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My name is Amy, I am a 25 year old environmental Scientist from New South Wales in the hunter valley area. I was previously worked as a drill and blast shotfirer/ environmental officer in the mining industry and have recently started working in the land management in the public sector.
What inspired me to start hunting:
Through my father, I am the eldest child in the family and with that I was the first one wanting to go everywhere dad went, and when my dad wasn’t working he was taking me, my little sister and little brother camping, hiking, fishing and hunting. Many hunters come from families where hunting is a tradition, and (especially for boys) the first hunt is something of an initiation into adulthood. I was lucky enough to have a father who pasted that tradition on to me regardless of the fact I was a girl. My father always told me hunting and being outdoors isn’t for boys or men it is for anyone who puts the time, effort and respect into it and those values were instilled in me through everything else I did in life.
As a kid I seemed to it was very obvious to both my mother and father that i gravitate to the wilderness and the wildlife. So my father got me into the field when I was around 12 years old. He would plan camping and hunting trips and I would tag along. Dad spent much of the time explaining what we saw… the trees, plants and animals. He would explain how the ecosystems interacted and the habits and habitat of the animals he was pursuing. Whether a hunt was successful on not it was always about learning something new.
What I enjoy about the outdoors:
What I enjoy the most… well that is a hard question because I love every part of hunting. I think for me it would be actually be being outdoors, don’t get me wrong I love the accomplishment, meat and memories from taking the animal you have been looking for but for me i actually love being out in the environment and being quiet enough that nothing sees or hears you as well as some finding incredible plants or beautiful untouched creeks and streams. when you are outdoors looking for animals you often inadvertently see some incredible things.
Favourite piece of gear:
Ridgeline gaiters- This is going to sound silly but hear me out first (haha).
Recently (September last year) I went Sambar hunting in Victoria, I have never hunted Victoria so it was a first for me. On the first day of trekking through some of the hardest and thickest scrub bush country and getting drenched pants, sticks, dirt and burrs in my boots I was less then impressed… so I ask around and a few Victorian hunters suggested Ridgeline gaiters. At home in the hunter valley gaiters weren’t really used but I thought well anything is better than getting more sticks and soaking wet pants again haha. Anyway long story short…. I got Ridgeline gaiters and haven’t stopped using them since. Incredible product and great price.
Advice for new hunters:
If you are in NSW get your r license and start out in state forest, join a rifle or bow club near you to meet like-minded people, use Instagram it’s a great tool to talk to and get to know people enjoying the outdoors. Lastly but not least do research on the gear you want and find the gear that is right for you ! whether you are camping, hiking or hunting the gear you buy will either be your saving grace or down fall.
Best hunting experience:
So many hunting trips come to mind, however in recent memory it would be my first fallow buck with the bow. Myself and josh (partner) were out on a property in the hunter valley well after the fallow rut at the start of May so we weren’t expecting to get anything with the bow, essentially we were just getting outdoors, camping and walking some game trails. We had walked about 6 kms and seen a few does but no bucks. We decided to walk the next gully over and do a few doe calls and see if we could get a responses.
I knew during the rut a few bucks were hanging out in this particular gully, so once we got to the gully we stopped and set up to start doe calling, and to my amazement after 3 doe calls we heard a buck croaking back at us but still couldn’t see him. So we set off to find the buck croaking, about 500m metres up the gully we spotted a nice chocolate buck bedded and croaking at the doe calls while holding about 15 does. Because he was holding so many does there was no way of get in close without stirring up the does, so the decision was made to set up behind a tree and try doe calling him closer to us.
Josh pointed at the game trail he thought the buck would come down if he decided to respond to my calls, so I set up behind a tree and started calling. To my surprise (considering it was may) the chocolate buck jumped up and came straight in to my doe calls, he was 22 metres away and that was my opportunity. He made in 30 metres and it was all over.
Something iI will never forget. Humbling moment, both respect for the animal but also achieving a goal.
Favourite game recipe:
Two things I absolutely love venison cutlets and jerky !
Venison cutlets with fluffy mashed potato
Venison cutlets, trimmed
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup plain flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Vegetable oil, for shallow-frying
Steamed peas, to serve
Gravy, to serve
800g potatoes, peeled, chopped
1/2 cup milk
Make fluffy mashed potato: Place potato in a large saucepan. Cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over high heat. Boil for 12 to 15 minutes or until potato is very tender. Drain. Using back of a wooden spoon, push potato through a fine sieve over a bowl. Add butter and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
Using the heel of your hand, gently flatten meat on each cutlet.
Combine breadcrumbs and parsley on a plate. Place flour on another plate. Whisk egg and 1 tablespoon cold water in a shallow bowl. One at a time, coat each cutlet in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in egg. Press in breadcrumbs. Place on a plate. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Pour oil into a large frying pan to cover base. Heat over medium heat. Cook cutlets, in batches, for 5 minutes each side for medium or until cooked to your liking. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel.
Serve cutlets with Fluffy mashed potato, veggies of your choice, gravy
1 kg venison. sliced
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/ 2 teaspoon of chilli
Marinate meat two to three days.
Cook in food dehydrator or oven on lowest setting. Test jerky for dryness by cooling a piece. When cool it should crack when bent but not break and there should be no moist spots.
Store in an air tight container at room temperature for up to two weeks, refrigerate up to three weeks or freeze.
Note: The cooking time will vary depending on a few factors including humidity, the thickness of meat slices and temperature setting.