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Exclusive: The Holder Family of ‘Raised Hunting’ on the NRAAM, and Being a Family in the Outdoor Industry

How do you balance family and the outdoors? The Holders of “Raised Hunting” are here to help!

When I found that I had the opportunity to talk with and interview the Holders from “Raised Hunting”, it really hit home with me. Just like myself, many families across North America can identify with being raised in a family that loves the outdoors. Whether it’s archery, target shooting or simply hiking, many Americans, like the Holders, utilize hunting, to bring their family closer together in their Outdoor Channel show, Raised Hunting.

Needless to say, I was ecstatic to have the chance to talk with them about some of their upcoming events and their family life in general. Oh! One more thing. Did I mention that they’re a great family?

raised hunting

What will you be doing at the NRA Meetings in Louisville and what are you most looking forward to?

David: What we’re looking forward to most is talking with the public about hunting and people who are thinking about hunting. As many of these events that we can get to, no matter where they’re at, we go. On average, we go to 10-20 per year. We’ve actually got a few call from churches for me or Karin to come speak. Karin is still working full time, Warren is in EMT school, Easton is still in high school. We stretch it as thin as we can to still produce the best show we can do.

We have a couple signing things that we’re going to be at, as well.

Why did you feel it was an important event to go to? 

Karin: One of the reasons is that we are primarily involved in archery hunting, however we are big supporters of the Second Amendment and it’s one way of showing our support, and also learning and engaging in a completely different way than we have before. We feel like we can meet a whole bunch of new people whether it’s business contacts, whether it’s people we build relationships with and learn from, or whether it’s viewers for our show. For us, it’s expanding our horizons or expanding our knowledge and also giving our support.

raised hunting

When did you know “Raised Hunting” was going to be more than just an idea or a concept?

David: Before we ever built it – we didn’t get into a building a television show to have a series on the Outdoor Channel – we got into the hunting industry to make a difference for a true passion and culture that we felt hunters needed to be represented of what hunting is all about. Not necessarily, ‘Watch and see what I kill this time.’

When we knew we were going to try reach people on that level we knew we had to do something completely out of the ordinary or out of the box. We set out to make a difference, not make a television show.

A compliment that the Holders often get is that their show is a series about family values and ethics, and they do it while they’re hunting.

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How do you balance personal family time and the hunting industry and its pressure to produce content?

Karin: I will be 100 percent honest with you, it’s a struggle, and it’s definitely an issue that we deal with. We try to time block some family time in there. What I mean by that is we’re not filming Sunday morning. We’re going to go to church. Easton has baseball games, so that day is out. We try to use tools like Google calendars for our production company to block out personal and family items and really try to stay committed to those things. Otherwise the nature of what this is would be 24/7 – by no means have we perfected it. We struggle with it a lot.

Warren: Obviously hunting is what we do most for enjoyment as a family and for our show. When we go to the ATA show or the NRAAM, they’re all business stuff but in the end, it’s also an opportunity for family time.

David: It’s not work to us. It’s almost as if it’s what we’re meant to do. So we go and enjoy the weekend, meet some great people and have some cool conversations. Someone is going to teach us something about hunting that we had no idea. We get more out of it than we ever dreamed we would.

How has the hunting industry shaped the way you have grown as a family?

raised hunting

David: I think the hunting industry has had a positive affect because of the nature of show, and we do go back and we look at what we’re doing, and the stories that we’re telling and how we’re representing hunting. I think we have to be more conscious of the message we represent.

Therefore we’re looking at shot ethics and if we’re going to put instructional videos out on the web to help people and give them our opinion – the greatest thing about what we’re doing is that we tell people we don’t know everything – at the same time if you’re going to be out there, people are looking at you as a role model so we better make sure the message we’re relaying is a positive one. It’s made us better hunters. It’s made us better business people.

Karin, what would you tell the young girl who is looking up to women such as yourself in the hunting industry that has historically been a male-dominated industry?

Karin: I would encourage any female just to have fun and go out and be yourself and experience and take on the challenge and learn from it. A male-dominated industry can’t be a reason to stop. You can still be a female and still be feminine and still be who you are. It doesn’t need to be a stereotyped male-dominated industry – many of the experiences I have had I would not have had if I wasn’t hunting. It also helps me participate with my family whereas I couldn’t on the football field. It’s a memory that we’ll have forever.

Warren: I don’t think girls should be afraid to go hunting or something because they’re afraid to gut an animal or quarter one out because I would much rather have my mom there with me and gut her deer for her or teach her how to do it than her not go just because of that. My mom knows how to gut a deer herself, but I guarantee if I’m standing next to her, I’m going to gut the deer.

Warren, what is the toughest part about being a student but also being a key role in “Raised Hunting” and how do you balance the two?

Warren: The time is definitely the most constricting thing. I have to do a lot of clinical hours along the same time we’re filming stuff for the show and content. I have to put everything on the calendar so the production team can see it. Mom and Dad can see it. The hardest thing is answering peoples’ question of what I do.

David: I can recall sitting on a plane going on a bear hunt helping Easton with quarterback plays and helping Warren with math questions during the show. We have to be able to combine all of it all of the time. There are benefits and drawbacks. People think that Easton gets it. He get this or he gets that because the hunting industry provided that for him. There has to be a give and take. If they learn to balance, then we did our job.

Warren: It can be different on a social level, too – when hunting season comes up, it’s also during the football season and I want to go to a football game on Saturday with my friends instead of sitting in a deer stand when it’s 70 or 80 degrees and I know I don’t have a good opportunity at killing a deer. Because there’s just four of us it can throw a grind in things for filming somebody else, but I still want to have those experiences with my friends as well, too. I just have to have more time management or have someone else film or figure something out.

If you could relay one message to the average hunter across American what would it be?

David: If we could all just get other hunters like ourselves out there to represent hunting for what it truly is rather than how it is portrayed on TV through the news and the media. Just like hunters spend a lot of time defending themselves instead of promoting ourselves and showing others what hunting is really like and the positive affect it can have on a family and friends. There’s so much that can be learned, so much that can be seen and understood about the planet not just about hunting and if people will just give hunting a chance.

Find that person who’s not a hunter – don’t assume they’re against it or for it. See if you can help educate them. If every hunter did that we would double our numbers immediately I believe. If people could see hunting for what it truly is it would not get the black eye that hunters get when Cecil the lion hits the news or something like that. It’s very frustrating when hunters are brought up and it’s not a hunter at all. It’s a poacher who shoots an elephant or a whole bunch of animals are killed in Yellowstone Park. All of a sudden it’s “these hunters did this,” but they weren’t hunters at all. They’re someone who’s stealing from the hunter just as much as someone stealing from someone else’s house.

Don’t forget to check out new episodes of Raised Hunting, as the show returns in the third quarter on Outdoor Channel.

All images via Outdoor Channel

Like what you see here? You can read more awesome hunting articles by Nathan Unger at the Bulldawg Outdoors blog. Follow him on Twitter@Bulldawgoutdoor and on Instagram @Bulldawgoutdoors



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Exclusive: The Holder Family of ‘Raised Hunting’ on the NRAAM, and Being a Family in the Outdoor Industry