My name is Xaela. I am from Salt Lake City, Utah. Before you ask, the answer to your question is No, I am not a Mormon. It seems to be the number one question Utahn's get asked (if you were wondering). Putting religion aside, Utah has been a pretty amazing place to grow up. That, however, may be a topic for a blog entirely of its own. So back to the focus and title of this blog; introducing me.
Wildlife! That single word resonates in every aspect of my life and I hope to make it resonate, at least partly, in yours too. I can't say enough how passionate I am and how deep of a love I have for hunting, fishing, and hiking. Just in case you didn't already know, Hunting is Conservation. Fishing is Conservation. Both provide for wildlife and provide for me. Getting in depth about this topic would get lengthy and is yet another subject that is blog or multiple blog worthy.
Caught my first Steelhead this Spring. Photo Credit: Cody Edwards. ( He should also receive credit for teaching me how to fish for these beauties)!
I not only advocate for wildlife on my personal time but while I am on the job as well. I work for the Division of Wildlife. I know, I know. I am seen as one of the "Bad Guys" because I work for the government. But hey, not ALL State and Federal employees are bad, Right? Well, I'd like to think not anyway. Maybe your opinion differs? If it does, I'd love to hear your thoughts and input! I'm always up for an eye opening debate.
Photo: I am holding one of Utah's Beautiful Native Fishes in the San Rafael Swell
(Bonus: Can anyone name this fish?)
I am starting grad school this Fall. I bet you couldn't guess what I will be getting my Masters in. Okay, maybe you can after this intro. Yep, no surprise its in Wildlife Biology. I am incredibly excited to start working on a thesis relating to coyotes and mule deer. If any of you are grad students or recent graduates and have suggestions, tips, good reads or ideas pertaining to grad school success, research methods, GIS, or coyotes/mule deer, please don't hesitate to comment and share your knowledge! I am, like with debates, always up for increasing my knowledge base.
Lastly, since this is getting long, and I do applaud you if you have made it this far because this is simply reading about me, rather than something truly exciting or educational, I am a mother of a 3 year old son who is so charismatic. Just like me, that boy is only happy when he is outside. Unlike me, it is usually if he is covered head to toe in dirt and mud. I couldn't be happier to have a fishing buddy and hunting buddy. I take a lot of pride in raising him to be educated about wildlife. I'll admit, he doesn't know all of his ABC's and he can only count to 7, on a good day, but he knows all about heavy equipment , farm equipment, and so many kinds of animal species (like the peacock that randomly showed up in our neighborhood this week, which we may end up trapping so the poor thing doesn't become Fiddo's Dinner). He may change his mind as he grows older (And that is Okay) but I will continue feeding his passion!
Photo: My Son Riding the Heber Creeper (On the Easter Train, luckily for his sake when he gets older this picture does not show how Terrified of the Easter Bunny he is)
Well, I think that pretty much wraps up the big details of my life and provides a little insight to who I am. I am an open book, so if you want the nitty gritty details I'm happy to share (Just ask). But For now, I am excited to contribute to this incredible community and look forwarding to meeting some great minds. Thanks for reading!