Hunting is hard. Flat out. It takes patience, courage, and grit. More often than not you are left with an unfilled tag in your pocket and a long walk back to the truck. So why do it? Why put in so much time, money and effort if percentages do not go in your favor? I know why I do it. I do it because the effort it takes to successfully harvest an animal is unlike any other feeling in life. Because with no risk there can be no reward. It is what makes hunting and harvesting your own meat so special.
Being new to hunting, I constantly second guess myself and have doubt about if I am doing the right thing, especially since I never had a mentor to bounce questions off of. It is my weakness. It is the internal battle that I struggle with when hunting. Have you ever had questions about what others would do in certain situations? Maybe you catch yourself not staying in the game mentally. I know I often do. I find myself double guessing a move or a plan of attack when I hunt. Being new to hunting can be frustrating and defeating, so much that it is hard to stay motivated.
This blog series is meant to be a way to inspire and motivate you and others when it comes to hunting your dreams, and at the same time making a difference in recruiting new members and building community in the hunting world. Hopefully the advice and insight shared by our guests can help you feel like you are not alone in your struggle against the wild, as well as build confidence in your chase.
WBC: What is your name?
Jana: Jana Waller
WBC: Where are you from and where do you currently live?
Jana: I’m from Fort Atkinson, WI but I’ve lived in Montana for the past 8 years.
WBC: What is your day job?
Jana: My full time job is host and producer of Skull Bound TV.
WBC: Do you have any family or pets?
Jana: No spouse but a boyfriend- Jim Kinsey and an amazing 25 year old stepson Brennan that I claim as my own. And of course Petey the pit mix from the pound who’s 13 or so.
WBC: How and why did you get started into hunting?
Jana: I started shadowing my Dad on his duck and pheasant hunts when I was in grade school. I picked up a bow when I was a freshman in college in 1990 and have been bow hunting ever since. It started out with whitetails in WI but that’s lead me to hunting all big game around the world.
WBC: Did you have a hunting mentor? What did you learn from them and or what did you want or wished to learn from them?
Jana: My Dad was definitely my initial mentor. I’ve learned to respect the entire process of the hunt from him. From the preparation, scouting, practice, time commitment and patience to how to field dress my animals. I’ve also learned a lot from my boyfriend, business partner and favorite hunting buddy Jim Kinsey. We’ve hunted the world together and continue to learn from one another every day. There’s a lot to learn in regards to backcountry style hunting and I can attribute most of what I’ve learned from Jim.
WBC: What has been your favorite hunt? Why?
Jana: It’s impossible to name a favorite. I love them all. We do a lot of DIY public land hunting which has its own rewarding and memorable aspects on every single hunt. Some of my favorite hunts include Alaska moose and Maryland sika deer.
WBC: What has been your biggest struggle when it comes to hunting?
Jana: I don’t really feel that I have a ‘struggle’ so to speak. I learn things on every hunt and try to overcome obstacles like bad weather, time management and exhaustion from traveling so much. But it’s all part of the gig. The most frustrating thing to me is the division I see among hunters on social media. We need to all ban together and be supportive of one another. If you don’t have something nice to say…don’t say it. There are SO many anti-hunting organizations out there trying to shut down all aspect of what we love that it makes no sense to waste time creating division among us. If you’re a reverent, ethical, respectful hunter than to each his own. We also all need to be more supportive in the organizations that help our cause. Join a conservation group near you. Get involved. Help fund groups that fight to protect our hunting rights, heritage, herds, habitat and flocks.
WBC: Our strengths can also be our weaknesses. What are your weaknesses that can inhibit you on your hunts?
Jana: I can sometimes use a little more patience. Especially on stalking style of hunts. There are opportunities however where you need to get aggressive to get the shot. But I could always use more patience.
WBC: What piece of gear can you not hunt without?
Jana: We cannot hunt without OnXmaps Hunt App. It tell us private vs public land boundaries, helps us mark waypoints, shows topography, tracks your path, etc. It would be really difficult to hunt public land without it.
WBC: What is your favorite place to hunt and or species (i.e. terrain, location, topography, region, state)?
Jana: Again, too many to name a favorite. I love hunting elk and bear in Montana but I also love to travel to new terrain and new countries to hunt and fish.
WBC: What is one piece of advice you would have liked to have or know when you first started hunting?
Jana: I think a lot of people who are new to hunting don’t learn how to properly take care of their animal once it’s down. Luckily my Dad taught me that right away. Learn how to field dress, preserve and pack out your animal in an efficient way. It will save you many headaches.
WBC: What is your social media account handles or website?
We want to thank Jana for allowing us to interview her and for her sharing her insight and thoughts. If you want to know more about Jana, be sure to follow along on her journey by checking out her social media accounts at Skullboundtv. (Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter).
If you enjoyed reading the blog or can think of anyone that could benefit from the insight given, please share it with others. It is “OUR” job to continue the growth of the hunting and outdoor community. Be sure to invite someone to start hunting with you, you never know what type of impact it may have for them and their life.
If you would like to be featured in the blog series or know someone who should be, let us know by emailing us or direct message on Instagram.
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