Hunter Nation Ambassador of the Month:
Michael Waddell - Bone Collector
As long as I can remember I was around hunting, fishing, and simple country living. I grew up super country. I didn’t even realize that it was possible to not hunt or use the resources around us. When I was around 11, my Daddy and Uncle Morgan got me into deer hunting. I finally saw the fun of it, which changed everything.
I fell in love with not only deer hunting but the entire atmosphere and culture. It’s safe to say that it was my Daddy and Uncle Morgan that truly set me on my way for being on fire for hunting. The life I lived prior had only introduced me to it.
It is so hard to narrow this down to one single memory. For me, it’s always been about the whole package. The cold frosty mornings in a deer stand that me and my Daddy had built. Knowing that after the hunt Mamma would have a great big breakfast waiting for us. Hearing others walk in and wondering what they had shot. It felt like we all were in it together. I don’t remember anyone getting mad or frustrated with what was shot or who shot it. It was all smiles and happiness. It’s the entire experience and adventure more than it is one memory.
My favorite hunt is turkeys. I just love the technical parts of it and approach. It takes skill yet it’s laid back and can be done with friends which makes it very sociable. I fell in love with turkey calling and was obsessed with being one of the best. This led to competing and winning a turkey calling contest. Ultimately, this is how I got my chance to work in the hunting industry.
I love to chase big whitetails in Kansas. But, if I had to choose only one place to hunt, it would be back home in Georgia. It’s really not about what I would shoot, it's more about the vibe and being home and rooted. I’ve been so blessed to hunt in so many places but being home on land I grew up on feels so amazing. It’s hard to explain but it feels so good!
My kids, of course! But for me, I feel convicted to share hunting with anyone and everyone I can. I’ve learned that many people that didn’t grow up hunting just don’t understand or know what it’s about. I’ve had almost 100% success after introducing people to the unique culture of hunting. Whether that be A-list celebrities or people I meet in the airport. People realize it’s more than just a sport but a really special and contagious experience.
Because there wasn’t a true one-stop shop organization that represented and stood up for the hunter and not just its resources. So many times we forget that hunters have always been who have made sure we have abundant renewable resources to hunt and fish. No organization that I remember or had been part of had gone to the hunter first. Without hunting, the wildlife is doomed in my opinion. Our love for the resources, even though we enjoy hunting them, is what keeps the resources healthy. Fighting for hunters is in turn fighting for the resource!