Hannah Kycek, also known as “Hatchet Jane,” had no idea that growing up shooting rifles with her brother and hunting in the thick forests outside of Olympia, Washington, would lead to a fun and interesting career in the firearms and accessories field.
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She laughs as she tells how she and her brother used to take her dad’s coffee cups out of his pickup and shoot them for fun. However, she relates that her dad also was very strict about teaching firearms safety to the siblings, almost to the point of scaring her away from shooting. Fortunately, she wasn’t scared off and harvested her first black-tailed deer at age 11. Hannah is now a skilled hunter, writer, photographer, media manager and SilencerCo Ambassador.
We thought you’d like to learn more about this rising star in the world of outdoor influencers.
First of all, how did you get the nickname “Hatchet Jane?“
In college I did a lot of ghostwriting and chose the name Hatchet Jane for a couple of reasons. In the movie Jeremiah Johnson, there was a character named Hatchet Jack. Then my grandmother, named Jean, is a retired teacher who really got me into writing, so Jane is a play on her name. After college, with all my writing and photography, it just kind of morphed and worked. It’s funny, I’m not at all surprised when people think my first name is Hatchet and not Hannah, or when they call me Jane.
How did you get involved in industry?
I went to North Idaho College the first two years and then I transferred to the University of Idaho and finished my bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication. I found out Idaho is the place for me. Then the summer leading in to my senior year I saw a Facebook add for First Lite and their slogan coming for their new women’s line was, “No pink, no frills, just gear cut for women.” So, I actually wrote them this email, super cocky in hindsight, and I’m like, “Hey, you guys know nothing about me but you’re never going to meet a woman hunter better than me so basically I’m going to graduate in the next year-and-a-half and you should save a position for me. Here are all of my skills, here’s my resume.” They actually wrote back saying they couldn’t guarantee a position that far out but that they did need an intern. So, I was their second intern. We laugh because I was the first woman. Day one, the owner was trying to figure out how to put a lock on the bathroom door. And then I couldn’t find a place to rent, so my dad hooked up our 21-foot toy-hauler and we put it in a trailer park in Hailey, Idaho. I had a ten-minute commute to First Lite and it was an absolute blast, the best summer of my life.
Once I graduated college, I started working with Seekins Precision out of Lewiston, Idaho. It was a super fun interview and I felt right at home immediately. I was their social media coordinator, then morphed into the marketing manager over time. Then, I moved back home to Olympia for about a year and worked at LimbSaver. I was their social media person and photographer. It was a blast, but I really wanted to move back to Idaho. So, I did and I got on with Galco Holsters and am still with them as a freelance contractor.
How did you get involved with SilencerCo?
I was reached out to by one of their employees. I think they saw me as a name in the industry, but also somebody who was very serious about everything. We are a small industry, it’s really not that big, so I already knew a few employees there and they just have such a solid team of phenomenal people.
What is your favorite part of your association with SilencerCo?
Working with what I would consider the top suppressor company, plain and simple. They are so big and so well known for quality and innovation that it’s just awesome having my name even in that arena.
Honestly, the more I got into suppressors, I didn’t realize how many other brands there are out there. So, it’s cool when you’re searching forums, looking at questions, SilencerCo is one of the top names. I know I’m with the right company.
Do you have any recommendations for people new to suppressors?
I would just say ask around, figure out what people are running. Study what you want, figure out what you want. If you have a buddy with a suppressor who invites you to shoot, go shoot suppressed and then not suppressed. You’ll see the big difference.
Then, they need to file the federal paperwork because it takes months to get approval. One way to do that is to look for a Silencer Shop kiosk in a gun store and apply there.
What do you hope to accomplish as a SilencerCo ambassador?
I love teaching people about suppressors, so I think just educating people and helping them in any way I can. I’ve learned a lot about them and how it affects how I shoot. I don’t think I’ll ever hunt without a suppressor again, it would be like a step backwards. But it’s been a lot of fun just being able to pass that knowledge on to somebody. I always get a lot of questions about suppressors and now I finally feel like I’m qualified to help and answer questions and actually be that ambassador.
Hannah Kycek can be found on Instagram at @Hatchet_Jane.
Nancy Keaton is a retired college administrator, president of her local gun club, competitive shooter and freelance writer whose work has appeared in A Girl and A Gun Women’s Shooting League, "American Shooting Journal," "American Concealed," "Northwest Meetings + Events," and other publications. She enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics and interviewing ordinary people doing amazing things. To see a compilation of her writing, check out https://nancykeaton.contently.com. View all posts by Nancy Keaton
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