interviewed Jon & Gina Brunson, hosts of Limbsaver's Addicted To The Outdoors
, to talk about their hunting trips, what's coming up for next season, and their family Halloween plans.
OUTD: Are you currently filming new episodes?
Yup, we're in the field filming our 2011 season, and we started out the season good with double whitetails at the Milk River. We're doing this interview from Tom McMillan's in central Kansas where we've been bow hunting big whitetails. It's been a little slow so far this week but the temperature is dropping so hopefully we can finish out with a big buck.
OUTD: Have you been hitting the start of hunting season hard? Where else have you been in the past month or so?
We started out the season at Milk River where we pulled out a double the last night and the last hour of light with a bow. Then we went on to Illinois for some mid-October bow hunting for whitetail but it was real hot with a ton of acorns on the ground so we’re gonna head back in Dec. to see if we can’t get one down on round number two, like we said before we’re in Kansas where we head home from here for Halloween then we’re pretty much wide open for the rest of the season.
OUTD: Speaking of Halloween, what are your plans for Halloween and all of your 6 children? Will the Brunsons be Trick Or Treating? And what costumes will everyone be wearing?
JON: Yeah we’re gonna be trick or treating, we always do with the kids. We’ve got some friends that do a huge haunted house, so we’ll take the kids over there and participate in the haunted house, jumping out and scaring all the kids. Me, Gina, and the kids always dress up, I always have a big scary costume, it’s a big monster suite with a big mouth and hands, plus it’s real tall so I’m always scaring the hell out of the kids. We got Star Wars, witches, monsters, and zombies.
GINA: I paint my face and have a long black cape like a vampire.
OUTD: We’re getting into the start of holiday season – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. – how do you balance hunting time and family time? Is it difficult to manage both?
JON: Yes it’s difficult and it took us a year or two to really get a good system down but one of the things we have to battle with, that is extremely difficult, is having 6 kids at home. When we hunt we have to get in and get it done, and usually 4 to 6 days is all we can do because we don’t like to be away from the kids that much. With Gina we usually book one-way flights, so if she gets antsy I can just put her on a plane and send her home so she can catch back up or I’ll come home a couple days later. We’ve got a really good system with nannies. We have 2 nannies we rotate and they are there 3 days a week when we’re home so the kids are used to them. The nannies are live in while we're gone, so the kids' routine doesn’t change at all. Whether we’re home or not, it’s kind of like having a big sister there for them, They’re going to dance class, karate, soccer, and all their normal stuff. We talk to the kids everyday when we’re gone via phone or video chat. So we got a really good system, but we have to get in and out without spending 2 or 3 weeks trying to get a deer down. It’s a lot to juggle but it works good now.
OUTD: What are your plans for the next couple months? What can viewers expect to be seeing in future new episodes?
We’re really getting after the whitetails this year, it’s definitely our passion chasing big whitetails especially with a bow. After Kansas we’ve got Indiana, Kentucky, mule deer in Nebraska, then we’re gonna go back to Illinois to try and settle up with the whitetails. Then we're filming a show I’ve been wanting to do for a while that we're gonna call “Back Yard Bucks”. We’re going to Ohio hunting with our buddy Rick Mowery from Bohning. His friend owns a big landscaping company in Cincinnati that handles all the landscaping for all these high-end neighborhoods. Well of course they’ve got a big deer problem, so we’ve got special permission this year to go in and bow hunt them. So we’ll pretty much be bow hunting in people's back yards and I'm really excited about that because I wanted to do a suburban backyard buck type show for sometime now and we’re finally gonna get to film one this year. From Ohio we head to Texas for whitetails, then it rolls from there. Then it looks like we will be closing out the season with Australia, then Africa. It just depends on what we put in this year and what we decide to carry over into next year. So we’ve got a pretty action-packed show this year.
OUTD: In a prior issue of our OutdoorChannel.com newsletter, we asked our viewers why do they hunt. Jon & Gina, why do you hunt?
JON: It’s a passion, I grew up hunting with my family, my dad's side of the family hunted a ton, my mom's side of the family raised championship bird dogs. So since I was a little twerp I was cleaning kennels, training bird dogs, raising quail, cleaning flight pens, hunting, fishing, trapping, camping. For our family it was just a way of life. I had a very simple upbringing. My dad was a Southern Baptist preacher, we didn’t have a lot, so family time was simple, it was hunting, fishing, camping, and spending time in the outdoors. I started shooting a bow when I was 8 years old and I was the one kid out of the big Brunson bunch that was an absolute fanatic for the woods and it’s always stuck with me.
GINA: I grew up in an outdoors family, I was a tom boy, fishing with my dad and spent a lot of time in the outdoors. I didn’t actually start hunting until I met Jon. I started gun hunting with him about 15 years ago and about 9 years ago picked up a bow which I really got hooked on. I’m real competitive so I really fell in love with the hunting side of the outdoors, I love to get out there just as much as the guys do.
OUTD: Lastly, Jon & Gina, do you have any advice for other couples out there that want to start to hunt together? What are the best and worst parts to being a hunting couple?
JON: Advice-have patience and don’t break 'em in the way I broke Gina in. In our early 20s, I hunted really hard growing up in the south, so when Gina wanted to start hunting I just hunted her like I hunted myself, put her in a stand an hour before light, picked her up and hour after dark. Lucky I don’t know how she ended up liking it and sticking through it, catching the bug and getting passionate about it, but thankfully she did. My biggest advise for getting a spouse, kids, or anybody for that fact, is to put them somewhere they’re gonna see some action, the more bored they are the less likely they’re gonna get hooked. So start them out in a stand where they’re gonna see animals and really get a feel for what it’s about. As for the positives and negatives the positives are we get to spend a lot of time together and do what we love together, and the negative side is you're around each other all the time and for us, during hunting season we’re on the road for months at a time, we’re going really hard, you're tired, sometimes hunts aren’t going well, and you deal with the negative aspect of it sometimes and like any couple (we’ve been together almost 20 years) you spend tons of time around each other and you can get on each other's nerves LOL! Another negative being a hunting couple is you're away from home together a lot so we really have to make sure when we are home we spend enough time with the kids and make sure we’re getting them involved in the outdoors and spending enough quality family time together.