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 series is meant to be a way to inspire and motivate you 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?
Travis: Travis Greenwood
WBC: Where are you from and where do you currently live?
Travis: I was raised in the little town of Buckley, WA, which sits in the shadow of Mount Rainier. After a few years in various spots along the I-5 corridor, I was sent to the east side of the state for work and currently reside in West Richland, WA.
WBC: What is your day job?
Travis: I am a Relay Craftsman Trainee for Bonneville Power Administration.
WBC: Do you have any family or pets?
Travis: I am in my tenth year of marriage to my wonderful wife Meagan, and we have two rambunctious boys Brayden (7) and Landon (4).
WBC: How and why did you get started into hunting?
Travis: This is a big question! My earliest memories of hunting revolve around sitting in the duck blind. Before the Auburn valley was covered in industry, horse tracks and warehouses, it was a major resting point for mallards as they migrated south for the winter. I would sit huddled in the corner beneath blankets and clutching hand warmers as the mallards dumped into the little ponds my dad and his friends hunted every weekend.
But upland hunting for pheasants with my Dad makes up the core memories of my desire to hunt. We would head east nearly every weekend from November to January chasing ring necked roosters. Though I took some time off from hunting in college, my addiction never really left, and once I had more time (and money), it was back to the woods!
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?
Travis: My Dad was most definitely my hunting mentor. He taught me how to be tough, and the joys that come from hunting, not just killing. Filling your limit of wiley birds is certainly the ideal outcome, but he showed me that spending time together, and all that went with the hunt, was just as important.
WBC: If you did not have a mentor, how did you learn to hunt?
While my Dad most definitely was the driving force for stoking my fire to hunt, we never really big game hunted, and so I had to learn all that on my own…ironically, the story of how I learned to hunt big game is in book form, and can be purchased from my website www.teambaddecision.com.
WBC: What has been your favorite hunt? Why?
Travis: This is also a tough one…
I’ve been on a lot of great hunts, and my answer likely changes depending on the day, but our 2015 Colorado hunt always sticks out in my mind. Being able to experience the amount of elk that we did was unbelievable, and to call in a bull for my friend Scott to shoot was something straight out of a dream. The moment that sticks out to me the most, and something I think every hunter needs to experience once, was a giant herd bull tearing out of a wallow and screaming a thunderous challenge right in my face, my chest vibrating from the effect.
WBC: What has been your biggest struggle when it comes to hunting?
Though the more experience my hunting partner Scott and I get, the less this has been an issue. But we had to make a lot of mistakes, and screw up on a ton of animals for the consistency to start to come. But it has been a constant struggle to combat against (though I think we might be winning!).
WBC: Our strengths can also be our weaknesses. What are your weaknesses that can inhibit you on your hunts?
Travis: Mental Strength. Scott and I have talked at length about it, but learning how to tough out the inevitably frustrating parts of your hunt (weather, lack of game, pressure) is how you get better at creating more opportunities. Opportunities that will eventually turn into notched tags.
WBC: What piece of gear can you not hunt without?
Travis: Besides boxed wine? Nearly every piece of gear I bring is essential to my hunt. Though I risk sounding very Millenial-esque when I say this…it’s my phone. Technology has allowed a significant consolidation of gear. Where before, people would sometimes take a GPS, a camera, a (flip)phone and maps, now it’s all bundled together in a generally power efficient, lightweight device that also allows for other comforts, such as a built in library with eBooks and music.
WBC: What is your favorite place to hunt and or species?
Travis: This is another tough one, where the answer will probably change depending on the day. Considering it’s spring, and I’ve got spring bear on the mind, I’ll say chasing bears in the spring here in Washington is one of my favorite activities. Though being a draw tag, it’s something you don’t get to experience every year, which probably adds to the desire for a coveted tag.
WBC: What is one piece of advice you would have liked to have or know when you first started hunting?
Travis: Follow your own guidelines for success, not what others have deemed successful.
WBC: What is your social media account handles or website?
We want to thank Travis for sharing his insight and thoughts. If you want to know more about Travis and what he does, be sure to follow along on his journey by checking out his Instagram, Facebook account as well as the amazing work he is doing with www.teambaddecision.com. He is also the author of a fantastic book that details his journey of learning to hunt big game. You can find it on his website for purchase in e-book or paperback.
If you enjoyed reading the article 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. Remember, mentorship is conservation and you cannot out give good.
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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