DANIEL – The race to make it onto the upcoming season of Extreme Huntress was a close one between local outfitter Melanie Peterson and 13 other female semi-finalists from around the United States. Only the top six vote-getters make it onto the show, and Peterson sat in seventh place with 7.97 percent of the votes.
Without scores from the judges being taken into consideration, the local owner of Big Country Outfitters and Timberline Lodge, based out of Daniel, wouldn’t have made the cut to appear on the show.
“The judges’ scored me high enough to overpower the online voting,” she said.
On Monday of last week, Peterson received the news that she will be making the trip down to Texas to film the entire season from July 9 to 14 at YO Headquarters Ranch in Mountain Home, Texas.
When she found out, she couldn’t believe it. She says her social media skills aren’t exactly savvy, and she thought there was no chance to beat out a strong field of competitors.
“I was pretty excited,” she said. “I didn’t think I’d make the top six.”
The lifetime hunter will be featured in episodes lasting six to nine minutes beginning in September of this year. The grand finale will take place during the Dallas Safari Club’s annual awards dinner in January 2018. She is the only contestant on the show from the state of Wyoming.
The show revolves around head-to-head competition with other contestants where skills will be tested. As of last week, she still had no idea what kinds of skills would be featured this season, but she is ready for whatever the task may be.
“I think I can win the skills contest; that’s where my age will play to my benefit,” she said. The 50-year-old is the oldest contestant on the show, but as she says, “Age is just a number.”
“I’ve been doing this long enough that they won’t throw any surprises at me,” she laughed.
To prepare for the upcoming filming of the show, she has been keeping in shape by simply doing her job of guiding clients in the backcountry wilderness of Sublette County. She spent all of last week on a bear hunt with a client and is confident she can hang with the younger gals on the show.
“I stay in shape because I’m hunting pretty much year-round,” she said.
Extreme Huntress will be aired on GetZone.com. The hunting program is currently in its ninth year, with the goal of providing role models to mothers and their children to help combat climbing divorce rates, according to extremehuntress.com.
Peterson said she’s excited to use the platform to garner a genuine interest in hunting in other females.
“I’m super excited to have the opportunity to empower women and introduce someone to the sport of hunting,” she said. “Hunting is a male-dominated sport, but women are also interested in this sport. Anyone has the opportunity to explore the outdoors at any age.”
She thanked friends and fellow community members for supporting her through online voting.
To keep up with Peterson as she progresses through the series of challenges, she suggests following her personal Facebook page or the page of Timberline Lodge.