Outdoor Channel host Theresa Vail says hunting saved her life

Beauty queen's tattoos revealed during swimsuit competition


Theresa Vail certainly wears many caps: she's already the 2013 Miss Kansas winner, a 2014 Miss America top ten finalist, a Sergeant in the Kansas Army National Guard and an avid bow hunter. And the bubbly, tattooed blond is now preparing for the summer premiere of her very own adventure-driven TV series "Limitless with Theresa Vail" on the Outdoor Channel.

"The show is about pushing my own boundaries in the outdoors, not just in hunting but in every outdoor aspect: rock climbing, white water rafting, skydiving, just doing all of these things that make your blood boil. I want people to watch the show and I want them to create their own bucket lists," Vail told FOX411 at the annual NSSF SHOT Show in Las Vegas last week.

But the biggest challenge so far?

"That would be stating that this is my place in the outdoors, this is the first series the Outdoor Channel has had with a sole female host," she said. "I don't claim to be an expert. I will fail in tons of challenges I put myself through and I am okay with that and I want people to see that, but also that I will pick myself back up again."

Vail attributes her initial foray into hunting as saving her from a very dark place. The daughter of a United States Army soldier, Vail spent much of her childhood in Germany, where she struggled with problems both at home and school.

More On This...

"I nearly committed suicide. My dad was the one that said, 'You know what Theresa, we need to find you something that you love. Something that makes you want to stay alive.' Hunting had always been his thing, it was his way of getting away from the kids -- there were nine of us -- and getting away from work and he decided to take me," she said. "It became our special thing, none of the other kids did it."

Vail has vivid memories of her first kill at the age of ten: a squirrel.

"I knew why we were hunting, we were hunting for food. It was never a trophy," she added. "I felt like I was able to contribute in some way."

But for this Kansas native, life is constant journey of enduring and overcoming. She says during her days as a mechanic in the military she was subject to intense sexual harassment and even today is often patronized with "Baby, did you really kill that pheasant yourself?" type remarks at book signings. She says it is something she has learned simply to brush off.

"God doesn't put things in your life that you can't handle," Vail said. "I want to continue as a spokesperson for the Second Amendment, and supporting women in defending themselves."

WATCH: 'Breaking Bad' star Dean Norris talks Founding Fathers

Hollie McKay has been a staff reporter since 2007. She has reported extensively from the Middle East on the rise and fall of terrorist groups such as ISIS in Iraq. Follow her on twitter at @holliesmckay