Others, like the whitetail skull she and a friend found while shed hunting and the 220-inch muley replica that will be auctioned off to support conservation causes, are covered with Swarovski crystals. Jana talks about her art and also highlights the upcoming auction of two of her skulls and how the money will go to conservation and protecting herds, flocks and habitat.
Looking ahead to spring and the upcoming turkey seasons, Jana talks shotguns. Her choice to carry a single shot 12-gauge maybe be a little unconventional, however Jana says that the Montana style of turkey hunting is a little unconventional, too. Chasing turkeys in the Missouri River Breaks, she says that turkey hunting is mostly run and gun, spot and stalk style with very little calling. Because it’s not uncommon to hike 10-plus miles a day, a lightweight shotgun is advantageous. Although a single shot may be limiting when it comes to quick follow-ups, Jana says she appreciates the simplicity of the single shot and the concentration it requires to get it right and make a good shot the first time. Jana hunts with a Thompson Center and says it is responsible for the last 4 birds she has put on the ground. She also discusses pre-season preparation and patterning her shotgun at 20, 30, 40 and 50 yards to understand what her gun is doing and what the patterns look like before ever heading afield.
Beyond turkey season, navigating the process of hunting big game in different states can be a beast. You have to keep track of application dates that vary across the country, plus you have to know what units you want to hunt. As someone who spends a large portion of her year hunting, Jana says she is lucky to live in Montana where she has the ability to hunt mule deer, whitetail, bear, mountain lion, pronghorns, coyotes, wolves and more within close proximity to her home. However, for out of state hunting she often consults with guides and outfitters to help her through the tag application and unit selection process. She says she also draws from the expertise of a friend who runs Huntin’ Fool, a professional service and resource for hunters who want help keeping track of when and where to apply for hunts.
Finally, Jana talks about how she got started in the outdoor industry. Originally doing some free-lance writing for fun, Jana says Bowhunter Magazine picked up one of her articles and it was through that experience that she met Jim Kinsey, the executive producer of “Skull Bound TV”. Jana says that she went on a writers hunt where she got to know Jim, who at the time was producing another outdoor television show. Wanting to branch out and do his own show, Jana says that is where “Skull Bound TV” was born. Together they decided to do a female hosted show, tie in her skull business and see if a network was interested. So, Jana and Jim filmed a turkey hunt, went to Africa and filmed several of those hunts, a whitetail hunt and put all of those together in a reel and pitched it to Sportsman Channel. Clearly people enjoy watching Jana’s adventures and find her just as fascinating as we do because “Skull Bound TV” is now in its 8th season. Jana also gives props to Jim, he’s an award-winning cinematographer and plays a big role in Skull Bound as the camera man, editor, executive producer, composer and her all-around television partner.
Be sure to stick around for this two-part interview with Jana Waller of “Skull Bound TV” as she talks about the upcoming spring turkey seasons, navigating the big game hunting application process, how she got started in the outdoor industry and also her skull art.
Skull bound and Down,