OutdoorHub contributor Blake Alma recently talked with Julie McQueen, co-host of CarbonTV’s “Till Death Do Us Part,” to catch up on what’s been happening recently with her show, as well as many other aspects of her life.
BA: Julie, how are things going with “Till Death Do Us Part”?
JM: My husband, Daniel Lee, and I are in our second season of the show, and we are extremely pleased with our success over at CarbonTV and the viewer response. Till Death is a fun series, and we’re having a blast with it! We took a big leap when we left network television to go completely digital with this new series, and now we are seeing that it was a great idea! It’s nice to engage with so many viewers who are actually watching our content. And our episodes on CarbonTV are all-original, never-before-seen footage. This series is fun for us because we can be ourselves. People get to see a more lighthearted side of me than what they’ve ever seen before on the other television shows. We are filming full time to accumulate content, and have a very exciting fall season lined up.
BA: I heard that you are working with the National Wild Turkey Federation. Please tell me about that.
JM: Yes, Daniel Lee and I have signed on as official spokespeople for the NWTF, joining some of our respected peers such as Michael Waddell, Jana Waller and Brenda Valentine. The NWTF is doing great things to preserve wildlife habitat and to recruit new hunters, and I’m proud to be a part of that. Daniel Lee and I are turkey fanatics, so we are using our platform to inspire more couples to get into the turkey woods together as a family. When people ask me what my favorite time of the year is, I can always answer without hesitation – spring turkey season. I love all types of hunting, but turkeys have a very special place in my heart.
BA: That is awesome. You also work the Mule Deer Foundation, correct?
JM: I am working with the Mule Deer Foundation to increase awareness and promote their membership drives. We are working on a number of ladies’ events and other exciting things together. The MDF has been a major component in improving habitat for wildlife, and I work to utilize my platform to promote that along with them.
The MDF has always treated us like family, and we have a long-standing relationship with them. In my mind, it’s legit because up until last year I had never harvested a mule deer. I tried for years before I was successful, but that was never a deterrent for them to let me get involved.
Some people think that we have to always harvest animals, or harvest large trophy animals, to be taken seriously in this industry. So, this is a testament to the exact opposite. We were working with the MDF long before we had ever tagged one for ourselves.
BA: Tell us about some of the other companies and organizations with whom you are affiliated.
JM: I am working with Girls with Guns Clothing on some exciting things for the upcoming year, focusing on their athletic line and many side projects that they have in the works. I’ve always strived to support women in our industry, and their brand emulates everything I love about our hunting community.
This also ties in nicely with my partnership with Wilderness Athlete. My fitness platform is very important to me, and I have found a way to promote a healthy lifestyle through these companies. I’m currently writing a fitness column for MidWest Outdoors Magazine to motive our readers to live a healthier lifestyle.
We work with Sitka Gear, K2 Coolers, Mathews Archery, Yamaha, Swarovski Optik, Rambo Bikes, and a number of other brands in the industry. To some people that might just look like a list of company names, but to me it the driving force behind what I do for a living. Without top-quality products and gear, I wouldn’t be able to be as successful in the field every year. Without the support of our partners, we wouldn’t be able to stay in business. I’ll always be grateful for the companies that have believed in us from the beginning.
Also, we have launched an Adventure Series page through Fin & Field that is meant to help people who are looking to book their next adventure. By compiling a list of trusted guides and outfitters and writing reviews for them, we are helping people who want to book a trip but aren’t sure where to start. I’m proud to have so many great outfitters and guides listed that we can trust to take care of our friends.
BA: Much like myself, you are an outdoor writer as well. Tell us about some of the publications you’ve written for in the past.
JM: I write for a number of publications, and I love that I’ve expanded my platform from television to print over the past few years. Currently, I am writing for the Mule Deer Foundation magazine, The American Woman Shooter magazine, MidWest Outdoors magazine, and a few others.
My monthly column in MidWest Outdoors is called “Fitness for the Field.” I try to motivate my readers to live a healthier lifestyle so that they can enjoy the outdoors even more. Some of my other articles include hunting stories about my travels, product reviews, or even how-to articles. I wrote an article recently for The American Woman Shooter magazine that encourages women to learn how to sight their own rifles in and how to use turreted riflescopes and how to calculate ballistics. I believe in self-education, and I love empowering other women to do things for themselves in the field.
BA: Glad to see you have been doing a heck of a lot in the outdoor industry. Of all the work you have accomplished, what is your most treasured accomplishment?
JM: One of my most treasured accomplishments in recent months has been the influx of young people who are reaching out to me, usually through their parents, to let me know what their accomplishments are in the outdoors. Many of them are getting their hunting licenses, or tagging their first animals, and I respond to each and every one of them personally. I use the proceeds from my online shirt sales to pay for shipping costs to these young people. Sometimes it’s a handwritten note, an autographed hat or shirt, and sometimes it’s something that they specifically need for an upcoming hunt. But I respond to each of them in hopes that I might help their love for the outdoors grow even more.
I feel like our young generation of hunters need encouragement and they need to know that we believe in them. I don’t have an official nonprofit set in place for this practice yet, and I’m just investing my own money back into it because I believe in it. But the look on the face of a kid who receives a surprise package from me in the mail is enough to keep me wanting to do more for them.
BA: How has your production company been going?
JM: Our production company “Backstage & Backroads Productions” is continuing to produce high-quality commercials for the outdoor industry. Many of our official partners have us produce their commercials, and we take pride in being creative and forward-thinking on these projects. Some people believe that we are only “hosts” for outdoor programming, but I also take pride in being behind the scenes, and sometimes behind the camera, on these projects. The creative process is a lot of fun for me, and I love putting my name on commercials, TV show pilots, episodes and short films that I help produce.
BA: Wonderful, Julie. I’m glad you are making the outdoors a better place for everyone! Thanks for taking the time to do this interview, and thanks too for being a guest on The Outdoorsman’s Art Radio Show with me. I appreciate it.
JM: Of course! I’m a big fan of The Outdoorsman’s Art, and I always enjoy sharing my thoughts with on your radio show.
Editor’s note: P.S. Click here if you missed OHUB’s 2016 exclusive interview with Julie McQueen. She was also one of three diehard female hunters featured in CarbonTV’s “Women Who Hunt” online special. Check it out!