I was born in Pointe-Claire, Quebec, and raised in Ajax, Ontario. I studied the arts throughout school and fine-tuned my studies with two art degrees. I still draw and paint nearly every day (@ashleymvanchu). I’ve also taken my art background and applied it to making jewelry from recycled brass bullet casings. Rather than throw it out, upcycle it. I have a few premade designs but most of my work is done custom for people for groups or as a way to remember a harvest or even memorials. (@luckyshotcreations)
I met the love of my life while in high school on a Robotics team and we now have a house, two dogs, two bunnies and share a passion for hunting, conservation, and the outdoors. Our honeymoon was spent at Bon Echo park and our holidays tend to rotate between a resort in Cuba and Grundy Lake Campground.
My husband’s extended family has also introduced me to homesteading and farming which I have been trying to learn. I love to cook, bake, pickle, and make preserves so the more I can do from my own backyard the better. We grow quite a few herbs and vegetables on our own in raised beds my husband builds.
My immediate family was never hunters or outdoorsmen. I fell in love with archery out of my own curiosity that my husband encouraged. I learned on my own with a bare recurve and have since added an Oneida Phoenix to my collection for hunting. I hear stories about my grandfathers and great grandfathers being avid hunters and anglers and have a very clear memory of the one time I met my great grandfather, he gave me bags of quail fathers from his harvests. Once I obtained my firearms license I went out and bought a Lee Enfield SMLE, which I’m told is what a couple of my grandfathers used for hunting, in their honor as their actual rifles were sold off after they passed.
Everything I know about hunting has been self-taught through trial and error or from Toni and people I have met through her events. I may have started in hunting and homesteading later in life but I’ve found great passion in the lifestyle and the self-reliance and self-confidence I have developed from it. I love to share it with people and encourage them to give even a small step, like growing a vegetable or two a try, and enjoy the rewards.