing right. I was having fun, and I was hooked!
And Daddy? Well, he was shocked! My mom, who knew all along that I would do it, bagged up little pieces of clay birds for me to take home as a trophy to show my better, and sometimes un-believing half, Larry, as proof that monkeys sometimes do fly. And out of the strangest places! When I got home, I put the baggie on the table, Larry rolled on the floor laughing. What? I asked. Larry blurted out, with Chardonnay gurgling through his nostrils (he was that amused): Hand thrown birds are a great deal different than what you ll experience at a Gun Club with trap-machine thrown birds! Undaunted, I soon got my chance to try Sporting Clays and Skeet.
I asked for a membership to the local gun club for my birthday that year, instead of jewelry”and got it, along with an offer for a full-on psychiatric evaluation. I started going to the gun club every chance I got; with friends, relatives and any country man or woman who lend me their time and ears, so I could yell: PULL! I befriended a couple of the members, and the nicknames along with the clays, started flying: JoAnnie Oakley, 12ga Lady, Clay Slayer, The Crapshoot Kid and my personal, but somehow annoyingly favorite, Ram-Jo. These were not all compliments- most of them cute, but condescending in nature.
At the gun club that I discovered Shooting Sports is wonderful fun, it is very competitive, and a boys club. One particular Sunday, my dad s friends from work were watching me at the Springing Teal stand, and bet a barbecue lunch on the odds that I would not hit single high or low clay out of the brush. I took on the bet. Now, I did not have the money to buy lunch for any of these fellas, but I couldn t let that stop me! Not a chance! I was going to stand my ground, if I was going to be wrong I was going to at least be bold about it. The taunting began. Hey Ram-Jo, you gonna slay that Springing Teal today? You got a reputation to keep at this club! As long as you re here, the clays are safe! Daddy looked at me, and I looked at him, the stubbornness and resolve creeping out of me, a sly smile crossed my face. We looked at Earl and Joe and yelled: Game On! With Daddy as my cheerleader, and pulling for me in the literal and figurative sense, I knew I could lick the Springing Teal stand. That day, there would be a thing such as a free lunch, but just desserts as well!
I got my clays, and Joe and Earl just stood at the bottom of the stand, jaws on the ground. I came over and they stammered out: we guess we owe y all lunch, and Crapshoot Kid, well, we re kinda sorry. I took out my ear protection, and said: Guys, I have my ear protection in. It silences the loudest of critics! Lunch was good. We were all sitting around, and Daddy asked: Is this the best barbecue you ve ever eaten or what?! I smiled and said, Dad, the chicken sort of tastes like Springing Teal, and I think that Joe and Earl s ribs must taste like Crow.
Till the next time: Shoot Straight and Aim High!
J.Z. Zurinsky- My Bullet Points
See the original article at TheHuntersWife.net
Comment by Wendy Koons on October 29, 2009 at 12:10pm
My first bull elk! Taken last Saturday (10/24/09) on the last day of a controlled/lottery hunt in literally the last few minutes of shooting light. I ve taken a few cow elk over the past several years since moving to Idaho, but never a bull. The hunt opened on October 1st and we turned every weekend into 3 or 4 days of hard hunting. Saw tons of elk, probably 300+ head all together, but just couldn t get it done “ either we were winded by the cows or the bulls changed their minds and didn t give me the shot I needed. Then we had a hard freeze and snow that really put the brakes on the rut and the elk pretty much stopped talking, no matter how much calling we did. I had pretty much given up on taking a bull, but on Saturday evening, about 15 or 20 minutes before dark, my boyfriend Jeff and another friend decided to give calling another try. And the bull I took let us know he was there. They called and he came charging in, screaming all the way and pushing a good number of cows and calves ahead of him. There was one smaller bull with the group, that I saw first, but couldn t get a shot on him. I m glad, because I m really happy with this guy. I was afraid there wasn t enough light when he finally came into view, but when I looked through the scope I could see him clearly and pulled the trigger. He hunched up and disappeared into some thick timber. It got dark on us, so we backed out and came in at first light the next morning. Found him about 100 yards from where I shot him. The best part though was having my boyfriend Jeff with me. He contracted the neurological form of West Nile virus in 2007 and it nearly did him in. He spent over 9 months in physical rehab, and last year this time was in a wheelchair. To have him there with me and help call in that bull after all he d been through was nothing short of miraculous. I think he was more excited than I was. Before the hunt I told him I thought if I got one bull, I d probably go back to hunting cows, but now that I know how exciting it is, I might have to change my mind. ¦
See the original article at CampWildGirls.com
I have had the pleasure of knowing this gal since she was about 4. Tanya Poppe is an inspiration to everyone I know. She has the most amazing sense of humor and she had me rolling while she was telling me her turkey hunting story!
Tanya had a malignant brain tumor when she was just eleven years old. After having surgery to remove the tumor, she then had to endure chemo-therapy and radiation treatments. After going through all that she then suffered a stroke. Tanya has gone through many health setbacks throughout the years but she just keeps moving forward with an unbelievable resolve and a tremenously positive attitude!
Tanya comes from a big hunting family. Every place you look in their house there are mounts. Her Mom, Dad and Two brothers and sister-in-law, all hunt. Tanya did not want to be left out so she started hunting a few years ago. She has harvested her first doe. This past year, she decided that turkey hunting would be fun. She asked her Uncles if they would take her on a turkey hunt. They said yes and she applied for her permit and drew for the last WI season.
Everyone jumped into action to get this huntress into the woods. Let me tell you this little gal has so much spunk and everyone loves her so much, that somehow, someway, it was just going to happen. Tanya uses a wheel chair most of the time, but someone forgot to order the 4 wheel drive model! (Just kidding, Tanya) This was no problem for Team Tanya, they rose to the occasion and built her a rickshaw, to cart her out to her stand.
The local NWTF scrambled and ordered a swivel shooting table that fits into a blind with shooting holes for her to use. Next the local welding shop designed a special gun vice to hold her shotgun and built it just for her. They found a place where she could be almost certain of shooting a Turkey and they were set. Well almost.
According to Tanya she was decked out in everyone else’s clothing. She had no camo of her own so it was kind of like when you get married, except it was something old, nothing new, everything borrowed, but it will do! She said it brought her luck! And luck it certainly did. Her turkey weighed 25 lbs. and it had a double beards, 12 1/4 and 6 3/4 long. The spurs were 1 1/8 inches long.
You will hear more about Tanya’s story in the weeks to come. I will be adding a video of her telling the story about her turkey kill. I have tried to write the story several times but nobody tells it like she does!
See the original article at CampWildGirls.com