Pro Staff Blog

Interview with Colleen Payne

How were you introduced to hunting?

I was introduced to hunting from my father while I was still in diapers. He hunted often across the state and it was always something that was a part of our life. I took Hunter Education when I was 12 and later that year had my first deer hunt. Ever since then I have hunted as well as began working in the hunting industry while I was in college. After meeting my now husband, I was quickly introduced to bowhunting and have had several bow hunts in western states over the past 12 years. 

What do you like to hunt?

Primarily I enjoy big game hunting the most including, mule deer, coues deer, pronghorn, bighorn, javalina, bear, ibex, barbary, elk, and oryx. We are able to hunt a large portion of the year in New Mexico with 12 big game species to hunt across the state. 

How was your 2020 season?

My 2020 season was by far one of the most memorable I have had in recent years. I am excited to see the abilities and risks I am willing to take which help me grow as not only a hunter but also a member of society. I drew 4 tags in my home state of New Mexico; Pronghorn, Big Horn, Deer and Barbary Sheep. I was fortunate enough to fill all four tags with some beautiful and tasty animals. In addition to my own tags, my family drew several tags i was able to go on as well as helping my best friend on her first hunt. Although it was unsuccessful in notching a tag, it was a fantastic learning experience for us both. 

What changed during your season in 2020 with the pandemic?

The pandemic has affected a lot here in our state. Due to travel restrictions, I made the hard decision not to travel to Utah for an archery deer tag I drew. That was hard seeing it is by far one of my favorite places and hunts. As we traveled within the state it was also difficult to see many businesses closed that we usually support during hunting seasons. This changed the availability of supplies, ice, gas and food which had to be bought other places instead of the small town businesses who thrive on the support from hunters during a small part of the year. 

How do you use Basemap to help you hunt?

I use Basemap on my mobile phone for a large portion of scouting. We were not able to do as much scouting this year with current “stay home” orders from the Governor so having a tool where we can see places to access and hunt units we have not been to before was extremely helpful. I also download maps ahead of time in the areas we plan to hunt since cell service is limited in may of these units. This helps me see markers, land ownership, access roads, water sources, elevation, closed roads and new areas to check out as a back up plan. While I am in service on a bow hunt, I love the new HuntWind Feature. This helps me plan my way into an area so I don’t blow my scent into bedding and feeding areas I plant to hunt. 

What is your favorite wild game recipe?

This is a hard one. I LOVE to cook wild game. I am a big fan of heart (any wild game heart) and my favorite recipe I have used with it is homemade stroganoff. You also can’t go wrong with tacos of any kind. 

  • 2 ish pounds heart or steak sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 8 ounces baby portabello mushrooms sliced
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 16 ounce package egg noodles

Clean your heart well and Trim it of all ventricles(little strings inside), fat and connective tissue. Slice into strips or bite sized chunks. 

Heat the a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 2 minutes, until the onion begins to soften. Add the butter in the skillet and allow it to melt. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, or until softened.

Add the venison and paprika and cook, for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the meat has browned.
Stir in the flour, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
Whisk in the beef broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, or until the broth has thickened and reduced. Stir in the sour cream just before serving.

Serve with egg noodles. Or taters, or pasta, or anything you’d like! 

How can people follow you and learn more about your hunting?

They can follow me at my personal page @huntclassy_cmp, and my business page @paynelimitedco. If anyone has questions or needs help getting into hunting, send me a message! 

Colleen Payne

Kevin Paulson

Kevin Paulson is the Founder and CEO of His passion for Hunting began at the age of 5 hunting alongside of his father. Kevin has followed his dreams through outfitting, conservation work, videography and hunting trips around the world.

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