In the past few years, Travis “T-Bone” Turner has made a name for himself as one of the top archers in the industry sweeping away multiple competitions. He also has a hand in many other aspects of the outdoor industry. T-Bone co-hosts a very entertaining and successful hunting show, Bone Collector, runs his own archery business, works for Realtree camouflage and is involved in various wildlife conservation efforts.
Outdoor Hub sat down with T-Bone for an exclusive interview to get to know how he first got his feet wet in archery and to discuss the Bone Collector series amidst the backdrop of his continual conservation involvement.
This article is part of a series of interviews and videos surrounding Realtree and Bone Collector. Interviews are available with: Nick Mundt, Travis (T-Bone) Turner, David Blanton, Tyler Jordan, Bill Jordan’s CEO to CEO and NASCAR.
Additional videos include: Friends, Family and the Outdoors, Behind-the-Scenes and BLOOPERS.
00:00:08 How did you get to be the top of the archery industry?
Travis (T-Bone) Turner: I appreciate that, about being top in the industry. I don’t know about that, maybe just very very fortunate. But, got into the industry like so many other people. Family and friends, you know, they encouraged me to get into it. As far as archery goes I just took to it like a duck towards water. I just uh, something I was pretty good at. It’s been my mainstay as far as an income ever since the early 90s, so, very appreciative for the archery industry and the outdoor industry.
00:00:33 What qualities make a good archer?
TT: What makes a good archer in my eyes is someone that can suppress their nervous energy. Someone who can take away all the adrenaline and throw it out. I mean, it’s you against the target, it’s you against the animal that you’re trying to harvest, so someone that can suppress their nervous energy. So many sports these days want you to have that nervous energy, you know, to knock that home run, to run the ball across the goal line, or to do a slap shot or a three point shot, you want that nervous energy. But golf, archery especially and bowhunting, you want to suppress that nervous energy.
00:01:06 How have you progressed since your first arching experience?
TT: As far as training for archery and how did I prepare for my first one. Well, I got my first bow on a Wednesday and I competed in my first tournament on a Sunday. So I basically was throwed to the dogs right off the bat on that. But as far as over the years, I think we always learn, I don’t think you ever quit learning. Archery is a sport like so many others, you can always get better, so you’re always improving and you’re always learning. Archery is a lot to do with fundamentals and you set-up and your equipment, but even more so mind over matter, so you really have to work on your mind game and do a lot of visual practice too. But, shoot, it’s been a part of me for 25 years. I can’t, I can’t imagine life without it.
00:01:45 Describe your show, Bone Collector?
TT: Me, Michael and Nick are all like-minded personalities. We all just, never had a bad day, we just always get along so well. And we just celebrate the passion for the outdoors that we have. And Bone Collectors is a project, which we say the brotherhood, which is celebrating the culture of a hunter. You know, be proud to be a hunter. And as far as what I bring to the table, I mean, probably no different than the other guys – just proud to be in this industry, just proud to have the platform that we have, and I guess if you, one thing that kind of brought me to it is my archery. I just am an archery guru. So passionate about it. Can’t get enough of shooting, working on bows and seeing the bows go to work and harvesting the deer. That’s just cherry on top for me.
00:02:27 What’s the importance of conservation associations?
TT: So what’s the importance of managing the deer population? Well there’s several things that come to mind, first of all, filling the freezer up. That’s the most important thing cause venison is good. But, one, you have to keep it in check, otherwise mother nature is going to take care of it herself. Meaning you have massive outbreaks of disease, also you want to keep it in check with the populations around the cities. It’s up to us, we are stewards of the land and we have to take that into consideration and make sure to keep that in check.
Well conservation groups are important to all of us, I mean whether you’re just billy-joe lunch bucket that hunts or no matter what platform you are and we at Bone Collectors, me, Michael and Nick and even the folks from Realtree we all want to be involved with all that, because if they’re not preserving our heritage and they’re not preserving the resource that we have in conservation which is the wildlife, well then we’re not going to get to perform the duties of a hunter throughout the years and years to come for our kids.
00:03:22 What is the future of Bone Collector?
TT: The future of Bone Collectors? Wow. Just the continuation, celebration of the sport that we love and or heritage. Will there be another one on there? We like to think that everybody is part of the brotherhood. You know, we don’t like to have pro-staff or another host, we just like to include everybody. Man, sky is the limit. I guess it’s all up to the fans and how the people react, I’m just thankful for everyday that we get to enjoy the life that we live. We’ve got some other projects coming around the corner and some other ideas of some hunts and some different things. We’re going to try to have some more brotherhood bashes also and you know, sky’s the limit. Basically we’re all three living our dreams, just taking each day with a grain of salt, just preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.