Fat Fueled Sheep Hunting with Gina Shively | Salty Talk 019 | THRR
I had an amazing time chatting with Gina Shively. Gina is a mom, a wife, an avid Sheep Hunter and professional pilot. Gina began exploring ancestral eating to improve her health and performance and this led her to investigating fat fueled hunting expeditions as a means of not only improving her success in the field but better energy and blood sugar control, but she also dramatically reduced the weight of her hunting pack, which must supply ALL of her needs for as long as 10-20 days. You will love this one!
Salty Talk is a special edition of Healthy Rebellion Radio. Each week on Salty Talk Robb will do a deep dive into current health and performance news, mixed with an occasional Salty conversation with movers and shakers in the world of research, performance, health, and longevity.
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Nicki: Welcome to The Healthy Rebellion Radio. This is an episode of Salty Talk, a deep dive into popular and relevant health and performance news pieces, mixed with the occasional salty conversation with movers and shakers in the world of research, performance, health and longevity. Healthy Rebellion Radio Salty Talk episodes are brought to you by Drink LMNT, the only electrolyte drink mix that’s salty enough to make a difference in how you look, feel, and perform. We co founded this company to fill a void in the hydration space. We needed an electrolyte drink that actually met the sodium needs of active people, low carb, keto, and carnivores adherents, without any of the sugar, colors, and fillers found in popular commercial products. Health rebels, this is Salty Talk. And now the thing our attorney advises. The contents of this show are for entertainment and educational purposes only. Nothing in this podcast should be considered medical advice. Please consult your licensed and credentialed functional medicine practitioner before embarking on any health, dietary, or fitness change. And given that this is Salty Talk, you should expect the occasional expletive.
Nicki: We’re back.
Robb: You’re looking dashing in your Viking Ninja tank top.
Nicki: Oh, why thank you.
Nicki: You’re looking dashing in your-
Robb: Pure Pastures.
Nicki: Pure Pastures t-shirt.
Robb: Thank you. Apparently, both of us are looking to get laid this weekend.
Nicki: Oh, God. What a start to a Salty Talk.
Robb: Indeed. So, what’s new? What’s exciting?
Nicki: Oh, gosh, super excited for today. One of the things on my bucket list for living in the Hill Country of Texas has been to go to the Hill Country Elephant Preserve, and today is that day.
Robb: Today is that day.
Nicki: We’re going to go later today, so I’m super excited. We wanted to go for Mother’s Day, but that was kind of in the height of all things-
Robb: The vid.
Nicki: … coronavirus, so we’re going today.
Robb: We’re going to pay a decent chunk of money to go give some very deserving elephants a nice massage. So…. I’m fascinated about how this is going to turn out.
Nicki: You are a little more pessimistic about it, but elephants are-
Robb: I’m not pessimistic. I’m just teasing all of my girls.
Nicki: … one of my favorite animals, and they have five Asian elephants there. And yeah, it looks like a super fun time.
Robb: As maybe a case in point about Nicki’s enamorment with elephants. I would love to go back to Thailand to do some training in Thai boxing to do some spear fishing, to check out all the cool scenery. And Nicki would enjoy doing all of that, and we would probably hit every elephant preserve in the country along the way, so…
Nicki: So, anyway, we’re going to hit the elephant preserve in the Hill Country of Texas today, so that’s exciting, and then-
Robb: Yeah. It’s only supposed to be 104, so we’ll see how that goes. We will be stocked up on LMNT on this trip for sure.
Nicki: Oh, for sure. For sure.
Nicki: Let’s see. What else? We have our next 30 Day Rebel Reset starting on September 14th, so that’s coming up soon. So, any of you all that are not current members of the Healthy Rebellion, but you’d like to get in on that, all you got to do is join, and you can do that at join.thehealthyrebellion.com. What else? Got anything else?
Robb: Do you want me to belabor that one? So, just to make a case out of this-
Nicki: It’s a really, really great program and we’ve had folks, now this will be the third one that they’re doing. They’re still excited after doing… And we’re changing it up this time, actually. We’re doing the seven day carb test-
Nicki: … in the front, and then we’ll go into the 30 day reset. And then, this time around, we’re also going to be doing a 30 day gut reset with Michael Ruscio. That one will involve-
Robb: Folks need to purchase some supplements for it.
Nicki: Folks need to purchase some probiotics for that particular one. So, that’s a little bit separate, but always trying to make these better and improve upon, take the feedback from folks. But the main thing that people come away with each time is just that community support when you’re trying to make a change like this. It is amazing. Time and time again, people will come in and they’ll comment and they’ll be like, “Oh, I’m struggling with this.” And then, they’ll have 10, 20 comments of people giving them tips, how to navigate something or just that you got it, we’re here for you kind of support that is so needed. Because not everybody has that in their day to day in-person life, so having-
Robb: Particularly now that all that we have is in person life, so it’s… Or, I guess-
Nicki: Online life.
Nicki: Your in-person circle might be much smaller than-
Robb: Quite small now. Yeah.
Nicki: … it ever was before.
Robb: Yeah, but any way not to belabor that, but it’s just, I think, an incredible value, all things considered, just the rebellion itself, the wonderful people there. And then, these resets are really cool. Yeah, so…
Nicki: Anything else before we jump into our guest today?
Robb: I don’t think so. A different kind of angle today. We’re talking with a young mother and sheep hunter who lives in Alaska.
Nicki: Do we say sheep huntress?
Robb: Huntress, Gina Shively. I’m not entirely sure how our paths crossed, but she got very interested in kind of fat centric nutrition, particularly as it relates to her hunting expeditions. She packs everything with her, and these expeditions can last anywhere from 10 to 20 days, or at least you need to plan for 10 to 20 days. So, it can be an enormous amount of weight. She just a wee, wee bit of fluff. And so, when she reached out to me a little bit, asking about some more fat centric ways of fueling these activities, and I gave her a couple of ideas, but honestly, she had it pretty buttoned up.
Robb: But what she noticed is that she was able to cut her food loading weight about in half, which ended up being a huge win, particularly at the very beginning of these gigs when your pack’s as heavy as it’s going to be, at least until you start hauling an animal out. But yeah, we just went into her background, how she got into doing all this stuff, why she made the transition from Wyoming to Alaska, and a super cool person. And we will be going up there to visit these folks, and you’ll be doing some fly fishing with her.
Nicki: And that’ll be exciting.
Robb: And I’ll hopefully be doing some hunting of some form with her.
Nicki: Yeah, I was perusing her Instagram feed and saw some beautiful salmon filets, and yeah. Lots of fun stuff on there. Yep. The fat fueled sheep hunter.
Nicki: All right. Let’s jump in.
Robb: Cool. Gina. Good morning. How are you?
Gina: Good morning. I’m doing well. How are you?
Robb: Awesome. Very, very well. Now, let folks know where you are reporting in from and give them a little bit of your backstory. I’m going to record an intro separate from this and give them a little bit more of your bio, but let folks know who you are and where you are on the planet.
Gina: Yeah. I’m Gina Shively. I’m in Anchorage, Alaska. Oh, I hate giving intro about myself. Right now, I’m kind of a stay at home mom slash flight student, and my favorite things are cooking and sheep hunting.
Robb: Nice. Well, the sheep hunting, we ended up… I don’t know how our Venn diagrams kind of overlapped on the interwebs, but I suspect that you have some interest in nutrition and performance that kind of overlaps with mine.
Robb: And we had a little bit of discussion around fueling for sheep hunting.
Robb: And I definitely want to dig into that, but I guess kind of getting into some of the more obvious, but yet onerous stuff, a young woman, mother of two, why sheep hunting? How did that hook sink in deep?
Gina: I grew up in Wyoming, so it wasn’t a big thing down there. A tag’s kind of a once in a lifetime. And my dad does hunt, but he… I don’t want to call him lazy, but he’s not willing to sheep hunt.
Gina: So, I kind of grew up hunting from a truck. And then, I met people in Alaska and they told me about sheep hunting. And the first year I put in for a tag, I drew one.
Robb: Oh, wow.
Gina: Which was amazing. It was actually kind of a once in a lifetime sort of tag. And I went, and I was immediately hooked. It’s just my favorite thing to do.
Robb: And do you use a rifle? Do you use archery? How do you usually have tackled that?
Gina: Yeah, so last year was my first time trying to use a bow. It didn’t… I ended up taking it with a rifle, but I’m primarily a rifle hunter with dreams of getting into archery.
Robb: Okay. Okay, and are you looking more at traditional archery or are you going the tried and true compound setup and all that?
Gina: Yeah, sheep are kind of hard enough with a compound that I think until I can get one with a compound bow… I think the Holy Grail is using a traditional recurve or longbow.
Robb: Right, right.
Gina: But I’m not sure I’m that tough or good.
Gina: So, we’ll just take one step at a time.
Robb: Absolutely. Yeah. I have very little experience with the compound bow setups, but I was halfway decent with the recurve and longbow. I had a good friend of mine, James Schulte, whose father learned from this guy, Howard Hill, who the old Robinhood movies, all the trick shooting in there, this guy Howard Hill did it. And they did a VHS video, Hitting ’em Like Howard Hill, and they would throw silver dollars, then quarters, then dimes, then aspirin in the air.
Gina: Oh, God.
Robb: And James’s dad would take an aspirin out of the air with a traditional bow. It was absolutely incredible.
Gina: That’s incredible.
Robb: And it was interesting. He made the case that a target set up, like a static target, he would probably get smoked by somebody doing a standard compound setup, but anything moving. He was like, “If it moves, I can kill it, because this is kind of instinctual shooting things.”
Gina: It’s way more instinctual. You’re not worried about yardage or anything. Yeah.
Robb: Yeah, yeah.
Gina: I can see that. That’s crazy. That’s next level.
Robb: So, how are you liking Alaska?
Gina: I love it.
Robb: You love it?
Robb: You guys have been there six years?
Gina: I think I’ve been here 10, 11 years.
Robb: 10 years? Okay. Okay.
Gina: Yeah. Yeah. I kind of came up for the summer in college and never left, basically. Yeah.
Robb: Okay. Okay. And that’s coming from Wyoming, so that’s-
Robb: Why? So, I’m in Texas now, enjoying Texas, but some places like Wyoming, Montana, Idaho have some draw. Alaska, in theory, could have some draw, but I got to say. I think the winter might kill me. How would you compare and contrast Wyoming versus Alaska, and why did it draw you up there?
Gina: Well, the winters aren’t as bad as a lot of people think, especially in Anchorage, because we’re right next to the ocean. So, they’re moderate compared to a lot of other places. I mean, we get cold snaps, but it’s not that bad. Alaska and Wyoming are very similar and the people are very similar, but it’s just bigger and more epic, I guess. And you can get an over the counter sheep tag, which is pretty much unheard of anywhere except for Canada. So, if you want to hunt sheep, this is the place to be, but I just like how big it is and you’re not fighting the road system to be caught with other people mostly. Yeah.
Robb: Right. Right. So, I want to talk about your piloting endeavors also, but why sheep versus… Is that the main thing you’re hunting, or are you going after elk or caribou or anything else? Or is that kind of the main thing that you’re going after?
Gina: Sheep are the main thing. There aren’t a ton of elk up here. I think there’s some islands. I haven’t done much elk hunting and never successfully. I did a caribou hunt once, and the way we did it, I will never do it again. That was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done, off of the haul road. We had to hike in seven miles, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but on the tundra, seven miles is pretty serious. But I just kind of love everything about sheep hunting. The animals are amazing. I love the terrain you’re in. You’re in the mountains. I’ve tried goat hunting, and that was just a little bit too much for me. We were on glaciers and stuff, and I’m not a mountaineer, so I don’t have the skills for that. But it’s just kind of the right amount of tough terrain. You’re alone. I just love being in the mountains, too, so even if you don’t get a sheep, you’re surrounded by beautiful mountains, which is great. Yeah. Kind of puts you in your place, which I really enjoy.
Robb: That’s awesome. So, clearly, you take this stuff pretty seriously. How have you integrated nutrition into improving your performance, and what are you doing on strength and conditioning, meditation, sauna, just all those restorative things? How are you tackling all of that?
Gina: So, the first couple sheep hunts I went, I didn’t take the nutrition very seriously, but I’m kind of a small person to be sheep hunting. So, the weight… I mean, weight’s a big deal for everyone, but I feel like it affects me a little bit more, so… And I did take quite a bit of nutrition classes in college, the standard, whole grain nutrition. So, I knew that fat was a lot lighter for calorie density than anything else, so I was like, “How can I use this to my advantage?” And I start thinking about that before I even realized all the benefits of keto. And then, you start hearing about keto and all those benefits. So, before my sheep hunt a couple years ago, it was like my fourth sheep hunt. I decided I wanted to be low carb adapted. I went strict paleo… Not strict paleo, strict keto for six months just to kind of get into it.
Gina: I started doing intermittent fasting, hiking and training while fasted just to get as adapted as possible, fat adapted. And then, I packed mostly high fat foods. It’s not completely keto, because that wasn’t really my goal, wasn’t to be strict keto. And then, for training, I primarily hiked a lot. And I have young kids, so I hiked a lot carrying them, which was pretty great. This year, I’m kind of noticing that, now that they’re a little bit older that I’m kind of missing that from my training. So, I just carried a lot of kids. I do a little bit of weight training. With the COVID, it’s more at home, body weight stuff, but yeah. So, basically, just weight training. I’ve recently gotten into meditation actually, because of flight school. Yeah. I haven’t done as much sauna. I actually do not do well with heat at all.
Robb: Oh, interesting. Okay, and that could be why you went Alaska versus Texas or something. Okay.
Gina: Yeah. Yeah. Heat makes me super lazy and kind of nauseous. I tried a bikram class once, and I was like, “I feel horrible.”
Robb: Not for you.
Gina: Not for me. So, yeah, I just kind of try to eat as healthy as possible when I can. Low carb, weight training. That’s about it. Yeah.
Robb: Awesome. How’s the rest of the family? Are you the weird outlier, or are you kind of the trailblazer on that?
Gina: Well, I do the cooking.
Robb: Okay. Okay.
Gina: So, everyone kind of follows suit.
Robb: So, they comply whether they want to or not.
Gina: Yeah. Yeah. They’re welcome to feed themselves, which sometimes my kids do, and I’m not super strict. I find that my body personally gives me quite a bit of wiggle room and lets me know when I’ve fallen off track, but yeah. So, yeah, I think my husband thinks I’m a little weird, but…
Robb: And he’s probably right. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Gina: Yeah. Whatever. He gives me a hard time about how I feed our kids sometimes, but I do the cooking and then he asks me to pack his food for sheep hunting, so…
Robb: There we go. So, your husband is doing some hunting also. Are the kids kind of getting spooled up on that, and how old are they?
Gina: They’re three and five right now.
Robb: Okay, so still pretty early in. Yeah.
Gina: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I’ve actually only been able to do one sheep hunt with my husband ever, which is kind of ironic, because that’s kind of why we started dating. I did sheep hunting before I met my husband, so then that wasn’t a problem. And then now, it’s kind of a barrier, I guess. This year, we’ll see how childcare goes, if I get to go or not.
Robb: Oh, right, right.
Gina: But we don’t have family up here, and it’s a big ask for someone to watch your kid for 10 days, so…
Robb: Yeah. That is a nontrivial thing. We struggle with overnight one day so that we can go get dinner and stay out late, so yeah.
Gina: Yeah, yeah.
Robb: Yeah. That’s a nontrivial thing. Does your family ever come up to hang out with you guys, or?
Gina: Yeah, his dad’s actually coming up next month to do hunting and we’re hoping he’ll watch our kids while he’s here. And my dad just came up to visit, so they come up sometimes.
Robb: Awesome. Awesome. What is the next hunt that you all have planned? And also, maybe walk people through just the whole process of setting this up. You need to kind of look ahead. You need to think about weather, terrain. I assume that some places are probably more accessible, but then that means more people will be there.
Robb: Could you just walk people through how all of this gets put together? I see a lot of logistics going on with this.
Gina: Yeah, and sheep hunting is kind of one of those things that, once you get into it, it’s kind of all consuming, and you think about it all year round, and people get pretty fanatic about it. So, first, you kind of need to decide where you’re going to go, when you can get off work or whatever, and you need to make sure there’s sheep there. So, you’ll scout. You’ll call biologists. You kind of look at records. You look at a lot of topo maps, trying to figure out if it looks sheep-y. Then you need to make sure you have all the gear, which-
Robb: What are you looking for in that regard? Is it a certain types of vegetation? Is it certain amounts of elevation change, water sources? What are you looking at on that?
Gina: Kind of… They seem to like certain elevations, and it needs to be a place where they can escape from predators. So, it needs to be steep enough that they have escape territory. They do need water, but they seem to be able to travel a ways for that. They’re really incredibly hardy animals. Yeah, and if you draw a tag that’s… So, you put it in for tags pretty early, so that’s something you need to think about too, but if you don’t get a tag, you have to find it over the counter and make sure that it’s open for sheep hunting there. We’re lucky there’s a lot of public land in Alaska, so that’s not as big of a concern, but sometimes you think there’s sheep there and you go scout it and you don’t see anything, or sometimes on your hunt, you don’t see anything either. So, getting a sheep is no… A lot of things have to be in your favor. You kind of have to look into it.
Robb: Right. Right, and what time of year does this usually happen? Is it fall?
Gina: Yeah, so it’s our fall, so opening season is August 10th.
Robb: Okay. Okay. Oh, funny. August 10th is getting into fall. Yeah. That’s probably why I would not make it in Alaska. We moved from Reno, Nevada to Texas a year ago. And although, there’s challenges associated with it, the more sun, the heat, I actually just thrive in that. Yeah. I do my yard work at the heat of the day.
Robb: I just seem to do the best in it, so it’s funny.
Gina: You might like the summers up here, especially interior.
Robb: For sure.
Gina: Tons and tons of sun.
Robb: Right, right. And now a quick word from today’s sponsor.
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Robb: So, talk to folks a little bit about becoming effectively a bush pilot. That’s pretty interesting. And what brought you into that track, and why are you pursuing that?
Gina: Yeah, it happened really suddenly. I kind of never even thought of it as an option for me. I guess the only pilot I ever knew, he was originally a fighter pilot. And that’s a certain type of person. Lots of people come out of the military to fly planes, and I’m not that type of person. I never thought I was smart enough to do it, so it just like never even occurred to me as an option. And then, I had a friend who was a pilot and he kept posting these awesome pictures and he has a great schedule. Or, he did, with his other job. And I was like, “Man, that’s super cool.” Kind of started thinking about it. But I was like, “Yeah, not smart enough. Can’t do it.” There’s a lot of studying that goes into it.
Robb: Right. Right.
Gina: And then, I was walking with my husband, and I was trying to figure out what to do with my life, basically. And he was like, “You should be a pilot. They need pilots. They want female pilots.” And like, within an hour, we’re like, “Let’s do it.” So, it was super kind of spur of the moment. I can be kind of compulsive, I guess, but… So, yeah, I think two days later I signed up for a lesson, and then I became obsessed. I actually had to start meditating, because I was too excited to sleep. It was wearing me out, because I’d get up at, like, three in the morning to start studying and couldn’t fall asleep at night. So, yeah. So, now, I have my private license. I’m working on my instrument reading, and then next will be commercial.
Robb: Awesome. Awesome. That’s exciting. That’s pretty cool.
Gina: It’s so fun. It’s awesome.
Robb: Yeah, and I could see where a little bit of compulsiveness would be valuable around piloting. That is not… Just doesn’t strike me as something that a non detail oriented person is going to stick to long term, just for a variety of reasons. Yeah.
Gina: Yeah. Yeah. You definitely… It’s kind of a slog for sure, at least it kind of has been for me. There’s a lot more studying than I anticipated, and all through high school and college, I was the worst student, but it turns out if I get the right subject matter, I can study a lot more.
Robb: Shocker, shocker.
Gina: Yeah. When your life is on the line, it’s a little bit more motivating.
Robb: It definitely raises the stakes a little bit. Yeah.
Gina: Yeah, yeah.
Robb: Particularly when you’re pulling the husband and the kids on and all that stuff, too.
Robb: So, how much longer of a cycle before you will be in that position for a commercial pilot status?
Gina: It’s getting pretty close. Hopefully, by the end of the fall. I only… So, you need 250 hours of flying to qualify for your check ride, and I have, like, 190.
Gina: So, it’s coming up there. Yeah.
Robb: Awesome. Awesome.
Gina: Yeah. Hopefully, I have another check ride here pretty soon.
Robb: So, I pinged some folks in The Healthy Rebellion, let them know that I was going to be interviewing you. And I had some questions around how would you encourage women to get into hunting, just as kind of a baseline? Maybe make the case. You had a little bit of an advantage being raised in Wyoming, where it’s just kind of baked into the culture more than particularly a lot of other places in the States and Canada. How would you encourage women to look at this, and kind of… Are there some different entry points that you could recommend, or how would they tackle that?
Gina: Yeah, and actually women is the only demographic of hunters that’s growing right now.
Robb: Oh, interesting.
Gina: Yeah, less and less people are hunting. It’s kind of getting a bump from people who are getting more mindful of where their meat is coming from and stuff like that. So, it’s getting a little bit of bump from that, but women is the only demographic that’s growing right now. So, there are more and more women getting into it, and it’s getting easier to reach out to people and ask women hunting specific questions. I know I get some of those for sure. Because men sometimes just don’t get it. But I think just if you could find someone that hunts, especially… I mean, there’s more and more people, especially on Instagram has been awesome for that. Social media definitely has its downfalls, but it’s great at building communities around people that have similar interests. And I think just kind of go for it and don’t be afraid to ask questions. You’re not stupid. You’re not dumb. You just only know what you know, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. Everyone’s a beginner at some point, and so just kind of realize that and take it one step at a time.
Robb: Any other hunting, fishing, anything that you’re intrigued by that you want to check out, or is sheep hunting kind of the thing that you’re going to do at least for awhile?
Gina: I used to love fly fishing, pre-kids.
Robb: Okay, okay.
Gina: So, it kind of depends on… So, I have more time and our kids are starting to get into fishing. I’d like to get back into fly fishing. I’d love to go elk hunting some day. That’d be great. I think sheep hunting right now is my priority, especially with the limited amount of time that I have. I don’t have… Flight school takes a lot of time, too. I would love to get a rabbit someday. That has kind of been my white whale, for whatever reason.
Robb: That’s funny. Okay.
Gina: I tried as a kid, I just… I don’t know. So, I would love to get into that. I would love to get into more archery stuff, but sheep hunting’s my favorite.
Robb: If you want rabbits, go hang out in Reno, Nevada. There are rabbits everywhere.
Gina: I’ve been there, but never hunted. Really?
Robb: Yeah, and that was part of my attraction to recurve and longbow, because-
Gina: Yeah, perfect for that.
Robb: … you just have a blunt arrow and you go out into the BLM land and it’s no big production. And you just stomp. And then, these rabbits just bolt out of the scrub brush, and you’ve got a moving target that you’ve got to track and see if you can take it down.
Gina: That sounds so great.
Robb: It’s honestly… It sounds ridiculous because everybody gets very focused on the big game and everything, which is awesome. But getting something that’s that big and moving 30 or 40 miles an hour is really, really challenging.
Gina: Oh, yeah.
Robb: And you have to pay attention to everything and be very quiet in your movements, and yeah.
Gina: Yeah. I think bird hunting and small game don’t always get the spotlight they should because it’s… You’re out in the mountains. You’re stomping around. You get a little bit more opportunities, so if you blow one stock or something, it’s not a huge deal. And you get to shoot more than once. Once you get your sheep, you’re done for the year, but birds and rabbits, you can get more than one. So, it’s awesome. And it can just be a day hunt, which is also great.
Robb: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. It is.
Gina: I need to get back into bird hunting.
Robb: That’s cool. I have not done a ton of bird hunting. It’s mainly been small game, and then a little bit of other stuff. Are you aware that I brought down a 650 pound elk with an atlatl?
Gina: I don’t think so. That sounds-
Robb: Give me one second here.
Gina: Yes. Yeah. Show the pictures.
Robb: So, this is the base and then… See if I can get it lined up. That’s the dart.
Gina: That is so cool.
Robb: And there is the-
Gina: A stone tip?
Robb: The chert tip, which it actually, very much like the Clovis stuff, the tip broke off in the ventral surface of the elk’s spine.
Gina: That’s awesome.
Robb: And when we butchered it, then we can find that in there.
Gina: That is so cool.
Robb: So, that was part of my I, Caveman Discovery Channel show, and we starved for 10 days. They put us in a spot where there was absolutely no food and the initial hunts, they had like eight camera people going with them, which good luck.
Robb: It’s so noisy. And then, that 10th day, I was like, “Hey, could we just bring like two people?” And the guys set up about a mile away, long range stuff. They’re like, “Yeah, totally.” Because these guys were over it. They didn’t think we were going to get anything.
Gina: You’re like, “No. My mind is set” That’s awesome.
Robb: Actually, I missed with the first shot and then got it in the neck on the second shot, so…
Gina: That’s cool. I bet it’s quiet enough that you could get more than one shot, too, like he doesn’t spook?
Robb: Yeah. It just went right over him and they kind of looked around, but they were like… And it was perfect. The wind was blowing from them to us. The sun was rising behind us.
Gina: Oh, nice. It’s harder to see.
Robb: Yeah, it was a perfect setup for us.
Gina: Oh, that’s awesome.
Robb: But that’s my only claim to fame in any of that stuff.
Gina: I would cling to that. I would be like, “Oh, have you met me? I killed this elk.”
Robb: With a lawn dart basically. Yeah.
Gina: With a lawn dart. Yeah. So, I’m kind of a big deal. That’s awesome. It’s probably good that you were so fat adapted, not eating for that long.
Robb: You know, it’s really interesting. I still lost 20 pounds on the show.
Gina: Holy cow.
Robb: And it was miserable. We didn’t sleep well and all that, but it was interesting. Everybody ended up keto adapted by the end of it, because they were starving.
Robb: But that transition, people were miserable. I mean, really, really miserable. And they had some medical anthropologists there as part of the show. They had some doctors, but they were estimating that our caloric burn because of the temperature and also our physical activity was like 5,000 calories a day.
Gina: Oh, yeah. I believe it. For sure.
Robb: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Gina: Yeah. My first sheep hunt, I got this awesome tag and we’re like, “We’re going in. We’re not coming out until we have a sheep.” So, we packed like 20 days of food. And so, we’re eating like 800 to 1500 calories a day, and it was brutal. Yeah, you’re just like shivering, because you’re so cold because you haven’t eaten.
Gina: You’re like, you have your little handful of gorp, and you’re like, savoring, it. Kind of gives you a complex, but yeah. So, it’s kind of a big difference, going to fat adapted after that.
Robb: And with the subsequent hunts being more fat adapted, were you able to… Because it’s lighter comparatively, were you able to bump your caloric load up with that?
Gina: A little bit because of that, and all my other sheep hunts, I’ve kind of planned on only 10 days. But typically, you plan two pounds of food a day, and I’m able to get that down to a pound a day. So, that’s taking 10 pounds out of my pack initially, which is really huge. So, I noticed a big difference with that. So, I feel more full and fat adapted. I don’t get the huge crashes, which is great. It’s never an emergency that you get to your backpack to eat. I’ve also noticed a huge difference with inflammation, just waking up in the morning and not feeling as sore. And I think also I’m never as fit as I want to be with the kids and everything else. So, I think that it kind of lets you fake being fit a little bit. You’re fat adapted. You can just keep on plotting and push yourself harder.
Robb: As long as you don’t red line, you can kind of just keep going. Yeah.
Gina: Yeah, and sheep hunting is a lot of trudging. You’re just one foot in front of the other, and your heart rate definitely gets up there, especially when you have a heavy backpack. But yeah, I think it helps you fake it a little bit, and you don’t really hurt as bad in the morning.
Robb: Interesting. That makes sense. That makes sense.
Robb: How are you tackling electrolytes when you’re dealing with that? And also, what’s kind of the elevation change that you might see beginning to an end of a hunt? What type of elevation change do you experience?
Gina: The cool thing about Alaska is the mountains start so low. So, in Wyoming, I grew up at 7,200 feet. It was easy to get to 10. I trained at 9,000 feet every day almost when I was skiing. So, it’s only five to seven, I would say, thousand feet. So, it’s not very high. I think I need to address electrolytes, and I’m planning on bringing LMNT this year more. I also just naturally love salt. So, I always have like my little salt thing. I’ve brought some electrolyte drinks, but I think it would kind of be the next step, is maybe tackling it more, but I do love salt.
Robb: Got you. Have I sent you electrolytes yet?
Robb: We’ll fix that after the show.
Robb: We’ll get that fixed. Yeah. We’ll get that buttoned up. Yeah. Okay. Gina, can you think of anything else that folks might be curious about, as far as what you’re up to? You have a very fascinating life and a really cool gig going on. You have any other things that you want to share with folks?
Gina: Ooh, I don’t know. I’m on Instagram. I’m working on a little…
Robb: Yeah. Let folks know where they can track you down, both your website and your Instagram handle.
Gina: So, I’m wildwellfed on Instagram and I have a little food blog, that’s wildandwellfed.com. Right now, I’m working on a little meal plan for people with only five ingredients. Some of it’s low carb. Some of it you’d have to make some swaps. I’m really into meal planning, saving money, and saving time right now. So, that’s been a pretty big focus of mine. If you want to make your own backpacking food, which I highly recommend, because lots of the ones out there are not real healthy, I do do some product development for Heather’s Choice, which is a great, healthy option. It’s not low carb, but I also don’t recommend going low carb on a hunt if you’re not fat adapted.
Gina: If you’re not going to put in the work, because that would be terrible.
Robb: That’s not the time to start testing out new diet stuff. Yeah.
Gina: No, no. You definitely…. That’s a good point too. You always want to test stuff out before you go in the field, and don’t try new stuff, but yeah. So, I’m kind of there, if people want to check me out or ask questions. I’d be happy to help any women who are trying to get into the hunting. I think there’s a great community there and it’s kind of fun helping women get into it and get excited about the same thing I’m excited about, so yeah.
Robb: Awesome. Well, Gina, it was super cool connecting with you.
Robb: Thank you for taking the time to jump on Salty Talk-
Gina: Of course.
Robb: … and remind folks again really quickly where they can track you down on the interwebs.
Gina: Yeah. On Instagram, I’m wildwellfed, and I’m wildandwellfed.com.
Robb: Awesome. Awesome.
Robb: Okay. Well, I tell you what. Nicki loves fly fishing, so if we make it up your way, I will watch all the kids-
Gina: Okay, deal.
Robb: … and then you, y’all can go fly fishing. Okay?
Gina: Sounds great. I will take her out. I’m not that good, but we can go.
Robb: Okay. Perfect. All right, Gina, take care. We’ll talk to you soon.
Robb: Bye bye.
Nicki: All right, hubs. You ready to go to Alaska?
Robb: It’s on the list now.
Nicki: It’s on the list. Maybe in the… Right now we’re in the middle of August here in Texas and it’s hot. It’s damn hot.
Nicki: So, we might be needing-
Robb: It’s kind of funny in February. You’re like, “Oh, I’m the smartest person in the world living here.” And then come… July was not that bad.
Robb: August has been ramping up.
Nicki: I think August and September are the two.
Robb: Now I’m feeling a little less cocksure about our decision. When we were talking with Gina, I’m like, “Alaska, is that terrible winter?” And she’s like, “Oh, we live in Anchorage, so we’re near the ocean and it’s not that bad.” So, apparently, you just need to stay near the ocean.
Nicki: Okay, well, maybe we’ll plan to visit her next August or September when we’re needing a little bit of a reprieve from this Texas heat.
Robb: That sounds like perfect timing.
Nicki: All right, folks. Thanks so much for joining us. Remember to check out B.LXR from Beekeepers Naturals, by going to beekeepersnaturals.com/THR, and save 15% on your first order today. All right, folks, we will see you next time.
Robb: Bye, everybody.
Robb: As always, Salty Talk episodes are brought to you by Drink LMNT, the only electrolyte drink mix that’s salty enough to make a difference in how you look, feel, and perform. Get salty at drinklmnt.com. That’s drinklmnt.com.