You may have heard the chatter on Twitter (see #GirlHunter if you haven’t) but two weeks ago, some beautiful ladies joined me in Hill Country, Texas for a weekend of girl bonding, good food, outdoorsy adventures, and togetherness. It was a weekend I’ll never forget and far surpassed my expectations for just how much fun we would have.
We were hosted by the beautiful Joshua Creek Ranch which is one of a handful of Beretta trident ranches in the country (think “the Michelin Guide” for hunting), and we ate and played and laughed around the campfire and ate s’mores.
Below are some of my favorite pictures from the weekend and some links to what the other ladies have posted about their adventure.
What I love about these photos are that they are a reflection of what each person was experiencing in various moments, with each other. You can almost see the girl bonding come to life over the weekend. Just what it was all about.
Scenes from Joshua Creek Ranch… the weather was stormy at times with a spattering of blue skies which made for a dramatic and wonderful light.
The view of the trees from high on the hill…
And Joshua Creek herself in all of its drama and beauty.
I love the scraggly trees in Texas… they’re so stunning.
This is the area where we did some fly fishing.
Another view of the creek…
And another. You can see how the water sparkles when the light comes through the clouds.
(Photo by Bakerella)
And the colors… at a certain time in fall, all of the cypress trees turn red and reflect in the water below. Everything is red.
Sporting Clays Time:
From left to right were: Carrie from Deliciously Organic, Amy from She Wears Many Hats, Erika from Ivory Hut, Dara from Cookin Canuck, Wendy from Wenderly, Angie from Bakerella, Me, Cheryl from Tidy Mom, Marla from Family Fresh Cooking, Elana from Elana’s Pantry, and Lori from Recipe Girl.
I did a little intro for starters. I just love this particular shotgun, it’s like butter. It’s called a Beretta 28 gauge silver pigeon grade 5. Say that 10 times fast.
Look at Marla try her hand at it for the very first time. The best line of the weekend was hers: “Woa. This is not yoga!”
There is Bridget, visualizing where the clays will fall before she tries to aim. Doesn’t she look graceful?
And Bakerella… I love that we went from her cake pop book signing the night before to a little clay shooting in the morning! See? Girls are so versatile.
I just love this woman. And I’ll have you know Amy is an amazing shot… a natural.
And Wendy! I love her too. Her dad is a great outdoorsman, so she already knew a lot.
I talked to the ladies a bit about form. But they didn’t need my help very much.
Women are very good shots.
We’re patient and precise with many things.
Look at that perfect shot! Can you see the clay break in the distance?
This is my Girl Hunter bling. Amy gave it to me as a gift and now I’m obsessed with it. I wear it every day. Can you tell what it is made out of?
Me and Cheryl! Her husband had taken her for a practice outing before she came, isn’t that sweet? But her arm was a little sore so we were going easy on her.
Kristan, representing for one of my favorite states, Arkansas.
Carrie in that fabulous shirt and hat!
And Dara, also a great shot.
When you get a bunch of great photographers in one place, there is equal parts camera shooting to gun shooting.
And laughter too. There was lots of that.
Next up, was fly fishing instruction!
Dara and I had some bonding time by the creek. The water wasn’t rushing so we talked more than we fished but it was still fun.
There’s Bridget, getting instruction on her form.
And Dara, casting her fly reel.
The girls practicing.
Bakerella mastering yet another skill.
And of course Marla. Would you expect anything less from the most athletic person I know?
Girl Hunter Cookies and Cake Pop Time:
This is one of my favorite photos from the weekend. The elements in the photo encapsulate it all perfectly.
Angie getting the cake ready for the cake pops. Red velvet baby!
The most impressive array of icings and sprinkles I’ve ever seen. All thanks to Bridget, Kristan and Shelly, who were masterful icing technicians.
And this is Erika’s very first cookie she decorated. Amazing. Scroll down to see her very first s’more, prepared by Bakerella.
The state of Texas and a couple of shotguns.
I think Angie is the most photogenic person I know.
Look at that wood technique on the icing! And I love the red boots.
Look how intent and crafty they are.
Kristan’s apron killed me. A branded apron = awesome.
The fun and girliness abounded.
In The Field:
They wanted to see a little action in the field so we all went out together.
Their mode of transportation was a hay truck!
Such fun. I love a good hay truck.
I’m not sure where I’m going here but I’m on some sort of mission.
Here, I’m doing a dance with the quail.
I love this picture of Marla. She’s such an amazing photographer… a woman and her camera.
There she is in the distance snapping away.
Girl bonding on the hay truck.
Amy bonding with Boogie the English Cocker.
Now I’m really on a mission here. Or else I really had to find the restroom.
One of the beautiful pointers at the ranch. You should see them in action, they turn to statues when they point at a bird.
This is us all piled into the hay truck together. Eric had never dealt with this many women on the ranch so it was quite an event.
Group shot in the field.
And the obligatory funny face in the field.
This picture is just to show what an amazing photographer Erika is.
And the skies at Joshua Creek with that stormy weather were so magical.
We did a little more clay shooting as night fell. I love this picture for how blurry it is and the fact that they were now playing a game where they shot three at a time. The girls were really getting into their groove.
And then there was cocktails followed by dinner at a very long table.
We ate very well, the chef there is quite the cook.
We chatted and sipped for hours.
Then we sat around the campfire and chatted some more.
And Erika ate her very first s’more, assembled by Bakerella. Not bad, eh?
These were our complicated s’more ingredients.
And this is me with a giant pair of hot tongs, manning the fire. In my camo-sequin dress. Yes, strange, but I decided if there were ever an occasion to wear this dress, it was here.
Then on Sunday morning I did a cooking demo after breakfast and the girls went on strolls and hung out. This is a photo Lori took on her walk with Marla and Elana.
And these are besties, Kristan and Shelly. It’s so nice they got to see each other here.
I particularly love Kristan’s bling.
These ladies tried my quail en papillote, a traditional French way of cooking food in a parchment package with aromatics, such that when you open the package in front of the diner, all of the lovely aromas waft up into their nostrils.
Oh the French… they’re so good at theater.
Dara and Angie
Bridget and Cheryl
Elana and Wendy
Me feeding Lori her lunch!
Marla and Elana!
And of course, the fearless camera crew from Citizen Pictures who I sent away with proper Girl Hunter hats.
And Eric, our fearless leader who took a bunch of gals around the fields for the weekend.
It was so hard to say goodbye to everyone, it went by so darn fast. But I’m so very glad we did it and so honored that thess ladies joined me on a Girl Hunter adventure. It was girl bonding at its best.
Here are some of the wonderful posts the ladies have done about their experiences, I’ll be sure to add to this as more pop up:
- “Girl Hunter” the Girl, the Book, the Hunt & a Giveaway by Family Fresh Cooking
- A Girl Hunter Weekend & Coming Full Circle by Cookin Canuck
- Girl Hunter by She Wears Many Hats
- Girl Hunter by Wenderly
- Saturday Stuff by Cookies & Cups
- Friday Fun!! Friday Fun!! by Confessions of a Cookbook Queen
- Favorite Gifts for Christmas by Bake at 350
- Giveaway: Holiday Goodies by Elana’s Pantry
- Girl Hunter Book Review & A Visit to Joshua Creek Ranch by Recipe Girl
- Girl Hunter Weekend & A Giveaway! by Tidy Mom
- Girl Hunter Weekend by Deliciously Organic
Here are some other wonderful Girl Hunter posts and recipes from across the web:
- Girl Hunter & Moroccan Stew by Tickled Red
- A Cookbook Review & Moroccan Elk Stew from Girl Hunter by Miss In The Kitchen
- Moroccan Elk or Venison Stew from Girl Hunter by The Girls Guide to Guns & Butter
- Cookbooks for Christmas by The Pioneer Woman
- Girl Hunter by A Reel Lady
- This Guy Is Loving ‘Girl Hunter’ by Sole Adventure
- Girl Hunter Book Report by AZ Wanderings
- Girl Hunter by Foggy Mountain Meanderings
- Girl Hunter Promo Video & Buttermilk Fried Rabbit by White On Rice
- Girl Hunter Giveaway by Cashmere & Camo
- Favorite Non-Fiction Books of the Year by Gluten Free Girl
- Favorite Cookbooks of 2011 by David Lebovitz
- Book Review: Girl Hunter by WNC Women On the Fly
- Bigos, or Polish Hunter’s Stew by What Julia Ate
- Holiday Gift Guide: Cookbooks! by What’s Gaby Cooking
- Girl Hunter by Add A Pinch
- Buttermilk Fried Chicken by Dishing Up Delights
- Girl Hunter Interview & Giveaway by Good Life Eats
- Girl Hunter: Reconnecting with our food by Z’s Cup of Tea
- Tales from the Trenches by The Naptime Chef