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USA Taps Rusted Rooster to Produce Brotherhood Outdoors

January 20, 2017 in Brotherhood Outdoors TV, General, Press Release

Jonathan Scaife, IAFF Local 3690, poses with his freshly-harvested white-tailed buck on the revamped Brotherhood Outdoors, which is now produced by Rusted Rooster Media.

FRANKLIN, Tenn. — Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) has enlisted outdoor television powerhouse Rusted Rooster Media to take over production of Brotherhood Outdoors.

Brotherhood Outdoors is entering its ninth season with new episodes on Sportsman Channel beginning in July.

Rusted Rooster, founded and operated by brothers Chris and Casey Keefer, is the production house behind TV shows Sheep Shape and Dropped. The group will produce nine original episodes of Brotherhood Outdoors for the third and fourth quarters of 2017, and nine episodes in 2018. Rusted Rooster also works with industry giants such as Buck Knives, PSE and Winchester.

Brotherhood Outdoors takes real, hardworking, American union members – selected through an application process – on a hunting or fishing trip of a lifetime, while highlighting their home and work lives. The show gives viewers a look at everyday people on realistic excursions. The show also offers a glimpse of the USA’s conservation efforts, which are executed by an all-volunteer union labor force.

With 2017 marking the USA’s first decade, its leaders decided a big, bold move for Brotherhood Outdoors was in order.

“Television offers our organization a way to highlight our members’ dedication to their skills, their families and their hunting and angling passions,” said Scott Vance, executive director, USA. “Rusted Rooster has a proven track record in outdoor television production and a vision that, I believe, will elevate Brotherhood Outdoors to a new level of excellence in television.”

According to Chris Keefer, Brotherhood Outdoors will be more focused on the individual guest each episode in order to build a deeper personal connection and a more intimate outdoor experience for viewers. In its first eight seasons, the show had a traditional, host-driven format, but the Keefer brothers have plans that are refreshingly non-traditional.

Brotherhood Outdoors is such a unique concept,” said Chris Keefer. “We have high hopes and great things in store as we work to make each episode a personalized cinematic story for each guest. We really want viewers to identify with the people on the show and see quality hunting and fishing trips.”

Active and retired union members can apply to be on the show by submitting the online application at http://unionsportsmen.org/brotherhood-outdoors/be-on-the-show/.

Additional episodes of Brotherhood Outdoors can be viewed at www.myoutdoortv.com

About Rusted Rooster Media: Rusted Rooster Media is an award-winning production house based in Midland, MI. The creative team at “The Roost” is best known for their commitment to telling a great story, and their ability to mine out every last bit of human interest that can be found, from every angle.

Sportsman Channel: Launched in 2003, Sportsman Channel/Sportsman HD is a television and digital media company fully devoted to honoring a lifestyle that is celebrated by millions of Americans. A division of Outdoor Sportsman Group, Sportsman Channel delivers entertaining and informative programming that showcases outdoor adventure, hunting and fishing, and illustrates it through unique and authentic storytelling. Sportsman Channel embraces the attitude of “Red, Wild & Blue America” – where the American Spirit and Great Outdoors are celebrated in equal measure. Sportsman Channel reaches more than 36 million U.S. television households. Stay connected to Sportsman Channel online at thesportsmanchannel.com, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Brotherhood Outdoors Labor Day Marathon airs Sept. 3 on Sportsman Channel

August 23, 2016 in Brotherhood Outdoors, Brotherhood Outdoors TV, Press Release

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (Aug. 23, 2016) – The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) and Sportsman Channel are teaming up again to honor the American workforce during the 2016 Brotherhood Outdoors Labor Day “Salute to the American Worker” – Presented by Wolverine, which airs Saturday, Sept. 3, from 5-8 p.m. EST.

DCIM102_VIRBOver the course of six consecutive episodes, Brotherhood Outdoors will examine guests’ family and work lives while showing viewers that regular, hardworking men and women have what it takes to get out there and hunt and fish with pros Daniel Lee Martin and Julie McQueen.

Brotherhood Outdoors is a testament to those who make our American way of life as spectacular as it is today,” said USA Deputy Director Mike d’Oliveira. “When I watch some of these episodes, I think two things: First, I’m reminded of the hard work and dedication it takes to make our country tick, and secondly, I see all of these great stories from the men and women to make this all happen. It makes me proud that we have the opportunity to showcase their unique trades skills and their passion for the great outdoors, and we are appreciative of Wolverine Boots to help us tell this story.”

The show’s relatability to the “everyman” and its intimate glimpse into its guests’ lives are what make Brotherhood Outdoors a truly unique show in its category.

Schedule for Sept. 3 (EST):

5:00 p.m.     Sheet Metal Worker (SMART Local 19), Keith Gilmer sees 100 deer the first day of his dream hunt, but he decides to wait patiently for a big Montana muley to appear from amidst the abundant whitetails and give him the perfect shot.

5:30 p.m.     Laborer (LiUNA Local 5), Mark Kezler feels the vibration as toms come drumming, spitting and gobbling within 100 yards. Yet the wise old South Dakota Merriam’s turkeys dodge the plan again and again as hosts Daniel Lee and Julie try to lure them within Mark’s range.

6:00 p.m.     Painter (IUPAT DC 30, Local 157), Jason Gaal, armed with a flashlight to spot glistening eyes, prowls for Florida gators. Suspense runs high with the big, toothy lizards as host Daniel Lee ends up in the murky, gator-infested waters.

6:30 p.m.     Auto Worker (UAW Local 838), Aaron Heying overcomes paralysis on this New Mexico bear hunt with help from his wife as hosts Daniel Lee and Julie and their guide carry Aaron, his wheelchair and equipment through the woods to get in range of his first bear.

7:00 p.m.     Plumber (UA Local 68), Mike Cramer wards off unusually warm temps with dancing and one-armed push-ups as he waits for his shot at a Colorado bull elk once the snow finally begins to fall.

7:30 p.m.     Roofer (Roofers Local 23), Derek Carrington heads to Kansas to hunt in one of the best trophy-producing units in the state, and it all comes down to the wire on this heart-pumping whitetail adventure.

Presented by Bank of Labor, Brotherhood Outdoors is also sponsored by the following unions, contractors and corporate partners: Buck Knives, Carhartt, Burris/Steiner, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, National Electrical Contractors Association, and United Association/International Training Fund.

To find Sportsman Channel in your area click here.

About the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) is a union-dedicated, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose members hunt, fish, shoot and volunteer their skills for conservation. The USA is uniting the union community through conservation to preserve North America’s outdoor heritage. For more information, visit www.unionsportsmen.org or connect on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Sportsman Channel: Launched in 2003, Sportsman Channel/Sportsman HD is a television and digital media company fully devoted to honoring a lifestyle that is celebrated by millions of Americans. A division of Outdoor Sportsman Group, Sportsman Channel delivers entertaining and informative programming that showcases outdoor adventure, hunting and fishing, and illustrates it through unique and authentic storytelling. Sportsman Channel embraces the attitude of “Red, Wild & Blue America” – where the American Spirit and Great Outdoors are celebrated in equal measure. Sportsman Channel reaches more than 36 million U.S. television households. Stay connected to Sportsman Channel online at thesportsmanchannel.com, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

IAMAW Member Experiences First Whitetail Hunt on Brotherhood Outdoors

March 29, 2016 in Articles, Brotherhood Outdoors TV, Hunting

Clayton Bolton arrives in Oklahoma for his first whitetail hunt.

Clayton Bolton arrives in Oklahoma for his first whitetail hunt.

The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s Brotherhood Outdoors TV series will feature Clayton Bolton, a union machinist of IAMAW LL946/DL725 from Lincoln, California, on Sunday, April 3 at 11 a.m. ET on the Sportsman Channel.

A staple in Sportsman Channel’s ‘Red, Wild & Blue’ programming, Brotherhood Outdoors puts American workers in the spotlight as co-hosts Daniel Lee Martin and Julie McQueen take viewers to the homes, communities and job sites of hardworking men and women and into the wild for heart pounding, gut wrenching, unforgettable hunting and fishing adventures across North America.

From a young age, both the outdoors and aeronautics have been an integral part of Bolton’s life. At age 13, Bolton was awarded the CNF Young American Award President’s Medallion by Dick Cheney, then a White House Staff Assistant under President Richard Nixon. He had his first solo flight in a 1946 Aeronca L-16 on his 16th birthday and became an Eagle Scout the next year. He received his A&P License in 1984 and FAA Inspection Authorization in 1987.

Bolton worked as a self-employed aviation maintenance mechanic and inspector until eight years ago when he joined Aerojet as a test and assembly technician, the same company that brought his family to California in 1960 when his father accepted a position as a rocket engineer. Bolton has since been an active member of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, currently serving his second term as Union Negotiator.

Bolton considers his greatest achievement in life as having – along with his wife, Donna – raised caring, spiritual, patriotic and outdoor-loving twin daughters, Cara and Cody.
In recognition of his commitment to the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance, the USA selected Bolton to be a guest star on its award-winning TV series, Brotherhood Outdoors.

In early December, Bolton travelled with Martin, McQueen and the rest of the Brotherhood Outdoors crew to Eldorado, Oklahoma, where they met up with Western Oklahoma Trophy Outfitters. Bolton was ready for the hunt of his life.

Bolton sat in the blind for more than 17 hours over two days seeing only doe. Finally, a young buck appeared. He peered through his scope but didn’t shoot, knowing this one wasn’t up to par for this trip. He worried he’d missed his only shot.  Finally, a big buck follows a doe into range, but Bolton must combat the sun’s glare and buck fever to get the shot.

Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors on Sportsman Channel on Sunday, April 3, 2016 at 11 a.m. ET to find out if this dedicated family man and proud union member is able to put his first whitetail on the ground.

Presented by Bank of Labor, Brotherhood Outdoors is also sponsored by the following unions, contractors and corporate partners: Buck Knives, Carhartt, Burris/Steiner, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, National Electrical Contractors Association, Sqwincher and United Association/International Training Fund.

IL Laborer to Appear on SD Turkey Hunt on Brotherhood Outdoors

March 3, 2016 in Articles, Brotherhood Outdoors TV, Hunting

The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s Brotherhood Outdoors TV series will feature Mark Kezler, a union laborer with LIUNA Local 5 from Lansing, Illinois, on his first Merriam’s turkey hunt in South Dakota on Sportsman Channel.

A staple in Sportsman Channel’s ‘Red, Wild & Blue’ programming, Brotherhood Outdoors puts American workers in the spotlight as co-hosts Daniel Lee Martin and Julie McQueen take viewers to the homes, communities and job sites of hardworking men and women and into the wild for heart pounding, gut wrenching, unforgettable hunting and fishing adventures across North America.

As a passionate hunter since childhood, Kezler applied to be a guest on Brotherhood Outdoors when he saw the show on Sportsman Channel, though he never thought he had a chance of being chosen.

“I would love to hunt turkey anywhere and anytime,” Kezler wrote in his application. “I think I am one of the best turkey callers in Central Illinois.”

Kezler got the opportunity to put his calling skills to the test when he was invited on his first Merriam’s turkey hunt in the Black Hills of South Dakota with Brotherhood Outdoors co-hosts Daniel Lee Martin and Julie McQueen.

Mark Kezler (center) with Brotherhood Outdoors co-hosts Daniel Lee Martin and Julie McQueen

Mark Kezler (center) with Brotherhood Outdoors co-hosts Daniel Lee Martin and Julie McQueen

After landing in Rapid City and driving to High Prairie Lodge and Outfitters, Kezler and the Brotherhood Outdoors crew headed into the field to get familiar with the terrain and search for signs and sounds of gobblers.

An experienced hunter, Kezler was humbled by the nature of the hunt, which entailed early-morning stream crossings in frigid water and challenging climbs up steep, pine needle-covered hills.  After leaving the lodge at 3:30 a.m. on the second day, Kezler was in position when the excitement began just after 6:00 a.m.

“We had three Toms come drumming, spitting and gobbling as if they had read the script,” Kezler said.  “Their drumming was so loud you could feel the vibration in your eardrums and chest.”

When the dominate turkey came out in full strut, Kezler got tunnel vision as he lined up his front sight with the bird’s neck and waited for the other gobblers to show up and give Martin a shot, so they could get a combo.

Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors on Sportsman Channel to see if the gobblers play into the hunters’ plan.

Presented by Bank of Labor, Brotherhood Outdoors is also sponsored by the following unions, contractors and corporate partners: Buck Knives, Carhartt, Burris/Steiner, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, National Electrical Contractors Association, Sqwincher and United Association/International Training Fund.

Sheet Metal Worker Holds Out for First Montana Mule Deer on Brotherhood Outdoors

February 25, 2016 in Articles, Brotherhood Outdoors TV, Hunting

Going on a Western mule deer hunt would be a trip of a lifetime for many hunters.  For Keith Gilmer, a member of Sheet Metal Workers Local 19 from Bethel, PA, it was even more of a dream come true because 12 years ago, he didn’t know how many more chances he would have to hunt.

“In 2004, I found out that I was headed towards renal failure; my kidneys were shutting down,” Gilmer said.  “I wasn’t sure how many more times I would be in my treestand.”

Luckily, Gilmer met a woman through his community volunteer work who offered to be tested as a potential donor and was a match.  She donated a kidney, Gilmer recovered and the two were married in 2013.  Now Gilmer treats each day and all those special moments in the woods as a gift.

An avid hunter for the past 45 years, Gilmer has harvested many whitetails with his bow, crossbow, rifle and handgun in Pennsylvania, but family commitments prevented him from going on a Western big game hunt.  He finally got that chance when he saw an ad for the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s Brotherhood Outdoors TV series in his union magazine and applied to be a guest.

On November 20, 2015, Gilmer flew to Billings, Montana, and met up with Brotherhood Outdoors co-hosts Daniel Lee Martin and Julie McQueen along with his guide, Dale Denny of BearPaw Outfitters.  The hunt kicked off exceptionally well the next day when the group spotted a very nice whitetail buck at first light.  Gilmer’s hunting tag provided the option for a whitetail or mule deer, so although it took a lot of willpower, he decided to pass on the shot and hold out for a muley.  Gilmer and the crew saw more than 100 deer that day, and about 40 percent were bucks, but Gilmer continued to be patient.

keith_500

“The second day, we again saw plenty of deer, and just as we were going back to take a lunch break, we spotted some bedded mule deer – five does and one buck.  That’s what I was hoping for,” Gilmer said.

When the buck and his does got up and headed over the next ridge, the hunters followed.  They caught up with the deer just before they crossed over yet another ridge and headed into a canyon, and Gilmer got in position for a 120-yard shot on his first mule deer.

Does Gilmer get to give thanks for harvesting a mule deer buck just days before Thanksgiving or simply for the beautiful scenery and incredible opportunity?

Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors on Sundays at 11 a.m. ET on Sportsman Channel. Visit www.BrotherhoodOutdoors.tv for full season schedule, photos, video clips and more.  

Proud Union Plumber, Devoted Volunteer Hunts Colorado Elk on Brotherhood Outdoors

January 25, 2016 in Articles, Brotherhood Outdoors TV, Hunting

Mike Cramer (2nd from right) and fellow volunteers at the Trinity River NWR

Mike Cramer (2nd from right) and fellow volunteers at the Trinity River NWR

Braving mud, Texas size mosquitoes, intense heat and frustrating delays thanks to Mother Nature’s watery assault on southern Texas, volunteers from the Houston Gulf Coast Building and Construction Trades Council gave up countless weekends in 2015 to construct a 500 foot elevated boardwalk at the Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge. Once complete, the boardwalk will connect the city of Liberty, Texas, with the Refuge, providing hikers with access to13 miles of trails and a more intimate view of the bayou.

The man leading the charge is Michael E. Cramer, a proud member of UA Plumbers Local 68 and the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) and one of the most community-minded individuals you will ever meet.

“My conservation efforts and passion to give back and preserve our habitat have been ignited with my association with the USA,” Cramer said.  “I have committee myself to help organize and guide to completion every function and project the USA has chosen to do in the Houston area.”

From USA dinners and conservation projects to the fishing tournament he has organized for fellow union members and their families for the past 18 years to the many volunteer positions he holds within his union, Cramer is always ready and willing to serve others.

In recognition of his many selfless efforts, the USA selected Cramer to be a guest star on its award-winning TV series, Brotherhood Outdoors – something Cramer said was “without a doubt, at the top of his [bucket] list.”

Late last October, Cramer caught a plane from Houston to Craig, Colorado, to hunt elk with Brotherhood Outdoors co-hosts Daniel Lee Martin and Julie McQueen and Majestic Trophy Outfitters.  For Cramer, Craig held extra significance because it was the very area where he got lost for 3.5 days during a bow hunting trip in 1989, one month before the birth of the daughter he and his wife had been trying to conceive for 10 years.

This time around, the only thing that got lost was Cramer’s luggage.  Upon his arrival at the Denver airport, he discovered that his trunk filled with hunting clothes and equipment was missing.  Instead of letting that set back get him down, Cramer burnt off his anxiety with 20 one-armed pushups right there in baggage claim.

Cramer and his guide glassing the mountains for that big bull elk.

Cramer and his guide glassing the mountains for that big bull elk.

Luckily, Cramer’s trunk did show up in time for the hunt, but the challenges didn’t end there.  The plan for this post-rut hunt in late October was to take advantage of the elk migration as the cold weather pushed thousands of elk from high altitude to lower ground for food.  But Mother Nature had a different plan with unseasonably warm temperatures.  When a nice bull did show up on the first day of the hunt, it was past legal shooting light.

Despite the limited number of elk, Cramer maintained a positive outlook, dancing down the trails and taking in the gorgeous scenery.

“To harvest a game animal is always secondary to the total outdoor experience,” Cramer said.  “I spend many hours in the field each year as these are the times I am most at peace and able to relieve myself from the stress we all experience from our daily activities.  It’s hard to beat a beautiful sunrise or sunset, and I have witnessed many.”

On the final day of the hunt, the temperature dropped, and the snow began to fall just enough to get the elk moving around.  As the daylight hours waned, several cow elk came into view with a bull behind them.

Does Cramer finally get his shot at a bull elk?

Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors on Sundays at 11 a.m. ET on the Sportsman Channel.  Visit www.BrotherhoodOutdoors.tv for full season schedule, photos, video clips and more.

Father and Son Test Their Sporting Clays Skills on Fast-Flying Georgia Quail on Brotherhood Outdoors

January 18, 2016 in Articles, Brotherhood Outdoors TV, Hunting

Dave Cole, a member of Utility Workers Local 666, began letting his son, Tristan, tag along when he and his buddies got together to shoot sporting clays when Tristan was 7-years-old. Little did he know he would soon be clocking as many as 2,500 miles on the road in six days to watch Tristan shoot and rack up awards in skeet and sporting clays competitions, including Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) shoots.

A hunter, shooter and farmer from Waynesburg, PA, Dave believes in getting youth involved in outdoor activities. So when Tristan showed interested in shooting, Dave got him a gun suited to his size and connected him with the Hunting Hills Hawkeyes Sporting Clays Team, which Dave now coaches.

Tristan Cole shooting at USA's 2014 Western Pennsylvania Shoot

Tristan Cole shooting at USA’s 2014 Western Pennsylvania Shoot

At the USA’s 2014 Western Pennsylvania Sporting Clays Shoot, Dave and a buddy along with 12-year-old Tristan and two other youth shooters, representing UWUA Local 666, achieved the High Over All (HOA) team award, while Tristan also took home the HOA individual and youth awards. In 2015, their team once again earned the HOA team award, and Tristan claimed HOA youth award.

Over the last few years, Tristan has continued to improve in the shooting sports, thanks to the support of his dad, team and a lot of practice.

“I buy shotgun shells by the pallet, 96 cases at a time. It’s a pretty healthy bill,” Dave said. “I’m just really proud of him. To watch somebody come as far as he’s come in three years has been an amazing journey, and I don’t think we’re near the end of it yet. I think he still has a lot to show and prove to himself.”

In March 2015, Dave and Tristan got the chance to put their sporting clays skills to the test on fast-flying Georgia quail when they were chosen to be guests on an episode of the USA’s outdoor TV series, Brotherhood Outdoors.

Daniel Lee, Julie, Tristan and Dave at the Smoking Gun Plantation

Daniel Lee, Julie, Tristan and Dave at the Smoking Gun Plantation

After meeting up with Brotherhood Outdoors co-hosts Daniel Lee Martin and Julie McQueen at the Smoking Gun Plantation, the father-son duo quickly proved they were up to the challenge as the birds began to fall. Applying the good work ethic his father taught him, Tristan even volunteered to wipe down all the guns each evening after the hunt.

Between two days of beautiful weather, well-trained bird dogs, delicious home cooked meals and a healthy population of birds, Dave and Tristan left Georgia with “memories that will last a lifetime,” according to Dave, and a cooler full of birds.

Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors on Sportsman Channel on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. (ET) as a father and son create wonderful memories in the outdoors as both they and the talented dogs show off their skills.

For complete Brotherhood Outdoors schedule, visit www.BrotherhoodOutdoors.tv.

Bricklayer Guides Brotherhood Outdoors Hosts for King Salmon

January 18, 2016 in Brotherhood Outdoors TV, Fishing, General

Co-host Daniel Lee Martin and Matt Eleazer

Co-host Daniel Lee Martin and Matt Eleazer

The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s Brotherhood Outdoors TV series will feature Matt Eleazer, a union bricklayer with BAC Local 1 Oregon and owner of EastFork Outfitters, LLC, as he guides the show’s hosts on a Columbia River salmon fishing trip on Sunday at 11 a.m. ET on Sportsman Channel.

A staple in Sportsman Channel’s ‘Red, Wild & Blue’ programming, Brotherhood Outdoors puts American workers in the spotlight as co-hosts Daniel Lee Martin and Julie McQueen take viewers to the homes, communities and job sites of hardworking men and women and into the wild for heart pounding, gut wrenching, unforgettable hunting and fishing adventures across North America.

Driven by his strong passion for his union and the outdoors, Eleazer stays busy as the president/financial secretary of his union local and a part-time fishing guide/outfitter owner.

“I have hunted and fished since I was old enough to go with my father,” Eleazer said.  “I’ve been a member [of BAC] since I was 18 years old.  Being the president of the union means everything.”

Matt Eleazer adn co-host Julie McQueen

Matt Eleazer adn co-host Julie McQueen

As a guide, Eleazer really enjoys taking people on their first fishing trip or clients who didn’t think they were capable of such a fishing trip due to health or mobility issues.

“I’ve had a wide variety of clients, all the way from little kids to people who are 90,” Eleazer said.  “I’ve taken some people with hospice out; I had a real good friend whose dad was on hospice.  I had another good friend with ALS who recently passed away.  He wanted to catch a fish before he passed, and that’s real gratifying for me.”

In this episode, Eleazer helps McQueen catch her very first king salmon within the first 10 minutes of the trip as he gives the Brotherhood Outdoors hosts a taste of fishing in one of the most beautiful places they have ever seen, according to McQueen, on the Columbia River near the quaint town of Astoria, Oregon.

Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors on Sportsman Channel on Sunday at 11 a.m. ET to see the story of this avid fisherman and dedicated union man as he, Martin and McQueen hook up on chinook, the largest species of salmon in the Pacific.  Get the complete schedule at www.BrotherhoodOutdoors.tv

Presented by Bank of Labor, Brotherhood Outdoors is also sponsored by the following unions, contractors and corporate partners: Buck Knives, Carhartt, Burris/Steiner, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, National Electrical Contractors Association, Sqwincher and United Association/International Training Fund.

Community-Minded IUPAT Member Treats Brotherhood Outdoors Hosts to Illinois Waterfowl Opener

December 18, 2015 in Articles, Brotherhood Outdoors TV, Hunting

Brotherhood Outdoors co-hosts Julie McQueen and Daniel Lee Martin with Ryan Anderson (center) after Mud Run

Brotherhood Outdoors co-hosts Julie McQueen and Daniel Lee Martin with Ryan Anderson (center) after Mud Run

Within the first few hours of meeting Ryan Anderson, Daniel Lee Martin and Julie McQueen, co-hosts of the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s Brotherhood Outdoors TV series, were dripping wet, dog-tired and caked with mud from head to toe. This was at the Aurora, Illinois Heroes Mud Run, which Anderson helped establish to benefit military veterans and encourage youth to be active outdoors.

That was in May. Five months later, Anderson, a member of IUPAT District Council 30/Local 448 from Montgomery, Illinois, hosted the Brotherhood Outdoors team for two days of fellowship, fun and duck hunting on the mighty Mississippi River.

Anderson is known in his community as a giver and a contributor. Apart from his involvement with the 3.1-mile, 20-obstacle Heroes Mud Run, he sits on the board of directors for the Illinois Conservation Foundation, the Spectrios Institute for Low Vision and the Marmion Alumni Association. His dedication to his community is one of the things that immediately stuck out when he applied to be a guest of the show.

“The first thing I thought when I saw Ryan Anderson’s application come in to be on an episode of Brotherhood Outdoors was, ‘Wow! This guy does a lot for his community!’” said McQueen.

Anderson, a third-generation union painter, said his father is a tremendous influence in his life, personally and on a professional level.

“Union values were a major factor in my upbringing,” said Anderson. “Leading by example, my father taught me the value of an honest day’s work and the importance of collective bargaining. To me, union membership means an opportunity for our voices to be heard; to provide for one’s family; and to work hard and be rewarded for it through fair pay, great benefits and the promise of retirement.”

Throughout his childhood, Anderson spent time hunting rabbits and pheasants on northern Illinois farmland with his dad and brothers, and hunting remains integral to the fabric of his family life today. Waterfowl and upland bird hunting are favorites of Anderson, and he meticulously prepares for each season months in advance, making sure to include friends and family along the way.

“I most enjoy hunting while spending time with my son, daughter, family and friends,” said Anderson. “It’s also very important to me that we spend time educating youth on the safe practices of the sport and introducing youth to the wonder of the great outdoors.”

This passion for sportsmanship and education is what led Anderson to branch out in his community to volunteer and make a difference in any way he can.

Ryan Anderson in the duck blind on day one of the Brotherhood Outdoors hunt.

Ryan Anderson in the duck blind on day one of the Brotherhood Outdoors hunt.

“My love of the outdoors has led me to find new and creative ways to spend more time in nature,” said Anderson. “About five years ago, I started participating in obstacle course runs with a group of friends. Together, we’ve participated in multiple mud runs – including the Warrior Dash, Tough Mudder and the Spartan Race – and even advanced to completing a few triathlons last year.”

After meeting him in person, competing in the Heroes Mud Run and seeing the mutual respect and passion he shares with his community, Martin and McQueen agreed that Anderson was a deserving, qualified candidate to appear on Brotherhood Outdoors. While the show’s hosts typically take guests on guided hunts and fishing trips, Anderson turned the tables and included Martin and McQueen in his annual duck season opening day hunting and camping trip with his close friends at Illinois’ Blanding Landing Recreation Area on the banks of the Mississippi.

Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors on Sportsman Channel to see the story of a true community servant, dedicated family man and proud union member, along with waterfowl action on the mighty Mississippi.  For season schedule, previews, photos and more, visit www.BrotherhoodOutdoors.tv.

UAW member and his new bride trail NM black bear on Brotherhood Outdoors

December 11, 2015 in Articles, Brotherhood Outdoors TV

On November 5, 2010, Aaron Heying took his girlfriend, MaeLyn, hunting for the first time.  As they set up in two hang-on treestands, Heying gave his only safety harness to MaeLyn.  As Heying stood to get his grunt call, the strap of his stand snapped, dropping him 23 feet to the ground on his back and shoulders.  Panic set in when he regained his vision but realized he couldn’t move his legs.

Heying suffered a T12 burst fracture, compression fractures, broken ribs and a torn pancreas, which left him paralyzed.  A proud member of United Auto Workers Local 838 since he began working at John Deere, Heying is now working a non-traditional assignment in the safety department to help ensure a good work environment for his union brothers and sisters.

“The union is the only reason I am still working today.  My union reps fought hard for me to get back to work,” Heying said.  “My family and I are lucky to have the strong backing and support that we did.”

aarontBeing in a wheelchair hasn’t stopped Heying from continuing to hunt.  In fact, it only increased his passion for doing what he loves and gave him a deeper appreciation for the importance of family, friends and life.

“Hunting is much harder but once I get there and setup, I feel at peace.  For the time I’m out there, everything is normal in my life,” Heying said.

Always looking to experience new adventures in different places, Heying filled out an application for the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s Brotherhood Outdoors TV show when a co-worker dropped by his desk and encouraged him to apply.

Not only was Heying chosen for a New Mexico bear hunt, which he never dreamed possible, MaeLyn—his wife of just a week and a half—was invited to join him.  On Sept. 30, 2015, the newlyweds flew from Waterloo, Iowa, to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to meet up with Brotherhood Outdoors co-hosts Daniel Lee Martin and Julie McQueen and their guide, Richard Baca of Antler Addiction Outfitters.

The hunt began early the next day as the crew loaded into a truck before sunrise and began driving the countryside while a team of well-trained dogs scoured the air for the scent of bear.
“The first time the dogs hit the scent trail, it was overwhelming to say the least,” Heying said.  “I was nervous, excited and almost in shock of what was going on.  The new type of hunting, not knowing what to expect and the environment we were in was amazing.  One of my favorite parts was that I got to share the experience with my wife.  This was our honeymoon trip.”

dogs_300x200Thanks to historical rains in New Mexico, the bears were staying low in the canyon, presenting both hunters and dogs with yet another challenge.  But on the last day of the hunt, the dogs treed a bear 600 yards downhill from the truck.  With Martin and the guide taking turns carrying Heying piggyback style, McQueen carrying his wheelchair and MaeLyn toting his bow, the group worked their way down the hill to get in range of the bear.

Suddenly, the weather took a turn for the worst, spitting rain and sleet.  To avoid getting stuck in the ravine, Martin, Heying and MaeLyn stayed where they were while McQueen and Baca continued down the hill in an effort to push the bear toward Heying.  For hours, they worked the bear as it jumped into five different trees, always closer to Heying’s range.

As the daylight wanes on the last day, does Heying finally get a shot at his first black bear?

Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors on Sundays at 11 a.m. ET on the Sportsman Channel.  Visit www.BrotherhoodOutdoors.tv for show schedule, photos, video clips and more.

Brotherhood Outdoors’ First Canadian Guest Hunts Kansas Whitetail

April 7, 2015 in Articles, Brotherhood Outdoors TV, Hunting

By Laura Tingo

pruner1Brotherhood Outdoors’ very first Canadian guest, Jim Pruner, resides in Airdrie, Alberta, and works at a diamond mine way up in Canada’s Northwest Territories. He has not enjoyed hunting nearly as long as he’s enjoyed fishing, but, to him, there is no comparison when it comes to what he enjoys most.

“I have been salmon fishing off Vancouver Island and deep sea fishing off the coast of Nova Scotia and tried in many lakes and streams everywhere in between,” said Pruner, a member of IAMAW District 14, LL 99. “But it just doesn’t call to me like a clear, cool morning out in the woods or prairie with a good rifle in my hands, looking for a beautiful deer or elk.”

He learned to hunt from friends and what he calls, “trial and error.” Now, he teaches others and brings along a new hunter each year to try to help them harvest their first deer.

“There’s little that comes close to seeing the huge grin on their face after they realize the reward of a challenging hunt,” he said, “…and that they can feel good about their contribution to conservation and to providing food for themselves and their family.”

It was his interest in hunting and conservation that led Pruner to join the USA and apply to be a guest on Brotherhood Outdoors.

“I really think it’s great to grow a love of the outdoors and solidarity amongst the membership,” he said. “It is a common thread no matter which industry, background, union or even country we come from.”

Pruner’s busy lifestyle keeps him close to home, where he volunteers at church as a financial clerk and with its youth group. He also supports Cub Scouts and his local fish and game club.  In his Brotherhood Outdoors application, he described his dream of hunting somewhere different that offers a chance at a big buck.

When the USA learned about Pruner sharing his love of hunting with up and coming hunters and giving back in his community, they decided to make that dream come true with a Kansas whitetail hunt with Brotherhood Outdoors’ co-hosts Daniel Lee Martin and Julie McQueen.

prunerMiles away from Canada, Pruner faced an unexpected challenge in Kansas. An admitted high-energy personality, one of the toughest things he faced was sitting in the deer blind, waiting and watching for the right deer.

“I was so excited to try hunting in a different country…This would be the first time I hunted from a blind for any extended period of time since the area I usually hunt in consists of wide open prairie with little tree cover,” said Pruner.

Just after the sun came up on the first morning of the hunt, a young 10-pointer with two broken tines walked out in view of the blind.

“He was a young deer, not really a shooter, but still bigger than any whitetail I had ever taken,” said Pruner.

“He hunted hard, all day every day,” said McQueen. “I know it was hard for him to sit that long in the blind every day, but he really wanted his deer.”

That first long day in the blind turned into 54 hours of Pruner waiting patiently for a big buck to appear, as the small 10-pointer came out daily to tempt him.

“I wouldn’t have lasted two days without Daniel Lee and Julie’s encouragement and company, as I am not a patient person and fought every second not to jump out of the blind and go chasing into the trees to push the deer out,” Pruner said.

Tune in and watch as the excitement builds on day three when Pruner spots a big buck on the other side of a tree line. When a doe bursts from the trees at a run, will the buck follow behind her to give Pruner a shot at his trophy?

Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors on Sundays at 11 a.m. ET on the Sportsman Channel.

Click here for a sneak preview

IUPAT DC 30 Director of Training Gets First Chance at a Mule Deer on Brotherhood Outdoors

March 2, 2015 in Brotherhood Outdoors TV, General

by Laura Tingo

Steve Lefaver on his Montana deer hunt.

Steve Lefaver on his Montana deer hunt.

Stephen Lefaver, Director of Training for Painters District Council 30’s Joint Apprenticeship & Training Fund (JATF) and president of IUPAT Local 448, credits his first true introduction to the outdoors to spending summers as a boy visiting his aunt and uncle at their lake cabin in the woods of Northern Wisconsin.

“Growing up in the Chicago suburbs, the outdoors weren’t necessarily right out our back doors,” said Lefaver of Montgomery, Illinois. “I was lucky enough to live near a pond where I learned to fish. [Wisconsin] is where my passion for the outdoors really began.”

Exploring the woods and the water as a kid, he recalled trying to catch whatever he could.

“I wasn’t interested in waterskiing or boat rides; just give me a fishing pole and a backpack, and I was happy,” he said.

Lefaver admits that as an avid adult hunter, sometimes it becomes an obsession for him now.  Yet, for him, hunting is more than bringing home a prize harvest – it’s about preserving the great outdoors.  And it was his interest in conservation that inspired Lefaver to join the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA).

“I joined to be a part of the only conservation organization that highlights the union workers and their families and organizes community projects to put our skills to use for conservation initiatives.”

Lefaver demonstrated this in 2012, when he coordinated a USA Work Boots on the Ground conservation project that brought together members of IUPAT District Council 30 to paint the newly built Torstenson Youth Conservation Education Center in Pecatonica, Illinois.

Lefaver exhibits leadership in every aspect of his work. As a member of IUPAT DC 30 Local 448, he has served as recording secretary, financial secretary, vice-president and now president. He also serves as a trustee for its District Council.  He also led the charge in giving the apprenticeship program a complete overhaul—improving curriculum and programing across the board—earning the title of Director of Training for IUPAT DC 30’s JATF.

“I am blessed with a wonderful wife, two children and a great job,” said Lefaver. “My priorities are my family and our members, which leaves very little time for hunting.”

When USA’s Brotherhood Outdoors team learned about Lefaver’s dedication to his family, union and conservation, there was no question that a four-day Montana whitetail hunt was the well-deserved respite he needed.

The excitement of the hunt began even before Lefaver reached the cabin at Bearpaw Outfitters, as he spotted elk, mule deer and pronghorn—for the first time in the wild—on his 2-hour drive from the airport.

That was only the beginning.  On the first day of the hunt, Lefaver, co-hosts Daniel Lee Martin and Julie McQueen and their guide spotted 72 deer.

“It was amazing to see the look on Steve’s face when deer were pouring out of the ravines,” said McQueen. “None of us had ever seen such a healthy deer population.”

When the guide arrived mid-day with Lefaver’s permit, he was pleasantly surprised to learn that the general deer permit was good for a whitetail or mule deer.

“So by now, I’m feeling like a kid on Christmas Eve with a wish list a mile long and not sure of what I was going to get,” he said.

Though Lefaver and the crew again saw a huge number of deer on the second day, they decided to wait for a trophy. On day three, the landowner told the crew he had just sighted one of the biggest deer he had seen on the property.  With that news, they spent the night planning out their final day.

After hiking 4-5 miles around ridgelines and through draws on that last morning, the group spotted a shooter buck at 800 yards out. They raced to the creek, but their shooter buck disappeared into the thicket, this time at about 300 yards away.  They waited and hoped for a shot as the buck came out of the thicket chasing his doe four times.

“Before they got to the creek, they both stopped about 325 yards way,” said Lefaver. “Once I knew this was our shooter, I told the cameraman that I was going to take the shot.”

With time running out, will Lefaver get a shot or head back to Illinois empty handed?

Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors on Sundays at 11 a.m. ET on Sportsman Channel. 

Brotherhood Outdoors’ First Canadian Guest Hunts Kansas Whitetail

March 2, 2015 in Brotherhood Outdoors TV, General

by Laura Tingo

Pruner working at a diamond mind in Canada's Northwest Territories

Pruner working at a diamond mind in Canada’s Northwest Territories

Brotherhood Outdoors’ very first Canadian guest, Jim Pruner, resides in Airdrie, Alberta, and works at a diamond mine way up in Canada’s Northwest Territories. He has not enjoyed hunting nearly as long as he’s enjoyed fishing, but, to him, there is no comparison when it comes to what he enjoys most.

“I have been salmon fishing off Vancouver Island and deep sea fishing off the coast of Nova Scotia and tried in many lakes and streams everywhere in between,” said Pruner, a member of IAMAW District 14, LL 99. “But it just doesn’t call to me like a clear, cool morning out in the woods or prairie with a good rifle in my hands, looking for a beautiful deer or elk.”

He learned to hunt from friends and what he calls, “trial and error.” Now, he teaches others and brings along a new hunter each year to try to help them harvest their first deer.

“There’s little that comes close to seeing the huge grin on their face after they realize the reward of a challenging hunt,” he said, “…and that they can feel good about their contribution to conservation and to providing food for themselves and their family.”

It was his interest in hunting and conservation that led Pruner to join the USA and apply to be a guest on Brotherhood Outdoors.

“I really think it’s great to grow a love of the outdoors and solidarity amongst the membership,” he said. “It is a common thread no matter which industry, background, union or even country we come from.”

Pruner’s busy lifestyle keeps him close to home, where he volunteers at church as a financial clerk and with its youth group. He also supports Cub Scouts and his local fish and game club.  In his Brotherhood Outdoors application, he described his dream of hunting somewhere different that offers a chance at a big buck.

When the USA learned about Pruner sharing his love of hunting with up and coming hunters and giving back in his community, they decided to make that dream come true with a Kansas whitetail hunt with Brotherhood Outdoors co-hosts Daniel Lee Martin and Julie McQueen.

Miles away from Canada, Pruner faced an unexpected challenge in Kansas. An admitted high-energy personality, one of the toughest things he faced was sitting in the deer blind, waiting and watching for the right deer.

“I was so excited to try hunting in a different country…This would be the first time I hunted from a blind for any extended period of time since the area I usually hunt in consists of wide open prairie with little tree cover,” said Pruner.

Just after the sun came up on the first morning of the hunt, a young 10-pointer with two broken tines walked out in view of the blind.

“He was a young deer, not really a shooter, but still bigger than any whitetail I had ever taken,” said Pruner.

“He hunted hard, all day every day,” said McQueen. “I know it was hard for him to sit that long in the blind every day, but he really wanted his deer.”

pruner_500

That first long day in the blind turned into 54 hours of Pruner waiting patiently for a big buck to appear, as the small 10-pointer came out daily to tempt him.

“I wouldn’t have lasted two days without Daniel Lee and Julie’s encouragement and company, as I am not a patient person and fought every second not to jump out of the blind and go chasing into the trees to push the deer out,” Pruner said.

Tune in and watch as the excitement builds on day three when Pruner spots a big buck on the other side of a tree line. When a doe bursts from the trees at a run, will the buck follow behind her to give Pruner a shot at his trophy?

Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors on Sundays at 11 a.m. ET on the Sportsman Channel.

Kentucky Boilermaker Hunts ‘Bama Bucks and Tennessee Hogs on Brotherhood Outdoors

March 2, 2015 in Brotherhood Outdoors TV, General

by Laura Tingo

When Nick McWhorter was growing up in Rush, Kentucky, his family never had much money.

“But we did have some fishing poles and deer rifle,” McWhorter said.

For McWhorter, now a member of Boilermakers Local 105, those gave way to a love of the outdoors that’s as strong as his love for his craft, both of which are strongly woven in his family.

“There’s more to hunting and fishing than filling up your freezer with meat,” he said. “It’s about spending the best of times with family. I hope to pass it on to my kids and that they enjoy it as much as I have.”

McWhorter grew up playing in the woods with his brother and catching fish at a farm pond on hot summer days.  He got his first deer while sitting on his dad’s lap and an 8-point while hunting with his grandpa.

Last year, McWhorter hunted for 43 days and harvested a 10 point at 42 yards. It was his dad who helped him track the deer. “You talk about rewarding! My first buck with a bow, and now I’m hooked,” he said.

When USA’s Brotherhood Outdoors crew learned of McWhorter’s commitment to his family, union and passing on his outdoor heritage, they invited him on an Alabama whitetail hunt.

“To say I was ecstatic when I got the call would be an understatement,” said McWhorter. “I had always dreamed of being on a hunting show.”

Arriving in Alabama for an early season deer hunt, Brotherhood Outdoors co-host Daniel Lee Martin knew it would be a challenging hunt.

“We were fired up for the first morning,” he said. “A cold morning means the big bucks will be out.”

The deer, however, had other plans.  Days into the hunt, battling hard rain and bitter cold, McWhorter and the Brotherhood Outdoors crew didn’t spot a quality deer to zero in on.

“We gave it all we had. That’s how it goes. That’s hunting,” McWhorter said.

Heading home, Martin and co-host Julie McQueen got an idea and quickly pulled together a redemption hunt for McWhorter in the form of giant Tennessee hogs.

nick_500A couple months later, McWhorter, his wife Sabrina, and his bow made the drive from Kentucky to meet Martin and McQueen at Wilderness Hunting Lodge in Tennessee’s Cumberland Mountains.

On their very first morning, wildlife surrounded their cabin, providing great photo opportunities for Sabrina and adding excitement for the crew as they headed out.  It wasn’t long before they saw pigs on the move.

McWhorter, who had never seen a wild hog before, was amazed by their size, which only grew as he slowly inched his way into bow range.

When a huge boar steps into the open at 32 yards out, will McWhorter’s arrow hit the mark?

Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors on Sundays at 11 a.m. ET on the Sportsman Channel.

UA Member and Former Saddle Bronc Rider Seeks Different Kind of Buck on Brotherhood Outdoors

February 13, 2015 in Brotherhood Outdoors TV, General

Justin Forni’s first career and his love of the great outdoors began early. At age 13, Forni, a member of UA Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 412 from Edgewood, New Mexico, began riding Saddle Bronc bucking horses and bulls.  He rode so well, he quickly became a young professional bronc rider. It was about that time he also shot his first deer.

While bronc riding lead Forni to his dream of being a professional rodeo cowboy, he didn’t have the same success hunting.  The draw system in New Mexico can be very limiting for hunters, and the deer Forni harvested at age 14 remained his first and only deer.

forni3A series of injuries, including a near fatal horse accident, due to his hazardous career encouraged Forni to step away from traveling the U.S. as a rodeo cowboy, though he has continued to stay involved in rodeo.
Today, Forni still travels the U.S., but now it’s as a proud union member and specialty welding instructor for the UA International Training Fund.

“Everything I have accomplished is because of the endless opportunities of the UA,” said Forni, who has gone on to reach the highest level of teaching in his trade.

He joined the union right out of high school while working as a cowboy on cattle ranches, welding part-time and going to college. At the time, his father was ill, and his mother had moved away to work.
“I made the decision for my family and my future,” he said. “I loaded up my truck with a horse and dog and left home for my new career and never looked back.”

While Forni worked to help support the family’s needs, he experienced first-hand the value of union brotherhood, especially when his father passed away when Forni was just 21.
“My union brothers would support me through the tough times,” he said. “Because of my career, we made it through.”

forni2When the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s Brotherhood Outdoors TV producers learned about Forni’s appreciation for his union, his dedication to family and his love of the outdoors, they invited him on an Arizona mule deer hunt. For Forni, who had never hunted outside of New Mexico, being a guest on the program provided the opportunity to be a part of the union spirit that defines the show and the chance to harvest another deer.

“I have always loved the show,” said Forni, a proud UA member of 14 years. “It supports everything I believe in. “

Brotherhood Outdoors co-host Julie McQueen said conditions for the hunt were challenging.

“The hunt was difficult because it was unseasonably warm,” she said. “Even after the monsoon season in Arizona, it was dry for that time of the year, so many of the deer had moved into areas that held more water or cooler temperatures.”

It was Forni who spotted the first deer on the hunt using a pair of new optics, according to McQueen, who noted that the crew mostly saw does and small bucks.

Evenings provided a nice reprieve for Forni, McQueen, co-host Daniel Lee Martin and the rest of the crew. Rest, jokes and stories shared around a campfire were part of the daily agenda.

“Everybody loved Justin because of his sense of humor,” McQueen said. “He may be the funniest guest we’ve ever had on the show!”

“We had so much fun together as a group,” Forni remarked. “I cannot tell you how long it has been since I have had honest fun for seven days.”

After challenging hills, unanticipated warm temperatures, thin altitude and miles of hiking, Forni and the crew spot three nice bucks within range on the final day of the hunt.  Will Forni finally get to harvest his longtime, coveted second deer?

Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors on Sunday, Feb. 15 at 11 a.m. ET on Sportsman Channel to find out.

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Idaho Elk and Mule Deer Hunt Kicks off New Season of Brotherhood Outdoors

December 12, 2014 in Articles, Brotherhood Outdoors TV

brotherhood

Daniel Lee Martin, Dan Riegler, Julie McQueen

The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance kicks off the 7th season of its award-winning TV series, Brotherhood Outdoors, with an episode aptly titled “Muleys, Bulls and Moose, Oh My”  for the diversity of big game encountered by co-hosts Daniel Lee Martin and Julie McQueen and special guest Dan Riegler, a Missouri sheet metal worker, on an memorable hunt in Idaho.

Premiering Sunday, January 4 at 11 a.m. on Sportsman Channel, the new season spotlights eight union sportsmen on once in a lifetime adventures in pursuit of a mixed bag of fins, fur and feathers.  Each week, viewers get an intimate glimpse into the lives of these blue-collar American workers—their passion for the outdoors, their dedication to their jobs and their desire to make a positive difference.

“This season of Brotherhood Outdoors is special for Julie and I because we’ve continued to grow as producers and hosts, and the stories we get to share about our guests just keep getting better,” said co-host Daniel Lee Martin.  “We’ve captured a lot of exciting times in the field for season 7, and our destinations this year were nothing short of amazing. We invite viewers old and new to come along as we continue telling stories of real, hardworking union members who love the outdoors as we take them on incredible hunting and fishing adventures.”

From Idaho, Brotherhood Outdoors travels way down south to Georgia for a spring gobbler hunt that Mother Nature does her best to spoil before heading back up north to the isolated beauty and bountiful fish of Labrador, Canada.   As the season continues, the series will take viewers across the map to Texas, Montana, Alabama, Arizona and Kansas to chase whitetail, hogs, mule deer and more.

“We are extremely proud of our members and their commitment to the great outdoors,” said USA Executive Director, Fred Myers.  “Brotherhood Outdoors allows us to honor some of the hardest working men and women in the country as we share their inspiring stories through unforgettable hunting and fishing trips, and we know viewers are going to love the upcoming season.”

Presented by Bank of Labor, Brotherhood Outdoors is also sponsored by the following unions, contractors and corporate partners: Buck Knives, Burris/Steiner, Carhartt, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, National Electrical Contractors Association, and United Association/International Training Fund.

IBEW Member Takes Brotherhood Outdoors Co-Hosts on an Unforgettable Fly Fishing Excursion in Labrador

December 12, 2014 in Brotherhood Outdoors TV

by Heather Howell

riverkeepSteve Murray, a member of Electrical Workers Local 104 from Cape Elizabeth, ME, always dreamed of running a fly fishing business when he retired.  Though he got his start welding, Murray’s true passion lies in the great sport of fly fishing.  So even with retirement still a few years away, when the Riverkeep Lodge in Labrador, Canada  went up for sale, Murray sold his welding shop, joined the union and bought the lodge.

“I started fly fishing when I was a kid, and I love to get people involved as mush as possible,” said Murray.

When he invites Brotherhood Outdoors co-hosts Daniel Lee Martin and Julie McQueen to join him to fish for brook trout and landlocked salmon at the Riverkeep, they get more than they bargained for, and their fly fishing skills are put to the test.

The adventure begins with an “emergency water landing” caused by a missing fuel cap, but the Brotherhood Outdoors crew’s nerves are instantly eased by a warm greeting from the Murray family right off the dock.

“They prepared a wonderful lunch for us, and we decided to fish some that afternoon,” said McQueen. “Steve was very kind and made us feel at home.”

After the crew settle in, Murray and his assistant guide, Keir, teach Martin and McQueen about the variety of fish found in the area and how to catch them all with different fly fishing techniques.

“The fishing was incredible, to put it lightly,” said McQueen.

“I’m proud to be part of the union brotherhood,” said Murray, who joined IBEW in New Hampshire while welding for the E.S. Boulos Co. “The union takes very good care of me, which takes very good care of my family.”

He also believes it is important to keep the kids involved in the outdoors, and what’s the best way to do that? Take them fishing, of course!

The Murray kids, Stephen and Lydia, share their father’s passion for the outdoors and help around the lodge by prepping meals and setting the tables.

Murray plans to keep the magic of the Riverkeep alive for generations by passing down traditions in the outdoors to his children.

He also ensures a passion for fishing and the outdoors remains alive at the Riverkeep by deeming it a catch and release lodge, “so there will be a great fishery for generations to come,” he explained.

If the world class fishing isn’t enough to keep the Brotherhood Outdoors crew in wonderment for days on this adventure, the amazing array of wildlife they spot, from caribou to black bears to bald eagles, definitely does the trick.

Join the co-hosts of Brotherhood Outdoors as show guest Steve Murray takes them to some of the best fishing holes in Labrador.  Watch as Martin and McQueen attempt to catch all five species of fish ‘on the fly’ when they encounter pike, landlocked salmon, lake trout, brook trout and whitefish, and feel the excitement as they experience the  wilds of Labrador in a big way.

Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors on the Sportsman Channel. See Show Schedule.

View Photos from this Trip.

Retired NJ Bricklayer Joins Brotherhood Outdoors on Unpredictable Texas Hog Hunt

December 12, 2014 in Brotherhood Outdoors TV

by Heather Howell

Gerald “Jerry” Vassallo of Hammonton, NJ, a retired member of Bricklayers Local 5, purchased his first bow, a Pearson Recurve, in 1973, and even now his passion for hunting keeps him awake with excitement the night before opening day.

These days, Jerry primarily hunts the Northeast region of the United States but the opportunity to hunt outside the Northeast has been  a long-time desire of Jerry’s, so when Brotherhood Outdoors co-hosts Daniel Lee Martin and Julie McQueen invite him to hunt hogs in Texas, his dream finally comes true.

Jerry, now retired, joined the union in Hackensack, NJ, in 1965. He is very thankful for the life his union membership has afforded him.

“My union was the most important thing in my working life,” said Jerry. “With good, safe and secure working conditions, as well as great wages and benefits, I now live a comfortable life in my senior years.”

jerryA veteran of the Vietnam War, Jerry keeps busy in his retirement through his involved with many organizations including the American Legion, Vietnam Veterans Association and Paralyzed Vets of America. Serving his community is an important part of his life.

Perhaps the most fulfilling program Jerry volunteers for is New Jersey’s Take a Youth Hunting program, which gets youth outdoors by giving them their first hunting experience.
Jerry has volunteered with the program for eight years, and works with children between the ages of six and eight. “You should see the looks in their eyes when that pheasant breaks cover and takes flight. I am so grateful for this opportunity,” he said.

When Brotherhood Outdoors heard about his passion and commitment to serving others, they rewarded him with a trip he’d never forget.

On day one of the trip, the crew realized weather conditions were going to be harsh and uncooperative. The rainy season in Northeastern Texas means lots of mud and little day time hunting, but these factors wouldn’t stop Jerry from trying to bag a hog. Jerry’s excitement and high spirits fueled the crew’s persistence to persevere even in the rough, rainy conditions.

“Jerry is very animated and fun; we all loved him immediately,” said Julie.  “This was Jerry’s trip of a lifetime.  He enjoyed himself so much, and we got to capture it.”

The rainy conditions limited hunting to the evenings, but on the second day of the hunt, Julie spotted a group of hogs right at sunset. A stalk was put on the hogs, which could be seen by the light of the moon through the crew’s scopes. Will they be able to harvest these hogs or will conditions get the best of them?

Join Jerry and the Brotherhood Outdoors crew on this unpredictable adventure as they fight grueling rains and muddy conditions during the Northeastern Texas wet season.

Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors on the Sportsman Channel. See Show Schedule.

View Photos from this Trip.

Pennsylvania Steamfitter Hunts Georgia Turkey on USA’s Brotherhood Outdoors

December 12, 2014 in Brotherhood Outdoors TV

by Laura Tingo

As committed as he is to his union, his devotion to his wife is immeasurable. Because she is unable to walk and wheelchair-ridden from the crippling disease Multiple Sclerosis, Rich runs the house with grocery shopping, laundry and yard work.

His feelings about family and work are values he holds strong and close. “Keep going forward no matter what life brings you.”

When the Brotherhood Outdoors staff learned about Rich’s commitment to his family as well as his sincere dedication to his craft and union, they selected him as a guest hunter on the show.

poschWhen the call came from show co-host Julie McQueen with the invitation to go on a turkey hunt on a Georgia plantation, Rich was filled with anticipation.  “I used to hunt every chance I got,” he said. “Now I have many more duties at home, so it is hard to go on a great hunting trip.”

The trip offered Rich some respite, a chance to recharge his battery, and a shot at some new experiences in the outdoors.

“I had never had one of my hunts captured on film,” said Rich, “only pictures afterwards. I know that it is much harder to harvest game while filming a show; it’s just much easier when you are by yourself.”

One morning of the trip, Julie points out a bobcat in a field. “I got to see it running away,” said Rich. “That was the first bobcat I have ever seen.”

The first day of hunting, Rich, Julie and co-host Daniel Lee Martin call turkeys in, capturing them on film, but none come into range to get a good shot.

On day two of the hunt, the crew enjoys a slow morning and a break for a big brunch, but it’s the evening, when the pace begins to change as Julie and Rich spot a group of jakes and hens in a roosting area. Feeling the day is a wrap when the birds head for the trees, the crew changes its focus on setting up the cameras for an interview with Rich.

Unbeknownst to Julie and Rich, Daniel Lee is calling to two toms strutting just 55 yards away.
Will Rich have time to regroup and take a shot when the toms appear just 50 years out?  You’ll have to join Rich and the Brotherhood Outdoors crew for this exciting adventure to find out.

Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors on Sportsman Channel.  See Show Schedule.

View Photos from the Trip

Missouri Sheet Metal Worker Hunts Idaho Elk and Mule Deer on Brotherhood Outdoors

December 12, 2014 in Brotherhood Outdoors TV

by Laura Tingo

Dan Riegler’s wife, Laura, who submitted the application that won her husband a spectacular Idaho mule deer and elk hunting trip on season 7 of the USA’s Brotherhood Outdoors TV series, said he deserved the opportunity because he is genuine, hardworking, compassionate – and loves to hunt.

When the Brotherhood Outdoors team received the application for Dan, a USA member and a 15-year-member of Sheet Metal Workers Local 36 out of Pacific, Missouri, they agreed.  Not only has Dan hunted his entire life, he is doing his part to preserve America’s hunting tradition by introducing his children to the sport and getting certified in taxidermy.

Dan’s pride in his union is just as strong as his love for hunting.  He and his wife experienced the true meaning of union membership when Local 36 provided their family with resources and tools to help them cope with a sudden death of their daughter, Mylie.

“We never expected to be the ones who had to ask for so much help…We are forever grateful…and hope the union membership will continue to be able to help others in time of need,” said Laura Riegler.

Today, Dan and Laura help raise awareness for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) with the non-profit organization SIDS Resources in St. Louis, Missouri.

In recognition of all Dan does to pass on America’s outdoor heritage and support SIDS awareness, the Brotherhood Outdoors crew invited him to Preston, Idaho for a western hunt of a lifetime.

rieglerUpon arrival to the lodge, Brotherhood Outdoors co-hosts Daniel Lee Martin and Julie McQueen took Dan to the range to try out a couple different guns to get him comfortable and ready for the challenging days ahead. Dan discovered right away that hunting in Idaho is not like hunting in Missouri.

“This experience was much different than my normal Midwest whitetail deer hunt,” said Dan. “There was more glassing, spotting the animals, open fields and hiking.”

But Dan had spent time hiking with a heavy pack to get ready and, from the start, Julie and Daniel Lee knew he was up to these new challenges.  “He was in good shape, so the brutal hikes weren’t an issue for him,” said Julie.

Dan brought his good humor to the experience as well and had the crew laughing when he spotted his first moose in the wild.

“I surprised the others by crawling up close to the animal…and imitating it,” he said.

But a moose wasn’t the only first for Dan on this trip. He also saw his first mule deer and got a sudden shot when his guide spotted a nice buck on a hillside as they were hiking to their next vantage point.

As the trip comes to a close, Dan finally gets a chance at a massive elk…perhaps one of very bulls he saw sparring with another bull earlier in the hunt.

Do Dan’s shots at the big old muley and a trophy elk ring true?

Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors on Sportsman Channel to find out.  See Show Schedule.

View Photos from this Trip

Who was Brotherhood Outdoors Biggest Fan?

December 3, 2014 in Brotherhood Outdoors TV, General

This year’s 2014 “Brotherhood Outdoors Fan Photo Frenzy” contest really got fans involved in showing their support for USA’s Brotherhood Outdoors TV series and their outdoor heritage. For nine weeks, from October 3 to November 30, entries consistently came in from 20 states and Canada showing that Brotherhood Outdoors fans are all over North America.

Jacob Crismon - 1st Place

Jacob Crismon – 1st Place

To vie for a top-spot in the competition and the hope of winning one of three great prize packages, Brotherhood Outdoors fans were asked to register on the USA website and submit their best fan photos. Show us your spirit was the name of the game with images submitted for a staff vote at the USA’s national headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, with fans submitting photo’s showing their love for the show on clothing, hunting gear and even baked goods!

Brad Richmond - 2nd Place

Brad Richmond – 2nd Place

Earning the First Place win with a photo taken of the 10 point buck he shot along side his union logo t-shirt and the Brotherhood Outdoors logo set atop the buck’s antlers, was Jacob Crismon, a member of Sheet Metal Workers Local 36 from Holts Summit, Missouri. His Grand Prize package, valued at roughly $180, included a USA logo Carhartt jacket, autographed USA logo hat, Sportsman Channel water bottle and Buck Knife 120 General and Brotherhood Outdoors poster and decals.

The 2nd prize win was Brad Richmond’s photo of himself representing both Brotherhood Outdoors and the USA while spending time in the great outdoors. Richmond, a member of Operating Engineers Local 150 from Rockton, Illinois, got hooked on Brotherhood Outdoors after his experience as a guest on the show – and now practices what he learned from the show with his new crossbow. His prize package, valued at roughly $60, included a USA logo Carhartt jacket, Sportsman Channel water bottle, Autographed USA logo hat and Brotherhood Outdoors poster and decals.

Joe Short - 3rd Place

Joe Short – 3rd Place

Taking home 3rd prize was Joe Short, a member of Sheet Metal Workers Local 19 from Manheim, Pennsylvania. Short’s picture of a successful duck hunt with his little brother who was home on leave from the military right before Short’s wedding displayed great enthusiasm for the outdoors and appreciation for brotherhood. His prize package, valued at roughly $30, included an autographed USA logo hat, Sportsman Channel water bottle, “Best of Brotherhood Outdoors” DVD and Brotherhood Outdoors poster and decals.

Thanks to all who participated with us in the “Brotherhood Outdoors Fan Photo Frenzy” contest and for helping us find out that all Brotherhood Outdoors fans have spirit and are the best when it comes to supporting their outdoor heritage.

Salute to the American Worker and Celebration of Youth in the Outdoors

August 22, 2014 in Brotherhood Outdoors TV, Press Release

Union Sportsmen’s Alliance Initiative to Introduce and Integrate America’s Youth into the Great Outdoors Beginning Monday, September 1 at 5 p.m. ET

The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) and Sportsman Channel are combining efforts to honor the contributions of the American worker and celebrate today’s youth, who represent the future of our nation’s workforce and outdoor heritage. Sportsman Channel’s Brotherhood Outdoors Labor Day Marathon, a salute to American workers and celebration of youth in the outdoors, is presented by Carhartt and airs exclusively on Monday, September 1 from 5–8 p.m. ET. For a sneak peak of what’s in store click here.

Today’s youth are consistently inundated with modern technologies and devices, which can serve as a distraction to fishing, hunting, biking, hiking, camping and other healthy outdoor activities. Throughout the Marathon, Brotherhood Outdoors co-hosts Daniel Lee Martin and Julie McQueen will provide viewers with interesting stories about the dedicated men and women who keep America moving forward and do their part to introduce America’s youth to our nation’s cherished outdoor lifestyle.

2014-Brotherhood-Outdoors-Labor-Day-Marathon-FB-Post-400x400

Sportsman Channel’s Brotherhood Outdoors Labor Day Marathon features six captivating episodes that include everything from a father and his sons guiding a fellow firefighter on a heart-pounding mule deer hunt in Arizona to a father and his daughters taking another young girl on her first coon hunt in Kentucky. The Marathon chronicles hard-working men and women who share a passion for outdoor adventures and are focused on passing along their great experiences to America’s youth.

“Many Americans celebrate Labor Day by spending time outdoors with their families,” said USA Executive Director and CEO Fred Myers. “Just as we educate and prepare today’s youth for future careers, we must teach them about conservation and to value the outdoor heritage that’s intrinsic to our great nation. That’s why educating youth about the outdoors is a key part of the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s mission and why we’re excited to once again partner with Sportsman Channel for this special Brotherhood Outdoors Labor Day Marathon.”

The following is a schedule for September 1 programming (all times listed ET):

  • 5:00 p.m.   :   Firefighter Michael McShane (IAFF Local 1312 – South Berwick, ME) experiences a hunting trip of a lifetime when he travels from Maine to the Arizona desert to hunt mule deer and javelina. The results are spectacular, and the stories are inspiring.
  • 5:30 p.m.   :   Hunting turkeys and wild hogs is the best of both worlds for Ohio bricklayer and turkey fanatic Jay Blankenship (BAC Local 39 – Jackson, OH). A trip to Tennessee to hunt massive gobblers and Russian boars will be a lifelong adventure for the union worker.
  • 6:00 p.m.   :   Electrical worker, Eric Patrick (IBEW Local 196 – Rochelle, IL ) is surprised with a fishing trip he could only dream of to Venice, Louisiana, where he fishes for cobia, red snapper, redfish, trout and tuna. The ups and downs will have viewers on the edge of their seats.
  • 6:30 p.m.   :   Daniel Lee Martin and Julie McQueen travel to Vancouver Island for a black bear hunt with UA member Mark Spreadborough (UA Local 290 – Kalama, WA). Viewers will be amazed to discover the firearm Spreadborough chooses on this dream hunt.
  • 7:00 p.m.   :   Adam McCormick (LIUNA Local 561 – Robards, KY) is a hard-working union laborer and a youth archery instructor. He travels to Wisconsin in hopes of claiming a trophy buck and then invites the show hosts to his home in Kentucky, where he and his daughters lead them and their young neighbor on a coon hunt by flashlight.
  • 7:30 p.m.   :   Michigan union roofer, Derek Carrington (Roofers Local 23 – Buchanan, MI) joins the Brotherhood Outdoors team in Kansas for a captivating buck hunt with Tallgrass Outfitters. Carrington will hunt in one of the best trophy-producing units in Kansas, much to the excitement of his young sons who are already following in his footsteps.

Brotherhood Outdoors not only does a great job of showcasing hard-working American union workers, but the program also illustrates how the workers share a passion for the outdoors,” said Graig Hale, vice president of business development for Sportsman Channel. “Spending time with family in the outdoors and learning the traditions of hunting and fishing are woven into American history. Brotherhood Outdoors will shine the spotlight on America’s youth and show audiences the importance of getting younger generations involved at an early age.”

To find Sportsman Channel in your area click here.

About the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance:
The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) is a union-dedicated outdoor organization whose members hunt, fish, shoot and volunteer their skills for conservation. The USA is uniting the union community to expand and improve hunting and fishing access and wildlife habitat while passing on our national outdoor heritage. For more information, visit www.unionsportsmen.org or www.facebook.com/unionsportsmen.

About Sportsman Channel: Launched in 2003, Sportsman Channel/Sportsman HD is the only television and digital media company fully devoted to honoring a lifestyle that is celebrated by millions of Americans. The leader in outdoor television, Sportsman Channel delivers entertaining and informative programming that embraces outdoor adventure, hunting and fishing, and reveals it through unique, surprising and authentic storytelling. Sportsman Channel embraces the attitude of “Red, Wild & Blue America” – where the American Spirit and Great Outdoors are celebrated in equal measure. The network also is dedicated to promoting our nation’s military heroes and veterans, as well as providing a voice for conservation throughout the United States. Sportsman Channel reaches more than 36 million U.S. television households. Stay connected to Sportsman Channel online at www.thesportsmanchannel.com; Facebook, (facebook.com/sportsmanchannel); Twitter (twitter.com/SPORTSMANchnl and twitter.com/SportsmanPR) and YouTube (youtube.com/TheSportsmanChannel).

Lifetime Outdoor Sportsman Goes after Biggest Buck He Has Ever Seen

March 27, 2014 in Articles, Brotherhood Outdoors TV, Hunting

The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s (USA) national outdoor TV series, Brotherhood Outdoors, takes Derek Carrington of Buchanan, Michigan on a Kansas whitetail hunt on Sunday, April 6, at 11 a.m. ET on the Sportsman Channel.

After spending more than 30 years hunting deer, elk and squirrel and reeling in his share of fish, Derek Carrington, a member of Roofers Local 23 in South Bend, Indiana has seen a lot. He never expected, however, to come face-to-face with a monster buck and a camera lens at the same time. It happened just like that during Derek’s recent experience as a featured guest on USA’s Brotherhood Outdoors.

Derek Carrington sits, watches and waits for a prize deer to come into view during  a Kansas whitetail hunt with the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s Brotherhood Outdoors TV crew.

Derek Carrington sits, watches and waits for a prize deer to come into view during a Kansas whitetail hunt with the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s Brotherhood Outdoors TV crew.

“This was the trip of a lifetime,” said Derek. “Since I was small, I was always watching the hunting and fishing shows. I never thought I’d be the one who got to go.”
Derek said it was his dad, a retired union roofer, who started him early, fishing bluegill and hunting squirrels. By the time he was 18, he learned how to bow hunt. “It’s still my passion,” he said.

Now, like his dad, Derek enjoys taking his two sons Hunter (8) and Holden (5) out on his boat to fish for perch and salmon near their home on Lake Michigan but said it’s not just about the catch or the harvest. “It’s the laughs, sharing stories,” he said. “It’s the best feeling in the world.”

Just like with family, camaraderie and good times are wrapped into the show like on the first day of the Brotherhood Outdoors trip, when Derek sits, watches and waits patiently all day with co-host Julie McQueen to no avail. That’s when it became clear to Derek that hunting deer that have room to grow on hundreds of acres in Kansas is quite different from hunting on smaller parcels of lands like he is used to doing in Michigan. “It’s so much broader and wide out there,” he said.

The next few days of the hunt present quite a different story with deer running everywhere and a huge buck that Derek calls, “an absolute giant,” showing itself to the crew at about 500 yards away, in the final hour of the show. “It is the biggest buck that I have ever seen,” Derek said.

Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors Sunday, April 6, at 11 a.m. ET, on the Sportsman Channel.

Brotherhood Outdoors, winner of “Best Combination Show” in the 2011 Sportsman Choice Awards, rewards union sportsmen and women who are committed to preserving North America’s outdoor heritage with a guided trip or the opportunity to show off their guiding skills and local hunting or fishing destinations on national TV.

Presented by Bank of Labor, Brotherhood Outdoors is also sponsored by the following unions, contractors and corporate partners: Buck Knives, Carhartt, Employee Benefit Systems, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, National Electrical Contractors Association, ULLICO and United Association/International Training Fund.

For more information about Brotherhood Outdoors, the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance or Sportsman Channel, visit www.BrotherhoodOutdoors.tv and www.facebook.com/brotherhoodoutdoorstv.

About the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) is a union-dedicated, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, whose members hunt, fish, shoot and volunteer their skills for conservation. The USA is uniting the union community through conservation to preserve North America’s outdoor heritage. For more information, visit www.unionsportsmen.org or www.facebook.com/unionsportsmen.

About Sportsman Channel: Launched in 2003, Sportsman Channel, and Sportsman HD, is the only television and digital media company fully devoted to sportsmen in the United States, delivering entertaining and educational programming focused exclusively on hunting, shooting and fishing activities. Sportsman Channel reaches more than 32 million U.S. television households and is available in HD. Visit www.thesportsmanchannel.com, follow on Twitter, @SPORTSMANchnl (twitter.com/SPORTSMANchnl) and Like on Facebook, facebook.com/sportsmanchannel

USA Members share appreciation for the outdoors, value of union membership

March 12, 2014 in Articles, Brotherhood Outdoors TV, General, Meet a Member

Wess Ringgold, a retired member of UA Local 602 shares his appreciation of the outdoors and the value of union brotherhood with his son Josh, a union firefighter.

Wess Ringgold, a retired member of UA Local 602 shares his appreciation of the outdoors and the value of union brotherhood with his son Josh, a union firefighter.

Wess Ringgold’s appreciation of the outdoors and the value of union brotherhood started early in life, and he is proud to share it all with his son Josh, a union firefighter.

“I respect and commend any person who gets up every day and goes to work to support themselves and their families regardless if it be union or not…I just feel lucky to be a union member,” said Wess, a retired member of UA Local 602.

He grew up in a family that spent a lot of time in the outdoors camping, traveling, shooting, hunting and fishing. “I tried to pass it on to my kids, and I’m just glad that Josh enjoys it as much as I do,” he said.

When Wess was invited to be a guest on USA’s Brotherhood Outdoors TV show, winner of “Best Combination Show” in the 2011 Sportsman Choice Awards, and given the opportunity to not only experience the thrill of an Iowa pheasant hunt but also bring his son along, he could hardly believe it.

“I’ve been applying for a guest spot on this TV show since USA asked for applications,” said Wess, an active USA member.

The episode takes viewers on an exciting trip to Iowa’s historical and charming Hole N’ the Wall Lodge on a pheasant hunt, at the height of the season. As viewers join Wess and Josh on their three-day adventure, they will enjoy scenic views of amazing landscapes, the sight of the first snow on the ground at dawn and the thrill of birds flying and the dogs in action, retrieving the day’s harvest.

This episode is a collection of firsts for the father-son hunting duo. It’s their first time hunting pheasants together, Josh’s first time on an airplane, and it’s the first time either of them has experienced being on-camera in the middle of a TV show production.

“There were cameras on our guns, our chests and a photographer was with us at all times,” Wess said, adding that he was struck by the realization of what it takes to film a television program. “This was the hunt of a lifetime that I will always remember, and I know Josh will too.”

Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors Sundays at 11 a.m. ET, on the Sportsman Channel.

Maryland father and son featured as guest hunters in March 16 episode of Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s Brotherhood Outdoors TV

March 6, 2014 in Articles, Brotherhood Outdoors TV, General, Press Release

USA Member Wess Ringgold and son, Josh Ringgold enjoy a father, son pheasant hunt with Brotherhood Outdoors TV, March 16, 11 a.m. ET, on the Sportsman Channel.

USA Member Wess Ringgold and son, Josh Ringgold enjoy a father, son pheasant hunt with Brotherhood Outdoors TV, March 16, 11 a.m. ET, on the Sportsman Channel.

The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s (USA) national outdoor TV series, Brotherhood Outdoors, takes Wess Ringgold, and his son Josh Ringgold, both of Maryland, on an Iowa pheasant hunt, Sunday, March 16, at 11 a.m. ET, on the Sportsman Channel.

The episode takes viewers on an eventful, exciting trip to Iowa’s historical and charming Hole N the Wall Lodge on a pheasant hunt, at the height of the season. The show is a collection of firsts for the father, son hunting duo. It’s their first time hunting pheasants together, Josh’s first time on an airplane and it’s the first time either of them has experience being on-camera in the middle of a TV show production.

“I’ve been applying for a guest spot on this TV show since USA asked for applications,” said Wess, a retired member of UA Local 602. “This was the hunt of a lifetime that I will always remember, and I know Josh will too.”

As they join Wess and Josh on their three-day adventure, viewers will enjoy scenic views of amazing landscapes, the sight of first snow on the ground at dawn and the thrill of birds flying
and the dogs in action, retrieving the day’s harvest. “There were cameras on our guns, our chests and a photographer was with us at all times,” Wess said, adding that he was struck by the realization of what it takes to film a television program.

Wess’ appreciation of the outdoors and the value of union brotherhood started early in life and he is proud to share it all with Josh, a union firefighter, from Lusby.

“I grew up in a family that spent much of the time in the outdoors camping, traveling, shooting, hunting and fishing,” he said.

“I respect and commend any person who gets up every day and goes to work to support themselves and their families regardless if it be union or not…I just feel lucky to be a union member.”

Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors Sunday, March 16, at 11 a.m. ET, on the Sportsman Channel.

Brotherhood Outdoors, winner of “Best Combination Show” in the 2011 Sportsman Choice Awards, rewards union sportsmen and women who are committed to preserving North America’s outdoor heritage with a guided trip or the opportunity to show off their guiding skills and local hunting or fishing destinations on national TV.

Presented by Bank of Labor, Brotherhood Outdoors is also sponsored by the following unions, contractors and corporate partners: Buck Knives, Carhartt, Employee Benefit Systems, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, National Electrical Contractors Association, ULLICO and United Association/International Training Fund.

For more information about Brotherhood Outdoors, the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance or Sportsman Channel, visit www.BrotherhoodOutdoors.tv and www.facebook.com/brotherhoodoutdoorstv.


About the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) is a union-dedicated, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, whose members hunt, fish, shoot and volunteer their skills for conservation. The USA is uniting the union community through conservation to preserve North America’s outdoor heritage. For more information, visit www.unionsportsmen.org or www.facebook.com/unionsportsmen.

About Sportsman Channel: Launched in 2003, Sportsman Channel, and Sportsman HD, is the only television and digital media company fully devoted to sportsmen in the United States, delivering entertaining and educational programming focused exclusively on hunting, shooting and fishing activities. Sportsman Channel reaches more than 32 million U.S. television households and is available in HD. Visit www.thesportsmanchannel.com, follow on Twitter, @SPORTSMANchnl (twitter.com/SPORTSMANchnl) and Like on Facebook, facebook.com/sportsmanchannel

Brotherhood Outdoors TV takes a Philippi, West Virginia coal miner on a Thanksgiving Day Illinois whitetail hunt

February 20, 2014 in Articles, Brotherhood Outdoors TV, General, Hunting, Press Release

Chad Keller

Chad Keller, a dedicated union coal miner from Philippi, West Virginia hunts Illinois whitetail with USA’s Brotherhood Outdoors TV, 11 a.m ET, March 9, on the Sportsman Channel.

The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s (USA) national outdoor TV series, Brotherhood Outdoors, takes Chad Keller, a union coal miner from Philippi, West Virginia, to Illinois, for a Thanksgiving Day white-tailed deer hunting adventure. The show airs Sunday, March 9, at 11 a.m. ET, on the Sportsman Channel.

Chad has hunted deer for going on 30 years now, but when Brotherhood Outdoors took him on the all-expense-paid trip, he could hardly believe it.

“It was absolutely the best hunt I have ever experienced,” said Chad, a member of UMWA Local 9909, in Shinnston, West Virginia.

Chad’s personal commitment to conservation and his generous support of several charities and fundraising activities in his community is what caught the attention of the Brotherhood Outdoors’ producers.

It was Chad’s father, also a union coal miner, who passed down a love of the outdoors to him. Chad recently lost his dad, who he calls his lifelong hunting and fishing buddy, to black lung disease.  He worked in the mines for more than 40 years.

“Every time I go fishing or hunting, it brings back a flood of memories about all of the fun times I had with my dad,” Chad said.

Chad shares his dad’s commitment to carrying on the tradition, taking his two kids, other children in the family and their friends, fishing and hunting every chance he gets. “It’s our duty and obligation for the sport and the outdoors…to preserve the lessons that were passed down to us from our fathers and grandfathers,” he said.

The episode invites viewers to join Chad, Brotherhood Outdoors co-hosts Julie McQueen and Daniel Lee Martin and a welcoming host family that offers a warm setting for Chad’s first Thanksgiving Day spent away from his family with an invitation to share a bountiful, holiday luncheon in their home. Each year for three years running, Chad had brought home a Thanksgiving buck, and this day, his sights are set on keeping his record.

The excitement of the hunt really kicks in that night, when Chad finds himself breathless, face-to-face with a large buck just 50 yards out. Taking a monster buck is very different from having a shooter buck in your sight, especially when your weapon of choice is a bow and arrow.

“(Bow hunting) requires a lot of time and patience,” said Julie McQueen, co-host of Brotherhood Outdoors. “This hunt was difficult because of the long hours required to sit in the woods, and the weather was brutally cold on a few mornings.”

Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors Sunday, March 9, at 11 a.m. ET, on the Sportsman Channel.

Brotherhood Outdoors, winner of “Best Combination Show” in the 2011 Sportsman Choice Awards, rewards union sportsmen and women who are committed to preserving North America’s outdoor heritage with a guided trip or the opportunity to show off their guiding skills and local hunting or fishing destinations on national TV.

Presented by Bank of Labor, Brotherhood Outdoors is also sponsored by the following unions, contractors and corporate partners: Buck Knives, Carhartt, Employee Benefit Systems, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, National Electrical Contractors Association, ULLICO and United Association/International Training Fund.

For more information about Brotherhood Outdoors, the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance or Sportsman Channel, visit www.BrotherhoodOutdoors.tv and www.facebook.com/brotherhoodoutdoorstv.

About the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) is a union-dedicated, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, whose members hunt, fish, shoot and volunteer their skills for conservation. The USA is uniting the union community through conservation to preserve North America’s outdoor heritage. For more information, visit www.unionsportsmen.org or www.facebook.com/unionsportsmen.

About Sportsman Channel: Launched in 2003, Sportsman Channel, and Sportsman HD, is the only television and digital media company fully devoted to sportsmen in the United States, delivering entertaining and educational programming focused exclusively on hunting, shooting and fishing activities. Sportsman Channel reaches more than 32 million U.S. television households and is available in HD. Visit www.thesportsmanchannel.com, follow on Twitter, @SPORTSMANchnl (twitter.com/SPORTSMANchnl) and Like on Facebook, facebook.com/sportsmanchannel

 

Meet USA Member Joe Harris – A retired union machinist who keeps conservation and volunteerism close to heart

February 14, 2014 in Brotherhood Outdoors TV, General, Meet a Member, Press Release

Joe Harris of Chesterfield County, Virginia, said family and hunting are what he lives for. A member of IAM Local 10 for going on 40 years, Joe has been an avid deer hunter for most of his life. These days, this USA member says he spends more time hunting goose and turkey. “I simply enjoy talking to the critters.”

Joe Harris was recently awarded a California hog and wingshooting trip for his first out-of-state hunting experience by USA's Brotherhood Outdoors TV

Joe Harris was recently awarded a California hog and wingshooting trip for his first out-of-state hunting experience by USA’s Brotherhood Outdoors TV

Conservation and volunteerism are at the heart of the USA’s daily mission, and it is a constant focus in Joe’s life too. He is a dedicated member of Waterfowl U.S.A., and each spring, he volunteers with the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) on youth turkey hunts and the organization’s ‘Wheelin’ Sportsmen’ events, helping people living with disabilities enjoy activities in the outdoors like fishing and hunting. “I’ve been blessed with the good life,” Joe said. “I enjoy sharing what I’ve learned and what I have with young and old alike.”

Joe fondly recalls when he learned the value of union membership and signed on for the first time.  He was asked to join while working as a machinist for a major tobacco company. “At the time, I did not know exactly what it meant,” said Joe, “but over the years, I realized how important it was to be a union shop and an involved union member. We are like a support group living a day-to-day type of life…you get to know each other.”

The bonds of union brotherhood touched Joe and his family immensely years ago, when a house fire devastated their home. During that tough time, Joe’s union brothers and sisters were there to help comfort the family and raise donations to help them rebuild their lives in the face of the unforeseen tragedy. “They took care of me, got me back on my feet,” said Joe. “It’s another example of people helping people.”

 

 

 

Brotherhood Outdoors takes retired union machinist on California hog and wingshooting trip for his first out-of-state hunting experience

February 6, 2014 in Articles, Brotherhood Outdoors, Brotherhood Outdoors TV, General, Hunting, Press Release

By Laura Tingo

Joe Harris of Chesterfield County, Virginia, said family and hunting are what he lives for. A retired union machinist and member of IAM Local 10 for going on 40 years, Joe has been an avid deer hunter for most of his life. These days, this USA member says he spends more time hunting goose and turkey. “I simply enjoy talking to the critters.”

Joe Harris enjoys a California wingshooting and a hog hunt on USA's Brotherhood Outdoors.

Joe Harris enjoys a California wingshooting and hog hunt adventure on USA’s Brotherhood Outdoors.

Conservation and volunteerism are at the heart of the USA’s daily mission, and it is a constant focus in Joe’s life too. He is a dedicated member of Waterfowl U.S.A., and each spring, he volunteers with the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) on youth turkey hunts and the organization’s ‘Wheelin’ Sportsmen’ events, helping people living with disabilities enjoy activities in the outdoors like fishing and hunting. “I’ve been blessed with the good life,” Joe said. “I enjoy sharing what I’ve learned and what I have with young and old alike.”

Joe fondly recalls when he learned the value of union membership and signed on for the first time. He was asked to join while working as a machinist for a major tobacco company. “At the time, I did not know exactly what it meant,” said Joe, “but over the years, I realized how important it was to be a union shop and an involved union member. We are like a support group living a day-to-day type of life…you get to know each other.”

The bonds of union brotherhood touched Joe and his family immensely years ago, when a house fire devastated their home. During that tough time, Joe’s union brothers and sisters were there to help comfort the family and raise donations to help them rebuild their lives in the face of the unforeseen tragedy. “They took care of me, got me back on my feet,” said Joe. “It’s another example of people helping people.”

When Brotherhood Outdoors learned about Joe’s dedication to his union and his passion for conservation and helping others, they invited him on a California wingshooting and hog hunt. Show co-host, Julie McQueen, said Joe made it clear throughout the three-day trip that he was a huge fan of the show. “When Julie called, I was like a kid at Christmas,” said Joe. “I didn’t sleep the whole night. It was a thrill to even be selected…the thrill of a lifetime.”

Let Joe’s infectious laughter and easy going, southern charm keep you smiling. Follow Joe and the crew as they hunt on 16,000 acres of prime hunting grounds at Northwind Outfitters ranch in California. To Joe, it’s the land of ‘pure heaven,’ and in his moment of awe, he quickly offers to move there to be a ranch hand.

Enjoy ongoing, laugh-along hilarity, as you watch Joe keep the crew in stitches while the birds are flying and the hogs are running. A mixed combo of Joe’s first out-of-state bird hunt with a side of hog action are all on the menu for this entertaining episode. And did we mention that Joe has never even seen a wild hog?

Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors Sundays at 11 a.m. ET on the Sportsman Channel
.

West Virginia union coal miner hunts Illinois whitetail with USA’s Brotherhood Outdoors

January 31, 2014 in Articles, Brotherhood Outdoors TV, General, Hunting

Chad Keller, a West Virginia coal miner with UMWA Local 9909 has hunted deer for going on 30 years now, but when Brotherhood Outdoors took him on a trip to hunt whitetail in Illinois, he said it was absolutely the best hunt he has ever experienced.

“I had the biggest buck I have ever seen in the wild standing in front of me!” said Chad, a USA member from Philippi.

Chad Keller, a West Virginia union coal miner hunts Illinois whitetail on an upcoming episode of Brotherhood Outdoors.

Chad Keller, a West Virginia union coal miner hunts Illinois whitetail on an upcoming episode of Brotherhood Outdoors.

Taking a monster buck is very different from having a shooter buck in your sight, especially when your weapon of choice is a bow and arrow.

“(Bow hunting) requires a lot of time and patience,” said Julie McQueen, co-host of Brotherhood Outdoors. “This hunt was difficult because of the long hours required to sit in the woods, and the weather was brutally cold on a few mornings.”

Helping to warm the crew was a welcoming host family, who invited Chad, Julie, and show co-host Daniel Lee Martin to share a bountiful Thanksgiving luncheon in their home. Though it was Chad’s first Thanksgiving spent away from his family, he kept his sights aimed on bringing home a big Thanksgiving buck, hoping to make it his 4th year in a row.

Chad, who calls hunting and fishing his true passion, fishes trout in the spring and fall. In the summer, he fishes catfish, bass, walleye and crappie.

It was Chad’s father, also a union coal miner, who passed down a love of the outdoors to him. Chad recently lost his dad, who he calls his ‘lifelong hunting and fishing buddy,’ to black lung disease.  He worked in the mines for more than 40 years. “Every time I go fishing or hunting, it brings back a flood of memories about all of the fun times I had with my dad.”

Chad shares his dad’s commitment to carrying on the tradition, taking his two kids, other children in the family and their friends, fishing and hunting every chance he gets.

“I believe that the next generation of video gamers needs time away from their devices and electronics to put the time into the outdoors to preserve the lessons that were passed down to  us from our fathers and grandfathers,” he said. “It’s our duty and obligation for the sport and the outdoors.”

His personal commitment to conservation also extends into his community with his generous support of several charities through fundraising activities with his fellow union brothers and employees.

Tune in to this upcoming episode of Brotherhood Outdoors and accompany Chad and the crew as they brave the challenges of fierce cold and slow-moving clocks, patiently waiting for a shooter buck to come within bow range. Experience the thrill, Thanksgiving night, when Chad finds himself breathless, face-to-face with a large buck just 50 yards out. When this skilled hunter draws his bow, will his arrow hit the mark to bring it down?

Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors March 9th at 11 a.m. ET, on the Sportsman Channel.

Union Roofer’s Buck of a Lifetime Comes Down to the Wire on Brotherhood Outdoors

January 31, 2014 in Articles, Brotherhood Outdoors, Brotherhood Outdoors TV, Hunting, Hunting & Fishing

After spending more than 30 years hunting deer, elk and squirrel and reeling in his share of fish, Derek Carrington, a member of Roofers Local 23 in South Bend, Indiana has seen a lot. He never expected, however, to come face-to-face with a monster buck and a camera lens at the same time. It happened just like that during Derek’s recent experience as a featured guest on the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s Brotherhood Outdoors TV show, when the crew took him on a Kansas whitetail hunt. Share Derek’s excitement when he spots the biggest buck he has ever seen Sunday, April 6, at 11 a.m. ET, on the Sportsman Channel.

Union roofer Derek Carrington hunts Illinois whitetail in the April 6 episode of Brotherhood Outdoors.

Union roofer Derek Carrington hunts Kansas whitetail in the      April 6 episode of Brotherhood Outdoors.

“This was the trip of a lifetime,” said Derek, of Buchanan, Michigan. “Since I was small, I was always watching the hunting and fishing shows. I never thought I’d be the one who got to go.”

Derek said it was his dad, a retired union roofer, who started him early, fishing bluegill and hunting squirrels. By the time he was 18, he learned how to bow hunt. “It’s still my passion,” he said.

Now, like his dad, Derek enjoys taking his two sons, Hunter (8) and Holden (5), out on his boat to fish for perch and salmon near their home on Lake Michigan but said it’s not just about the catch or the harvest. “It’s the laughs, sharing stories,” he said. “It’s the best feeling in the world.”

It became clear to Derek on the first day of the Brotherhood Outdoors trip that hunting deer that have room to grow on hundreds of acres out in Kansas is quite different from hunting on smaller lands, like he is used to doing in Michigan. “It’s so much broader and wide out there,” he said.

On the first day of the hunt, Derek sits, watches and waits patiently all day with co-host Julie McQueen but to no avail. “We didn’t see one deer,” Derek said.

The next few days of the hunt present quite a different story with deer running everywhere and a huge buck that Derek calls, “an absolute giant,” showing itself to the crew at about 500 yards away. No shot. The next day, they see that same big buck again, and still they could not get a shot.

The episode culminates with unplanned thrills and added excitement in the final moments of the last day’s hunt. The crew had pretty much wrapped production; show co-host Daniel Lee Martin had already put down his camera. Things were really winding down when Julie and Derek called on their “good luck candy bar” snacking ritual hoping for what Julie calls, “a hail Mary” at the last hour.

Watch Derek and the crew scramble to grab the cameras and get off a shot when suddenly, out of nowhere, comes that monster buck running straight across the land, right in front of them at about 250 yards out. Derek pulls off a hasty shot and misses! When that taunting buck jumps a fence, will it make its final getaway?

Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors on Sundays at 11 a.m. on Sportsman Channel
.

Operating Engineer reels in donations for St. Jude’s Kids and some nice fish with Brotherhood Outdoors TV!

January 23, 2014 in Articles, Brotherhood Outdoors TV, Fishing, General, Press Release

The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s national outdoor TV series, Brotherhood Outdoors, takes veteran union operating engineer Bradley Richmond to Florida’s famed Boca Grande to fish for tarpon 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, Feb. 9, on the Sportsman Channel.

Bradley Richmond fishes tarpon in Florida's famed Boca Grande with Brotherhood Outdoors Feb. 9 at 11 a.m. ET, on the Sportsman Channel.

Bradley Richmond fishes tarpon in Florida’s famed Boca Grande with Brotherhood Outdoors Feb. 9 at 11 a.m. ET, on the Sportsman Channel.

Pulling in a trophy silver king is something Bradley Richmond, a 14-year member of Operating Engineers Local 150 in Rockford, Illinois, had only dreamed of. An unexpected invitation from Brotherhood Outdoors to fish for tarpon in Florida with co-hosts Daniel Lee Martin and Julie McQueen and the show’s crew offered him the chance.

“I fish bluegill and crappie just about every weekend,” said Bradley, who is committed to conservation efforts as a member of his local fishing club. “Our club is looking to make it easier, cleaner and more accessible for those in our area that are as nuts about fishing as we are.”

Bradley, who said he began fishing as a young boy, is also committed to helping make life a little nicer for children battling cancer as a dedicated volunteer of St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. It’s the only pediatric cancer center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance and where no child is ever denied treatment because of the family’s inability to pay.

For the past four years, Bradley has helped raise money for St. Jude’s Kids through an annual Rock River catfishing tournament. This year, Bradley is also involved in the planning and coordination of a fishing outing for children with disabilities with the hope of raising enough money to fund a new lift at the town’s community pool. “Over the years I have volunteered with many charities and have come to the realization that each and every one of us should be able to find some way to help those who cannot help themselves,” he said. “Helping others, even in the smallest way, can and does make a difference.”

Bradley also recognizes the importance of helping and supporting one another on the job. “It does my heart good to help the apprentices and give them a hand whenever needed,” said Bradley. “I had someone take me under his wing in my first few years and that man and I are still friends. We are in this together, all for one, one for all.”
Hard, good work is what his weekdays are about, but for Bradley, weekend-time means fishing-time.

“My dad started taking me fishing when I was four years old and it’s been a great love of mine ever since,” he said.
In this action-packed episode of Brotherhood Outdoors, Bradley reels in snook and mackerel and aims for the prized silver king as he and the Brotherhood Outdoors crew swap big fish stories. Viewers will feel the excitement when he ties into his very first tarpon, a 200-pounder that gets away, and cheer him on when he ties into another big one.

Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors Sunday, Feb. 9, at 11 a.m. on the Sportsman Channel.

Brotherhood Outdoors, winner of “Best Combination Show” in the 2011 Sportsman Choice Awards, awards union sportsmen and women who are committed to preserving North America’s outdoor heritage with a guided trip or the opportunity to show off their guiding skills and local hunting or fishing destinations on national TV.

Presented by Bank of Labor, Brotherhood Outdoors is also sponsored by the following unions, contractors and corporate partners: Buck Knives, Carhartt, Employee Benefit Systems, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, National Electrical Contractors Association, ULLICO and United Association/International Training Fund.

For more information about Brotherhood Outdoors, the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance or Sportsman Channel, visit www.BrotherhoodOutdoors.tv and www.facebook.com/brotherhoodoutdoorstv.

About the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) is a union-dedicated, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, whose members hunt, fish, shoot and volunteer their skills for conservation. The USA is uniting the union community through conservation to preserve North America’s outdoor heritage. For more information, visit www.unionsportsmen.org or www.facebook.com/unionsportsmen.

About Sportsman Channel: Launched in 2003, Sportsman Channel, and Sportsman HD, is the only television and digital media company fully devoted to sportsmen in the United States, delivering entertaining and educational programming focused exclusively on hunting, shooting and fishing activities. Sportsman Channel reaches more than 32 million U.S. television households and is available in HD. Visit www.thesportsmanchannel.com, follow on Twitter, @SPORTSMANchnl (twitter.com/SPORTSMANchnl) and Like on Facebook, facebook.com/sportsmanchannel
Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors Sundays at 11 a.m. on

Kentucky laborer hunts Wisconsin whitetail on Jan.19 episode of Brotherhood Outdoors

January 2, 2014 in Brotherhood Outdoors TV, General, Press Release

The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s national outdoor TV series, Brotherhood Outdoors, brings viewers the story of union laborer Adam McCormick, of Robards, Kentucky, as he hunts whitetail deer in Wisconsin’s famed Buffalo County and then guides the show hosts on a coon hunt back home at 11 a.m. ET, Sunday, Jan. 19 on the Sportsman Channel.

Adam can’t remember a time when he was not hunting. His dad took him squirrel hunting before he could even walk. “Since then, I have hunted just about everything there is to hunt,” said Adam, a 20-plus-year member of LIUNA Local 561, in Evansville, Indiana.

Adam McCormick, a Kentucky laborer from Robards, Kentucky,takes a break from the filming as a guest hunter on USA’s television series, Brotherhood Outdoors. Adam is featured in the Jan. 19 episode, set to air at 11 a.m. ET on the Sportsman Channel.

Adam McCormick, a Kentucky laborer from Robards, Kentucky, takes a break from the filming as a guest hunter on USA’s television series, Brotherhood Outdoors. Adam is featured in the Jan. 19 episode, set to air at 11 a.m. ET on the Sportsman Channel.

These days, Adam, who doubles as a youth archery instructor, doesn’t get to hunt as often as he would like. He spends most of his free time helping his daughters and other youth fill their hunting tags and teaching kids to properly shoot a bow as an archery coach at a local elementary school. When Brotherhood Outdoors learned about Adam’s commitment to teaching youth about hunting, conservation and carrying on the outdoor tradition with his own daughters, they awarded him the trip.

Join Brotherhood Outdoors co-hosts Daniel Lee Martin and Julie McQueen as they glass for whitetail with Adam in Wisconsin in the hopes of arrowing a trophy buck. Back at Adam’s Kentucky home, co-hosts Martin and McQueen join Adam, his daughters and a group of young girls on their very first coon hunt. You can’t be afraid of the dark for this episode!

Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors Sunday, Jan. 19, at 11 a.m. on the Sportsman Channel. Brotherhood Outdoors, winner of “Best Combination Show” in the 2011 Sportsman Choice Awards and a contestant for “Best Educational/Instructional” show, in 2013, awards union sportsmen and women who are committed to preserving North America’s outdoor heritage with a guided trip or the opportunity to show off their guiding skills and local hunting or fishing destinations on national TV.
Presented by Bank of Labor, Brotherhood Outdoors is also sponsored by the following unions, contractors and corporate partners: Buck Knives, Carhartt, Employee Benefit Systems, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, National Electrical Contractors Association, ULLICO and United Association/International Training Fund.

For more information about Brotherhood Outdoors, the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance or Sportsman Channel, visit www.BrotherhoodOutdoors.tv and www.facebook.com/brotherhoodoutdoorstv.

About the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) is a union-dedicated outdoor organization whose members hunt, fish, shoot and volunteer their skills for conservation. The USA is uniting the union community through conservation to preserve North America’s outdoor heritage. For more information, visit www.unionsportsmen.org or www.facebook.com/unionsportsmen.

About Sportsman Channel: Launched in 2003, Sportsman Channel, and Sportsman HD, is the only television and digital media company fully devoted to sportsmen in the United States, delivering entertaining and educational programming focused exclusively on hunting, shooting and fishing activities. Sportsman Channel reaches more than 32 million U.S. television households and is available in HD. Visit www.thesportsmanchannel.com, follow on Twitter, @SPORTSMANchnl (twitter.com/SPORTSMANchnl) and Like on Facebook, facebook.com/sportsmanchannel

 

IUOE Member Reels in Donations for St. Jude’s Kids and Some Nice Fish with Brotherhood Outdoors

December 3, 2013 in Articles, Brotherhood Outdoors TV, Fishing, General

Pulling in a trophy silver king is something that Bradley Richmond, a 14-year veteran of Operating Engineers Local 150 in Rockford, Illinois, had only dreamed of. An unexpected invitation from Brotherhood Outdoors to fish for tarpon in Florida’s famed Boca Grande with Daniel Lee, Julie and the show’s crew offered him the chance.

“I fish bluegill and crappie just about every weekend,” said Bradley, who is committed to conservation efforts as a member of his local fishing club. “Our club is looking to make it easier, cleaner and more accessible for those in our area that are as nuts about fishing as we are.”

Bradley Richmond fishing with Brotherhood Outdoors in Florida's famed Boca Grande.

Bradley Richmond fishing with Brotherhood Outdoors in Florida’s famed Boca Grande.

Bradley, who said he began fishing as a young boy, is also committed to helping make life a little nicer for children battling cancer as a dedicated volunteer of St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. It’s the only pediatric cancer center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance and where no child is ever denied treatment because of the family’s inability to pay.

For the past four years, Bradley has helped raise money for St. Jude’s Kids through an annual Rock River catfishing tournament. This year, Bradley is also involved in the planning and coordination of a fishing outing for children with disabilities with the hope of raising enough money to fund a new lift at the town’s community pool.

“Over the years, I have volunteered with many charities and have come to the realization that each and every one of us should be able to find some way to help those who cannot help themselves,” he said. “Helping others, even in the smallest way, can and does make a difference.”

Bradley also recognizes the importance of helping and supporting one another on the job. “It does my heart good to help the apprentices and give them a hand whenever needed,” said Bradley. “I had someone take me under his wing in my first few years and that man and I are still friends. We are in this together, all for one, one for all.”

Hard, good work is what his weekdays are about, but for Bradley, weekend-time means fishing-time.

“My dad started taking me fishing when I was four years old and it’s been a great love of mine ever since,” he said.

Come along on this action-packed episode of Brotherhood Outdoors when Bradley checks in to the exclusive Gasparilla Inn in picturesque Boca Grande, Florida. Follow him along on his off-shore adventure as he reels in snook and mackerel and aims for the prized silver king. Listen in and laugh along while Bradley and the Brotherhood Outdoors crew swap big fish stories. Feel the excitement when he ties into his very first tarpon, a 200-pounder that gets away. And see who wins the fight when he ties into another big one.

Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors Sundays at 11 a.m. ET on the Sportsman Channel.

Challenging Idaho Elk Hunt Honors Family Hunting Tradition

December 3, 2013 in Articles, Brotherhood Outdoors TV, General, Hunting

Over the years, Gene Barnes, his brother Greg and their father Harlyn enjoyed hunting small game, deer and elk together. Both Gene and Greg experienced the thrill of taking an elk, but not Harlyn – not their dad.

Ask Gene how long he’s been hunting and fishing and he’ll tell you that it spans four decades of time spent with his dad and brother in the great outdoors.

“This is due to my father taking his time with me and my brother to show us this great way of life,” said Gene, of Benton, KY. “He’s been taking my brother and I hunting and fishing since we could walk.”

Having been a proud union member of both the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) and Teamsters unions nearly as long has he’s been hunting and fishing, Gene is equally as appreciative to a part of the union brotherhood.

Gene Barnes and Dad Harlyn hunting near Pocatello and Bear Lake, Idaho

“I am proud to say that I am a union member,” Gene said.

In an all-new January episode of USA’s Brotherhood Outdoors TV Series, Barnes shares a touching story about how these two worlds come together in an outpouring display of support, love and gratitude.

Last April, the family tragically and suddenly lost Greg when he died of severe injuries from a devastating explosion while on the job. Greg left behind Gene, their father, a wife and two daughters. He was just 48-years-old. When Harlyn and Gene heard about the accident, they rushed to the hospital in Dayton, Ohio to be with him.

“We knew it was bad…but not that bad,” recalled Gene.

The family soon got the news that started what Gene called, “the worst days of our lives.”

The doctors told them Greg’s burns from the injury were so extensive, he stood only a small chance of making it.

“This is where I am truly blessed to be a union member,” Gene said.

Hundreds of Greg’s co-workers visited Greg and his family during those difficult weeks to share stories and to show their support. It struck Gene when he realized that even though his brother – a manager at a steel company in Ohio was not a union member – that 90% of the people that came to visit Greg during those difficult weeks were members of the IAMAW. To date, the local union has raised money for Greg’s wife and children to the tune of $10,000.

“It is truly amazing that there would be such an outpouring of love and generosity from union members toward a `company person.’ I know how well loved and respected my brother was by all of my fellow union brothers and sisters,” he said.

Through all of this, Gene’s thoughts of concern stayed with his dad and the heartbreak of losing a son.
“My father has not been the same,” he said.

Realizing that Harlyn’s fondest memories surround hunting with his sons, Gene set out to help him recapture that feeling and achieve that longtime goal of taking an elk.

Fast forward to this exciting episode of Brotherhood Outdoors, when co-hosts Daniel Lee and Julie McQueen take Harlyn and Gene into the woods near Pocatello and Bear Lake, Idaho with sights set on an elk that Harlyn finally can call his own.

Join them on day one as they glass for elk along steep hills, face the cold and deal with unplanned challenges. Feel their anticipation, as they try a shot, miss and head out to find a new ridge line, determined to get in front of that elk for one more shot. Experience the thrill when the father/son team spots a bull 190 yards out!

Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors Sundays at 11 a.m. ET on the Sportsman Channel.

Inshore and Off…Dream Louisiana Fishing Trip for Deserving IBEW Member

December 3, 2013 in Articles, Brotherhood Outdoors, Brotherhood Outdoors TV, Fishing, General, Press Release

A walk around the offices of IBEW Local 196 in Batavia, Illinois tells you a lot about Eric Patrick, the union man who runs the ship. He greets you with a warm welcome and leads you on a tour of the local that he has been a part of since 1988, introducing you to his staff along the way. His delivery, including an unrehearsed explanation of their roles, makes it apparent that he sincerely values each.

Walking the halls with Eric reveals a lot about his leadership style too. This business manager is accessible, involved and friendly, popping into offices to say hello and check in as he goes with a genuine smile and a gait that is quick and energetic.

“He’s very driven,” said Andrew Taft, one of Eric’s employees. “He actually looks at the union members almost like his own family. He shows a lot of concern when people need help, and he’s really out there to make sure that they’re okay.”

Eric Patrick fishing in Venice, Louisiana

Eric Patrick fishing in Venice, Louisiana

Eric’s wife, Joanna, said he doesn’t ask for much and calls him, “the most humble, modest person she’s ever met. He doesn’t do things for recognition,” she said. “He does things for the betterment of others.”

The positive impact Eric displays on his local extends into the community as well with his recent volunteer participation in a USA Work Boots on the Ground conservation project to benefit the Torstenson Youth Conservation Education Center in Pecatonica, Illinois. His crew of union volunteers removed dead tree limbs that hovered over a youth campground on its 750-acre farm. There, Illinois kids learn how to become future stewards of our natural resources through the study of clean air and water, wetland habitat, wildlife management and more. “It’s important to give back to the community,” Eric said.

While Eric hasn’t asked for much, this avid outdoorsman has dreamed of fishing big tuna near New Orleans one day. So, when Brotherhood Outdoors learned about Eric’s caring qualities and about how much he enjoys watching the show, they invited him to go on what he calls, “the trip of a lifetime.”

“I love the outdoors…and have always wanted to fish the trip that I was picked to go on in southern Louisiana,” said Eric, a USA member of almost five years.

In an upcoming episode of Brotherhood Outdoors, go along with Eric and co-hosts Daniel Lee Martin and Julie McQueen to Venice, Louisiana where Eric learns the not-so-easy ins and outs of fishing redfish and trout from a state-of-the-art Hobie kayak. When the crew moves offshore, chumming, cutting bait and spotting fish at the surface are all in a day’s work for Eric when he is volunteered to serve as deckhand. Experience the thrill as he pulls in a half dozen red snapper and four big cobia that Eric says, “hit like a tank, and ran like a missile.”

Will he return home with his `dream tuna’…or a big-fish-tale about the one that got away?

Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors Sundays at 11 a.m. ET on the Sportsman Channel.

North Meets South for Michigan Steelhead

August 8, 2013 in Brotherhood Outdoors TV

By Julie McQueen, Co-host of Brotherhood Outdoors

The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance website brings together union men and women from all around the country who have similar interests in the outdoors and conservation. Back in 2008, the member forum section of the website introduced two sportsmen, both named Mike, to a friendship that would span years and thousands of forum posts.

Mike Higgins, a member of USW Local 449 in Maine, and Mike Strickland, a member of SMART Local 85 in Georgia, have enlightened and entertained one another for years. When one would have a great day of fishing, the other would know about it almost immediately. When one had a question about the differences between hunting and fishing in the North versus the South, the other was always there to answer with a friendly response for all to see. Thus began a long-distance brotherhood.

Each season, Brotherhood Outdoors takes dedicated union sportsmen and women on their adventures of a lifetime. We simply couldn’t take one Mike without including the other. While Higgins had offered to give his coveted moose tag to Strickland if he was drawn, we decided to take them on a trip that would allow them to stand side by side and build their friendship. So we invited them on a Brotherhood Outdoors fishing trip to Baldwin, Michigan to fly fish for steelhead.

When Higgins and Strickland finally met face to face in the airport, their first handshake was actually a bear hug, and the drive to the lodge gave them some time to connect in person.

In today’s digital world, we sometimes feel connected to people we have never met. We feel a bond or a connection with someone because we have similar interests and common goals. And for two men from different parts of the country to share that long-distance friendship is a wonderful thing, especially when the bond is formed over union brotherhood, the great outdoors and mutual respect.

The Pere Marquette River in Michigan is a historic landmark known the world over for its year round fishing and world-class salmon and steelhead runs, so we expected some fantastic fishing. What we didn’t expect was frigid temperatures and snowfall on our first day of our spring fishing trip. While an outdoorsman from Maine might be somewhat uses to those temperatures, it was quite a shock for a guy from Georgia!

There was never a dull moment on this trip with Mike and Mike as we all shared stories, tips and triumphs; photos of our families; laughter on the water; and steaks by the campfire. With some coaching and cheerleading from their newfound friends, each managed to hook into beautiful steelhead and gently persuade them through the chilly water to the waiting net.

Mike Higgins is one of the most level headed and driven union brothers that we have met through Brotherhood Outdoors, and Mike “Big Bird” Strickland is likely the biggest personality with the biggest heart. Bringing the two of them together to star in their very own episode of Brotherhood Outdoors was as rewarding to those of us watching from the banks as it was for the guys pulling in the massive steelhead.

Watch what ensues when two union brothers from the North and the South finally meet for an epic fishing adventure on the Pere Marquette River. Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors on Sunday, Aug. 11 at 11 a.m. ET on Sportsman Channel.

New York Laborers Shows Brotherhood Outdoors’ Co-Hosts the Best of Long Island Fishing

July 6, 2013 in Articles, Brotherhood Outdoors TV

by Brotherhood Outdoors co-host Julie McQueen

Daniel Lee, Jason and Julie show off their nice catch

Daniel Lee, Jason and Julie show off their nice catch

New York City may not sound like a mecca for an outdoorsman, but Jason Delgado of Laborers Local 79 proves it’s possible to have the best of both worlds. As the political field representative for the Mason Tenders District Council political action committee in New York, it may sound like Jason is all business, but fishing is his true passion.

And when it comes to fishing, he likes to go far off shore, which may come as a surprise considering that he simply couldn’t learn to swim as a child. Despite or perhaps to challenge his inability to swim, Jason enlisted in the Navy as a boatswain’s mate and learned everything he could about the sea and seamanship. That’s when his interest in fishing really blossomed.

Excited to share his passion for fishing, Jason invited the Brotherhood Outdoors crew to go deep sea fishing off the coast of Long Island, and we jumped at the opportunity. The cold days and windy nights of the New York’s fall fishing season make for some intimidating white caps, but that wasn’t going to stop any of us from trying.

Our initial plan was to pursue the big mako sharks of the Atlantic, but Mother Nature decided to send us in a completely different direction to chase stripers. We battled rain, wind and the occasional wet camera lens—along with big striped bass. We are accustomed to the organized chaos that occurs when lines are in the water and hooks need to be constantly baited. But what we didn’t expect was to witness how Mother Nature can bounce a bunch of guys around on a boat and then suddenly make the sun appear out of nowhere.

Throughout our fishing adventure, Jason paid attention to every detail: the water temperature, the wind direction, fishing patterns and reports from other captains.
We learned a lot from watching how coordination and communication between captains can benefit all on board and how a bond is formed over tight lines and laughter. Co-host Daniel Lee Martin put his fishing skills to the test and proved that he could set a hook consistently. Whether he’s a fast learner or it was just beginner’s luck, Jason and his buddies were pleased.

The Brotherhood Outdoors crew was proud to spend some time with one of the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s biggest fans. Jason is what union brotherhood is all about, and he gave us a glimpse into a world where a guy can go straight from the capital building to a fishing boat.

See what happens when the Brotherhood Outdoors crew tries to keep up with a bunch of New Yorkers in the deep waters of the Atlantic. Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors on Sportsman Channel.

Texas Bucks in Full Rut

June 25, 2013 in Brotherhood Outdoors TV

Big Toms and Mean Boars

June 25, 2013 in Brotherhood Outdoors TV

Desert Dream Hunt for Mule Deer & Javelina

June 25, 2013 in Brotherhood Outdoors TV

Brotherhood Outdoors Heats Up with a Fire Fighter on a Grueling Arizona Bow Hunt
By Julie McQueen, Brotherhood Outdoors Co-Host

Archery hunting on the East Coast is very different from archery hunting out west. Tell that to Michael McShane, a member of Fire Fighters Local 1312 out of Dover, NH, and he’ll probably respond with a knowing smile. The Brotherhood Outdoors crew invited Michael on his adventure of a lifetime to pursue elusive mule deer and javelena in Arizona.

We knew Michael would be in good physical shape to hike the rough terrain because of his work as a fireman, and upon arriving to Arizona, we found that he was also well accustomed to the cold temperatures. Hailing from Maine, he is used to cold mornings and winds that cut through fleece jackets, while the rest of us struggled to stay warm.

No matter what the weather or terrain threw at us, Michael never stopped smiling. While we all suffered from the thin air and tough hikes, he would simply laugh and comment on the fact that he lives at sea level. Just the thought of a trophy mule deer kept him going when the rest of us wanted to sit down and rest.

For Michael, this was a dream long in the making. Hoping to take himself on a hunting adventure of a lifetime, he started saving his loose change and extra cash in a large water jug many years ago. When the coins and cash reached almost to the top of the jug, somebody stole it from his home. Instead of becoming bitter, he just started over. That story seems to sum up Michael McShane; he is patient, and he doesn’t mind a little hard work to reach his goals. And that’s why we were proud to help speed his dream along by inviting him on a Brotherhood Outdoors adventure to pursue both mule deer and javelina.

While mule deer were difficult to spot from miles away in the rugged terrain, javelina stood out in the brown and gray countryside. Javlina are fast, and their sense of smell is very good, so you have to move quickly to get within range. Once you’re close enough, luck has to remain on your side for the shot to count.

On the first day of the hunt, as we were discovering how challenging our spot and stalk hunt would be, a group of javelina appeared in a far off field. The reaction of Michael and the entire Brotherhood Outdoors crew was the same as if we’d just spotted a world-class mulie. The thrill of the chase and living in that moment overtook us all.

At the end of each day, stories were exchanged and friendships were formed. Fortunate for us, we were hunting with JP Vicente and his two sons, Michael and Junior Vicente. The three of them own and operate Big Chino Guide Outfitters and they come from a union background as well. JP and Michael Vicente are both members of the IAFF, and Junior is a star football player in college. Needless to say, the camp food was what you would expect from a group of fire fighters, as they all agree that a firehouse requires a good chef.

By the end of the trip, we had tried every type of hunting imaginable. We stalked, sat, belly-crawled through brush, removed our boots to cut back on noise…. and Michael’s smile never faded. Even when he walked into a cactus and had to stop to pull the thorns out, he found a way to make us laugh.

Sometimes we leave a trip empty handed, other times we walk away with meat for the freezer and memories to last forever. On this trip to Arizona, we drove away with not only some meat but also newfound friendships. Michael is the type of union member that Brotherhood Outdoors is proud to feature, and we know his story will inspire others along the way. He risks his own life to save others, believes in public service, and stands united with his union brothers and sisters.

Watch Michael McShane put his long-range archery skills to the test. Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors on Sportsman Channel.

Trophy Texas Elk with Mike

June 25, 2013 in Brotherhood Outdoors TV

Many of the applications we receive from potential Brotherhood Outdoors guests include stories of hardship, triumph or a family legacy. However, once in a while, we come across stories so full of humor and true-to-life experiences, we can’t help but feel an immediate connection with the applicant. This was the case with SMART Local 18 member Mike Kraning out of Kenosha, WI. His story of the one and only trophy hanging in his home instantly sparked our interest.

Mounted trophies typically represent a skilled sportsman or woman’s fruits of labor from a triumphant day in the field, but this didn’t hold true for Mike’s trophy. He found his big buck lying on the side of the road after it had been struck by a vehicle. Not wanting to pass on a nice piece for his wall, he called the authorities and got permission to collect the buck for himself. So Mike’s mounted trophy was roadkill –not even his own! The Brotherhood Outdoors team knew we needed to get Mike Kraning in front of a big animal in the wild to put an end to his family’s jokes and provide him with some outdoorsman honor in telling the story of a new trophy on his wall.

When we met Mike, he was pretty quiet. But as he started talking about his union and family, it was as if we were talking to an old friend. Mike first got involved with unions as a teenager in high school and now specializes in the sheet metal and finishing products that are fabricated through his company. He takes pride in his work, and his craftsmanship was evident when he presented us with a stainless steel replica of the Brotherhood Outdoors logo. Mike’s pride doesn’t stop with his union and his work; he also holds his family in high esteem, and it was his family that introduced him to the outdoors. He spent days as a pre-teen hunting with his grandfather, father, uncles and brother and is now determined to pass on the love of the outdoors to future generations of his family.

For Mike’s big game hunt, we took him to Northeast Texas to hunt elk with professional guide Mike Ford of Rio Rojo Rancho. The multi-use, family-owned property also offers hunting for whitetail deer, red deer, fallows, axis deer, blackbucks, coyotes and turkeys. Although our sights were set on elk, we also spent a little time hunting whitetails and coyotes. We didn’t have much luck with the coyotes, but Mike was successful in taking one of the many deer on the property. But the elk action was what this trip was all about. We couldn’t wait to see the look on Mike’s face when he caught a glimpse of his first elk in the wild!

Making our way through the ranch’s forest, it took no time before we spotted a group of bull elk, including a nice 6×6 bedded in the woods. Mike said his heart raced seeing such enormous animals in the wild. We stalked the elk, ran through the trees, set up the shooting sticks multiple times and did our best to keep up with the herd while staying as stealthy as possible. It seems like no matter how much planning takes place, the final moments are always more chaotic than you expect. It was in these moments that Mike showed us his true sportsmanship, shooting skills and immense love of the outdoors.
The Brotherhood Outdoors crew and the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance are proud to have outdoorsmen like Mike Kraning on our team; he stands for all we strive to achieve in this industry. He’s a hard worker and dedicated sportsman who appreciates what the union brotherhood offers, knows the importance of introducing future generations to the outdoors, and represents everything that’s possible when you set your mind to it.

Watch as Mike takes his first shot at a bull elk in hopes of earning some real bragging rights with a new trophy to replace his road kill buck. Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors on Sunday, July 7 at 11 a.m. ET (original airing) on Sportsman Channel.

First Time Turkey Hunt

June 25, 2013 in Brotherhood Outdoors TV

North Meets South for Michigan Steelhead

June 25, 2013 in Brotherhood Outdoors TV

Big Bad Bulls of New Mexico

June 25, 2013 in Brotherhood Outdoors TV

UA Member Guides Hosts for New Mexico’s Big Bad Bulls
By Julie McQueen, Brotherhood Outdoors Co-host

Although the Brotherhood Outdoors crew usually takes a union guest on a hunting or fishing trip of a lifetime, once in a while, the tables get turned when a union member invites us to their back yard. That was the case with Dan Reyes. Dan is the owner of Ridgeline Outfitters and a proud member of UA Local 412 out of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

We all knew that a late season elk hunt would be a challenge and that hunting with a primitive weapon would add to the difficulty. Brotherhood Outdoors co-host Daniel Lee Martin gladly accepted the challenge and headed out west with his muzzleloader and a good pair of optics.

Prior to the hunt, Dan Reyes told the Brotherhood Outdoors crew that there would be a few necessities for this trip: comfortable hiking boots, high energy levels and a lot of patience. Instead of a traditional elk hunt where the bull is lured into range by calling and sweet-talking, this had to be a spot and stalk hunt through the mountainous region of western New Mexico. We all had our comfortable boots, our spirits were high and nothing could keep us from climbing the mountains to glimpse the bull elk in their natural habitat.

Hunting with Dan Reyes was just as entertaining as it was exhausting. He prides himself on being one of the only professional hunting guides in New Mexico who is also a member of the UA. He takes both of his jobs very seriously and even demonstrated his welding abilities to our crew while we were touring the Local 412 training facility. Dan is committed to the brotherhood and his fellow union members, and he brings that same commitment and passion into his work as an outfitter.

Daniel Lee is a good shot with any type of gun and a muzzleloader is no exception. The trick, however, is to get the animal within range of the primitive weapon, and Dan Reyes did his best to make that happen. On many occasions, we had our hands full with climbing up rock walls and mountainsides, so keeping the cameras rolling throughout the tough terrain was a challenge in itself.

Dan Reyes taught us all about late season elk hunting, which is a whole different ball game than hunting elk during the rut, and he put Daniel Lee in front of some trophy bulls. By the end of our trip, we were all ready to re-acclimate to the lower elevations of home and rest our sore muscles.

Did all the miles over rough terrain pay off in Daniel Lee’s first New Mexico elk? Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors on Sportsman Channel to find out.

Hogs and Quail in the Lonestar State

June 25, 2013 in Brotherhood Outdoors TV

Union Police Chief Demonstrates Quick Shooting for Texas Quail and Hog on Brotherhood Outdoors
By Julie McQueen, Brotherhood Outdoors Co-host

When you watch hunting or fishing shows on TV, you generally expect the hosts to be the experts. But once in a while, it’s nice to see someone teach the hosts a thing or two.

When we invited Diane Sorantino, a police chief and member of PBA Local 59, to Texas for a quail hunt with Brotherhood Outdoors, we knew she was about to give us a lesson on proper shooting techniques. A member of the Team Beretta shooting league and National Sporting Clays Association Team USA, Diane holds many national and international titles in the shooting sports. In other words, she isn’t just a proud union member and police officer; she’s also a world-class professional in the shooting sports.

To level the playing field, we added a wild hog hunt to the lineup because it’s something Diane had never done. For this once-in-a-lifetime adventure, there was no better place than Wildcat Creek Resort in Detroit, TX. For anyone who likes to hunt quail, it’s a little piece of heaven with a practice range right outside, a heavy bird population and all the comforts of home. They also have a hog problem, which was perfect for this trip.

After warming up at the range on day one, we hit the fields for some fast flying quail action and then headed to the woods, where Diane saw the first hog. Co-host Daniel Lee Martin got a workout trying to keep pace with Diane as she ran through the thick woods to get within range. Keeping up with Diane in the heat of the action is no small thing considering she’s a seasoned police officer with 25 years of service.

On the second day of the hunt, Diane let loose on the north Texas quail population. From behind the cameras, it was apparent that she was a true professional. When a rouge bird flew at the cameraman, her gun safety standards were as prominent as her skills at pulling the trigger. While filming Diane’s adventure, we mounted a camera to her shotgun and discovered that she doesn’t blink when she pulls the trigger. She keeps her eye on the target and only pulls her gaze away after that target has fallen. Later in the day, Diane showed off her marksmanship with a rifle rather than a shotgun when we got within range of another group of hogs.

This was a memorable hunt for all of us, mainly because we get to know Diane. She is the type of person who pulls her Buck knife out to help clean the animal that she harvested rather than standing back and watching. She is a team player, and we were proud to get to document her dream quail hunting trip and her very first hog hunt.

Diane has been successful in life on many different levels because of her hard work and dedication. She competes regularly, and yet she has no ego. She wins frequently, and still she is humble. She is a better shot than we are, and she found a way to make us feel like we were all on the same level when we walked across those Texas fields together. The Police Benevolent Association, the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance and Brotherhood Outdoors are all fortunate to have someone like Diane on their team. Especially if she’s holding a shotgun.

To see what happens when the coveys fly and the hogs run for cover, tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors on Sportsman Channel.

Boca Grande Tarpon at Hill Tide

June 25, 2013 in Brotherhood Outdoors TV

Fishing for tarpon in Boca Grande, FL is a dream trip for many anglers. And there’s no better time to do it than in June when the full and new moon cause a phenomenon called hill tide, which draws tarpon into the shallows to feed and puts anglers and tarpon on a collision course as it passes along the west coast of Florida. People from all over the world gather in Boca Grande during hill tide to hook into a huge Silver King, and that’s when the Brotherhood Outdoors crew hooked up with Travis Simmons and James Dyer of Operating Engineers Local 673.

Not many people would nominate their boss for a trip of a lifetime, so when James submitted an application for his boss, Travis, to be a guest on Brotherhood Outdoors, it caught our attention. Though Travis lives in Florida, he has never fished for tarpon, so we knew it was time to change that. And we decided to surprise him by inviting James along for the adventure of a lifetime.

Having Travis and James on board for this episode of Brotherhood Outdoors opened our eyes to the personal friendships that are formed when an apprentice feels accepted into his Local, and how something that began as a job can turn into an inspiring way of life. Travis and James don’t simply work together, they are a part of a team that works towards common goals, and they have each other’s backs in all situations.

Much like being on a boat in the middle of the ocean, union teamwork requires that you respect the others personal space while also communicating what you need. The Brotherhood Outdoors crew got to see this concept in action when our two guests were on board. They laughed together, they had some friendly competition, and when somebody yelled the magic words, “Fish On!” the other would eagerly put down his rod and reel to get in on the action.

And tarpon action is something you don’t want to miss. They look like a prehistoric fish with large eyes and, as they jump straight up from the ocean, the fisherman must bow the fishing pole to the fish so the hook doesn’t dislodge from the lip. If it sounds like a lot of work, that’s because it is.

But we learned that working hard and playing hard go hand in hand for Travis. He was able to go straight from a conversation about the importance of union contracts and negotiations in his workplace to a conversation about his bear hunting strategies. And it’s not unusual for Travis go straight from his office to the woods; he is a perfect balance of a professional career man and an outdoorsman.

By the end of our trip with Travis, we understood why one of his employees felt so strongly that he deserved an adventure of a lifetime. We came to understand that Travis is a true union brother.

Our Boca Grand tarpon fishing trip was memorable in many ways. As Daniel Lee Martin, the co-host of Brotherhood Outdoors, put it, “Travis and James are just the type of guys that I would hang out with at hunting camp. They are exactly what Brotherhood Outdoors is all about, and I’m proud to help share their stories with our fans.”

It’s not easy to land a world-class tarpon, but if you want to see how two IUOE union brothers managed during their hill tide adventure in Boca Grande, tune in to this episode of Brotherhood Outdoors on Sunday, July 21 at 11 a.m. ET (original airing) on Sportsman Channel.

Illinois Bucks and Tennessee Gobblers

June 25, 2013 in Brotherhood Outdoors TV

Self-Taught Hunter Chases Trophy Bucks in Illinois and Returns to Tennessee for Spring Turkey Action
By Julie McQueen, Brotherhood Outdoors co-host

Through Union Sportsmen’s Alliance strives to connect people through conservation and the love of the great outdoors, and its TV series, Brotherhood Outdoors, brings that to life on national TV.

Hunting, fishing and the shooting sports are often part of a family tradition. The majority of the stories we hear are about families passing down their love for those sports through the generations, but some stories don’t begin that way. The story of David Ragland, a member of Elevator Constructors Local 93, begins with family members who supported his love of hunting even though they didn’t participate in the sport themselves.

When David’s father would finish his shift at work, he would drive his son to the hunting property an hour away, only to sleep in the truck while David was in the woods. After hunting, David would climb back into the truck, many times empty handed, for the ride home with his father. David’s mom also took turns driving him to his favorite hunting spot. This tradition continued until David was old enough to drive himself. His parents didn’t mind the wait; they were just happy he had found a sport to be passionate about, even if they weren’t.

David’s parents enabled him to become a successful hunter by stepping up to the plate to support their son’s dream. Brotherhood Outdoors enabled David to take that passion one step further by taking him on the whitetail hunt of a lifetime in New Haven, Illinois.

Southern Illinois is known for their huge whitetail population. When David arrived at The Country Lodge in New Haven, he realized that his first night in camp would likely be a sleepless one. The monster racks on the wall were all he could think about–and the possibility that the local deer herd was walking directly under his tree stand as he tried to rest.

As is typical for two guys in a tree stand for long periods of time, co-host Daniel Lee Martin and David formed a great friendship. Because David is from the Nashville, Tennessee area, like the Brotherhood Outdoors crew, that friendship rolled over into the Tennessee spring turkey season! We couldn’t resist inviting him to join us on our annual turkey hunt, and David accepted our offer.

To see if David was able to stock his freezer with IL venison and TN turkey breast for the year, tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors on Sportsman Channel.

Trophy Texas Elk

June 25, 2013 in Brotherhood Outdoors TV

Sheet Metal Worker Attempts to Replace Road Kill Buck Mount with a Trophy Elk on Brotherhood Outdoors
By Julie McQueen, Brotherhood Outdoors co-host

Many of the applications we receive from potential Brotherhood Outdoors guests include stories of hardship, triumph or a family legacy. However, once in a while, we come across stories so full of humor and true-to-life experiences, we can’t help but feel an immediate connection with the applicant. This was the case with SMART Local 18 member Mike Kraning out of Kenosha, WI. His story of the one and only trophy hanging in his home instantly sparked our interest.

Mounted trophies typically represent a skilled sportsman or woman’s fruits of labor from a triumphant day in the field, but this didn’t hold true for Mike’s trophy. He found his big buck lying on the side of the road after it had been struck by a vehicle. Not wanting to pass on a nice piece for his wall, he called the authorities and got permission to collect the buck for himself. So Mike’s mounted trophy was roadkill –not even his own! The Brotherhood Outdoors team knew we needed to get Mike Kraning in front of a big animal in the wild to put an end to his family’s jokes and provide him with some outdoorsman honor in telling the story of a new trophy on his wall.

When we met Mike, he was pretty quiet. But as he started talking about his union and family, it was as if we were talking to an old friend. Mike first got involved with unions as a teenager in high school and now specializes in the sheet metal and finishing products that are fabricated through his company. He takes pride in his work, and his craftsmanship was evident when he presented us with a stainless steel replica of the Brotherhood Outdoors logo. Mike’s pride doesn’t stop with his union and his work; he also holds his family in high esteem, and it was his family that introduced him to the outdoors. He spent days as a pre-teen hunting with his grandfather, father, uncles and brother and is now determined to pass on the love of the outdoors to future generations of his family.

For Mike’s big game hunt, we took him to Northeast Texas to hunt elk with professional guide Mike Ford of Rio Rojo Rancho. The multi-use, family-owned property also offers hunting for whitetail deer, red deer, fallows, axis deer, blackbucks, coyotes and turkeys. Although our sights were set on elk, we also spent a little time hunting whitetails and coyotes. We didn’t have much luck with the coyotes, but Mike was successful in taking one of the many deer on the property. But the elk action was what this trip was all about. We couldn’t wait to see the look on Mike’s face when he caught a glimpse of his first elk in the wild!

Making our way through the ranch’s forest, it took no time before we spotted a group of bull elk, including a nice 6×6 bedded in the woods. Mike said his heart raced seeing such enormous animals in the wild. We stalked the elk, ran through the trees, set up the shooting sticks multiple times and did our best to keep up with the herd while staying as stealthy as possible. It seems like no matter how much planning takes place, the final moments are always more chaotic than you expect. It was in these moments that Mike showed us his true sportsmanship, shooting skills and immense love of the outdoors.
The Brotherhood Outdoors crew and the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance are proud to have outdoorsmen like Mike Kraning on our team; he stands for all we strive to achieve in this industry. He’s a hard worker and dedicated sportsman who appreciates what the union brotherhood offers, knows the importance of introducing future generations to the outdoors, and represents everything that’s possible when you set your mind to it.

Watch as Mike takes his first shot at a bull elk in hopes of earning some real bragging rights with a new trophy to replace his road kill buck. Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors on Sportsman Channel.

Big Black Bears and an 1895 Winchester

June 25, 2013 in Brotherhood Outdoors TV

When we booked a Brotherhood Outdoors trip to Vancouver Island, British Columbia to hunt big black bear, we knew our union guest would need to be physically prepared and dedicated to the art of spotting and stalking. We found all the necessary qualities in Mark Spreadborough out of Kalama, Washington. Mark is an HVAC mechanic with UA Local 290, and his dedication to his union is only matched by his passion for the great outdoors.

On his drive to Port Alberni, a waterfront community on the west coast of Vancouver Island, to meet our crew, Mark demonstrated his knowledge of mechanics by replacing a worn out u-joint on his truck that threatened to keep him from his adventure of a lifetime. And once we all finally arrived at camp, we discovered that Mark has a big laugh, a strong handshake and is always up for a good time. In fact, after the trip, we discovered he had hijacked our camera to film some of his own footage and a personal message to us.

Mark’s story actually begins back in 1895. That’s the year his great-grandfather’s Winchester model .35 rifle was manufactured. A big fan of Theodore Roosevelt, Mark’s great-grandfather bought that gun because it was T.R.’s favorite, and he called it by the same name, Big Medicine. That historic rifle traveled with Mark up to Port Alberni, where he hoped to fulfill his dream of taking an island black bear with the old gun just as his great-grandfather had done during the Depression era.

Putting your hopes and dreams into a situation that’s guarded with a primitive weapon could be intimidating, but Mark didn’t seem at all nervous about carrying around the rifle, iron sights and all. We all felt a sense of pride each time Mark took the gun from its case and an air of nostalgia as we glassed the mountains of Vancouver Island for bear sign.

The terrain in the wilderness outside of Port Alberni is harsh, and it takes a strong pair of lungs to climb some of the hills we were confronted with. We knew Mark was accustomed to working in tough conditions in his trade, and he never complained about the hiking. When we saw bear a thousand yards away through the spotting scope, he never gave up hope that we would be able to sneak up close enough for him to get it into his iron sights. And Mark and his guide did manage to sneak within several feet of a bear; it was too small to shoot, but that didn’t make it any less exhilarating for him.

This hunt was one of our most challenging, and Mark certainly held his own, both on and off camera. He made the entire experience fun for everyone involved. We went away from this hunt knowing we had made a long-time friend and gained a new understanding of what it means to leave a legacy for future generations.

Join us for the humor, emotional rollercoaster and challenge of taking a Vancouver Island black bear with a primitive weapon. Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, January 6 on Sportsman Channel.