From Vegan To Public Land Hunter with Elizabeth Brownell

Show Notes

We've got another killer episode on the Southern Ground Hunting Podcast this week. We're continuing our nameless mini series, highlighting female hunters that we believe should have a voice in this space. This week we're talking to Elizabeth Brownell, who you may know as @rookie_hunting on Instagram and TikTok. 

Elizabeth's story has a lot of twists and turns. What started as trying to find a way to be self-sustainable, led her to veganism and gardening, but ultimately ended with her finding a love for the hunting lifestyle and diving in head-first. Her story takes another turn when she found out about public land and began finding success pretty quickly on her own. We enjoyed our conversation with Elizabeth, and while she may consider herself a rookie, her knowledge is abundant. 

Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Hey, thanks for tuning into this week's episode of the Southern Ground Hunting Podcast, where you're gonna hear a valuable hunting based conversation that's tailored for us southern folk. If you love what we do and would like to support Southern ground Hunting, you can visit Ground Hunting, or you can click on the link in the show notes below.

We'd love for you to join the Southern Ground Hunting community today. Again, that's Ground Hunting. You can also support us by leaving us a rating and review on iTunes. It helps more than and we greatly appreciate it. And now let's get to the show.

Welcome back to another episode of Southern Ground. We are really excited to talk to y'all this week. We had a very interesting episode last week. Hopefully y'all are able to tune into that. So to get into this week, I've got no other than Parker McDonald with us. [00:01:00] Parker, how you doing, man?

We are like, I know this is a Deer podcast. This one is actually not specific to deer necessarily. But I'm in Turkey mode, dude, like my mind, I've literally got this Turkey call. I've been walking around with it in my mouth all day. Really? Like for the last two weeks. Like it's actually, I found it probably be a pretty good way to stop dipping.

Yeah. Keep stop dipping deer in Turkey season that way you just keep a. Calling your mouth. Dude, I'm ready for it. Keep keeps your attention. Good man. It's it's gonna be here soon. I know you got a trip coming up and people can listen to our other, the Limb Hanger podcast to hear a little bit more about that.

But today we're gonna talk deer ducks, everything in between, homestead stuff, everything. We've got Ms. Elizabeth Brown. With us. Did I say that right? Did I get it right? I know. Okay. Brian, now. Okay. So you specifically asked her before the show . I forgot . I'm not great on that.

I'm not great on that. But anyways Elizabeth, we're glad you're [00:02:00] here. And just really wanna talk to you, pick your mind on your presence in the outdoor industry and how you got into hunting and how. Consumed with it now. Everybody can tell, from seeing any of your social media, that you just love the outdoors now, and I wanna know how, I wanna know why, and how you got into it as a woman and how you keep portraying that to other women to get in the outdoors.

So Elizabeth, just tell us real quick a little bit about yourself where you're from and maybe even your social media so people will know who you. Yeah, so I'm Elizabeth. I am 27 and I started the account rookie hunting when I just like accidentally found this giant obsession, right?

I think when you talk to people who hunt, like it's really easy to explain like why You're just absolutely addicted to it. It's just unlike anything else. But I grew up in Virginia and then I went to college in South Carolina and ended up moving back to Virginia. And I was pursuing sustainability, like [00:03:00] self-sustainability and what that would look like for my future.

And that actually led me I was like on a plant-based diet for a while. So I started, as a vegetarian and then I was vegan. And just trying to figure out like, again, what does self-sustainability look like to me? I thought it would be a really. Like insightful skill when covid happened.

Like how does it look? What does it look like to get like meat from an actual animal? I thought that was like a really resourceful, realistic life skill that I knew I had. Absolutely. No idea how to do that. I think when Covid happened, it made a lot of people think what is our future gonna look like?

If that makes sense. Yeah. And so I just asked a friend if he would just take me with him like opening Dave Archery. And I just wanted to see the process, like start to finish. And he did exactly that and I told him, I was like, I'm not gonna hate you. I promise I'm not gonna look at you any different.

I just wanna learn. I'm probably gonna cry the whole time. Like I'm probably gonna absolutely hate it. And it was just nothing [00:04:00] like I ever thought it would be. I think everything I thought about hunting and like the modern day hunter, like everything I thought. Literally wrong. And it was just coming from like a place of pure ignorance.

Once I started I just, I didn't stop really. So I think it's, it's changed my whole life. Elizabeth, you you mentioned something that as I sit here and think back we've got five years worth of episodes. And unfortunately, it's actually unfortunate we haven't ever talked about this idea of like self-sustainability.

and that's real, really what hunting is rooted in, right? And we like to tout it about yeah, we're, do, we're hunting for meat and whatever, but we really don't talk about it. And not as much as maybe we should. And I have noticed I, I have a perspective that might be a little bit unique for most deer hunters in that I'm a musician and so I'm in that.

Space of like musicians and like these skinny jean wearing skateboarders, and I listened to [00:05:00] metal music growing up. Like I grew up in the metal scene and now I'm a deer hunter. And I've always been a deer hunter. Even when I was younger, I was always a deer hunter. And so it's a weird thing.

But what I've noticed when I was a kid, I was my only one of my friends who, Hardly anybody hunted my age. I was obsessed with it, but hardly anybody else did. As I get older, these guys and girls start doing, basically exactly what you're talking about this self-sustainability, like how can we be the most productive human possible, like to where everything we need, we get ourselves.

And I've noticed a lot of people in our age group, I would consider you if you're 27. I'm 32, so we're in that same age group. This idea of self-sustainability kind of changes people's minds about what hunting actually is when you actually get into it. Was there a moment for you that really sticks out as like [00:06:00] the, holy crap, this is different, and could you explain that moment?

For sure. I think it was that very very first day he took me out. He shot a, he thought it was a dough and it ended up being a button buck. And so within him shooting it, and then 30 minutes later they, him and his buddy were, explaining to me like, Hey here's your knife.

This is how you're gonna get it. This is what you want to learn, like we're gonna help you, but you're gonna do it yourself and we're gonna guide you through that process from that moment. And then maybe within the hour. We're grilling backstrap in their shed, like in their garage, and I just, it like clicked.

I was like, okay, like hunters aren't just straight like murderers. I was like, this is food. And this is like not only one meal, right? Like one deer can feed you for, depending on the size of your family. Like months, it just like the once I, it sounded really silly, right? It's oh yeah, it's food.

But like for someone who doesn't, didn't grow up hunting, didn't grow up around people who hunted like friends or family or literally anybody. [00:07:00] Like that connection of this is food. Like we were just in the woods hunting this animal. I saw it was alive. I saw how its life ended. . And although that's a somber feeling, like I didn't shed a single tear because it was the most interesting thing I'd ever seen.

And so I feel like unfortunately hunting is one of those things that you actually have to experience for your mind to change. And I try to preach it now to like people who are, where I used to be, like, whether they're, they're vegan or like they're pursuing sustainability like through vegan diet because they think that's the only way.

or even just like my best friends from college and they're like, I can't believe you're killing animals. And I'm like, let's go take a look at my freezer and I'll show you like every single story. Yeah. Because I know, like I literally know like I've written on the packages, right? That I do myself, like the date or if they have a name or if what state.

So it's like when you, if you care about that, [00:08:00] like the way I do. I'm not gonna say it justifies everything, but that's where it just totally clicks of we were just, you just saw this animal walking in its own like habitat on its own terms, living its own life. And now we're grilling backstrap and it tastes amazing and it's fresh, and it's like the most organic thing you can eat.

I wanna, I gotta sh I gotta share a story about this, Matt. Sorry I'm a little dumb looking hair. Yeah, I am. me. So it, this actually just happened tonight. We had this conversation, so I, we made I'm trying to get my daughter over the idea of eating deer meat. I guess at a young age it's instilled in them that it's different.

And even though it's. She's been eating it literally her whole life. And so I made these, like these burger volcanoes big pile of deer meat, hollowed out with cheese and bacon and like good stuff in there. And then you close it where there's a little hole and the volcano comes out or whatever.

My wife seasons the burger and she's is this okay? Do you think I seasoned it well? And so I just [00:09:00] took a little chunk of it, of the raw meat and put it in my mouth to see if it was salted decent. And she was like, oh my gosh, I can't believe that. And I was like, it's just deer meat. She said, oh, that makes it worse.

And I'm like, actually, yeah, it doesn't, because this deer was not ground in its own feces. You know what I mean? There's so many things about that industry, the food industry and the meat industry like this meat is so much more pure. That's why I love, I love it. Yeah. It's hard to beat.

I. And I think a lot of people they cook it wrong. I've noticed on your page, you're very adamant about how you prepare your food. The pictures you posted, everything looks delicious and it's very appealing that it tastes good because it does. And I think a lot of people, either they cook it too long or they don't.

Marinate it long enough and that they just get a bad, it gets a bad rap. But anyways, going back, you were talking to about the guy you just wanted him to take you out. I've always had the fear. I've taken my wife hunting [00:10:00] with me. And I've always had the fear that something ba, one of those traumatic stories was gonna happen and they would never come back.

So I'm glad you had, a pleasant experience that nothing, nothing bad happened during that. But that's all I can think about. When any, anytime I wanted to take somebody, I wanted to enjoy themselves. I want them to know why I. And like you said, why we're basically addicted to it because it's so much fun.

It's such a passion of ours and we wanna share it with others. And that's the hard thing for us as men, is, how do we share that with women, how do we get that out? And I think you've done a very good job. Of showing women that, hey, it's done. You, like you said, you went from being vegan, nobody in your house growing up hunted.

What did they think when you said, Hey, I'm gonna go out and be a huntress or hunter, whatever? I think at first they were definitely like confused. And then I think my parents, they were more concerned from like a safety aspect. They were like, oh, like you're just hunting with random like [00:11:00] men from the internet, that sounds really safe.

And I'm like, you know when you put it like that, , little sketchy. And then when I started hunting like public land by myself, especially my parents, Really concerned Hey, let us know where you're going. And I'm like, Hey, like I don't live at home. I don't like, we're good. I don't need to tell you where I'm going.

What are you gonna do anyway? You're not gonna know that. I'm like, I'm good. It's, I'm carrying a weapon. Like it's really not as like sketchy as you guys like are thinking it is. But even that first, I guess I started hunting in October of 2020. Like even that Christmas they got me a bunch of hunting stuff.

So all day they were confused. They were immediately supportive too, and they still are. So I'm definitely pretty fortunate. And I think once I started cooking for them too, like they realized like, okay, like this. This is like next level food. So yeah we were definitely supportive of that.

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Matt was talking about traumatic experiences. Have you ever, have you had any of those like moments Yeah. That could be like considered a loss for the hunting team. Yeah. I wanna know what happened and how did you get over it? And when you said that, honestly, I thought to immediately, I thought to I SPD a dough last year and [00:13:00] Yeah, I just, I remember telling people like after I'm like, if that would've been my first experience hunting, I would've never gone back out.

Yeah. And so I think you're right, like it is when you take new people, like you're taking a kind of a little bit of a chance and you need to really be careful about what shots you're even taking because that could totally ruin that experience for someone. I'd read, I'd read blogs or I'd like seen videos of where, other people, spine, a deer.

But like the second it happened, I was, I just immediately knew. I was like, oh, I was, She's paralyzed, like right in front of me. And I'm pretty transparent. I'm really emotional. So and I try to tell people all the time you can be as emotional as you want when you're hunting cuz it's it's a weird thing.

Like I think it triggers a lot of people emotions. Like whether you're, a 27 year old girl or you're like a 50 year old man. These are. Like they're animals. Like they, they're living their own life. And I think, a lot of people are like desensitized to it sometimes, but I think [00:14:00] we're holding an impact, right?

So to be as ethical as possible, I think is one of the most important things to really strive to, to be. But I just straight I've never gotten out of my self climber like that fast. Like I'm pretty sure I just slid down the whole tree. I've never been able to pull my crossbo back without a caulking rope.

I did it straight, adrenaline and I took a second shot and I just sat next to her and I sobbed just like I absolutely sobbed for just a really long time. And then I finally composed myself and I was. Okay. This is still a better situation than you taking a shot in a, and you not being able to find your deer.

Although like I was sad the rest of the day and then once I posted it and I just told everyone like, Hey, like I fucked up this morning. Like I took a really bad shot and whether she ducked or it was my angle, like regardless, like I don't ever wanna see an animal like struggling like that in front of me.

That's hard to watch. So I [00:15:00] just told everyone about it and I just was honest and honestly the comments made me feel 10 times better because everyone was. This happens, and again, like you still harvested a deer today, like that's not, that's still something to celebrate. I do feel fortunate sometimes when I'm experiencing something for a first and I'm able to go on social media and share it with people and, it can, social media can be a really negative place sometimes, but there is that, off chance.

People with more experience are always there to tell me like, Hey, this is normal. Thanks for being honest and like genuine about what happened. I don't think, I don't think it's sexist to say that. Men and women are wired with different emotions. It's just pretty true. You know what I mean?

Like your response to some things are gonna be different than my response to some things and Matt's response to some things. And one of those things to me that I've seen is that women are just naturally more compassionate. You're more compassionate humans [00:16:00] than men are. Like my son, he will stomp every bug that he sees from the day he was old enough to walk.

But my daughter, there's a good chance, like if she sh, if she steps on a bug, she might be sad about it. You know what I mean? It's just natural. And so I'm always interested to know like those moments, like how did, how you got over it and how. Responded. And today it's both a blessing and a curse that social media, people can either build you up or tear you down.

It seems like more people wanna build you up than tear you down, but the ones that tear you down are a little bit louder than the ones that wanna build you up. And so with that, there's a lot of peer pressure that comes with being a social media. The influencer, for lack of better word. And I can imagine being a social media female influencer, there's other levels of pressure that are there.

Do you feel that within the hunting space? And if you do, [00:17:00] I want to know. You're smiling, so I'm thinking you probably do at some point, at some level. So because you do tell me like how you handle these things. Like how do you handle the comments and the main things and the things that are there that are just really tearing you down?

It's hard. It's definitely hard. Yeah. I started out on Instagram and for a while I didn't wanna make a TikTok. I wasn't on the app I just, I wasn't really interested in it. And then I talked to a couple people and they were like, Hey, like your TikTok could just bring more people to your Instagram.

Like you can just use it to move in that direction if you just wanna stay primarily on Instagram. So I was like, absolutely. So I caved and I made a TikTok. And what I was not expecting is that like Instagram. Is such a nicer place. I I will stay on this . Instagram is so much more supportive.

Like I've, yeah. Like absolutely I get aggressive comments or aggressive dms [00:18:00] that can be really hateful. Sure. But looking at percentages like TikTok. Far more brutal like people are. And I will say it is in half because TikTok, like you're able to get a lot of more views. So like the views I've had on TikTok are nowhere near what I've had on Instagram, but sometimes that's because people are actually just ripping me to shreds and that is gonna keep the video going.

Right on TikTok? Yeah. They push it. Yeah, they do. So I just, TikTok kind of sucks. I'm not a fan of it. I wanna delete it like every other day because again, I, it's a lot more negative how to get over that. I don't know. Like I still, to this day, I feel like sometimes I wanna delete all my accounts and then I'll get a DM usually on Instagram, and it'll be someone who was in my position and they're like, Hey.

I wanted to learn how to hunt and I didn't know anyone who didn't grow up doing it, so I didn't think it was possible. So thank you for being honest, or thank you for [00:19:00] sharing like your journey and like what you've been able to learn. Like it makes me feel like I'm able to do that. And the second I get that DM, I feel like my battery is recharged, I'm like, okay, like I'm not absolutely failing and everything.

Like I'm doing okay. And I feel again, being honest and genuine for other people to see. Is important. So I just try to keep chugging along. But as far as the pressure, I feel like absolutely. I feel like I, I feel a lot of pressure. I don't know if it's just the pressure I put on myself. I know we talked like earlier, before we went on here, how some accounts can.

They're gearing towards a different aesthetic, right? Like some women in the outdoor community, they're using aesthetic. That's a great aesthetic is a great word. Thank you, . They're using, right? Like they're, we could say looks or bodies like to get views. And if you wanna do that, go for it.

But I feel like I'm already struggling to feel respected in the outdoor [00:20:00] space that is male dominated. That I feel very hesitant to do that cuz like I wanna be taken seriously and I feel like I can't do that if I'm just trying to get like a bunch of likes and clicks. Yeah that's huge.

And I'm glad you noticed that. Some people are blind to the fact but maybe just ignorant. But I wanted to ask, I know you said you had an Instagram account and then you went to TikTok. Was there a moment where you've, where you were like, Hey, I've got an impact.

I've got a platform here that I can share my story because your name is Rookie Hunter or Rookie Hunting. And I, I lo I love the name because you're just, you're al you're not trying to be, the professional hunter or anything like that. You're like, Hey, I'm new. The new to this, I'm working on it.

And what you're, are you three years in now? Yeah. So I started in 2020. So yeah, you ju you jump in it, you do the public land grind, you get in there with everybody else and you do it. But was there like, I wanna say a post maybe even a video that you were like, Hey, I may [00:21:00] have something.

I think what's funny is that I came up with a name Ricky Hunting because. Again, it was that fir very first season, and at that time I, I wasn't even I didn't even think I wanted to carry a weapon. I think I just wanted to start like learning more. So I just kept going out with those same friends and they had private land, so it was easy for me to go with them.

And then when I felt like I was maybe ready to carry a weapon like I was using their stuff, like they really absolutely just introduced me into the world of it. But I remember I was trying to I was trying to, I think as naturally, like our age group, we go to social media sometimes, to learn, whether it's YouTube or Instagram.

So I was trying to find other females that hunt and a lot of them, like it seemed like they grew up doing it and they're like comfortable in their space and they already know what they're doing. And. I just kept trying to look up. I'm like, there's gotta be some like, like rookie hunting. Like I just kept looking up that handle.

I was like, rookie hunter. I was like, new hunter. I was like, newbie hunter. I was like, where are these accounts that like should [00:22:00] tell me the basics. Yeah. I think a lot of people, they forget, like they've been doing it their whole life. So when they're, they're sitting there and let's get to the basics.

Like no offense to anyone, but I think they do a really not great job at actually getting down to the basics. They'll be like, okay, like we're looking for rubs and scrapes. But they won't like actually take the time to say Hey, like this might be something you're misidentifying in the woods. Or Hey, this is like what you're specifically looking for.

Like I feel like people don't break it down enough. And I don't, me for sure I don't either cuz I'm still trying to educate and learn at the same time. So I do try, like I'm trying to be more educational in my account instead of just sharing. My journey, if that makes sense. Yeah. But but yeah, so I just kept looking up for Ricky Hunting and nothing was coming up, so I was like, I'll just I'll make the account like, yeah.

And then I think that first season I had 50 followers and I just kept remember thinking, I was like, why are people actually following this account? I'm just taking pictures of like fields and [00:23:00] like just birds and random stuff. I was just so confused, but it just, it kept the momentum just kept going, so I was like, okay, like we're going for it.

This is happening. I'm just gonna keep trying to post. And here we are now so well and here's the cool thing. You've got some credibility as well. Just looking, skimming through, I noticed there was some pictures of a pretty nice buck that you killed on public land. Behind you.

Yeah, I see him sitting there. Yep. I think it's cool. It it's a good thing that we look for credibility in people before putting 'em on a platform like what we're doing right now. Like we, we put credible people on this podcast. And we wouldn't have you on the podcast if we didn't feel like you were credible.

And when you look at things like your progression and you really wanting to learn and probably taking in a whole lot of information at one time to somehow in your, what was it, [00:24:00] your second season that you killed that buck? That public land deer, or was it Yeah. Yeah. Your second season.

Opening day of my second season of Whitetail. Holy frick. I didn't realize it was opening day. Tell me. Yeah, it was opening day in like the first 30 minutes. Like it again, like when it happened, I feel like again, I shared it on Instagram and a lot of people were like, Hey, you might not realize this, but like you might never get that kind of high again.

And I was like, All right. I was like, that's okay, . Okay, so you did something right here, like somewhere in your second season, you go on public land on opening day of all days and kill a buck. Like wh where, tell me this story. Tell me what happened. Was it just a luck thing or was it like you felt like you were really good prepared?

And you say cred, credit, credibility. And I know that's like an important thing in the industry. I feel like I have such like inexperience that I never. I feel like when I do get those comments that it's it's just beginner's luck. I'm like, yeah, maybe. I'm like I [00:25:00] have no idea. I'm not really sure.

They're still grown. There's still grown men who haven't killed, a buck let alone on public land. Yeah. Yeah. It's a big deal. I don't think I realized at the time, again, that first season of hunting I was, on private land only and learning at, with other people.

So I knew I didn't necessarily like that in the sense that I don't like, depend on other people. There were some days I wanted to go hunting and either they weren't going or they didn't want me to go to that certain spot. So I, I didn't, I right off the bat I was like, okay, like at some point I don't know when, but I need to get my own weapons and I need to figure out how to hunt on my own.

And I knew I didn't own land. So I was like, I came to them and I was like, Hey have you guys heard of like public land and what is it? And like, how does it work? And both of my buddies were like, yeah, that's how you get shot. They were like, we don't do that. You shouldn't do that either. That's really dangerous.

And just don't. Yeah. Don't do that. [00:26:00] And I was like, okay, , . So you did it. I just kept, so there I was on public land. . I'm definitely the kinda personality, you tell me not to do something, I'm gonna, I'm gonna go do it immediately. But yeah, so I just kept doing research and I was like, okay at that time I was so lucky.

I lived in a county that had five units of public land, like five WMAs. Now I live in a county that has zero. Like the public land WMA that I shot him at, it's about an hour and a half away from me. I'll still hunt it, but not as often. And again, it takes me a little while to get there.

So for a morning hunt, that's especially hard. But at that time I wasn't living too far from there. And it was funny cuz I scouted that spot, I wanna say two or three weeks before opening day. Like it was late and I only went there once and I saw a huge dough and so I was like, I want to come back here.[00:27:00]

And so I did, and instead of ado walking out this, he was the first deer I saw. No, and it was at like seven 30, like it was early. So he just came in at like 75 yards and he just walked the exact trail. I was hoping, a deer would walk and he gave me a 15 yard shot and. I took the shot and it straight up went through his heart and I, he dropped like 40 yards from me, so I heard him drop, but in my adrenaline I was like, did I miss?

I was like, was it a spike ? I was like, I have no idea. I saw antler and I wasn't counting like I was ready to shoot a dough that morning. So really our first year I saw was gonna be my first year. Or not first year, opening day. When I walked up to him and I, I posted the video a couple times, but I just, I think I said holy shit maybe 20 [00:28:00] times.

And I was just hysterical. Like I couldn't believe he was an eight point, cuz I, I was, again, I was prepared to shoot a spike. Like I didn't care. Dang. Yeah. That, that is, that's a crazy story. And there's sure maybe beginner's luck, whatever, but there are aspects of. From what I do know about you, you take information in, like you absorb it, right?

Like you're pretty transparent about being a rookie and you're absorbing a ton of information. So there's definitely don't downplay yourself with that hunt cuz there's probably things that you did in that. And even right this second with what you know, at this point you may not realize holy cow, I did.

I did this, and that's why that hunt worked out. I've had so many experiences now as an adult, and like when I'm, as I really dive deep into tactics and talking to other people, and I'll think back to Hunts that I had when I was younger and be like, oh, [00:29:00] that's why that spot produced every single year because it had this.

Things I didn't even realize then, like I just lucked into it. But going back a little bit to this idea of say, self-sustainability really the way I say it, you're, you are becoming in tune with your natural the natural drive of your body is to hunt. Like that's, it is a new concept that we don't hunt for our.

Yeah. And so I think there is like a basic instinct. There's an instinct that we have to do that. As you've been, as you've been pursuing this and really pursuing this lifestyle, are there things that have maybe caused reservation in you on. Is it o is it okay? You know what I'm saying?

Do you ever have reservations about this [00:30:00] lifestyle as somebody who had no prior experience with hunting? Honestly, no. And I think that's why I say a lot like people who, bash hunting or they're anti-hunting, whether they're vegan or not, I always say until you experience it, I can't change your mind.

There's no blog you can read. There's no YouTube video you can watch. There's no, Instagram account you can follow. That'll change your mind until you actually experience it. So I feel like for me, within that first year, I was like, yeah, like I could see this being the rest of my life. This is how I want to eat.

If I'm able to kill a certain amount of animals that I don't have to go to the grocery store. This is how I wanna. When you say instinctive I absolutely agree. Trying to explain to people like how natural this feels, especially if they're coming from the perspective of they think it's like me murdering, an animal.

It's hard to try to explain to [00:31:00] them like this. It feels so natural. Yeah. And not like in a psychotic way, but of a, like I'm able to go out and provide for myself. And again, it's an animal that wasn't bred for slaughter. They're literally living their free life in the wild. And I think a lot of people don't realize that the way their lives end are not peaceful.

Like you, shooting a deer and it drop. , within view. That's a very quick way to, for their life to end. I think it's a very natural, very instinctive thing and I, I don't think it takes long for your, the gears to start, thinking this is how I wanna live.

Yeah, absolutely. That's great. The, so the homes dead stuff. Do you have a garden? You do a garden each year and everyth. Yeah. I, when I was 25, I bought my first house and I have an acre of land. Then and there I started just adding garden beds. So this year will be the biggest garden I've, I'm gonna do.

And I imagine every single year it's just gonna keep, continuing and get bigger. I got [00:32:00] pretty lucky again, like hunting made me realize what I'm actually capable of and what I'm interested in doing, and again, how I want to live my life. So I got pretty lucky. My, one of my buddies I met actually up in Maryland, I hunt with him.

He moved into an hoa, so he had to get rid of his chickens and turkeys, and he knew I had just bought my house, so he literally brought them all over on a trailer and I ended up with, a bunch of chickens and turkeys. So that was my first introduction to that. And he definitely downplayed it.

Tyler, if you're watching this. He was like, oh no, it's so easy, like you'll be fine. And I was like, I dunno. Just take him, get him off my hands. . So I definitely didn't know what I was getting getting into, but again, because of hunting, like I was able to harvest one of those turkeys like for Thanksgiving.

And that's something I never thought I'd be able to do cuz that's no longer a wild animal. This is, a pet that I named and I cuddled with every day. And now, I'm serving him to my family and friends. So that's definitely. That's a learning curve [00:33:00] too. And if I were to explain that to myself like five years ago, I'd be like, oh, so you're like you're crazy now.

That's, that makes sense. But that's great that it led into that. Cuz that was one of my questions I guess, cuz it, I saw one of your posts and you had like your Thanksgiving menu and it said our pet Turkey, was his name Freddy? Or something like that. So I name all my chickens and turkeys like after presidents or first ladies.

Okay. Yeah. So that it's probably pretty morbid when you go to slaughter 'em. . No. And people tell me that all the time. They're like, if you keep crying, like why do you keep naming them? And I think it's more of a respect thing again I can go into my freezer and say oh, this is, this is Kennedy, or this is, Nixon.

But to me it's a respect thing, I think. It's gonna be sad when you get to Lincoln. That one's gonna be tough. . Actually, my dog's name is Lincoln, . That's . Let's hope you never have to make that decision. Nope. Wow, this got dark real quick. Matt, you got your hand raised, man, . Oh yeah. So with, I'm sorry.

I still got it up there, [00:34:00] but no with the Turkey and everything that, that's pretty awesome. Now do you do you hunt wild turkeys as. I do. Yeah. That was one thing. I got them before I had went into my first season, and so I remember thinking I'm now emotionally attached to these turkeys.

Am I going to even be able to kill a wild Turkey? I didn't know if that was, gonna be in within my capabilities emotionally. It's just, it's totally about the same. I'm just gonna put it out there. It's not like you have a Turkey that is at your home and your homestead and you cuddle with them and a wild Turkey is gonna get you fired up.

It's still a wild Turkey. I was able to harvest my Turkey last spring and that was the last day of the season, so that too. That was a, yeah, that was crazy. That's cool. So back to the TikTok Instagram stuff. I know. It seems like more and more with social media we're going to a more horizontal video or a vertical video platform.

[00:35:00] People who wanna see videos, they don't wanna see pictures. Yeah. So with Parker and I, we do a lot of filming on the YouTube side and everything. Have you ever thought about possibly filming your hunts and that? Yeah, so I've tried in that first buck him, I actually did get him on my GoPro and then I went on a work.

Like immediately after, and I lost my SD card, like during my workshop. Oh. So that I cried. To me that was like, that was, one of the biggest days of my life and I had the footage and then I lost it. So that really hurt. But I've tried cell filming. But I will say I feel like as a rookie hunter, I have to tiptoe careful line where I see everyone else posting their filmed hunts where they're self filming and I have to take a step back and be like, they've already been hunting for, five or 10 years and then they started self filming.

The line I teeter on is am I gonna put too much focus on trying to get that hunt on film? And then I potentially, [00:36:00] you. Miss an opportunity at that animal because, I'm messed up or something cuz I was focusing on the wrong thing. I feel like I'm still so new that I am trying to prioritize, but also I understand like that is the part of building content, right?

I wanna work with certain companies and like producing that content is important. And the easiest way to do that is to self film your hunt. So I've been trying, I'm dabbling this season. I definitely. On this white tail season, I definitely put a lot more emphasis on it, but I then, I actually wasn't able to harvest a single deer.

Like that's on the token of that that's hunting at the end of the day. I've been trying, but I literally just posted my first YouTube video like yesterday, so that's a whole new learning curve. Like I have no idea what I'm doing. Yeah. But it's definitely something I want to do.

So yeah, just in, in that space of video, you're producing these short, short content videos on TikTok, Instagram, things like that. But [00:37:00] you're showing your face, right? Like it's completely like people see you, it's video content, , I always tell my wife I completely trust her.

I don't trust men in general, right? So I wanna know. Is that something that you like? Obviously you're a female who's putting content on the internet. There's creeps, there's there are creeps out there. Yeah. They exist and we all know that and we see 'em in the comments section. Is that a concern that you actually like legitimately worry about?

And for other women who wanna put content out there too, are there things that you're doing to protect yourself in that regard? Yeah. And I will say I was very naive to it in the beginning. Like if I pulled up to a public land spot, I would take a while I'm still there, I would take a picture of where I was at and post it.

Cuz I'm, at the time I'm like, I didn't realize you don't tell your spots, yeah. Podcast that. Yeah. I just wanted people to know hey, these are opportunities. If I can [00:38:00] do it, you can do it. And these are opportunities in the. And I got a DM one day that was like, Hey you might not wanna do that, especially if you're by yourself.

Because if people see your location and they're in the area, like they could immediately pull up to the same public land parking lot. So now I definitely, the second. My accounts did start getting a little bigger. I was a lot more cognizant of that. And so now I won't post it till after I leave or like I'm already home or I do try to be a little careful, but I wouldn't say it's actually, it's not that bad.

Like I definitely get creepy dms, but I think again, like I'm not, I don't know. I feel like I'm not. Posting certain content that gets me a lot of that like creepy men, I guess if sense. But to other women doing it, that, that's one thing I never thought about. Just be really careful where you're posting your location.

I have, I've posted some tos where I'm like fishing or something and someone's oh, I know exactly where you're at. And I'm like, oh my [00:39:00] gosh. Like, how do people do that? They just see a rock and some water and they're like, yep, I know where she is. Yeah freaking you, you show the right ripple in a water in a lake and people are like, oh, I know they been, I know that lake.

I know I caught a bunch of big fish right there. It does give me a lot more hope for humanity. I'm encouraged that you said that it's not like a crazy amount because sometimes like when you're, like, you read these comments of grown men, like grown men writing these someone's dad.

That's what I was thinking about. I'm like, that's someone's dad. Yeah. I'm like, dad is in my comments, like talking about, X, y, Z. That's great. That's it blows my mind. Golly. I. I will say though, like hunting made me a lot more comfortable with guns, so I did get, that's great handguns and, I got my own house, so that definitely was warranted.

So I definitely feel a lot more safer in that aspect. Excellent. So you, you didn't have any guns before you started hunting. You were vegan, and then you jump, you jumped right in, you jumped right into the middle of it, freaking head [00:40:00] first. Man. She got a rebel flag jacket too.

Yeah it's awesome. But k kind of what were your hobbies, I guess before hunting were, did you hike, were you involved in outdoors? Tell us a little bit about that. Yeah. In college I started hiking a lot and like camping big into like birding, like just like bird watching.

So I feel like when your hobbies are already centered around that, it wasn't a crazy jump to go to hunting. Yeah, I don't really hike anymore, to be honest, cuz like you have hiking and then you have scouting. So I have to like, prioritize my time. But a lot of those things go hand in hand.

It's not that crazy of a jump. Yeah, because some women that get in think, think of honey, they're, they don't wanna get dirty they don't want to, break a nail. I guess that's a cliche saying or mosquito bite. So that's, that, that was what I figured. You were in the outdoor realm, but you weren't in the hunting industry as well.

With your content and I guess, looking through Instagram and whatnot, you can see the [00:41:00] demographic that follows you, the age, women and whatnot, and just looking at your content. You're a woman who's wanting to, I feel like you're a woman who wants to promote other women to hunt and that they can do it.

So I guess you take that into consideration, like when you make a post or try to, show what you're doing, to make it. I guess women friendly. I, to a certain extent for sure to a certain extent. I'm a girls girl but. I will say, looking at my demographics on TikTok, it's majority men.

Yeah. And Instagram's about the same. So I think when I made the account, the thought was, oh, maybe I can find like girls, like friends who will wanna do this with me. And you don't see too many women doing it. So when I started just getting like a bunch of male followers, I was like I was like, this isn't really what I wanted,

Yeah. That's not the plan. Yeah. That wasn't the plan. But . But so I, I do try to gear it to a certain extent, but nothing too crazy. I'm [00:42:00] still gonna try to be as genuine as possible, so I know some of my content guys probably keep scrolling cuz they're like, yeah, this isn't geared towards me.

But I think I, I do a pretty good job at keeping it pretty even. Ha Have you found some women to hunt with or been able to do that? Absolutely. From like probably the first year And on it through social media too. Yeah. I know it's, again, not safe, but I do meet up with a plethora of strangers from the internet cuz I'm just like, I check out their account and I'm like, okay, you seem like a real person.

You seem like we have similar interest. So I'm pretty trusting in that. Yeah that's tell me. But I've made so many like serious, I've made so many I would call them best friends, like through hunting. Yeah. And I think that's a crazy thing where, You know the friend up in Maryland who gave me all the chickens, I purely met him through Facebook marketplace cuz I was buying all of his girlfriends, like hunting clothes and her bows.

Yeah. And then I just was like, Hey, like I've never tried waterfowl. Like you seem like an avid water [00:43:00] Fowler. Can you take me out? And then, now we're still best friends and I'm, best friends with his, friends with his girlfriend. So it's crazy like the friendships you can make through hunting.

I, it's unlike anything I've ever really experienced before. I think just even looking back at some of the previous conversation of the different goals of women with hunting you definitely, all it takes is just looking at your content for just a few minutes to realize like you're trying to promote hunting.

You're not trying to, you're not trying to take advantage of hunting. You're promoting it. It's funny you're talking. The majority of your followers being men. Every once in a while, like we spend a lot of time creating content for people, right? If I put a post on the southern ground hunting Instagram, I wanna get, you wanna get likes on it, right?

That's just duh. You wanna get comments. But at some, sometimes I think about like how different my goals are now from when I was like maybe 18. Because when I was 18, I couldn't give a flip how. [00:44:00] Guys liked my stuff. Who cares? I don't care about you. And now you look at it like you post a deer picture and it's just like 350 dudes.

Like you're literally trying to gain the and following of a bunch of guys. It's a weird, it's a weird thing for a dude, but also weird thing for a woman, right? That's also weird. Like you wish it were more girls, more females, more. Yeah, but also understanding, like going into it, I knew this was a very male dominated thing, right?

I didn't know how that was gonna translate negatively into finding gear. I will say that is like a absolute downfall of the hunting industry that I think a lot of them fall short at. . And I think I talk about it all the time. I'm like, man, if I had an investor, like I would change that, change everything.

Because yeah, it's hard to find like certain brands that that stuff actually fits. And I feel like a lot of the female hunting clothing brands or clothing [00:45:00] gear I feel like they know there's not a lot of options. So they hike up those prices because they know, you have to. We, that is a, definitely a downfall of, I think our guest last week, Olivia she talked about the same thing.

She's it's just crazy how little there is for women out there. Yeah. Especially like in today's age, like it's 2023. Like I, I feel like there's. Really no excuse at this point. When there are, huge companies in the hunting industry and they have maybe two pieces of women's clothing, like you, they have the women's section at the top and you click on it and there's four things, and I'm like, you don't even have half the sizes.

That's not even, that's not even right. I don't know. It's definitely, it's not something I was expecting. But that is a hard thing to find, I think. I, again, I have a little more hope for humanity because I do believe that women like yourself Mike, Olivia that we talked to last week, y'all are promoting it in a, in the right light.

And you've got a good thing. [00:46:00] I appreciate your honesty and your transparency too, like even in your posting, like it, it's really, it's annoying when you see people who have been hunting for a couple of years trying to tell you how to hunt. And try to act like professionals and the way that you do it is so different.

Like it's so different and it's awesome. I think it's great what you're doing. Thank you Elizabeth. Thanks so much, number one for putting out the stuff that you do. I believe that you're growing the hunting industry or. Growing the sport and promoting the sport in a good light. So thank you for that and thanks for coming on the show.

Thank you. I really appreciate it. And thanks for the opportunity to talk to y'all. Take a time. Hey, before we wrap up, before we wrap up, Elizabeth, tell us tell everybody where they can find more of your stuff. Yep. So Instagram and TikTok are both at Rookie Underscore Hunting, and then my YouTube is Rookie Hunting Outdoors.

Awesome. Fantastic. Y'all blow this up. Go. This is a new YouTube channel, right? Is that what I gathered? Yeah, like it's brand new. Yeah, I'm trying. Subscribers on [00:47:00] this thing I'm excited about. Watch number one. I'm excited about watching you still learning to hunt and also self filming because that's gonna be awesome and it's gonna be really cool when you make it, when it all just comes together.

So let's blow that thing up. Guys, thanks so much for listening. Matt, thanks for being here, Elizabeth. Thanks for being here. We'll talk to you guys next week. Hey guys, thanks for listening to this week's episode of the Southern Ground Hunting Podcast. You can keep up with Southern ground hunting by following us on Facebook or Instagram or subscribing to the YouTube channel, and you can be sure to check us to pick up some of our merch, read some blog articles and all that good stuff.

I truly hope you enjoyed this week's episode, and we'll see you here again next week. Remember that God gave you dominion over the birds of the air, the fish of the sea, and the beasts of the earth. So go out and exercise that dominion. We will talk to you next week.[00:48:00]