A New Adventure

The Traditional Outdoors Podcast

It’s funny how quickly things can change.

In late 2017, Imade a post about the podcast world and how I didn’t intend on participating. I enjoyed several at the time but didn’t feel it was the right medium to share my content. A podcast seemed like a major investment — and I don’t mean financially. I didn’t feel I would be able to produce quality content on a consistent basis. I didn’t have a partner. I didn’t have the equipment. I had connections but lacked the time to line up the interviews I thought I would need to make the podcast interesting. Above all else, I didn’t have a clue. I’d listened to podcasts but never participated.

Then something funny happened. I was reacquainted with my first love (the guitar) and did what any other 30-something male would do: joined a slew of online music communities on Facebook. The re-immersion led to my meeting and chatting with several like-minded musicians who also happened to be podcasters. One of these people was Clifton Worley of The Clifton Worley Show who I discovered had many of the same musical tastes and interests.

Clifton’s passion for networking led to the forming of his show, which was based on discussing guitars and music with average musicians from the various groups we were associated with. You didn’t have to be a professional to be on Clifton’s show and I fell in love with that concept. After several weeks of listening to Clifton and his guests, I reached out to Clifton and shamelessly implied it should be “my turn”.

We shared a laugh, I joined him on the show, and it was a blast. We became fast friends and I ended up joining him and our mutual friend (and digital illustrator) Joshua Fraser on a frequent basis. I realized then, as Clifton’s show became “our” show, what podcasting was about, and how much I enjoyed it.

I wanted to do a project of my own and considered doing it under the Life and Longbows brand. However, I still didn’t have a partner. Several people had approached me about it, but no one was ready to make the commitment. Plus, I still wasn’t convinced I could produce enough traditional archery content to make a solid podcast. The Push, Trad Geeks, TradQuest, the Traditional Bowhunting and Wilderness Podcast, and others were already doing an amazing job on the interview and educate circuit and I didn’t see the value of regurgitating that content. It has and is already being done. This put me in quite the quandary mentally. It bummed me out.

Then, something funny happened. My friend and hunting partner Steve (Angell) of Simply Traditional, reached out to me and wondered if I would consider revisiting the podcast idea, but he wanted to take it beyond the traditional archery/bowhunting niche.

“Let’s pull it outside the Life and Longbows and Simply Traditional brand and do something dedicated to life in the outdoors.” He said.

I balked at first. Anything beyond bowhunting and a bit of camping was outside my expertise and comfort zone. And I didn’t dare refer to myself as anything but an amateur in the aforementioned fields.

“I don’t know about any of that, man.” I laughed. “You’re going to need to find guests because I’m not at all comfortable speaking to anything beyond the world of bows and arrows.”

I had pretty much written me being a guest-host off at that point, but he assured me that wasn’t the angle he was going for and went so far as to say that my naivety to the topics would provide a “newbie” perspective to the show.

I was officially out of excuses. I knew I could make the time to talk to my friend once a week and I knew I could play the role of “happy amateur”.

So, we brainstormed, lined up some interviews, set a date to record, and made a podcast. Just like that “Traditional Outdoors” was born and I believe it will be a successful venture. It should be entertaining at the very least and we’ll be thrilled if you learn something!

All that being said, we’ll need your support to get this up and running. You can start by checking out our website, which will both house the podcast and feature links to articles collected from across the Web (including this blog). We’d also like to invite you to our Facebook group, where the bulk of our conversations will take place. The primary goal of Traditional Outdoors is to create an outdoor community filled with enthusiasts that have integrity and love and support our natural resources and the activities therein.

The first episode of the podcast should launch very soon! Stay tuned and be sure to subscribe and tell your friends. There will be multiple ways to do so.

We’ll see you at the campfire!

To Kill a Morning



The frost came. The deer with it. And my arrow followed.

I hadn’t had a realistic shot at a Michigan buck since my very first season. An eight-point cruised by to find a younger, dumber me soaking up the morning within the roots of an old beech tree – my bow several feet away. A staring contest went on for several minutes. I lost. Several does fell to my bow in the years that followed, but not many, and never a buck. Then, during the first frost of November (2015), all that changed.

Footsteps cut through the morning mist, alerting an older, slightly wiser me in a brush pile no more than 15 yards away. The wind was right and my heart thumped wildly as he closed the distance.

Saliva dripped from the corners of his mouth as he breathed the heavy breath of a young buck in rut. I could see every exhale in the morning cold and could almost feel the veins throb in his neck as if they were my own. I knew passion when I saw it. He was on a doe.

At eight yards he turned toward me, brown eyes peering at and through me to the woods behind. I froze, hiding behind the brim of a wool hat and the riser of my bow. “It’s been three years since my last kill.” I prayed. “Please, turn him. Please guide this arrow.”

He arched to sniff the air and suddenly threw his head to the left, finding what he was looking for. Everything slowed down. My back and shoulders creaked and popped out of dormancy. My left arm raised. My right hand scraped against the whiskers of my face like a dull razor. I found my spot.

The string fell and time returned to normal – and then some. Arrow disappeared into hide with a sharp crack and reappeared with another. He dropped, spun, and returned to the safety of the grass. All in one, single, devastating instant.

I felt nothing at first. Just the shaking. My knees wobbled, as I stood up to track the buck’s exit. Even then, with all the trouble I caused, he moved with a level of grace I could never achieve. I envied him for that and suddenly hated myself.

“Take him.” I prayed. “Please, make it quick.”

Time passed and my stomach churned. It was eerily still. The squirrels quit barking. The birds quit chirping. The geese quit honking. The sun was much higher now and the frosty white browse melted into a dull brown. What was once beautiful and vibrant now seemed  dead to me.

“I’ve done it now,” I thought. “I killed the morning.”

Suddenly boots crunched against the frozen undergrowth and I turned to find Rob emerging from the edge of the timber. I waved him over.

“I think it’s bad.” I whispered. “Where’d you hit him?” He asked, leaning his bow against a tree. “It looked high, but the arrow went all the way through. I can see a few drops by that sapling. I don’t know. I’m afraid I necked him. I think I might’ve rushed that shot.” My heart sank – heavy with the words.

He walked over, kneeling to inspect the ground. “It’s bubbling.” Rob observed. “I think you did better than you think. There’s more over there. Hell, anyone could follow this.”

“I suppose.” I muttered.

We crept from spatter to spatter, each getting thicker than the last, until we reached the freshly plowed dirt of the cornfield. My arrow lay on the edge amidst the soil and stalks. It was red. The once pristine, white fletching was now a mess of matted crimson.

My heart began to beat again. This time, in a good way. “He finally shook it out here Rob. I guess he couldn’t have gone far with this mess in him.” I bent to examine it but felt the smack of Rob’s hand against my shoulder instead. “Nick, he’s right over there.”


Rob laughed, pointing adamantly to a pile of brown fur in the middle of the field. He emphasized the words as if they were a sentence and laughed at every one.

“Right. Over. There. In front of you.”

I looked up and followed his finger to a pair of antlers sticking out of the rows. Everything hit me – anxiety, relief, sadness, disbelief, elation – coming and going and going and coming and all at once. I stared, forgetting what to do next.

“Rob, that’s my buck.” I babbled. “I didn’t think I was going to see anything. Shoot anything. I thought the shot was terrible.”

“You shot a buck.” Rob chuckled. “He’s a nice buck. It was a great shot.”

We made our way towards him, as slowly as excitement would allow. He was still, but I couldn’t touch him at first. I wouldn’t touch him. He looked too alive – too perfect laying there. He’d disappear if I touched him. I knew it.

“Yeah…I guess it was.” I said, feeling the smile spreading across my face.

“So, did you bring your knife?” Rob asked.

I laughed, because I couldn’t remember.