After 13 episodes chronicling various hunts and challenges between six competitors, Sweden's Erika Bergmark captured the title of Extreme Huntress, as the winner was unveiled earlier this month at a banquet in Texas.
Despite her best efforts on the ranch, Kimberley resident Nikita Dalke came out as the runner-up, after all the points were totalled up. The show was judged 30 per cent by challenge scores, 30 per cent by online votes and 40 per cent by field judges.
The show was filmed last summer at the 777 Ranch in Hondo, TX, over the course of a week. In the fall, 13 episodes were released on a weekly basis, following each hunt and skills challenge faced by all six competitors.
Bergmark, announced as the winner at a Dallas Safari Club banquet, was considered the odds-on favourite after the final episode aired.
"We all had a sense that it would be Erika," said Dalke.
However, there wasn't much of a grand prize beyond bragging rights.
"All she got above the other girls was name recognition and being the title-holder and she was also given a sculpture," said Dalke.
Bergmark knocked it out of the park with the fastest time in the final challenge—a one mile biathlon with two shooting stations and a long-distance shot at the end.
Her scores helped put her over the top and into first place, as the show tallied all the points collected based on challenges such as responding to anti-hunter abuse, accuracy and distance shooting and facing down dangerous game.
In between the challenges, the six competitors were also sent out into the ranch to hunt for various animals. The ladies were give the opportunity to hunt a management animal—one dictated by the ranch managers—and a trophy animal.
Each huntress was paired up with another competitor for each hunt, while field judges and a camera crew tagged along into the ranch pastures.
It was all a worthwhile experience, said Dalke, who noted that the friendships she made will be her most enduring memories from the show.
"We all got pretty close and became pretty good friends and just making friends with the owners of the ranch and the guys that worked there and the camera crew," said Dalke. "The judges, too."
The 777 Ranch is a 25,000-acre property that includes over 60 species of native and exotic breeding herds from 80 countries and 5 continents. Dalke got the chance to hunt some animals not normally seen around the Cranbrook/Kimberley region, such as aoudad sheep and Sika deer.
However, that hasn't sparked any plans for an extreme hunting trip.
"It would be fun, for sure. But I don't really have a big aspiration to go to Africa or anything," said Dalke.
"I really liked the ranch though, because you got to see so many different animals that are from all over the world, and even ones that don't exist anymore."