An Interview With Jana Waller
How did you acquire your love for hunting?
When I was a young girl I would spend every minute I could
outdoors, whether it was searching for frogs or building a fort in the woods. My Dad fostered my interest in the great outdoors and started taking me along on his pheasant hunts when I was old enough to walkthrough the tall prairie grasses of Wisconsin. I would sit by his side in the duck and gooseblinds, always excited about the uncertainly that comes with hunting. I took my Hunter’sSafety class in 1983 and it has been a passion of mine ever since. I bought a bow and started big game hunting when I was a freshman in college after I met another female bow hunter who inspired me.
What is your fondest hunting memory?
It’s simply way too difficult to name one fondest memory. I’ve been so incredibly blessedto hunt many big game species all over the world and there’s something magnificent about allof the hunts. Some of my favorite childhood memories are of my dad and I taking road tripsfrom Wisconsin to South Dakota to pheasant hunt for the week. Sometimes it’s simply thepeople who I hunt with that truly make the experience. For example, I took Bo Riechenbech,a double amputee former Navy SEAL, on his very first elk hunt two years ago. After sevendays of conquering the rugged Montana mountains, Bo finally got his bull and it was anincredibly emotional and exhilarating moment. This past Fall I went on an epic DIY moosehunt in the Alaskan bush in search of bull moose that will go down in my books as one ofmy all-time favorite hunts. Every single hunt I’ve been on has its own sense of adventure andthey’re impossible for me to rank.
Women that have never been hunting before, whatare they missing out on when their husbands and boyfriends leave them behind?
I would say that anyone who doesn’t hunt is missing out on seeing the great outdoors like they’ve never seen it before. When you’rein camouflage and you’re still, quiet, and observant, nature has a deeper way of coming alive around you. I’d say they’re missing outon the unpredictability, adventure and the beauty of the unknownthat only hunters understand. There’s always a sense of uncertainty and surprise that comes from the hunt. They’re also missing out on asense of accomplishment. There’s a lot of preparation that goes intothe hunt, from learning your weapon, scouting, to getting in shapefor the backcountry; and after you’ve hiked dozens of miles, endured the weather, pushed your patience and found success, there’s often a tremendous sense of pride and achievement from the hunt. I would also hate to have to rely on the grocery store for my meat. I’d say nonhuntersare missing out on clean, organic meat all the while helping manage the wildlife. Many people don’t make that connection to where their food comes from.
What would you tell someone outside the hunting
community that believe hunting is just killing not
I would tell non-hunters—and even anti-hunters—that hunting
is truly more about living than killing. We hunters are the greatest
conservationists in this country and it’s through our hunter’s dollars
and volunteer work that our herds, habitat and flocks are managed.
The Pittman Robertson Act of 1937, and its subsequent amendments,
is an excise tax placed on hunting equipment that generates funds for
each state to manage its animals and habitat. Hunters spend around
ten billion dollars a year on everything they need for their hunting
trips, generating between 177 and 324 million dollars a year in funds!
Couple that with the money raised by conservation groups and it’s
clear to see that hunters are the ones truly protecting the wildlife and
Obviously you have a special place in your heart
for veterans, how did you acquire that?
The older I get the more I simply appreciate my freedoms. I am awoman living in the greatest country in the world. I can work hard,chase my dreams, defend myself and create ANY life that I want;those are freedoms that I don’t take for granted. Nor did they comewithout a price. Our servicemen and woman continue to fight theevil and atrocities that attempt to destroy this great country and ourfoundation. I have a lot of friends who have served in the military andwith every story told around the campfire I am all the more motivatedto help create awareness for our veterans. The burdens of war shouldnot be placed on the soldier’s shoulders, but all of ours who get to enjoy FREEDOM. We need better health care and support systems in place for our warriors. If I can help combat vets by getting them back into the woods or on the water, to feel the healing power of Mother Nature,then I feel I’m giving back as a way to say thank you. That’s why I’vegotten involved with Wishes For Warriors, a fantastic organization that helps combat veterans get back into hunting and fishing.
With it being an election year, who are you voting for?
Well I can tell you who I’m NOT voting for! Hillary for PRISON!
What can we expect from you and Skull Bound TV
in the future?
We are currently filming for Season 6 of Skull Bound TV. Wehave a lot of exciting big game hunts coming up this Fall with someamazing veterans as well. The hunt I’m most excited about will takeplace in Wyoming where we’re taking triple amputee Erik Galvanon his very first elk hunt! It’s guaranteed to be an amazing journeythanks to Wishes For Warriors. This next season will be the year ofthe muley, as we have hunts lined up in Nevada, Utah and Montanaas well as some unique skull projects in the works. For Jim and I, it’sall about telling a good story, sharing our message of conservationand trying to pass on our passion for the hunt.