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Photos By Austin Thomas & Joe Sir | 9.10.2020

Work Hard For Every Harvest

  • Pursuit: Whitetail

For career farmer and rancher, Alex Templeton, there isn’t a distinct point where farming ends and whitetail hunting begins. It’s all part of the same holistic life, and it all connects to the land she spends her life working.

“At any given moment, I’m checking cows or cutting wheat, and I’m also checking trail cameras, scouting for deer, and managing new properties,” she says. “It all goes hand in hand with hunting and conservation. It all works together to create an ecosystem for wildlife—whitetails, quail, rabbits. I live in it every single day.”

Templeton, who works with her dad on the family farm in northwest Missouri sees endless similarities between farming and hunting. The biggest one is the fact that hard work put in on any given day of the year has a direct impact on whether or not there’s a successful harvest when the time comes.

“There’s really no difference to me between working my ass off to try to have a healthy corn crop and working my ass off to have a healthy deer herd with healthy deer—or healthy cattle,” she says.

Also, like farming, the tools of the trade in hunting can be the difference between a full freezer and an empty one.

“Tools for a farming and ranching operations aren’t a one size fits all deal,” she says. “You need wrenches of every imaginable size to work on a piece of equipment, just like you need different gear to hunt in September than you do in December.”

Needing the ideal tool for subzero whitetail hunts, Templeton teamed with SITKA to design the Women’s Fanatic System, and as she tested the system last December, it proved itself in the form of the buck of a lifetime, a deer she’d been watching for several years.

“Your focus has to be on looking and listening for deer and not on how the weather is effecting you,” she says. “It was 10 degrees outside, and there wasn’t a bit of wind. It was dead quiet. I knew that I was going to have to be in the tree, dialed in, warm, and focused, because I knew he was going to come in at some point.”

He did come in, about 20 minutes before dark. She was ready for him, because she’d been working at it all year long.