Jen O'Hara, co-founder of the iconic outdoor fashion line, Girls with Guns Clothing® (GWG), is a Mossy Oak Pro Staffer from Northern California. Although she currently resides in Red Bluff, California, approximately 2 hours north of Sacramento in the heart of the Central Valley, she is originally from Adin, California, a small town in Modoc County that boasts a population of 400 people.
While she grew up in a family of hunters and outdoorsmen, it wasn't until she was in her late 20's that she had the opportunity to hunt and fill her own tags. She was given the opportunity to hunt Northern California Blacktail, and she spent many hours hunting alongside her GWG business partner and best friend, Norissa Harman, and Norissa's husband, Brian. She successfully harvested a beautiful mature 3x3 Blacktail. With a well-placed shot at 65 yards, her love of hunting and her passion for conservation was born!
Since that day, Jen has proven herself to be an accomplished huntress, filling the freezer with species ranging from duck, snow goose, dove, and pheasant, to hog, mule deer, both black and whitetail deer, elk, and bear. With the growing success of Girls with Guns Clothing® came an opportunity to film the TV show, Universal Huntress TV (UHTV), for The Sportsman Channel. The experience that UHTV has given her as a huntress has been invaluable, allowing her to visit over 10 countries, and harvest exotic species such as kudu, springbok, zebra, lion, ostrich, hippo, warthog, red stag, bongo, and many more.
Her other passion, second only to her business and hunting, is conservation and education. Jen is a founding board member of APECS Foundation, a California-based non-profit organization that works closely with the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, and is dedicated to protecting our hunting rights and promoting our outdoor heritage, with a special emphasis on the next generation. She is a life member of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and Safari Club International (SCI), and she regularly volunteers her time at the Kids Outdoor Sports Camps (KOSC), the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation's (RMEF) Youth Shoot, and as a Junior Hunt Leader for the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) Jake's Program.
Jen hopes that she can continue to inspire women and young girls to learn firearm safety and proper stewardship of the land, while encouraging them to find the same satisfaction from hunting and putting food on the table as she has. Her story serves as a reminder to women and anyone else new to hunting that regardless of your upbringing, or your knowledge of the outdoors, it is never too late to pick up a gun or a bow, and find your true calling.
"Hunting isn't a sport or a hobby; it's a calling to something greater!"
Norissa Harman, co-founder of the iconic outdoor fashion line, Girls with Guns Clothing® (GWG), is a Mossy Oak® Pro Staffer from Northern California. She currently resides in Red Bluff, California, approximately 3 hours south of the Oregon border, nestled between the peaks of Mt. Shasta and Mt. Lassen.
While she grew up in a family of fishermen, it wasn't until she started dating her husband, Brian, that she became interested in hunting. His passion became her passion, and the many hours they spent together outdoors taught her invaluable insight into animal behavior and proper stewardship of the land. It was on one such outing, after hours of chasing wild pigs through the oaks in Tehama County, that Norissa came up with the idea for a line of fashionable apparel and accessories for women who like to hunt and shoot. And just like that, during a sweltering hog hunt, dressed in oversized men's hunting gear, the concept of Girls with Guns Clothing® was born!
Since that day, Norissa has continued to create and design some of the most fashion-forward pieces in the outdoor industry, utilizing her favorite Mossy Oak® camouflage patterns, and bringing new styles to the fashion niche known as "country chic". With the growing success of Girls with Guns Clothing® came an opportunity to film a TV show, Universal Huntress TV (UHTV), for The Sportsman Channel. The experience that UHTV has given her as a huntress has been invaluable, allowing her to visit over 10 countries, and harvest exotic species such as kudu, zebra, gemsbok, blue wildebeest, eland, hartebeest, warthog, red stag, bongo, and many more. One of her most cherished hunts was a Green Hunt, also known as a Vita-Dart Safari, where she was able to assist a South African veterinarian by vita-darting and tranquilizing a female white rhino so that they could draw blood and microchip her for reproductive reasons, and to protect her from poachers.
Conservation and protection are important to Norissa, as she finds solace in the solitude of nature, and she appreciates the important role that hunters play in preserving our outdoor heritage. For her, hunting and exploring the great outdoors gives her time to think, to disconnect and recharge, and to strengthen her faith in God. Hunting is all about the opportunity to connect with the animals she harvests, and the chance to appreciate the beauty that He has created, and without that, she wouldn't be the woman she is today.
Being a voice for women in this industry is never easy, but Norissa hopes that she can continue to inspire women and young girls to learn firearm safety, and to show them that regardless of your passion, it's perfectly acceptable, and in fact, encouraged, to wear your passion proudly!
"Everyday is a fashion show, and the world is the runway." - Coco Chanel
Hi my name is Whitney Vau and I live in Northern California. I grew up on a ranch where my dad and my grandpa introduced me to hunting at a young age. I started out with a bb gun and when I was 9 years old I was able to complete my hunter’s safety training and obtain a hunting license. For me, hunting was all about spending time with my family and being able to spend time in the beautiful outdoors. Hunting also taught me to be mentally and physically tough. When I was younger my arms and legs were always cut up and bruised from the rough terrain I would hunt during deer season. I was assigned with the task of being the “dog” and hiking through the steep hillsides and brush to scare the deer out to my grandpa and his friends. My dad made me gut and skin the deer I harvested because that is part of the hunting process. “You can’t be afraid to work hard and get your hands dirty,” my grandpa would always say. My grandpa who inspired my passion for hunting and my career in real estate passed away in August of 2015 year and I miss him terribly. Even though he is gone I will always have our hunting memories together and I still feel his presence with me when I’m in the outdoors. So far in my life I have been able to harvest blacktail deer, pigs, ducks, geese, turkey, pheasant, quail and doves and I’m excited to go on my first out of state hunt this fall of 2016 with my dad. I love involving myself in the outdoor industry and sharing my passions with others. I started my Instagram account after college and have dedicated it to my adventures in the outdoors. I’m so grateful to be part of Team GWG. I love everything the brand represents and feel proud to wear their logo. I know my GWG workout gear will help me when prepping for hunting season and building muscle and strength. My GWG hunting clothing will help keep me warm, dry and comfortable during hunts and also help me stay camouflaged. I’m so happy to see an abundance of women in the outdoor industry. As a young girl I mainly hunted with my dad, grandpa and their male friends and was the only girl at hunting camp. Hunting is no longer a male dominated industry! The more time I spend outdoors the happier I am. My heart truly belongs in the wilderness.
For rising country star Morgan Mills, her passion for music runs as deep as her Southern roots, growing up in the farmland of Durham, North Carolina. Raised by farmers on both sides of her family, Morgan always knew her future would take her far beyond the tobacco fields; she just didn't know how far that would be.
For years, young Morgan proudly stood on the family fireplace, belting her heart out for anyone and everyone who would listen. So it came as no surprise to her mother when 9-year-old Morgan proclaimed, “I want to be a star!”
When her mother saw the spark and determination in her daughter's eyes, she packed their belongings and took Morgan and her younger brother to New York. “I knew I wanted to do music and just be a performer,” Morgan beams.
Upon their arrival in The Big Apple, Morgan landed her first Broadway role as the comedic character of Miss Hannigan in the all-kids production of Annie. Her performance not only made her family proud, but also the key composer of the classic musical, Charles Strouse. “I will never forget it. He came up to me and said, 'You're a natural on stage, and that is where you need to be the rest of your life,'” Morgan says, smiling. “It never felt real or as if I could really make something of being a performer until that moment. It gave me the confidence I needed.”
After four years of living the city life, Morgan knew the limitations that New York was putting on her ambitions. “In New York, you can model, you can do commercials and you can do Broadway or dance,” she says. “That was all the entertainment you could do at that time in New York. I knew I couldn't stay there forever.”
The next logical step was to once again relocate, this time clear across the country to the foothills of Hollywood where her love of music could be incorporated into her future dreams. Around 13-years-old, Morgan utilized her time between school work and sleep to further her love for being in the spotlight, but more importantly, honing in on what it takes to be a performer. “I always loved Garth Brooks and Shania Twain,” Morgan explains “When you think of them, what do they have in common? They are all over the stage. They brought the show. When I saw them, I saw they were performing and doing what I did in music theater, but on a bigger scale. I knew I wanted that, too.”
Throughout her high school years, Morgan skipped trips to the mall with her girlfriends, choosing to spent those crucial hours rehearsing with her band and working toward finding a steady gig along Sunset Strip. She soon found herself taking the stage at The House of Blues regularly, even though she was limited with how far she could go within the perimeters of the club. “It was crazy that I was playing places that I legally couldn't get into at the time. The owners always told me, 'Don't step foot off that stage, kid!'” laughs Morgan.
The buzz only continued to build around Morgan Mills, inspiring her to create her first EP to sell at shows. The music played a key part in allowing Morgan the opportunities tossing in Japan, playing for the U.S. troops. Even though she was content with being a product of the L.A. scene, Morgan's Southern roots always bled through in everything she did. “When I would open my mouth to sing or talk, I was country,” she says. “People would tell me to not sound so country, but that's all I knew. I'm from the South. I loved country music. So it got me thinking, I need to be in Nashville.”
Rather than asking her Mom to once again uproot their lives, Morgan was old enough to start making her own trips back and forth to Nashville where she slowly began working on her songwriting craft and networking with the folks within the music industry. By the time Morgan turned 21, Nashville was officially her permanent home. Before long, she crossed paths with hit songwriter Bobby Pinson who helped Morgan produce her first single, “Dance in the Rain,” marketed specifically for the country music audience.
The connection with Bobby also opened up the doors for Morgan's outdoor ventures when he asked for her hand in helping organize his World Turkey Hunting Championship competition in Kansas in 2013. While Morgan had always had a love for the outdoors, she would always randomly go hunting with family and male friends. So when the Girls With Guns team (comprised of Jen O'Hara and Norissa Harman) fell short with their third teammate, Morgan fit in perfectly joined the team for the three-day hunt, and in turn, created a bond that would change her life. “They were fellow California rednecks, so we got along just fine!” jokes Morgan.
As her desire to hunt blossomed, Morgan went on to join Jen and Norissa on an African hunt for the girls' Universal Huntress show on The Sportsman Channel. It seemed only fitting after that trip that Morgan would be asked to write and sing the shows theme song, resulting in the Colt Ford duet “Let's Ride.” The song received airplay for over six months through Sirius XM's The Highway and officially put her name on the country music map.
“That song and the lyrics of the song mean so much to me,” Morgan says, who has since made numerous appearances on Universal Huntress over the years. “The concept of the show is how the journey is the hunt. It's not about what is killed. It's about the whole experience – the camaraderie of the people you are hunting with, being out in nature, talking to God, seeing animals in their natural state, harvesting an animal and putting meat on the table. The hunt is the destination. It's such a huge life statement, and it can relate to so many things in your everyday life.”
In the short time Morgan has been chipping away at her career in country music and the hunting industry, she has shared the stage with the likes of Toby Keith, Jake Owen, Tyler Farr and Colt Ford, among others. Her video for “Dance in the Rain” continues to gain traction as it remains in rotation on CMT, GAC, ZUUS and The Nashville Network/The Heartland Network. She has become a certified NRA pistol and rifle instructor, where she has taught many Concealed Carry Classes in Tennessee. She is often found as the face of NRA Country and recently became the host of their new Apple TV show ‘On Location with Morgan Mills” set to air in September 2016 on the NRA TV/ Apple TV channel.
So when it comes to her future placement in country music or in the outdoor world, Morgan's dreams and ambitions will only take her above and beyond where she's been. “Like the chorus in 'Let's Ride' says … It ain't about where you end in life / It's all about how you live the ride,” she says with a grin. “And I'm sure enjoying living this particular ride!”
Morgan and Mason Baseley of 2girls hunting out of far Northern Ca. We are just everyday teenage girls who love the outdoors. We just happen to be identical twins who love hunting; from waterfowl to big game. From archery to shotguns, rifles and handguns... Shooting is our passion. Come along on our hunting journeys as we help empower girls and educate our generation. We will share shooting tips we learn along the way and advice for our generation who want to hunt. But not just hunting; The importance of land and wildlife management, the thrill of the hunt and even how to enjoy and feast off your harvest. We are the next generation of female hunters and need to be able to speak up to protect our rights and protect the Second Amendment. We have been featured with Women's Outdoor News, NRA Family Insights, The American Women Shooter and Growing Hunters. We currently write a blog with the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance and do guest speeches at various wild game functions: usually about how you are never to young to follow your passion and how important it is to teach our generation proper hunting etiquette and firearm safety so we can continue to carry on these hunting traditions and protect our Second Amendment rights. We are fortunate to be sponsored for working hard, having fun & giving back to the community! Team GWG has given great opportunities to help expand our passion and reach out to others. Plus...the GWG gear is super awesome!!! Cute, functional, practical and comfortable. We can go hunting in the morning, lounge in the afternoon and hang out with our friends in the evening and barely have to change our clothes!!!
Julie McQueen has lived beyond her years by turning her hobbies into careers and thinking outside of the box. She worked in the fashion industry as a model for over a decade while traveling around the world, but took a couple years off to pursue a career as a professional poker player. She earned her pilot's license when she turned 24, and has briefly owned a bakery and a model agency.
Throughout the years and different career paths one thing has remained consistent: her love for the outdoors. After working for some of the top brands in the hunting industry, she began filming hunts for television shows. Her love for hunting and fishing is public knowledge now, but for years she fought to break down the walls that keep women from entering this mostly male dominated industry.
While hunting and fishing are close to her heart, she has focused much of her time and energy towards conservation efforts and educating the public about how they can help wildlife through conservation and preservation of habit. Julie has found time to earn two degrees in Psychology while running one for the most successful production companies in the outdoor industry. She co-hosted Backstage & Backroads with Daniel Lee Martin, and has co-hosted Brotherhood Outdoors on the Sportsman Channel for 6 seasons. Currently, her series “Till Death Do Us Part” with her husband Daniel Lee Martin is exclusively airing on Carbon TV. Not just another pretty face, Julie McQueen has proven that credibility leads to longevity, and is one of the most respected personalities in the outdoor industry.
Hello my name is Kelly Cohen and I live in a small town in Northern California. I'm an avid outdoorswoman who fell in love with the outdoors. I didn't grow up in a hunting family. At 6 years old I went rabbit hunting, yes, I got my first one. We got home, skinned it out, salted it down and that was my first skin. By age 8 I saved enough money to buy my first horse. I then began showing and competing in both English and Western Pleasure. I continue to ride my 2 horses when time allows. I also love sports and have played soccer, basketball, volleyball and softball beginning in elementary school. I was 17 when our traveling softball team played at the Nationals in South Dakota. In addition, I love to fish, wakeboard and snowboard.
At age 15 was invited to go out on a coon hunt with my friend and her dogs. That was a whole new world listening to the dogs running in the orchards, hearing them tree. I was hooked. For my senior graduation project, I chose to hunt a bear, make a bear rug and bear jerky. Luckily, a family friend was a bear guide and taxidermist. I went out bear hunting for the first time and it was exhilarating. Dogs were treed, we hiked to them and I got to take my first 300lb bear. I learned how to skin, flesh the hide, salt it, put it in the different solutions, tumble it and finally I started to make my first rug.
Hunting for me continued taking up new game. I hunt and scout all seasons year round. Concentrating on bear, deer, pig, fish, upland and waterfowl. For eight years I have helped assist and guide bear hunts with my friend/mentor. I love training my hounds and my labs. There's nothing better than a good dog! I have competed in some dock jumping competitions with my lab and when the Houndsmen Field Trials roll around; you can be assured I'm there with my hounds competing. Throughout the year I attend most hunting organization dinners, NWTF, CDA, NRA, MDF and CHC. I have mounted various ducks, geese, and pheasants, and recently completed my first full bear mount. I am proud to provide and share game with my family and friends. I cure and process my skins, turn down feathers into pillows and continue to perfect my taxidermy skills. My job as a technician at a veterinary hospital of 10 years has been very rewarding.
One of my biggest achievements was when I entered the Extreme Huntress Contest. My hunting story was one of the top 10 women picked in the U.S. to compete for the title of "Most Extreme Huntress." This past year I was written up in Muley Crazy. For the last five years I have had my CCW.
I will bring excitement, enthusiasm, and professionalism to GWG. I love living the life style I live and always sharing my passion and pride for the outdoors. I am thankful for the support and encouragement from my family, friends and followers. As well as, grateful to live the life I'm living today and look forward to tomorrow's adventures.
Baylee has been hunting with her dad since she was a child. She shoots a Bear Archery Rumor. Baylee has killed many North American and South African animals in her hunting career. Her first big game animal was a Black Bear in Canada at age thirteen. Baylee was born in Pennsylvania and now resides in Western Colorado. She lives with her parents, older brother, and younger sister in a Christian home. Her father is a pastor and she is one of the church's guitarists. Baylee hopes that the Lord will bless her with many more enjoyable animal harvests.
Lea Leggitt, at 17 years old has already taken great strides in her outdoor career. She's been hunting with her mother since she was a little tike and is now taking to the woods on her own as well as guiding others on their hunts. She is not only a great hunter and writer but also shoots competitively in shotgun and archery. Lea is a young journalist. She currently writes a column at Women's Outdoor News, and plans to advance her career by studying journalism in college. She has a goal of starting her own TV show about hunting and conservation. Lea's ultimate goal is to share and encourage people to take to the woods and enjoy it as much as she does.
Kali Thompson is a Jr. Cowgirl from Wyandotte, Oklahoma. Her events include Barrel Racing, Goat Tying, Light Rifle Shooting, Breakaway Roping and Pole Bending. Winning the 7thBarrel performance at the 2014 National Little Britches Finals Rodeo qualified Kali for the Short-Go her rookie year and launched her big rodeo dreams. With faith, hard work, and determination, Kali is running down those dreams.
This year Kali qualified for the National Jr. High School Finals Rodeo in Light Rifle Shooting. She represented the state of Kansas and placed 28th in the nation. She also competed at the National Little Britches Finals Rodeo in Goat Tying and placed 4th in the First Round, 2nd in the Short-Go and 10th in the World Standing. When she is not in the saddle, Kali enjoys hunting, fishing, target shooting, basketball, and running track. She is also a member of the Bar-None Cowboy Church and National Junior Honor Society.
Kali is excited to be a member of Team GWG, a brand that reflects her love of fashion, western heritage, and the great outdoors. Her GWG promo code - G2GKali15 - is very special to her because G2G stands for "Glory to God" and reminds this Christian cowgirl to be thankful for the gifts and opportunities she has been given and to be a light to others. Her favorite Bible verse, 1 Timothy 4:12, can be found on her Team GWG card. Kali is proud to be sponsored by a company that supports her beliefs. This year you can see Kali competing in Kansas High School Rodeos and Little Britches Rodeos throughout the Midwest on her journey back to the National Finals. Follow her on Facebook at Kali Thompson – TeamGWG.
Hello my name is Shawna Hoffman. I am part of team GWG and I have been a professional wakeboarder competing on the pro wakeboard tour for 9 years. I have a passion for wake boarding as well as the outdoors for hunting upland game including pheasant, dove, and turkey. I enjoy shooting trap w/ friends and family up in the mountains where I feel I can get away from the city and enjoy the quiet, peaceful tall pines and beautiful views of tall mountain ridges and high lakes! I also love camping, dirt biking, mountain biking, and kayaking to enjoy the beautiful mountain serenity. Through wake boarding, I have been inspired to establish my career as a Physical Therapist Assistant. I look forward to wake boarding, hunting, dirt biking, mountain biking, camping, or as simple as shooting trap w/ my Remington 1100 12 gage and target practicing w/ my 22 revolver on the weekends! I am blessed to be a part of team GWG and I am so happy to see this company grow and promote girls who also love hunting, shooting as hobbies, and enjoying the amazing outdoors!
She is the fearless guardian of Universal Huntress TV. As the production manager, she balances the girls' wild antics with her straightforward, no frills outlook. Being a seasoned traveler, she is an indispensable asset, and brings worldly insight to the team.Along with managing Universal Huntress, she is also the editor of Universal Hunter Magazine. A publication focusing on the traveling hunter, and always ensuring that there is something in each issue for the whole family, from technical articles, hunting stories and lifestyle pieces.
I am Ursyla Mueller, Im a female hunter, and a Girls with Guns team member. Being on the Girls with Guns team is a dream come true for me because it promotes females becoming more active in the hunting world. GWG also brings a fashionable side to the outdoors. There is nothing wrong with keeping up with the boys, and also looking good while doing it. My passion for the outdoors started in Ohio where my family loves to hunt whitetail deer. I moved to California when I was 14, where i now mostly hunt blacktail deer. Deer hunting is my true passion, especially when they're in velvet. I am a gun hunter as well as an archery hunter. I originally started hunting with guns, I then started hunting archery so I could start hunting earlier in the year. My hunting starts every year when I start putting out trail cameras to located bucks from the previous year or possibly new bucks that show up. Usually i start hunting for blacktails out of a ground blind in August and by September I will be rifle hunting until the end of October. Once the hunting season is over in California I usually go on an out of state hunting trip. I am also into shed hunting which keeps me busy from about the start of February through the end of March. After my hunting year is over I am still a country girl that loves spending time in the mountains of central California. I am also a college student pursuing a career in dental hygiene. It is a blessing to represent a company as awesome as Girls with Guns, and such a great group of ladies. Im excited and looking forward to being on Team GWG!
My name is Breanna Noble and I am a competitive shooter. In school I'm Secretary if Beta Club and on the A and B Honor Roll. I'm a member of Beta Club, Multi Cultural Club, FCCLA, and Science Club. I have been shooting and hunting all my life and absolutely love it, this is my third year of shooting competitively. Shooting competitively has made me more confident in everything I do. I have grown so much in the last few years. Shooting competitively puts you up against your greatest adversary, yourself. I’m currently shooting NSSF Rimfire Challenge matches and USPSA matches. I love meeting people at the range and I am always trying to get other people into shooting. My ultimate goal is to one day be a Grand Master in USPSA, I plan on working my way up the classifications to one day do that.
I volunteer to work at the Youth Firearms Safety Day, where we teach children how to properly use firearms.
My shooting season ends around the time hunting season opens. I love hunting for whitetail deer, but I am always willing to try anything. My two dream hunts are currently hunting for mule deer and going on a prairie dog hunt.
Arkansas State NSSF Rimfire Steel Challenge 2016 Match Awards:
My name is Bree Boland, I'm from Calgary, Alberta, Canada but spend most of my time at my family's farm in a little town in Southern Alberta called Hill Spring. I grew up watching my Dad and Grandpa hunt and knew one day I wanted to be just like them and follow in their footsteps, so that's what I did!
My Dad and my boyfriend taught me everything I know and if it wasn't for them I wouldn't be the strong huntress I am today. They taught me that hunting isn't just a pastime, but a passion and that's what I grew to know. I grow stronger everyday as a hunter because of the dedication they have passed onto me and I hope to pass onto my children.
I'm living my dream by being a part of Team Girls With Guns. When I'm not out hunting, I also enjoying fishing, spending time with my family, riding horses and exploring the great outdoors and also love baking (everyone loves cookies). The outdoors is where I know I belong and where I strive to be and I cannot wait to explore the world and accomplish many exhilarating hunts with TeamGWG on my side. I'm a huntress at heart and it's what I was born to do. I cannot wait to see where the future may lead me!
Growing up on a ranch in Southern Oregon I have always been an outdoorswoman. I grew up hunting with my mom and dad even before I could legally hunt myself. I vividly remember riding around in our single cab gold Chevy looking for bucks and enjoying life. I knew from the very beginning that I would hunt for the rest of my life. To this day I still eat, sleep and breathe hunting. I currently reside in Central Oregon with my husband, also an avid outdoorsman, and our two kids. Our days off and vacations are spent hunting , fishing and enjoying the great outdoors. I enjoy showing our 2 year old daughter and 3 year old son the hunting way. I can’t wait to teach them everything I have learned about hunting. I was taught at young age hunting is not just a hobby, it’s a call to something greater…a passion, a way of life and a big part of who I am! I love to hunt elk, mule deer, Northern California blacktail, waterfowl, upland birds and any predators. As a huntress I am dedicated to having the most successful hunt possible. I put in the work, the time, the effort and do what it takes to be successful. If I’m not hunting you can find me working away helping other hunters/huntresses getting Fit 2 Hunt. Being Fit 2 Hunt is a crucial part to big game hunting for me. With the rugged terrain I hunt it is important that I have enough strength, stamina and endurance to hike in and hunt hard, but also be able to pack out my harvest. I’m excited to continue inspiring other women hunters as a part of the GWG team. I love living this lifestyle and sharing my passion for hunting and fitness. I feel extremely blessed at this amazing opportunity to join the GWG team! I can’t wait to see what the future holds! Hunting isn’t just a way of life for me, it’s a big part of who I am and what I was born to do!
Raequel Hoffman is an outdoor fanatic who has been a professional wakeboarder for nine years (since she was 17). She grew up in Chico, California, and grew to love the outdoor lifestyle with her family at an early age. Camping, hunting, wakeboarding, abalone diving, and snowboarding played a major role in her life. Eventually, wakeboarding went from being a summer recreational activity to a career. Some of Raequel's accomplishments include the following:
Raequel also coaches various clinics during the summer including Girls Ride the Wake. http://www.girlsridethewake.com Raequel befriended Norissa and Jen (GWG founders) at local wakeboarding events and rodeos. She fell in love with the GWG brand and philosophy from the beginning, and is especially fond of the increasing swim gear, which complements the demanding comfort needed with wakeboarding. Raequel hunts/harvests waterfowl, pheasants, quail, and dove as a source of fuel to her athletics.
As a kid growing up in western Washington State, it was mainly waterfowl hunting and fishing for sturgeon on the Chehalis with my parents. My dad was a mechanic and a dirt track racer. So many nights, after spending a full day on the water building a duck bling together, we would then spend an entire night in the garage. I was sacking parts and he was under the car. That bond of morning duck hunts and then nights covered in grease kicked off my life-long love for what I now spend most of my time doing. Over the year’s, my love for hunting and fishing has grown into a lifestyle that leads me into the field most days of the year. It’s turned into the constant pursuit of game, big and small. From black bears, elk, mule deer, black tail deer, cougars, coyotes, grouse, to some amazing western waters full of fish. I’d have to say that I live in one of the best spots there is for my kind of outdoor lifestyle. The coast of WA offers up some of the best fishing you’ll ever get. I am a self-proclaimed “steelhead freak,” and have also had the opportunity to catch sharks out of my own backyard in Willapa Bay. I thrive on the do-it-yourself, public land hunts, where a big part of your success comes from what you put into it up front. It makes me feel like it lets you create your own adventure, start to finish. It allows you to take ownership and extreme pride in your successes, and forces you to learn from your own failures. The adventure and memories of the hunt is what its all about for me. When I’m not in the woods with a bow or rifle in hand, or on the water, baiting up the next hook, I’m thinking about the next time I’ll be out there. There’s even something about the anticipation of the next hunt or fishing trip that makes it all that much better. Through writing and filming, I take great pride in being able to share with others what I put into my adventures and the unmatched rewards of a “earn it yourself,” hunting and fishing lifestyle. It’s a life that I wouldn’t have any other way.
As a native to one of the largest public hunting systems in the country, the swampland is my home. With ten years of hunting under my sights my range for adventure continues to grow. Though Florida is known as the state with no season, that statement is only true for those who don’t hunt. I strive to keep myself on the edge of my stand by following the large variety of species, with whitetail being my favorite. Archery was the greatest serendipity moment, when my now husband introduced me to the sport. It was then that my passion sparked for the outdoors. From then on I am eager for the early morning hikes covered in Mossy Oak with my BowTech in hand. Now as a certified instructor, I get to share my knowledge and understanding of the hunt with new hunter's that take my Hunter Safety Course. The most joyous part for me is the excitement I see in the faces of my children and others that I have encouraged.
Growing up in the mountains of northwestern North Carolina I was constantly surrounded by hunters and fishers. My dad is an avid shooting sports enthusiast and taught my brother and me to shoot at an early age, I got my first gun for Christmas at age 8. After pursuing degrees in agriculture from NCSU and Oklahoma State University, I began traveling. My passion for the outdoors led me to meet like minded people and ended up with me working with hunting outfitters in New Zealand.
While working in New Zealand, I helped guide Jen and Norissa on their tahr hunts for season 1 of the Universal Huntress TV Show. What an amazing experience to meet such lively and enthusiastic girls supporting an industry in which I was becoming so involved.
I now work with outfitters in both Australia and New Zealand and will start my guide training in Alaska fall 2016. I am so excited for this opportunity to increase my hunting knowledge and continue to spread the GWG spirit throughout the world.
I’m sure growing up in the beautiful pacific northwest had a lot to do with my love of the outdoors. Growing up I was outside all the time, whether camping, shooting, sports, I had a very active childhood. I played lacrosse for many years where I went on to play for Western Washington University. I took a break from school, to travel and see the world. I have lived in some of the most beautiful places, including Alaska and Hawaii. During this time, I began to start checking things off my bucket list, climbing mountains, hunting, learning to weld, etc. My goals just seem to keep getting bigger and bigger the more I scratch off, but it keeps me wanting more and pushing harder. Here are some of the accomplishments I have met over the past years:
Summited Mount Rainer (14,411 feet), Completed the Chelanman triathlon, killed my first high hunt buck, first trophy bear, competed in mixed martial arts and won in my debut by knock out in 27 seconds, ranked 3rd in state as an offensive lacrosse player, Summited the highest peak in the U.S (Mount Whitney, 14,505 feet, 3 times), climbed mount Hood – no summit due to rock fall, spent 2 weeks in the Chugach range in Alaska for survival and glacier training, completed the frozen ultra mountain marathon (31 miles with a mountain summit), Placed 3rd for my age group in the high sierras ultra marathon, competed in my first NPC bikini competition, became a certified stick and mig welder.
I've had quite an exciting year so far...beginning a totally new adventure called motherhood. My husband and I welcomed our first child, Bradley, in June and it has been so incredible being a mama. Luckily we have lots of family very excited to watch him while we get out and have some fun this year. My husband and I have lots planned... Hunting (Bear, high hunt buck, and elk), hitting the slopes, desert 100 (dirt bike race), climb rainier for my 3rd summit and compete in my 2nd bikini competition. I am very proud to have the support of GWG, it's so great being apart of such a strong team of women! Lots ahead... Stay tuned!.
My outdoor experience stretches back further than my cognitive memories. My dad’s passion for rock crawling and four wheeling has bled through into my life and many of my favorite memories revolve around sitting on his lap navigating his jeep through the backcountry roads, simply soaking up all that this immaculate world has to offer. He taught me his love of the outdoors. I remember the first time he put a pillow behind me on the seat so I could reach the steering wheel as one of the most poignant and liberating moments in my life. From then on, I grew up spending summers in the mountains four wheeling, camping, fishing and dirt bike riding. Jeeping with my family has created some of my most cherishable memories. After hours of winding down dusty trails and carving through mother nature’s canvas, we would inevitably stumble a cross an aptly placed stream and break out the coolers where we would jump in the water to quench the heat and wash off the dust. As we meandered back towards the cabin, we would always find a fallen tree or a broken stump along the way to set up tin cans for some good old‐fashioned target practice, where this girl and her gun could be one with the outdoors. I have been unmentionably blessed growing up in this great state, surrounded every day by her beauty.I am passionate about sharing my love of the outdoors with others and encouraging other girls to grab a gun and head outdoors and believe that I share this mission with GWG.
My name is Elizabeth Mendenhall, but all of my friends call me Liz. I am 26 years old and I was born and raised in GWG’s hometown of Red Bluff, California. Growing up, the outdoors was a huge part of my life, and between working cattle, shooting skeet, hunting, fishing, playing sports and riding my horses, I spent most of my time outdoors.
My dad and brother-in-law hunted and being the little sister, I always wanted to do what my brother-in-law did. I was lucky enough to get my hunting license when I was 9 but really didn’t get into hunting till my early teen years. I will never forget the first time my brother-in-law took me out duck hunting. Sitting in the cold blind over one of the ponds in the dark and hearing the birds come in changed my life and the way I looked at hunting forever. Over the last 13 years I have been lucky enough to hunt whitetail in Nebraska almost every year and I have to say it is a rush and a blast. I love sitting in the tree stand watching multiple animals walk by and getting to enjoy the little things. There is nothing better than walking to the stand and hearing a buck snort or watching the deer play and jump around. It is truly amazing.
Aside from hunting, when I am able to, I do custom woodwork and watch 3 of my nieces and my nephew for my sister and brother-in-law. Family is a huge part of what makes me, me. I also enjoy shooting my Mossberg 500 shotguns. I was lucky enough to win my first skeet shooting competition in 2015 and hope to continue to go to competitions.
No matter where I go you can normally catch me in a GWG bucket hat, GWG shirt or even the flip flops. I was honored to be asked to be part of the team. The girls offer clothing for everything! Hunting, fishing, everyday wear or fitness apparel. My favorite everyday GWG product has to be the GWG Vintage Stud Buck Tee in black. The fit is right on. For hunting, I am definitely a fan of the hunting boots! From walking miles in the mountains or flat land they go wherever you want and your feet still feel good. I couldn’t be more blessed to be a part of such an incredible company!
My name is Haylee Newell. I'm very honored to represent girls with guns. I am an avid hunter and competitive turkey caller. I was raised around hunting and fishing and have spent most of my time in the outdoors from a very young age with my dad.
My hunting career began when I was 10 years old and I was fortunate enough to harvest my first Longbeard on video. From that moment on turkey hunting and calling became more than just a hobby.
At the age of 12 I entered my first contest. The contest was at a sports show that had many famous hunters like a bone collector. I was the only girl to compete in the whole contest, from that moment on I have been hooked. In many Contests I am the only female caller. Turkey calling is a male dominated sport. There are very few women callers. I also call and speak to women in the outdoors events to promote women hunting and turkey calling. I have attended NWTF banquets and Jakes' events to encourage more kids and adults to be in the outdoors and also talk about turkey calling. I always offer my help to everyone.
I am grateful that God has blessed me with my abilities and talents. Some of my accomplishments for turkey calling include, I have 10 state titles and have placed or won in over 20 contests. I was the first woman to ever win a state title in West Virginia. I have also won the Ohio state women's and Jakes division three years in a row.
I’m 25, and I’m from Salt Lake City Utah. I am the youngest of 8 children, so I grew up in a house full of chaos. My family never went without and I admire my parents for the way they raised me. Unfortunately, My mom passed away suddenly in 2005, Just after my 15th birthday.
I shot a gun for the first time when I was 6, and I’ve been in love ever since. In my father’s younger years he was a competitive marksmen, hunter, and an all out gun enthusiast, but after a traumatic brain injury leaving him legally blind and disabled he wasn’t able to do some of those things. I only knew the disabled father for his injury came long before I was born, but the father I knew was still a great shot and even more importantly and great friend. Despite his struggles his passion for guns only grew stronger, and the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. I am a lot of things, I am a wife, a mother of four, a two time cancer survivor, an up and coming non-profit owner, and new hunter, but like my father I am an avid gun enthusiast. Any gun, any time, I love them all.
There few greater experiences than that which I receive when I go shooting and hunting with my husband. My husband introduced me into the world of hunting and archery when we first began dating. We married in early 2009 and to our delight we welcomed our oldest daughter in 2009, our second daughter came just 13 months later in 2011, a third daughter in 2012, and we finished our family by welcoming our last daughter in 2013.
All girls, and you know what, that was more than ok with us. Now we get to teach our girls to be strong independent women with a respect for God, guns, nature, and each other. We are determined to continue raising our daughters to know and love the outdoors like we do as well as educate and lead them to become ethical huntresses now and in the future. We teach them about gun safety right from the start.
On August 2nd 2013, my 23rd birthday and, just 6 weeks after having our youngest daughter I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. During my pregnancy the tumor had grown to the size of a football and hidden in my body with the pregnancy. Fear tore through me and my family, but we were ready to fight. I say "we" because my husband and daughters fought with me the whole way.
After 5 back to back surgeries, including a radical hysterectomy I was finally told I was in the clear, but that didn’t last long. Just 3 months later, We were once again fighting for my life. However, I was not the same person. There is nothing like life and death, to change the way a person thinks.
From there I became an advocate for Ovarian cancer, a cancer that is not talked about enough. There was a part of me that need to make a difference, raise awareness, help anyone I can just to know everything could be right in the world. I put my heart and soul into starting my non-profit Survivors For Fighters. I work tirelessly to create baskets full of blankets, gift cards, books, slippers, anything I can get to help or comfort people fighting some of life’s cruelest of trials. Every fighter deserves someone in their corner to keep them going. They need someone to remind them that someone cares, even if that someone is a perfect stranger. No one should have to fight alone!
A lot of what makes these baskets possible is donations from individuals, and businesses and with their help I have learned two more things. First, the world is full of good people, and second, the courage to fight is easier, when much like shooting, you have someone there to help direct the shot. This is a cause I take great pride in, and will never give up on. I’m determined to open the minds of others, and teach them the values guns and the outdoors can bring into lives.
Even more important, shooting and hunting is something that reminds me of precious time. The precious short time we get to spend with our families, for life is so short and time is so valuable. I love the genuine excitement, and happiness I get to experience with my daughters as we make memories we will never forget. Shooting guns is about the bonding experience I get from teaching my daughters like my father taught me. The constant excitement to better my shot, the thrill of the kick, the pride from honoring the 2nd amendment, and the sentimental value I get from the memories of shooting with my father, who passed away suddenly in July 2015.
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