Guest Post | Big Game Hunting Blog
Today, we’re tackling a different kind of article. I want to introduce you to John McAdams, founder of the Big Game Hunting Blog. John and I crossed paths several times in previous writing jobs, and we felt it was time to collaborate since our sites have similar goals. In the coming months, hopefully John will be able to provide some great advice for you. To that end, I wanted to give you a little context on who he is and point you to a few of his website articles to get you started. Enjoy!
How did you first get interested in hunting?
I started accompanying my father and grandfather on whitetail hunts in East Texas when I was 3 years old. Within a few years, I transitioned to hunting squirrels, then eventually deer and feral hogs.
So your father and grandfather taught you a lot about hunting?
Absolutely. Not only did they help instill a love of the outdoors within me, but they also taught me a lot of essential hunting skills. However, when I moved away and started hunting new game species in different parts of the country, I realized how much I still had to learn. The things they taught me were relevant to hunting deer in East Texas, but I struggled initially with adapting to hunting in new areas without their help.
Why did you start The Big Game Hunting Blog?
I first started the blog back in 2012 just as a way of sharing some of my hunting experiences, stories, and lessons learned. I had pretty low expectations for the blog at first, but I ended up growing a respectable audience and decided to put some more energy into developing the blog as a useful resource for hunters.
What does The Big Game Hunting Blog offer that other hunting blogs don’t?
When I was going through my initial struggles as an adult hunter, I was incredibly disappointed by what I found while looking for help in improving my hunting skills. Most of the “hunting resources” I found were biased, hopelessly out of date, or just plain wrong. Most of the other hunters I asked for advice either refused to help me or (as I found out later) deliberately steered me in the wrong direction.
Needless to say, this was incredibly frustrating.
Fortunately, I ended up finding a few local mentors who guided me through some of the finer points of hunting in that particular area. My father and grandfather did a good job of helping me build a good foundation of hunting knowledge. These other mentors then built upon that foundation with specific guidance that greatly assisted me in adapting to the local hunting conditions.
In short, the mission of The Big Game Hunting Blog is to share the lessons about hunting I’ve learned the hard way. I’m going to pass on the things my father, grandfather, and my other mentors have taught me over the years. Learning how to hunt is difficult enough, but I’m doing my best to bring down the barriers to entry for newcomers.
I had years of experience under my belt when I started off on my own and it still wasn’t easy, so I can only imagine how difficult it must be for a person starting off with zero hunting knowledge and trying to learn how to hunt as an adult. For that reason, I’m not going to hold back on the good stuff.
Give us a few examples of the information The Big Game Hunting Blog contains.
When I lived in Washington, I started hunting with a muzzleloader to avoid the crowds on public land during rifle season. I thought it would be an easy transition from hunting with a rifle. While there are a lot of similarities between them, I still ended up learning a lot about the finer points of hunting with a muzzleloader that I’ve chronicled on the blog.
I’ve also written a number of articles on general hunting and shooting knowledge like how to mount a scope on your rifle and how to clean a rifle.
At the same time, I do my best to offer balanced and reasonable equipment evaluations. Good quality hunting gear is important, but I’ve also learned firsthand that you can spend a lot of money on useless hunting gear that doesn’t do anything to improve your chances of success while afield. So I’ve done my best to point hunters in the right direction with my gear reviews.
In short, I’ve been on the receiving end of bad information many times before and I know it’s not fun. That’s why I’ve dedicated so much time and energy into building resources that offer value to hunters. Virtually every single article on the blog answers a question I had at one time or another and I’m doing my best to ensure other hunters don’t have to learn those lessons the hard way like I did.
Is your blog only useful for “do it yourself” type hunters?
While most of my articles are focused on helping people improve their hunting skills to the point where they can hunt on their own, I do realize that some people want to hunt with a guide or an outfitter for various reasons. That’s why I’ve written a number of articles on how to choose a good hunting outfitter and how to prepare for a guided hunt.
Fortunately, most guides and outfitters are honest and skilled, but hunting with a bad outfitter can really scar you for life (believe me, I’ve been there). For that reason, I founded Big Game Hunting Adventures several years ago to help pair hunters with honest and reputable guides all over the world.
I’ve already done the research to ensure every outfitter I book for makes the grade and takes good care of their clients. So, if you’re looking for a quality a New Zealand hunting expedition for Himalayan tahr, alpine chamois, fallow deer, or red stag; a hunt in Canada for black bear, whitetail deer, moose, or caribou; or a South Africa hunting safari for plains game or Cape buffalo, then check out Big Game Hunting Adventures for the trip of a lifetime.
Where do you plan on taking the blog in the future?
The more I work on the blog, the more I realize how much I still don’t know and haven’t covered on the blog yet.
I live in west Texas now, which gives me easy access to some incredible hunting opportunities in states like New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Wyoming. Until recently, I had primarily hunted in more thickly wooded areas like East Texas and Georgia. Needless to say, conditions are far different in those western states. So I’ll be sharing a lot of the lessons I learn during these hunting trips in the near future.