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Determination, Flip Flops and a Muzzleloader

Ashley Workman

Broken foot can't keep this Kansas girl down

By Ashley Workman

I'm a 28-year-old homegrown Kansas girl who rarely gets time to hunt. This might seem a little strange since my husband Josh and I are in the outfitting business, our seventh year, in fact.

But as the busy mother of two boys, Easton and Wyatt, and with business in full swing at Kickin' Tail Outfitters, I didn't think I'd get to go at all this season.

On September 16, 2013, Josh and I were lucky enough to find time on opening evening of muzzleloader season in Sterling, Kansas. But, it wouldn't be easy.

I had a broken foot at the time and wore a walking boot. Still, there was no way I was going to let an obnoxiously oversized boot keep me out of the treestand this year!

We tried best we could to quietly make our way through a bean field, tall grass, up steep hills, then into our stand. 

Just being in the woods made me happy, because I'd missed so much of last season staying busy with the birth to our second son. Although I didn't get a buck in 2012, no worries, I still helped fill the freezer in the extended doe season.

Josh and I set up in separate stands in the same tree. Everything I know about hunting came from him, my trusty cameraman and extra eyes and ears. 

It was early season and definitely warmer than we'd have liked, about 85 degrees, but we've hunted in much hotter early season temps. I certainly wasn't complaining.

Soon we began to see lots of movement about 150 yards out, but only does. 

My favorite part of early season is watching the deer go about their business without a care in the world. They aren't very spooky yet, and you start to feel like you are actually a part of nature. 

After a few hours, we finally saw a buck! It was approaching from directly behind our tree, so we couldn't tell how big it was at first.

Since we'd diligently checked our trail cameras recently, we knew there were several incredibly nice bucks on this property, so I couldn't wait to see what was heading our way!

The buck stopped about 30 yards from our tree, but it was only a 2-year-old. We agreed to pass since it would likely be an amazing deer next year. 

Hunting Stories Wanted!It began to graze and soon we heard another deer coming. It turned out to be another buck, much nicer and older than the first!

By this point, I was absolutely shaking like a leaf. I kept trying to signal to Josh that I wanted this buck, and we had a full blown whisper-yelling conversation going!

My husband didn't want me to get too excited in case the big daddy from the trail camera was following behind these guys. 

As a mother who works a full time job and raises two small kids, I knew my opportunities to hunt would be rare this busy season, so after a few moments, I told Josh to get his camera rolling. Ready or not, I was shooting! 

After closing my eyes, taking a deep breath and calming my shaky hands, I aimed carefully and squeezed the trigger.

At first, I couldn't see anything through the blackpowder smoke, but I knew I'd hit the buck.

Josh followed it with the camera and watched it drop about 30 yards away . . . whoop, whoop! 

We waited a few minutes, which seemed like forever, before climbing down to find it.

As we sat, we watched several does and even other bucks nonchalantly enter the field as if a gunshot hadn't just blasted nearby!

Eventually we got down with Josh's camera rolling, and started to track the blood, even though my husband knew exactly where my buck fell.

I'm only 5-foot-1, so I couldn't see over the tall grass, whereas Josh is a foot taller and could see my deer long before I spotted it. 

It was a beautiful 10-pointer, more points than I counted from the treestand. 

After a quick video interview and a couple of poorly-lit pictures, we loaded my prize into the truck and headed home to show our sons.

Inside the truck, I removed the walking boot from my broken left foot and put on one flip flop. Later on Facebook, people saw my photos and assumed I'd been hunting in flip flops, which I thought was funny. Even if I had, does it really matter?

Editor's Note: If you want to know more about the Workman's hunting operation, please visit and like Kickin' Tails Outfitters' Facebook page:

www.facebook.com/KickinTailOutfitters

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