Welcome to Activate The Hunt! A podcast, website, and community helping you master the skill of hunting, with a focus on the next generation of hunters.
Over the last few years, I’ve had many non-hunting friends and acquaintances contact me through social media to ask how they can get started with hunting or bowhunting, how they can become a better hunter, where they can find hunting land access, and many more questions related to hunting.
Growing up in a rural area of Central Minnesota, hunting has always been a big part of life for my family. I’ve been hunting or tagging along on hunts since I was a young child. In fact, some of my earliest memories are hunting with my dad and uncles.
Because of this background, I’ve shared a lot of my hunting adventures on social media over the years, and this made it easy for people to approach me with questions about hunting.
I’ve always done my best to help those that have asked me hunting related questions. But, I am only one person, and I am the first to admit, even though I’ve been passionate about hunting for many years, I am not a “pro hunter” or “the best hunter”. I am still just getting started as a hunter, constantly trying to learn new information and improve my hunting skills.
So, I asked myself… How can I connect with the most knowledgeable and successful hunters in the world, to learn more, while helping others start their journey as a hunter? This resulted in the idea of Activate The Hunt, a podcast, website, and community that will help new hunters get started, and help the rest of us learn new hunting tips, tactics and information.
I started tagging along on hunts at a young age. My dad would take me to “deer hunting camp” every November, where my grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins would all gather on state forest land to hunt and camp during Minnesota rifle season. I have some great memories from those early days in my life. I remember the camaraderie that was shared, the hunting stories that were told, the excitement and positive attitudes that everyone had, the lessons that I learned, and, of course, my favorite part, eating fresh venison from the deer that we (my dad, uncles and cousins) were fortunate enough to kill.
But, I will mention, it definitely wasn’t about killing deer, it was much more than that. I don’t remember there being a lot of deer killed, to be honest. The deer numbers were lower in those days. So, it made for some extra excitement when someone did bring a deer back to hunting camp.
As I grew older, I tagged along on squirrel and rabbit hunts as well. When I was old enough, 12 years old to be exact, I took my firearms safety class. That fall my dad took me out on my first deer hunt. I actually passed up a small doe that first year, but still enjoyed the experience of the hunt, and my passion for hunting really started to grow after that.
After a couple years of hunting deer with my dad’s old Winchester .308, and getting a few kills under my belt, I started to look for ways I could extend my hunting season. That’s when I was introduced to bowhunting by my dad. He handed me down a PSE Nova, and I started learning the technique of shooting a bow. Which was the challenge I was looking for and it would give me the opportunity to hunt a lot more.
I wasn’t a good shot at all and I didn’t bow hunt much those first few years. When I went off to college, I started researching, reading and learning everything I could about bowhunting. I began to practice shooting often and eventually upgraded my bow, which gave me much more confidence in my shot. It took me a few more years, but I did finally kill my first deer using a bow, a small buck. I was elated!
Since then, for about 9 years, I have primarily been a bowhunter. I have killed several wild turkeys, a few deer, some wild hogs and a pronghorn antelope, but I have also had my share of missed opportunities. Many actually. But, no matter how many animals I have or have not killed, I have learned to love everything about the hunt. The whole experience is valuable and fulfilling.