Whitetail Rendezvous. This is your host and executive producer, Bruce Hutcheon. And we’re going to visit with Meadow Kouffeld up in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. And Meadow is a teacher, but more than that she’s a proponent of the three Rs, and she’s going to tell us what the three Rs are. Meadow, welcome to this special segment for you, for an Extreme Huntress finalist. Tell me, how did you get involved with the Extreme Huntress contest?
Meadow: Well, Extreme Huntress is a competition that’s been around for 10 years now and the intention is to gain great exposure of capable and competent women in the outdoor media realm, and then also develop ambassadors for women in the outdoors by, you know, promoting these Extreme Huntresses, these ladies that have won in the past. And, you know, women have a huge influence over their children, and adults in general do. And one of the things is that when you’re talking about the R3 aspect, the recruitment, retention, and reactivation of hunters, a lot of times the effort has been focused on the youth. But in reality youth can only do so much for themselves. And if parents aren’t supportive of the outdoors or hunting, the youth aren’t going to be involved, at least not in a meaningful manner.
Extreme Huntress 1 – Finalist Meadow Kouffeld
And so if you get Mom involved, one of the more influential parents… I mean obviously a father is very influential, but he’s also more likely to be a hunter. If you can get Mom involved in the outdoors and hunting, you have a higher chance, or higher probability, of having a larger-scale impact on the future of our North American model of conservation by recruiting more hunters. And so one of the things that’s really important to me is the focus on women, especially adult women, by Extreme Huntress in the hope that, obviously, that moves the needle in the decline of hunters here in North America.
When you think about what you had to do to get to be a finalist, what was the hardest part of the selection process?
Well, for me it was the popular vote. I’m not the best at promoting myself, I don’t have, you know, tens of thousands of Instagram followers or Facebook followers on a public profile page, I don’t have the huge influencer aspect going for me. And so I had to pound the pavement quite a bit to get those votes. And was…you know, shockingly I was quite surprised by the amount of support that I received from my community as well as folks in the outdoor industry. So even though that popular vote aspect was the most difficult for me, I really was surprised by the amount of support that I received.
Now when they tally all the votes, you have the selection committee, then you have how many people get selected to get into the contest?
So there’s the initial pool of applicants, and then from that pool of applicants they select 20 semifinalists based off of their applications, the entry video, as well as the essay that are submitted.
Then where does it go?
Then once those 20 semifinalists are selected, then it’s a…that popular vote occurs. And when that popular vote ends, their vote is worth 20% of the overall application, or the selection process. And so based off the judges criteria and that 20% weight of the popular vote, then they basically statistically sort out the ladies and the top four are selected as finalists, and they get the invite to the boots on the ground portion in Texas.
Now you told me earlier that the top for finalists, extremely close in votes. Are we talking just 1,000 here and 1,000 there?
No, not necessarily the votes, but in our actual competition scores we’re very close. Right now there’s some disparity in the votes, the popular vote aspect, here in the finalists selection. But right now the way it looks with the boots on the ground competition, the competition that actually took place in Texas, we all came out pretty close in the end in our final scores.
So the final 10% of the social vote is going to be really important for the winner.
Yes. It’s an important tiebreaker. So even though it’s a low weight on the overall score, or the finalists, it may be a very important tiebreaker, if not the tiebreaker, for all four of us.
So taking… Go ahead.
Oh, I said we’re actually being judged all the way up until the competition. So they are keeping track of our social media interactions and what we’re doing and that we’re following through with what we say we were at the beginning of the application process.
When you think about your, you know, two or three-minute elevator pitch about why you should be chosen, what is yours?
Well, I, of all the contestants, do the most for hunter recruitment, retention, and reactivation, and I am the most involved in conservation organizations. So I have the best interests of the future of our sporting traditions here in North America in that regard. And I believe that I have a higher-level impact than the other participants when it comes to recruiting new hunters into the outdoors.
Thank you for that. Now how does somebody vote for Meadow?
Well, you go to the you go onto the extremehuntress.com website, you find the voting area, which has basically photos of all the contestants, and you go and click the bubble next to my head, you use your e-mail to submit a vote. You will get a confirmation vote from Polldaddy. And if you don’t confirm via Polldaddy, your vote doesn’t count. So be sure to confirm.
What would be your advice to some lady that’s listening to this or has gotten involved, you know, in the outdoors and says,
“You know, I’d like to enter that contest”? What’s your advice to that woman?
Do it. It’s worth it, it was really just an awesome experience. And, if anything, you know, it helps you kind of put things into perspective of where you are in relation to other ladies in the field, and also opens your eyes a little bit about that there are plenty of ladies out there that are just as qualified that are applying. And I would definitely do it, I would tell the do it, because it was worth it.
Yeah, back in March or April, I believe, is when I submitted my application.
So what’s the growth that you’ve had?
As far as personal growth?
Yeah. Yeah, personal growth. What’s your personal growth from the whole journey?
Well, I’ve continued to be more optimistic about women and the future of women in the outdoors. This journey has led me to meet a lot of other women that are just as capable and competent as myself and I’ve really begun to enjoy spending more time with women in the outdoors, it’s not a luxury that I had prior to this competition. And it’s also kind of, you know, as a person, made me a little more open-minded about the fact that there are women out there that are doing amazing things and that we’re not all in little silos by ourselves. The numbers are growing and some of the ladies across the nation are doing incredible things, and so it’s really opened my eyes at a personal level.
One more time, how do people vote for Meadow?
you go onto the extremehuntress.com website
Well, you go onto the extremehuntress.com website, you locate the voting area, click the bubble next to my head, vote using your e-mail address. And you will receive a confirmation e-mail from polldaddy.com, you will need to confirm your e-mail in order for your vote to count.
So wrapping up, what’s your…you know, what’s your final statement to all the voters that are going to be listening to this?
Well, I would really love it if you went over to the Extreme Huntress website, watch a few of the episodes, if not all of them, and take a moment to review some of the ladies and their qualifications, and then choose your Extreme Huntress, the lady who you think best represents hunting in North America, or hunting around the world for that matter, and whether or not they have a positive impact on the future of hunting.
you’re living proof of the impact that you’re having in women hunters in your home state of Minnesota.
Meadow, it’s been just a pleasure for me to meet you. We met for the Governor’s Open…Minnesota Governor’s Deer Opener, and we met on that panel and it was really great meeting you. Then following up with the Women’s Pheasant Opener down in Luverne. So, you know, you’re living…you know, you’re living proof of the impact that you’re having in women hunters in your home state of Minnesota. So I wish you well in the contest. And, you know, I don’t know how it’s all going to shake out there in Dallas, but I know you’ll be there. And I just thank you so much for being a part of Whitetail Rendezvous and I wish you the best of fortune.
Thanks so much, Bruce, I really appreciate it.
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