Live Hunt is all about extreme hunting adventure, and when we first began developing this idea two years ago, we asked: What if we could take viewers with us–right in the field–allowing them to experience these extreme hunts as they unfold? The technical challenges were huge, but by using the latest satellite phone and computer technology, we were able to overcome a lot of the obstacles. And Live Hunt was born. But we didn’t stop there. We wanted to create a new kind of hunting program–one in which survival and mountaineering skills were just as important as hunting know-how. Most of all, we wanted Live Hunt to be about real hunting. Live Hunt isn’t about rack-’em-and-stack-’em; it’s about backpacking miles into the backcountry to hunt animals that are undisturbed, one-on-one, just as hunters have done for 10,000 years. Photo: sheilapic
That’s why we’re pleased to introduce Aron Snyder and Tyler Freel, two hard-hunting guys who will take you on some of the toughest, most remote backcountry hunting adventures in America. Aron Snyder is a Colorado resident. He has been hunting elk with a bow for more than 20 years. Aron also spent eight years in the U.S. Army. He will be sharing all of his skills with Live Hunt followers in the season ahead. He is also a fitness junkie, whose training regimen and tips will help you get in tip-top shape for your own hunts this year. Tyler Freel grew up hunting in Colorado but moved to Fairbanks 10 years ago, where he has been hunting as an Alaska resident ever since. His specialty is hunting wild sheep deep in the Alaskan wilderness. He is also a competition rifle and pistol shooter, so Tyler will be bringing a new level of shooting expertise to Live Hunt. On one of his many hunts this year, Tyler is hoping to be among the first to use a predator call to hunt grizzly bear. Photo: wordcat57
Aron Snyder
I was born and raised in a small logging town in the middle of the Oregon Cascade Range. Being raised in rural Oregon, hunting becomes a way of life at a very young age, and at the age of 6, my addiction to the outdoors began.
It was hard to find a job in town, but I was lucky enough to get hired by the Forest Service (every summer), on their trail crew team. This job is where my true passion for bivvy-type hunting truly started. I was 14 when I first started on the trail crew team, and at a time when most 14-year-old kids were home playing video games, I was clearing 10 miles of trail per day, with five days’ worth of gear on my back and an axe in my hand. Let’s just say it helped me grow up–fast!
When I turned 17, I joined the United States Army. The training I received during my eight years of service only strengthened my desire and knowledge for backcountry hunting. During those years, I was lucky enough to attend and graduate from several schools: Airborne School, Air Assault School, Land Navigation, Mountaineering, Survival School and many others. At this point in my life, everything I do revolves around backcountry bowhunting. On the weekdays, I go to the gym at 4:30 a.m. and do 60 minutes of cardio, then I head to my day job. But as soon as the clock hits 3:30, I head back to the gym for 60 minutes of weight training. After my second trip to the gym, I try to get in 30 minutes of shooting at the local outdoor archery range.
Luckily for me, I have a very supportive wife, and when she gets home for the evening, she and I start getting our gear and food together for our upcoming weekend adventure. As far as my weekends, I/we generally head out on Thursday or Friday after work and try to get a few miles up the trail before the sun comes down. I have become a bit of a gear junkie, so I am usually testing out some new piece of equipment or trying to fine-tune my own gear list for upcoming hunts. Overall, I average 100 days a year in the wilderness, and I have probably spent more time sleeping on the dirt than I have in a bed. As I have stated, my true passion is backcountry bowhunting, and in my bowhunting career, I have been fortunate enough to kill 18 elk, 14 mule deer, 3 mountain lions, 7 black bears, 6 antelope, 23 whitetails, and several turkeys and small game. I have also been fortunate enough to help several other bowhunters achieve their dream of completing a successful DIY backcountry hunt.
My favorite species to hunt is elk, but I’m not allergic to hunting mule deer or any other animal for that matter. I like a physical challenge, and will do whatever it takes to extend my season and my backcountry hunts. I often get asked why I have chosen to hunt in this manor–I mean, it’s not that hard to kill an elk beside a road, but not everyone can kill an elk 6 miles from the trailhead while living for days with what’s on his back. I feel that I’m quite lucky, and if the Lord has blessed me with this passion and the ability to pursue it, he must have done so for a reason. I plan on taking full advantage of this for as long as I can, and bringing all the excitement of those adventures to Live Hunt.
Tyler Freel
I was born and raised in southern Colorado. The outdoors has always been a huge part of my life. I have been hunting, fishing and trapping my entire life, being introduced to it by my dad and his brothers.
When I was 16, we moved to Fairbanks, Alaska, which is where my dad is from. It was the best move of my life, and I have fully embraced the outdoor opportunities Alaska has to offer. As soon as I gained my Alaska residency, I hunted anything I could. I have successfully hunted moose, caribou, bears, blacktail deer and Dall sheep. When I was 18, I went bear hunting by myself and killed an 8-foot black bear with a skull that missed the all time B & C book by 1/16 inch. It was one of the largest black bears ever known to have been taken in interior Alaska at the time.
I went on my first sheep hunt when I was 18, and have been obsessed ever since. This year I went on a solo hunt in the Alaska Mountain Range and harvested my fifth ram.
I started getting serious about trapping a few years ago, and have been quite successful at trapping marten, fox and lynx. I also do quite a bit of fishing–mostly flyfishing for arctic grayling.
I am pretty involved in competitive shooting as well. I shoot “tactical” pistol and rifle, but my forte is service rifle. Shooting competitively has made me a much more effective hunter. I am now 25 years old and about to graduate from the University of Alaska Fairbanks with a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. I look forward to sharing all of my adventures with you on Live Hunt this season.

Meet Aron Snyder and Tyler Freel, the two extreme backcountry hunters who will host Live Hunt 2011.