September 30, 2011

Badlands Q & A with Fred Eichler

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Fred Eichler with bear

Fred Eichler

1- Out of all of your animals you have taken, which is the most meaningful? Why? All of them! They really all are super meaningful to me. I guess if I had to pick a few that stand out I would pick the sheep hunts because they push me both physically and mentally and they are awesome animals that live in incredible country. I would also say the ones that almost killed me because of boat flips, plane crashes or horse wrecks, I would also have to say the big bears that have charged me are pretty meaningful and the leopard that almost ate us, and there was that one rabbit that bit my finger…..geez stop asking such tough questions. Its hard to pick one!

2- What bows are shooting now? My signature Hoyt buffalo recurve that I helped design and my Hoyt matrix.

3- Tell me about your arrow set up… A 400Easton axis arrow tipped with a muzzy phantom broadhead.

4- What is your favorite animal to hunt? Whatever I am hunting at the time!

5- Where is Fred Eichler in ten years? Probably in a pile of bear scat. I hope I am still doing all the things I love with my family still. But odds are pretty high on the bear scat.

6- What can we expect from Easton Bowhunting this year? Some awesome shows for all kinds of critters. Brown Bear,coues deer, mule deer, #444tail and the rest are a secret. But it will be another fun year!

7-Where did your hunting passion stem? From my Dad taking me out as a kid and instilling a passion for the outdoors in general. I just am not an inside guy.I prefer to shoot, skin and eat animals I harvest myself I also love the challenge of hunting.

8-Tell me about your first Elk… It was a big cow. I was shaking so bad I had to lean against a tree to shoot. She came in to my poor cow calls amazingly. It was in the evening and it was cold and I wasn’t sure I could find the spot if I left it in the dark so I spent the night on the blood trail. I had no sleeping bag and no matches so I spent a cold night jogging in place a few times to keep warm. When it got light enough to see I followed the blood trail to my first elk. MyEaston arrow and muzzy had done there job. That was almost 25 YEARS AGO!

9- Fred, from watching your shows, it seems as though your kills are not always about size but about the animal/experience. In a world where it seems bigger is better what your view on this is? I THINK THERE IS TOO MUCH EMPHASIS ON THE SIZE OF THE ANIMAL AND NOT THE SIZE OF THE EXPERIENCE. If you measure a hunt by how much fun you have then they are all successful hunts whether you get an animal or not.

10- As a bowhunter, what can someone do to help save this sport? Introduce people to our wonderful sport and also belong to organizations that fight to protect our rights like your state bowhunting assoc.

11- 3 items you carry in yourBadlands… lighter, energy bars, water

12- What’s a “day in the life” of Fred Eichler look like? Shooting my bow, goofing off with the kids, guiding hunters or working on our ranch,scouting,riding horses…geez it varies I am always doing something either outdoors or family oriented.

13- Most frightening backcountry experience? When a client had a horse roll on him or when one of my clients broke his leg. There was also that time I forgot toilet paper…

14- Tell me about the hardest thing you’ve ever done? I will assume you are talking hunting related and I would say it is passing an animal because my cameraman can’t see it . . . that is tough.

15- 5+ day backcountry hunts….your preference, the Ox or the 4500? The ox

16- What inspires you? My family and my drive to be in wild places.

17- Favorite Movie of all time? The oulaw Josey wales or lonesome dove

18- Best piece of hunting advice for those reading this article. Dont let anyone tell you what is or isn’t a trophy. Hunt for yourself and no one else.

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