Editor’s Note: Many times the story behind the story is better than the story itself. What are the people really like that we see on outdoor TV shows? How does an outdoor TV show start? What are the high and low points of bringing outdoor TV shows to your TV sets? What are the lives of the TV hosts like? This week I think you'll enjoy learning more about the people on “Live 2 Hunt with Cody and Kelsy Robbins” TV (www.live2hunt.com) from Kelsy’s point of view. Kelsy Robbins has lived in Delisle, Saskatchewan, Canada, her entire life. She co-hosts their TV show, she’s a Mossy Oak pro, and her favorite pattern is Mossy Oak Break-Up Country. Kelsy says, “That pattern fits in with all the terrain we hunt. Before Country came out, I was 100 percent a fan of Mossy Oak Break-Up.” She’s a mom, a wife, a business partner, a barrel racer and an avid hunter - far more than the person you see on TV.
I was a city girl, but I’d always had horses and been in the outdoors. My dad, Arley Claypool, was always a hunter and also was a white-tailed deer guide for most of my life. I'm the youngest of four girls, so my dad didn’t really have a boy to take hunting with him. Like my sisters, I didn’t want to go hunting. I didn’t like hunting, and I didn’t like for my dad to go hunting. I was about as anti-hunting as you could get. When my dad brought home animals he had killed, I was livid with him. Finally, when I was 16-years old, my dad convinced me to go with him on a hunting trip, after promising he'd leave his gun in the truck. We went out and sat down by a fence line together. We spotted a couple of does and fawns out in the field in front of us. I was sitting with my back against a tree with my legs out in front of me. Something spooked the deer, and the does and fawn started running toward us. The does passed by close, and the fawn came by so close that it jumped over my legs right in front of me. I experienced the most adrenaline rush I ever had experienced in my life. After that, I went with my dad hunting for the next 2 years. I thought hunting was the most-exciting thing I’d ever done. Dad never killed an animal in front of me, but I was open to the idea that he might. I really loved the experience of being out in the wild with my dad, and the adrenaline rush I got when I saw deer.
My dad started guiding for nationally-known hunter Jim Shockey. Cody Robbins and I had grown up together when we were kids, but then we lost touch with each other. When my dad and Cody started working together for Jim Shockey, my dad asked Cody to take me hunting. Although I had a tag and a gun, I hunted with Cody for 3 years before I ever found a deer that I wanted to take.
I never saw Cody as a sweetheart. He was just a really-good friend - my dad’s friend. He didn’t seem like he had a problem taking me hunting. During that time, I learned why deer had to be harvested, and I understood how hunters’ dollars helped protect and make sure there were plenty of deer. I enjoyed watching deer on trail cameras, seeing them in the wild and seeing how excited Cody would get when he saw a nice buck. Finally, I decided I was going to shoot one of these bucks.
On the hunt for my big mule deer, I was hunting with a muzzleloader. We had been following this big mule deer buck, and the deer bedded down on the side of a hill. Finally, the buck stood up 120 yards from me. Once the mule deer buck stepped out in front of me, I was hit with an adrenaline rush that’s hard to describe. I was so excited I didn’t remember taking the shot, and I completely missed the buck. “Where did you hold the crosshairs before you shot?” Cody asked. “I don’t know,” I told him. “I just shot.” The buck didn’t run off. He didn’t seem to know from where the shot had come. Cody took the muzzleloader and reloaded it. As I watched, the buck walked farther away from me, but he wasn’t spooked. When I shot the first time, the muzzleloader kicked me hard - coming up and hitting me in the forehead. Cody ranged the deer at 190 yards. Next I put the crosshairs on the deer, turned my head away, so the gun wouldn’t hit me on the forehead again, closed my eyes and pulled the trigger. My bullet hit the mule deer right in the heart. When that big buck dropped, Cody jumped up and started screaming and jumping and picked me up and slung me around. I was as excited as he was. The hunt was amazing! Cody filmed it for “Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventures” TV show.
To learn more about hunting, check out John E. Phillips’ new eBook and print book, “Bowhunting Deer: Mossy Oak Pros Know Bucks and Bows.” You also can download a free Kindle app that enables you to read the book on your iPad, computer or Smartphone.
For information on making jerky from your deer to provide a protein-rich snack, you can download a free book from http://johninthewild.com/free-books.