Local woman in the thick of the race

Candace Knudsen: first in skills and third in votes

  • Sun Dec 18th, 2016 5:00pm
  • Sports

Candace Knudsen

By Candace Knudsen

Well, the Extreme Huntress competition is almost over, with only three weeks to go!

In the past month, episodes aired showed two of my hunts and an AK47 shooting challenge.

I had tons of fun shooting the AK47 (what the Texans called “America’s Freedom”).

After this challenge, I am now in first place overall in the skills scores.

I also had the opportunity to hunt the Axis deer – twice.

I wasn’t sure if they would air the first hunt so I had some definite anxiety about seeing it online, the morning it did air.

This hunt was such an emotional, personal experience, but since it is out there, I hope it helps people understand how much passion I have for animals as a hunter.

Prior to hunting this animal, I was told that the Axis deer is tough, they usually run 200 yards once hit, and they don’t bleed. This adds to the challenge of the hunt.

On this morning, we spotted a group of three deer within 15 minutes. I lined up on a mature buck and took, what we all thought to be, a good clean shot. The group of deer ran away.

We all thought it was a good shot and had even replayed the shot on the video camera, which appeared to verify it was a good shot.

But either way, the moment the animal didn’t stop in its tracks, it’s an extremely powerful and emotional time.

We began to search for the deer, but found nothing. The whole time I was thinking I had wounded an animal that was now suffering because of me.

I felt sick to my stomach. I thought I had made a good shot; I thought I had the hit.

After hours of looking, we had to get back to the range for the AK47 challenge.

A group of ranch hands was going to continue the search.

When we got back to the ranch, the camera crew zoomed up the video footage on the computer and we discovered I had made a clean miss! I had aimed for 100 yards, when the deer was about 170 yards away, meaning I shot too low and I completely missed the deer. He wasn’t wounded or hurt!

I was embarrassed that I had made a bad shot and missed, but I will take that any day over wounding an animal.

The next day was my last day to hunt in Texas. I was pretty hesitant about getting back out there and debated on giving up that time to one of my competitors as I was feeling crappy about making a bad shot. But one of the cameramen questioned my persistence, and said “things happen, you can’t just give up.”

That’s exactly why I was here. To prove to myself that staying positive and being persistent pays off and you can literally do anything you set your minds to as long as you don’t give up.

So that morning, I stayed hopeful and headed back out. Within five minutes, I spotted the same group of three bucks.

I lined up, took a deep breath and waited for the perfect moment. I made a great clean shot and dropped the buck in its tracks.

What a powerful moment! I was so thankful to be able to have the opportunity to harvest such a beautiful animal and to have a second chance too, and all of the meat went to a local charity that day!

Hunting is an emotional experience.

It’s not just pulling a trigger and killing. It’s practice, patience, providing food, managing population, conservation and passion – passion for the hunt and the animal.

To watch these episodes, go to getzone.com.

There is only three weeks left to vote and I’m currently third place in the votes (behind two Americans). To vote go to http://www.extremehuntress.com/main/2017-voting/

Find Candace Knudsen and enter your e-mail address.

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You won’t get spam or junk mail. You can vote once per e-mail from now until Jan. 6.

Thanks for your continued support everyone!