Julie McQueen is the co-host of Brotherhood Outdoors and a producer for Backstage & Backroads Productions. Her passion for hunting and sharing the outdoors with others is evident from her on-camera time and social media pages. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Julie about her favorite kind of hunting, superpowers, and working side-by-side with her husband.
Britney: Please tell us a little about your background in the outdoors. Who introduced you to hunting and fishing?
Julie: I grew up on an Indian reservation in Oklahoma where there are plenty of ponds to fish, so that was my main attractant to the outdoors. My parents met in the Army, so it was ingrained in me from a young age [how to] shoot, clean, and properly handle firearms. I didn’t have anyone around to take me hunting when I was young, so when I became old enough to take myself hunting, I did just that. I bought some hunting magazines and learned what I could from them. I borrowed a 7mm Magnum for my first deer season, and sat alone in the woods all day until a buck walked by. I harvested him, and then had to figure out what the next step was. It was different back then—I couldn’t just Google it on a smartphone. I learned by trial and error.
You could say that I’m mostly self-taught when it comes to hunting. That could be the reason why I get excited about introducing young people to the outdoors.
Britney: You’re currently co-host of Brotherhood Outdoors (with your husband Daniel Lee Martin) on Sportsman Channel. Do you have any upcoming adventures that you’re particularly excited for?
Julie: I’ve been hosting and producing Brotherhood Outdoors with Daniel Lee for four seasons now, and prior to that we had a different television show for six seasons. Our lives are incredibly exciting and our schedules stay full year-round.
This season lineup is full of adventures that we’ve hand-picked, including an Idaho elk hunt, a Montana whitetail hunt, a Kansas whitetail hunt, and another trip out to Arizona for mule deer. We love big game season, particularly out West in the high altitudes.
I get excited about our hunting season for different reasons than most other television show hosts or producers. We get to take a different guest on every episode. It’s their trip of a lifetime and we’re there to organize, film, produce, and document the adventures for them. Watching someone else fulfill his or her dream and fill a tag never gets old.
Britney: Please tell us what it’s like to work side-by-side with your husband. I would assume that you spend a lot of time together filming, hunting, and running your business.
Julie: Daniel Lee and I spend pretty much all of our time together. Even when we are not on the road, our offices are connected because we took a wall out that separated them. That wouldn’t be a good idea for some couples, but it works for us. We work as a team in pre-production, filming, hunting, editing, creative ideas, traveling, and just life in general.
The one thing that you won’t see from us, however, is the quarreling and competing against each other that some other couples in our industry thrive on. We just aren’t that way. When the cameras are on we treat each other exactly like we do when the cameras aren’t around. That could be our secret to success, and what makes us want to spend our time together. We are genuinely nice to the other person and in full support of their goals as an individual. Also, Daniel Lee is literally the nicest (and funniest) person I’ve ever met. That makes it easy for me to spend 50,000-plus miles a year in the truck with him.
Britney: Do you have hobbies other than hunting?
Julie: I do have other hobbies, but when I have the option to be outdoors, that’s what I like to do. We fish from our kayaks a lot when we have time off. Sometimes, I’ll anchor down in the middle of a lake in my kayak and enjoy the silence. I am also a fitness junkie. If I don’t get to go for a run or a long bike ride at least five days a week, I don’t function well. You could call it a hobby, but I think of it as a lifestyle.
Daniel Lee and I have the same hobbies, so we are always enjoying our days off together. Even when we are on road trips, we camp out and spend time outside in between hunts. We fish when we have time, and we shoot our bows a lot.
Britney: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Julie: What a fun question! Invisibility would be a good super power! My first experiment would be to sit right under a corn feeder and mess with some wildlife when they walk up to feed. You know, a little tap on the shoulder and nobody is there when the deer turns to look. Unless, of course, if invisibility doesn’t take your scent away. Then I might need a scent-control superpower!
Britney: You’re stranded on a deserted island—name five items you would have with you and why.
- A magnesium fire starter—because most fish taste better when cooked.
- A pack of broadheads—making your own broadheads isn’t as easy as it sounds.
- Water purification tablets—I could boil my water, but I may want to be lazy on the island now and then.
- Fishing line—any poundage test is fine. No fishing rod necessary, just the line will do.
- My giant survival knife—because it has a serrated edge that I might need to build a shelter.
In other words, I should just bring my end-of-the-world survival pack.
Britney: Do you have a favorite kind of hunting, or a favorite hunt that you’ve been on, thus far?
Turkey season is at the top of my list because there is just something magical about calling a mature bird in, harvesting him, and then sharing the stories and the meat with friends over a nice dinner. Last season Daniel Lee called a nice Tennessee bird in for me, I took him with my Remington Versa Max and we managed to get his bird two hours later. We will never forget that day.
I also thoroughly enjoy hog hunting. They are nuisance animals so we can hunt them year-round. I usually hunt them with my Mathews, but recently I’ve been shooting some of them with different rifle calibers. I shot one in Texas with a Remington .300 Ultra Mag and we put the whole thing on the smoker for dinner.
Images courtesy Julie McQueen