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?
Beau: Beau Martonik
WBC: Where are you from and where do you currently live?
Beau: I’m from Elk County, Pennsylvania but currently work in the Pittsburgh, PA area.
WBC: What is your day job?
Beau: I am an Environmental and Safety Engineer and work part-time at a local archery shop, Bucks & Bows Archery. In addition, I host my own podcast East Meets West Hunt.
WBC: Do you have any family or pets?
Beau: Nope, just me.
WBC: How and why did you get started into hunting?
Beau: Everyone in my family hunted so it was bred into me at a young age. It is a family tradition that I will continue to carry on and hopefully pass on to my kids someday.
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?
Beau: My hunting mentors are my father and my grandfather. My Grandpa taught me how to shoot a gun and bow at a young age, while my Dad taught me everything about woodsmanship and how to work hard for your desired outcome.
WBC: What has been your favorite hunt? Why?
Beau: My 2017 hunt to Colorado to hunt elk in the backcountry for 7 days with my brother, dad, my uncle and a couple of friends. Although we did not fill a tag, we were all able to be together in a foreign place that is different than Pennsylvania. The camaraderie, photos and memories will last a lifetime.
WBC: What has been your biggest struggle when it comes to hunting?
Beau: Finding more time to hunt! There are many things I struggle with on a small scale when it comes to hunting, but wouldn’t it be great if we could all hunt more?
WBC: Our strengths can also be our weaknesses. What are your weaknesses that can inhibit you on your hunts?
Beau: My greatest weakness is doubting myself and the plan I put in place. In short, hunting is as much mental as anything you will do in life and for me, I tend to struggle with trusting myself and staying with the plan.
WBC: What piece of gear can you not hunt without?
Beau: I can’t go without my OnX Hunt maps. That is single handedly the most important piece of gear/equipment that I use on every hunt. Being able to mark way-points, know where property boundaries are located and see the overall big picture of the landscape is crucial.
WBC: What is your favorite place to hunt and or species (i.e. terrain, location, topography, region, state)?
Beau: I have two places that come to mind. The Rocky Mountain high country is one of my favorite places. The views are spectacular and being able to experience it at a relatively low cost on public land makes me want to keep returning year after year. From watching the bears feed on blueberries, to mule deer bedding under the cliff edges and bull elk chasing the cows around in the dark timber; there’s nothing like it. The other place that is near and dear to my heart is the Pennsylvania Wilds. The PA Wilds are found in north central Pennsylvania and is a vast, densely forested landscape in the Appalachian mountains. This is where I grew up hunting and love being able to get away from the everyday hustle and bustle to chase whitetail deer, black bear and turkey so close to home. With over 2 million acres of public land in northern Pennsylvania alone, I have plenty of space to roam.
WBC: What is one piece of advice you would have liked to have or know when you first started hunting?
Beau: I think that just knowing that are so many resources available for new hunters anymore. It is a steep learning curve, but with the help of the internet, magazines and podcasts, you can learn so much about it. Getting connected with people that are already doing it is so much easier than ever before. You will never know, if you don’t try.
WBC: What is your social media account handles or website?
Beau: You can find me personally at @beau.martonik or at @eastmeetswesthunt on Instagram. East Meets West Outdoors is on Facebook and you can find it at www.eastmeetswesthunt.com. I also host the East Meets West Hunt Podcast that can be found on iTunes.
We want to thank Beau for allowing us to interview him and for sharing his insight and thoughts. If you want to know more about Beau, be sure to follow along on his journey by checking out his social media accounts and website. Don’t forget to subscribe to his Podcast. Beau’s podcast with Corey Jacobsen personally helped me on my elk hunt this last September (Episode 012).
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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