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Martha Tansy Free Wheeling & Living Wild

Martha Tansy: Free Wheeling & Living Wild

By Chris Avena

Martha Tansy is a woman of many talents. She is an Army veteran, a sharpshooter, a television personality, an off-road racer, and the designated hunter for the indigenous Athabascan people who live in her Alaskan village. Martha lives a life in progress. To her, every day is a learning experience. She uses those lessons, her life experience, her talents, and her over-abundance of compassion to help others in need that she might come across in her travels. Martha has a warrior’s spirit and walks without fear in the Alaskan wilderness where danger might be lurking just around the next trailhead. Alaska truly is the last frontier. It is her home, and she is thriving.

Chris –Martha, you have a really storied history. You were in the military for five years. What did you do in the military?

Martha –I made my way up to the Army’s Vehicle Recovery Team, which means went out and did a lot of recoveries, whether people are struck or broken down. I was a mechanic that I was a very specialized in.

Chris –So, your mechanic training really helped you later on in life.

Martha –Yes, everything I do revolves around being in the woods. Being able to fix equipment while you are out in the woods was really important to me. Even as a child I was trying to figure out how to work on cars to get us back home when we had broken down. That’s kind of the goal when you want to go home, you want to be able to get home.

Chris –After your time in the service, did you work in a pit crew, and you raced off road?

Martha –Yes. So, I actually got into that, because I was breaking my trucks all the time while going off road. There was a shop locally where I lived in Alaska and they were able to help me fix my trucks and taught me quite a bit about field recovery and how to prevent issues from happening in the first place. But then in exchange, they had me working on their race cars and that’s how I kind of got into the building race cars. There is a NASCAR sanction track there in Alaska, and they were doing really well, but the cars that they were putting out of their shop. I got to learn a lot about high performance, setting up cars and then of course, when track day came, they put me and all sorts of really fun racecars.

Chris –So, that helped you with your military training.

Martha- I was trying to figure out where I was going to go in life. When I was in high school, I was already working on cars and building trucks and it just seemed like a good fit to go and be a mechanic in the military because I do have a passion to be in the woods and I love helping people. I love being a part of a team and accomplishing really big, hard mission. So, the military sounds like a great place for us.

Chris- You became the best you could be.

Martha- I did, I had a lot of fun. Going to training and then just being in the military was actually a blessing. I love the service that I did with them.

Chris – Is that where you learned how to become a sharp shooter?

Martha – I did. Growing up Alaska, there shooting everywhere. We had a shooting range in our back-yard. So, shooting is pretty common in Alaska. But I learned very specific ways to advance my shooting skills in the military. I love being the best that I can be. The military gave me training on how to do exactly that in regard to marksmanship.

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Adam Vinatieri

Still Breaking Records

We have the pleasure of speaking with the NFL’s all-time leading scorer. He has been a member of four Super Bowl winning teams and is the proud owner of four championship Super Bowl Rings. His celebrated career spans over two decades. With a twenty-four -year career in the NFL, he has broken Multiple records. Adam Vinatieri is an All-Pro and a shoe in for the Hall of fame. He grew up an avid outdoorsman and he takes home trophy bucks as effortlessly as a last-second field goal with no time left on the clock.

Chris: Adam, I must ask you, how do you sit in a hunting stand with all those Super Bowl rings without making any noise?

Adam: I honestly don’t wear them. I don’t want to get them too dirty and muddy, but

Football has been a blessing for me for many, many years. People always used to ask, what’s the worst thing about football? They always think it’s injuries and such. I always tell them it is the same season during hunting season, so I don’t get to get out in the woods as much during football. But now being retired from football after 24 years in the league I’m getting a little bit more free time. I am still involved with football. I coach my sons football team. But it was definitely a blessing. It allowed me the ability to go travel around the world and do some destination type hunting. But definitely enjoying these past couple fall seasons of being out of football and watching the colors change on the trees, and watching the sunrise and sunset in a stand is a beautiful thing.

Chris: I think the best part of this season is watching the leaves on the ground change color.

Adam: Well, I tell you, this year has been a little hot one day, cold the next day, so I think we’re going to get into some consistent weather, and that should hopefully keep the bucks moving around and hopefully we will get a good opportunity later this month.

Chris: You grew up in South Dakota, correct?

Adam: I did.

Chris: You must have had hunting season all year- round while living in South Dakota.

Adam: We really did. My mom’s side of the family where farmers from the eastern side of the state, so we did all the upland bird hunting, pheasants, ducks, geese, all that stuff, and a little bit of deer hunting out there as well. But we lived in Rapid City which is right on the black hills, so really good deer hunting, some antelope hunting. If you’re a South Dakota resident, there’s elk hunting as well. So being in South Dakota, I’m not sure that there’s a better state. If you’re looking to hunt whitetail deer, maybe you’re thinking more like Iowa or Illinois. If you’re thinking elk hunting, you might be thinking, Utah, Colorado, some of New Mexico. But for us, being in South Dakota, we had the best of everything. You had deer hunting, elk hunting, bird hunting, there was a lot of great stuff out there. So, I feel like I was very blessed being from South Dakota.

Chris: Did you have a favorite season?

Adam: For me and my family opening weekend of pheasant season, which is like right about now, mid-November, the second and third week of October in South Dakota was amazing. All the relatives got together. My dad, my brothers and myself would all go out there into corn fields and walk and work the dogs and it seemed like every fall, that was the one thing that I looked the most forward too. But now I do a little bit more big game hunting now that I live in Indiana. But yeah, pheasant hunting with the family was definitely a treat because it seemed like there was 25 relatives that would get together and my uncle, who was a farmer back then, he would cut the corn fields. They would cut them in strips that we could handle and stuff. So, I mean, I got spoiled rotten growing up as a kid for sure.

Chris: Sure. You must have had all types of game all over the farm.

Adam: It was unbelievable. You don’t limit out every year, obviously, but there were definite years that we kind of had it figured out. Depending on the season and depending on the weather would dictate our success a little bit. But there wasn’t a single year or day that I regretted the time spent out there. Getting to spend time with the family and siblings and the dogs and watching them work and all that stuff was amazing for sure.

Chris: Have you raised your kids around hunting as well?

Adam: One-hundred percent. Yes. My two boys love it a lot. My daughter has dabbled in it. She has hunted with me a couple of times. I don’t think it’s necessarily her favorite thing. I think getting up early in the morning when it’s cold out, she’s probably feels like she would rather be sleeping. But my two boys definitely love it. My wife enjoys going out in the woods, but she doesn’t want to pull the trigger or sling an arrow at anything. She enjoys being out in the outdoors, but not necessarily killing anything.

Chris: Yes, that’s my son. He likes the outdoors, being out in the woods. He has no desire to shoot anything.

Adam: I tell you, for me, it was always during football season, it always was a great decompressor for me. The season’s long and stressful, people around all the time. And for me to be able to get out into the woods and hear nothing other than birds waking up in the morning and the owls in the evening and turkeys gobbling in the spring. For me, just getting away from humanity, getting out in the wild was a thing that made me happy.

Chris: A lot of people don’t understand that.

Adam: For sure. If they have never done it, they don’t understand it. They think, why do you want to get up at four or five o’clock in the morning and sit out in the cold and do all that stuff? It’s hard to explain to them until they’ve done it. Only then do they get it.

Chris: What traditions have you taken away from hunting, which stands out the most?

Adam: For me, it is just being around the people that I want to be around. Growing up as a kid being able to hunt with my dad and my brothers has been great. Now my brother’s kids and my kids, it is just a family tradition. I think for me it is less about hanging the animal on the wall and more about spending time with your family. Non-hunters always ask, why do you have these dead animals on your wall? I tell them that every one of those animals is a memory. It represents a time in my life. I can tell you exactly where I was, who I was with, what the weather was, whatever the situation may be. So, for me, it is a snapshot in time of spending time with my family. And a lot of times it is hard to get everybody together and to go spend time. For one reason or another, the hunting season was traditionally the time where we could all get together and maybe it was twice a year you get together as a family tradition. And it seems like it was always kind of around hunting and getting together for that. So, for me, that was the tradition for me.

Chris: When you played ball did the Patriots or the Colts have anything to say about you hunting?

Adam: No. That was always one thing that I always made sure when signing contracts. Sometimes they want you to minimize risks. They do not want you taking part in extreme sports or so-called dangerous activities. No skydiving, no driving race cars etc. I always told them, “Hey, listen”, I hunt, so I’ll be carrying a gun in the field, and I like to go to lots of different destinations across the world. I always told them that is non-negotiable. I told them, if you want me to play for your team, I’m going to do this stuff. I suppose more as I got older in my career. But I didn’t do a lot of hunting when I was in Massachusetts, just because it’s so populated that it was hard to find ground to go hunt. And if I could find it, it was a long-ways out.

But here in Indiana, it is a very hunter friendly state. So, it is really easy to meet people that will let you come hunt and or, I’ve got a little bit of ground myself now, so yeah, no, they never got that too much. I always had a couple of teammates on every team that I played on, we had a couple of kids from Iowa or Kansas or whatever that like to hunt and enjoy that. So, they didn’t mock at it too terribly much. And occasionally I got to take a teammate or two out and introduce hunting to them as well.

Click the link below for the rest of the interview

Adam Vinatieri: Still Breaking Records (

Laramy Miller: The Last Mountain Man

Michael Waddell: Cold Turkey

Michael Waddell: Cold Turkey

By Chris Avena

Today we are speaking with the guy that can’t stop the flop, Mr. Bone Collector himself. Michael Waddell came from humble beginnings as a youngster. He worked his way through the ranks of the outdoor industry. His journey began way back during his high school years, entering and winning numerous Turkey calling competitions. Through hard work and maybe a little bit of being in the right place at the right time, Michael was recruited to be on the RealTree Pro-Staff. Back then becoming a pro-staff member of any manufacturer was not something that was handed to you because you put on some camo and took good pictures. It was an earned privilege. It said that your hard work was recognized and it was not something that Michael took lightly. Over time, his work ethic brought him from pro-staff to cameraman and from cameraman to hosting his own television show. The rest, as they say, is history.

Chris: Michael, I have to say that you are probably one of the trail-blazer of our modern outdoor industry. How does it change since you first came in?

Michael: First of all, thank you for saying that. That is quite a compliment. It’s crazy because for me so many people, obviously way before me, knocked the path down and paved the way. It is kind of cool to know that, maybe I was able to kind of brush hog on a little bit of a different path. But I would say that a lot has changed from the standpoint of where things are adding social media. I would say that in a good way, everybody has a chance to provide their opinion that can be seen so many. However, the bad part of that is the social media issue of it. Sometimes hunters can beat up on each other pretty good. So, a lot of it has changed, but in any situation, you have to figure out how to embrace growth and figure out, who is the next trailblazer. What is their message going to be? But I’d say that the nuts and bolts of what hunting stands for, even if it tries to start changing, usually collectively, the culture brings it back down to Earth. It is about family, friends, certainly we have beneficiaries, certainly we have better herds and bigger animals, but at the end of the day it really is just something that is culturally rich in heritage. We’re just so blessed to be able to do it.

I have always said that a lot of people see hunting as a privilege. I really never looked at it necessarily as just a privilege. It is, but I always looked at it as a God given right. It is kind of like self-defense, the ability to hunt and gather and feed yourself. Even though it is entertainment and let’s face it, hunting is fun. At the end of the day, it really was a God given right to provide these resources for us to take care of us.

Chris: You started your career by entering and winning Turkey competitions.

Michael: Correct.

Chris: How old were you?

Michael: I was basically in high school and all my heroes were Turkey callers. It’s crazy. That was my heroes. People like Dick Kirby. He is in Orchard Park. I’m sure they were a big Buffalo Bills fan, by the way.

Chris: I’m a Giant fan.

Michael: You’re a Giant fan? The Giant’s did well this year. But anyway, at the end of the day I was always intrigued by, I loved music in a weird way to me, Turkey calling, then the invitation that was kind of like playing a guitar. I just love it. So, I just fell in love with Turkey hunting first. Then I started to get better at the Turkey call. So, I was always kind of a student of Dick Kirby and Eddie Southridge. So, I started competing in Turkey contest right there when I was in high school. I was just out of high school when I started having some success, calling the Georgia State Championships, the World Championships and the Grand National Championships and even US Open. It is cool looking back at it. It was a really a cool stepping stone because I got a chance to meet a lot of people in the industry. Not only just my heroes, people that I looked up to, but that’s who introduced me to Bill Jordan and got me my first gigs or jobs and where I got to go guide and do some new things in the hunt industry.

Chris: So, moving forward, you were interested in getting into the outdoor industry. What do you tell your family? I’m going to go get a job in the outdoor industry. You can’t make a living hunting turkey’s, right?

Michael: I ran into some pretty stiff resistance. I always laugh but when I first started talking about this stuff, you would’ve thought I went and got hooked on drugs, Chris. It’s almost like, you and I said, hey man, we’re going to start a rock band, move to LA. People might have thought that we have lost our minds. So it’s the same type of adage -follow your dreams, but how are you going to make a living? So, I think that’s what my aunts, my uncles and even my grandmother at the time were thinking. I went to Heat and Air School and I had a degree in HVAC, you know service and installation.

So, in my blue-collar family, this is like, oh my god, Michael’s made it. He has a trade. Now he will be working in HVAC and I had my own van, my service van. I was working for this HVAC company in Georgia. Everything was going well. All of a sudden, I’m winning in these Turkey contests and the opportunity comes up. RealTree needed some help doing some things. So, I’m thinking, well I might try that. I really thought it was going to be a temporary thing. In my mind I was always going to come back to the heat and air conditioning, this blue collar trade, which I have so much respect for because that’s what I grew up with, hardworking people.

I have been blessed to do this. I was a little uncertain about it. I almost felt like I was walking away from something that I needed to do. I wanted to do some guiding. I thought it would be almost like taking a trip. If you ever had to say, quit your job because you’re going to go away for three months and do something fun. But. At the time, that is how I looked at it because I thought sooner or later, I was going to come back to reality and say okay, I’ll get back into HVAC. So, I just talked to my dad. At the time I was very young. I wasn’t even 21.

I remember telling my dad about it and he said, “well, you’re only young once and you do not a family. You do not have a lot of responsibilities outside of providing for yourself.” My dad was really good to me, but he was hard on me in a good way. Some tough love. He told me that it was time that I found my own place and started to pay my own bills. It was time for me to be my own man. Whether I going to do some hunting and guiding or you work with heating and air conditioning. I knew it was inevitable that I was going to get weaned off the care and nurture of what parents provide.

So, when I started talking about this, my family thought that I had gone crazy. They thought that, you can’t have fun. You can’t hunt the rest of your life. But I knew that I had a passion for it. I already flunked out of high school, had too much fun and missing class. But one thing led to another and really from that time that I went to go take that quick little fun guiding trip and run a camera for Realtree, it never stopped. It was just a door to a door that kept opening.

Michael Waddell: Cold Turkey (

The Last Mountain Man

Laramy Miller: The Last Mountain Man

By Chris Avena

Laramy “Sasquatch” Miller, brought-up with the traditions of generations long gone was raised in the picturesque yet treacherous mountains of Colorado. Under the tutelage of his grandfather and Uncles he was taught not only trapping and hunting skills, he learned how to survive in the wilderness with nothing more than his knife. As he grew, so did his skill set. He possesses the ability to live in the wild as our ancestors did over one hundred years ago.

Today, Laramy is the host of the Outdoor Channel’s “The Trail” as well as the Sportsman Channels “Last of a Breed.” Laramy truly is the last mountain man as he sets out to uncharted territory sporting his homemade buckskins and long bow crafted by his own hand as he endures the elements and the unknown adventures that lie ahead. Standing 6’7” and weighing in a 270 pounds, Laramy is a formidable adversary for whatever he may come across in the back country (except for maybe a grizzly) yet, back at home, you are greeted with his signature smile.

Chris: Today we are here with Laramy “Sasquatch” Miller. Thank you for taking the time to speak with us.

Laramy: It’s my pleasure. I always love to talk to you. We’ve been friends for a long time.

Chris: I haven’t seen you in a while, COVID kind of put a wrinkle in everything. I feel like I am playing catch up with everybody. Since I last saw you, you were in the process of starting Last of a Breed, and then you started The Trail. How’s everything going with your shows?

Laramy: I tell you what. I had this harebrained idea because I like to put myself through pain, I guess. But The Trail was kind of a baby of mine for a while and I always thought it’d be so cool because, you have all of these TV shows, you have “Alone”, you got all this stuff that has been a big deal and so I’m sitting there thinking of me as a modern-day mountain man and I always try to put myself in the early 1800s. So, I thought, well, I’m going to take off with a horse and nothing. A horse, a long bow, knife hatchet, sleeping bag. Let’s go. Luckily Tim thought it was a great idea and we started up the show and it’s been great. Right now, we are in the second season is doing very well. And yeah, it’s the time of my life, honestly.

Chris: You are doing nothing more than being yourself. You were raised this way.

Laramy: I was raised this way, but I’ll tell you what, what people don’t realize is that in the first season I lost 37 pounds.

Laramy: I’m a big guy, so I can afford to lose a little bit, but 37 pounds is a lot. People do not realize what it takes. When you don’t have that mountain house or you don’t have potatoes or food in your refrigerator, you have to get everything yourself. You have to go out there and you are cutting wood constantly, especially if it gets cold, that just makes everything five times harder. Then you throw a horse in the mix and you have to take care of him too.

Chris: Sure. The horse isn’t going to be eating the squirrels that you shoot.l

Laramy: Exactly. When there’s two feet of snow down, what do you do for your horse? When the water is frozen over, like during season one, which is already aired and it’s on MOTV and everything else. But season one, I had a freak snowstorm come through and it dropped two feet of snow on us. I had to literally boil water, melt water down for my horse because the water was all frozen. I had to find food for both of us. That was why I lost 37 pounds, but the second season I did a lot better. I only lost 24 pounds.

Chris: So, you are in constant motion. You are not sitting around in camp. There’s always something to do.

Laramy Miller – The Last Mountain Man (

Hunting Africa with Nico Els

Today we are speaking to African Outfitter & PH, Nico Els. Nico owns & runs Eastern, Cape Bushveld Hunting located in South Africa. Nico and his staff offer an amazing African Hunting Experience. His rapidly growing concessions offer plenty of free-range game species to track. In this interview he will give you an inciteful view on what you will need to hunt South Africa – gear, weapons & fitness etc. Everything that you will need to hunt any of the African Game Species.