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Libby 'huntress' wins big

by Brad Fuqua & Western News
| January 6, 2011 7:40 PM

One of 10 finalists for a television show’s “Extreme Huntress” contest, Angie Haas-Tennison seemed to be a longshot to win an online voting contest. After all, she hails from small-town Montana – not exactly a booming population center.

“I don’t think they really expected me – being from Montana – to get the votes or support that I did,” Haas-Tennison said Tuesday after officially learning that she had won the contest. “I had been told that the girls in the larger areas can hit a big media circuit and that may be true but Montana showed them.”

Haas-Tennison, a 32-year-old Libby native who lives in Kila, will appear on the TV show “Primal Adventures” while going on a hunt in New Zealand. She was told by producers that the show is tentatively scheduled for around May 10. Fallow buck, red stag, tahr and chamois are among the species that could be hunted.

After learning that she was a top 10 finalist based on a biography and essay sent in to contest organizers, Haas-Tennison advanced to an online contest that ran from Nov. 1-Dec. 31. Through the first 10 days, she sat in fourth place with roughly half the votes of the leader.

The Western News published a story in its Nov. 12 edition and the Daily Inter Lake followed with a feature in its weekend edition. With the media exposure, the votes began to roll in. By the end of that weekend, her dad called while she was hunting on top of a mountain to let her know that she had moved into second place.

By the end of that Sunday night, she had taken over first place.

Haas-Tennison maintained a comfortable lead the rest of the way, although another competitor pulled to within 900 votes at one point.

“I’m highly competitive and didn’t want to lose in the final stretch,” she said. “When I saw that gal jump to within 900 votes, I started sending out a ton of e-mails.”

Haas-Tennison ended up with 4,040 votes to outdistance her nearest competitor who had 2,733.

“It got toward the end there where my family and friends were like, ‘we just need this to be over with,’” she said. “I got a little obsessive there toward the end. I’d be checking (on the votes) first thing in the morning when I woke up and then the last thing at night before I went to bed.”

Haas-Tennison is currently on a trip to Indianapolis for the Archery Trade Association’s annual show in Indianapolis. Later on this month, she’ll head down to Las Vegas for the Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show and Conference – a comprehensive trade show for professionals that is not open to the general public.

Haas-Tennison’s prize package is worth around $25,000 and she will be on the receiving end of new hunting gear from her appearance at the trade shows.

As for when her New Zealand hunt will be aired, Haas-Tennison said producers are planning for sometime later this year. The show airs on Versus, an outdoor sports network available on DirecTV and the Dish Network.

The trip to New Zealand will be a new experience in terms of traveling for a hunt.

“The furthest we’ve gone is when my husband won a grizzly bear hunt in Canada,” Haas-Tennison said. “That’s the only place we had ever hunted besides the States.”