Kristy Titus is honored to host NRA News I Am Forever Television Show, serve as an ambassador for Cabela’s, The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, RMEF’s Team Elk Television Show, Swarovski Optik, Buck Knives, Montana Silversmiths, and Wilderness Athlete. Her greatest hope is to inspire others, giving them the confidence to tackle the most demanding outdoor activities.
Kristy was raised leading a pack string of mules into the backcountry of Oregon, experiencing the thrill of public land, fair chase, do it yourself hunting. She believes that life’s lessons are best learned in the field with family and friends by your side, helping to develop sound personal character and values. The time she spent in the backcountry as a kid with her family created the entire core of who she is.
Kristy’s father taught her that there was no such thing as a goal or dream that was too big to make into a reality. Learning the value of setting goals and creating her own success started with small moments in the field; as a kid learning to handle, ride and pack mules, learning to call elk, strategize in the field and ultimately gaining the skills to hunt solo on public land.
Over the past few years, Kristy has been blessed with the opportunity to hunt around the world, reaching from the frozen Canadian tundra to the bushveld savannas of Africa. By sharing her adventures and love of the outdoors, Kristy’s greatest hope is to inspire others, giving them the confidence to tackle the most demanding outdoor actvities.
What’s one rookie mistake you’ve made hunting?
Everyone makes mistakes while hunting. I am always learning something new while afield, especially when I am doing something in the outdoors that I have never done before. As far as one mistake that stands out, I can’t really think of one. But this year I did get so excited to go archery elk hunting and I had it all planned out, I thought I had all my gear loaded and ready to go. When I got out of my truck at dark to begin my hunt, I realized in all of my excitement that I had left my bow at home. Needless to say, it ruined my hunt that day. That’s not a rookie mistake but one of someone that loves to hunt.
What’s the hardest lesson you have learned while hunting?
It is important in all that you do, that you try your best, make the best strategy possible given what you know and go with it. Hindsight will always be 20/20. If it doesn’t work out the way you want, keep trying and learn from your mistakes the best you can.
What one hunting skill that you most want to improve?
The key to life is to never stop learning. I am always trying to improve upon myself and my gear. I am cross dominate which has led me to struggle with accurately shooting, primarily a shotgun. This year, I am focusing on honing in on my skills with both a shotgun and a carbine.
Who do you admire most in the hunting and conservation world and Why?
Theodore Roosevelt had a love for the great outdoors and the wildlife there in and saw a need for wildlife management and conservation. He teamed up with George Bird Grinnell and pushed for hunting regulations and established conservation groups to protect habitat. Together, their efforts began the North American Wildlife Conservation Model. This visionary work ensured that future generations would have the opportunity to enjoy wildlife, the outdoors and carry on the hunting tradition.
Today, the members of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation are continuing that legacy with 6.6 million acres of wild country conserved, enhanced or permanently protected for the benefit of wildlife and opening access to nearly 800,000 acres for us all to enjoy. We are truly making a difference in the landscape of our country for the benefit of the next generation of sportsman and wildlife.
How were you introduced to hunting?
I started riding mules with my dad on his saddle, packing into the backcountry from the time I was 2 years old. I had my own mule by the age of 4 and today, I still have a horse and a mule. The mountain has always been my second home, a place that I always loved being weather we were trail riding our mules, camping, fishing or hunting.
Learning how to handle, ride, and pack mules, call elk, and successfully hunt public land from the time that I can remember with my dad, made my life what it is today. I can’t imagine living any other way.
Who were the influencers in your life that helped you get into hunting?
My dad is the person that introduced me to hunting as a small child, however over the past few years, I have been fortunate enough to hunt around the globe in places I never dreamt that I would travel. Along those travels, there are some really amazing sportsmen out there that have extensive knowledge and in field skills that I really look up to, so I learn as much as I can from them. With elk hunting and calling, Rocky Jacobsen from Rocky Mountain Hunting Calls, for extended stay backpack hunting, I have been on several hunts mentoring with my good friend Bryan Martin of Canadian and Asian Mountain Outfitters.
Tell us about your first hunt?
As a kid I used to laugh at my dad when he would pop in a VHS tape watching elk being taken on camera while practicing using his rubber band cow calls and grunt tube in our living room. His eyes would bug out, face reddening from blowing on the old calls making for a comical evening. At that point in my life I had no comprehension that what he was practicing would actually draw in a fervent bull elk during the rut.
I watched my dad’s living room practice sessions pay off during a public land, DIY elk hunt in Idaho. I was 13 years old, and I watched my dad use his old school bugle to chuckle in a spike and 5×5 bull Elk. The 5×5 came in screaming, chasing off the spike, and angrily charging towards us when my dad shot him from roughly 30 yards away.
I didn’t pull the trigger on that bull but I consider it to be my first in many ways as it changed my life forever. Thankfully, my dad and I still experience the thrill of elk hunting together every year.
What advice would you give someone just getting into hunting?
I truly believe that when that moment of truth comes, we do not rise up to the occasion but simply fall back on our level of training. When that moment of truth arrives, I want to know that I have trained myself and done everything possible so that I am comfortable and competent to take that shot from the standpoint of a marksman, be it with a bow or rifle and in regards to our body. It is critical that hunters understand their equipment limitations and personal limitations with both a rifle and a bow. Training in hunting like situations makes all the difference in success with our equipment and health fitness. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and practice as much as you can.
What species would you most like to hunt?
When it comes to hunting, it’s all in the experience. I like getting in close and having intense encounters, especially with elk. There is nothing quite as intoxicating as the sound of a bull elk’s bugle.
What gear do you carry that you could not live without?
Good hunting boots are a must; I wear Cabela’s Meindl Denali. They are the best boots I have ever had. Next would be my GPS- I would get lost without it. Literally.
What is your perfect big game rifle and bullet set up?
My favorite rifle to shoot is a 6.5 Creedmoor- it has very little felt recoil and the bullets have an outstanding ballistic coefficient.
What is your favorite archery and arrow set up?
I have been shooting the Cabela’s Creedence by BOWTEC this past year. As far as arrows, Easton Injection and for broadhead Muzzy Buzzcut Stingers.
What conservation organizations do you support with your time and money?
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has been part of my family since I can remember and I am a proud life member. I actively volunteer for RMEF chapters across the country and am a featured member of the RMEF television show Team Elk. I also work extensively with the NRA. This year, I participated in NRA Women’s Network with a six part series of Tips & Tactics and hosted this season of I Am Forever, both are online. I am also a huge supporter of the Wild Sheep Foundation. This year, I will be giving seminars at the WSF national convention in Reno NV. As a patriot of the USA, I actively volunteer and support Wounded Warrior Outdoors which is a program where active duty servicemen and women embark upon therapeutic outdoor adventures as referred by military hospitals. Some injuries are visible and some are not. In the past, I was heavily involved with SCI as a past board member, Chapter Vice President and later Chapter President.
What three tried and true tips do you have to offer elk hunters?
One cannot predict what is going to happen on the mountain and each hunt will have its own unique experiences but learning to be patient is one of the most powerful tools that you can have. Stay positive and don’t get discouraged. Pay attention to the small stuff. Bulls can be big and loud animals but also very quiet slipping nearly silently through the woods. Read as much as you can about elk and elk hunting before your hunt, then get out there try out some of the techniques you read about and see how they work for you but most importantly, don’t forget why you are out there. Make memories with your friends and family and have a good time. This is the best time in the history of the world to be an elk hunter.
In all of the years of hunting what is the most important lesson you have learned from the outdoors?
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Where and when can folks tune in to catch your show?
RMEF’s Team Elk airs on the Outdoor Channel Tuesday at 4:30PM & 11:30PM, Thursday 10:30PM, and Sunday 11:00PM
NRA Tips & Tactics are available on the web at www.nrawomen.tv
NRA I Am Forever- Season 2- is available to watch on NRAnews.com
When youngsters and their parents come up to meet you for a quick photo or autograph, what message do you hope to convey?
That America is the greatest place on earth- any dream that a kid has can become a reality. With hard work and determination, anything is possible. Dream big!
How do you feel media portrays women in the hunting/shooting industry? Do you feel there is a double standard?
Our history is riddled with double standards- but today, we have evolved as a culture where women are accepted with open arms into the hunting and shooting community. This is represented everywhere from firearms manufactures to gear, magazines, online forums and television. In order to ensure the continuation of our time honored traditions, it is widely recognized that women are the key to that future. And, we are gaining more respect for our experiences and expertise than ever before.
Women have equal rights as men and are free to pursue any dream without gender bias. We no longer feel the traditional pressure to settle down, marry a nice young man and have a family. Instead, we can choose to travel the world and live out all of our hopes and dreams. So get to it ladies…
When it comes to hunting gear, how do you feel about gear specifically designed for women (guns, clothing, packs, etc.)?
Cabela’s has done an outstanding job offering all gear to women that love the outdoors that is specifically created with us in mind. You can now find everything from waders, rain gear for fishing in the Guide Wear line, camo clothing from OutfitHer, boots from Meindl that are for serious hunters that are designed off a last for women, not just sized down from men’s. This transformation has literally happened in the last 15 years and I am very honored to have been a part of that transition.
Firearms manufactures are taking heed and creating lighter weight rifles with shorter barrels, shorter lengths of pull and higher cheek combs for us smaller shooters.
Have you been personally been attacked by anti-hunters and how has this influenced you? Where do you believe such hate comes from and why do you think it is aimed at you in particular? What do you feel is the most appropriate response to such personal attacks?
Personally, I do not take the attacks personally. From what I have found, these individuals or groups are emotionally responding to a narrative that has been fed to them via liberal media that has lost touch with our culture and how hunting and the hunting community benefits wildlife. We have spearheaded the greatest conservation movement on earth. Simply put, all wildlife benefits from science based management found in the principals of the North American Wildlife Conservation Model. This is where hunting is proven to be conservation in a multifaceted approach from tag sale revenue-to science based management of all wildlife.