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Jana Waller Interview

How did you acquire your love for hunting?

When I was a young girl I would spend every minute I could outdoors, whether it was searching for frogs or building a fort in the woods. My Dad fostered my interest in the great outdoors and started taking me along on his pheasant hunts when I was old enough to walkthrough the tall prairie grasses of Wisconsin. I would sit by his side in the duck and goose blinds, always excited about the uncertainly that comes with hunting. I took my Hunter’s Safety class in 1983 and it has been a passion of mine ever since. I bought a bow and started big game hunting when I was a freshman in college after I met another female bow hunter who inspired me.

What is your fondest hunting memory?

It’s simply way too difficult to name one fondest memory. I’ve been so incredibly blessed to hunt many big game species all over the world and there’s something magnificent about all of the hunts. Some of my favorite childhood memories are of my dad and I taking road trips from Wisconsin to South Dakota to pheasant hunt for the week. Sometimes it’s simply the people who I hunt with that truly make the experience. For example, I took Bo Riechenbech, a double amputee former Navy SEAL, on his very first elk hunt two years ago. After seven days of conquering the rugged Montana mountains, Bo finally got his bull and it was an incredibly emotional and exhilarating moment. This past Fall I went on an epic DIY moose hunt in the Alaskan bush in search of bull moose that will go down in my books as one of my all-time favorite hunts. Every single hunt I’ve been on has its own sense of adventure and they’re impossible for me to rank.

Women that have never been hunting before, what are they missing out on when their husbands and boyfriends leave them behind?

I would say that anyone who doesn’t hunt is missing out on seeing the great outdoors like they’ve never seen it before. When you’re in camouflage and you’re still, quiet, and observant, nature has a deeper way of coming alive around you. I’d say they’re missing out on the unpredictability, adventure and the beauty of the unknown that only hunters understand. There’s always a sense of uncertainty and surprise that comes from the hunt. They’re also missing out on a sense of accomplishment. There’s a lot of preparation that goes into the hunt, from learning your weapon, scouting, to getting in shape for the backcountry; and after you’ve hiked dozens of miles, endured the weather, pushed your patience and found success, there’s often a tremendous sense of pride and achievement from the hunt. I would also hate to have to rely on the grocery store for my meat. I’d say non hunters are missing out on clean, organic meat all the while helping manage the wildlife. Many people don’t make that connection to where their food comes from.

What would you tell someone outside the hunting community that believe hunting is just killing not conservation?

I would tell non-hunters—and even anti-hunters—that hunting is truly more about living than killing. We hunters are the greatest conservationists in this country and it’s through our hunter’s dollars and volunteer work that our herds, habitat and flocks are managed.

The Pittman Robertson Act of 1937, and its subsequent amendments, is an excise tax placed on hunting equipment that generates funds for each state to manage its animals and habitat. Hunters spend around ten billion dollars a year on everything they need for their hunting

trips, generating between 177 and 324 million dollars a year in funds! Couple that with the money raised by conservation groups and it’s clear to see that hunters are the ones truly protecting the wildlife and their environment.

Obviously you have a special place in your heart

for veterans, how did you acquire that?

The older I get the more I simply appreciate my freedoms. I am a woman living in the greatest country in the world. I can work hard, chase my dreams, defend myself and create ANY life that I want those are freedoms that I don’t take for granted. Nor did they come without a price. Our servicemen and woman continue to fight the evil and atrocities that attempt to destroy this great country and our foundation. I have a lot of friends who have served in the military and with every story told around the campfire I am all the more motivated to help create awareness for our veterans. The burdens of war should not be placed on the soldier’s shoulders, but all of ours who get to enjoy FREEDOM. We need better health care and support systems in place for our warriors. If I can help combat vets by getting them back into the woods or on the water, to feel the healing power of Mother Nature, then I feel I’m giving back as a way to say thank you. That’s why I’ve gotten involved with Wishes For Warriors, a fantastic organization that helps combat veterans get back into hunting and fishing.

With it being an election year, who are you voting for?

Well I can tell you who I’m NOT voting for! Hillary for PRISON!

What can we expect from you and Skull Bound TV in the future?

We are currently filming for Season 6 of Skull Bound TV. We have a lot of exciting big game hunts coming up this Fall with some amazing veterans as well. The hunt I’m most excited about will take place in Wyoming where we’re taking triple amputee Erik Galvanon his very first elk hunt! It’s guaranteed to be an amazing journey thanks to Wishes For Warriors. This next season will be the year of the muley, as we have hunts lined up in Nevada, Utah and Montana as well as some unique skull projects in the works. For Jim and I, it’s all about telling a good story, sharing our message of conservation and trying to pass on our passion for the hunt.

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