When did you first start hunting? I started hunting at a very young age when my Dad & Brother would stick me in a duck blind to retrieve shot gun shells. I can remember in my younger years, before school my brother & I would head out to the duck blind and hunt a few ducks and head back home to make sure we caught the bus on time. We would give my momma our ducks and usually by the 3rd day of the week, once we cleaned them and marinated you would be eating something Cajun good or they would be going into the freezer for a Gumbo.
Growing up in Louisiana the Outdoors was our playground. We didn’t have fancy swings, trampolines or video games. We had our forts that were covered in old plywood that we would find in our Daddy’s shed plus any junk that wasn’t being used. We also used machetes to clean out trees and vines to have room in our little homes away from home. We had our own little kingdoms in the woods that were filled with wildlife and if we were thirsty we drank out of the water hose.
Who mentored you and what did you learn from this person? Aww man that would be my whole family in different ways. For my Dad, he always was the dreamer like myself. He was open minded and believed that my brother and I could truly do anything we wanted in life, we just had to believe in ourselves and never give up. My Momma, many life lessons: I learned that a wooden spoon wasn’t just for cooking, or a coat hanger or fly swatter. Haha! My momma taught my brother and I a lot of respect and how to take care of each other plus cook really good! We have the most aught respect for her and she never held us back! Go and Chase those Dreams, Accomplish those goals, Travel the World and enjoy Life! My brother, he’s kind of a hot head. I played sports and went off to college sports but growing up, there was never the classiness of my being a little princess of a girl. He made sure that he would treat me equal. He was hard on me and would push me to be the best. Even though he was a pain in my rear and we fought horribly, we are now very close. Then I have my grandparents and coaches in college. I learned that heart, dedication and just being humble will go a lot further than talent.
When did you first attempt the Extreme Huntress Competition? My 1st attempt for EH was in 2010. I submitted my essay but didn’t make the top 10. I then submitted again in 2011 and made the cut. I remember the experience like it was yesterday. I started to jump up and down and then we rallied up the votes to lead me in the front line of the other contestants. In 2012, my fiancé and I canceled our wedding and headed to Africa. Yeah I guess you can say, I choose rifle shells over wedding bells. That was long ago. I had a successful hunt and a great time with EH and my episode “Eye of the Hunter” was played on TV back then. We even named my little boy after the PH I hunted with in Africa, “Chap Guccini.” Since then EH has changed my life forever and I will always support the cause for helping women and children become more involved in the outdoors. My passion will always be the same but EH let me see a much broader spectrum that I would have never seen before if it wasn’t for Tom Opre and his show.
What changed between the times that you first competed to this year’s competition? Wow, a lot. I think for me the biggest change would be upgraded technology. I am pretty old school and I have had the same rifle with the same scope for years. For us old schoolers, you site your rifle in at 100 yards and aim high. We had a Trijicon scope that had versatile, wide magnification and superior glass clarity. The illuminated reticle helped me to be more confident in my shots with low light conditions. I had to learn how to use the dial and struggled a bit then the other girls.
We also participated at the FTW Ranch for SAAM training that specializes in training hunters on diverse ranges that features angled shooting at interactive targets and life size targets. These helped me to have a quick reaction time and I love there moto, “Because you only have ONE first shot!” It was fun shooting but for some of the challenges I learned that I am a hunter not a shooter. My whole life of hunting I have done it one way and SAAM training taught me how to shoot the “Right Way” in just 2 days. It was such a great experience I hope to go back and learn more about the updated technology on rifle scopes and shooting.
What have you learned about yourself having gone through this competition? Women are amazing! Dreams do come true and to never give up and strive to be the best you can be. That being in the industry to the level that we are many people respect us as women, moms, daughters, sisters, and the everyday gal. One thing is that we also have to respect ourselves and know that we are role models for all of the little ones out there. We have to make a difference in today’s society because if not then wildlife may not exist for our grandchildren. EH has helped me to stay focused on realizing that I don’t have to have someone hold my hand as I go out hunting or wondering out in the wild. It has built confidence in myself and has helped me want to make a change and make a difference to help empower women to become more involved in the outdoors.
What part of the competition did you enjoy the most? Meeting everyone and being surrounded around people who have the same passion as you do. The bonds and friendships that you build with each and every one of these folks is like something that I could never truly explain. Africa is a place that will change you forever, it’s truly mesmerizing. When you acquired such a beautiful place and watch the sunrises and sunsets it’s a place of warmth, a place of comfort, a place that soothes your soul. I left a piece of my heart in Africa, not once but twice and I can’t wait to go back again.
What would you like to say to women who are interested in hunting? We call it, “Mother Nature” for a reason. Girl go outside and explore, smell some fresh air, learn about the various habitats and how to help with wildlife conservation. Women are amazing, every day we have the resilience to prove that we can hunt like men – be it through intelligence, strength, power or strength. Women change the world, deliver life and inspire each other.
You have come under heavy attack on social media and elsewhere for your hunting and for being a part of Extreme Huntress. What would you like to say to the general public and what would you like to say to the anti-hunters? We are all indifferent. We all have our own beliefs. We won’t always agree to like or enjoy the same things in life. But that doesn’t mean we each have to be hateful to one another.
To our general public, you don’t have to be a hunter to support wildlife conservation. Humans impact wildlife habitat and we have to help and protect our lands and our whole eco system. If we don’t then our wildlife will not be there in the next 100 years.
Hunting isn’t just about killing an animal, it’s about harvesting the meat after the hunt. Just as if you harvest vegetables out your garden. Knowing where your meat comes from and processing the animal for food is done all across the world. You’re either paying someone to do it for you or you do it yourself. It could be a farmer, a fishermen, or a hunter; people consume meat and fish every single day. This will never change. Hunters keep nature at a healthy balance of which the available habitat can support and it also puts food on the table for their families.
How can people vote for you and support and follow you on social media? To Vote, go to: extremehuntress.com Vote Jackie Guccini, Please confirm your email from crowd signal (to verify you’re not a robot).
What is one question that you wished we had asked and why?
Every year I get asked Why EH? Why not EH? EH has brought more joy in my life than pretty much anything that I have experienced in life besides family. The joy of meeting people from across the world and creating relationships that will never be broken. Bonding with people who truly enjoy and share the same passions that you do. Women who want to make a change, women who want to better themselves, women who competed and left with greater confidence then they had before. Why EH, because it has changed people and left an impact on their hearts. The message of wanting to educate the public about the important role in hunters, for people who have the appreciation for wildlife and want to help promote conservation. All of us, share that with each other. We have all traveled many miles for the experience of a lifetime, we have seen some of the greatest trophy rooms in the World and have been to some of the most pristine ranches across Texas to Zimbabwe. We have been able to hunt animals that we would never thought of before. We have learned a whole new avenue on hunting and about sustenance, survival and ultimately life. I will always support EH no matter which chapter closes in my life because when one chapter closes it’s time to start a new one.