Melissa Hulsey is a rifle, bow, and muzzleloader hunter from Georgia, where she’s just retired and moved to a farm. (Living the dream, Melissa!) Her scenery has switched from tree stands at private hunting clubs to her own backyard. In this episode we talk about the currency of human capital when it comes to developing hunting expertise, and how Artemis is trying to foster strong hunting communities through connection. One-off mentorship experiences in the field aren’t enough to build self-sufficient hunters. So how can we better bridge the gap?

  • 2:00 Moving to a farm-slash-game preserve from the Atlanta area 
  • 3:30 A meal to impress: A good cut of venison steak, parmesan risotto, asparagus done just so, and pumpkin cheesecake. “Did you know you just ate venison?”
  • 5:00 Melissa is an entrepreneur who sold her company in 2017, around the same time as her husband took early retirement. Now she’s pursuing her hobbies full-time, which is where the farm comes in
  • 6:30 Georgia hunting: Turkey, deer, squirrel, doves, armadillos… aka “possum on the half-shell”
  • 7:00 Archery, muzzleloader, AND rifle… archery is the fav for Melissa, and she started pretty soon after picking up hunting in general. The impetus was getting out in the field early in the season
  • 9:00 (Perceived) barriers to archery hunting: Cost, upper-body strength, time/attention/mental bandwidth, confidence in stalking skills; decreasing range from 150 yards to 40 yards
  • 13:00 Access to expertise (aka friends) is also a barrier to trying something new in hunting
  • 14:00 Part of Melissa’s WHY of linking up with Artemis is to find that she-tribe of hunter-friends. Nationally, about 20% of hunters are women. In Georgia, it’s more like 7%
  • 17:00 Artemis Georgia: four women strong – a team of PhD’d wildlife rockstars
  • 19:00 Georgia and Montana = Artemis Alliance focus states. They’re so different!
  • 27:00 When looking at R3 efforts, Artemis is gunning for ‘retain’ through building communities of women hunters. Georgia Artemis has another take – E3 Initiative: Engage, Empower, Encourage
  • 27:30 Are you a hunter in Georgia? Artemis has a short survey on what programs you’re most interested in
  • 28:00 Pssst… Artemis is hiring! Southeast regional outreach coordinator
  • 29:00 Who misses hugs around here? 
  • 30:00 Georgia hunting is HOT. A Thermacell helps keeps the bugs away. Not a lot of walking. Tree stands are big. So is hunting over agriculture fields.
  • 31:00 A short story from Georgia hunting, titled, “Underestimate Me, It’ll Be Fun.” That moment when Melissa’s husband realizes she DID know how to reload her muzzleloader rifle.
  • 36:00 Western hunting versus Georgia hunting: Gear isn’t nearly as important. T-shirt and yoga pants, baby. The obstacles are different. Like, in Georgia, you’re guaranteed to shove your face through some spiderwebs on the way to a tree stand.
  • 41:00 Public lands in Georgia-speak are “WMAs,” or Wildlife Management Areas. They’re open to hunting on certain days, and some of those days will be earmarked for youth-only, women-only, seniors-only.
  • 43:00 How do you build successful mentorship programs? We’re all trying to figure it out. One-hit experiences don’t work. It comes back to community and building competency/self-sufficiency after those first few outings.
  • 44:00 Nicole Qualtieri Ep 10 on Retention
  • 53:00 Are women further along establishing themselves in the angling world versus hunting? Some of those river-centric initiatives have been around longer.
  • 54:00 The chicken that went missing for four days is BACK! We missed you, Rosalie!
  • 56:00 The bear shoulder roast… staring at you from the freezer. Sarah Topp’s winning recipe 1:03 WANTED – Bear taco pics in the Artemis Podcast Facebook group