orking in New York City as Outdoor Life's editorial assistant, I process contracts for writers and photographers who contribute content about hunting, fishing, and shooting. I'm around these topics so much that I've gotten a pretty good feel for how and why people hunt, and I started to wonder if it was something I’d like to do. I grew up hiking, horseback riding, and spending as much time outdoors as possible, and it seemed like hunting might be a natural extension of that. But I considered it to be out of reach because I had no background in the sport and knew no hunters aside from my coworkers. So when Outdoor Life editor-in-chief Andrew McKean asked me to join him on a mentor-mentee hunt last spring, I accepted the offer with excitement and a little bit of trepidation. The hunt was put together by Vista Outdoor, the company that owns brands like Federal Premium ammunition, Savage Arms firearms, and Bushnell optics. It was a turkey hunt in Texas, and the idea was that each veteran hunter would bring a first-timer. Andrew reviewed what I’d need to do: take a hunter safety course, purchase a license, research turkey hunting, and get my hands on clothes and gear. All those prerequisites are logical and right, but they seemed a bit daunting. I think a lot of people who might have an interest in hunting are like me—intimidated by the requirements and even the specialized gear necessary to hunt effectively. If you don’t have someone to guide you through all the steps, I think it’s a natural tendency to shy away from the sport in favor of pursuing an activity with fewer hoops.