Introducing New Outdoor Life Columnist Benny Spies

Benny Spies is the host of the hit Versus television series "Gun It." He's also now writing a monthly column for Outdoor Life Magazine, and will be a regular blogger on this site.

Most of my dad's gray hairs are my doing. My mom, although loving, couldn't wait for me to get out of the house. My brother used to pin me down and pound my chest until I could rattle off the names of 10 different candy bars (don't ask). We were just your normal all-American family.

I grew up in Watertown, South Dakota, home of the Arrows. I first wanted to be a doctor because of my grandfather, then a baseball player because of Twins first baseman Kent Hrbek. As it turns out, I pass out at the sight of my own blood and I swing at everything that comes within 10 feet of the plate, so it was on to Plan C.

After earning degrees in communications, I moved to New York City. In an eventful five years there, I took a swim in the East River on a bet, fetched coffee for Conan O'Brien, ate my weight in sausage-and-cheese omelets and hung out in dive bars drinking PBR while listening to Waylon Jennings and George Thorogood tunes.

But the excitement of the big city couldn't replace my love for home and the outdoors, so a few years ago I returned to Watertown to pursue my passion: to make an outdoor television show like no one had ever seen before--one that speaks to folks like you and me. It's been a long road, from stocking fridges and digging ditches to finally realizing a dream I've had for years.

My sense of humor has always been a little different, and my hope is that that perspective comes through in this column. In the months ahead, I'll share tales from the road, some unsolicited advice and a few fond memories. I'm excited and I hope you are, too. ROOOOOSTER!