We spoke with Melissa Bachman, the hunting personality, mother, and all-around genuine human being about spreading her passion for the outdoors.
Melissa Bachman is an outdoor industry success story. She started as a Minnesota girl with small town roots and went on to being one of the most recognizable names in hunting.
We caught up with Bachman to talk about her role, her journey, and what her future might look like as she continues influencing and inspiring in the great outdoors.
The Uniqueness of Melissa Bachman
In the beginning, Bachman worked without pay just trying to break into the industry. After that she was hired as a full-time producer, working off-camera filming and editing hunting shows. Eventually she started her own production company and now hosts and produces her own TV show, Winchester Deadly Passion.
What's especially unique is her down to earth perspective and attitude towards teaching and demonstrating the great things about hunting. For a big name television star, Bachman is refreshingly normal. Her favorite way to spend a day off is to stay home.
"I have no desire to travel or leave or do anything on days off," she said. "I love being at home with my family."
Through her 15 years in the hunting and fishing sphere, she has seen it evolve in many ways.
"It's an ever-changing industry," Bachman said. "I think we are realizing the need to get more women, children, and families involved. Over the past couple of years with COVID we are seeing a spike of people that want to learn to harvest their own meat. I think it's really nice to see that so many people are interested in learning to hunt."
Unwanted Attention From Anti-Hunting Groups
Being a woman in this industry has been unique in many ways. One thing in particular that Bachman noticed was that it made her an increased target for hate from anti-hunting groups on social media and elsewhere.
"One thing that has happened is that the anti-hunting community really has focused on women," she said. "I see women getting bashed by anti-hunters more than any men out there. I think that means we've done a good. Job. The anti-hunting narrative has always been that men are these terrible, awful people that are out there killing animals. But now we have women and families doing it, showing that they eat the food, and it is good, organic game. Hunting together is amazing to do, and it is good for the whole family. And I think that the anti-hunters don't know what to do with that, other than attack. I think in some ways it shows that we are really making good progress because they are really mad about it and they don't know what to do other than attack."
Despite those challenges, Bachman has savored this path she has chiseled out. Her career has been chock-full of adventure, from harvesting an alligator in Florida that was so large it could not fit in the boat, to arrowing a giant brown bear from four yards with archery equipment, to an epic red stag hunt in New Zealand. They're the sort of experiences avid hunters dream of. If she had to narrow it down to a favorite type of hunt, though, it would be moose in the Yukon.
"We do a hunt as often as possible up in the Yukon for moose," she said. "My husband and I go up there. Of all of the hunts I've done, that is the most fun. It is just amazing to see giant moose, and to call them in. You see the Northern lights every evening. It is just beautiful. If I had to choose one hunt, and that was the only hunt I could do, and I wasn't doing this for a living I think it would be that Yukon moose hunt."
No Slowing Down
She has pursued her passion, rose through the ranks, and achieved her dreams, but these days Bachman still hustles hard to maintain that level of success she has realized.
"You get to a point where you are happy and content, but if you hit the brakes and quit, you'll fall off," Bachman said. "You just constantly have to keep the drive there if you want to keep going. In my mind maintaining is just as hard as getting there because you have to put forth the same amount of effort or more. You have what you want and you don't ever want to lose that."
Winchester Deadly Passion is now headed into its eleventh season, still allowing us to follow along as Bachman travels the world in pursuit of game, more than a decade after starting. The show can be viewed on the Sportsman Channel all year long at various air times throughout the week. It can also be accessed via the streaming service app, MyOutdoorTV. Lucky for us, older episodes can be watched on Bachman's YouTube Channel.
If you ever want to watch a true hunting icon do their thing, look no further than Melissa Bachman.