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.
We recently caught up with Ralph and Vicki to ask them a few questions and to try and learn something new about them. Trying to catch up with them isn’t as easy as it sounds but we finally did it.
Hoyt: Wow! I can’t believe we finally caught up to you guys. While most of us spend all year waiting for deer season to get here, you guys are still finding plenty of hunting to do, making appearances, working on your TV show and who knows what else. How many days a year are you on the road and how do you keep it up?
Ralph: OK, let’s be clear… I don’t think we are keeping up so well. We are so back logged in everything, we feel we can’t catch up. And now that we start hunting in a couple of weeks, we know the piles of stuff will keep growing. Oh well, we’ll just have to deal with it after hunting season.
Vicki: Yeah right! I know you wont complete anything on my Honey Do list!
Hoyt: It seems hunting shows are a dime a dozen these days and they come and go with the wind. However, Archer’s Choice is one of the most popular and longest running TV shows on outdoor television. When did it start and what do you attribute your success to?
R&V: 13 years ago we aired our first Archer’s Choice show and it has been non-stop ever since. We thank all those who have believed in us and followed us through the years. We just didn’t start with a TV show, it was hunting videos since the late 80’s on. We aren’t sure why we have been able to last. We are just simple people who love to hunt. We want to keep it real and show everyone that you can live your dreams out. You don’t have to be rich. You don’t have to perfect. Just be who you are and believe in yourself and those around you. We thank God for all we have been able to do and continue to do. And, of course, a big THANKS to HOYT for believing in us all these 20 plus years. Actually, it might be closer to 30!
Hoyt: A new season of Archer’s Choice is coming up soon on The Outdoor Channel. What is your favorite episode or hunt we can expect to see this season and why?
R&V: We love our moose hunting and wait till you see all the moose mania action from the Yukon and all across Canada. Our deer hunts, black bear etc….I guess we don’t have a favorite we love it all!
Hoyt: You are fortunate enough to hunt all around the world but it seems like hunting whitetails in the Midwest is still your favorite. Is that true? How many days do you spend each fall chasing whitetails?
R&V: We start our deer hunting Oct. 1st and it runs through Jan15. You can bet we are in a stand or blind everyday day except when we are traveling to another location. So you can do the math, but the reality is by the time deer season kicks in we normally have been up north in Alaska, Yukon & BC. Honestly, we love our wilderness hunts, too! A LOT!
Hoyt: What is the longest time you have sat in a tree stand while whitetail hunting?
R: We’ve sat from before sun up to dark! It’s crazy, but we do what we think we need to in a situation. Pack a snack, water and sit!
Hoyt: Ralph, Vicki is pretty much addicted to her iphone, facebook and Instagram. Is she more patient in the tree when she has cell phone coverge? What does she do when her battery dies?
R: Addicted is the right word here! She keeps connected from almost anywhere and I love when she can’t get service, you should she her squirm! It’s awesome! She never runs out of battery life, she packs solar, little portable battery pack and all the cables needed as well. This is with her from Alaska to Africa and everything in between…..can you say ADDICTED!
V: You say addicted like it’s a bad word.
Hoyt: Vicki, is Ralph ever going to figure out facebook?
V: Ralph tries…. I don’t think he will ever ‘really’ get it. And forget about twitter.LOL. Heck, he doesn’t even know what Instagram is!! LOL!
Hoyt: Seriously, though. You guys do an amazing job with Social Media. Your friends and followers truly feel connected to you and love interacting with you. Do you have a specific strategy or does it just come natural by being yourselves and engaging with your fans?
V: No real strategy, just being ourselves. Life is full of experiences and we love to share them!
R: Don’t try and be something your not! We are not rock stars and we are not perfect. We make mistakes and we show them and talk about them. We are just people who love to hunt and share it with everyone.
Hoyt: Even though you just got home from a hunt and are pretty much hunting all year, for most of us the hunting season starts in the fall. What have you already hunted this season, what do you have planned for the rest of the season and what are most looking forward to?
R&V: We hunted blacktails in CA for the very first time in August! It was beautiful! Then we headed to WY to hunt antelope & mule deer, from there we headed north to the Yukon for moose, and now we start chasing whitetails all across North America. It's a great time of year!
Hoyt: You have a son, RJ, who is growing fast. How old is he? You have never pushed hunting on him and have been patiently waiting for him to gain a passion for hunting on his own. It seems like this was his year. He has really started to take after his Mom this year by shooting the biggest bear in camp, the biggest stag in camp, the first hog in camp and so on. Before we know it, it might be RJ and Vicki’s TV show. It must be great to see RJ having so much success in the field. What advice do you give to other parents about hunting with their kids?
R&V: Don’t push and always keep it fun! Remember to make it about them, not about you and the size of the animal. RJ has really come into his own; it is amazing how he has grown into the young man!! He hunted blacktail deer with us in August, and he was pumped!! He’s been shooting the Hoyt Charger and is getting pretty good. He is hoping for his first bow kill this fall. We will keep you posted!
Hoyt: Along those same lines, hunting has always been about family for you guys. In fact, Ma, Ralph’s Mom, regularly goes hunting with you and is an important part of the Archer’s Choice day-to-day business operations. What role did she play, Ralph, in helping to fuel your passion for hunting?
R: My Mom & Dad allowed me the chase my dreams even though they thought I was nuts! Back before hunting TV shows, there was not much to offer for a fulltime career. Writing was there, and when I started filming in the 80’s neither my parents, nor I, knew if you could really make a living doing that. But Mom & Dad always kept me level headed and taught me the values of life and how to treat people and stay true to your self. For that I am so grateful.
Hoyt: Earlier we talked about Social Media. It seems like we know everything about you because we see so much of what you do on your social media outlets as well as on your TV show. But there must be something about you that we don’t know. Ralph, tell us something about Vicki that you would like to make sure everyone knows. And Vicki, tell us something about Ralph that you would like to make sure everyone knows. This is your time to get even or to get mushy. You decide.
R: Heck most may know this by now but Vicki is a TECHY FREAK! She has more computer stuff, cables, chargers, WiFi, solar panel stuff, she is addicted to staying connected! I think if I had a control, alt, delete button she would pay more attention to me! LOL Vicki is a great mom, she is the real deal in this world of hype and no substance. She takes care of her family, a great mom and wife who cooks, cleans, runs the business, meets with sponsors, does contracts, you name it she can do it and I’m so proud of her, and by the way…..I think she is one of the top hunters out there!
V: Serious or mushy…. Hmmmm…. Ralph is the most stubborn person I have ever met! You all don’t have any idea how stubborn that man can be!! That being said, Ralph is the most driven person I have ever met in my life! His mind never stops, he is always thinking up new ideas for products and how to make other products better!! He is an amazing person and an unbelievably great Dad, Husband and Hunter! He is the reason I hunt the way I do, he has been my mentor for a long time and I could never thank him enough for that!!
Hoyt: You recently received your 2014 Carbon Spyders! Tell us what you think of them.
R: Unreal! It is unreal how light weight, how fast, how smooth and how quiet this bow is. Your engineers knocked it out of the park with this enhanced carbon riser design. I don’t know how they do it year after year. But that’s why I shoot Hoyt!
V: I agree with Ralph. This is the smoothest bow I have ever shot. And the Vicxen package looks great! LOL! Seriously, though, this bow has everything including speed at shorter draw lengths and a super smooth draw cycle. I appreciate those two features since I have a shorter draw length and don’t want to sacrifice speed and a smooth draw allows me to shoot higher poundage to get more energy. I just love this bow!
Hoyt: You guys are the best. Thank you so much for being such great ambassadors for bowhunting and archery. Keep up the great work and good luck on your next adventure. We can’t wait to see what it is.