OUTD: We're interviewing you guys while you're on the road… Where exactly are you guys headed?
Rick & Julie (R&J): West of Lincoln, hunting on the Kansas-Nebraska line, bowhunting hunting whitetail.
OUTD: What have you been up to recently?
Rick - Traveling and hunting...
Julie - Hunting hunting hunting!
Rick - Since September, we've been going pretty hard. We had a little setback in September. Julie's dad got West Nile Virus from a mosquito bite and almost died.
Julie - We had hunted one day in Alberta, and the next morning on the way back to the lodge, I got a call from Mom saying Dad had a stroke, and they were on their way from the hospital. We ended the hunt short and drove back to Nebraska. He was pretty sick for the whole month of September. I had never thought about West Nile, and it's a pretty scary disease. We put the hunting off for month until he got feeling better and we felt good about leaving.
OUTD: Has your dad made a good recovery?
Julie - He is actually doing much better and has no long term side effects. Some of the other patients in the hospital had passed away from West Nile, and another young woman had been in Intensive Care for over three weeks. It can be pretty severe, but he is doing better.
OUTD: Is all of this traveling and hunting for future episodes of Beyond The Hunt?
Rick & Julie (R&J) - Yes, you bet!
Julie - Everything is caught on camera! This is all new stuff for next year.
OUTD: Have you guys had any memorable, interesting moments from the hunts so far?
Julie - Other than the West Nile incident, something that was really cool was from Kansas in October. We had a couple bobcats come in, and they didn't know we where set up on the ground there. It was interesting for me because I'm a cat lover. We had a big male bobcat come up and set up 15 yards behind us, and we just sat and watched him do his own thing.
OUTD: Other than Nebraska, what other states and species can viewers of Beyond The Hunt expect to see in your new episodes?
Rick - We are hunting whitetail and mule deer in Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Wyoming, and Colorado. And come this spring, we have some pretty cool top secret stuff on tap (laughing).
OUTD: That's a lot of travel, you're racking up quite a few miles.
Rick - You'll have to check in on us after Christmas!
Julie - I have to tell you, we have two vehicles, and the one we are in right now is our truck, and it has 304,000 miles.
OUTD: That's a lot of miles!
Julie - We laugh because Rick has an old '72 Chevy that his Uncle bought brand new off the lot, and it has stayed in the family. Rick has restored it. So that's our fun pickup. And we have this current Chevy truck that has 304,000 miles.
Rick - It's a neat story. I think the best part is that the miles that are on this pickup have all been from what we do with Beyond The Hunt and our hunting business at the time. It's been a part of what we've done for all these years. It's pretty cool.
OUTD: You met each other as physical therapists, correct?
Julie - Correct. We were both physical therapists at the same clinic in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and now here we are!
OUTD: How did you go from physical therapy to show hosts and full-time hunters?
Julie - We were physical therapists for the first few years we were married, and then we got into the outfitting business. That kept growing so we both needed to be hands on, full-time. Then, we were invited to be part of Dream Season: Couples with the Drurys, and that led into our own show. It's been full-time for the both of us.
OUTD: Do you ever miss your old jobs?
Rick - I think for us, both professions are tied in. Both of the jobs are so active. When we were physical therapists, we treated a lot of athletes and active people, and I had been a collegiate athlete as well. Even though we are out of the therapy, we both really love the physicality of the hunts. We transitioned our work to the field.
Julie - The thing that is most important to us when we were therapists was for us to be in shape so we could help our patients get back in shape and reach their goals. I think that's what has carried over for us into the hunting. It's very important to us to be in shape and to be fit, and not let fitness be a factor in an unsuccessful hunt.
OUTD: You recently had an episode featuring Ultimate FIghting Champion (UFC) Light Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture. How did you guys meet, and what's it like having him out in the field with you?
Rick - We had some close ties with other fighters in mixed martial arts. Randy was a hunter growing up, and so we met through some mutual friends and now we've become good friends. It's a lot of fun to take him into our world and share the woods with him. He doesn't get to hunt too much, so the time we get together hunting is great.
Julie - The thing about Randy that is so cool is that he's just in it for the experience and the camaraderie, and doesn't care if he actually shoots something. It's been fun, we went out to his last fight in Boston, and got to see what his world was all about. He's been in our world hunting, and now we've been in his world fighting. It's been pretty interesting.
OUTD: Viewers and fans of yours know you travel extensively in pursuit of whitetail and mule deer. Do either of you have a "Dream Hunt" - a hunt at the top of your list that would be a dream come true?
Julie - I don't know if I have an exact place, but I love an elk hunt in the mountains. I love the physical challenge of the terrain, and it is such a rush to hear the bulls bugle. Elk hunting is my favorite.
Rick - Mine is three-fold. I would love to do an Alaskan Moose hunt. I would to do a Dall Sheep hunt. And I would love to do an Alaska Brown Bear hunt. Those are all the ones that are so expensive that I'll probably never be fortunate to be able to afford, but those are the three at the top of my list. Those would be awesome, once-in-a-lifetime hunts for me.
OUTD: How do you juggle your holiday plans with how much hunting you do?
Rick - We do everything together - we're husband and wife, hunting partners, best friends - and sometimes we lose track of the holidays. We're going to try this year to really make some time with our family. We feel the pressure of hunting season, trying to represent our sponsors and hunt as much as we can. But life is short and you have to take care of your family. But there's always a tag open somewhere. And it may not be the right way, but we're just trying to make the best out of it right now. We don't have kids, so maybe one day when we do have kids, it will slow down a little bit.
Julie - We usually make sure we try to split up the holidays - we'll spend Thanksgiving with Rick's family and then my family on Christmas, and then the next year, switch that around.
OUTD: Other than hunting, what are your other hobbies and interests that we don't see on Beyond The Hunt?
Rick - I'm a motor-head. I'm a vehicle nut. I love the off-road stuff. I have 3 Chevy trucks, a motorcycle, and an older Cadillac car. I love vehicles. I also love shed hunting and being out in the field taking pictures.
OUTD: Lastly, for anyone reading this that maybe hasn't seen your show, or know what you both are about, what is it about your show that makes it different from other hunting shows? And why should they check out Beyond The Hunt?
Rick - I really feel that Beyond The Hunt shows everything about hunting. We're human and we aren't afraid to show who we are and when we mess up. Sometimes, we'll sit in a stand for 30 days and don't get anything! I think people can relate to us. We show the entire hunting process for the entire hunting season. When you hunt fair chase, you have no control over the animals. We like to say "hunt hard, get lucky".
Thank you Rick & Julie for your time. Beyond The Hunt airs Thursdays at 3pm ET and 8pm ET and Mondays at 2am ET.