A PODCAST FOR THE WORKING CLASS
These days just about anyone can start a business, podcast, or even a blog (LOLZ, such as myself). We see ventures like these popping up on our social media feeds regularly, but what makes these successful or complete misses? Is it the usual cookie cutter, "watch your mouth," "stay within the lines," and, "be professional" attitude? Or is it the hard hitting types that stand by their beliefs, keep it real, but cross some boundaries? In the last two years, I started listening to podcasts. Podcasts about my lifestyle and my biggest passions, specifically, bowhunting. I've listened to everything from podcasts with larger audiences like Wired to Hunt and MeatEater, to the smaller, less mainstream, hidden gems.
There's no doubt that there's educational podcasts out there with great information. Some people might just seek the podcasts that associate with their favorite brands, and that's fine too. For me, however, I struggled for a while to find podcasts that would deliver the content I needed, held my attention, and lastly, was relatable. Sometimes, I would start listening to a podcast and get bored and turn it off half-way through. A large chunk of the information wouldn't apply to me or the type of hunting I do. Sometimes I would start doing something and end up tuning it out. Other times, I just got sick of listening to some self proclaimed professional preach about the "one and only" way to hunt. Let's be honest, none of us are really professional hunters. If we were, we'd never have an unsuccessful hunt, and where's the fun in that? But, I digress...I truly started feeling that podcasts were just a platform for those "preachers" to hoist themselves even higher on their high horses. That was until I stumbled across the Working Class Bowhunter Podcast.
"Up&Coming," "Refreshing Podcast," "A hunting podcast you can relate to..." are just a few of the descriptions under the Working Class Bowhunter reviews on iTunes, which makes sense. I was hooked from the get-go. There was a lot of cussing, inside jokes I didn't get at first, and insight about how they bowhunt whitetails in the Midwest (again, how they hunt, not how you should hunt). I noticed that the guys are able to be serious and professional when it's needed, but they also know how to have a good time with their guests and listeners. In my mind, it immediately took me to my families deer camp. I felt as though I was back up north, sitting in the big, wood stove heated, garage our family congregates in on a fall night, holding a cold Busch Light in hand, adding more money to the "Buck Pool," I have yet to win, telling the same old stories, and doing the usual BS-ing. There really is no other podcast quite like it. I decided to do a little Q&A with the guys of the Working Class Bowhunter Podcast to learn more about the podcast, how it came to be, and what makes them different.
AR: How did you guys get started as a podcast? How Did the team come together?
WCB: It sounds super lame… but Curt tweeted, for some reason, about starting a hunting podcast (well before there was a big selection of them). Steve had a comedy podcast at the time and reached out. Curt wanted to start a podcast because he had a hard time finding one that suited him and his lifestyle. The team officially formed while (Hungover) at a 3D archery shoot. Over time, the part-time hosts and good friends (Mark Riffe, Doug Schmidt, and Clint Casper) came on and became regulars.
AR: Tweeted? Wow, that is lame. Over 220 episodes in now, how has the podcast evolved over time?
WCB: Over the past 3.5 years, We like to think that we've become more comfortable recording the show and have found A unique vibe/dynamic that no one in our industry has. Being comfortable with our style allows us to push boundaries. We say what's on our minds and have the confidence to put it on the show. It's nice knowing that our listeners understand that, even when we say some crazy shit. The studio has evolved over 3.5 years Too. all of us ORIGINALLY SAT in lawn chairs at a plastic table around crappy mics. we were embarrassed to have guests over to see our crappy studio. Now, the studio actually has a legit appearance and feel to it. it allows us to have guests in studio and really have the genuine deer camp experience. Our recording equipment is what we always dreamed of and we're very proud of what it’s turned out to be. It took time, but we made it happen on a working class budget.
AR: So the show is completely funded by magic money, right? I think a lot of listeners don't understand how the podcast is brought to them. Who pays for the equipment/the show? Where do your sponsors come in? Why do you mention them?
WCB: Magic money is exactly how it’s funded. A lot of the funding came out of our own pockets at first, and still does. Sponsors still play a huge role in the process of course, with product, money, advertisement, and much more. Obviously there’s different levels of sponsorship and that plays a big role in how we mention and work with them. Our online store also helps a lot with money for the company. We have been very fortunate to have listeners that want to purchase our hats and shirts and they wear the heck out em! We are currently working on bringing more to the store and trying our best to keep things in stock... which, is a good problem to have.
AR: Is there anything you guys absolutely won't do in the way of podcasting and/or sponsors?
WCB: We definitely won’t let a sponsor control how we produce or manage our show. Of course there’s certain things we have to do that allow us to work with companies. All of our partners are people we either have a true friendship with, or products we actually love and are passionate about. We are at a point where having a sponsorship just to have it, really doesn’t do us any good. it would just take time and content from the show. things will be changing over the next year, and we believe it's for the better.
AR: Why do you do a veteran shoutout? Are any of you veterans?
WCB: it’s important to US to take time to support veterans on the show. None of us are veterans, but we have friends and family that are, as well as a lot of listeners that are too. With how shit is in the media today, we feel it’s one of the most important things we can do to put them on the show and show our appreciation. It allows us to interact with our listeners who submit the shout-outs on our website.
AR: Of all your guests, Which ones have been your favorites? Any favorite episodes?
WCB: We’ve had a lot of fun shows, but that's like trying to pick your favorite kid. Yeah, we have them, we just don't say it out loud. Honestly, any guests we get to record with in-person usually makes for a great episode. Our favorites are the episodes we record during hunting season, after someone in the group has had success on a critter.
AR: Anyone that has listened, knows The Working Class Bowhunter is different from mainstream hunting podcasts. What made you guys decide to take the less “professional” route?
WCB: We didn't really decide to take a certain route. It's just the way we are. This is how we talk on the job site, at home, and at hunting camp. We feel like we'd be just like everyone else if we filtered it. It's more casual and relaxed.
AR: What benefits have come from staying true to the “Working Class” attitude?
WCB: The Number one benefit for us is meeting new people and making a lot of new friends that are like us and share our lifestyle. We're lucky to have a group of listeners that can relate to us and the show.
AR: Have you experienced any backlash, and if so, how?
WCB: We’ve experienced a fair amount of backlash. We've had people get upset with the way we talk, messaging our partners saying we are “bad for business.” Some people have quit associating with us all together. It sucks, but we'll drink a beer for those people.
AR: Do you feel the show gets a lack of recognition in relation to other shows?
WCB: obviously, we have a biased point of view and we feel pretty douchey answering this one...we feel we get a lack of recognition as far as hunting podcasts go. Our dynamic is unique, obviously. we do our best to make it a comfortable but genuine listen. For a Bowhunting podcast, we would say we were the first to put it out such a open, opinionated, and honest show. yeah, we joke around, but We do take this seriously. when all the other bandwagon shows fade out, we will still be drinking blue smoothies in the studio, pushing out content, and having fun doing it. This is a tough question...but honestly, either way we are going to do what we've been doing. If people don’t like it... they don’t have to listen.
AR: What are your goals for the podcast moving forward?
WCB: like we said, We just want to keep doing what we are doing. Having fun, making new friends, and bowhunting our asses off. We have some big projects ahead of us. We would like to make the Working Class Bowhunter a group that people will recognize, and tune into to escape any BS happening in their lives and the hunting industry itself.
There's definitely a shock factor with these boys and no two episodes are alike. I've always said they're the Whitetail Adrenaline of the podcasting world. They stick to their guns and keep it real. They always go LIVE on Facebook and Instagram to interact with their listeners and you truly feel like you're in the studio with them. So, crack open a beer or pour yourself a nice cold beverage, sit back, and listen to The Working Class Bowhunter Podcast. As the boys always say closing the show, "We love ya, go shoot your bow."
WHERE TO FIND THEM:
WEBSITE: THE WORKING CLASS BOWHUNTER PODCAST
FACEBOOK: THE WORKING CLASS BOWHUNTER PODCAST