Today I’m very excited to introduce to the Wired To Hunt Nation a new guest contributor we’ll be featuring here on W2H, Tony Hansen! Tony is an incredible writer and one of the top whitetail enthusiasts in the state of Michigan and the entire country as a matter of fact. His credentials range from hosting the Midwest Whitetail – Michigan show, to writing for Realtree.com and various other publications, and being the editor of Michigan OutOfDoors Magazine . Needless to say, Tony brings some great deer hunting knowledge to the table and with his new series here on Wired To Hunt, he’ll be doing so with a unique perspective. I’m really pumped for him to share with us his new angle on some incredible deer hunting insight. So sit back and read on…Welcome to The Antler Geek Journal.
Hello, my name is Tony Hansen and I am an Antler Geek.
That’s right. An Antler Geek. And I’d be willing to wager a half-dozen arrows that if you’re reading this, you are as well. What in the swamp is an Antler Geek? Well, I’m glad you asked. Because that’s exactly what this initial blog is about.
Antler Geeks is really the fruition of a dream I’ve had for quite some time. So I guess we should start at the beginning.
I’m a lifelong Michigan resident. I was born a hunter. I will die a hunter. And I truly mean that. If the world suddenly loses its grip on reality and the anti-hunting schmucks raise enough money to outlaw hunting, I will still hunt. That is a fact and perhaps an admission of future guilt. Outlaw hunting and I will be an outlaw. It is really that simple. There is nothing – and no one – that can change who you are. And I’m a hunter.
I have hunted from the time I was legally allowed to buy a license. I like to hunt just about anything that’s in season but my primary passion is whitetails. They haunt me. And sometimes I haunt them.
I have always enjoyed writing and somehow found a way to make a career of writing about the outdoors. I am currently the editor of Michigan OutofDoors Magazine and the Deputy Director of Michigan United Conservation Clubs. My job is to fight for our rights as hunters and anglers. It’s a cool gig. I also write and edit whitetail content for Realtree.com as well as a few other magazines from time to time.
I am an unabashed fan of outdoors TV and video. But I have always had a bit of an issue with the productions we all love – they just didn’t seem to relate to me. I am not a celebrity. I am not independently wealthy. I do not own hunting property – and probably never will. I am a gear freak – but my gear budget is not unlimited. As much as I love to watch the big-name celebrity hunters kill giant deer on managed parcels of private land using top-dollar gear, it just doesn’t provide me much more than entertainment.
Enter the Antler Geeks.
Antler Geeks is an effort to bring some honesty and reality to the world of outdoors media. That’s exactly what this blog will focus on – advice, tactics and experiences that you can actually use and relate to. Like most whitetail fanatics I dream of hunting places like Iowa, Kansas, Illinois and Ohio. And I do hunt those places – on public land. The few pieces of private ground I hunt are on a “by permission” basis and are not what you’d call “managed.”
Does this mean that I sacrifice trophy quality or expectations? Actually, no. See, you can have big buck dreams on a limited budget. And the Antler Geeks intend to show you how it’s done.
In this blog we will share tips and tactics that we use to find mature bucks in areas that anyone can hunt. We’ll feature product reviews on gear that is high quality, effective – and most importantly – affordable. Hey, I love to read about the latest, most expensive products as much as the next guy. But I’d also like to read honest, fair reviews and information on products I can actually afford. And that’s exactly what Antler Geeks will provide.
Our mission is to create an outlet and voice for “the rest of us” – the diehard, passionate whitetail hunters that live in the real world. We work hard and hunt hard. And we do it on a budget and in places virtually anyone can hunt. That’s what we call the American Whitetail Dream.
I’m pretty excited about Antler Geeks. I think it’s a project whose time has come and I hope you feel the same way. And I think Wired To Hunt is an ideal home for the Antler Geeks blog – because this is a community of Antler Geeks and I’m proud to be a small part of it.
I’d love to hear what you think of the concept. Please share your comments and let me know what types of gear you’d like us to test, what type of topics you’d like us to cover.
I’d also like to invite you to visit our Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/antlergeeks). If you like the Antler Geeks approach – public land, DIY, reality-based deer hunting – stop on by and give us a “like.” I’d love for that page to blow up with supporters for this concept – it really would send a message.
So, let’s ask the question again: What is an Antler Geek?
We are diehard, passionate whitetail hunters who live and hunt in the real world.
We think about whitetails 365 days a year – and wouldn’t have it any other way.
We save our spare change to buy tags and bank vacation time for November.
We hunt public land and small pieces of private land in our backyards.
We are the Antler Geeks.
Not Nerdy. Obsessed.
– Tony Hansen, Antler Geek