6 Backcountry Hunting Personalities You Should Probably Know

By Tim Brass


1. Steven Rinella – "Meateater"


A true backcountry bad ass, Steven Rinella has gone from chasing squirrels around suburban Michigan woodlots, to running long beaver and muskrat trap lines for cash in high school, to hosting one of the premiere hunting shows on television today.  As host of the Sportsman Channel’s Meateater, Rinella is putting the meat back in hunting.  Rinella is also one of the few TV personalities who is willing to candidly speak-up about the need to maintain public ownership of wildlife while conserving the high-quality backcountry habitat the public depends on.  The following is short video of Steven, produced in partnership with the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership on the importance of managing wildlife as a public trust, in accordance with the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation.

2. Clay Hayes – “Wild and Untamed”

A dedicated BHA member and talented video producer, Clay Hayes has a unique way of capturing the hunt in a way that both hunters and non-hunters can understand and appreciate.  While Clay humbly admits it is an impossible feat to capture the true meaning of the hunt on film, his films come as close to doing so as anyone’s.  The emotion, awe and peace of the hunt – and the conservation ethic that goes right along with it – are always front and center.  Clay is owner of the Twisted Stave, producer of the Backcountry College and the mastermind behind the new film “The Untamed.”  Check out this trailer to “The Untamed” for a taste of Clay’s unique style:

3. Richard (Dick) Proenneke – “Alone in the Wilderness”

Whether you’re five years-old or fifty years-old every outdoorsperson has that nostalgic dream of living off the land, in the wilderness, on your own.  Richard Proenneke did just that.  Dick spent nearly 30 years in a small cabin that he constructed in the Alaska wilderness, hunting, fishing and gathering his food.  The footage of this dream come true is enough to make you runaway.  If you're not quite ready to pack up the bag and runaway, but still want to experience what Dick did, you can get a taste by visiting his infamous Alaskan cabin.

4. Randy Newberg – “On Your Own Adventures”

No other figure in the outdoor industry is as dedicated to speaking-up for the average public land, do-it-yourself hunter as Randy Newberg.  As host of “On Your Own Adventures” and now “Fresh Tracks”, Newberg is committed to hunting the lands that you and I hunt without the aid of guides, game feeders or paid scouts.  Besides being a TV Star, Newberg is owner and moderator of “Hunt Talk” forum and a board member of Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Despite Randy’s fame in the outdoor world, you would be hard-pressed to find a more humble and giving sportsmen personality out there.  Randy’s commitment to public land conservation and the public land hunter is envious.  Be sure to check out this video of Randy Newberg and Senator Jon Tester discussing the importance of the Land & Water Conservation Fund for Sportsmen:

5. David Peterson – “A Man Made of Elk”

Perhaps best known for his provocative writing on the ethical aspects of hunting, David Peterson is well known and respected as an honest ethicist and conservationist.  A resident Southwest Colorado, Peterson lives largely off the land and the meat it provides and is currently working to maintain this opportunity by volunteering as the chair of conservation for Colorado BHA.  He recently strayed from his focus as a write and has embarked on a project to capture his perspective on “The Good Hunt”, the trailer to which can be found here:

 6. Fred Bear – “The Original Backcountry Bowhunter”

One of the first hunting icons to take the challenge to the big screen, without a doubt Fred Bear remains one an icon for traditional hunters everywhere.  A traditional archer by choice, Bear often took the time to discuss why he chose to place self-imposed technological limits on himself – for the challenge and for the sense of tradition it instilled.  For just a small taste of Bear’s explorer mentality and introspective spirit, check out this grizzly bear hunt.

About Tim Brass

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