Matt is the founder of AverageHunter.com and AverageOutdoorsman.com, sites that are geared toward men and women of all types who share a love for the outdoors. Matt has hunted, fished and done everything outdoors his whole life. He grew up spending his summers in the woods from sun up to sun down with his friends from down the road. He learned a lot from those days as well as from his Dad who took him hunting from a young age. He now desires the same for his children and raises them as outdoorsmen. He believes knowledge and understanding are the key to everything.
When did you first get started hunting? When did you first realize that you loved hunting?
I got started hunting when I was old enough to go fetch birds and kick brush piles for rabbits. The thing I remember the most about growing up hunting is my Dad taking me everywhere with him from an early age. I didn’t start getting in the deer stand until I was 7 or 8 and finally got deer hunt when I was 10. I remember all of that like it was yesterday, not 30+ years ago.
What are the primary reasons for why you hunt?
My reasons for hunting seem to change often but primarily it’s just to experience nature and be with family and friends. Also there is nothing better than the real prize of providing for my kids with the food from the hunt. But mainly it’s the hunt and nature. To me there is nothing better than watching a good dog work or hearing the woods wake up as the sun rises. As I get older, my main focus has been more towards letting my children experience everything I got to experience when I grew up. My daughter and son both hunt now and they are filling the freezer. So my need to keep hunting for food isn’t there anymore. I focus on letting them provide for us and develop the love and passion for just being outdoors.
I have never been a trophy hunter or ever really put any focus into it. To me, the trophy is in the eye of the individual and in the hunt. I have been lucky enough to get a few “trophies” but I don’t like to brag about them. I don’t even show them to anyone because that’s not who I am. I am a hunter and proud of it. I am out there to provide for my family, enjoy nature and the challenges that it brings.
What role does fitness play in your hunting preparation?
Growing up hunting, I never had to worry about fitness being an issue as a kid, a teen or in my 20’s. I was always in shape and able back then. Once I hit my 30’s, the shape I was starting to take on was more of the round one. I got lazy, less active and didn’t really care about my physical being. I would take my ATV on every hunt and drive as close as I could to my stand. Having to walk anywhere or let alone drag a deer was a challenge. Then one day I realized that being that way wasn’t me and I was going to fix it. I also realized that how much all of that was harming my hunt. The harm I was doing with driving my ATV everywhere. The scent I was broadcasting everywhere because I couldn’t walk a hundred yards without sweating thru everything. Since that time I had the revelation, I have lost a bunch of weight, I am active, in shape and have no problem walking however long it is to get to any stand. Actually, I never even touch my ATV anymore unless I need to haul a deer back to the truck. Fitness has become a big part of my life. I will be 40 very soon and feel a hundred times better than I did at 30. I can go out and play sports with my kids and they get worn out before me. I can go on long hikes or scout all day long and feel great about it. Being fit has gotten me outdoors more and there is no better place to be.
How do you train for your upcoming hunts?
Being fit and ready for any hunt starts in the kitchen. Anyone will naturally be able to handle themselves easier on the hunt without having that extra weight on their body. I noticed the greatest difference just by dropping the weight. Eating right and avoiding as many fast and easy temptations is the primary method for training for any hunt. But physically, we still could use additional training to help in all the scenarios we will get in. Walking up that big hill we all have or having to drag that deer thru the woods are where your additional fitness comes in play. For me, I prefer high intensity training. Pushing your body and your heart to it’s limits, letting them come back down and then pushing them back to their limits again. Train your body to perform at it’s max in the gym and your hunt will be a calm, relaxing and healthy piece of cake.
What is the greatest asset you have with regard to hunting?
Every hunt we go on requires different gear. From the different weapons, safety gear and even different packs. But the one thing that goes on every hunt is your purpose. Why are you there? What do you hope to get out of the hunt? My greatest asset is my passion for the outdoors. I don’t hunt for the kill, it’s not the trophy, it’s not any fame, it’s because that’s where I want to be. It’s want I want to teach my kids and it’s what I want them to teach their kids.
What is the best piece of advice you can give to someone who is new to hunting?
The first thing I tell all new hunters is to start small. Don’t go watch shows and think you have to have a certain brand gun or bow, don’t think you have to go spend thousands and thousands of dollars and jump right into a big game hunt. Just go find some public ground and spend a day squirrel hunting or find some friends to take you with them on a deer hunt. Try it out on a small scale first. Don’t waste your money unless you know for a fact that this is your passion.
Is there any other info you would like to share?
In regards to someone new to hunting. First thing is first, learn the rules and get educated on proper safety. Attend a Hunter Safety Class ASAP.
If you want to follow Matt, check out his website, AverageHunter.com
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