Filling The Freezer
Filling The Freezer, by LOWA Ambassador, Lisa Ballard
My left leg was falling asleep under me as I lay awkwardly on my side on a ledgy, steep outcropping in Eastern Montana, shielded by a few scrubby sagebrush.
“They’re coming. Get ready,” whispered my husband, Jack, who glassed a herd of pronghorn from the other side of the hump from me. “Take the 2nd buck. He’s bigger.”
I immediately forgot about my leg. My heart pounded, as it always does when game approaches, pumped up by the adrenaline of the moment and my fear of blowing it. What if I spooked the herd before I pulled the trigger? Startled pronghorn can sprint across the prairie at up to 60 m.p.h.
I squirmed into a sitting position of sorts on the steep slope, grateful for the support from my LOWA Z-8S GTX Ws C boots, the heels of which I dug into the crumbly ground. I readied my rifle. A few seconds later, a doe-pronghorn appeared followed by a line of does and fawns with a buck mixed in. They walked slowly, pausing now and again, unsuspecting.
Then the second buck appeared. It looked toward me, turned to follow the others and fell to the ground. My heart kept pounding for another few minutes, now with relief and excitement. Next came the challenge of field dressing and dragging the animal back to our vehicle, a mile away over uneven ground.
After lunch, we drove to a different patch of prairie, now with our English setters, which vibrated with excitement. I still wore my Z8S’s but had traded my camo for brush pants and a bird vest. By sunset, we had logged another 10 miles on foot. Along the way, we bagged a couple of pheasants, several gray partridges and a sharp-tailed grouse.
The next day, we jumped ducks around several potholes, bagged more gamebirds and two wild turkeys. My Z8S’s were on my feet again. And so went an epic hunting trip, the meat from which was a welcome source of natural, healthy protein.
I’m a hiker and a hunter, which makes me well-suited to multi-species hunts on the prairie. If one is willing to get away from the road, the opportunities increase exponentially. It takes level of fitness and proficiency with various firearms and hunting techniques, and just as importantly, comfortable, supportive footwear. The Lowa Z8S does it all. It’s my go-to hunting boot, because it’s lightweight, tall enough to keep debris out, and provides great support and traction. Actually, I never think about my feet afield. They are always happy, which helps me focus better on making a good shot.