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February 2020
Author: Braxton Byers

It didn’t take long for my parents to see the passion I had for the outdoors. I was the little boy who always asked for hunting videos and magazines for Christmas, and I’ve racked up quite the collection over the years. I looked up to the guys I saw on TV and always felt a part of their success. I started hunting with my dad at a very young age, following him around in the woods every chance I could. He personally enjoyed fishing more than hunting, but I bugged him enough that he’d just give in and load up the truck to get me to stop asking when we could hunt again.

I think every little boy can remember chasing birds and squirrels with their BB gun. I’d stay out for hours at a time trying to shoot small game. Eventually, I started hunting with a rifle, harvesting my first whitetail buck at around the age of 10. One of the really cool things about my upbringing is that I had more than just my dad backing that love for the outdoors and growing passion inside of me. My dad traveled a lot with work and wasn’t always able to take me hunting and fishing on the weekends like I wanted. That’s when my wonderful mother stepped in. She didn’t know a thing about the outdoors, but she would take me to my grandparents during dove season so I could hunt, and she would pick me up from school on her days off to head straight to a pond or local lake. I lived in the middle of the city growing up, so we usually had to travel outside of town to go shoot or get into the outdoor lifestyle that I loved so much. I was really fortunate to have two parents who supported my love for the outdoors, even when it wasn’t always convenient for them.

It was a complete stranger who got me into archery, though. A new family moved into the house next to mine, and the husband was a die-hard bowhunter. He had targets set up in his backyard, and I would hear him over there shooting his bow and dialing it in the best he could. One day, I worked up the courage to ask him if I could come over and watch him shoot. He kindly agreed, and I was hooked on bows from that day forward. That year, my dad and I both got our first bows and began shooting as much as we could in our backyard. By the age of 12, I had shot my first animal, a whitetail doe.

I have been bowhunting ever since, and I’ve been extremely fortunate to have harvested everything from hogs in Texas to fallow in Australia, with an Alberta mule deer and a Montana elk in between. It doesn’t matter what it is or where I have to go, I want to chase it with my bow.

A close second to bowhunting is my love for guiding other people and seeing the joy and excitement on their faces when they find success in the field. I started guiding hog hunts in my early teens, and that led to guiding whitetail and exotics all over my home state of Texas. Eventually, I was introduced to Midwest whitetails and it became a tradition to spend my November birthday in Kansas chasing big bucks. To add to my outdoor addictions, I purchased a nice crappie boat in my early 20s and spent as many spring weekends as possible on the lake ripping lips. That eventually led me to guiding clients on my boat as well as entering an occasional crappie tournament.

When I’m not hunting or fishing, I want to be around cattle pens or at an auction. I was extremely close to my grandpa who taught me how to break horses and work cattle. I truly feel that I was meant to live in a different time because I’m drawn to the western lifestyle. Until we moved to Utah, I was still helping run 100+ head of cattle in Texas during my free time.

I enjoy many different outdoor activities, but once I was introduced to western hunting in 2016, I was never the same. Being on the ground spotting and stalking a screaming bull or rutting buck is what consumes my mind these days. To be honest, I was always nervous about putting in for the draws throughout the West. In the South, we just head to the local store, buy a license, and then rely on friendly landowners to let us hunt. Public land was foreign to me for a large part of my life, and I’ve enjoyed learning how many incredible hunting opportunities are out there for all of us. I credit Huntin’ Fool and their expertise for the knowledge

I’ve gained throughout the western states. When I learned about this company, I found myself diving into every monthly magazine that showed up in our mailbox. The application process and draw odds that once seemed intimidating became easier to understand, and with only two to three weeks a year to plan, I began using my time off to go to the mountains instead of chasing whitetails.

I’ve worked in construction for over 12 years and always knew I was meant to be in an outdoor career, but nothing ever seemed to be the right fit. I enjoy meeting people and building relationships, while making sure their experience in the outdoors is memorable. I’ve always been the friend that touches base with his buddies every week, with most of the conversations revolving around hunting and fishing. It’s been a natural transition to talk to our members and find what fits them best for their future hunts, and I’m learning a lot along the way. Timing is everything, and having the opportunity to be an outfitter specialist at Huntin’ Fool fits my personality perfectly. I’m very grateful for the opportunity and to be surrounded by others at work who live and breathe this lifestyle.