Raised Hunting with the Holder Family
We have several favorite shows but Raised Hunting is by far and away one of our favorites. Raised Hunting shares the story of the Holder family using hunting as a means to teach ethics and values. Hunting teaches us many great lessons and watching the Holder family with David, Karin, Warren and Easton you cannot help but admire this great family. The Holders are a real family that shares the passion of hunting as a family and cinematography to share their passion with the world on The Outdoor Channel. We jumped at the chance to interview the family and share with our readers a little bit about this great American Family.
We hope you will follow Raised Hunting and share in their journey.
David Holder Interview
With over a 100 plus bow kills to your credit, what is the one hunt that sticks out as the most exciting or memorable for you?
David Holder – When you have had a hunting career that has been as blessed as much as mine, this doesn’t seem like a fair question. When you can still remember the first bow kill from over thirty years ago as distinctly as the last bow kill from this year I’m not sure how to qualify any hunt better than another. So many mean so much, but for me it’s not my hunts or the animals that I have taken that top my list. For me the most memorable moments in the outdoors have been the ones where my boys or my wife have been the hunter and I was simply there to capture those moments on film. From filming my oldest son Warren taking his first deer with a bow 7 years ago or my youngest son Easton shooting his first turkey the next year, to Karin fulfilling a dream that has spanned several years finally concluding in New Mexico atop a cedar mesa on a cool fall morning this past September, they all will always have a special place in my heart.
Last year, you got to do a bucket list hunt for a Kansas whitetail with Prairie Storm Outfitting, Can you tell us about that hunt?
David Holder – Everyone has a bucket list. Whether it’s simply a dream that you have never told a sole, or a list of items that could take years to complete, we all have some form of a bucket list. Lucky for me my wife Karin knows me all to well and knows that even though we aired my quest for a Boone and Crocket whitetail on Raised Hunting this past year as part of my bucket list, it really goes much deeper than that. We are fortunate in the fact that we live in Iowa where the chance of arrowing a true trophy exists, but with recent disease and the fact that we don’t have big chunks of ground to manage, we too like most hunters have to hunt whatever deer are available and right now we just don’t have any deer that make it above that coveted 170 Pope and Young mark.
Fortunately for our family, our business and our passion to tell the story of hunting has led us to meet some incredible people. Maybe the greatest part of that is that typically the people we meet are all from the same mold as us, stand up hard working average Americans, the kind of people where a handshake and their word is what they rely on to forge long lasting business and personal relationships. So, when Robbie Johnson from Arrowseed suggested I meet Jon and Blake from Prairie Storm Outfitter’s to continue my pursuit for a ‘Booner”, I knew I was heading in the right direction.
So plans were made months in advance and the trail cam photos began, one picture after another of big deer after big deer started arriving by email. Excited would be an understatement for how I felt as we pulled in for our first mid November Kansas whitetail hunt in over 10 years. Not sure if the feeling was more of fear or frustration as the first two days were rained out when a major cold front moved through. Fear that we might be missing our chance with only limited days to get this done, or frustration because I am just not wired to sit around camp watching it rain.
Either way, on the third day we finally had the morning we had been looking for, a cold west wind and the perfect stand set up on the east edge of a brushy waterway connecting several ag fields. Even before we could fully get set in the tree I could see deer, to add to my excitement even in the pale light of the coming day I could see antlers on one of the deer, good deer for sure. Unfortunately all we could do is watch as the big buck made his way down the waterway every step taking him further and further from our location. Just as I was about to chalk the entire encounter up to “oh we were so close” my camera man says, we are good, I now have enough light to film. Not wanting him to change his mind I reached for my rattling horns and let it rip. The big buck immediately spun around and stared in our direction, that is the moment when your heart begins to pound, what will he do, is he coming or just looking, and then as if he could hear me begging for him to head my way, he started that tell tale walk straight at us. Now every step was bringing him closer and closer, until he was almost to close. At 2 and half yards from the base of the ladder I whispered “meeeeh”, the big buck stopped and I watched the lighted knock disappear just behind his shoulder, even better he only ran a mere 50 yards before piling up. At that moment I realized I never looked to see just how big this buck really was, but at that moment I also realized I didn’t really care. My heart had pounded my hands were shaking and that overwhelming feeling of putting all the pieces of the puzzle together had all come together once again, so regardless of size of the antler or any list I might have, this was what I was really after. I sat there in awe and soaked up the moment, in awe of all the things that had taken place to get to this point, as I bowed my head and said my thanks to the man upstairs for letting me be apart of such a journey, and to all of those that had made this possible. From Prairie Storm Outfitter’s to my wife for urging me to go to my boys who increase my passion with their shear existence. At the end of the day my Kansas buck did not make “Boone”, and that’s actually perfect, wouldn’t have wanted to think about not getting to do this again.
What is next on your hunting bucket list?
David Holder – Next hunt on the bucket list is to Alaska or the Northwest territories for a Yukon moose, or maybe a grizzly, but then again I would like to hunt the Caribou migration just once in my life, so as you can see I have a big bucket to pull from. Maybe the best answer I can give, would be if it’s challenging, it can be done with my bow, and my family is involved in some way shape or form then that’s all that matters and I am in.
Raised Hunting recently started Bow Camps to work directly with young men and women teaching archery and hunting. What motivated you to start these camps?
David Holder – Even though the name is new I think my answer suggests that Raised at Full Draw(RAFD) isn’t as recent as one might think. What motivated me, was 14 years ago I was invited to teach a handful of kids in the mountains of Montana how to hunt elk with a bow. That started a direct relationship for me with kids. Over the next couple years I introduced my wife Karin to the kids and she too saw the connection and how taking a few days out of our summer could have a profound affect on the rest of these kids lives. Our boys had no choice but to also becomes staples of the camps, as our passion grew to help more kids learn about hunting, our kids roles and participation level in these camps also increased. We have now grown Raised at Full Draw bowhunting camps to both Iowa and Montana and Illinois is looking to open it’s doors in the summer of 2017. As the word grows about how affective and powerful these camps are for our youth and for the future of hunting so grows the desire to reach more kids in more ways. Please feel free to check out all of our information on the Raised Hunting website. www.raisedhunting.com and follow the link to bow camp.
What can parents and kids expect to learn from these camps?
David Holder – RAFD is held over a 4 day 3 night period. The camp curriculum closely models the National Bowhunters Education booklet “Todays Bowhunter”. Basically we took every chapter in the book and made a station that can cover all of the important information without sitting down in a classroom setting. All of our teaching is done as a hands on camp with very little sitting at all. Kids can bring their own archery equipment or they can rely on RAFD to supply it. Because of the extensive nature of the camps “how much the kids eat”,we do charge for the camp, however scholarships are available. Our goal is to never turn anyone away. As much as we love to brag on how much the kids learn about hunting and bowhunting specifically, the message that seems to ring louder from every camp, is how the outdoors and the very essence of hunting can be an extraordinary platform from which kids build character. The level of ethics and values that can be seen in our campers at the end of camp is something we will never be able to quantify, but the smiles on their faces and the emails from their parents ring loud and clear that we are reaching these kids on multiple levels.
Being a father is hard and rewarding work. What advice can you offer to other fathers to help them raise their children in a world of hunting?
David Holder – The best advice I can offer to anyone who has or desires to have kids, and has a passion for the outdoors or is very simple. Make it easy,Make it fun, but most of all make it a priority! You see the reason hunting has existed and weathered the test of time, is because of it’s deep tradition and rich heritage. It has been something that families have cherished and bonded around from generation to generation. In today’s day and age there are now more things, easier things and meaningless things pulling at us all, but look back at your own lives and see how many of those most vivid memories had something to do with a hunting or fishing trip. So the answer for parents is simple, take your kids hunting and fishing whenever and wherever you can. The rest will fall into place from there.
What is your all time favorite venison meal?
David Holder – All time favorite venison meal is the easiest question ever. I love to cut tenderloins out of an elk or deer and cook them right at camp with out ever freezing anything. It doesn’t seem to matter what I put on it, from a simple pepper rub, a little bit of butter, or some sort of steak sauce. It’s not the recipe that matters but more the atmosphere and knowing I have provided for myself from start to finish. Something is to be said about getting to enjoy the fruits of our own labor right there on the spot, that alone makes for the greatest meal of all.
Being a dad is constantly about teaching and educating, let’s flip this around. What is one lesson you have learned from each of your family members?
David Holder – As a dad I will never stop teaching my kids, so why wouldn’t I also be willing to learn from my kids as well. Much easier to say than to do, luckily as a dad, and as I get older I seem to be more in tune or pay more attention to those learning situations rather than just focusing on the teaching moments. Even though both my boys have made reference at times to different elements that they have picked up from “dear old dad”, it’s Easton that seems to have the memory or the quick whit to remind me of exactly one of those situations. We recently aired an episode of Raised Hunting called “Decisions” in this episode we highlighted the meaning to live with various decision’s we make and life, good or bad we often have to live with whatever choice we made at that time. In this particular instance I passed on a very large deer in a very make-able shot scenario. However under the circumstances at the time I just didn’t feel comfortable, so I elected to pass. The moment the deer walked off, I began to doubt the decision I had just made. I doubted my decision so much that I tried to re-enact the scenario the next day in the yard by setting up a target, blind and anything else I could to mimic the previous situation and see what the outcome would have been had I taken the shot. It was at that moment that Easton poked his head in the blind and asked “what are you doing”? I explained my turmoil, and as calmly and collected as he could, he said “dad, aren’t you the one that has said, we have to live with our decision’s, always try to make the best decision you can, that way you never have to wonder if you made the right one or not”? I sat there for s second in awe, but also realized he was 100% correct. All he was pointing out, was that I should take my own advice, and hold myself to the same standard I have held him and his brother. Maybe the greatest take away from this, is to realize our kids are listening, even when we think they aren’t or even if they don’t act as if they get it at that time, they are hearing us……….Thanks Easton, I guess I needed that.
Karin Holder Interview
What advice can you offer out there to women who are contemplating joining their family in the tradition of hunting?
Karin Holder – My best advise to women that want to start to enjoy hunting with their family is to keep an open mind, get quality clothing so they can stay warm and have fun! The time that is spent in a tree with your teenager is priceless, whether you see a deer of not, it will help create a strong bond that will last a lifetime. As a mom we can watch our kids play sports from the sidelines, we can cheer them on and be supportive, but the fact is we are not participating in the sport with them. They are not relying on you to win the game. When your hunting together, your sharing the moment together. You and your family are the “team”
What has been my most exciting hunt personally?
Karin Holder – My most exciting hunt has been an elk hunt with an encounter with a bull that I had a history with. It was the most exciting and the most disappointing for I did not get the elk. However seeing a great bull come to the calling of my husband, David, having my son, Warren filming me and the action of 13 cows and satelitte bulls all around was an experience I will never forget.
The introduction of cameras into your hunting brings about certain new challenges. What has been the hardest and most rewarding things you have had to deal with in regards to filming and being filmed with the family?
Karin Holder – The hardest part of filming with the camera for me is the organization. Making sure I have all the extra batteries, spare parts etc… can be stressful at times and is the part I enjoy the least.
The most rewarding part of filming is getting to see what was captured on film. Those are lifetime memories that we will have forever. Even if the footage never makes it to the tv screen, we still have our kids growing up and have captured all those moments.
What is my absolute favorite venison meal?
Karin Holder – Burgers on the grill!!
The hunting world is slowly making equipment specifically for women. Is there any specific gear choices that you are really happy with that have been made for women?
Karin Holder – Yes!!! Hunting clothing has improved in a huge way! For may years I wore mens clothes and they just do not fit properly. Jackets to long in the sleeve could cause error with my bow and not keep me warm. Pants too big are cumbersome and make the day miserable. Thank you Under Armour for making a great line of women’s clothes.
What one piece of gear would you like to see make better for women?
Karin Holder – Hmmm that is a good question and my answer is pants. Even though there has been a huge improvement, the pants that are made do not have the proper amount of pockets for the serious hunter. Yes I like to look and feel good in my hunting camo but even more important than that is I want it to function well. Pockets are the key to that issue.
What is one lesson I have learned from each of your family members while in the outdoors?
Karin Holder – I have learned that Easton has to have a ton of snacks on every hunt or he will digress!!
Warren has taught me how bad my hearing has become. I know this because as he films me, he will grab my head from the stand above me and slowly move my head in the direction the deer is walking from!!
David has taught me to never quit trying, it only takes an instant for things to change and you have to be ready for it! So NEVER get lazy and zone out, that is when you’re sure to get caught and bust an animal!!
Warren Holder Interview
At what age did you start shooting a bow?
Warren Holder – I began shooting a bow at the age of 2. My father rigged a Walmart bow with a real string so that my arrows would stick in the target.
I read in your bio that you filmed your dad on a hunt at the age of 8 years old. A whole lot has changed in the last 10 years of filming hunts. What excites you most about filming others when they are hunting?
Warren Holder – For me the adrenaline rush is just as intense when watching someone other than myself shoot. I obviously love being a part of my family hunts, but I really enjoy introducing people that have never hunted, or haven’t had the opportunity at their first deer. There truly is nothing like your first deer, and the excitement of being with someone when they finally fill that first tag. So getting to share it, and be a part of other’s experiences and memories is the most exciting part.
What lessons would you teach to the aspiring young videographer about filming hunts?
Warren Holder – Have a cameraman. It typically takes two to film a good hunt. Be prepared to miss opportunities at animals due to the cameraman – that is just part of the sacrifice you make.
What has been your most exciting hunt personally?
Warren Holder – My 2013 IA whitetail I killed with Easton. He was my 2nd biggest buck to date and came chasing a doe hot and heavy, to 13 yards.
Last year, your dad got to go on a bucket list hunt in Kansas. What species or what hunt rises to the absolute top of your hunting bucket list?
Warren Holder – Bighorn sheep would be my number one. I think they are a magical
animal and live in some of the most unique country there is. I know they would be a challenge, as well as extremely fun, all at the same time.
What is your absolute all time favorite wild game meal?
Warren Holder – Moose burgers
What is one lesson that you have learned from both your mom and your dad?
Warren Holder – Patience and hard works pays off. No matter what you’re doing be
persistent and work hard and you’ll achieve whatever your goal may be.
Now comes the hard question, what is one lesson that you have learned from Easton?
Warren Holder – This is a hard question, but also a good one. Teamwork really does make the dreamwork. Easton and I always make a good team. He teaches me and reminds me to stay consistent, and confident when I’m indecisive. He has also taught me to let go of the things I cant always control.
What is the most exciting part of being a member of a hunting family?
Easton Holder – I think the most exciting thing about being in a hunting family is always having something that we are doing outside. We may not always know what it is but we always are outside and I truly enjoy the outdoors.
Which is more exciting to you, Turkeys gobbling at 10 yards or a whitetail under your stand and why?
Easton Holder – I think a turkey gobbling at 10 yards is one of the most thrills you can get. Turkey hunting has always been one of my favorites and there is something about having a strutting tom come running at your decoy.
Are you still on a quest for a Montana Elk?
Easton Holder – I am 16 and my whole family has killed an elk except for me. Don’t get me wrong i’d love to kill an elk but right now I don’t really have that fire burning inside of me to hunt one. I still am in school so elk season is usually a pass for me.
What do your friends think about you being on television hunting?
Easton Holder – Honestly at school not everyone knows about the show yet. I have been going there for 5 years now and I do my best not to talk about it too much. But the friends that do know, don’t really think of me differently, they think it’s cool but that is the most thought that goes into it.
Who is a better archery shot, you or your brother? Or what is something that you are better at the Warren and what is something that he is better at then you?
Easton Holder – The passed couple years I have gotten quite a bit better with my bow. As much as I hate to admit it, I still think Warren is a better shot than me. Now as far as something I am better than him at, well I’m pretty sure my whole family would agree that I am better at turkey hunting by a good ways. He has no problem getting close, just doesn’t get it done very often when it comes to the thunder chicken.
Being the youngest member of the family, you are always learning from others. What is the most important hunting lessons you have learned from each of your family members?
Easton Holder – Over the years I have learned tons of lessons from my family and hunting with them. The most important one for me was probably, movement. Movement will get you busted every day of the week if you aren’t careful.
What is the one thing you think you could teach each of them
Easton Holder – There is not much I think I could teach them, considering I am the youngest in the family, therefore meaning the most inexperienced. But if I had to pick something it would probably be, sit down and relax when your in the tree stand. Everyone is always standing up and everything and I like to sit down and take the occasional nap, it is quite a bit more pleasant than you’d think.
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