Candace Knusden during the Extreme Huntress competition.

Candace Knusden during the Extreme Huntress competition.

Candace Knusden showing her skills on the big stage

Candace Knusden is one of six contestants looking to be named winner of the 2017 Extreme Huntress competition.

Ryan Graham

Observer Reporter

Candace Knusden originally of Bella Coola and now 100 Mile House is one of six contestants looking to be named winner of the 2017 Extreme Huntress contest. The competition which is held in Hondo, Texas is concerned with preserving outdoor heritage and looks for female hunters who like to participate in hunting and want to become role models for other women.

Knusden says she’s always been involved in hunting.

“I’ve been hunting since I can remember,” Knusden said.

“It was kind of our way of life and it was the way we provided for our family.”

After being selected as one of the contestants for the competition she flew to Texas for eight days to participate in shooting competitions, hunting, a biathlon and conservation and hunting skill tests.

“It was a pretty surreal moment when I found out I was chosen, even for the top 21 girls because there were girls from South Africa, Australia and all over the place and I just didn’t really think I would be considered,” Knusden said.

“Then a month later I got the top six and I couldn’t believe it and I was really excited,” Knusden said.

She added her friend won last year’s competition and said it was a great experience.

“A lot of doors opened up for her when she ended up winning and I thought it was a great opportunity,” Knusden said.

“A lot of hunters are getting negative feedback from the public because they don’t understand what hunters are actually doing and I thought by doing this kind of competition I could help people try to better understand. There is more to it than just the kill and so I thought it was a great opportunity and it is also a good opportunity to support female hunters as well.”

Before arriving in Texas she had never hunted outside of B.C. but was able to adjust as she harvested a Corsican Ram, an Axis Deer and an Aoudad which she had never seen before. Even after harvesting these animals none of them went to waste as all the meat went to a local charity.

Since taking part in the competition she has put together quite a resume as she won the long range rifle competition (shooting up to 800 yards), the sight in challenge (in which they had to mount scopes onto a new gun, bore sight and make final adjustments with a new rifle), the biathlon which included running through snake filled swamps with an AK47 and shooting at several targets and a pistol challenge.

She says one of her biggest accomplishments so far has been winning the biathlon event.

“I was pretty proud about winning the biathlon because I wanted to give up every second but I kept pushing through and I ended up doing really well,” Knusden said.

Knusden says overall the competition has been a huge success because she has learned a number of things that will only help her moving forward.

Quesnel Cariboo Observer