Embodying the Heart and Soul of the Pacific Northwest
Who We Are
PNWild is not just a company but an idea born around a campfire deep in the backcountry. We are a group of sportsmen from the Pacific Northwest dedicated to being involved in the process of where our food comes from. Our goal is to share our passion for wild places and the adventures we seek. We want to bring our audience along as we hike into the most remote corners of this great country, turning sweat equity into clean organic protein.
To keep it simple, PNWild is Jeff, Zack, and Bob. We are three Western Washington residents who love to hunt, fish, and explore places off of the beaten path. Whether it be hunting for mule deer in a rugged wilderness in the fall, turkeys in the spring, or casting a line for brook trout in the heat of summer, if it involves being outside and pursuing wild fish and game, we will be out there getting after it. It is crazy to think that what was once just an idea, one that we originally laughed about when it was first brought up, has turned into what it is today.
PNWild began when Jeff and Bob met at work in 2011 and immediately became buddies because they both love to hunt. The following year, they made plans to go on a bear hunt and were successful in harvesting their first black bear. They have been hunting together every year since. Bob can recall exactly where he and Jeff were the first time they thought of the name Pacific North Wild. They were at the gym in 2015 trying to think of a cool name to start a hunting brand. “PNWild” was brought up and they both liked it. Shortly after that, Jeff started an Instagram repost page and it gradually took off from there.
And Then There Were Three
Zack came into the picture in 2016 when Jeff drew his quality bull elk tag and needed someone to help scout and prepare for his upcoming hunt in September that year. Bob’s wife was pregnant with twins and he was not able to devote a bunch of time to hunting that year, though he was able to make it for part of that hunt. There is an online forum for hunters in Washington called Hunt WA and Jeff and Zack connected through that website. Bob thought Jeff was crazy for spending a weekend in the woods with a dude that he had just met online. Now, he’s glad that he did! On that archery elk hunt in 2016, we ended up going 3 for 3 on public land using archery equipment. Jeff notched his quality bull tag on a nice bull, Zack killed a spike, and Bob shot a cow. It was the first time that we all hunted together and on that trip, we formed a bond and knew that we had something special together.
In 2017, Zack was lucky enough to draw his quality elk tag and his quality deer tag. To say that he had a fantastic hunting season that year would be a major understatement. He ended up harvesting a mature mule deer and bull elk. In September, for his quality bull elk hunt, we all packed into the same wilderness where Jeff harvested his bull the year prior and we had ourselves one hell of a time. On the fifth day of the hunt, we were able to get a 300-inch 6×6 broadside at thirty yards. Not bad for Zack’s first branch antlered bull! Two months later the weather and species we were hunting were quite different, but the drive, determination, and results were very similar. For Zack’s quality deer hunt, he had the first twenty days of November to get the job done. After passing on multiple bucks, missing one, and dealing with the frozen temps, the feeling of failure and not notching his deer tag was looming but when you work hard and stay persistent, it usually pays off. And it did. On the 17th of November, it all came together and Zack killed a beautiful, heavy, and dark-antlered 4×4 mule deer with gnarly eye guards. The buck ended up scoring 158 inches and now lives on the wall of his living room alongside his bull elk. These two hunts got turned into multi-episode series that can be found on our YouTube channel.
Making Our Mark
PNWild is most notably known for its success on a hunt that used to be a lot less popular, the high buck hunt. From September 15-25 in certain wilderness areas throughout Washington, you can hunt deer with a rifle. You may be thinking, deer with a rifle in September? That sounds pretty easy. Though, if you were to partake in this particular hunt you would quickly realize that it is no easy task. These wilderness areas are rugged and remote, and can only be accessed by foot or horseback: absolutely no motorized vehicles are allowed. The harvest success rate is generally less than 10%, but in the two years that we did this hunt as a team, we had a 100% success rate. Our first attempt at the high buck hunt was in 2018. We killed four mule deer and filmed the entire hunt which led to us creating a film, “Seeing it Through,” that sold out at our local movie theater and now has almost 200,000 views on YouTube. Bob was able to harvest his best mule deer to date on that trip.
The following year, 2019, on our next high buck hunt, while not a successful hunt for everyone, it was for Bob. A buddy and him hiked deep into the wilderness but came up empty-handed. About a mile from the truck, Bob managed to harvest a mature mule deer with great mass, dark antlers, and a little bit of character. That hunt is also on our YouTube channel and is called “Character.” In 2020, we went back to the same area where we found great success two years prior and each of us came out with a deer on our back. With the footage from that hunt, we created another film that sold out at our local movie theater again. This time we took it a step further and entered the film into the Western Hunter Film Festival. There were a lot of great films that we were competing against, but our film, “Tamarack,” took first place in the Amateur Long category.
Taking Our Show On the Road
Aside from hunting in our home state of Washington, we have traveled to many states throughout the West in search of big game. We have hunted elk in Idaho and Wyoming, mule deer in Montana and Colorado, black bears in Idaho and Montana, and pronghorn antelope in Wyoming. Although hunting and filming our hunts is the heart of their company, we wanted to find ways to grow PNWild and be more involved in the outdoor industry. With our camera equipment and the adventures that we go on taking us into wild and beautiful places, we figured out a way to provide a service to companies by using and reviewing their products. Since we have substantially grown our social media platforms through not only YouTube but also Instagram and Facebook, it has been a great way to showcase products to a large and growing audience. We have been fortunate enough to work with some amazing companies in the industry such as Vortex Optics, Exo Mountain Gear, GoHunt, and more. The most recent company that we have partnered with and are super excited about is Aero Precision. Aero has built a great reputation for making high-quality rifles and are looking to get into the hunting space, which is right in PNWild’s wheelhouse and it is a bonus they are located locally to us in Tacoma. Currently, they are in the early stages of producing hunting rifles and we are looking forward to getting them into the mountains and putting them to the test.
Another way we have been able to engage and connect with people beyond just social media is through podcasting. The PNWild Podcast was established in 2019 and since then we have had a lot of amazing guests come on to tell their stories. Nearly every hunt that PNWild has been on as a team has been recorded on our podcast as well as a wide range of gear reviews and other hunting-related topics and conversations.
Growing Our Vision
In the early stages of PNWild, we made a few hat designs that turned out to be pretty popular. After their success, we decided to make more clothing and gear items with our name and branding on them. Today, we have everything from hats, T-shirts, hoodies, water bottles, and knives. We saw a need in our own knife collections and sought out having a knife designed specifically for the needs of a backcountry hunter. Joel from Grit City Knives, another local Tacoma company, created the Tamarack 2.0 knife, which is just what we were looking for. The Tamarack 2.0 knife weighs only 2.4 ounces with a sheath, has a Cerakote finish, and is razor sharp. The design is perfect for skinning and cutting meat off of those difficult areas of the carcass like working the tenderloins out while doing the gutless method on an animal.
Despite the fact that hunting has been gaining popularity in recent years, especially with adult-onset hunters, there still seems to be a lack of mentorship and ways for people to get into it with adequate information. It is almost a daily occurrence where people from all walks of life are contacting PNWild looking for information either on how to get into hunting or questions related to hunting. With that in mind, we created a two-day in-person Introduction to Backcountry Hunting seminar taking place in Everett, WA the weekend of July 8. In this seminar, we will be covering topics like where to go, the best hunting gear, how to find animals, and everything in between. More information can be found about it under the seminar tab of our online store.
The Love of the Hunt
PNWild is three friends who love hunting and doing it together as a team. Someone once said if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. Nothing we do for PNWild has ever felt like work because we enjoy it so much. Filming and documenting our hunting adventures is something that we would still be doing even if nobody in the industry worked with us. Staying authentic to who we are is what we strive for. We would love for you to follow along on our journey to carry on the tradition of hunting and exploring wild places. You can subscribe to the PNWild YouTube channel, follow us on our social media platforms (Pacific North Wild on Facebook and PNWild_ on Instagram), listen to the PNWild podcast, and check out our newly designed website and online store at pnwild.com.
~Jeff, Zack, and Bob from PNWild