Stephanie Mallory is a mom, a hunter and Realtree’s PR Coordinator. She’s here to deliver an insider’s look at the outdoor business and give her opinion on all things outdoors—whether you asked for it or not.
May 31, 2012 | By Stephanie Mallory
I got fussed at recently by a male hunter who read a piece I'd written about hunting when pregnant. According to him, I had needlessly risked the health of my unborn baby by continuing to turkey hunt while pregnant. For many, hunting and pregnancy don’t seem to jive. For this reason, you won’t find any stores selling maternity hunting clothing, and you’ll find very little written advice when it comes to hitting the woods with a bun in the oven.
A friend of mine recently expressed her concerns about hunting when/if she became pregnant. As an avid hunter and outdoorswoman, she is worried about her limitations. I completely understand. When I found out I was pregnant with my first child, I actually cried. Not because I didn’t want the baby, but because I worried that my outdoor pursuits would have to cease while I incubated my baby.
I felt certain my doctor would make me cancel my pending turkey hunts. Much to my surprise, she not only diminished my fears, but encouraged me to continue with my hunts. She explained that I’d be in my second trimester, which is a safe time to travel and hunt. She explained that as long as I used common sense and was careful not to fall or overexert myself, there was no reason not to go hunting. And she explained that the baby is so well insulated within the womb that a few gunshots wouldn’t affect its hearing.
Despite my doc’s go-ahead, I got some flak from friends, family and even strangers for continuing with my planned hunts. I appreciated their concern, but felt I would be just fine if I followed my doc’s advice. I ended up hunting more during that pregnancy and during my second pregnancy four years later than I did when I wasn’t pregnant, and I had more success to boot. In fact, one of my most memorable hunts involved killing a four-bearded gobbler during a freak snowstorm when I was four months pregnant.
My third pregnancy was a different story. At my six-week ultrasound, my jaws dropped when the ultrasound tech told my husband and me that we were having twins. After speaking with my doc about what was now considered a high-risk pregnancy, we both agreed that I should stay out of the woods for the duration of the pregnancy. In a sense, it was my original nightmare-come-true. But, by that time, I understood that the following months would fly by, and I would be out in the woods again in no time. The twin pregnancy was uneventful until my 30th week. I went into pre-term labor and ended up on hospital and home bed rest for an entire month before delivering my babies at 34 weeks gestation. They were both healthy and required little time in the NICU.
So, I’ve made it through three pregnancies – two low-risk, which allowed me to continue to pursue game and one high-risk pregnancy, which kept me home bound and hoping for healthy babies.
So, have any of you ladies hunted when pregnant? Have any good pregnant hunting stories to share? Anyone try to convince you not to go hunting? Men, do you have any problem with your wife hunting when she’s pregnant?
May 27, 2012 | By Stephanie Mallory
Does the ink on your skin let the world know you’re a hunter to the bone? Do you have a hunting tattoo that you’re proud of? We want to see your hunting tattoos, and we want the stories behind them. Send a pic of your tattoo and why you have that particular tattoo to rteditorial [at] gmail [dot] com by June 5. We’ll select some of our favorites to post on Realtree’s Facebook page. After Realtree Facebook fans vote on their favorites, we will post the top pics on Realtree.com for all to see.
I don’t have any cool tats myself, but I have several friends that do.
Wesley Machen of Alpine, Ala., has a tattoo of a big buck on his arm. The image isn’t just of any buck; it’s a replica of a bruiser he killed in 2009 at FarmLinks recreational property on Pursell Farms in Sylacauga, Ala. Machen, FarmLinks farm manager, pursued that deer for several years, and the day he bagged the 174 2/8-incher was one of the happiest of his life. He now proudly displays that buck on his arm for all to see and to remind him of the day he took that bad boy down.
“That was the buck of a lifetime for me,” Machen says. “It’ll probably be the biggest deer I’ll ever take, so I had to get a tattoo of the buck as a tribute. In the summertime, I cut the sleeves off of my shirts so everyone can see it. You wouldn’t believe the people that come up and make comments. I show it off for sure, and everyone asks about it. I live and breathe deer hunting, so it’s the perfect tattoo for me.”
Do you have a hunting tattoo? Does it tell a personal story or does it simply represent your passion for the hunt. Send us a picture and tell us all about it.
May 23, 2012 | By Stephanie Mallory
The Realtree.com editorial team has just concluded three days of meetings, and can I just say that ours is unlike any other business meeting I’ve attended. Talk about laid back. It’s nothing unusual for some of our guys to spit big wads of dip juice into empty water bottles between comments on website analytics or content optimization. Only half of our team wore shoes at any given time, and conversation regularly drifted off track to subjects like the anatomically correct deer statue in the meeting room or Will Brantley’s excessive back hair.
We spent hours discussing story, blog and photo essay ideas, with much of our conversation going something like this:
Will: “Zombies aren’t real. We are not running an article on killing zombies.”
Tony: “You’ve gotta at least consider it for Halloween. Zombies are cool”
The zombie dialog went on for a good 15 minutes or so with Will getting angrier with each additional undead suggestion. Watching Will get angry is quite fun, so we all continued to offer different zombie-killing story scenarios just to hear him repeat over and over again, “But, zombies aren’t real!”
Sorry to say you won’t be reading anything about zombies on Realtree.com this fall. We also shot down a story about pooping in the woods, but we did spend the good part of three days planning out a great editorial calendar.
When we weren’t working we were playing. Pool was the game of choice, and we quickly realized that we were easily the eight worst pool players to ever gather around a table. Sporting clays and fishing were also on the agenda. The ladies had no problem beating the guys with both number and poundage of bass caught, which of course made us gals happy. We love shattering the spirits of our male counterparts.
All in all, we had an extremely productive and yet predictably uncouth meeting, but it’s that very combination that makes working on this team so much fun. I look forward to reading your comments on the stories and photos we post in the coming months. Please continue to let us know what you’d like to read about, and if zombie and poop stories would make your world a little brighter, please don’t hesitate to let Will know.
May 21, 2012 | By Stephanie Mallory
As you’re reading this, I’m making the drive from my home in Birmingham, Ala., to Sebree, Ky., for Realtree’s quarterly editorial summit. Those who know me also know that I will most likely get lost during the 5-hour drive. I have no sense of direction, I admit it. That’s why I had no good comeback when Will Brantley, Realtree.com editor, said upon learning that I was driving and not flying, “You sure you can find Kentucky?” Thanks for the vote of confidence, Will. Anyway, I will get there. It might just take me a little longer than it should.
This month, the Realtree.com editorial team is gathering at Deer Creek Lodge for two and a half days of discussions and reviews. According to the agenda, we will be sitting through approximately 15 hours' worth of meetings. We will discuss topics such as website traffic; past blog, story and photo editorial performance and new story ideas. We meet like this four times a year to figure out what exactly it is that you guys want to read and see, and how we can make Realtree.com even better.
Coming up with fresh and unique ideas is no easy task, but you guys help us out a lot through your comments on Realtree’s Facebook page and in the Realtree.com forums. Throughout the year, we pour over your forum and Facebook posts to see what it is that you guys are talking about. From there, we can get an idea of what you want to read about as well.
Quite frankly, 15 hours' worth of meetings can be a little grueling. Luckily, we’re going to have the chance to blow off a bit of steam with some fishing and five-stand shooting. I hope to update you on our progress and entertain you with a few pics of the team goofing around toward the end of the week. In the meantime, care to help us out a little? What would you like to read about on Realtree.com? Do you have any good ideas for photo essays?
May 15, 2012 | By Stephanie Mallory
Selena Barr, UK Realtree pro staffer and brand ambassador for Great Wall Motors, will no doubt look pretty in Pink when sitting behind the wheel of a Realtree AP Pink Great Wall Steed, but her inner beauty is revealed through the purpose of her trip.
This lovely huntress is taking part in the Fifth Annual Pink Car Rally designed to raise funds for the Little Princess Trust, which provides real-hair wigs for children suffering with cancer, alopecia or any other illness.
Beginning on Tuesday, August 14, 2012, a large procession of pink cars will travel approximately 900 miles from John O’ Groats, Scotland, to Land’s End, England, over a five-day span to raise money and awareness for this cause.
The Little Princess Trust supplies and fully funds the best wigs available from all over the world, especially designed for children. It also provides personal fitting and styling to ensure the wig is as close as possible to the original hair.
"Since the charity began in 2006, it has given away more than 1,100 wigs," Barr says. "This year it hopes to give away a record 500 wigs, each costing at least $350. SInce the wigs are made from real hair, and every individual hair is sewn onto a membrane, they only last 4 to 6 months. That's a lot of expense for a child that has been diagnosed with cancer and has two years worth of treatment ahead of him or her. Not only does the charity provide the wigs for free, but it also offers a personalised styling service for each patient.”
The Little Princess trust was formed in 2005 by a couple who lost their little girl, Hannah, to cancer. She found losing her hair very traumatic, and her parents experienced great difficulty sourcing a realistic-looking wig for her. They eventually found a suitable company to make a wig for Hannah, but the process was distressing and time consuming. Little Princess Trust has streamlined that process helping more than 1,000 children so far.
If you’re interested in supporting Selena’s quest to raise money for this worthy cause, visit www.justgiving.com/selena-Barr.
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