Everybody has their own specific interests. Whether it’s a sports teams, or interests in the outdoors…and we all have had someone that introduced us to them.
I have loved the outdoors; camping, fishing and hiking since I was a kid. My grandfather was the main influence that really fostered my love of the outdoors in my life. He taught me how to bait a hook, cast properly, how to re-tie a fishing line after I caught the bottom or snapped a line…which happened so often I often figured that sooner or later he was going to cast me out into the water himself.
Fishing for me is where this all began. Fishing is a passion my entire family shares. My grandfather currently holds the family record of largest sport fish: a 500 lbs marlin, followed by myself with a 110lbs sailfish, then I believe my dad and sister are tied with a 30 lbs stripped bass. They have some catching up to do.
As most of you know, I love the sport of archery and bow hunting is right up there with it. Nothing comes close to how much I love being outside with bow in hand hunting or just letting some arrows go down range.
Now can you guess who motivated or influenced me into archery and bow hunting? Fred Bear? Howard Hill? Maybe Hawkeye or Green Arrow?
My influence for picking up the sport of archery was actually none other than Legolas Green-leaf. Yes, I am an absolute Lord of the Rings nerd and started archery for this reason. But it has grown into something so much more that I could ever have foreseen.
But lets rewind to 2008, my first year in the military and my first time being around many others who shared my love of the outdoors. Being in the Navy was a great experience but that is where my love of hunting grew tremendously. My Chief Warrant Officer and Chief Petty Officer were both avid hunters, and being able to hunt along side them was both fun and educational. Having the opportunity to learn more from seasoned hunters was invaluable. This resulted in every duty free weekend I had off during hunting season bow hunting in the woods or fishing out of the ponds and lakes.
After I was discharged and returned home to Massachusetts, the hunting didn’t take a back burner. As a matter of fact it was my first priority. I loved being outdoors, even if I did not see any deer in my stand or blind. Being out in nature was blessing enough. But I would not have minded bringing home some venison on most days. After becoming more involed in social media and beginning the new venture of NorthernArcher_ I found an opportunity to put my love of the outdoors to educational use. By heading to Guide school in the summer of 2014 I was able to get certified in three of the four main courses offered. I learned about horsemanship, western big game animals, whitetail deer and many other topics.
With all this knowledge I could not let this go to waste. I began searching and sending out applications to outfitters all over the country. While I was waiting to get word from an outfitter I returned to Massachusetts to attend one last semester of college.
The newest course offered at this guide school gave me the opportunity to head to South Africa and attempt the Professional Hunters Course. I gladly took this next challenge head on. After two weeks in South Africa and passing the course, my next step was to utilize this and achieve my goal of working as a guide.
I have been home now for two months and now have the once in a lifetime opportunity to apprentice guide in the great state of Alaska. This has been a long road, and there are still many more miles to go. But one thing about me that you may not know is that I do not want this road to end. I love learning more about the outdoors; I love furthering myself as much as humanly possible. I cannot wait for this hunting season to begin. This is the beginning of a new chapter in my life: making a career out of something that I love.
I feel that I have more than just a love or passion for the outdoors. I feel that I have a connection with it. When I am out there nothing bothers me, all the stress and worries are left behind. Wilderness is defined as a place where man himself is considered a visitor. This is where I feel at peace. This is where I belong. Making a career being somewhere and doing something that I love, nothing else comes close.