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Featured Georgia Hunter – Jessica Zuppan
Take a few minutes to read about this awesome Georgia Hunter! Featured Hunter : Jessica Zuppan (Instagram: @jlzuppan)
My name is Jessica Zuppan. I am 24 years old. I’m from Northeast Georgia and I am a Certified Surgical Technologist in the Operating Room and an Exercise and Sport Science student. I am married with 2 dogs, 19 chickens, 1 duck, and 2 pigs.
I grew up always being around deer hunting with my dad, brother, and uncles being hunters, but I didn’t really get into it until my late teens. I was the only girl in the family that really showed any interest in the outdoor lifestyle, so I wasn’t exactly taken seriously as a hunter. I shot my first buck at age 18 on my first solo hunt. But it wasn’t until I married the man of my dreams that hunting became a way of life for me. My husband really pushed me (currently still does) to improve my skills as a hunter. He introduced me to turkey hunting and I was immediately hooked.
My most memorable hunt was this past turkey season. It was cold, foggy, and dead silent. No sign of turkeys. I started asking my husband if we could go home so I could go back to bed. He insisted that we stay a little bit longer. He tried a call that he hadn’t used in years just for the heck of it before we packed up and went home. All of a sudden, we heard thunder chickens rolling not far from us! Not long after that, 2 toms came strutting over the hill, coming right towards us. Fog was still all around and the sun had come up. It is an image that I will never forget. The birds get within range and we claim who was going to take which one. Within seconds, boom. 2 gobblers down! We hugged, high-fived, and thanked the Lord. We got pictures, then carried our harvests home. We shared the meat with my parents and ate on those turkeys for several days. That is my favorite hunting memory, and I will never forget that day.
This year is my second deer season hunting with a compound bow. Last year, I was never able to bring home any meat with a bow. This past summer, my husband upgraded my bow. I transitioned into a serious, committed bowhunter. I have practiced and been coached by our bow shop guys for countless hours to perfect my shot. This season, I hope to execute a shot that leads to a full freezer of meat for my family. Antlers would be a nice bonus, but I hunt for meat, not always the trophy. I am looking forward to feeling that sense of accomplishment and confirmation that all of our hard work has paid off.
I highly doubt this is unique, but my hunting tradition is talking to God. I feel the absolute most connected with the Lord when I am hunting. I love listening to all the sounds of nature and even observing all those annoying little squirrels. My favorite thing is watching the sun come up through the trees.
My favorite hunting product would have to be my insulated jacket from Cabela’s! I get cold easily in the stand especially when I’m nervous! I will shake like a leaf on a tree when I’m cold and nervous. It’s a bad combination for deer hunting. My jacket blocks out any wind and keeps me super warm, so it keeps the buck fever shivers at a minimum.
Hunting has single-handedly taught me more life lessons than any other experience. Being a female hunter, I know I am among a small percentage, but that has never stopped me from learning and working towards my end result, and being the best hunter I can be. Regardless of what your goal is in life, never ever quit until you catch what you’re chasing after.