I grew up in north central Minnesota, and from an early age I had a love and passion for the outdoors. My grandfather, Paul, is the one responsible for connecting me to nature. My earliest memories are of him teaching me to catch pan fish from our lake and hunt squirrels in the woods near our home. As I entered high school, I slowly became more focused on sports and therefore spent less time fishing and hunting. After graduating I left Minnesota to play college basketball in Oklahoma. A few years later with a new job opportunity in a new state, these desires found me again in the form of archery hunting. This time it was two good friends who introduced me to hunting whitetails and turkeys in Kentucky. I cherish the time I spent learning from and hunting with these mentors. I quickly found that archery hunting for big game was a desire that was not going away! I met my beautiful wife, Danielle, while in Kentucky, and a few years after we got married we moved back to my home state of Minnesota. I had come to a place where I wanted to share my outdoor experiences with others and hopefully inspire people to come in contact with the outdoors. My journey came full circle when I met Jeff Snyder and had the privilege of introducing him to archery hunting. Through our interactions and similar desire to inspire people, Jeff and I started Contact Outdoors.
My journey, like many, brought me outside at a young age. I grew up in west Michigan on 80 acres of mature forest. Though none of my family is very “outdoorsy” I can say it’s because of my mother that I love being outside. Most of my time was spent with my brother climbing trees, building forts and playing in the swamp. My mother inspired both of us to experience creation and learn to respect and love what this great land offers. Growing up I mainly engaged in fishing and camping. My passion for being outdoors matured in my mid-twenties after moving to Kentucky. I met someone that shared with me his passion for backcountry hiking and we went on a few adventures together. Kentucky is also where I met Brian Hallberg and was introduced to the joys of shooting a bow. He also reignited a spark from my younger years to deer hunt. As he and I shared endless amounts of time in the Kentucky woods, we grew in friendship as well as our passion to share our experience with not just each other, but those around us. A year after he and Danielle moved to Minnesota, my wife, Mindy, and I moved there as well. Once in Minnesota, I dove head long into waterfowl hunting and that above anything has become my passion. Now back in the area my wife and I grew up in, west Michigan, I have continued waterfowl hunting but also found myself fishing lake Michigan and the area rivers.
Recreation in the outdoors has always been a large part of my life. I grew up in a family with 3 boys and on 40 acres of land. We would dream of disappearing and living off the land. Sleeping under the stars and exploring the forest around us was a large part of growing up. My dad fished and hunted all over the Midwest, West and Canada. He would come home in November with his friends with a trailer full of elk to butcher. Growing up in this atmosphere showed me that hunting doesn’t have to revolve around what’s in your backyard. Now I am showing my own kids the importance of wild places and wild animals. My wife and I built a home in 2014 that backs up to a WMA. This gives our kids endless opportunities to explore the outdoors. I have hunted moose in Canada, elk, bear, mule deer and antelope in Montana as well as whitetail, turkey and small game in Minnesota. My dream is that my boys get to experience the joys that the outdoors have given me.
The majority of my childhood memories are early morning wakeup calls from my dad for us to hit the Kentucky woods and fields in pursuit of deer, turkey, rabbit, squirrel, and dove. My dad’s passion for the outdoors quickly became my own and I carried that into my young adult life. I hunted and fished as often as I could and enjoyed the camaraderie that the outdoors brought me, my friends, and my family. I was a late comer to archery, but who could argue with a method that extends your season and gets you closer to the animals you hunt? I met Brian and Jeff when they moved to KY and built a friendship with them both that extended beyond hunting. My amazing wife, Jerusha and I married in 2014 and spend as much time as we can hunting, hiking, camping, and kayaking around our home state. Shortly after we married we launched our videography business which has allowed me to have the flexibility to not only do some western hunts, but also to capture some the amazing moments that happen in the outdoors and share them with others. In a world that is continually moving indoors I believe that visual media is a great avenue to introduce people to how amazing the adventure of outdoors can be. We still live in Kentucky and love being a part of the Contact Outdoors team.