"Field To Table Outdoors." The name first came to me on a crisp, October, tree stand hunt as the sun slowly set on the whitetail woods of Western New York. It came after millions of other bad ideas. But the story of how Field To Table Outdoors was created, started long before a name...
I wanted more
I wanted more from life than the typical 9-5 job or the crazy shifts I worked that was my life as a contractor in Iraq. Working 12-18 hour days in the not-so-fertile Fertile Crescent, I dreamt of better days, and time well spent in the woods. Particularly the elk woods, which was a new found dream of mine. I had never been hunting out west, let alone seen an elk in the wild. I grew up in Western NY. Whitetail deer ruled the woods, followed second by the wild turkey. Elk, mountains, and hiking miles in and out of hunting spots was a completely foreign concept to me. So I spent my time imprisoned in the sandbox researching elk and how to hunt them. I found out that there was a lot to know and I had no idea where to start, but a YouTube Channel called "Born and Raised Outdoors" really helped me not only learn what I wanted to know but fueled my desire to jump head first into the unknown. They helped me understand through entertainment that what I really needed to do was just do it. The rest would follow. So I bought a Colorado Over The Counter (OTC) archery tag. I hiked over 22 miles in 2 days, got food poisoning, possible elevation sickness, and saw 0 elk. I was hooked. The desire to find, hear, and kill an elk to fill my freezer and satisfy my need for adventure was now forever on my mind.
I figured... I can do this
I figured... I can do this. I can learn the things I need to learn and conquer my goals. But in all my efforts to learn, I piqued the interest of my friends, many of whom have never hunted in their lives. They would ask me questions about hunting and how to get involved in the lifestyle. Some wanted to get into hunting for the reasons I love it so much, which is food. Some saw it as a way to use their military skills outside the military and give another reason to use their shooting skills since they love to shoot so much. Some were simply just curious and had no expectations other than it seemed like something interesting to try out and gave them a reason to be in nature. I made it clear that I would teach them all what I had learned over 24 years of hunting, so long as they would promise to be both the ethical hunter and the conservationist that I would like to think I embody.
Too many friends, too little time
I only have so much time to give. Yet, I had too many friends who wanted to learn. All of them asked me the same questions over and over again. So I had an idea that I was mulling over for some time. I enjoy teaching people about the outdoor lifestyle I live. I love the outdoors and want more from life than my 9-5. Finally, I wanted to build a community of ethical hunter conservationists that would build the hunting community and ensure its way of life for many years to come, as my father did for me. If “Born and Raised Outdoors” can do it... I could too, just in my own way.
YouTube was the solution to my problem. I could teach new hunters the things I was learning myself or have learned in the past. I could bring together a community of people who wanted to live the same lifestyle as me. I finally had a way out of my current career field that I once enjoyed but I now felt cornered in. But what would I name the channel? How would I film, edit, upload, build a following, and who would even want to watch me when I start? Those were the questions that led me to delay what I could have started a year sooner. The same reason most people never get into the elk woods. They just don't jump head first into it. So while I waited for some inspiration and learned how to film and edit videos, I kept thinking of names. Somehow it was fitting that it came to me in the woods. While I was hunting and doing the very thing that I love so much... “Field To Table”. This is the lifestyle I live. Hunting, killing, butchering, cooking, and eating wild game.
“Field To Table Outdoors”
“Field To Table Outdoors” was finally more than just an idea, it was a plan set in motion. I would buy a camera, buy a laptop that could handle editing software, and go film something.... Many failures met my start. Apparently, trying to hunt and film was not as easy as one might think. But I was determined to get this figured out. So I went to Oklahoma for their opening day of rifle deer season. With some friends, I found and killed a deer, documenting the whole thing. Was it perfect? Watch the first two videos I made and you can find out for yourself.
The journey begins
The start to my journey is complete and now the toughest part is behind me. I have started. I want to teach others so that they can learn from my mistakes and not be daunted by the fact that they know nothing about the outdoors. All of us hunters know somewhere along the way we had a mentor to inspire us to get outdoors and learn. Like many hunters before I learned from my father. But my father learned from a friend and from making mistakes on his own. I want to be that friend. I want to help my friends grow and learn so that they can pass that knowledge on to their children. I don't know everything, but I have made a lot of mistakes and will continue to do so. But I will continue to learn from those mistakes. That has value and value is what I have to offer to others in need of a mentor. This is what drives me. This is what drives Field To Table Outdoors.
My name is Korey McNees, and welcome to Field To Table Outdoors.