The best moments in my life have been on the side of a mountain or in the deep timber on a hunt.
Capturing those moments on film and being able to share them with the world through my TV show, Skull Bound Chronicles, has been a gift. Not only do I get to feature hunters as the true wildlife lovers we are while combating the stereotypes of mainstream media, I get to show how healing time in the natural world can be.
The way in which people watch their favorite tv shows has dramatically changed in the last couple of years. Viewers are living vicariously through other adventure seekers by cell phones and smart TV's. Network television is not dead by any means, but it's gotten a complete makeover. Cable cords are being severed and bills are being cut. With over 80% of US households watching TV on an internet connected device, whether it's ROKU, Amazon Fire, or simply air casting shows from a cell phone to a TV, people are ingesting their shows WHEN they want it and HOW they want it without the large monthly expense.
After nine years of Hosting Skull Bound TV on network television, I made the jump to digital in 2020. I wanted viewers to be able to watch Skull Bound Chronicles on their time and have the ability to share the episodes. The reasons I chose CarbonTV to air my show were twofold. One, they are a free platform with the promise that they'll always be free. Free app. Free online website access. No cost to the viewers whatsoever. Second, Carbon TV is a company owned and operated by hunters who will never discriminate, remove, block, or censor hunting videos, unlike other public video platforms. It's been a fantastic move to CarbonTV and with the recent announcement of a partnership with AppleTV, it's just one more way to watch.
CarbonTV, now the largest OTT platform for online distribution of outdoor content, recently announced their 2nd annual Carbon Awards! The awards were created in 2020 to recognize and celebrate fan favorite people, moments and production quality. Having the viewers decide which videos deserve awards is a great way to introduce a variety of new shows to the fans. Fans get to vote on 13 categories of Carbon Awards ranging from Best Cinematography to Best Blooper. All but one award, the President's Pick, are voted on by the viewers.
When trying to decide if I had a "Best Moment" clip for submission, it took me only seconds to decide I was going to enter my recent hunt with Recon Marine, Jonathon Blank. Jonathon was severely wounded in 2010 in Afghanistan while conducting a long-range recon mission. He stepped on an IED and sustained shrapnel wounds to his left arm and head. The blast also severed both legs. Despite years of surgeries and rehab, Jonathon's positive attitude and adventuresome spirit has helped him to remain very active in the outdoors. He enjoys hunting, downhill skiing, 4-wheeling and water sports. He is an inspiration.
I was lucky enough to take Jonathon on an elk hunt in Wyoming last fall. R&K Hunting Company is an outfitting business that's been gracious in hosting many of my veteran elk hunts over the years and I was excited to get Jonathon into the alluring mountains of Wyoming. We were joined by Bryan Marshall, otherwise known as Bam Bam. He is a retired Marine and the Founder of Wishes For Warriors. Bam had a dual purpose on this hunt, comic relief and pack mule. Jonathon is incredibly mobile, but there were instances on the hunt where we needed to either move quickly through the snow or up a steep hillside. Bam was a critical part of this endeavor.
On the hunt Bam wore my Eberlestock pack frame and was able to carry Jonathon where needed. This was a feat only a few men could muster. Watching these two Marines, both brimming with strength and admiration for one another, was not only heartfelt, but inspiring. When it all came together, we watched a beautiful six point bull fall to Jonathon's Nosler rifle, and I can't express enough the sheer elation we all felt. It's moments like that, where hard work and dedication from so many, make me tear up with gratitude for my life, this country and the hunt.
As the sun started to go down behind the mountain and we gathered around Jonathon's bull, I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed with emotions. The Kryptek motto, "from the battlefield to the backcountry," not only refers to their gear but to the brotherhood. This hunt not only won the 2021 Carbon Award for Best Moment, but ranks as one of the best moments of my life. I'm honored to be able to share it with you
Watch the full episode titled, :The Heart Of A Warrior," below.