A Stunning Way to Display Your Hunting Trophy

This month in my column for Texas Wildlife magazine I featured three talented Texas women who turn trophies into beautiful pieces of art. Today I am sharing the first of them–Annlyn Osborn with Haute Horns! I have no doubt you will be as impressed as I me with her work and want to order your own custom set.

{Become a member of Texas Wildlife Association today to read the full column!}


Sometimes the best ideas come on a whim.  That’s how Haute Horns started for Annlyn Osborn, a South Texan and former Fiesta Duchess who makes intricate beaded and painted trophy artwork for clients across the state. Annlyn grew up in San Antonio, Texas, and throughout her life has kept one foot in the city and one on her family’s ranch, where her love of wildlife has blossomed. One night several years ago, her love of the natural world and her affinity for art fell together as an art project and she has been making custom trophy art ever since.

How would you describe what you make?

I like to think that I breathe new life in to old European mounts by beading them.

What inspired you to start making this art?

I’ve always had an affinity for the arts, and growing up spending time at the ranch cultivated a love for animals, so it fell together one night as an art project.

Where do you get inspiration for different designs?

A lot of my designs come from historical art and tribal patterns. I’m a sucker for a symmetrical motif.

What is your most popular design/medium?

Its a toss up between Swarovski TM crystals and seed beads. The crystals can sometimes provide a more stunning display, but the small beads showcase my attention to detail.

What has been the most interesting piece you have done?

Its so hard to pick a favorite, but I recently finished my biggest piece ever, a commissioned Swarovski TM longhorn.

What inspired your love of wildlife and the outdoors?

I hail from a long line of hunters who instilled a love for animals and conservation in my mind. Then, in 2010 I embarked on an eye opening Outward Bound journey that had a powerful impact on how I perceive nature.

Do you like to hunt and if so, what is your favorite thing to hunt and why?

I’ve been very fortunate that my family and I have been able to go on several African safaris that brought us all closer together, but the hunt that stands out in my mind the most was this past October. I took my first bull elk with my dad by my side, after looking for the right one for three years, on my family’s place in New Mexico. Never has a hunt been so rewarding. (Not to mention all the elk steaks.)

Can people send in their own antlers to be custom made, and if so, how do they do that?

Yes, I love taking commissions where the client wants to add a personal touch to a trophy or family heirloom.

Annlyn’s designs add color and flair to any trophy, small or large. I can’t wait to have a trophy worthy of Annlyn’s work!

How to Order

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What to Wear Turkey Hunting

This is part of my Girl’s Guide to Turkey Hunting. Find out all you need to know, from what gun to use to how to pick a hunting spot.

A Girl’s Guide on Whit’s Wilderness wouldn’t be complete without a post about what to wear! I’m a huge believer that you don’t have to sacrifice style just because you’re going hunting, and am sharing my favorite clothing and gear below.

Happy hunting, ladies!

A few things to know…

  • Turkeys have impeccable eyesight so unless you’re sitting in a pop up blind, you’ll need to be decked out in full camo.
  • Wear bug spray and tuck your pants into your boots to avoid chigger bites
  • Comfort is key, you will be sitting for long hours!

Camo Top

I recommend this Wild Rose Apparel camo top for turkey hunting in Texas. The fabric is so light and breezy, you won’t feel like you’re wearing anything.

Photo credit: @wildroseapparel

The pattern is made of roses, and looks so feminine in person.

Where to buy: 

Pants

I have two recommendations here: one is camo and the other is olive green. If you read this blog, you will hear me talk about prAna a LOT!

I have both of these, and I LOVE the prAna pants. They are incredibly comfortable and stretchy, but with enough structure to make them flattering. I like the Prois pants as well, though they are not as great for tucking into boots. They have a slight flare at the ankle and are best suited for hunting in colder weather.

You will want pants that tuck into your boots to keep the chiggers out!

Prana Meme Pants
Prois Pro-edition pants

 

Snake boots

Ordinary cowboy boots would be fine, but ideally if you’re tromping around in brush you should be in snake boots. That said, don’t let not having snake boots keep you from hunting! Just watch for snakes.

These Chippewa boots are really comfortable. I have a wide foot so had to order the men’s to be comfortable, so note they are a little narrow!

Bug Spray

I can’t emphasize this enough, wear bug spray. If you’re sitting on the ground for a while, the creepy crawly critters will make their way into your pants!

Face Paint

I like to do an upside-down antler design.

Hunting Bag

Baseball Hat

I also like to wear a baseball cap for extra camoflage, and think this one is super cute!! Texas Camo Hat from TexasHumor.com

I hope you feel super equipped for your next turkey hunting adventure! Be sure to check out my other posts on the topic of turkey hunting:

 

Affiliate links used (in other words, if you buy something on a few of the aforementioned sites, I may make a small commission. It covers a small fraction of the cost of running this blog!)

Field Fashion Friday: Wild Rose Camo Top

For what seems like my entire life as a hunter, I’ve been wondering one question when it comes to women’s field attire: Why is there not a feminine camo print on the market?

It’s as if there is some law that states we all have to wear Real Tree or Mossy Oak camo, and I’m not a huge fan.

 

Finally, a camo print has come along that’s covered in roses, and simply beautiful.

Lindsey Gates, founder of Wild Rose Apparel is the woman behind this. I love it because I can wear more places than just the deer blind, like a day on the ranch, camping, or with a cute vest in town.

You can purchase it here:

This material is so light and breezy, it definitely has Texas women in mind. She’s putting this camo on lots more products coming up and I can’t wait to see them all.

Three cheers for better looking women’s field clothes!

 

Field Fashion Friday: Fur Fingerless Gloves

I’m kind of obsessed with these fingerless gloves by Wild Rose Apparel! I loved shooting in them last weekend at my Ladies’ Skeet Shoot.

Perfect for a cold day of shooting or hunting, and can be worn in the city. I personally love the fingerless style for warm Texas. Our winters don’t always call for big gloves, to say the least.

It is nice to have gloves every now and then when you’re shooting, because sometimes the gun can rub your hands and create callouses. (Depending on the gun and how much shooting you do.)

Happy shooting!

Field Fashion Friday: Camo Tee from Target

I’m always looking for versatile clothing I can wear doing outdoorsy things but also every day when I’m in town. Thus I was thrilled to run across this top at Target for only $9! (And that’s how Target sucks you in…)

Target Tee

Women’s Printed Vintage Tee – Merona, Target.com, $9

This could be worn hunting, hiking, shooting skeet, a weekend at the ranch, or in town with jeans. I definitely will be wearing this soon now that dove season is open!

P.S. If you want more hunting attire ideas, check out What to Wear Dove Hunting

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A Girl’s Guide to Dove Hunting: What to Wear

The fun part of outdoor guidance for me, aside from the beautiful places I get to go, is always the fashion. Call me superficial, but I like gear! And gear matters when it comes to the outdoors, because it can make a huge difference in your comfort level and ability to execute the task at hand.

{This is part of my Girl’s Guide to Dove Hunting, so be sure to check out the rest of those posts here.}

When it comes to hunting, it can be difficult to find something feminine, but it’s not impossible. As the stylish ladies in the pic below show, it is possible to look cute while hunting.

Annlyn

A Few Basic Guidelines

Though you will see people dove hunting in camo, this is not required. Olive greens and browns work fine. The idea is that you don’t stick out like a sore thumb in the brush.

You’ll want to wear something you don’t mind getting a little bloody.

Opening weekend is usually pretty toasty still in Texas so try to wear something cool!

Tops

Recommendations

I love GameGaurd fabrics–so lightweight–and their cut–so feminine.

Prois is a great brand and these Sojourn tops are my favorite of theirs.

Alternatively, you can wear something tan or olive green from your closet.

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GameGaurd top

Pants

I recommend pants, not shorts. When you shoot a bird, you will have to go through the brush to get it (unless you have a bird dog) and your legs will get scraped in shorts.

I also prefer pants I can tuck into my boots, but that’s more personal preference than necessity!

On hot days, I prefer a lightweight material instead of denim.

Recommendations

If you read this blog and haven’t heard me talk about these pants yet then you are missing something! These are by far my favorite outdoor pants on earth…they look great on. They can be worn on day hikes, camping trips, and trips to the ranch. The material is so soft and stretchy yet sturdy.

These are skinny leg, so great for tucking into boots. I just got these and so far have been very pleased with them.

Shoes

You’ll want to wear boots dove hunting as opposed to tennis shoes. Tennis shoes don’t hold up well in the brush and you’ll spend the rest of your night getting stickerburrs out of your shoelaces.

Recommendations

Snake boots are an investment, but worth it if you spend a lot of time on a ranch.

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Ammo Pouch and Bird Bag on a Belt

This is not required, but definitely recommended for holding your ammo and birds. I like to keep my ammunition in a pouch on my belt so that if I leave my chair to pick up a bird or to go chat with a friend I’m hunting with, I have it with me in case the birds start flying nearby.

This can be used for skeet shooting as well!

Recommendations

  • Jon Hart bags hold up well and are monogrammable: Jon Hart Bird Bag, jonhartdesign.com
  • Academy has some inexpensive, and yet nice looking ones as well which you can find in the store in the hunting section.
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Jon Hart bag in action!

Hat

A hat is rather pointless, because if you’re hunting at sunset the sun will shine in your face regardless. However if you’re hunting mid afternoon you’ll want a ball cap or a wide brimmed hat.

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Eye Protection and Ear Plugs

  • Sunglasses are usually enough
  • You can usually pick up a pair of ear plugs at the gas station or CVS

Cold Weather Add Ons

Now all you need is a really nice gun, and life will be complete!

Happy hunting!

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Field Fashion Friday: Elephant Hair Bracelet

Today’s field fashion is inspired by Africa. Elephant hair bracelets, only they are not made from elephant hair, but from sterling silver and gold, or, if you choose the black one, synthetic and gold.

two tone gold silver

Two-tone lightweight elephant hair bracelet, Safari Jewelry, starting at $100 (Prices vary depending on number of strands, gemstones, and metals)

Synthetic

Synthetic and 14k gold elephant hair bracelet

A friend of mine has had these for years and they are as shiny and stunning as the day she bought them. A reminder of the plains of Africa each time you look down at your wrist.

A particularly beautiful addition to your ranch or hunting attire. Wink wink!

 

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How To Pick the Perfect Hiking Shoes

First, I must share this photo of my friend Joy on the South Rim Trail at Big Bend.

Joy South Rim

Go girl! That is one happy looking hiker.

Today I want to talk about hiking boots. Picking out the right pair is an important endeavor. We’re all women here and know the value in a good pair of shoes! But I want to tell you today how to go about picking out these important staples in your outdoor wardrobe, because it takes more time and different parameters than normal shoes.

What to Know

  1. The two most important ideas to keep in mind are weight and waterproofness. You want your feet to be as light and as dry as possible. Look for shoes with Gore Tex–it is the best. This is a patented waterproofing technology used by a variety of brands. That said, many brands have started using their own waterproofing technology and that typically is pretty sound.
  2. Go 1/2 size up. This is a standard rule of thumb. After you put the hiking boots on, jump down stairs or down the fake boulder in the store and see if your toes hit the end of the boot. If they do, go another half size up. This is no time to be vain about going up a shoe size…think instead about how the right fitting boot will prevent blisters!
  3. Boots take time to break in, so plan to purchase them far in advance of your hiking adventure. If you are buying light trail running shoes, then it takes less time to break them in and you don’t need to worry about this as much.
  4. Allow 2 hours to try on hiking shoes and GO IN THE STORE. Don’t shop online.
  5. Try on at least three pairs and spend at least twenty minutes in each. This would look silly at Nordstrom but at hiking stores, this is normal. Perk of REI: one year satisfaction guarantee. If you read Wild by Cheryl Strayed, you know they are true to their word–she called them from a payphone halfway into her hike and they sent her a new pair.
  6. Don’t let the sales people pressure you. They are all gurus, and their opinions range from one side of the spectrum to the other. While they can be helpful, ultimately, you should listen to your gut.
  7. Good socks are important too…I recommend Darn Tough socks (found at REI) or Smartwool light or medium weight socks.
  8. A note about pedicures! If you’re going on a long hiking trip (more than three days), don’t get a pedicure for a few months in advance so your feet can build up some callouses.
  9. There are two types of hiking footwear: trail running/hiking shoes and hiking boots. The former looks like a tennis shoe but has a sturdier sole, and the latter is a traditional hiking boot that covers the ankle.

salomon ellipse gtx                     lowa espresso berry

Which one you choose will depend on personal preference and intended use. Typically, a hiking shoe is perfect for light day hikes or weekend campouts. The hiking boot is more suited for longer hikes and backpacking trips. That said, I know people who do the opposite. The good news is you will be happy in either.

When to Wear a Hiking Boot

If you are…

  • Prone to turning your ankle
  • Carrying a pack over 20 lbs
  • Tend to hike where it is rocky (ie, near Austin)
  • Going to be hiking all day

When to Wear a Hiking Shoe

  • If you usually go on small day hikes
  • If you prefer something light on your foot

I personally love my hiking shoes but my next investment will be in hiking boots, because I like how sturdy they are and I like the classic hiking boot look.

10. Lastly, grab a pair of extremely lightweight flip flops and take them with you whenever you go hiking. Slip them on after you’re done with your hike. This is good for your feet!

Happy shopping…let me know if you have any questions. I’ve listed below some of the brands and shoes I love. I hope you find the perfect pair.

Joy Seated

Picking Hiking Boots Graphic - Pinterest

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Field Fashion Inspired by the Duchess’ Hike to Tiger’s Nest

Once again, Kate has done it: looked fabulous while living her sporty, jet setting life. I love that she and the Prince continually take time to get outdoors, and use their platform to promote causes such as Scouts and wildlife conservation. Lately she has been touring India, where she bottle fed baby elephants, tried an ancient form of archery, and hiked up the hills of Bhutan to Tiger’s Nest Monastery. She and Prince William looked like they were having so much fun. Today, in honor of Kate, and in honor of her sporty life, I’ve picked an outfit inspired by what she wore on the hike to Tiger’s Nest.

The Inspiration

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Photo Credit: Samir Hussein

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Photo Credit: UK Press Pool/Getty Images

samir hussein

Photo Credit: UK Press Pool/Getty Images

The Outfit

This outfit is fitting for light hiking, a day at the ranch, riding, shooting, and simply channeling your inner Kate. Honestly, I would wear this just about anywhere.

Orvis Velino Vest

Velino Travel Vest, Orvis.com, $89 (on sale!)

Alternatively, I LOVE this linen one. So much more practical for Texas heat.

Caslon vest

Caslon Linen Utility Vest, Nordstrom.com, $78

GameGaurd

Ladies White MicroFiber Shirt, GameGaurd.com, $57

I love this brand and have their tops in camo.

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Brenna Pants, prAna.com, $89

prAna is one of my favorite outdoor brands and the material of these pants is perfect. I own a pair in a different cut. It dries quickly, is stretchy, but more sturdy than athletic pants. Love love love it!!

Kate wore grey pants but I love these in Dark Olive: prAna Brenna Pants in Dark Olive.

Merrell Boots

Merrell Captiva Boot, 6pm.com, $88

For the boot, you’ll want something with traction and a good sole if you’re hiking or doing other outdoor activities, so I recommend choosing a boot like this from Merrell. This is a sporty take on the traditional riding boot.

scarf

Caslon Linen Scarf, Nordstrom.com, $32

Et voila. Enjoy channeling your inner Kate! But I must say, the best thing she wears is her smile so don’t forget that.

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Field Fashion Friday: Bullet Bracelet

One of the things former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was known for were the subtle messages conveyed by her jewelry. Once during her term, a Baghdad paper called her a “serpent” for criticizing Saddam Hussein. To her next meeting in Iraq, she wore a serpent pin. Another time, after the Russians planted a bug in her conference room, she wore a bug pin to a meeting with them. She would later say, “In order to get through a lot of complicated issues, it helps to have a little bit of humor.” Amen to that!

In that vein, what statement does a bracelet of rifle cartridges make? I’m not sure but at the very least, I know it’s a conversation starter.

I love this bracelet in particular because it’s understated and can go with the stacked bracelet trend.

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A friend gave this to me and it is from Bullet Jewelry By James. You can order one by emailing James at james@mindaproductions.com. Or, it’s for sale on Etsy.

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Have a great weekend everyone!

PS. Special thanks to my friend Leila for giving me this bracelet! You’re the best!