We are delighted to launch our series called “Hot Caliber Huntress,” by featuring the Captain of Team Smith & Wesson, Julie Golob. A “Hot Caliber Huntress” exemplifies high standards and ethics when it comes to hunting and the traditions associated with it. Last year, we asked Manos Phoundoulakis, proprietor of Hot Caliber Jewelry, to create a line of jewelry inspired by women hunters. He worked with Julie to fashion a classic line of lifestyle pieces, in silver.
The WON: When did you start hunting and why?
Julie Golob: Being a “Daddy’s Girl,” I have always look up to my father and I wanted to do the things he did – whether it was shooting, learning carpentry skills in the summer time or hunting. I don’t even remember how old I was when I went out with him for the first time, but I think I was between 8 and 10 years old. I fell in love learning about the outdoors and relishing the quiet time in the stand. Of course there is also that heart-racing thrill when you see something amazing you only get to see when you are out hunting.
The WON: When did you seriously think that hunting would be part of your life?
Julie Golob: I don’t know as if I ever thought about hunting being a part of my life; it just always has been. Deer meat filled the freezer as long as I can remember and even though I didn’t start hunting until much later, my earliest memory of hunting was being very small and helping Mom make what we called “hard-as-a-rock” spice cookies for Dad to take with him on his weekend hunting trips. It’s something I grew up with and it’s important to me to share that heritage.
The WON: You live in Montana, where there are many seasons for many types of game. What have you hunted in your state and what do you want to hunt for in the future?
Julie Golob: Montana is a dream state when it comes to hunting. I have hunted for bear, elk, mule deer, whitetail, pronghorn and of course, we have plenty of coyotes. I have been successful when it comes to most of those animals, but even for those I haven’t been, the experience has been incredible. What do I want to hunt in my state? Everything [laughing]! On my to-do list is goose, pheasant, moose, turkey, wolf and, if I am lucky to draw a tag one day, mountain goat and sheep. I really enjoy learning how to hunt different types of game and then seeing what I can whip up in the kitchen.
The WON: Your daughter … when will she be ready? How will you know?
Julie Golob: Our daughter is almost five and she has been out hunting with us as an observer. Her first experience was when she was three. She and I watched my husband put a stalk on a mule deer from a far hilltop. After he took the shot, she took great pride in helping us find the deer. She gets excited about hunting and now, if we go without her she’s upset. I love the fact that she is interested in it already and she just accepts, like I did when I was little, that game is good food.
I don’t think you can put an age on exactly when to start your child on her first shot on game, and as a parent I feel it is my responsibility to honestly assess maturity level. When my little one is old enough to hunt in Montana and can prove that she is safe and responsible with whatever she is using, be it bow or gun, that’s when we’ll take her out for her first animal. In the meantime, though, I enjoy every minute of sharing our hunting experiences with her.
The WON: You hunt with your husband, and recently wrote about it. How does this differ from, say, a regular date somewhere?
Julie Golob: A regular date and a hunting date are very similar in that you have to get all dressed up (and in some cases wear make-up). Instead of talking over a candle-lit dinner, on a hunt date we’re chatting as we sip coffee and munch on breakfast sandwiches on the drive to wherever we are headed. Instead of watching a movie or going for a walk, hunting dates are different in that we are actively working on our relationship. We have to work as a team and communicate with one another in order to find an animal or make a successful shot. It’s a practical exercise versus a conversation or just being around one another sans kids. I cherish our hunting dates more than any of our other dates because I feel it really helps bring us closer and learn how to work together as a couple.
The WON: Did your hubby teach you any hunting skills? Have you taught him any?
Julie Golob: When we first moved to Montana my husband went after mule deer while I chose to hunt whitetail. Even though both are members of the deer family, the way you hunt the two is quite different. I was used to stand hunting where being silent, studying tracks and deer patterns and reading the wind are critical. My husband immediately took to spot-and-stalk hunting for mule deer, a much more interactive style of hunting. After I had a couple of successful whitetail seasons, I decided to see what mule deer hunting was all about. I learned a lot about spot-and stalk-from my man. As for me teaching him, we haven’t had a chance to head out to hunt waterfowl or turkey together yet, but when we do, I am hoping he will be able to draw from some of my experiences as well.
The WON: What does this piece of jewelry from Hot Caliber signify to you? I understand you helped with the design of it?
Julie Golob: This Hot Caliber Huntress jewelry elegantly embodies the passion of the individual huntress. It represents strength and perseverance. I love pieces of jewelry that remind me of wonderful moments in my life. Every time I wear them, I think back to those special times hunting where I felt independent, proud, empowered and, at the same time, humbly connected to nature. … I am honored to have been able to contribute on the project.
The WON: Is there a recipe you’re wanting to try but waiting for the right, er, moose to come along?
Julie Golob: I am game for anything – pun intended. Most of the dishes I whip up in the kitchen using venison can be used interchangeably, regardless of whether they are from deer, pronghorn, elk, you name it. I have to say I am really looking forward to goose hunting next year. I can’t wait to try my hand at roasting a goose.
The WON: What do you say to people who would say to you, “Oh, you don’t look like a hunter!”
Julie Golob: Well, unless I am decked out in camo, I should hope not because I really don’t think there is such a thing as the stereotypical hunter despite what some media outlets would have us think. I usually laugh and explain that and how hunters come from all walks of life and backgrounds. We all have our reasons as to why we enjoy hunting, but we are unified for a passion to be able to enjoy such an amazing tradition.
The WON: Your favorite piece of hunting clothing that you wear to run errands.
Julie Golob: I have two favorites. When it’s cold out (and being about an hour from the Canadian border, it can get pretty chilly), I like to wear my Próis Sherpa gator. I usually put my hair in a bun with a cap when I am out and about, so I love how I can wear the gator around my neck or use it to cover my face if it gets really cold and windy. For super-quick errands, I often slip on my fuzzy Realtree crocs. Not exactly a fashion statement I know, but you they have the three C’s – comfort, convenience and camo!
Julie Golob: I don’t hunt without a knife and I usually have a couple on me. Not only is a knife essential for processing game in the field, a good knife is also a survival tool. I want to have on me at all times, just in case. My favorite is a custom version of the Skookum Bush Tool.
Check out Julie’s delicioso game recipes at her blog, JulieGolob.com.
To learn more about the line of jewelry designed for huntresses, visit Hot Caliber Jewelry.