How it All Started...
Since I was a kid, I always felt at home outdoors. I learned to identify insects and wildflowers when I was about 7 years old, and at age 11 I took interest in fishing. The fishing bug bit me hard, and I could be found riding my bike to the creek several times a week to fish for bream, bass, drum, catfish, even gar. There was no trash fish in my mind, I loved it all, and that still holds true to this day. When I would buy tackle at Walmart, I'd notice the camo and all the hunting gear on the sheves. I always had an idea lurking way in the back of my head that some day I might get into hunting. I never thought much of it until one particular afternoon in 2009.
It was Thanksgiving Day of 2009, I was 17 and was in the kitchen as everyone was helping out getting ready for the feast. Out the back window I noticed a flock of turkeys crossing the yard. I grew up in a subdivision with a bit of undeveloped land and some hardwoods behind the house, so turkeys would occasionally pass through. For whatever reason, on this one Thanksgiving day, I ran outside and of course the birds scattered into the trees. I began thinking of ways to catch and cook one, but had no clue how. This sparked the first interest in hunting, and I began to search the internet for ways to harvest a wild turkey.
Over the next few months, I scoured the internet and learned a lot about hunting, game laws, and even how to make a tube call for turkeys. I learned that deer shed their antlers every year, so I did a little shed hunting, and even found a few fresh sheds. In early March of 2010, I decided to start a YouTube channel, and use my old screen name that I created when I was 12 years old when I joined a catfishing forum. At this point, I was not dedicated to filming my hunts, as I hadn't even been hunting.
Fast forward to sometime in the middle of turkey season, I rode along with a friend to a property he had permission to hunt. I heard my first roost gobbles, and we even had a bird work in to our ridgetop setup where the subordinate gobbler spotted the strutter decoy and dipped back over the ridge.
The following deer season, I joined a deer hunting forum and was probably the greenest hunter in the whole group. I learned a whole lot over the next few years, and made some friends and met a lot of good people through the site. I hunted a local WMA two times that season with a friend of mine who was equally as clueless about deer hunting. The first evening, I had a doe broadside at about 100 yards, but the rifle had only iron sights, and I had never even shot the rifle before, so I passed on the shot.
In the spring of 2011, I headed out to the same public land two weeks before turkey season to listen for roost gobbles. I had been given a tip about a good spot by a call maker I met at Walmart as he was selling his calls to the store. The morning I went out, I heard and saw many birds roosted along a river, and knew that's where I would be opening day.
On opening morning, I found myself almost under some roosted birds. After flydown, I had two different jakes within 10 yards, but I got busted both times. It took me 3 hunts to kill my first bird, a 14-pound jake that followed an angry hen that I had called into a mere 6 yards using a homemade tube call. I filmed a quick video of the bird after the hunt; that video can still be found on YouTube. I will never forget that day...
2011 deer season brought me to a new spot on public land that a friend recommended. I had borrowed his Marlin 30-30 scoped with see-through scope mounts. On opening morning of rifle season, I sat under a maple tree as a yearling 5-point buck came in from behind me and gave me a perfect 8 yard broadside shot. I filmed the tracking and recovery, and that video is still up on YouTube as well.
Over the next couple years, I took self-filming my hunts more seriously, and as time went on, I got better at filming and bought better cameras and microphones to capture the hunt.
The main focus of my videos has always been to take the viewer into the woods or on the water with me. I want to keep things real and present it with high quality audio and video that puts you in the woods when you watch it. Because of my simple approach, my camera gear has remained fairly simple as well, and often I only have one camera with me in the woods. This may change over time, but it has worked well for me so far.
Hunting aside, I try to incorporate fishing and any other outdoor related content I can come up with for my channel. In the past year or two, I finally began to live up to my name and start catching some big catfish. I still haven't met my goal of 50 pounds or bigger... but knowing those fish are in the water keeps me going after em.
Well I've rambled on long enough. I hope y'all enjoy the site and the videos, now go out and enjoy the great outdoors. - Catman