Editor’s Note: Georgianna Braden of Houston, Texas, is a petite, pixie like lady. You’d never consider her as one of the top female archers, if you saw her on the street or in the courtroom. She is not only a tournament archer, but also an avid bowhunter and an advocate for women’s archery. Georgianna, who’s been shooting a bow for 7 years, and her husband Michael are both members of the PSE Pro Staff.
Georgianna, how are you accepted when you go into a hunting camp with all men or maybe only one or two ladies?
Braden: All the guys are super friendly. They understand that I’m serious about bowhunting, and they’re very welcoming. I get the impression that in most bowhunting camps, guys would like to see more women in the sport. They’d like ladies to understand what hunting is all about, and why they have such a passion for bowhunting.
Georgianna, how do you feel about you and your husband hunting together?
Braden: Many times Michael and I hunt in a pop up blind. We take turns hunting and running the video camera, because we try to film all our hunts. This way we can hunt together and still be in the same blind together. We can get excited for each other, share the hunt and both be successful. One of us can take the animal, and the other can get the hunt on the video, so we both go home with a trophy, a great video and a great animal. This way we can be together in the outdoors and participate in a sport that we truly enjoy. Michael and I enjoy being with each other.
Why do you film all your hunts?
Braden: We like to share our hunts with other people, and we think a video is a much better keepsake of the hunt than just a picture with the animal we’ve harvested. We’ve found that the video allows us to relive our hunt anytime we want to, with whomever we want to share that experience.
How did you learn to become a videographer?
Braden: Two days before we were leaving for our honeymoon, we received a video camera. We were going to South Africa for a bowhunt. Michael spent the entire plane ride reading the manual and learning about the camera, and when we arrived at our hunting camp, Michael gave me a quick lesson on how to use it. We both learned to run the camera through trial and error. We really like hunting together, because we have the opportunity to share the same experiences. We get to watch the animals come in, and we get to share in the process of what happens before, during and after the shot. Another advantage that we have is that with two of us in a blind, we have another pair of eyes looking for game. We also can notice things that the other hunter may not see.
Michael and I are each others biggest fans. We go through the joy of a successful hunt together and the depression of a missed opportunity with each other. When I’m in the blind running the camera, I am focusing on the animal just like he is. As I look at that animal, I feel like I am aiming the bow for him. I go through this same range of emotions when Michael is in a shoot off in an archery tournament. My stomach gets in knots and I try to focus on the target, focus on Michael and mentally aim for him. When I won the Indoor Nationals, Michael was the first person to get to me and give me a hug. That’s a great feeling for us to share. We go through the same emotions that any family does if a husband, a wife, a son, a daughter, a brother, a sister, a mother or a dad is a competitive athlete. Because we both compete, we understand how much time, energy and effort we put into practicing and trying to get better. When one of us is on the line in a major competition, we understand the number of hours and sweat equity that person has expended to get to that position, and we can cheer for them.