REVEAL Week Ep. 1 - Chris Bee

Show Notes

In this episode of the Nine Finger Chronicles, host Dan interviews Chris B, an experienced archer and bowhunter. Chris shares his background in hunting and archery, starting from a young age with his father. He discusses his journey into competitive archery and the mental and physical aspects of the sport. Chris also talks about the characteristics of a good archer and offers advice for bowhunters to stay consistent in their shooting. He shares his experience of starting a YouTube channel and turning it into a business. Overall, the conversation explores the intersection of archery and bowhunting and how the skills and knowledge from one can benefit the other. Chris discusses the technical aspects of bow hunting and how it improves his archery skills. He also talks about the mental toughness required for solo filming and performing under pressure. Chris shares his journey of dropping out of college and pursuing a career in hunting. He explains the challenges of being a YouTube creator and running a hunting business. Chris discusses his approach to scouting and documenting his hunting farms through trail cameras and mock scrapes. He expresses his excitement for the upcoming hunting season!


  • Chris B grew up in a hunting family and started hunting with his father at a young age.
  • He got into competitive archery and participated in various tournaments, representing the USA in international events.
  • Archery requires a strong mental game, with focus and repetition being key factors in success.
  • Consistency is important for both competitive archery and bowhunting, and practicing regularly helps maintain skills.
  • Chris started a YouTube channel at a young age and turned it into a successful business, combining his passion for archery and hunting. Bow hunting improves archery skills and requires technical knowledge.
  • Solo filming in hunting requires mental toughness and attention to detail.
  • Dropping out of college to pursue a career in hunting is a personal decision.
  • Running a hunting business involves challenges and requires a diverse skill set.
  • Scouting and documenting hunting farms through trail cameras and mock scrapes can provide valuable information.
  • The anticipation and excitement for the upcoming hunting season is high.

Show Transcript

Dan Johnson (00:00.942)
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to another episode of the Nine Finger Chronicles podcast. I'm your host, Dan Johnson. And today is episode number one of reveal week. And the first guest on reveal week is Mr. Chris B. Chris, man, how are we doing?

Chris (00:18.782)
Good man, thanks for having me on.

Dan Johnson (00:20.429)
Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. All right, so I'll be completely honest. I don't consume a lot of content, like outdoor content. Maybe it's because I live it every day. I'm in it, so I always try to step away from it. And so I don't watch a lot of outdoor, I don't watch a lot of YouTube. I don't read magazines anymore.

I'm in the world of podcasting. Okay. And so honestly, I don't know too terribly much about you. And so I think the best thing to do today is have a little bit of a hunter profile podcast where I just kind of ask you a lot of questions about who you are, what you love to do and that kind of stuff. And I think the first question is, is like, do you come from a outdoor hunting family?

Chris (00:57.31)

Chris (01:04.222)

Chris (01:13.278)
Yeah, so I grew up in Michigan. My dad was a big outdoors guy hunting. He was, I guess, the first like of kind of like his generation of hunting kind of figured it out himself, like self -taught when he was younger, like in his 20s. And he hunted his whole life, mainly a bow hunter. And being in Michigan, you know, there's tons of outdoorsmen, tons of deer, but you got tons of people. So hunting was definitely tough, but he,

He definitely wanted to pass a baton on to me, so at a very, very young age, I started going hunting with my dad. He started introducing me, BB guns and bows and that whole deal. So when I was like...

four or five I got like my first tiny little bow and I'd run all around with it or whatever. And when I was six, I started a like a youth program. I would do like every Saturday mornings we'd go to this, it was called Livingston Conservation Sports Association. And every morning there'd be all sorts of kids. It's like a junior Olympic archery development program. So we'd go there and shoot and I was like borrowing a little bit, you know, bet nicer recurve at that time when I was six, six or seven.

Kept shooting that and then I got my first compound bow and I was eight as a tiny little psc spider From there. I just kept shooting and when I was 10 years old which was the legal time you could shoot Or you could deer hunt in Michigan with the bow when I was 10. I shot my first buck I like 10 yards right on the from a ground blind And then every year since I've been 10. I've shot a deer with my bow So I'm 27 now. So every single year since I was 10. I've killed I killed

Dan Johnson (02:53.253)

Chris (02:58.096)
a deer with my bow. Getting into after that, so my you know big outdoorsman hunting is what got me into archery but from there I kind of went the tournament you know direction also. I started shooting all sorts of tournaments. That I did tournaments? Yeah.

Dan Johnson (02:59.557)

Dan Johnson (03:12.197)
At what age was that? Yeah. You started like practicing thinking, Hey, I want to be a tournament archer.

Chris (03:19.71)
So I wasn't really thinking it. It was kind of a coincidence at that same sportsman's club, there was a tiny little regional tournament that they were hosting that we just signed up for, because I had a hunting bow at that point and I was like 12. And we signed up for that and I shot and I came in second place and there was two people in my division. So I was like, that's cool. Participate in the tournament. I like to say no.

Dan Johnson (03:38.467)
Hey, that's, that's the part of the story that you're not supposed to tell the people, right? Hey dude, first archery. I got, I got second place, man. Yeah.

Chris (03:47.198)
Yeah, I like to say it all. But yeah, so then that was like, that's kind of cool. So then I think it was the whole, waited all the way until the next year, there was like the local state tournament, you know, a little bit bigger, maybe a few hundred people at, shot that. And it kind of was just a snowball effect. From there, I think I upgraded my bow when I was 14, which you'd kind of all the state indoor tournaments and some outdoor tournaments. And then when I was...

Let's see, later when I was 14, I got my first like real target bow, like a hand -me -down target bow. And I went to, we all, it was kind of like a family ordeal. It was like travel baseball sort of deal. You could think of it like, well, we went out to our first big tournament in Pennsylvania and it was nationals and I shot super well. And then we actually ended up taking a family vacation out to California. And it was actually the world.

Team trials for a world trip and I shot up a division So I was 14 and the next division started at 15 and it was 15 through 17 years old So I shot up into that class and I actually there was a lot of people at these events I was the alternate so I came in fourth place So when I was under underage for it So that was that was my first real I was like, wow This is kind of cool and that trip was like to Poland or something and it would have been you know The USA archery team you would have made it and stuff. So

Dan Johnson (05:00.319)

Chris (05:13.264)
From there, it kind of lit a fire in me. And we traveled all around after that. I made...

Several several world teams after that in like, you know high school years college years went to Taipei China South Africa Traveled all around did a lot of a lot of stuff in the States made a bunch of United States teams Yeah, I kind of did a whole the whole deal man. The whole deal for sure shot for went to Michigan State shot at the collegiate Team there we we did really good there and they kind of

while all this was going on I was shooting national archery in the schools program as well NASP which is really popular especially now and I did really well there a couple national world and that's actually when I went to South Africa was through that so yeah I kind of did that whole deal I don't really do it as much anymore just kind of everything else took off

It requires so much time. You don't realize how much time you have when you're younger and you can just shoot arrows all day long. But I still stay relevant with it and like to go to a couple of them because I do enjoy it. But it was definitely my roots into like really learning archery, learning technical archery, how to work on stuff and become a better bow hunter because of it.

Dan Johnson (06:37.435)
So kind of going back to when you were first picking up a bow and maybe you've been around the time when you're like, okay, well, I want to go do a tournament, right? Who taught you how to shoot a bow? Who was teaching you this technical archery information?

Chris (06:47.646)

Chris (06:55.006)

So I've had several coaches kind of throughout the years that kind of come in and come out as you just kind of get different levels. I mean, at Livingston, that sportsman's club, there was a couple that were like, Hey, like, you know, put your feet right, you know, like very simple stuff. from there, where I kind of took everything to the next level was a gentleman named Jim Morrow, who's now passed, but he had a pro shop, called NJC archery, in Michigan. And he coached me pretty hard for like two years. I mean, we would do.

like every other week lessons sort of deal like the full on deal. He got me like into a back tension, back tension release, like upgraded my equipment, recommended that sort of stuff. And then after that, kind of like my next graduation level was George Riles. He's down Archery Learning Center in Georgia. He has like a giant, a giant, you know, kids archery team, travel archery team. Probably arguably the best coach ever about archery. He's phenomenal, phenomenal teacher.

So he kind of brought me to that next level and the kind of level that I'm at now, you know, just overall shooting and teaching and all that stuff.

Dan Johnson (08:03.991)
Yeah. Wow. Okay. So did you play any other sports in high school or college? Yeah. Yeah.

Chris (08:09.918)
Not in high school, like in the younger years, you know, I did baseball and all that jazz, but hunting and archery really took up my life from, you know, high school and on. Yeah, I mean, it was a full -time deal because I was doing national archery in schools program stuff. And then I was doing, you know, like USA archery stuff. And then fall came around, everything switched over.

Dan Johnson (08:21.045)

Dan Johnson (08:31.573)
Gotcha. All right, so there's this group. So you said 12 years old, was it, when you competed in your first tournament?

Chris (08:42.494)
Yeah. So there's all sorts of different categories of styles of archery and ages of archery. So they kind of segregate them up by, you know, every couple of age group until you're 20. And then after 20, it's, it's, you know, men's or men's professional until 50. And then over 50, they're seniors. So kind of like 20 to 50 is your main, you know, men's open or men's pro or whatever else.

Dan Johnson (08:46.452)

Dan Johnson (09:03.348)

Dan Johnson (09:10.227)
Right. So the reason I'm asking this is, I mean, I, I'm not like, I like to bow hunt, but I would not consider myself an archer. Okay. And so there's, there's a skill set there that in order to compete, one must have versus me, a bow hunter who just goes out and tries to kill deer. Right. So what's like, what was the big jump?

Chris (09:20.99)
Yeah, yeah.

Chris (09:32.798)
Yeah, yep.

Dan Johnson (09:37.874)
from where you were to, I don't know, to where you started shooting professional and what's that jump look like?

Chris (09:45.374)
Yeah, well, I think I kind of know what you're getting to. It's like archery is so, archery is like more of a performance rather than a sport. It's not like we're going out there and tackling people. You know, you're, you're, you're competing against yourself and you're trying to perform, which is like repeating the same thing over and over again under pressure. so it's a very mental game. I mean, guys argue it's like 90 % mental, like Joel Turner right now is a big buzz. but that stuff has been going on since the beginning of time.

You know, the mental game stuff is has, has always been the most important thing in archery. like, like target panic is the most common, like, you know, saying, but essentially it's like anxiety of performance, you know, it's performance anxiety. So yeah, kind of as I went through, through that, it's amazing. You know, I'm very fortunate that I was able to do it at a young age, but trying to really compete at a high level of something so mentally intense and intensifying it like archery. I think.

it really crafted me to think about things in life differently because I really had to learn how to mentally be strong and mentally, you know, deal with obstacles and things throughout archery. But yeah, transferring over from like youth to professional, I mean, expectations, everything kind of went crazy. When I was when I was 16, there's this big tournament called the Vegas shoot. It's probably the most recognizable tournament if you're just kind of like outside looking in. It's where all the big names like all the marketing, all, you know, everything.

comes from. And I was 16 and I was shooting up the division, you know, that technically opens up like 18 or 20. You have to forcefully be in that division, but you can volunteer if you like the punishment. So I shot up and and I did really well. So there's three days of competition. You shoot 30 arrows each day and it's sudden elimination pretty much. It's like you drop, you miss one of those little 10 rings, you're gone. So you start out, I mean, there's tons of people and you start out and it's like day one, you know, more than half

the fields cleared because they you know you drop a 10 so I shot clean day one day two I also shot clean so going into day three there was only like 20 some people and at that point I mean I'm just a kid with like we're just shooting and Hoyt who is not with him anymore working for him anymore but Mike Luper is the VP of Hoyt and he walked down with like a pro staff jersey and was like hey like good luck this this this last day and I'm like some 16 year old kid

Dan Johnson (12:14.764)

Chris (12:15.204)
Now I'm nervous, you know, it's like he's making me wear a pro staff jersey and everything going in the last day clean So I ended up making it seven ends and I dropped It was my seventh and my third arrow. I dropped in shot nine. So I shot a 899 Out of 900 so I still did phenomenally. Well, so anyways, that's kind of what kicked off my professional career is 16 and on it was kind of like, okay Wow, I can actually maybe do something here, you know won a little bit of money sort of deal and you're like

Okay, so mentally that was definitely challenging and then you have an expectation level Beyond that of like wow I did good my first time around now. I really got a I got to stay with it, but

Dan Johnson (12:55.98)
Yeah. What does a training program for a professional archer look like?

Chris (13:02.302)
It depends, man. There's guys like Levi Morgan who like never practices. Like he'll pick up his bow and shoot every now and again. And then there's guys that have to practice all the time to stay up with it. Me personally, it's just more of an endurance thing. Like unless I'm working on something, I don't do this anymore. I mean, I shoot once a week now, like just to stay relevant, and you know, arms not fall off when I do pick up my bow.

but you know, back then it was like, are we working on something or rechanging something in our form? Okay. We need attention to that. So I'm going to shoot more to try to fix that. but if you're just kind of maintaining, I mean, 50 arrows a day, 50 arrows every other day, every other day is, is very, very doable. I know guys that went really, really deep down the wormhole and were like all about like performance curves and you perform and shoot better on your downward quantity of arrows per day.

So they would track their calendar out with their tournaments and kind of have like a ebb and flow up and down. And so that when they land on the tournament weekends, they're kind of on their like 70 arrows a day because that's kind of where your tournaments were. So they would do like 200 arrow days, you know, a few days before that. And then on their downward, they would, yeah. So guys go really deep or guys don't even practice and they're just gifted. So it depends much. Yeah, a lot.

Dan Johnson (14:28.044)
Yeah, yeah, I'm definitely the guy that has to be in it in order to shoot well. So based off of your experience, what are the characteristics of a good archer?

Chris (14:32.35)
Yeah. Yeah.

Chris (14:44.318)
Yeah, someone who's incredibly open -minded and is self -aware of themselves. I think a lot of good archers can kind of teach themselves and train themselves and be very reactionary to what's going on. You know, I think a lot of guys get very stuck in their ways and aren't open to trying new things or...

you know are not self aware i guess is the best way to put it you know i think i think the guys that are

Don't change a lot are also really good. It's like you can have the worst, the absolute worst form in the entire world, but do the same thing every single time and be better than someone who has really good looking form, but maybe does everything a little bit different and it's very inconsistent. So there's, and that's famous in the target archery world. Cause you'll have guys standing up on the line that are like, how do you even hit the middle? You know, just looking at them and you know, they win the tournament sort of deal. So.

Repetibility is the biggest thing when it comes to precision and accuracy.

Dan Johnson (15:54.188)
So I look at, I've talked to some professional archers before on this podcast and one said that he kind of compares it to baseball slumps where, I know in archery you have to be perfect on the tendering, right? The goal is the tendering every time. But do you guys ever go through slumps?

where it's just like, my God, what am I doing wrong? And things kind of fall apart a little bit and then you build back into perfection.

Chris (16:27.038)

Chris (16:31.774)
For sure, that's kind of...

kind of where I was going with those curves, you know, like, cause it can go off of a training regimen, you know, like your high quantity days, let's say you're just like the goal for that day is like, I'm going to shoot 200 arrows a day. I really don't care where they land. I just want to get my endurance up. Your scores are probably not going to be super great then, but on a 50 arrow day or something like that, they can be really, really good. Like good high quality, you know, all tens type of shot. But as far as yeah, man, I mean, sometimes some of my best scores,

Dan Johnson (16:36.204)
Mm -hmm.

Chris (17:05.956)
always come right after like a like, let's say Vegas, the Vegas tournament, you know, you shoot a bunch of arrows, you come home, you wait like three days to pick your bow back up and then you pick your bow back up after those three days and you shoot like your high score. So it's definitely sometimes or like after hunting season, you pick up your bow, your tournament rig in December and it feels really good because you haven't touched it in a while and you shoot some high scores and then you shoot for a week and they just go down because then you start

picking every little thing apart. So yeah, it definitely is kind of ebbs and flows as far as how well you're shooting for sure.

Dan Johnson (17:41.068)
Gotcha. What happens when you hit one of those slumps or I don't know, maybe, maybe there's an example you could share with us is like, okay, there's, there's $10 ,000 on the line and I have one arrow. If I nail it, I get the money. If I don't like high pressure type scenarios.

Chris (18:01.489)
Yeah. Yeah, well, I guess answer your first kind of question there is what happens when you're in a slump. I was told once that don't keep shooting if you...

It's like you keep shooting if you're shooting really good. Don't keep shooting if you're shooting really bad. Like everything's falling apart. Like you just need to take a break sort of deal. So it's okay to take breaks, I think in those slump periods and kind of regroup or maybe switch over to shooting inside at some blank bail stuff or just kind of mixing it up. You know, definitely really helps. As far as like a pressure cooker shot, I mean.

Dan Johnson (18:17.548)
Yeah. Yeah.

Chris (18:39.102)
toss of a coin really man. I mean some people perform really well under pressure, some people don't. It's extremely a mental game. It's a mix of mental and physical of course because you got to hold steady, you got to perform the good shot and you can't trick yourself out by getting in your mind like you know something as simple about like saying I hope I don't hit the nine and then all you're thinking about is hitting a nine and then your pain gravitates over to the nine because you're thinking about it and you pluck one off. Yeah I mean you really can't. That's tough for me to answer and a quick question just

of what do you do in those situations because there's all sorts of things. But yeah, it's tough, man.

Dan Johnson (19:17.548)
you. Okay, so is there a, let's say I call you up, I go, hey man, I'm a bow hunter, I'm not ever gonna get into any competitions. What kind of shooting schedule would you recommend for the average bow hunter to maybe stay consistent all year round?

Chris (19:28.318)

Chris (19:39.614)

So that's a great thing right there, stay consistent year round. George Riles always used to say to me, because I'm busy now or whatever, he's like, man, it's like, only if you could shoot 12 arrows a day. He's like, just pull the bow back and shoot 12 arrows a day, every day. He's like, you would be so much better off, you'd be able to pick your bow up and know that thing inside and out, instead of taking a week off and shooting 50 one day. It's like, if you just shoot 12 arrows a day,

So, you know, I know guys can't go to a range all the time or do, you know, have the ability to shoot in their backyards or whatever else, but even just a target in your garage, you know, just pick the bow up and shoot it 10 times, 12 times, 20 times. It really does help. Just staying familiar with it.

Yeah, man, that kind of dives into a whole other deal of like the most important piece of equipment when it comes to bow hunting is yourself. It's not all this other equipment. So.

Dan Johnson (20:40.78)
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Okay, so how long has it been since you were in it competitively professionally?

Chris (20:50.206)
Yeah, sure.

I would say like my early 20s, so like 21, 22, I was traveling all around. I mean, maybe an arguably 23 traveling all around doing dozen plus tournaments a year. And now, like this year I'll probably only do three, you know, three, maybe four, just kind of the big ones go to if, if nothing's overlapping. yeah, man, it's so, it's so expensive to travel around and it takes so much time. And it's like, it's a full -time gig. Like if you're.

If you're not the first couple guys winning all the time, you're not making money. So it's like a lot of these guys are doing it for fun or trying to do it or have a side gig and also do it. So it's very time consuming and very expensive.

Dan Johnson (21:38.316)
Gotcha, okay. All right, so now when did you, like, so you stepped out early 20s, like into 2023, and then is that where you kind of started like your company and start, no.

Chris (21:55.134)
No. So I started my YouTube channel when I was 16. So it kind of coincided with everything. I chose to take everything on all at once pretty much when I was 16. So, or maybe even a little younger.

Dan Johnson (21:58.988)

Dan Johnson (22:05.164)
Mm -hmm.

Chris (22:10.558)
But yeah, I started there and I started filming some hunts, started filming just some funny archery videos, just uploading just for fun. I really enjoyed videos. I really enjoyed filming and editing and just kind of like self -taught myself. Just kind of that whole deal. And I filmed the funny statistic until just, I think it was two years ago, from 16 to let's say 25 years old, every single deer that I killed with the bow was on film. It was like 60 or 70.

70 deer. So either self -film buddies and then eventually camera guys. Besides maybe like a random doe, everything was on film. So I pretty much dedicated myself to solo film everything or get someone in the tree or whatever else. So 16, 17, 18, 19, all the way up through college it was 100 % for fun. We were just doing whatever. And I got maybe a little bit of traction in there. By the time I was in college, I probably had 10 ,000.

subscribers or something like that.

But my sophomore year of college I waited until the last day of that semester. I could drop all my classes and Get a refund. It's like I think it was October 1 which was it just fitting since its most opening days and I said screw it. I'm like, I'm gonna drop all my classes I'm just gonna travel around all fall and just film everything. So I did that I didn't tell my parents and we I kind of created like our first, you know, I was like let's film like forget it was like a 10 or 12

quote unquote, episodes, not that it's TV, but just episodes, just to kind of proof it out to see if this could be a thing. And we did, and we shot a bunch of stuff, and it worked out. I hired my first camera guy, it's like 1 ,500 bucks or two grand for like 30 days. We went on the road and just went crazy. So that kind of proofed it out, and really that was the starting point of the business decision of we could probably make something happen here.

Dan Johnson (23:44.492)
Yeah. Yeah.

Dan Johnson (24:08.46)
I wish I could get 20 days for two grand for a camera guy Yeah

Chris (24:12.414)
I know. Well, that was a little bit ago, too. And he was very new or he was talented, but definitely very new. And yeah, so now I've been at the U2 game for 10 plus years now.

Dan Johnson (24:28.012)
That's awesome, man. That's awesome. And so how does everything that you've learned, like in the archery space, carry over to the bow hunting space?

Chris (24:41.31)

Well, as far as like, like technical wise, I mean, I'm very, very technical, very, you know, tuned in with tuning and broadheads and arrows and everything. And, and try to, try to say that of course, like through YouTube and everything. But as far as bow hunting, you know, it just makes me a better archer. You know, the most important thing in bow hunting is the archery side of it is the actual bow part of it. so, you know, being really deadly there. I think it's just the most thing. And then just like, I think some of the mental stuff, like just being able to, to,

perform under pressure I think is a huge deal and then I don't do it too much now because it's pain in the butt but solo filming like all grown up and I mean a whole nother level of mental toughness man I mean like trying to you know every morning in the stand setting up your cameras and then you know getting the shot on film in the moment you know it's just like you got to be so dialed in moving everything yard I mean it's it's a lot going on so doing that really you know was great

mental toughness and combined with archery and competitions and everything. So yeah, no, it's a great melting pot for all of that.

Dan Johnson (25:50.764)
Yeah, I'll tell you this man. Funny story, my first deer I ever shot with a bow was on film. And then I also lost one of the biggest bucks I've ever had in shooting range, like top five bucks. He came in, I was self -filming, he walked through a shooting lane.

Chris (25:59.23)
Right on.

Chris (26:11.23)

Dan Johnson (26:19.596)
as I'm trying to get the camera set up. And that was the last time I ever took a camera in the tree with me. Cause I just, I didn't want to dedicate to it.

Chris (26:25.886)
The amount of deer that have lived due to the camera is pretty phenomenal. Yeah, that's just part of the deal. Whenever I get frustrated or anything, I stop and I think, I was like, if I didn't do any of this, I wouldn't be able to go hunting literally 100 days out of the year. It's just like, it's part of the deal.

Dan Johnson (26:32.716)

Dan Johnson (26:48.652)
Right. Yeah.

Dan Johnson (26:54.796)
I don't ask this question to very many people, but I like where, like, your timeline sets up perfect for it, okay? You pretty much dropped out of college, okay?

Chris (27:05.534)
Well, so I continue going to college for three more years. I took that semester off.

Dan Johnson (27:08.013)
you did. Okay. Just that one semester. Okay.

Chris (27:12.606)
But I went for three more years, and it switched majors like three times and was growing everything else in the backend. And I had a professor on my fifth year, some video project thing. And I like never showed up to class and, like I submitted it and it was like, you know, the best one, cause this is what I do. We've been doing videos or whatever. And she's like, why are you even in college? And I'm like, that's a great question. So I dropped, I dropped out. Yeah. I had 12 credits left until I graduated. And then I was just done.

Dan Johnson (27:38.395)
Yep. Yeah.

Chris (27:42.56)
Thank you.

Dan Johnson (27:42.843)
Yeah. With that said, what was the support from your family at that point? Were they all in?

Chris (27:51.263)
They didn't know it.

They didn't know what any of this was. I mean, to be honest, that first year of sophomore, I was like carrying balances on my credit cards. Like I got a business credit card at that point and I was like carrying a balance on it to travel all around and everything. And that year I finally got some support from like one or two companies, which definitely helped. But I was working at like the MSU Demer Center, which is the archery center. And I would coach, I would coach kids like, you know, on the weekends and after

after classes and stuff like that. Yeah, man, but it was definitely not fruitful for a long time. But actually, at that time too, throughout college, I was kind of started an internship through Hoyt Archery.

Dan Johnson (28:31.448)
Yeah. Yeah.

Chris (28:42.43)
Kind of back up a little bit too, it's like when I was 16 and made that relationship with Hoyt, I kind of grew that relationship. So when I got into college and started learning all this social media stuff or whatever, I interned and helped run their social media, which then graduated to me running all of their social media channels. So I did that for like a year or two during college.

Dan Johnson (29:02.998)
Gotcha. Okay. So when you, when you told your parents, Hey, or you had a conversation with your family and you're like, listen, I'm going to, I'm going to be a YouTube creator. I'm going to hunt for my living now. and, and I know you have some other, like you have another company that makes some pro some archery products. but cause what was that? What was that like?

Chris (29:20.35)

Chris (29:25.79)
Mm -hmm.

Dan Johnson (29:31.285)
What was that conversation like? I am not going to be in the traditional nine to five game.

Chris (29:32.67)

Yeah, they definitely weren't stoked about it and they didn't really know the pathway, I guess, of this made up pathway. Because I even think back then it really wasn't even a pathway quite yet. Yeah, they didn't really know. I mean, it's like, it's totally different, like generational. You know, it's they wanted me to go to college and, you know, I didn't. So, yeah, I mean, it was very. Yeah, it's just like, what is this? Like, what are you doing? Yeah, totally different. Totally different.

Dan Johnson (30:02.517)
Yeah. Yeah. Did they ever ask you questions like, like, when are you going to get a real job?

Chris (30:09.79)
No, not really like that. I think they always knew something would work out, but they just didn't fully know the scope of it. You know, like they knew like potential for like working with companies and stuff like that. But as far as everything else, I mean, it's just not, it just, you know, didn't fully know.

Dan Johnson (30:16.989)

Dan Johnson (30:29.215)
All right, so when did the products come into play?

Chris (30:32.958)
Yeah, so, you know, all this is going on. We're, you know, in college and stuff and traveling around with George Riles. The Colby Hanley, who is the founder of Ultra View, him and I linked up and started, you know, being really good friends. And gosh, we were probably 19, if I had to guess, traveling around shooting all together. And he's making all these little tiny 3D printed archery trinkets. And he started, you know, ticketing

I'm like, yeah, like I can definitely help out with that. And that's kind of initially how I got in the loop with Colby and Ultra View. And then from there, we just kind of grew together. And I mean, besides like his very first, you know, days of literally days, I pretty much have been all for you since, since the start went on to do like this big and I'm like, I'm like, I'm like, I'm like, I'm like, I'm like, I'm like, I'm like, I'm like, I'm like, I'm like, I'm like, I'm like, I'm like, I'm like, I'm like, I'm like, I'm like, I'm like, I'm like, I'm like, I'm like, I'm like, I'm like, I'm like, I'm like, I'm like, I'm like, I'm like, I'm like, I'm like, I'm like, I'm like, I'm like, I'm like

and venture prize thing through Georgia Tech that Altribu won. It was like a big grant and a patent, a free patent for this. Kobe made this like, it was called the original Altribu. It was actually called Starlight at the time, but it lit up the fiber in the center of the scope. So he actually won that. Yeah, man.

We really grew, Colby and I, Colby's my best friend. I was like best man in his wedding. We kind of grew very parallel with each other. Like I grew all my media stuff and he grew Ultraview and we very much helped each other in synergy together. Like Ultraview leveraged my channels and you know, we grew together. So I mean now, I mean, I was just down there last week. I go down once a month just for meetings or whatever else and very involved now to this day at a higher level. But yeah, man, at the very beginning, it was like,

Dan Johnson (32:20.158)

Chris (32:26.176)
You know Colby 3d printed a product and it somehow needed to get marketed so that was yin and yang for sure for a long time But it's very very more complex now, and yeah kind of since then you know

I started, I guess, B -Real merch and then technically as of today, July 1, it's B -Real custom .com. So I made that back in 2017. We ticked live B -Real merch and it was just like hats and t -shirts and random stuff. But now, especially the last three years, we've been ramping it up to work with companies to put our little spin on products and then obviously sell them. So we do custom arrows, we do custom altributes.

stuff, hats, t -shirts. We got a couple more things in the pipeline for this year but that's really taken off so keeping a pulse on everything has become very difficult. There's been a lot going on these days.

Dan Johnson (33:23.415)
you. Yeah and this is the side of the the hunting industry that nobody really ever talks about right. It's the hey I want to go hunt for a living. Well there's no such thing really. I mean when you think about it because you're not just a hunter you're a business owner. Like for me I do like I'm a solo guy. I mean I do everything on my own and so it's one of those things where it's just like geez man there's

Chris (33:31.678)

Chris (33:37.566)
Yeah, never.

Dan Johnson (33:52.791)
Like hunting is kind of like my vacation from the job that I have, really. So with that, yeah, with that, yeah, absolutely, absolutely. So with that said, what does this upcoming season look like for you?

Chris (33:59.23)
Right. Yeah, man. It's a lot of layers, man. It's a lot of layers.

Chris (34:12.094)
Yeah, so we got a lot. I go to Australia here soon for a water buffalo hunt. And then I got a lot of some mule deer stuff, some elk stuff, a lot of whitetail stuff.

not going hammer down on whitetail, but I drew Kansas. I always do Oklahoma stuff, always do Iowa stuff. Obviously I live here now. So yeah, just trying to consume whitetails this year, man. I mean, kind of last year I went heavy on traveling all around early. I did like three elk hunts and went on like a mountain goat hunt. So it was very, my early fall was very travel heavy and stuff. So I'm going to try to do that a little bit less and be home or at least doing something whitetail related.

Dan Johnson (34:59.447)
Yeah, yeah. When did you move to Iowa?

Chris (35:02.707)
It's been four years now. Yeah, so I grew up in Michigan in the Nile for four years.

Dan Johnson (35:08.535)
Gotcha. All right, so I drew Kansas this year too. I'm pretty excited. It's my first year ever hunting Kansas, so I'm really looking forward to that. Now, do you ever go ahead and like to a different state, like Kansas or Oklahoma or whatever, do you go and you scout or set up trail cameras or prep places before you go on your hunts?

Chris (35:13.694)
I'll run out.

Nice. Nice.

Dan Johnson (35:32.827)
Okay, cool.

Chris (35:37.278)
Yeah, for sure. Are you like talking specifically like public or private or what do you?

Dan Johnson (35:41.591)
Well, whatever, just kind of explain what your approach is, yeah.

Chris (35:44.766)
What's going on? Yeah. So I mean, I did the public thing for a little bit, especially out of state, obviously easy and everything. It's tough now. It's tough for me personally. And as far as like.

you know, trucks parked in the parking lot and you know, then it gets out and everything else and the uncertainties of public. And I'll definitely do it every year, especially when it comes to like elk or mule deer. I feel like that's way more fun. but when it comes to white tails, I really try to have something a little bit more dialed in, just so I'm not stressed out. I'm stressed out enough that I don't need to be crawling, creeping and crawling all over people. I like, I hunted in Kansas on public, which was obviously it was a lot of fun.

You know, I've done a little bit of everything, but Oklahoma, I got a pretty cool program now. A couple of buddies and I leased a place down there and it's, when we go down there, it's always fun. You know, obviously we do kind of like a hang and hunt style because we got a lot of guys and the place is pretty big. So we can kind of bounce around and do whatever. You know, places here in Iowa, you know, I really enjoy the property management side of things and getting things dialed in. And I feel like that's very, very

rewarding monitor bucks you know year after year after year I mean that's probably out of anything hunting related I love love love love the management side and watching deer year after year and thinking I love strategy you know there's strategy in the public land side of things but then there's strategy long -term strategy about the stuff you can control so yeah you know as far as mule deer elk or whatever else I don't have time to

to bounce out to like Colorado for a week. I just I just don't anymore. It's just it's just too busy.

Dan Johnson (37:32.075)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, that's definitely one thing that, man, I've gotten real busy throughout the years, and I have a couple farms that I don't own or anything, and I don't do any type of habitat work, but I do run a lot of trail cameras, and I do do a lot of, I don't know, like.

not necessarily naming them anymore, but I know like, okay, yeah, here's your returning customer. Here's the same buck from previous years or what's he gonna turn into or trying to follow the deer herd as closely as possible. What is your approach to documenting your farms that you have control of through trail cameras?

Chris (38:04.35)

Chris (38:18.718)
Yeah, yeah, man, I mean, this is the time to do it right now. And so actually, like yesterday, I put in a giant water hole and we have the new Tachcam 3 .0 cameras and I put one of them out. But it's like right now it's.

Just trying to see who lived, who's sticking around. It's finally July 1, everything's finally forming out enough to where you can kind of see who's whose and what's what. So we got like one buck last night, I was actually just driving around the farm and saw it out in the field and it's been on no trail cameras, no nothing. But it's out in the middle of the field, of course. So yeah, I run a lot of cameras and we try to really try to dial it in. But as far as you're at,

year after year.

Things I love to do is at the end of every year, I pull all of the cards out of my cameras and I inventory it on my laptop, even though it's like most of them are cell cameras. I'll inventory every year, kind of like what farm and just do a big dump so that when I have to go back in the archives, I can hard drive it, look at my laptop, which takes a long time to dump. But it's good to have that set up. You know, in the app is fantastic for looking quick, but as far as like a deep dive two, three, four years ago, some years.

one deer we've had a farm since we moved out here this is the fourth year of history with it and we just got a photo of it so it's like to go back and find those photos it's really really good to have a good organization on your laptop or a hard drive or something. Yeah as far as like getting inventory right now like in Iowa you can put corn out in the summertime when you're not hunting over it so that's very very effective right now like we we run some feeders just to get inventory on deer and I mean we'll pull them and get them out of there and you know September but

Chris (40:07.2)
for right now, just getting inventories fantastic. And then throughout the season, I've kind of been on the, I don't know if you're familiar with Jeff Sturgis, but I kind of on the, the vine scrape Jeff Sturgis program, big long vine scrape in the middle of trails in front of the tree stand. So it's like tree stand plus vine scrape, if it makes sense, plus water hole. It's kind of my program. So it's like every, every tree stand location gets a tactical cam and a vine for sure. And then if it makes sense, I'll put in a water hole. So if we can kind of do that.

Dan Johnson (40:27.461)

Chris (40:37.12)
that three combo that's kind of my program. Depending on food, you know food's very dependent. Obviously if it's on a ridge or anything else but for sure, buying scrape on the biggest trail right around the stand that you can shoot with a Takticam.

Dan Johnson (40:53.605)
Yeah, that's funny because Sturgis is going to be on reveal week. He's he's going to be the next episode after you. And so I'm really looking forward to him. And and dude, I'll tell you what, I got hyped up about mock scrapes from Troy Pottinger. And so I am like I started using mock scrapes and pre pre orbital scent.

Chris (41:00.03)

Chris (41:04.094)


Chris (41:16.19)

Dan Johnson (41:23.461)
over the last two years. And I cannot believe the amount of deer that I get on trail camera on a mock scrape with, and I use Code Blue Rope -A -Dope system, that's what they have. And my God, man. It's like, I think that would be perfect because I get a lot of my summer inventory from mineral sites, because in Iowa, you know, we can do mineral sites too. So I'm doing mineral sites.

Chris (41:23.71)
Okay. Yeah.

Chris (41:33.246)

Chris (41:37.534)

Chris (41:51.038)

Dan Johnson (41:52.837)
And then, and then my goal on all my farms this upcoming year, except for my running gun sets, is on my, my main rut funnels. The goal is to have a mock scrape within shooting range. and then, you know, you add that in with the right wind direction and the right terrain feature. And the goal is to get deer to continuously come into, you know, hopefully 25 yards broadside or whatever. And, and,

Chris (42:07.87)

Dan Johnson (42:21.413)
just get as many opportunities as possible.

Chris (42:24.702)

Yeah, it's a, it's a deadly program. And, and, you know, as far as inventory, especially during season, I'm just knowing what's around forcing myself to, you know, every big good stand location, you know, obviously having the stand, but then some sort of mock scrape. I really love the vines, and a camera. I mean, they're using it right now. I mean, I have photos of fawns, you know, playing with the vine, rubbing their scent on it. Then the next photo is a doe and the next photo is a buck, you know, all just kind of getting at it with the vine. So they're.

Dan Johnson (42:55.205)
Yeah, heck yeah. Cool, man. Well, what's the hype level right now as far as, you know, it's July, it's July, we're recording this on July 1st. What's your hype level right now leading into the upcoming season?

Chris (42:55.52)

Chris (43:06.654)
Yeah. Yeah.

Chris (43:13.15)
Yeah, I mean, it's good. There's still a lot of work. You know, I'm just thinking about the big list of things and projects that we got going on here that I want to do. But yeah, it's definitely getting there as soon as you can start kind of seeing what boxer or who you kind of get excited. I like to not get too excited because there's still a lot of work to be done. But yeah, it's been a super wet season here in Iowa this year, which is good, good and bad. You never really think that you're dealing with too wet of ground for planning and getting around and everything else.

we are it's raining right now.

which is crazy. But yeah, I mean, I'm excited. I'm always excited. When August comes around, you know, I get really excited. I typically have a, like I'm going to Australia, but that's kind of a weird one -off hunt, but I'm typically going somewhere in August and this year I'm really not. So the hype level is going to be extreme. I'm going to have FOMO this August, whenever it's blasting out doing something crazy, but it'll be all good.

Dan Johnson (44:13.285)
Good deal, man. Well, Chris, man, I really appreciate you taking time out of your day to hop on and be asked with us for a little bit. If people want to find out more information about you or check out your YouTube channel, where do we send them?

Chris (44:25.982)
Yeah, so it's just my name, Chris B, YouTube channel, and Instagram.

Dan Johnson (44:30.853)
Perfect, perfect. Hey, good luck this upcoming season, man.

Chris (44:34.302)
Thanks dude.