Kristin Zeck grew up on a farm in Young America, just West of Galveston, and she enjoyed farm life and participating in 4H. She graduated from Lewis Cass High School in Walton, Ind., in 2006 where she was very active in school activities and was a cheerleader.
While she liked wearing blue jeans and boots, she also enjoyed getting dressed up pretty, and she was indeed popular with other girls and especially boys.
After graduation she was employed by a number of jewelry stores and become interested in optical work. She was offered the opportunity to relocate her family from flat land Indiana to Colorado Springs, Co., working for yet another optical business.
She eventually went to school seeking a zoology degree of exotic animals, and then she took an on-line course from Oregon state and earned a bachelor’s degree and also took courses offered by Pike’s Peak Community College and got a bachelor’s degree in zoology and an associate’s degree at Oregon State Fish and Wildlife Science.
Both of her Degrees required an Internship and she became interested in local conservation and habitat. She contacted Colorado Parks and Wildlife and started working there.
Kristin enjoyed her interactions with everyone she came in contact with. She estimated one-third of her interactions were working with the district wildlife managers, game wardens, and education coordinators. She also worked with the regional volunteer coordinator, and that opened other opportunities.
Her projects involved attaching bands to juvenile Golden Eagles, participating in the Pike’s Peak Big-Horn Sheep numbers survey program, conducting fishing clinics for beginning and physically challenged people of all ages.
She was appointed mandatory check technician conducting the check of all big game animals, such as black bear, sealing the hide, and checking all registrations, checking and aging the animals by extracting a tooth. Animals included moose, bear, big-horn sheep, mountain goat, and mountain lion. She also helped collect data and samples to help diagnose chronic waste disease in animals.
Kristin stated she really enjoyed interacting with the hunters who always had interesting stories to share about their hunts. They often teased her about her small stature and how she managed to wrestle the animal carcass that was most often at least three times larger than she was, and they complimented her on getting down and dirty but never complaining about her job. They even mentioned they made special trips to see and talk to her because of her pleasant attitude, and of course, she was cute!
Kristin has been given the opportunity to instruct archery in schools and seminars and promote outdoor activities before huge numbers of people. Her pleasant attitude and love for helping people has helped her make many friends. She has also enjoyed elk hunting, deer hunting, dove, and pheasant hunting. She even plans on hunting prong-horn antelope. She also started ice fishing and learned how to fly-fish. Plus she is very skilled field dressing animals and enjoys processing them herself.
She stated she would highly recommend this lifestyle to any person, especially other women because the outdoors lifestyle is certainly not restricted simply to men. She feels people often take for granted and overlook some things that are actually right before their eyes, and they just never appreciated it. I agree with her 100 percent.
I know I am extremely proud of my granddaughter and what she had accomplished, and I envy living in an environment such as what she sees every day. I remember taking her fishing, taking her to fishing clinics where I was an instructor. I cannot and will not accept the credit for her decision about outdoor activities, but I sure hope I might have somehow shared my love for hunting, fishing, camping, and trapping with her and that tradition inspired her.