Michele says Alaska is one of those trips that, if you can swing it, is incredible and there is something for everyone. Although many people think exclusively about the big game and dangerous game hunting that Alaska offers, in reality there are so many different opportunities available year round. On their recent trip with Ninilchik Charters the Eichler's were able to hunt for deer, ducks, and fox as well as fish for a variety of different species. One of the great things about their trip, Michele says, is that they were able to pick what they wanted to do every day and not everyone in the group had to do the same thing. She hauled in a massive halibut while there noting the difficulty of landing it, and the best part being how great it tasted. Fred spent some time Sitka deer hunting with his recurve and talks about his close encounter with a buck from behind a decoy. It was a tough hunt this year as deer numbers were down, but he was still able to fill his tag. Hunting on Kodiak Island, he says you're always very aware of the fact that there are big brown bears all over the island and that keeps you looking over your shoulder. Their Alaskan hunting and fishing adventures will be featured on the new season of "Everything Eichler" on Sportsman Channel.
Fred and Michele have been involved in outdoor television for years, much of that with an exclusive focus on bowhunting and predator hunting. However, their show "Everything Eichler" now in its third season gives viewers a more complete picture of their outdoor lifestyle. Talking about transitioning to the new show, Fred says they would get a lot of comments from people that were just as interested in their everyday outdoor lifestyle as they were their hunting and fishing adventures. It's social media, Michele says, that really showed them what people are interested in and that was hunting and fishing, of course, but also gardening, canning, cooking, their cow/calf operation, horses, their hay operation, bees and honey gathering, preparing for hunting clients to come in and much more. People gravitate toward that whole field to table lifestyle and it's something the Eichler's live on an everyday basis, but had never really shown on television before. Seeing that growing interest, Fred says Michele was the catalyst in the transformation of their show as they moved in a direction that highlighted their outdoor, family centered lifestyle. In making that transition it has allowed viewers to take a peek behind the curtains and they both note that it has really resonated. Fred says Michele has been gardening, canning, making cheese, honey and more for a long time, so it's fun for them to share these things with people who are really interested. Michele notes that COVID has really put their lifestyle front and center with people realizing they need to get back to a more self-reliant, field to table lifestyle. When COVID hit and there were shortages of meat and food in stores, Michele says they were unaffected as they had plenty of wild game meat in the freezer and a nice cache of frozen and canned vegetables. They were even able to help others out and give away meat to those who needed it and couldn't find it in stores.
Finally, the Eichler's talk about bridging the gap between hunters and non-hunters and bringing more people into the outdoor and hunting lifestyle. Both Fred and Michele say that it's important to impress upon non-hunters that the hunting lifestyle is all about the experience, the family time, the time outdoors and the great meat that goes on the table. "I think the biggest danger to hunting is, the people that are on the fence that maybe aren't super pro hunting and they aren't super negative hunting, if they think we are out there harvesting these animals for what's on their heads instead of what we can eat," Fred says. Although everyone likes a big rack, both Fred and Michele agree that it's important to convey that hunting isn't about trophies, but rather the meat and time in the great outdoors. When COVID hit and people were looking for meat they weren't asking how big the buck was, Michele says. Increasing hunter participation and greater interest in the outdoor lifestyle in many ways hinges on the ability of current hunters to showcase the lifestyle in a positive way.
Listen in as Fred and Michele Eichler join The Revolution this week for a look at their Alaskan hunting and fishing adventures, recruiting new hunters and the new season of their show, "Everything Eichler" on Sportsman Channel, Sundays at 12:30 p.m. ET and anytime on MyOutdoorTV.