How did you first get interested in hunting? I started accompanying my father and grandfather on whitetail hunts in East Texas when I was 3 years old. Within a few years, I transitioned to hunting small game and eventually whitetail deer and feral hogs.
Did you dream of a job in the hunting industry as a kid? As much as I enjoyed hunting and the outdoors, I actually dreamed of a career in the military and pursued that career path for a long time. I ended up graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point and served in the US Army for over 10 years.
Why did you start The Big Game Hunting Blog? I started considering getting out of the Army while I was deployed to Afghanistan in 2012. As something of a lark, I decided to start a hunting blog as a way of sharing some hunting stories and a few lessons learned.
While my expectations were pretty low at first, the blog turned out to be much more successful than I ever dreamed it would be. I decided to focus full time on the blog and turn it into a useful resource for hunters in 2014.
What makes your blog special? My father and grandfather taught me a lot about hunting as a child and as a young man. However, I realized how much I still had to learn about hunting when I joined the Army and left home.
During the course of my Army career, I lived in New York, Kentucky, two different places in Georgia, and Washington state. All of these places have wildly different hunting opportunities and I spent a lot of time struggling to figure things out.
Unfortunately, I was incredibly disappointed by what found while looking for help in improving my hunting skills. Most of the “hunting resources” I found were biased, hopelessly out of date, or (as it turned out) just plain wrong. Most of the other hunters I asked for advice flat out refused to help me.
Needless to say, this was incredibly frustrating and I spent a lot of time spinning my wheels.
Fortunately, I eventually found a few local mentors who guided me through some of the finer points of hunting in each particular area. My father and grandfather did a good job of helping me build a good foundation of hunting knowledge. These other mentors then built upon that foundation with specific guidance that greatly assisted me in adapting to the local hunting conditions.
I had years of experience under my belt when I started off on my own and it still wasn’t easy. So, I can only imagine how difficult it must be for a person with very little or no starting knowledge about hunting to learn how to hunt as an adult.
With all that in mind, my mission with The Big Game Hunting Blog is to share the lessons about hunting I’ve learned the hard way. I’m passing on the things my father, grandfather, and my other mentors have taught me over the years and I’m not holding out on the good stuff.
Give us a few examples of the useful information on The Big Game Hunting Blog. Everybody loves hunting gear, right? While quality hunting equipment is certainly important, I’ve also learned the hard way that you can spend a lot of money on useless hunting gear that doesn’t do anything to improve your chances of success while afield. That’s why I’ve done my best to point hunters in the right direction with my balanced and reasonable hunting gear reviews.
In that same vein, I know that hunters and shooters love to (often quite spiritedly) debate the merits of carious cartridges. Everybody has their favorite and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, that’s an intimidating world to join for the uninitiated. I have those people in mind when I write articles comparing the strengths, weaknesses, and recommended uses of various popular centerfire rifle cartridges (like the 308 vs 30-06).
Additionally, I started hunting with a muzzleloader to avoid the crowds on public land during rifle season Washington. I thought it would be an easy transition from hunting with a rifle. While there are a lot of similarities between them, I still ended up learning a lot about the finer points of hunting with a muzzleloader that I’ve chronicled on the blog.
In short, I’ve been on the receiving end of bad information many times before and I know it’s not fun. That’s why I’ve dedicated so much time and energy into providing useful information to hunters. Virtually every single article on the blog answers a question I had at one time or another and I’m doing my best to ensure other hunters don’t have to learn those lessons the hard way like I did.
Where do you plan on taking the blog in the future? The more I work on the blog, the more I realize how much I still don’t know and haven’t covered on the blog yet.
I live in west Texas now, which gives me easy access to some incredible hunting opportunities in states like New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Wyoming. Until recently, I had primarily hunted in more thickly wooded areas like East Texas and Georgia.
Needless to say, conditions are far different in those western states. So, I’ll be sharing a lot of the lessons I learn during these hunting trips in the near future.
Learn more by checking out The Big Game Hunting Blog for yourself.