Sometimes when plans fall apart, better ones come to replace it. This is exactly what happened when Clint Easley from REVOL Entertainment reached out to me regarding filming a hunt. We setup a plan for a Northern California snow goose hunt which we were both looking forward to. For unfortunate reasons, the goose hunt didn’t pan out but what replaced it was something we didn’t expect. VIDEO DOWN BELOW...
Clint got to thinking for a Plan B and ended up putting together a duck hunt in Washington through his friends at One Outdoors & Safety’s Off Guide Service in collaboration with TruckVault. With new arrangements made and dates set I was ready to fly out to Washington to hunt duck and to also do a cooking demo in the field with the waterfowl afterwards on TruckVault’s new camping/cooking setup.
But of course, another wrench got thrown into the equation when Clint called me and said two of the three guys that were supposed to be on the hunt with us came down with Covid after attending SHOT Show in Las Vegas. All the plans were in the air until the night before my flight when Clint text me saying, “pack your bags, we're still gonna make it happen." It’s one thing to pack for a hunting trip but adding all of my cooking materials to my packing list can become a little overwhelming at a last moments notice. Needless to say, I forgot to pack a few essential things, but thankfully he had a local Cabela's we were able to stop by.
The flight to Washington from California was smooth sailing and Clint was ready and waiting for me once I landed. Meeting him for the first time was such an honor and I’m so thankful for him and for opening up his Airbnb for me to stay at.
After a great nights rest, we dove right into our 2 day hunt, meeting with the boys from Safety’s Off Guide Service (located in Lynden, WA). John Vanwingerden (owner & guide) and Tyler Nelson (guide) had all of their scouting homework done ahead of time and knew exactly where the birds wanted to be. Due to foggy conditions, we didn't kick things off until later morning, but they put us right on the X, hidden in style behind their Tangle Free Panel Blind as we had migratory flocks and flocks of widgeon and mallards landing in their Dakota Decoys.
The hunt was absolutely phenomenal and we all limited out on birds in just a few hours. One thing that really stood out to me most importantly was that even though we all shot (Kent Cartridge brand preferred) our limit of ducks, you could tell that John & Tyler genuinely cared about creating a unique experience through shared camaraderie and forging new friendships with engaging and fun conversation. For me, that was really important and gave me a huge respect for them and their outfit. As we often like to say hunting is not just about the kill but rather the bonds and friendships that are built along the way through those hunting experiences. I full-heartedly believe that to be true and these guys were first-class. And I can't forget to mention that Clint came in on point with his portable SKB Cases & Black Rifle Coffee kit...hot coffee while hunting is always a plus!
After the hunt, I was given the opportunity to cook up the ducks we shot on the all-new TruckVault camping/cooking demo. This setup was amazing! It had a big built-in, bamboo cutting board for me to prepare the meal on, drawers for utensil storage, and a camp stove that all pulled out for easy in-the-field food preparation. I'm now hooked and can’t wait to get one for my personal truck. I made Crostini Duck Breast Hors D’oeuvres with a garlic/jalapeño mayo sauce for the appetizer (see recipe & images below) and Garlic Naan Venison Tacos (courtesy Tyler's Blacktail) with mint chutney for the main course. There's something super satisfying to go from Sky to Skillet in a matter of hours, and to share that meal with new friends just solidifies my passion even more for God's great outdoors and the creation we get to enjoy.
If you're curious as to which waterfowl camo brand I am wearing it's called AVES and for anyone who appreciates premium quality gear and a direct-to-consumer business model definitely check them out, it's excellent!
This hunting trip was one that I will never forget. For my first time to Washington state and in the Pacific Northwest, it did not disappoint! I’m so grateful for these amazing guys and am already looking forward to our next adventure. Thank you to Clint & Kyle (REVOL), Jake (One Outdoors), John, Tyler, Seth, Tanner & Kaiden (Safety's Off Guide Service), and to Ross & Alex (Truck Vault) for making this film collaboration project possible. Be sure to look these guys up to see more from the hunt.