Here are some under the radar sportsmen and women to keep an eye on.
The hunting industry has no shortage of famous TV personalities who everyone knows. like Jim Shockey, Michael Waddell, or Lee and Tiffany Lakosky. Some have even found some mainstream TV show success like the Meateater Steven Rinella, who can be found on Netflix of all places.
But today we're going to focus on outdoor industry personalities who may have escaped your gaze in the past because they may not be on Outdoor Channel or Sportsman Channel.
Many of the people we're going to recommend today have built a solid footprint on YouTube, but we wouldn't be surprised to see any of these men and women get their own shows eventually. In fact, we'd love to see it!
Aaron Warbritton and Zach Ferenbaugh (The Hunting Public)
If you haven't ever heard the names Aaron Warbritton and Zach Ferenbaugh before, we're not surprised. The Hunting Public is a YouTube channel I only just discovered for myself earlier this year. They've got several other group members and around 180,000 subscribers right now.
What makes these guys special is just how genuine their content is. You're not constantly bombarded with sponsor plugs and they don't overlay cheesy music over any part of the hunt. You feel like you're right there in the field with them.
It's all very real and as raw as it can get, as you'd expect with turkey and deer hunting on public land. Yes, you heard that right. Public land.
There is something really refreshing about watching a bunch of regular guys pursue whitetail deer on Michigan or Iowa public land, places other hunting personalities wouldn't touch with a 20-foot pole.
They also understand getting a big buck takes hard work and they're not afraid to show the entire process of their hunt. You'll learn a lot watching their videos. They're also not afraid to show their failures. You feel like you could walk right into one of their deer camps and immediately fit in.
On top of it all, they're all about hunter recruitment and hunter safety. It's all very eye-opening for a hunting show.
Lee Ellis (Seek One)
This guy is an urban deer hunting expert and the walls of his trophy room prove it! Ellis' YouTube channel, Seek One, only has around 115,000 subscribers. But we could see this die-hard bowhunting enthusiast getting his own show eventually.
This guy has a drastically different style from most backcountry or Midwestern hunting shows you'll see. Most of Ellis' videos take place in and around suburban neighborhoods in Atlanta.
The bucks he seeks out with archery gear are true giants that he builds extensive histories with and spends countless hours patterning.
Just like the Hunting Public, Ellis gets that the kill shot is only a small part of being a bowhunter. He extensively documents the scouting process and how he narrows down where each target buck is hiding.
You'll learn a lot about urban big game hunting from his videos. And you'll be in shock at some of the animals he harvests, like "Thor," a 204-inch non-typical beast he shot this past season only about 50 yards from the back porch of a home!
Mike Owens (Mullet Man)
Also known as "Mullet Man" on YouTube, this is a guy who loves variety in his outdoor adventures.
You'll find Mike on his channel hunting everything from black bear to whitetails to waterfowl on any given day. You'll find him going on the occasional great adventure to Africa, but he's most at home hunting and fishing in Texas.
Oh yeah, he's got plenty of fishing videos too for all the anglers out there.
Mike isn't afraid to try some outside the box hunting weapons either like spears, blowguns and air rifles. He also enjoys sharing the skinning and food prep portion of his harvests too. You might pick up a few cooking tips watching some of his videos.
More than anything, you can tell he's a true outdoor enthusiast and he just seems to have a real down-to-earth and laid-back personality.
He's done some collaborations with some larger YouTube outdoor personalities like the members of the Googan Squad, but we're surprised he only has around 200,000 subscribers on YouTube. He's only 24 years old, and we expect his fan following and presence to grow in the future. Maybe even to outdoor television at some point.
Allie D'Andrea (Outdoors Allie)
Outdoors Allie, as she's known on YouTube, only has around 50k subscribers on the platform, and it's a shame, really. It's hard to find prominent female hunting personalities like this who are good role models for other young women.
Allie originally went to school for medicine before realizing her true love and passion was the outdoors. What makes her story even wilder is the fact that she wasn't raised into hunting at a young age, she discovered it on her own later. That's a rare thing these days.
Allie's social media channels are a nice mix of hunting, fishing and camping experiences, all of them very genuine and from the heart. This is very much a woman living in the moment.
She gets that it's not just about the harvest, but all the experiences that come with it. Her videos would be a great introduction for newer hunters in that regard.
She's also a big advocate for the preservation of the public lands we all know and love. It's increasingly difficult to find hunting personalities that do that since so many big TV shows these days are shot on private land.
We'd like to see more shows like Allie's videos that advocate for the common hunters and show the realities of hunting rather than just focusing on getting the kill shot on camera.
John Royer (Leatherwood Outdoors)
Also known as Leatherwood Outdoors on social media channels, John's videos have a very old-school feel to them. And it's not just his grizzled outdoorsman look either. You'll find a variety of ice fishing, fly fishing and morel hunting. But it's his big game hunting videos that really stand out in the YouTube crowd.
While he has your usual hunts using modern hunting equipment, he also films a lot of hunts using gear from the past. In several videos, he films entire hunts while wearing traditional North American frontiersman gear and using a flintlock muzzleloader!
In addition to traditional flintlock hunts, you'll also find videos of him using hundred-year-old lever action rifles in obscure calibers. There isn't another hunting personality out there that we know of who embraces hunting's traditions in such a literal manner. It's a really refreshing take on hunting during an age where it seems most hunting personalities are only focused on the latest and greatest in gear. We're amazed he isn't a bigger name in the outdoor industry.
For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis Youtube channels.
NEXT: WHAT'S THE BEST RIFLE CALIBER FOR DEER?
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