What’s the biggest mistake New Videographers make and what can they do to avoid that problem?
I think the biggest mistake people that are new to the industry can make would be to think that it is much easier to lay something down on camera than it actually is. It can be even more challenging to do it in a way that makes the viewer feel like they are on the hunt too! Communication between hunter/camera operators is key in capturing a great kill.
What do you look for when you are setting out trail cameras?
The most important thing would be to look for great signs that deer are using or frequenting that area like trails, rubs and scrapes. We also like to take pretty pictures. We don’t just set the camera up anywhere, we want the actual picture to be breathtaking – whether that is a sunrise, a sunset or rolling hills in the background. They can’t all be 10’s, but we try and make them as scenic as we can.
What advice can you give those who are looking to get their own television show?
It’s a lot tougher now then it was when we started and the industry is over saturated. So if it is something you really, really want, then you are going to have to work really, really hard. No one will just give you a show. You have to go out and do something innovative, entertaining and ethical to stand out. Do it for the right reasons. If wanting to see yourself on TV is the only reason; you might have problems getting into this small industry.
What’s one rookie mistake you’ve made hunting?
Too many to narrow down to just one. If you haven’t made a mistake, you probably aren’t being honest to yourself. We learn something new every day we hit the woods!
What’s the hardest lesson you have learned while hunting?
That you don’t always get the buck you are after. When you hunt 100% wild and 100% fair chase like we do, there are so many factors that come in to play. We try and let our deer herd grow and we try and manage that herd to optimize age structure but that doesn’t mean that you won’t pass a great 3 or 4 year old buck and the neighbor won’t shoot him. Just like everyone else we deal with neighbors, predation, mother nature, drought – a thousand things can affect your hunt. You just have to do the best you can and try to “stick to your guns” – pun intended.
What one hunting skill that you most want to improve?
I think one hunting skill that a hunter can always improve upon is their woodsman-ship. This includes things like knowing your surroundings, what type of trees you are hunting around, the crops and food plots you are putting in and planting new vegetation where needed. You can always improve on being a game keeper and steward of your land.
Who do you admire most in the hunting and conservation world and Why?
I think Toxey Haas has always been one of our idols in the hunting and conservation world. The message that he puts out through Mossy Oak, Biologic and Nativ Nurseries is all about conservation and making sure to protect what we have for the next generation.
How were you introduced to hunting?
Believe it or not, our mom, Lucille, was instrumental in introducing us to hunting. Our pop, Ralph, was always working late hours with construction and our mom grew up on a farm, so she knew how to skin all the small game that we would harvest. She would take us out to the woods, drop us off and pick us back up at the end of the day. To this day our mom and dad are still our biggest fans and watch all our Outdoor Channel TV shows, such as “Bow Madness” and “Dream Season: The Journey,” and our DVDs.
What advice would you give someone just getting into hunting?
I think the biggest advice would be to watch what you emulate or pick up from TV shows. You don’t have to have face paint and fancy gear and hundreds of acres. You can start out on local conservation grounds that are scattered all across our great country! Some are better than others and you have to put in the time to scout them out. Usually the deeper back you go, the better off you are. You will get to a place that others aren’t willing to put in the work and effort to get to and, chances are, that’s where the big bucks play anyways.
What species would you most like to hunt?
We might be simple guys in this regard. We love our local habitat. Give us a deer hunt in the fall and a turkey hunt in the spring and we are good to go!
What gear do you carry that you could not live without?
Reconyx Game Cameras have changed the way we hunt. No lie. Rage broadheads and PSE bows have helped our recovery rates greatly as well. Mossy Oak camo has always been the pattern that we chose for our adventures.
What is your most memorable hunt?
For Mark, any hunt with his daughter, Taylor, is usually his favorite of the year. Her first ever archery kill would have to be right up there with one of his favorites though.
What five pieces of gear do you carry with you on every hunt that you could not live without?
NIKON Rangefinder, MAD Rip Growl, Outdoor Edge Flip N Saw for cutting limbs, Big Game Safety Harness and most importantly YOUR TAGS!
What conservation organizations do you support with your time and money?
We support the Catch A Dream Foundation with both our time and money. We have been with them for close to a decade now and helped raise a lot of money to get terminally ill children on the hunting or fishing trip of a lifetime. It’s a great organization (www.catchadream.org). During the past few years, we have also teamed up with Whitetails Unlimited to do a Dream Sheds program exclusively through them where we donate and sign our shed collection for auction at WU banquets and the money goes to Catch A Dream. Pretty cool!
What three tried and true tips do you have to offer hunters for small game?
Heck, it’s been so long since we went squirrel or rabbit hunting I’m sure there are tons of tips we could pick up from Hunting Life’s readers.
What tried and true tips do you have to offer hunters for Spring Gobbler Season?
Depending on the time of breeding cycle in the spring different decoys will work. There may be one point where a full strut decoy makes a group of long beards run in to confront him. Other times, a single hen decoy will do the trick if the gobblers are out looking to breed and aren’t henned up. We usually have all of our MAD Brand decoys with us at all times in the Ram truck just in case the mood strikes to put one out over the other.
What tried and true tips do you have to offer hunters for Deer Archery Season?
Practice makes perfect. The more you practice shooting the more comfortable you will be when the time comes to make the shot. If you practice a lot at 40 and 50 yards you will be really comfortable at 20 and 30. Also, make sure you wait for an ethical shot! Broad side and quartering away are the best. NEVER shoot at a deer while they are quartering to – your sight window decreases drastically for the vital organs of that animal. If you wait and see what the deer is going to do, a lot of times they will give you the shot you need. If they don’t, chances are that you will get another opportunity. It’s not worth wounding and not recovering the animal for that questionable shot angle.
What tried and true tips do you have to offer deer hunters?
Don’t hunt your best spots when the deer aren’t moving. If your trail cameras aren’t showing movement don’t risk going to that spot until the right time – which is usually a weather front or the rut. You don’t want to burn your chips, so to speak, before the time is right. Human intrusion is one of the worst things for a deer herd.
In all of the years of hunting what is the most important lesson you have learned from the outdoors?
There is simply nothing like God’s green earth! The sights, smells and sounds will humble you as you sit in the peace and quiet of your surroundings. The way animals interact and the sounds they make – there is so much to learn. You just have to listen.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
We actually just launched a new website that we are really proud of (www.druryoutdoors.com). There are multiple ways to follow and connect with the Drury Outdoors Team members from there! You can also download all of our DVDs directly from our website with our new Drury On Demand (DOD) platform. It’s an innovative new platform for us and we are really excited for our viewers to try it out!
You can also follow us via these social media sites:
Where and when can folks tune in to catch your show?
“Bow Madness” is currently airing on Thursday nights at 10 p.m. ET on Outdoor Channel.
And, starting July, you’ll be able to catch us on three TV shows – one new and two returning favorites! We’re really excited about our NEW show “THIRTEEN,” which is produced in association with Under Armour, debuting on Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. ET. Check out a sneak peak of the show on our website. “Dream Season: The Journey” will also air on Tuesdays at 10:30 p.m. ET. Brand new episodes of “Bow Madness” will air on Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET.
What would you like other hunters and non-hunters to know about you as a hunter?
That’s a tough question. I think the problem is that most non-hunters don’t understand what the true outdoorsman does in terms of conservation and preserving our great American heritage. What we go through for the health of the herds and of the individual species we pursue… A true outdoorsman cares more about the animal they chase than anyone. I think that’s an important message – not just for non-hunters, but for all hunters out there as well. There should be a certain level of ethics, respect and reverence towards the act of hunting. If you don’t have that, especially as a hunter, you might want to rethink your reasons for being out there. It’s different for everyone, but ultimately your respect for the game should be at the top of your list.
When youngsters and their parents come up to meet you for a quick photo or autograph, what message do you hope to convey?
That we are all in this together! Young and old, we are bound together as one community of outdoorsmen and women. Have fun and enjoy your time together because ultimately our recipe for success has always been having fun as a family and trying to do things the right way. After that, it’s all gravy.
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