The 2017 season has been crazy so far! We are well into the filming of Season 3 and already have some incredible adventures in the can. Italy, Kentucky, Alaska, Colorado, Louisiana, and much more!
September started out with a bang in Kentucky... I shot my first ever whitetail in velvet on opening day with my bow! I've been trying to shoot a mature buck in Velvet for years and it's never come together for one reason or another (usually because I screwed it up). I was so excited to connect on this 6-7 yr old 8pt that we've known for years.
My trip to Alaska was one of enlightenment and pure misery. For the first time since we began filming Nick's Wild Ride I was skunked. I had dreamed of hunting grizzly bear for as long as I can remember and when I finally got the chance Mother Nature had other ideas for me. I spent most of my time in the tent on a gravel bar in the middle of nowhere. And, since I had to be in Colorado to elk hunt I didn't have the option to stay longer after the weather broke.
But, that isn't to say the trip wasn't awesome. Anytime in Alaska is better than no time in Alaska, if you ask me. And, I got the opportunity to learn about the local Inupiaq people and culture. I got to eat traditional foods such as Muktuk (which is the skin and blubber of a whale) and even sampled pickled seal intestine! I also visited a local school that teaches the ancient Inupiaq language to children.
I enjoy the journey as much as anything and my time in Kotzebue, Alaska with Inupiaq is something I will remember as long as I live. It's not all about the hunt. It's where the hunt takes you.
After I left Alaska I headed to Colorado where I hunted in the White River National Forest to try to take my first public land elk.
The public land issue has become something I'm very passionate about. These lands are constantly under political attack nowadays. I have been lucky to take several big elk in my life but all of them have been on private land. None of those hunts were easy. But, taking one on public land is a whole different story.
I hunted with my new friends at Ripple Creek Lodge. They outfitted us with horses and a guide. In six days we hiked 60+ miles over some of the most difficult terrain I've ever hunted. It was cold, rainy, windy and just plain nasty at times. And I loved EVERY minute of it!
On the 6th day I finally connected with a gorgeous bull at 23 yards with my bow. He wasn't even close to the biggest elk I've ever shot. But he is BY FAR my favorite! I worked hard for it and now I have incredible memories, new friends, and a freezer full of fresh organic meat!
After that I visited the town Meeker, Colorado. This sleepy little town has the coolest combination of historical and hip. I can't wait for everyone to see my adventure there.
After being away from home and family for over 30 days I am enjoying a little bit of downtime at home in TN. I leave on Monday for New Mexico to chase big Antelope.
Wish me luck!!!