Editor’s Note: Ashley Jay will be the co-host of Knight and Hale’s “Ultimate Hunting” TV show, which will air this fall on the Outdoor Channel. Where did Jay come from, and how did a young lady who didn’t grow up in a hunting family find her way into the outdoor television business? Since more and more women are coming into the outdoor industry, we wanted to learn how Ashley Jay made it.
Two years ago I was at the Archery Trade Association (ATA) show. John Skrabo of Commonwealth Productions came up to me. He was familiar with my background, my videos and my progress as a hunter. He said, “I've been following your videos for a couple of years. I have an opportunity that I would like to discuss with you.” He wanted to see my films, and watch me shoot my bow. He went on a hunt with me to see if I could hunt. Also, he wanted to hear my calling ability and know for himself that I had had some experience in shooting the bow, calling game and hunting and working with a video crew.
We went through the interview process for about 6-7 months, before Commonwealth Productions signed me to begin to work with them. The company interviewed me, and investigated my background. They wanted to see all my social media pages. They wanted to learn everything they could about me, before they offered me a position to work with them.
I had posted a video of an alligator hunt, a hog hunt and the first deer I ever had taken with a bow on YouTube. You can watch them at youtube.com/ashleyjay44. I don’t post much on YouTube anymore. Now that I’m hunting with “Ultimate Hunting TV” they have the rights to all my videos. My bear hunt is on YouTube, but that was before I started working with “Ultimate Hunting.” I’m really excited about working with Knight and Hale’s Ultimate Hunting. I don’t think being an outdoor professional ever has been an occupation my parents had planned for me, but they definitely know that I've followed my dream and that this is God’s plan for my life.
I’m also in a national training course to become a personal fitness trainer. I’m a divorced mom. I have a daughter Kylie, who’s only 3. But she’s already asking me to take her hunting with me. She’s quite an animal person. We have two cats (and I’m not a cat person), two Great Danes, a rabbit and a turkey. My future in-laws have a farm. So, we go over there as often as we can. Kylie rides the horses, feeds the emus and enjoys the chickens and turkeys on the farm. I think my fiancé is my biggest outdoor fan. Sometimes I’ll be reading about whitetails, and he’ll say, “You know our roles are reversed.” He owns a pressure washing-company and also is a firefighter.
Hunting season is coming up. While still going to college, I’m working as a TV host. I’ve pretty much got my hands full. I have a rich and full life. Right now, I excited about my future and learning and growing in the outdoor television industry.