Next Level Hunter Steve Ecklund

Show Notes

Join us for a conversation with the host of The Edge on Wild TV, and creator of Next Level Hunter gear. Steve discusses his early successes with a bow that led him to becoming who his is today. Steve shares with us a few of is recent hunting stories and also dives into why he does what he does. You don’t want to miss this one!

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Show Transcript

[00:00:00] And all of a sudden one year, I got two TV offers in the same week. So I never really planned to host a TV show, but it happened. And next thing we're sitting here today talking to you with 14 years of television under my belt. Yeah. And you just celebrated like an anniversary, right? I did.

Yeah. 10 years hosting the edge. That's incredible. It's a funny business, that TV business in the hunting industry, personal opinion on that. There's a lot of heroes out there, with the attitude I host a TV show. So I'm. I'm the best. I'm better than the next guy. And it's not, that's not it for me at all.

It's a passion project for me. The main basis behind it for me personally is the ability to stand on a taller stage and promote the heritage behind the hunt. I think it's super important that we remember where we came from. In order to understand where we want to go in the future. Happy to be a part of that.

Say thanks for all of your support all the years. And, maybe ruffle your feathers a little bit too while I was at it. Yeah. Yeah. Welcome to the range podcast. [00:01:00] I'm Ricky Bruley and with me is Jake Hollywood Iverson. Join us at the Archery Range, where we'll tell stories from the hunt, discuss technical bow shooting tactics and gear, and pick the brains of some of the most successful people to ever shoot a bow.

Whether you're about to shoot that X for the win, or send an arrow at a trophy buck, this podcast is for you.

The Range Podcast is brought to you by Vapor Trail Archery. Makers of the best bowstrings money can buy, originators of limb driven aero rest technology, and innovators of stokerized stabilizer systems. Welcome to the range everybody. My name is Ricky Bruley, and I am here in the Vapor Trail studio. I hope today finds you well.

I just got done shooting in our 40 yard range here in the Pro Shop and man, it feels good. I tell you what we get so busy here in the summer that it's hard to find time to shoot and matter of fact, I haven't even [00:02:00] climbed into a tree yet. But just like a mature buck, I'm letting all the young bucks run around and chase while I save my energy when the time is just right.

Or it's just that I prioritized all my PTO for family things. That's probably usually how things go. But thank you all for joining us today. You can find the video version of this episode on the Vapor Trail YouTube channel. Please head on over, give us a subscribe. If you like the video, give it a and hit that bell so you can be notified of all things archery.

I'm very excited today about today's episode. I finally had the opportunity to sit down with an individual that I've known for several years now. Unfortunately, we've never really had the opportunity to just chat. It's always been a business related and luckily that business is archery. So we're able to keep it fun and cheeky and entertaining, but I'm really looking forward to get to know him more on a personal level.

He's a pretty funny guy and rarely have I seen him without a smile on his face. He's been a loyal user of VaporTrail and Stokerized products for many years. And in [00:03:00] fact, his mug can be found on the packaging of our GI eight limb driver arrow rest. And on top of all of that, he is also a host of the wildly popular, the edge on wild TV, Mr.

Steve Acklin. How are you doing, man? I'm doing well, Ricky. Thanks for having me. Yeah, man. No problem. Just super happy to have you on. Thanks for taking some time out of your day to be here with us. Yeah, no problem. No problem. We're in between some hunts and filling in today with a little bit of work, but yeah, we'll cut some time out for this.

No problem. That's awesome. That's awesome. So aside from, for the people that don't, for the people that know you, they know that you're an absolute hunting beast in the field. And of course, a very accomplished standup comedian. And for the people that don't know you tell us a bit about yourself, your family, perhaps some of the other ways that you prefer to pass your time, man.

Yeah it's it's pretty much an open book. If you follow along on social media or watch the show, it's, I don't really change my lifestyle in any way. It's [00:04:00] work, hunt, repeat nonstop. I'm not the kind of guy that takes family vacation to the beach and sits around and drink margaritas.

I'm either hunting or I'm working. And I've got a wife that puts up with all of that. Pretty blessed and fortunate in that side of things. And as far as filling my time. If it's not hunting, it's hunting related. I'm shooting my bow. I'm out doing my long range stuff with the rifle which I'm really taking a liking to.

And yeah, just planning the next hunt. Yeah, that's awesome, man. So what what is it that got you into hunting, tell us the origin story of that journey and also, maybe tell us tell us about the first critter that you killed. Yeah. I guess if we go way back to give you the inside scoop, a little bit about me.

I grew up in northern Ontario. I now reside and have resided out in Alberta, Canada, so the western province or side of the country. , for about 27 years. But growing up in Northern Ontario, my, my dad, I grew up in a hunting family. My dad worked pulp and [00:05:00] paper mill for 40 some years.

He owned a gun shop on the side and archery, became a thing for me at a young age, probably, I don't know, 10, Rambo was big at the time, and he had that black bow and he'd shoot the arrows that would explode. I just had to have one and I came back, or for a birthday party one year, I still remember it.

Open up this gift and here's this black compound bow. I can't even tell you it's probably a no name brand, you know back then but It was a full on compound bow, just like Rambo. That's how I remember it anyway. And I ended up being the only kid at my birthday party that wasn't strong enough to pull it back.

And yeah, I think I was in tears for hours over that. But but anyways, once we, once I grew into it and got shooting I'd say it was always a passion right from the get go. But I was as far as hunting goes, I was A rifle hunter or a shotgun hunter for birds.

When I got a little older and [00:06:00] into legal hunting, at a legal age it was really limited on time. So seasons were so short, in some places in northern Ontario, you gotta. Two week rifle season and then maybe a primitive weapon season. And I started to get more into the bow because that opened up more opportunities, from two weeks to two months of hunting ability.

Shootin pie plates with fingers, on a compound bow, no sights, shootin instinctively. Completely old school. And hittin pie plates, to 30 yards, probably. And thrilled with that. And then came technology, release aids and peep sights and this, that, and the next thing. And as I started to progress, with technology I fine tuned my skills and didn't really realize it at the time, but I really got into bull hunting.

I'm super competitive by nature and always, more so [00:07:00] competing against myself. Can I be better than yesterday kind of thing and got to be pretty good with it. And one day I was into the shop which, is an hour drive away from where I was living remotely, and the guys were like, hey, you should come to a 3D tournament.

And I was like, 3D what is that? They're like life size animal targets. And you get to shoot 25 different animals each day. And I was like, that's, sign me up for that. No brainer. And yeah, and anyways, I went and of course, even though it was a small kind of local event, they didn't let you shoot in your own groups.

They split you up. So I didn't get to shoot with my buddies. I was shooting with strangers. And I met them halfway through for lunch. And one of the guys said how'd you make out? I said, Oh, not very good. I missed one. And I still remember him saying, You only missed one? And Next thing you know, I won the I won the tournament.

Oh, wow. Nice. Yeah, got put in the front page of the newspaper. I won a jug of bug wash and a [00:08:00] hat. For first place. Oh, that's awesome. And that was the start of my archery career, and I think it was 97. I turned, I got a pro card 99. I won a gold medal at the national championships for 3D.

Wow. But, the basis behind all of that was to hunt. Yeah. I wanted to become a more proficient killer. Yeah. I wanted to take every opportunity I had and turn it into a success story versus... A story about the big one that got away, that kind of thing. Yeah, and that's, that kind of led me into what I do today.

I basically stopped shooting competitive archery, but was still hunting like a fiend. But through that competitive archery I gained a lot of partners in the industry things of that nature. And all of a sudden one year, I got two TV offers in the same week. And so I never really planned to host a TV show, but it happened, and...

Next thing you know, we're sitting here today talking to you [00:09:00] with 14 years of television under my belt. Yeah, that's incredible Yeah, and you just celebrated like an anniversary, right? I did. Yeah, 10 years hosting the edge 10 years hosting the edge. Yeah, happy to be a part of that, and just You know, say thanks for all of your support all the years.

And, maybe ruffle your feathers a little bit too while I was at it. Yeah. Yeah. It's without, it's a funny business, that TV business in the hunting industry. Yeah. Personal opinion on that, there's a lot of heroes out there, a lot of hero hunters with the attitude, I host a TV show, so I'm the best, I'm better than the next guy, and it's not, that's not it for me at all, it's a passion project for me the main basis behind it for me personally is the ability to stand on a taller stage and promote the heritage behind the hunt.

I think it's super important that we remember where we came from. In order to understand where we want to go in the future. So that's it for me, but it's a funny business [00:10:00] because when you're first starting out like every other dick brain out there, I was walking around thinking I must be something special out of the gates and you find out real quick that you're not and all you can do is strive towards being better.

Again, competing against yourself. But the way it's laid out for me in my life, not doing that as a... source of my income, a full time job, paying the mortgage, truck payments, whatever else. I can truly call it a passion project because I have a, what I call the real job in the oil and gas industry.

And I've been with that company for 27 years, so I think the advantage that gives me from being, involved in the TV industry is I don't have to say yes to a paycheck. I get to honestly, truly test the products. And get to know the people that stand behind those products, which is equally important.

I [00:11:00] will add and then pick the best stuff because the partnerships and the I guess the finances that go with some of those partnerships. Yes necessary for the wheels to keep spinning production quality, the rest of it, I'm sure you're familiar with, but it just really allows me to take a stance and truly promote and use the products that I believe are The best in the industry.

Yeah. Yeah. I believe that too. Yeah. That, and that's one of the reasons we like to work with you. And I've said this before on the podcast, is that we want to support people that support our products because they let, they want to shoot them. Because of the performance that it gives them, not simply because we're like, Hey, we're gonna let's work out a deal and all that, that kind of stuff.

It's always started with shooting the product and wanting the product. And then from there, it's okay let's take this a step further, and try to reach the masses and get the word out about how the [00:12:00] products work and let people know that. Yeah. I think it's hugely important especially for a guy in my circumstance where I do get to stand on that, a little bit taller stage and promote these brands and promote these products.

Because if it, if I don't believe it works, like I've, here's the perfect example. I developed my own binal harness system. And if a company comes up with a better one. Yeah. I'll wear it and use it, even though I have my own, it's just that's what it's all about for me, performance in the field and confidence in the gear that I'm taking to the field.

Yeah, for sure. And for the listeners, what is the what's the name of the brand that that you have for the bino harness and some of the other products you make? Next level hunter and N L H apparel. com. That's where you can find it, but yeah, next level hunter products. Yeah. Perfect. Yeah, no, that's awesome.

I love the logo that you have. And I keep forgetting to ask you. I'm like, man, I need like a [00:13:00] hat or something to wear, to try to help promote your products too. So I'll have to try and see if I can sneak a hat from you one of these days. Yeah, absolutely. I'd be happy to. Yeah, as far as the, the industry goes, I've been in the industry for, going on almost 20 years and I've seen a lot of that, a lot of the egos like you speak of, and I think that, and some of those egos are no longer, around simply because like you said, when they rely on that for a paycheck, there's risky moves and, maybe things aren't being done, morally and ethically the way that they should be.

And in a lot of cases, legally and running into legal issues, and sometimes I try to put myself in those people's shoes and go, man, if it meant my family, I tried to have some grace for some of those things too, cause you, You'd do anything to support your family, but like you said, in your case, it doesn't have to be that way. You can give a unbiased opinion of the products. You shoot what you want to shoot because it's going to help you be [00:14:00] successful. Yeah and there's nothing worse. I was the guy, like most that saved up for six months to buy a backpack.

I was that guy. When I hear people come on saying, this is the best Backpack or these are the best boots or this is the best aero rest My first question is so how many of you tried? Yeah and I'm not talking about I shot it twice in my basement I'm talking about field tested used as a canoe paddle Yeah, you know Stripped apart and made boot laces out of it.

Really beat it up Because that's the stuff I want to take to the field. I have countless once in a lifetime opportunities in front of me because of this TV show and because of, the career path that I've taken in the outdoor industry. And when I go on a big sheep hunt if I have a failure, it's [00:15:00] catastrophic.

Catastrophic. And confidence is everything for me. I've had equipment fail. And you know what? Some of those instances I can honestly say probably unfair to the manufacturer or that brand. But if it fails on me, it's out, gone. And you know what? Here's the thing. And why I say it's unfair is because A lot of times, I'm in the manufacturing business in the oil and gas side of things.

You can put out a thousand great units and have one failure. Depends where that failure happens and whose hands it's in at the time. Some of those, I've canned some products pretty fast and probably heated in the moment when I did it. Our sales guys, for the TV show.

Pull their hair out with me most days because I'll reject an offer or I'll can a deal over product failures and stuff like that. But, again, like I said earlier, one of the [00:16:00] biggest things for me is the people that are standing behind those products as well. Yeah. If I don't feel like we're on the same page.

To a certain degree, because I don't know if anybody can actually get on the same page in this old squeaker of a head. But if you get close, just treat people the way you want to be treated yourself in any facet of your life and and look after them. That's the kind of people that I want to partner with, cause there's kind of client vendor relationships and then there's true partnerships and I'd say 99.

9 percent of what I have or what we have with the Edge TV. Yeah. And that's easy to look at because a lot of those brands, case in point yourselves, it's not only my 10 years hosting the edge, but it's also my 10 year with a lot of these brands. Yeah. Yeah. That's fantastic. I, yeah. Thank you for the compliment.

Appreciate that. And you've always been a pleasure to work with, so there's never [00:17:00] been, I haven't been on the marketing side the entire time that you've been. With us, but of the time that I've had to work with you guys, you and Joe it's just been fantastic, and I love that I have a personal connection with you guys, even though, like I said, a lot of our talks are business, I'll get pictures of some of your kills and things like that.

And it's always really fun to see that kind of stuff just come into my phone, it's really fun and having that personal connection just makes it that much, all that much more fun and. I don't care who you are, everybody, no matter how organized and how detailed of a person you are everybody runs into a jam and I'm telling you for the listeners at home, if you knew how many times I called this guy right here at eight or 10 o'clock at night and said, dude, I'm in dire straits and I'm looked after every time.

And that's again, that's a part of the partnership. If you're just a hired gun. Like some of these bigger name guys out there I trust my life on this coffee cup and you should too. Yeah. It's not for [00:18:00] me. Yeah. Unless I truly believe that it's not gonna come outta my mouth.

. So I wanted to talk a little bit about, I was, I alluded to it just a little bit earlier, but I wanted to talk about the first time that I had met you, and I'm not sure there was a little bit of. obscurity around the video that I sent you for your 10 year anniversary. But so we were at ATA show and again, I wasn't in the marketing side of things at that time.

I had been with the company for over a decade at that point. But I'm nervous, I'm almost nervous right now. No. It's more me, it's more me. Cause, so you were great. I just I'm trying to think what is the, in Indy? What's the place where everybody always goes?

Is it the Hyatt? Where everybody goes to have drinks after the day is over? Yeah, probably. Yeah. Yeah, I think it was. Yep. So I came down there to meet. Ears and ears very well. And I think most of our listeners probably know him also, but ears was our general manager for vapor trail for quite some time.

And at that time he was was going down there to meet up with him, found him cause he really stands out in the [00:19:00] crowd. He's a big, tall guy with a huge beard and and he's old ginger. Yep. And he's sitting there and he goes he said that he was. When I was texting back and forth with him, he said that he was hanging out with you.

And so I was like, oh, okay. And so when I got there, he was talking to Joe. And so I made the assumption that you were Joe. And so then I went up and I was like, oh, hey, how's it going? It's really loud in there, so you can't really hear. I'm pretty sure he said his name and stuff, but I... I couldn't really hear him very well.

So I was like, Oh, and I just, he just, I shake the, those huge man mitts that he's got and I'm looking straight up at him. Cause he's what, six foot eight or something like that. Yeah. Six, nine and his hands are pretty much the size of a phone book. Yeah. Yeah. And then, so here this, I don't know how long it was.

It had to be several hours here. I thought that Joe was you. And then later on I came up and, or, and then I think ears was talking to you and you were You were dressed to impress man. I think you were wearing like a suit [00:20:00] coat or a blazer or something like that you were looking sharp, and I had no idea who you were at that time.

I just saw yours was talking to you. And then again, I got introduced to you and shook your hand and I'm just like, Oh, heck is this guy? I don't know. Okay. Or whatever. And then just moved on. And then I think it was later the next day I was talking with ears and he revealed that, you were really Steve and I, so it's just funny that I.

That's a way better story than I thought you were going to have, I thought you were going to say, yeah, I thought this guy was sitting in there no, that's Steve over there. And you looked over and I was like dancing on a pole. That most certainly would have made for a better story, honestly.

But yeah, so then I, and I don't think I've met you. I haven't seen you in person since then. And that was probably. Boy, I don't know, five or six years ago, probably now. Yeah. I remember getting pictures from you at a tack event where you were mocking, mocking up the poster they had of me. Yeah. I think it was a photo that Oh gosh.

What's his name? From silver prime. Yeah. Silver took, and [00:21:00] you're like coming up over this rise with your bow. And yeah, I mimic to you in that photo and had ears send it to you. We're all laughing. Yeah silver always had an act to make me look good Big shout out to Ryan silver if he ever watches this.

Yeah. Yeah, he's a good dude I you know since he hasn't been with prime. I haven't seen or heard from him in quite some time. But yeah, so you recently just killed a giant of an elk in the Rocky Mountains. With the the new 2024 prime bow that we can't, that that, yeah. Yeah, that we can't really talk about.

But aside from that. What so tell the story, like, how did that all go down? Was it just you hunting solo with a camera guy following you or did you, was there, a couple of guys in camp or, to tell us the story. Yeah, here's the deal, yes, I am.

I am running the new prototype 2024 flagship for a prime right now. I can tell you this, it's fantastic shooting bow. I'm super pumped to be one of the guys trying it [00:22:00] before it comes out. And, going through the motions with it. That was one of those things you helped me with at 10 o'clock at night.

I think it was maybe a week before my first hunting trip. And I got a call from Prime saying Hey, do you wanna, we'd sure like you to use this new bow before it launches. And Of course, I was grateful for the opportunity and away we went, but I was down in Colorado on business and had to figure out how I'm going to get this bow set up, stretched, tuned and ready to hunt with in a week.

And I'm one of those guys that takes two months, dicking around with one ounce here, one ounce there trying to dial it in to perfection. And so that was an ordeal. But then we went then we went elk hunting. I I just bought a new wall tent from Montana canvas and it had come in while I was on this work trip.

So when I got home, I'm like, I got to rush out there. I got to set up elk camp. [00:23:00] I wanted to set up my local elk camp before I headed over to Vancouver and did an elk hunt over there on, in BC. So I went over and I set up the wall tent, and to my surprise, super easy to set up by myself. Especially, first time around with that internal frame they got.

I don't know if you're familiar with Montana canvas, but yeah, we've got one that we use as a as a booth. And we do a total archery challenge and stuff. Yeah. Super slick set up. But anyways, I got that all set up and I figured I'm here for a couple of days. Let me get a little kind of local elk hunting here in Alberta before I go on this, big trip.

So I didn't have camera men with me. Okay, this was solo adventure. Oh nice. And yeah, I ended up I ended up killing a Monster and I always tell people, if you see me With a big elk, like a hero style elk it's usually by accident because we are [00:24:00] elk eaters. My wife, that's her favorite game meat.

And every year that's what we fill the freezer with, first priority. To get a big one with, with the big giant antlers that we all get pumped up about. Yeah. That was a lot of fun. Yeah, man. A lot of fun. I we went in there, like I said, and I saw... I went down to a kind of a little honey hole starting point, put out some cameras and nothing in the morning, and didn't even hear a chirp.

It was still early. This is, oh man, early, early September and but rut activity definitely, you were seeing cows getting yarded around by the bulls and all that kind of stuff. And anyway, I got down out of my stand and I walked back in the woods. Probably I'm maybe three, 400 yards away from my stand.

And all of a sudden I catch this movement in the back and sure enough up with the binos and I see one, two, three, and all of a sudden it turns into a dozen cows to eighteen. And they're coming on this little trail right towards me. [00:25:00] I thought if there's a bull there, I'm just going to hunker down and they're going to walk right by me at fifteen yards.

Yeah. So I didn't chirp, I didn't cow call, nothing. And I felt the wind, classic and poof, all those elk ran out of there and I could hear some crashing and it wasn't, and this is antlers going through the trees. So I never did see the bull. Anyway, I got out of there and I thought that's it.

I'm just going to back out because it's still pretty close to my stand. I thought if they start to make any noise that can maybe chirp them in or whatever. Anyways, I got back up onto this real high hill, I call it the lookout hill, and looked off about two and a half miles. And could see these cows coming through the trees.

I just waited and kept watching them with the binos. And next thing you know, out walks this bull and my jaw hit the dirt, man. It was like, I literally had two, two miles maybe. I was like, wow, that's an impressive bull. I jumped [00:26:00] on I don't know if you use the e bikes, but I jumped on my e bike. And I got them figured out.

I got all the way around to where I got the wind right. And came in and got super lucky because they came right up the funnel. I ended up shooting that bull at 25 yards. Wow. Yeah, pretty exciting. Every time that happens, it's like, why didn't I have a cameraman? Why didn't we, everybody just thinks that every hunt that I do is filmed for TV.

We're doing 13 episodes a year, 13 hunts a year that are filmed. And I probably do 10 hunts a year that aren't filmed, so it just so happens, the big one comes when the TV cameras aren't rolling, and then the the sophisticated selfies kick in and you got your cell phone, duct taped to a tree branch and you're trying to take photos of yourself and all that kind of stuff.

You did a good job. Yeah, you took definitely got a good solid photo. And I appreciate it. And you got, I. I hear you too with, there was a time where, you know, when I've [00:27:00] really first started getting into bull hunting and all that kind of stuff, I was carrying cameras with me and trying to do everything that I could to get film and footage and all that.

And I've got a ton of footage from back in the day that I just never did anything with, but I got, just get to a point where it's like, It just adds so much more work to the whole process, and instead of it being like a getaway it's just, it's a lot of grinding, and so I got away from doing that a little bit, but now I've been getting a little bit back into it.

Now that technology has come a little. A long ways and, things are more compact and you don't got to pack in a ton of heavy gear and all that kind of stuff. I've been getting back into it, but yeah I'll tell you, when you hunt, as much as I do with a cameraman, it's extremely difficult.

Even with a cameraman, you're double the noise, double the scent, double everything. And when you're trying to sneak up on that. Big bull elk, or you're trying to sneak up on a mule deer, or sit still enough in a whitetail stand to have a big [00:28:00] buck, a mature buck come by. It's extremely difficult, and I look forward to those hunts where I go by myself, and it's just me out there, I'll go on a solo sheep hunt.

For five days, 10 days. And if I want to walk a half hour and take a 15 minute snooze, I do. It's peaceful, and gets me back to where I started too, which is... Which is cool. But again, every time something really cool happens, you're like, God, I wish I had a camera, yeah. I guess that's how it goes sometimes. But just wasn't meant to be on film, it's only, it was only meant to be in your head. So yeah, you'll always have that, right? Everything happens for a reason and take it. I take as much pictures, even if they are sophisticated selfies because one day this memory is going to stop working.

I know it. Yeah. And I want to be able to look back on all of these adventures and And know it, and remember it. Yeah, man, I, and I, [00:29:00] so I got to ask, how does it feel to be a real American hero on the packaging of one of our more popular arrow rests, the GI eight. Dude right here. One of the coolest things in all the years that I've been doing this I'm not going to lie.

I play down that hero thing, like I talked about earlier. I'm not in it for this but when a company reaches out to you and says Here's what we're thinking and we'd love to put your image on a package for our products. Yeah you know my phone response is like yeah, that's cool. Yeah.

Sure. That'd be great And then when I get off the phone i'm like

It's such a cool opportunity and a cool experience, and it makes me feel really good because there's nobody patting you on the back, when you're out there and you're grinding. Joe and I just talked about this the other day unless you're there, [00:30:00] nobody really understands the hardships and the sacrifice and the suck that goes into bringing these half hour television programs.

to the world. So when you get something like this happen, put me on a package right down to, everybody's so caught up in social media land where they want more followers, they want more likes, they want more, they're just looking for that little pat on the back. And as tough and as rugged of a mountain man as I'd tell you I am and brag myself up about that with a smile on my face, it's nice to have somebody come back and recognize.

Your efforts and Vapor Trail doing that with the packaging, not only for myself, but for a dear friend of mine, Jason Mattsanger. For him to get on there as well. Super cool. I remember Jason phoned me right away and he said, I can't believe that my image is going to go on a package just like yours.[00:31:00]

That's a total lie. Jason, if you're listening, I just lied, but it made me feel good. That's awesome. No. And we, we were sitting there just trying to think about, the whole thing and how it all came about the idea. And it was like, okay at first it was like who's going to, who's going to be the guy, is it going to be you Rory, or is it going to be me, or is it going to be, our pro shop guy, Hollywood, or, so trying to narrow it down.

And I was just like it doesn't really make sense to do that, as far as, it's think about, who are our partners? Who do we work with that really like the products and want to shoot the products and people that we know are, we're going to have a longstanding relationship with, because, packaging lasts for a long time. And so it's okay, so we know that we're committed to these two individuals, for the foreseeable future. It just made sense at the same time, and it's and I feel and you guys are like on a parallel plane to where, Jason, you [00:32:00] guys are like one in the same, but you're the Canadian version and he's the U S version.

Yeah. You guys, he's got a little bit. He's got a little bit better of a beard than I do, but but yeah, I get it. Yeah. I just, that's how I've always seen you guys and, both very successful both very passionate about what you're doing, conservation, the whole thing.

And so that's why we want to partner with you and with him. And so that, there's a lot of those parallels, but yeah, and it's been great it's been great to have, so many people recognizing. You on the packaging too, so that's really cool.

I've been doing my best every time. Every time I'm in a store that has the the rests up on the counter, I'm like, Hey, what do you think of this? And then they look at it and they go, what? And I go, look familiar. I was actually in, I was in shields in. Yeah, Arlington, Texas. And I actually did that to like a random stranger.

I'm like best arrow rest ever. And he's [00:33:00] wow. Yeah. I'm like cool packaging too. Oh, that's awesome. You got to bask in the glory, man, for sure. Yeah, you do. And, I can't say enough good things about Matt Singer. He's the guy that I look up to in the industry. He's so eloquently spoken when it comes to.

And especially his short films. You just can't get a more graceful character than that. And Yeah. I'd say you guys are super lucky to have him too. Like he's a dynamite guy. Yeah. Both of you. So don't sell yourself short, honestly. We appreciate everything that you guys do for us.

And Joe too. Hopefully I can get him on the podcast again sometime soon too. But yeah, so thanks for thanks for telling us the stories about the, all of your success. And there's so much more. About you that there's no way we can even fit into this thing. Like I just, I absolutely love, your page.

It's really funny. You guys do a lot of fun stuff and we try to do the same, and then just, I also really want to point out too that I really like how you support,[00:34:00] some of the indigenous folks, when you were up and when you got that black or the, when you got the polar bear, some of the things that you did for the folks up there, for the locals.

And then also. You had given a shout out, the last light media your post here says, I'd like to thank the Albert family and last light media for documenting such an inspirational story. So if anybody ever gets a chance to go over and see that too, that's really cool.

Yeah, absolutely. It's a little bit of back history there growing up in Northern Ontario, right on the edge of a, of an Ojibwe reservation up there, many dear friends, indigenous. And it's just, again, it's a part of where I grew up, where I come from, and that's a huge part of what I'm doing now, everything that I learned then is carried forward, and again, I can't tell everybody enough, I It's important to remember where we came from in order to have a very good understanding on where we want to go in the future.

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And I've always been really fascinated with, Native American history and [00:35:00] I'm currently actually reading listening to a couple of books. One I'm listening to now is the journey of crazy horse. And I've just been reading a lot and listening to a lot of books in regards to the Lakota tribes the Oglala and the Miniconju and all of that.

And then just. Again, just going back to, seeing some of the stuff that you do is really inspiring. I think that's amazing what you're doing there. So I appreciate it. Appreciate it. Yeah, that brings us, to the end of the episode, man. Steve where can the listeners find you on social media if they're looking to follow along Facebook and Instagram.

Steve Eklund, Next Level Hunter. Excellent. And then I think Should pop up. And then they can also follow the TV show, right? It's just The Edge TV Show on Instagram, correct? That is correct, yes sir. Alright, perfect. And then yeah, Next Level Hunter, he's got some good gear, so head on over to the website and check that out.

Make sure you grab that sweet new bino harness that he's got. NLHApparel. com There we go. [00:36:00] And so yeah, you can find us at the range podcast on Instagram and on Facebook. You can find me, ricky. wayne80 on Instagram and Ricky W. Bruley on Facebook. Again, please be sure to head over to the Vapor Trail YouTube channel.

If you liked the video, hit that thumbs up button, subscribe and also hit the bell so you can be up to date on all things archery. If you're listening, do me a favor give us a rating and make sure that you give us five stars. Big thanks again, Steve, for joining us today. I really appreciate it. Good luck with the rest of your season, brother.

And with that, we are going to pack up our bows and arrows and we're hitting the range. Have a great day, everybody. Vapor Trail is now offering an exclusive discount to the range podcast listeners. Enter promo code TRP15 That's T R P 15 at checkout for 15 percent off VTX bowstrings and Vapor Trail and Stokerise branded t shirts, hats, and other gear.

Woo! Heard it. Nice shot. What in the [00:37:00] hell went flying?