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Q&A with Hunting Goddess Melissa Bachman
It seems more and more female hunters are getting in the game–and we were lucky enough to score an interview with one of the fiercest lady hunters in the country. Melissa Bachman does it all: hunter, producer and outdoor writer. She’s developed an impressive presence both on television and online, paving the way for other female hunters to follow.
This down-to-earth girl might be famous in the hunting world, but she remains just a down-home hunter at heart, hoping to score big like the rest of us.
Where did your love for hunting stem from?
I was very lucky to have been raised in a family that loved to hunt. My entire family would spend our weekends together duck hunting and deer hunting, but I wasn’t able to actually pick up a gun or bow until I was 12 years old. For years, I looked forward to my first hunting trip and could hardly sleep the night before. I was so excited to go out deer hunting behind our house that I even drew up little maps of our property and picked which stands we should try first. I was lucky enough to take a doe my first year out. It was years before I ever shot my first buck, but that didn’t matter. I was just thrilled to be out hunting!
What drives your hunting passion?
It’s hard to beat the adrenaline rush that happens when the moment of truth comes, or the feeling of accomplishment when all of your hard work pays off. I love hunting on the ground, aggressive with a bow in my hand. I really enjoy making the game come to me either with predator calls, rattling or simply spotting and stalking the animal I’m after.
Do you have a favorite hunting memory?
Definitely predator calling a bear into 18-yards on Prince of Wales Island in Alaska with only a bow in my hand. I was dropped off by plane with a tent, kayak and a bow for one week. I had looked over maps, learned the area and successfully shot a beautiful black bear on camera after getting him to charge in from over 150-yards out. It was the biggest adrenaline rush of my hunting career!
You scored one of the best jobs out there–getting filmed while you hunt. What’s next on your radar?
Right now, I’m a full-time host and producer for North American Hunter TV and will be producing my own new series which will begin airing in August. I also write weekly blogs for Petersen’s Hunting, and co-host on a variety of outdoor programs such as: WhitetailSLAM, Dangerous Game, Whitetail Revolution, Winchester Legends, and Whitetail Country along with a few others. Most of these shows can be found on NBC Sports.
I’d really love to someday have my own show that I edit and produce. That way I could be busy hunting all fall with my cameraman, come back in the winter and edit all the footage together. I’ve produced other people’s TV shows, however someday I hope to produce my own as well.
We hear you took a possible world record in New Zealand! What was that experience like?
This was my first trip ever to New Zealand, and I wanted to hunt stags on the ground with my bow. After a long stalk, my cameraman and I were able to get within 36-yards of a huge bedded stag. We watched him feed and bed, then made our move to get in close. I didn’t want to spook the big stag so instead of making him stand I just waited. Two-hours later after sitting through a freezing rain and windy conditions the stag finally stood, and I made the shot. I was shaking like crazy but there were probably two reasons for this: the fact that I didn’t dress warm enough and was soaking wet, and the fact that I had just shot a possible world record stag! Overall, it was a great experience. New Zealand is absolutely beautiful!
What has your experience as a talented female hunter in a male-dominated sport been like?
I’ve run into a few individuals from time to time who have expressed their strong belief that women belong back home in the kitchen, but usually these types of people are few and far between. In general most people are thrilled to see more women in the field hunting! Frankly, I don’t really care what people think because I love to hunt more than anything in the world and am just thrilled to be in the field every single day!
If you could give aspiring hunters any advice about making it big, what would it be?
The best piece of advice I could give is just get out there and spend time hunting with people you enjoy. It’s a great time to relax, have fun and it’s not all about the size of animal you bring home. Pick someone in your life that will teach you the ropes of hunting and don’t give up. Some years will be great some years will be tough, but if you enjoy the hunt it will always be time well spent.
And of course we have to ask– what are your go-to hunting boots?
I usually wear rubber boots all fall for my whitetail hunts so I choose Muck Boots. I started wearing them about four years ago and find them to be the most comfortable rubber boots on the market. For western hunts, I like to have a boot that is light, waterproof and extremely comfortable. I have four pairs of the exact same Timberland low profile boot that I wear on all my western hunts. It feels like a tennis shoe when you’re walking but has the durability of a hunting boot.