Hunting is hard. Flat out. It takes patience, courage, and grit. More often than not you are left with an unfilled tag in your pocket and a long walk back to the truck. So why do it? Why put in so much time, money and effort if percentages do not go in your favor? I know why I do it. I do it because the effort it takes to successfully harvest an animal is unlike any other feeling in life. Because with no risk there can be no reward. It is what makes hunting and harvesting your own meat so special.
Being new to hunting, I constantly second guess myself and have doubt about if I am doing the right thing, especially since I never had a mentor to bounce questions off of. It is my weakness. It is the internal battle that I struggle with when hunting. Have you ever had questions about what others would do in certain situations? Maybe you catch yourself not staying in the game mentally. I know I often do. I find myself double guessing a move or a plan of attack when I hunt. Being new to hunting can be frustrating and defeating, so much that it is hard to stay motivated.
This blog series is meant to be a way to inspire and motivate you and others when it comes to hunting your dreams, and at the same time making a difference in recruiting new members and building community in the hunting world. Hopefully the advice and insight shared by our guests can help you feel like you are not alone in your struggle against the wild, as well as build confidence in your chase.
WBC: What is your name?
Hannah: Hannah Kycek
WBC: Where are you from and where do you currently live?
Hannah: Born and raised in Olympia, WA, I quickly realized the freedoms I desired in life could not be found there. From Coeur d’Alene to Moscow, and now Lewiston, ID, I’m a full time resident of the smelly town that rests above the Snake River.
WBC: What is your day job?
Hannah: Marketing at Seekins Precision.
WBC: Do you have any family or pets?
Hannah: I have a dog named Eberle-Jane. She is a 1.5 year old Wire-haired Pointing Griffon. She is my hunting partner and the very light in my life.
WBC: How and why did you get started into hunting?
Hannah: Why? Ha! The outdoors and the activities I partake in are as essential to my existence as air is to my lungs.
The earliest memories I have are of seeing, petting, and asking questions about the dead animals that lay before me. I was raised in the Cascades within the dense rain-forests of Western WA. My father instilled the passion for adventure and stewardship at a very young age. Before I hunted, I still scouted with him, fished, cleaned birds, and helped cut up meat. I received my hunter education at 11 years old, and harvested my first buck – a spike, on opening day. It was as if I had never felt my heart truly beat before.
WBC: Did you have a hunting mentor? What did you learn from them and or what did you want or wished to learn from them?
Hannah: My father was my mentor. He taught me everything I know today. How to shoot, how to track, where to look, when to look, to always have a game plan, how to gut, skin, make a proper shot, adjust my scope, reload ammo, maintain composure, to pack enough mountain money, to identify different animals…. You name it. All I know and all I am, is because of him.
WBC: What has been your favorite hunt? Why?
Hannah: When I was 18 I drew a once in a lifetime moose tag for WA state. Although I remember all my harvests as if it were yesterday, this one remains particularly vivid in my mind. When I pulled the trigger, my father nor my brother were next to me. I was alone, and it felt as though I had achieved a rite of passage.
WBC: What has been your biggest struggle when it comes to hunting?
Hannah: The same that I face each day; I struggle to live in the moment instead of wandering through it wishing moments and time itself weren’t impermanent.
WBC: Our strengths can also be our weaknesses. What are your weaknesses that can inhibit you on your hunts?
Hannah: Success. Success to me, for many years has meant a notched tag. It wasn’t until this past year that I tasted how bitter tag soup truly was. But I felt my mind shift from enjoying nature and the true, humbling escape it offered to becoming frustrated I wasn’t “successful.” Success as a hunter is getting out there and at bare minimum leaving it all in the mountains to play your part as a conservationist.
WBC: What piece of gear can you not hunt without?
Hannah: It always comes down to boots. Properly care for your feet or you’ll lose everything. I’ve tried it all and I run Irish Setters’ Elk Trackers.
WBC: What is your favorite place to hunt and or species (i.e. terrain, location, topography, region, state)?
Hannah: Primarily NoTellUmMountain, which is near DoYourOwnResearch Crick, between northern and southern/eastern, Idaho. There are mountains, wilderness, and endless adventure. Show me a mountain and I’ll show you what it looks like from the top.
WBC: What is one piece of advice you would have liked to have or know when you first started hunting?
Hannah: That it becomes a part of you. It’s an endless transcendental journey. It’s woven into your very blood and can be traced back to your primal, inherent nature as a human. It’s the root of who are you, not a lifestyle nor hobby.
WBC: What is your social media account handles or website?
Hannah: You can find me as hatchet_jane on Instagram and Hannah Kycek on Facebook. You can also read some of my published work at gohunt.com.
We want to thank Hannah for allowing us to interview her and for sharing her insight and thoughts. If you want to know more about Hannah, be sure to follow along on her journey by checking out her social media accounts at hatchet_jane for Instagram or Hannah Kycek on Facebook. Also don’t forget to check out Hannah’s gohunt.com articles.
If you enjoyed reading the blog or can think of anyone that could benefit from the insight given, please share it with others. It is “OUR” job to continue the growth of the hunting and outdoor community. Be sure to invite someone to start hunting with you, you never know what type of impact it may have for them and their life.
If you would like to be featured in the blog series or know someone who should be, let us know by emailing us or direct message on Instagram.
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