The Hunting Collective

The Hunting Collective Podcast

The Hunting Collective Podcast with host Ben O'Brien covers the ideologies and philosophies of the modern hunter while touching on key ideas like conservation, our value systems and how to construct a better public image. A recurring cast of top hunting voices help drive the conversation and keep things pretty damn interesting.

EP. 44: Jim Posewitz
Biologist, historian, author and renowned conservationist, Jim Posewitz is among the foremost experts on Theodore Roosevelt, conservation history and fair chase philosophy. For this podcast, my colleague Sam Lungren and I traveled to Jim’s home in Helena, Montana. He took us along on the history of his life, which closely mirrors the history of conservation—from making fake deer tracks in the mud at a deer-less summer camp in his native Wisconsin; to traveling West to play football at Montana State Universi...

EP. 43: Mark Kenyon
Mark Kenyon is a whitetail hunter. I'm not breaking any news here of course, but that doesn't mean it's not important to note.  Kenyon lives for hunting deer and his dedication to the pursuit is absolute. That makes him one hell of a resource for the rest of us, and his thoughtful approach to the subject makes him all the more valuable.  Even though I grew up focused primarily on hunting whitetails, it's experts like Kenyon that can help take my skills to the next level. That's why it's great to have him on...

EP. 42: A Bear Attack on Afognak Island
Afognak Island is a small land mass about 20 miles long and 40 miles wide off the coast of Alaska in the Kodiak archipelago. There aren't many reasons to visit this place and even fewer motivations for someone to take up residence on the island. In fact, there are only 39 permanent human residents today, most of which are workers at a state-run salmon hatchery. There are no roads, bars, grocery stores or shopping malls on Afognak, but there is a large population of Kodiak brown bears and a few healthy herds...


EP. 41: Chad Mendes
At just 33, Chad Mendes has enjoyed a lot of success and fame. He was an All-American wrestler in college and quickly rose through the ranks of the UFC to be a top contender in his weight class. With a record of 18-4 and an already storied career, he's been called the most underrated MMA fighter of all time.  I met Chad two years ago in turkey camp with John Dudley and immediately found him to be a thoughtful hunter, a damn good wild game cook, and the life of the party.  Chad is in a unique position thanks...

Ep. 40: Randy Newberg & Janis Putelis
Randy Newberg is quite simply one of my favorite people. His podcasts, television shows and digital media efforts have always stood out to me as good, honest work on behalf of all hunters. Randy is a champion for public lands, access and doing the right thing. Newberg once wrote: “Hunting is the truest form of participating in the natural world, probably because it is the oldest and most instinctive way of participating. Participation makes me more alive, more accountable and more engaged in the natural wor...

EP. 39: Dusan Smetana
On a fairly normal Wednesday afternoon in Bozeman, I sat in Dusan Smetana’s living room sipping brandy and enjoying a damn nice fire. It was slow and calm, the perfect setting to learn about the life of a man with a novel’s worth of stories to tell. Dusan, a renowned outdoor photographer, has a great life on his Montana homestead with his family, dogs, Icelandic sheep, chickens, pigs and a rather athletic flock of homing pigeons. It’s not unusual on a cold winter day to find Dusan doing exactly what we did ...


EP. 38: Charles Post
Ecologist Charles Post returns for his third conversation on the podcast this week, and we went long. Real long. We talked for three hours, mostly on grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. It was an interesting debate backed by my love and affection for the North American Model for Wildlife Conservation and Charles's background studying wild creatures and their ecosystems. Enjoy....

EP. 37: Janis Putelis
This episode of the podcast featured the one and only Janis “The Latvian Eagle” Putelis. The Eagle and I sat down at MeatEater, Inc., HQ to address some reader quandaries in regards to hunter ethics and some generally sticky situations you folks have encountered. The Eagle provided measured, thoughtful advice that every hunter can learn from and I did my best to keep up. From shooting coyotes to sharing spots, we covered a lot of ground. Enjoy this conversation and thanks for all the input....

EP. 36: Land Tawney
Land Tawney is a lot of things. Most folks know him for his job title: president/CEO of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA). They know him as the fiery leader of a passionate group of huntin’ and fishin’ public land advocates. During his rise at BHA, Land has made a name for himself as a man unwilling to compromise and certainly willing to fight for what he believes. Get to know Tawney, though, and you’ll find that he’s all about service. He serves the hunting community, BHA membership, his family and his h...


EP. 35: Morgan Mason
It’s been a long road for Morgan Mason to get to where he is today. It’s a story not unlike many veterans who have struggled to find their way after coming home from deployments overseas. Morgan is from a farm near a small town in rural Kansas, and he had a pretty normal upbringing, spending a ton of his time hunting and fishing with his dad and brother. But a deployment to Iraq in 2003, at just 20 years old, changed his world.   Morgan spent his time post-war conflicted and searching for answers. The searc...

EP 34: Shane Dorian
Shane Dorian is a legend in surfing. The Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, native has been defying death for around 30 years now, riding giants walls of water all over the world.  To achieve what Dorian has over his career in surfing it takes a certain amount of determination and singular drive. It takes love and passion for what you do. Dorian has that in spades and it's inescapable when you meet the man. It just so happens that nowadays he's channeling a sizable portion of that energy into bowhunting.  "You'd think th...

EP 33: Adam Greentree
For this episode I’m joined by my friend Adam Greentree. He’s one of the most influential bowhunters in the game and his recent social media rise has been unrivaled. Beyond that, his story is one I have wanted to share for a long time, knowing where he is today and where he came from. It’s an amazing example of struggle and resilience, and we can learn a lot from what he has overcome. He’s got an awesome family who’ve traveled with him for the last four months on a road trip across the U.S., and I caught up...


EP 32: Senator Jon Tester
This week I’m joined by Senator John Tester (D-MT) in Bozeman for an exclusive conversation on the major conservation issues in Montana and in our nation. Sen. Tester has been a sometimes polarizing figure for his pragmatic and no nonsense approach to policy, and his voice is loud in the political arena when it comes to hunting, fishing and the outdoors. We covered the Land and Water Conservation Fund, Chronic  Wasting Disease, land use in his home state and extraction on public lands and elsewhere. We also...

EP 31: Ryan Callaghan
For this week's podcast I'm joined by Ryan Callaghan of First Lite in the brand spanking new offices of MeatEater, Inc., in Bozeman, Montana. Ryan is a veteran guest of the show and someone with great perspective on all things conservation and hunting. We chatted about what exactly I've been up to over the last few months and how things are trending with the new venture, the perceived rising tension between public land hunters and private land owners, how a lot outfitters and guides could be labeled as prom...

EP 30: Charles “The Rabbit Man” Rodney
Charles “The Rabbit Man” Rodney is my guest for this week’s episode of the podcast. Charles is no hunting celebrity or any kind of influencer, but he is without a doubt one of my favorite people. You’ll find out why when you listen to this episode. Simply put, Charles loves rabbit hunting, it’s the only game in town for him—it says so on his business card. Funny thing is, Charles isn’t in business to sell hunts. He doesn’t guide for a living. A devoutly religious man, he just meets folks he really likes and...


MeatEater: Finding Our Why
There’s a press release hitting the wire today that leads with the following statement: “…Renowned writer, TV, and podcast personality Steven Rinella has launched MeatEater, Inc., a newly-formed outdoor lifestyle media and commerce company…” That’s a pretty damn exciting development for the hunting world as a whole. For me, it’s also a relief, because I can finally announce that I’m proud to be part of this venture. This special episode of the podcast should help explain better why I’ve decided to join Rine...

EP 29: Jeff Crane & Andy Treharne
For this episode I traveled to our Nation's Capitol to catch up with Jeff Crane and Andy Treharne from the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation (CSF). Why did I travel all that way to find Jeff and Andy? I wanted to shed light on an organization that does important work on important issues and really never gets much publicity, or at the very least isn't as forward-facing as some other conservation groups we know and love. The CSF has been around since 1989 and they have a mission is to work with Congress, g...

EP 28: Adam Foss
Adam Foss is officially our third Canadian ever on the podcast. Quite the honor, indeed. Foss is not just a Northerner, though, he happens to be one of the top sheep hunters in North America and beyond. At the ripe young age of 24, he became the youngest hunter to earn the wild sheep grand slam with a bow. Since then he’s travelled the world seeking out bowhunting’s toughest challenges, all the while developing his skills as a filmmaker, photographer and story-teller. I caught up with Foss in Bozeman over a...


EP 27: Roy & Ryan Seiders
Roy & Ryan Seiders were born and raised in Driftwood, Texas, a small town outside of Austin. Their parents cultivated a family-first environment and dad, Roger, brought his boys up in an entrepreneurial environment. They also went hunting and fishing...a lot.   What seems like a pretty typical childhood turned into the fuel that would power the brothers as they hit the real world. They both started businesses after college in the fishing space until Roy discovered something that would change it all: the nee...

EP 26: Omar “Crispy” Avila
On episode No. 26 I’m joined by Sgt. Omar “Crispy” Avila. Omar is an amazing Texas character. He’s had a life of service dedicated to his country and his fellow veterans. Sgt. Avila joined the U.S. Army in 2004 as an Infantryman, deploying to Iraq in 2007.  On May 14, 2007, his vehicle was struck with a 200 lb IED, resulting in burns to 75% of his body and amputation below the knee of his right leg. Upon retiring from the U.S. Army in 2010, Sgt. Avila never allowed his injuries to slow his success. Powering...

EP 25: Russell Cunningham
Russell Cunningham is an oral surgeon by day and an archeologist by night. He’s a trained professional at the former and an amateur at the latter. That said, I didn’t need any dental work when we sat down at his home near Dripping Springs, Texas, a few weeks back. I wanted to learn all about what this amateur archeologist is digging in his backyard. Russell is a lover of human history, hunting and the intersections of the two. He’s found an outlet for that passion in digging up ancient artifacts, namely arr...


EP 24: Wyman Meinzer
It was late July in the Texas Badlands, a time of year Wyman Meinzer says turns his home into a "hell hole of a place." We sat in his living room drinking whiskey and talking politics. We were both sweating a bit despite the best efforts of the air conditioning, but managing to get a few laughs in between fits of intense conversation meant to solve the world's problems.     Wyman and his wife Sylinda had spent the day with three of their grandchildren, leaving the house cluttered with dolls, juice boxes and...

EP 23: Public Lands Roundtable
I, for one, am thrilled to be a part of a community that understand the importance of America's public land and is willing to fight to keep this shared resource intact. Hunters and anglers have historically been very willing stewards of the overall well-being of our lands and wildlife.  That's why when Senator Mike Lee of Utah announced on Twitter his plan to introduce a trio of bills into Congress that would redefine how we use public lands, our group stood up and took notice. Specifically the following st...

EP 22: David Wise, Janis Putelis and Sam Soholt
Episode No. 22 is a doozy. Three awesome guests packed into one conversation straight from Big Sky, Montana at the Total Archery Challenge. I was joined by Sam Soholt, bus guy and frequent contributor, Janis Putelis, MeatEater producer and Latvian Eagle, and David Wise 2-time Olympic gold medal skier and avid hunter. We discussed Janis’s proper job title, Sam’s public Land bus maintenance record, David’s hunting history and recent success in the Olympic arena, how much turkey meat a man needs, and how 3D ar...


EP 21: Jason Matzinger & Sam Soholt
This week on Episode No. 21 I'm joined by Jason Matzinger and Sam Soholt for a killer conversation and lots of laughs. Matzinger is a Montana-dwelling film and television producer and host of the TV show Into High Country on the Sportsman Channel. What really makes Matzinger stand out to me though is his true, unabashed commitment to conservation. He's a lifetime member of RMEF and Mule Deer Foundation and works on content projects with Wild Sheep and many other groups. Sure, he's featured in most of his ow...

EP 20: Charles Post
The great and all-knowing Charles Post returns for another podcast in episode No. 20. Charles was born and raised in northern California, earning a B.S. and M.S. in ecology from U.C. Berkeley, but nowadays he resides (and hunts) in Bozeman, Montana with his lovely fiancé Rachel Pohl.  Charles and I sat down in his home to continue our conversations on bringing outdoor user groups together, caring for ecosystems, celebrating the connection between science and hunting, Hunting’s perception problem, his upcom...

EP 19: Ben "ShedCrazy" Dettamanti
You don't have to hang around very long and it's easy to figure out that the hunting industry has some interesting stories to tell. One of the most interesting is that of Ben "ShedCrazy" Dettamanti, a Utah-based content creator and shed hunter known for his funny-as-hell social media presence. Here's a guy that left his job as a school janitor to post videos on YouTube about running around the mountains collecting antlers and making folks laugh. It takes some courage to make that jump.    Ben joined me at t...


EP 18: Cole Kramer
On this episode I'm joined by Cole Kramer out of Kodiak, Alaska, one of the top guides in mountain hunting today. Cole, a small town Kansas kid, was inspired by his Aunt and Uncle to venture North after high school and has since made a living guiding hunters in Alaska's harshest conditions.    Cole and I first met a few years back when I hadn't yet been on what I would call a true adventure hunt--think backcountry drop camps in sub-zero temps or hiking to 18,000 feet of elevation to kill a sheep. It's throu...

EP 17: Cody Rich
Cody Rich has been podcasting for a while. In fact, as of this writing, he's 244 episodes deep. When I started The Hunting Collective Cody was one of the first guys to step up and teach a rookie the ropes. Just goes to show you that the hunting world is full of good guys. Cody is definitely one.    He's also driven. Cody is a true entrepreneur, always looking to start a new venture and break new ground. He treats hunting the same way. He once broke his neck and was told he would never walk again. He very po...

EP 16: Adam Janke
Adam Janke is the host of the Beyond the Kill podcast, and the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Mountain Hunting (JOMH). Adam, a British Columbia resident and diehard mountain hunter, is a deliberate dude. He came into the hunting industry recently and has made a name for himself early on as someone who cares about hunting's image and is striving to celebrate the experience.  We spoke about the recent hunting ban on grizzly bears in his home province, the state of hunting media today, how to talk to non-hu...


EP 15: Ryan Callaghan
Ryan Callaghan, the long bow shooting, public lands loving, mustached Idahoan, joins me for his second appearance in episode 15.  First Lite’s Director of Conservation and Public Relations, hunting guide and frequent contributor to MeatEater, Callaghan is just damn fun to have in hunting camp.  He joined me and Casey Butler in Sonora, Texas for a crazy Axis deer hunt in the rut. We battled chiggers, ticks, 105-degree temps and the occasional rattlesnake and came out with coolers full of venison and a bunch ...

EP 14: Casey Butler
Casey “LaVere” Butler is a success story. A few years back he decided to leave his 9-to-5 job at a steel mill to do something crazy: create a hunting and fishing YouTube channel. With no assurances he'd make anything of the idea, he took the leap and started Hushin. His friends Eric Chesser and Brian McElrea joined him and together in just a few short years they have created one of hunting's most unheralded media powerhouses. They have a dedicated audience that follows their every move as the crew creates s...

EP 13: Lanai Recap with Sam Soholt
This week's episode is a little different. I'm joined by Sam Soholt for a recap of an epic hunt for Axis deer on the Hawaiian island of Lanai. I've been lucky to be a part of many great hunting camps over the years, but I don't think I'll ever top thins one. Sam and I were joined by John and Sharon Dudley, Cameron Hanes, Joe Rogan, Shane Dorian, Remi Warren, Adam and Kimmi Greentree and the great El Chapo. If the crew isn't enough to make this one damn awesome adventure, we added in the most switched on imp...


EP 12: Fred Eichler
Fred Eichler lives the dream. His ranch near Aguilar, Colorado is tucked in the game rich foothills of the Spanish Peaks holding elk, mule deer, whitetail, pronghorn, turkeys, bears and more. He lives there with his three boys and awesome wife Michele, running Full Draw Outfitters and living off the land.    The Eichler homestead features a garden, bee hives, chickens, hounds, fainting goats and as many dogs as you can count. The fruits of this labor is fresh honey, homemade jams, veggies, eggs and of cours...

EP 11: John Gale
John Gale is the Conservation Director for Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (BHA). He’s also a fifth-generation Idahoan who grew up engaged in politics at a young age. Nowadays John is the man on Capitol Hill for BHA and he’s as immersed in public land policy as anyone in the conservation game. I caught up with John at BHA’s Rendezvous to drink some local beer and try to get the whole story on the present and future of the battle for public lands. We spoke about our public lands legacy, land transfer, the La...

EP 10: Aron Snyder
Aron Snyder's official title is President/CEO at Kifaru international and Host of the Kifarucast podcast, but he's a whole lot more than that.  He's handy with a trad bow, and spends up to 150 days a year on the mountain. He's been in the hunting podcast world for as long as just about anyone, and he's a wealth of knowledge because of it.  Snyder also doesn't really care what most folks think. He's brutally honest in all the best ways. The result is a conversation with little held back that for me resulted ...


EP 9: Jesse Griffiths
Chef Jesse Griffiths is a encyclopedia of wild game cookery. He's also a down-home Texan that does things his way and never apologizes. He's also an author, owner of Dai Due Supper Club and all-around educator of the art of butchering. All of that is precisely the reason I decided to sit down with Griffiths for episode No. 9.    We talked about key concepts around sourcing food, appreciating the stories our food tells, wild pork, hunting to fill the freezer, tips on getting the most out of venison, wild tur...

EP 8: Sam Soholt
Sam Soholt is a nomad. As long as I’ve known him he hasn’t had a fixed address—and that hasn’t been a problem. Sam lives a life most of us dream of while we’re sitting at our desk staring at an inbox full of emails. He lives on his terms, travelling the world and making a living doing what he loves: photographing and filming hunts. Nowadays when he doesn’t have a camera in his hand, Sam is at the wheel of a Blue Bird school bus. Why? He had the crazy idea to buy a used hunk of yellow metal and turn it into ...

EP 7: Charles Post
Charles Post might look like a walking contradiction. Dig a bit deeper and you'll find he's far from it.  Born and raised in northern California, Charles earned a B.S. and M.S. in ecology from U.C. Berkeley, serves as a conservation advisor for Sitka and editor of Modern Huntsman. He's a Montana based filmmaker with a penchant for wildlife conservation stories that challenge the norms of perception. Whether it's Sky Migrations, a film Charles co-directed and is featured in, which shines a light on the conse...


EP 6: Remi Warren
Remi Warren is a badass. I know that's a term thrown around fairly liberally nowadays, but in Remi's case it's more than accurate.  He has weirdly pure instincts, a unique way of pursuing game that makes him as much of a professional as I've ever seen. It almost seems like he can make any shot, climb any mountain or take off by himself and come back with the biggest buck in the valley. Not to heap too much praise on him, but it's damn true. He's spent up to 300 days in the field in one calendar year, been c...

EP 5: Shane Mahoney
Shane Mahoney is a conservationist to his core. He loves wildlife and has poured his entire life into their well being. Talk with him for a few minutes about hunting and you’ll hear it in his voice and know he means business. Over more than 30 years of experience working primarily as a scientist, wildlife manager, policy innovator and strategic adviser, Mahoney has gained a unique perspective on our world and the hunter’s place in it.    I was joined by Mahoney on the phone for episode No. 5. It was an enli...

EP 4: John Dudley
Here's John Dudley's resume: He has earned medals on multiple continents with 45 top 3 professional finishes in competition archery. He was APA Rookie of the Year, IBO National Champion (2X), NABH National Champion, European Grand Prix Gold medalist, World Field Championship Silver Medalist, US Open Silver and British National Indoor Champion.   In summary, he's pretty good at shooting a bow. He's also a great guy. His family is one-of-a-kind (shout out to his wife Shazz, a true gem) and he has one of the c...


EP 3: Aubrey Marcus
Aubrey Marcus is unique.  He's the rare guy that you can have a beer with, laugh and quote Will Ferrell movies and in the next instance be exploring spiritual oneness via psychedelics. He also happens to be a hunter with a passion for the pursuit and a deep understanding of the natural world.  I first met Marcus three years ago on a South Texas pig hunt. It was clear then, as it is now, that he possesses a clarity of thought that you just don't find in most folks. For him, this life is a game and he's tryin...

EP 2: Ryan Callaghan
Ryan Callaghan is one of the good guys. There are a bunch of other things that can be said about First Lite’s Director of Conservation and Public Relations, hunting guide and frequent contributor to MeatEater. One of the more apt descriptions, though, is that Callaghan is real. The things he says and the things he does are one in the same. He backs up his passions with action. Callaghan is truly a conservationist because he gets involved. Whether it’s city council meetings, public land rallies, or his recen...

EP 1: Steven Rinella
On the first episode of The Hunting Collective, I’m joined by the great Steven Rinella. You probably already know him by now, whether it’s as an author, public speaker, host of MeatEater TV or the MeatEater podcast. No matter how you’ve discovered his work, there’s no doubt that you’ve benefitted from Rinella’s take on hunting.    I first met  Rinella in 2011 on the heels of the debut of his Travel Channel show The Wild Within. Back then, his name was fresh, and his approach to presenting hunting to the ...