It was fall of 1980-something, and deer season was heating up in South Dakota. I was geared for it—the first invitation to join my father and his friends in the field.
I was too young to pack iron, so I outfitted myself with my trusty Browning two-blade Fish and Bird Knife. I packed that blade proudly on my favorite Country-Western brown-and-green leather belt that had a flashy PRCA buckle that I had won at a local rodeo. Combined with my buffalo-plaid flannel shirt, I looked like a cross between Babe Winkelman and rodeo legend Quail Dobbs.
My assignment was to walk a tree line and gently push deer to the opposite end, where my dad and his pals were waiting.
You love ’em, you hate ’em, and it’s hard to venture the woods without them. Best buds are hard to find. Even if they’re always an hour late or constantly short on gas money, you’ll still lie down in traffic for them any day.
A few years back, after shooting a bunch of prairie dogs, a close buddy of mine came up with the idea to grill and serve a couple of medium-rare pasture-puppy tenderloins to an unsuspecting latecomer friend.
Grilled chislic—which is generally cubed, deep-fried beef—is a popular treat around these parts. It possesses uncanny similarities to prairie dog tenderloin. All we needed was a little special seasoning and a few minutes on the grill, and these tender, moist chunks of pure rotten succulence were impaled with toothpicks and ready to eat.
I weighed in at 50 pounds for my very first title fight with a big fish. But back in the day, fishing wasn’t my favorite activity; this was mainly due to my inability to concentrate on anything for more than 2 ½ minutes. Hunting flickertails, riding my dirt bike, and collecting Wade Boggs rookie cards topped my to-do list. Then one day my parents told my brother and me that we were heading to Alaska for a vacation.
The air was crisp that early-summer morning. I needed energy, so I pounded my usual breakfast: 3 jumbo pancakes and 8 slices of bacon. The river loomed angrily outside. But I wasn’t scared. I zipped up my $4 navy blue rainjacket, slipped on my lucky moon boots, and headed out to the boat.
A minimum-maintenance road, 8 feet of fresh, drifted snow, and a 4-wheel-drive Toyota were the ingredients for my very first survival story. Back in high school, my buddy Chris and I were varmint-hunting fools, crisscrossing northeastern South Dakota each winter.
In those days, my hunting career was dependent on three things: maintaining my C average, avoiding traffic violations, and obeying the one command of my old man: Don’t be an idiot.
It was a sub-zero Saturday afternoon, and Chris and I were after varmints. We sat staring down a snow-packed road guarded by a yellow “Minimum Maintenance” sign.
Back in the day, having a 40-pack of greenheads cup up at 20 yards, or rockin’ the 12th row at a Pearl Jam concert, or watching Shania Twain race around a Go Kart track was all I needed for a little inspiration. I’m not sure if those inspirations were normal, but I’m sure they influenced me into creating something unique later in life.
Nice work alwaysWRIGHT! For some reason I had a good laugh picturing Bear stumbling upon a bunch of banjo playing rednecks. What would you do? I’d pull up a stump, start singin’ and crack a few beers.
10.) from jimyoumook: are you really nuts or is that just a character you play on tv
9.) from kkok: Do you practice drinking your own piss at home?
8.) from Longbow83: How many steps did it take for you to scale Mount Everest?
7.) from Augustheat: So, have you ever crapped your pants on the show? You know like when you thought the grubs you ate gave you some bad gas and you accidentally sharted...happened to me once after some bad burritos following a Motley Crue concert back in 93...you know what I'm sayin'...Bear...Bear... anyone see where he went? Hello...anyone...Hello....
I’m back! Between attending SHOT in Las Vegas and filming our final episode for Season Three, it’s been a crazy few weeks. The report: four very constructive days of meetings, five crazy nights hanging out with old and new friends, one sick day and I only gambled 20-125 dollars (give or take a few)! That’s purdy doggone good if you ask me. All-in-all it was a great trip but, after six days, I was very happy to get the heck out of there. And for our final hunt of Season Three… Check the Gun It Facebook page and you’ll see!
While at SHOT, the great people at Outdoor Life asked me to conduct, as you can clearly tell, my first major interview. It was with the one and only, Mr. Will Eat Just About Anything, Bear Grylls. I started off a little shaky, forgot what I was doing somewhere in the middle, and ended it in a state of awkwardness. That’s damn near perfect. Now that I have this first experience under my belt and a better understanding of how these things work, bring on the next one!
This week we're doing something a little different with the blog. Bear Grylls was at SHOT Show last week to promote his Ultimate Knife and he gave us some time for an interview. But instead of asking him the standard "what's the grossest thing you've ever eaten" questions, we decided to turn Benny Spies loose on Bear.
What follows is 14 minutes of the most awkward interview to ever run on this website (in Benny's defense, this was the first interview he's done in his life).
As Bear's security guards, agent and fans hovered around the periphery, Benny rattled off razor-sharp questions like: "Have you ever come across an all female nudist colony?" "What kind of bear do you consider yourself?" and "If we dropped you off somewhere on the moon could you get back home?"
See the interview for yourself, in all its unedited glory.
Most of our hunting seasons have closed, are closing or are still in full swing, lucky for you. By now I can pretty much guarantee that most of the wardens have heard their fair share of classic excuses. Every time I’m checked--knowing that I’m legal--as he begins checking my gun and asking questions, I still get that nervous feeling.
I think to myself, “What did I forget to do?” Why do we get this feeling? It’s the same when we get pulled over by the police or when we got caught with our hand in the cookie jar. Most likely, there’s an excuse of some sort that follows.
Have you ever jumped out of bed at the crack of 3 a.m. to make 100% sure you were early enough to set decoys and hop in the pit, before the birds flew, only to have them start the day’s flight at 4 p.m. as you sat all day impatiently waiting? I have, many times, because it seems the birds finally fly at the exact moment that I decide to jump out of the pit to go grab a bite or something.
Remember the episode in Season One where we had the bet between pits of who would shoot the most geese? This is exactly what happened that day. We woke up super early, set up the decoys and waited… and waited… until around 4 p.m. We had some half-frozen Diet Mountain Dew, three frozen waters, and one two-year-old nut roll to split between six guys. Tough day!