A Spicy Perspective – From Pumpkin Spice to Gun Powder

It’s that time of year where summer wraps up and autumn begins to unfold before our eyes. The kids are gone back to school now and we are well on our way to becoming re-familiarized with the usual programs and routines – school lunches, homework, after school activities – lots of extras that we tend to step back from a bit around my neck of the woods over the summer.  For instance, many evenings do not come with a hard 8:00 bedtime – most involved epic adventures of some kind with our last one being an impromptu trip to Saskatoon to the beautiful Wanuskewin Heritage Park.  

And so the “Pumpkin Spice” season begins. Autumn, that delightful season where we embrace the star-filled chilly night skies, warm sweaters, changing leaves, Thanksgiving, and pumpkin spice lattes, and pumpkin spice donuts, and pumpkin spice Blizzards, and pumpkin spice candles, etc. The old me used to embrace all the things pumpkin spice but there was something else working its way into my life as I approached the PS season of 2006. As a new teacher in the community, and trying to be the best possible mom I could be in providing for my kids, I took a leap of faith, scrapped the substitute teacher option, and applied for a job at Saskatchewan Penitentiary in September 2006 as a Correctional Officer. How would I have any idea that in a few short months from then my life would take a drastic turn. Fast forward to February 2007 – quite possibly one of the coldest Februarys I recall in a long time (aside from 2019) which I only remember because I was 100% engaged in weapons training in the dead of winter with the worst case of influenza I think I’ve ever experienced.  

I remained completely un-phased by my icicle breath that made its presence clear in the frigid air while I focused on the bead of a 12 gauge pump action shotgun filled with shells; finger tips frozen but staying locked on and ready for the next order. The sting of the recoil as I shot it for the very first time; the smell of the gun powder that lingered momentarily and then slipped away with a thousand drifting snowflakes.  Tears. The adrenaline that rushed through my veins and the emotions that surged through my body on every shot were intense and they changed the course of my life as I became convinced the woman I would become will surely get a little closer with guns because it was at that moment I understood I could.  It was an incredibly empowering (and painful) moment in my life.

Flash forward to September 12, 2018; approaching yet another PS season. I stepped away from my career at Saskatchewan Penitentiary and took another huge leap of faith to become my own boss as a firearms dealer here in Prince Albert. The time in between those PS seasons were indeed remarkable but for now I remain focused on the “Gun Powder” season. I focus on how and when I will manage to get outside again – to do whatever it is I love to do in nature. To walk, to hike, to forage, to hunt. Oh, to hunt. The harshness and sweetness of it; like pumpkin spice and gun powder indeed. The connections I’ve made as I continue to embark deeper into the firearm, hunting, and outdoor community have undeniably presented to me some of the most fascinating and remarkable people I have ever met.

Now that the Gun Powder season is upon us; not only do I intend on trying for bear, elk, and deer again, I also still hope to get out bird hunting. I’ve wanted to try this for years after learning that Saskatchewan is a true bird hunter’s paradise. For any of the bird hunters out there, you are welcome to check out the incredible selection of firearms, ammunition, and accessories we have available to you at Northern Elite Firearms. This is also the time of year to inquire about firearm clinics and education – we offer private instruction in our fabulous range with a special focus on getting women and children into the shooting sports safely and responsibly.  Now to consider one of those blizzards. Safe shooting!

Pumpkin Spice Recipe – mix together and store in an airtight container

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

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