Women involved in the East Kootenay’s strong outdoors culture are once again at the forefront of the female hunting world.
The Elk Valley’s Alison Gagne is has reached the voting round of “Extreme Huntress,” based on the strength of an essay she wrote for the competition. Now, to get through to the exciting round of six in this prestigious female hunting award show, she needs to attract online votes from supporters far and wide.
“Extreme Huntress is a popular worldwide competition — considered the most prestigious female hunting award —which showcases the hunting skills and outdoors abilities of the contestants, and is aired is in a series of online episodes. It’s stated goal is to preserve and promote outdoor heritage and create positive role models who want to participate in hunting.
“The most important part, for us, is to promote the outdoors for other women and children of the world,” Gagne told the Townsman. “Divorce rates are 51 per cent — there are a lot of single mothers that may not have the interest to get their children outdoors.
“In this technological era it’s important for us not to lose that — it’s our heritage, that connection we have with nature, just being in the outdoors. It’s seems like society is being pushed away from that.
This is important to me as a mother. I have two young children, and I was very fortunate to grow up with a very outdoorsy family.
“I feel I am a good role model to promote this.”
Gagne — nutritionist and fitness trainer in Sparwood — started following ‘Extreme Huntress’ a few years ago when Nikita Dahlke of Cranbrook was a contestant. Gagne, who lived in Cranbrook for a while, knew who Dahlke was, and so her interest in the show was piqued.
Last year another Elkford woman — Erica Forsyth — also made the final rounds of the show, which confirmed Gagne’s decision to enter.
Gagne’s essay, which won her a spot in the 20 contestants, who will be winnowed down to six, referenced her growing up in an outdoors-focused family, her hunting guide experience as a youth, and how she was able to resolve a period of poor heath with a return to that lifestyle, paying special attention to its nutitional aspects.
“Hunting is part of the Nutrition and Fitness triad which results in true health,” Gagne wrote in her essay. “As a Nutritionist and Personal trainer, I live and work towards being as healthy and as fit as I can be in order to be able to conquer mountains, chase big game, pack meat out, & carry my children alongside as a positive role model for them and others.
“As a female, I am a true provider for my family.
“Nature is in all of us. Nature is where we originated from. Some of us have lost that connection. I want to help those people find Nature again through Hunting; as the female voice.”
Gagne has now reached Stage 2 of the competition — the voting stage, along with 19 other contestants from around the world, including others from B.C. To reach Stage 3 she needs as many votes as possible from the public. To vote for Alison Gagne, go to the Extreme Huntress website here and click on the Voting 2017 link. From there scroll down and find her picture along with her essay. For the direct link to Gagne’s voting profile, click here.
You must enter a valid email address in order to vote (Gagne says they will not spam you), and click “vote. “People must confirm their vote through a confirmation email from “Extreme Huntress” to make the vote official.
If Gagne makes it into the Top 6, then in July she will head to Texas to compete against five other women in head-to-head outdoor skill challenges for six days that will be filmed and presented in more than 20 episodes. More voting will take place with each episode, and the Extreme Huntress 2017 winner will be determined in January, 2017, by the judges and combined over all voting scores.
The Townsman will follow Gagne’s adventures as the “Extreme Huntress” moves forward.