My name is Justin Olson, and I have always loved hunting. At a very young age, my parents were divorced. The majority of the time my siblings and I lived with my mom, and when I was younger, I was not able to take myself out hunting. This made the time with my dad even more important. Before I could legally hunt myself, I was the tag-a-long with my dad and his duck hunting buddies. I have one special memory of him carrying me, the gear, and all of the food for the day to the location of our hunt because I didn’t have my own waders. If any of you have ever tried to walk in “duck” water with waders, just staying upright can be tricky! Moments like these helped build a lifelong desire to hunt. Whether it be birds on the water, squirrels in the back yard, or deer in my hometown in Central Minnesota.
Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy fishing, but I have always had something in my heart for pursuing birds and animals. Growing up in a rural town, I had many opportunities to fulfill my desire to seek out my quarry. To help fuel my desires, I even gained employment at the age of 15 at the local sporting goods store. It was there, and through a special friend’s help, that I discovered the world of archery. At 15, I knew I had found my weapon of choice.
As I aged, I learned more about hunting big game and found more open doors into the wilderness. One example is heading into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Northern Minnesota to assist in a moose hunt for some friends. At the end of the 10 mile long trip by canoe, my good friend Ty and I were showing signs of hypothermia…I guess that’s what happens when the weather is barely above freezing and the rain never lets up.
It was shortly after that moose hunting experience that I realized I needed something different. I needed a more constant dose of being in true wilderness, and more importantly, I needed to share this love of mine with others. I needed to move west!
In 2007, my wife (Jessica) and our baby boy (Brayden) moved to north Idaho. In the years of living in this wonderful state, I have greatly expanded my knowledge and love for mountain wilderness.
Along with expanding our love and knowledge of this fantastic place, my wife and I have expanded our family. Along with our son Brayden, we also have a wonderful little girl named Braeley, and our third little Olson, Brynley.
With a young family of our own, we know the importance of raising the next generation to take over when we no longer can. All of us at WEO are keenly aware of this fact; we do our part to get and keep the youngsters of the community involved in a BIG way! That is what our focus is, we want to excite and empower our children, share what is out there for everyone to experience, and to advocate this way of life.
Whether it’s chasing gobbling turkeys in the spring, enticing a rut-crazed bull elk in September, or shooting waterfowl over decoys, you will find us in the outdoors and in the most remote and truly wild places we can find.
My passion for the outdoors started at a very young age, documented through pictures of me holding fish/birds with my dad while sporting diaper wear. Like most young outdoorsman that live for the spoils of nature, even before I was of legal age to hunt I was always tagging along with my dad in the field, whether it be brush bustin’ for big ring necks or chasing rutting elk in September. It didn’t matter what the conditions were, if he was going out that’s where I wanted to be. And sometimes, I find myself taking it for granted that I was so fortunate to have such a mentor that was willing to have the patience and bestow his knowledge of the outdoors on to me.
Fast forward 30 years, I now find myself organizing my calendar around hunting seasons and trying to balance that around family time, work, and life in general. The thing I look forward to the most every year is hunting archery elk in September. I took up archery hunting at 15 years old in Idaho. The first species I had an archery tag for was Pronghorn and nearly took my first big game animal with the bow opening day of the Idaho pronghorn season. Ever since then I have looked forward to archery season every year.
Although archery holds a special place in my heart and the suspense/anticipation is at extreme high’s 11 months of the year, I do have 2 wonderful daughters and a fantastic wife that help me pass the time until the woods begin calling again. During that time I try to instill in them my knowledge of the outdoors just as my dad did for me.
Even as a kid I’ve always loved the outdoors, However we lived in the city and my dad wasn’t into the outdoors, So I never got the full experience of being out there hunting. I was able to go fishing at the local stream with my friends and by myself. This created a real passion for fishing.
As I grew up I really wanted to get out hunting, So at age 17 a couple of friends took me on a duck and goose hunting trip. It was the most exhilarating thing I had ever done! We were duck hunting on the water and goose hunting in a field. This was the first time I had gone out and set up by the moon light! I was hooked for life!
I loved it out there so much that I started taking my 2 daughters and my son out with me as soon as they were old enough. All 3 kids enjoyed fishing, But my son Justin really took to hunting. It didn’t take long for him to become a better shot than me in the duck blind!
I loved duck hunting so much that I never got into big game hunting because the duck and big game seasons overlapped, but duck hunting wasn’t enough for Justin and he started bow hunting with some friends. Eventually, Justin was able to talk me into giving bowhunting a try… Turned out I love bow hunting too!
As much as I love hunting and fishing, I’ve found that I really enjoy sharing the experiences with others through video, photos and our podcast. Recording our adventures has opened up an entirely new way of experiencing the outdoors!