Whether they’re in the woods or on the podium, Hoyt’s Pro Shooters represent Hoyt to the fullest. And Hoyt.com is the only place where you’ll find behind-the-scenes info about their recent success stories, their travels, their favorite Hoyt bows and accessories, and other details that any true Hoyt fan needs to know.
HOYT: Your journey in the outdoor industry has been very interesting. How did you get your start? How did you go from a barber/hunting guide to a TV personality?
NICK: I graduated in 1992 from Molar Barber College in Fargo, North Dakota, and began working in my hometown – Spearfish, South Dakota – in my buddy Mark’s barbershop. In the mid-90’s, I began guiding hunters for Jeff and Deb Smith, owners of Seven J Outfitters in Sundance, Wyoming. Seven J is only 30 miles from Spearfish. I loved hunting and wanted to do it full time. There I guided for elk, mule deer, whitetails, antelope and turkeys.
After a few years of hard work, I became, along with my friend Kenny Morga, one of the head guides at Seven J. I ran a mule deer camp and was in charge of a group of seven or eight guides. While I was guiding, I always had my video camera with me and I videoed all of the trophy animals I saw and all of my clients’ hunts, as well as Jeff and Deb’s kids’ hunts.
After six or seven years of guiding, we built a very strong reputation and the guys from Realtree – Bill Jordan, David Blanton and Michael Waddell – heard about us and wanted to come and film a show for Realtree Outdoors. I guided David and we hit it off right away. I showed him some of my footage and he saw that I was good at it … and he asked me if I would consider running camera for Realtree. Obviously, I accepted.
I talked to Jeff and Deb and they gave me their blessings, but asked me to guide for one more year. So I did, and I began freelancing for Realtree and continued to do so for nine years. Over time, Michael and I became good friends and our personalities clicked. I made several appearances on Realtree Road Trips and they were very well received. When Michael started “Bone Collector”, he invited me to come along.
HOYT: What’s it like being co-host of Bone Collector along with Michael and T-Bone? Did you ever imagine you’d be hunting and filming a TV show for a living? What part of your job do you like the most?
NICK: It’s great being a co-host on Bone Collector, getting to hunt and travel around the world, meeting new people and hunting some of the best spots out there. I had always dreamed of being an entertainer and wanted to host my own show. It took me almost 15 years to reach this point, but it has gone by so fast! I love to travel and meet new people and see new country. I really value the relationships I’ve made over the years. I’m very surprised at how fast Bone Collector has taken off. The response has been very flattering, and we’re excited to get started filming season two!
HOYT: How long have you been on Hoyt’s Pro Staff? How have Hoyt bows improved your hunting?
NICK: This will be my second year on the Hoyt Pro Staff. Hoyt bows are solid and dependable - and built for hardcore hunters. Hoyt has definitely helped my consistency!
HOYT: You’ve had great success with the AlphaMax. Tell us about your most memorable hunt with it.
NICK: I think my most memorable hunt with my AlphaMax was a trip to our friend Steve Anderson’s ranch in Texas … also know as “VatoVille.” The boys and I went to do some serious deer management and we shot 57 deer in five days! I shot 15 in three days with my AlphaMax! It wasn’t a hunt for quality, it was for quantity! Steve has to shoot 150 deer a year in his state management program, and we were happy to help!
HOYT: You’re well-known for your sense of humor. What would you say is the most memorable prank you’ve ever pulled in camp?
NICK: I like to joke around a lot, and it’s really hard to pinpoint one thing that takes the cake. I really don’t pull pranks on people because they tend to pay you back, but I did put a couple of five-foot bull snakes in a guy’s duffle bag in Kansas once. I just try to let me personality show, and always keep our viewers entertained.
HOYT: Despite your sense of humor, you’re also a very serious, diehard hunter. Who got you started in hunting? How long have you bowhunted?
NICK: My dad and my grandpa got me started in hunting at a very early age. I’d go along on pheasant hunts and duck jumps and would have to sit in the van with my cousins and watch as they walked a small field or jumped ducks off of farm ponds. When I was five, I went on my first deer hunt - and a few deer got “lead poisoning” - so I was hooked forever. I started bowhunting at age 14 and I’ve been doing it ever since!
HOYT: How do you stay sharp during the off-season? How much do you practice?
NICK: South Dakota has very long, cold, snowy winters, so I shoot in my basement at close range. This helps a lot. I often shoot with my eyes closed so I can go through the motions and really concentrate on form. I shoot almost daily if I’m not on the road in the summer.
HOYT: Where are you, Michael and T-Bone off to next? What hunts are you most looking forward to this fall?
NICK: I’ll start bowhunting on the first of September. I’m headed to Utah for elk, then to my home state, South Dakota, for another elk hunt. I’ll also hunt the Navajo Reservation, and then Wyoming for muleys. We’ll hit Texas a few times, and, of course, the Midwest for whitetails in November. Sounds like possibly as Eastern Colorado hunt as well.
HOYT: Anything else you’d like Hoyt.com readers to know about you?
NICK: I’d just like to say that I love Hoyt and their awesome products! The relationship that I’ve had with Hoyt is second to none, and I encourage everyone to try a Hoyt bow. They’re the toughest bows for the toughest hunting conditions in the world! And I want to invite everyone to check out Bone Collector on The Outdoor Channel. You’ll get great hunting action and all the entertainment you can handle!