In this day age especially among the younger generations of millennial, and gen z'ers, hunting tends to get a bad wrap. Often you'll hear of popular media outlets putting out bad press when it relates to hunting, often demonizing hunters. Representations much like Elmer Fud from the Looney Tunes often paints hunters as aloof, unintelligent, and grouchy killers. Of course, there are some outliers that can be described as such, however, most respectable hunters are doing their killing to live rather than living to kill.
With all this being said, whether you are a current hunter, a beginner, someone looking to start hunting, or even someone who opposes hunting. I'd recommend following and reading up on this list of hunting influencers I have compiled below.
You won't find anybody who respects any animal and wild lands quite like Steve Rinella. Steve has devoted his life to the conservation of the outdoors as well as living within the natural food chain. Steve works hard to document his passionate hunts and lifestyle through several different media outlets. Projects authored by Steve are listed below.
Much of Steve's work as an author has been devoted to cooking and preparing wild game, his philosophy is based around the connection between the fulfilling challenge of hunting and the resulting meal that is provided, rather than a meal bought at a store. Each of the two books listed below are great resources:
- Hunting, Butchering, and Cooking Wild Game Vol. 1: Big Game
- Hunting, Butchering, and Cooking Wild Game Vol. 2: Small Game and Fowl
Steve and his team's professional work is often branded under the MeatEater, which includes the only hunting show currently streamable on Netflix. Much of the show and podcasts are centered on educational purposes, talking about hot topics such as; public lands, as well as different hunting techniques.
The MeatEater Netflix showcan be described as very much different from traditional hunting shows. During the show, Steve hunts a variety of locations from Moose Hunting Alaska, to Deer Camp Wisconsin, and all the way to the South American country of Bolivia. There is a much more concentrated effort to show the different processes and cultures of these hunts. Focusing more on the journey and adventure, rather than the killing of the animal.
The MeatEater, both podcast, and Netflix show are not only just an entertaining hunting experience but also an entertaining (and cultural) experience period sure to impress those who don't even hunt.
Link to the podcast below:
Social Media to Follow
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In this week’s MeatEater Newlsetter, our Wild Foods Cooking contributor, Danielle Prewett of @wildandwhole, shares her Citrus Marinated Venison Fajitas recipe...we found that its the perfect #trophymeal to try before summer is over, but you'll want to keep it in your rotation throughout the year. Link in bio. . . You’ll find Danielle’s new wild game recipes exclusively at MeatEater and can even get them delivered to your inbox. Just sign up for the new MeatEater Newsletter at the top right of the page at the MeatEater Blog. #meateater
The MeatEater Instagram is not only an excellent resource on all things hunting, but it also focuses on recipes of wild game allowing for followers to get a sense of the high-quality food wild animals provide. In turn, followers get to see the whole picture from harvesting the game, all the way down to the meal it provides.
Much like the MeatEater Instagram, you can also keep updated using facebook and twitter.
Separate from the MeatEater, Steve's own personal accounts dive deep into the fascinating mind and life of Steven Rinella while the two accounts he runs go hand in hand. Most often, you can find more information on hot topics, and environmental history lessons on Steve's personal accounts.
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Just spent eight days in the Alaska Range, scouring the high country for Dall rams. Dall sheep take their name from the naturalist William Dall. He's the guy who named the Alaska Range. (Originally he called it the Alaskan Range, but common usage shortened it.) Dall was a malacologist. That's someone who studies molluscs. He traveled to Alaska in 1880 for his honeymoon shortly after the U.S. purchased that state from Russia for 7.2 million dollars. He ended up spending years there and earned international recognition as an expert on the flora, fauna, and geography of that landscape. Those sheep that carry his name are some bad mofos.
When it comes to Instagramming hunts, in my opinion, Remi is the best. His content is second to none. Notably documenting highlights of his hunts on his Instagram story. A few weeks ago, Remi posted a story on one of his guided hunts of calling a bull elk into range, doing a step by step how-to during the hunt. Phone in one hand elk call in the other, Remi expertly positioned himself and his client downwind of the bull below them. What came next was the most intense experience (in a good way) I have ever seen on an Instagram, with each rut-raged bull call you can clearly hear the loud response of the bull, in the meantime, Remi began crashing through the woods to imitate another bull elk ready to fight. Next thing you know the bull is down, and his client has a huge grin on his face. The resulting bull can be seen below.
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As we snuck above the herd bull, I set my client up then moved into position. I ripped out a bugle which I knew would be the clincher. Through the trees I could see the bull's wide rack weaving my way. He made a B-line for me, walking past Larry within bow range unaware of his presence. The arrow found its mark as I watched the bull crash off. #livewildhunthard #guidelife #archery #elkhunter #wildmeat #huntergatherer
Professional guiding is just one of Remi’s multitude of skills involving hunting. Remi has completely devoted his life to hunting. While the typical hunter often hunts with little movement sitting in a blind, or tree-stand, Remi takes a more athletic approach to his hunts. Projects compiled by Remi that take this approach are compiled below.
Cinematography / TV Shows
Solo Hunters is a unique show in that it really is exactly what it sounds like. Hunters going into the wilderness, alone, filming and documenting themselves hunt game animals. Remi worked with Tim Burnett on this show as well, both hunters recount the uniqueness of hunting alone versus the typical duo, or small group.
Apex predator is a TV show that aired on the Outdoor Channel in 2017, the unique thing about the show is that Remi doesn’t simply hunt as a human being. Instead, Remi chooses an animal to emulate in his hunting technique, including black bears, coyotes, and even alligators. He then goes into researching the animal to understand why it is a successful hunter. Once he has trained and understood how an animal hunts, he emulates it trying to take a game animal. For example, if he studies an alligator. He will go into the water and stalk an animal just the same way an alligator would. This series is extremely fascinating showcasing the amazing abilities of predators in the natural world. Redefining, and innovating hunting techniques, while showing the extraordinary skill of predators in the natural world.
Montana OutWest Outfitters - At a young age, Remi always knew he wanted to make a living off of his passion for hunting and exploring. That’s why at the age of 22 he opened his own guiding company called Montana OutWest Outfitters. This means if you want to hunt with Remi you can do so booking a guided hunt through Montana OutWest located in the Bitterroot Mountains of Montana.
Western Hunter Magazine
When Remi is not guiding or producing groundbreaking hunting shows. He also is on staff as an editor at Western Hunter Magazine.
Social Media to follow
The biggest name in hunting advocacy on Instagram has to go to Cameron Hanes. Cam has inspired thousands of young people to take up bowhunting by highlighting the lifestyle. Cameron is the embodiment of a hunting athlete. He serves a true inspiration for his 500,000 + followers on Instagram, inspiring his audience through the use of taglines like “Keep Hammering” and “Nobody Cares, Work Harder”. These aren’t simply a tagline, it’s two phrases that Cam lives by, abiding by a philosophy of hard work and determination to accomplish great things and challenging goals in his life. The phrase “If you want to be good at something, you do it every day.” is also something Cam lives by, he has a consistent daily routine of shooting his bow, lifting and running.
Fitness / Workout Tips
Fortunately, Cam’s two passions of fitness and bow hunting go hand in hand. The harder he trains and better shape he is in, the more successful his hunts are. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more in shape person than Cameron Hanes, he regularly runs ultra marathons along with keeping impressive build. To put this into perspective, check out the intensity of this shoulder and chest workout.
Cam is exclusively a bow hunter, reason being is the quality of stalk and experience you get with an animal at archery range (seen below). All in all, spot and stalk hunting with a bow is a much harder challenge than using a rifle. Cam views hunting as a challenge he wants to overcome, the harder the challenge, the bigger feeling of reward you get.
How Cam has Changed Hunting
Cam has changed hunting, through his constant work to expose audiences to what I would call “Athletic Challenge Hunting”. It’s apparent that when Cam harvests an animal, he takes the hard way. It's very easy to sit in a stand and wait for an animal to come into view of your rifle. While this is a proven and effective way to take game, it’s not the most challenging or rewarding route a hunter can take.
Most often, Cam hikes miles of difficult mountainous terrain just to find an animal using a spot and stalk approach. Once he spots the game, he usually must get within 70 yards to make an accurate shot (70 yards in complete confidence of expiring the animal. He’s accurate for much longer). All the while, he’s camping in the back-country exposed to the elements. So why go through all this trouble to harvest game? Well, you won’t find a happier person on this planet than a back-country bow-hunter (like Cam) who just filled a tag.
There’s something to be said about challenging yourself and taking the harder route in life. This allows you to push the limits and feel a larger sense of fulfillment when accomplishing a goal. Back-country bowhunting is one of the toughest challenges in the world. Cam has changed the perception of the modern hunter by exposing thousands to the great challenges of back-country bow hunting. As a hunter, Cam can be defined as; an athlete, a provider, and hard worker.
Adam Greentree is an Australian born hunter who travels around the world hunting mostly big exotic game. Being an Aussie hunter he has mostly adapted to bow hunting since firearm hunting is not allowed in Australia. While Adam resides in Australia, he ventures out to many different wild places to hunt often going after game that most hunters have never even heard of before much like the Himalayan Tahr shown below.
Adam is an incredible story-teller and he’s got quite a lot of them. Going on hunts for exotic game around the world has left him with a bounty of unique and valuable experiences including a scary encounter with a grizzly bear he recounted on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast.
Protection of Unique and Exotic Animals
While some may contest that the killing of these wild animals is causing harm to the species, its quite the contrary. When Adam hunts animals like the Himalayan Tahr he purchases a very expensive tag, that money used on the tag goes directly into the protection of the species, this also diversifies the gene pool as other males will get a chance to mate if the dominant one is taken out of the population. This then helps prevent against disease wiping out an entire population. Simply put, the more demand there is to hunt an animal the revenue from tags goes up, which is then used to create more protected areas for the animal.
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The brute Himalayan Tahr that fell to my bow in New Zealand during my solo hunt. These are truly a remarkable animal in incredible country be it at times living on a knife edge. It’s a very intense hunt, not at all relaxing as you gauge the risk constantly while climbing for these beast. Just the day before I’d witnessed three tahr fall to their death as the mountain froze over, one nanny tahr tumbling down at an incredible speed just meters beside me, so close that debris hit me. You never think of nature slipping up like that but it happens all the time we just usually aren’t there to see it. So here I am with two legs witnessing four legged animals slip of the mountain so as you can imagine every step is with caution. I spotted this bull down lower then the previous bull I’d taken up high and stalked in under the edge of the mountain out of his view. He’d moved into a tight crevasse covered over with ice once I got near. The crampons are noisy on the ice so I edged my way up the side of the crevasse and got into position to take a shot. I ranged the bull at 42 yards after angle compensation. I drew back, let it fly and watched the perfect flight of an arrow as it disappeared into the mane. The angle so abrupt that arrow entered underneath the bulls legs and exited through its back. Unsure of where the danger was the bull came racing past me and I hit him again to be sure. He fell to the draw within moments. #bowhunterslife #kifarulife #hoytbowhunter
Exotic Non-Native Animal Management
Other animals like the Axis dee(Chital) reside in non-native lands like Hawaii. This causes problems for farmers as well as other native species as Axis deer out-compete them for food. Controlling this population is essential to the health of the ecosystem on the Islands and its native inhabitants. You can find a full detailed report here on two non-native species (Axis Deer & Wild Sheep) of ungulates and their impacts on Hawaii
Through Adam’s storytelling, he has painted the picture of the different and wide variety of diverse travel and experiences hunting has to offer. Allowing people to see and protect some of the truly most fascinating animals and habitats in the world.
Social Media to Follow
Adam also hosts his own podcast called “Bowhunters Life Podcast with Adam Greentree” as well covering hunting, the outdoors, and his everyday life.
Reality of Hunters
Conclusively as you can see by the extensive list I have compiled above. Hunters are not lazy, aloof, unintelligent, or Elmer Fud-esque. There is much more dynamism among hunters who hunt for a variety of different reasons and partake in such in different styles. Whether you hunt or not, everybody can learn something for these 4 guys, and I'd highly encourage any reader to dive deeper into the content they produce.