The Sportsman Channel Showcase is an exclusive behind the scenes look for readers of AmmoLand Shooting Sports News where we get to know the personalities behind some of the most watched Sportsman Channel programming. This week we talk to Jana Waller, hostess of Skull Bound TV.
By Ryan Nolan
New Berlin, Wis. –-(Ammoland.com)- How did you get started in the hunting and the TV industry?
I began writing for hunting websites and magazines in 2006 in order to stay connected to the hunting community. I met fellow writer and producer , Jim Kinsey, and we began discussing what we both felt was missing in many of the current hunting shows. One idea lead to another and our show SKULL BOUND was born, tying in my skull business and passion for conservation.
What is the biggest mishap that has happened while filming an episode?
Luckily, we haven’t had too many mishaps while filming for SKULL BOUND. Jim’s extensive experience in filming dangerous game hunts has been a godsend and has saved us from many mistakes. The funniest ‘mishap’ would have to be when I forgot my bow on an Idaho black bear hunt. We were making the 1.5 hour drive over to our hunting site from our home every evening and I had forgotten that I took my bow out of it’s case to clean it the night before. I didn’t discover that I forgot my bow until we stepped out of the truck in Idaho. It’s pretty darn hard to hunt without a weapon.
What is your most memorable hunt?
I was fortunate to get an invite to hunt antelope with the Chippewa Cree people of the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation this past September. The hunt went down beautifully but more memorable to me was the celebration following which included drummers, dancing and the opportunity to talk with some of the elders.
Can you tell us about the funniest moment of your hunting Career?
The funniest moment of my hunting career would have to be when my African PH started lighting zebra dung in our blind. I had never experience anyone lighting dried ‘turds’ on fire to cover or mask our human scent. I couldn’t stop laughing which of course isn’t exactly helpful while hunting out of a blind. Surprisingly, the smokey smell was actually enjoyable which of course made me laugh even harder!
How do you like to spend your time when you are not hunting?
When I’m not hunting you can most likely find me fishing. From fly fishing to jigging for walleye, I love to be on the water. And when I’m not hunting or fishing, I’m painting or beading skulls.
What is something most people do not know about you? (Something people are surprised to find out about you.)
People may be surprised to learn that I’m deathly afraid of heights. Despite spending the last 20 years in a treestand, it’s a personal challenge every time I climb that tree.
What are you most proud of, or what is your biggest accomplishment?
I went to a month long intensive guide school this past summer in Wyoming. I’d been wanting to learn the skills of a successful backcountry guide every since I started hunting the mountains of Montana two years ago. The school was not only physically challenging but mentally as well. I graduated in a class with five men and am very proud to have completed the school.
If you could hunt any place in the world and any species where and what would it be?
I would love to go on an archery moose hunt in Canada or Alaska. I’ve been blessed to travel to both incredible countries but haven’t been on a moose hunt.
What is something that viewers would be surprised to learn about filming an episode? Or what was surprising to you when you first started filming?
It’s so much more difficult to capture a hunt on film than viewers may think. From the unpredictability of game to the challenge of hiding movement and scent of another person in the field, it can be pretty arduous to capture the hunt perfectly on film. As most hunters know, the hunt can go down very quickly and to film it all from the right angle to be steady can be tough. Viewers may also be surprised to know how many dozens of hours go into making a 30 minute episode. It’s not just the challenge of filming the hunt, but also having a creative editor that can tell the story in an exciting manner.
What one tip can you give your fans to a successful hunt?
The phrase ‘successful hunt’ is subjective. What one hunter considers ‘success’ another may think it was a bust. It’s simply not possible to harvest an animal on every hunt but to me it’s not about the trophy. It’s about the adventure and the amazing people I get to meet throughout the journey. I went to New Mexico this past Fall and hunted for ten days straight in the Gila Mountains without harvesting an elk with my bow. It was an incredible adventure that I would call a huge success. My tip would be to go into every hunt with a positive attitude and to appreciate the adventure, not the kill.
What is your favorite meal including wild game? Any good recipes?
My favorite wild game meal would have to be smoked bear. It’s so simple and so delicious that I’m surprised more people haven’t tried it. Simply take your bear hams to a local processor for smoking and when you pick it up it is fully cooked. All you have to do is slowly warm it in the oven at 200 degrees for three hours with some yams or pineapples and you’ll have a wonderful meal for days.