ALEX TEMPLETON-FARMER, RANCHER, HUNTER
Alex Templeton, a farmer, a rancher, and a force to be reckoned with. When I scroll through Instagram, go to shows, or watch hunting shows on television, I try to spot the women I would look up to. I look for the women I would want my daughter to look up to. I look for the women I would go to for advice, and the ones that have the values I have or would like to. More importantly, I look for the women I identify with and feel I can relate to, someone I can see myself being good friends with.
I remember when I started finding other hunters on Instagram, most of whom I didn't know personally. When I stumbled across Alex's, she seemed like someone I could relate to, but at the same time, also being someone I wanted to strive to be. She's ambitious, has a great work ethic, has respect for herself, and it seems like in all she does, she does it for herself and is genuine.
As a 25 year old farmer and rancher from Northern Missouri, Alex says, "Being raised in the outdoors has been the greatest blessing in my life!" She is one of three sisters and her family always jokes that she's the "son her Dad never had." She even shortened her own name as a kid from Alexandria to Alex because it seemed too "girly" for her. After graduating high school, she went on to college, but always knew she wanted to come home and work with her Dad. "We have so much fun together, but we work extremely hard. It's not always playing with cows and having a great time like it may seem. Farming and ranching is hard, but I wouldn't change it for the world," she adds. Outside of hunting and farming/ranching, she has a lot of love for all things makeup, hair, and fashion, and is quick to note, "is totally unlike how I used to be! I love getting dressed up and doing my makeup now."
Templeton started hunting with her Dad as a kid. She stated that year round, they try to do as much as they can to prepare for deer season. With each passing season, another phase of work begins, and to her, it's addicting. Alex says she loves the thrill of the hunt, but the work she puts in during the off season, is just as important. Throughout her life, she has felt very fortunate to hunt many types of animals including elk, mule deer, mountain lion, turkey, and even traveled to South Africa with her Dad and Uncle to bow hunt. "I haven't always killed the animal I've been chasing, but that's just part of hunting," she says. 2017 proved to be Alex's best year of hunting whitetails. She revealed, "I killed two bucks, one with a bow and one with a rifle. Both on two of our farms here at home. It was very rewarding to reap the benefits of my year-round work, and I'm already looking forward to next year!" Alex claims that the biggest mistake she's ever made bowhunting was missing the first buck she ever shot at. Similar to the majority of us, she said she was so nervous and missed so bad that she almost hit one of the bucks back hoofs! She's thankful it was a clean miss because 5 minutes later, she was able to smoke a doe, which made her feel better because it was her very first whitetail harvest!
Below I asked Alex some more questions, in order for others to get to know more about her. Alex is truly a hunter worth knowing, and as I stated previously, someone I relate to from the love of bowhunting whitetails to even makeup and dressing up.
AR: What is your earliest memory of hunting?
AT: Going turkey hunting with my dad! The earliest I can remember, I would have had to be around 5 years old or so. He took my younger sister and I out and he killed a Tom. It was so exciting! After shooting my own turkey for the first time, I was truly hooked. Since then, hunting is one of the most important things in my life...my favorite being hunting whitetails.
AR: What has been your favorite harvest so far?
AT: It would have to be my rifle whitetail from 2017. Again, I was hunting with my dad when I shot him. We were hunting on our favorite farm together and we saw a buck come out of a huge ditch. Instantly I knew it was a mature buck based on his body size. I put my crosshairs right on the point of his shoulder, and squeezed. He fell right to the bottom of the ditch he came out of! I'll never forget walking up to him and realizing how big he actually was. He was the biggest buck I've ever shot! My dad kept saying how proud he was of me, and that was the best feeling ever.
AR: You're associated with and have contributed to two major companies within the hunting industry, Sitka and Mathews Inc., how did you become involved?
AT: I started off in college doing some work as a TV show prostaff member. I met a lot of people just by going to trade shows and talking to anyone and everyone. It was never my plan to "seek out" companies to do work with, I just wanted to hunt and if something came of that, great...if not, well I was still going to be hunting as much as possible. After realizing that TV wasn't for me, I thought my time in the outdoor industry was over. It was about that time SITKA Gear reached out to me about assisting in the creation of the women's line. I had already been wearing the men's gear and loved it, but the thought of having clothing that would actually fit was awesome. I jumped at the opportunity! From there, I was introduced to the folks at Mathews through my SITKA friends. I had always shot Mathews bows, so it was an easy decision to get involved anyway I could.
AR: I was against everything Sitka was about for the longest time, solely because they didn't have a women's line. Did you wear Sitka prior to helping them create their women's line?
AT: Yes! Like I said, I had been wearing the men's line and was getting along great with it. Obviously, it didn't fit quite right, but no clothing ever did, and it fit better than anything else I had worn.
AR: What was your part in the development process? What did you have to do and how often did you meet the team to work on it?
AT: In the early stages of the development, in May of 2015, a few other women and I went to Bozeman, MT to the SITKA office. The women's line was already in the works at least a year prior. We gave all the input in we could think of on what we would want in a women's line. From there, the design team would create prototypes, we would hunt in them, and then give feedback on what we liked and what we didn't. The line launched in 2017. Soon after, I got home from my first meeting with SITKA, I was invited to be a whitetail ambassador.
AR: You were also in the Mathews Inc. short film DRIVE for the Avail, which is incredibly inspirational. How did that come about and what was that like?
AT: I have been shooting a Mathews for several years. That's pretty much the only bow I've ever shot! After beginning working with SITKA, doors opened for me with Mathews. When the discussion started about including me in the Avail film, DRIVE, I was so pumped! It was a project that was very near and dear to my heart. The message behind the film is very empowering. Even now, whenever I watch it, I get goosebumps!
AR: Are you associated with any other organizations or companies? Do you participate in any conservation groups?
AT: I wouldn't go as far to say that I'm involved with any other companies to the extent that I am with SITKA or even Mathews. I'm affiliated with a few others, however, it's not my overall goal to be on a bunch of "prostaffs" or anything like that. If I like a brand or product, I'm just as happy buying the gear myself. But to answer your question, I'm a Tanglefree Waterfowl team member, too.
My main (and favorite) involvement in conservation efforts, take place outside of the hunting industry. Along with ranching, my family also farms quite a bit of ground. It is important to us to optimize the ground we farm to not only be successful farming, but also help wildlife.
AR: What are a few things you swear by when you're in the woods?
AT: Wearing the correct type of gear based on what I'm hunting and the time of year is important to me. For example, if I'm goose hunting I'll be wearing a completely different system than what I wear when I'm deer hunting. My base layer systems, gloves...everything is different! I swear by this because if I'm less focused on my gear not functioning properly, I'm more focused on the hunt.
AR: Do you have any bucket list hunts?
AT: A mountain caribou is my dream hunt! Next to that, someday I want to kill an elk with my bow. Also, not really a bucket list hunt, but a goal of mine is to kill a Booner whitetail with my bow!
AR: If you could say anything to other hunters, men and women, in the industry, what would it be?
AT: Hmm, this is tough. Everyone has their own goals and motives, which is great! I guess just stay true to yourself and don't sell yourself short. Remember that you're doing this because you love it, not for free product!
AR: If you could choose one piece of advice to share to other hunters, what would it be?
AT: Again, this one is hard for me. I don't see myself anywhere close enough to being an accomplished enough hunter to be in the position to be giving advice to people. I'll do my best, though. Hunting is hard, it's frustrating, and challenging, but having success in the field is amazing! Success doesn't necessarily mean killing an animal. Sometimes "success" for me can be as simple as forcing myself to get up and go get in a stand, when I want nothing more to sleep in, or sometimes it's finding a big shed in the spring. Appreciate the little accomplishments in your journey, and keep working hard!
AR: Where do you see yourself in the future? What are some goals you have as far as the hunting industry and farming goes?
AT: In the future, I see myself doing exactly what I'm doing now. I want to stay farming and ranching for as long as I can. My goals for the hunting industry are a little different. I'd like to keep hunting, harvesting big bucks, and chasing after as many animals as I can, but to me that's not the "hunting industry." I'd like to continue working with SITKA to create the most badass women's whitetail gear possible, and I want to continue shooting Mathews forever! No matter what happens, I'm only going to use and promote products and companies I like.
It's a goal of mine to be a respected whitetail hunter. I've got a long ways to go, because I certainly don't know everything, but I'm enjoying the journey of figuring it out as I go along. I make a lot of mistakes, but I try to learn from each one. So far, it's been a fun ride, and I'm very lucky to be in the positions I am. I never take a single bit of it for granted!
There's a difference between having a large "following," and being a respected whitetail hunter, and in my opinion, Alex is a hunter worthy of respect. None of us know it all, and if we did, we would successfully harvest something every season. She touched on learning from mistakes and that's what makes us all better hunters. I want to thank Alex for taking the time to answer my questions, and I really look forward to seeing more of her and her accomplishments in the future.