Misty Waggener of Priest River, Idaho, leads a double life. From 9 am to 5 pm she’s all business as a training manager at the community bank. During her free time, she’s hard at work racking up elk calling titles, with five women’s division victories to her credit so far. Her latest win came last weekend when she captured the women’s division of the 2010 RMEF/Leupold World Elk Calling Championship. The competition was held during Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s 26th Annual Elk Camp, March 4-7.
While still a teen, she whupped all the boys in the youth division of the World Elk Calling Championship – three times – before moving into the women’s division in 1998.
Barks, whistles, grunts and squeals are in her blood. Her dad, Rockie Jacobsen, is a three-time RMEF World Champion elk caller while her brother Corey is also a competition caller, with several top five finishes under his belt.
Misty said she got her start 17 years ago when her dad was inventing his patented Tone Top Mouth Call Diaphragm. He asked her to give the call a test run, and quickly realized she had inherited the family bugling gene. Misty credits her success to her dad’s call. It’s the only kind she uses whether she’s knocking the judges’ socks off on stage or she’s knocking ‘em dead in the woods.
While Misty enjoys calling on stage, elk hunting is her true passion. She said she actually feels more pressure calling when she’s afield. She started off hunting with a rifle under her dad’s tutelage; however, today Misty prefers the challenge and adrenalin rush of bowhunting. When she gets time off from work, Misty and her husband Casey head to the wilderness to get their fix of screaming bulls.
A lot of Misty’s practice time occurs in the field, hearing the real deal. However, she also trains by listening to bulls on video. She admitted she doesn’t practice as much as she should, however, between riding her horses and shooting her bow, there’s not a lot of time left. Fortunately her hobbies mesh nicely. The trail riding gets her to the woods and the archery practice and calling competitions keep her hunting skills sharp.
Thanks to the $1,500 Misty received as top female caller this year, she said there might be a new horse trailer in her future. She also plans to enjoy all the other swag she won including a Remington .243, Cabela’s gift card and prizes from Eberlestock, Hoyt, Kershaw Knives, Montana Decoy, Montana Silversmiths, Schnee’s and Traditions Performance Firearms.
Even though hunting is a way of life in northern Idaho, Misty said not all that many women go. Still, her co-workers think what she does is pretty cool, and from time to time they ask her to liven up their meetings with a calling demonstration. Misty hopes she can use her accomplishments to encourage other women to get involved in the calling competition as well as give hunting a try.
Women do have a great opportunity to compete against each other at the World Elk Calling Championships. RMEF officials introduced the women’s division in 1994 in response to the enthusiastic participation at the Becoming an Outdoors-woman seminars they offered at Elk Camp, according to head judge and contest official, Fred McClanahan, Jr.
Good news is, with next year’s Elk Camp scheduled for March 3-6 in Reno, Nevada, you’ve got about a year to get your mews and chirps down pat.
For more information, visit http://www.rmef.org/AboutUs/ElkCamp/ElkCampMedia.htm