After spending a few years of her life selling ads for the outdoors industry, Kristen Monroe discovered her true passion in life, hunting and fishing. Kristen loves to share her obsession with others by writing and giving motivational speeches to encourage individuals to spend more time in the great outdoors. In this post on Filson Life, Kristen explains what hunting is all about to her, including, camaraderie, good eats and the enjoyment of nature. For me, modern day hunting is not about the kill, it’s about camaraderie, food and enjoying the great outdoors.  It’s different than back in the day when ones family would go to bed hungry that night if they had a bad day in the field. Sometimes I am outsmarted by the animals and I go home empty handed. Luckily, I can stop at the grocery store to feed my family. I recently had a taste of deep-rooted hunting, where that night’s meal was contingent on the days hunt. Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers (AGLOW) holds its annual convention in September.   Outdoor writers, visitors’ bureaus and industry partners meet from all over the nation.  It’s not just networking- its meeting good friends, having fun and getting business done all at once.    This year the convention was held in Iowa at Honey Creek State Resort on Rathbun Lake.  I was invited by Brent Lawrence, representing the National Wild Turkey Federation, to partner up and compete in a Coleman cooking challenge.   The tasks at hand- use the Coleman outdoor cookware and prepare a meal that reflects the unique local culinary culture of Southern Iowa. Lawrence and I decided to take a risk.  Instead of bringing the food already prepared from home to the convention like we could have done, we decided to cook our game from our Iowa hunts.  2011 is the first dove hunting season in Iowa’s history and Lawrence decided to take part.  Unfortunately, that hunt only produced two doves for us, not enough to feed the judges for the main course.  Nature is unpredictable; any good hunter has a backup plan. The morning of the cook off, 11 members of AGLOW went to The Dunn Deal Hunting Lodge in Russell, Iowa for a pheasant hunt.  If we didn’t get pheasant, there wouldn’t be a main course to feed the judges. We had a lot riding on this hunt.   One of my favorite things about pheasant hunting is watching the dog work.  I’m not sure who was having more fun us, or Ginger-Eric Wilson‘s trusty German Short Hair.  We had a blast and plenty of pheasant for the judges and the audience. Lawrence and I prepared bacon wrapped dove for an appetizer and a family recipe of creamy pheasant served over wild rice. For dessert, a Peace Tree Brewery's Imperial Stout beer ice cream shake and a hot fudge Sunday with bacon, bananas and jalapeño peppers. Lawrence and I tied with our competition according to the judges overall opinion; however, we lost by one in overall points.  I still call it a success, the food turned out great and another fantastic memory was created.   I am grateful to live the life I do, The Filson Life.