Obscure Adventures (OA) was founded on the premise that we will connect the general public to amazing outdoor sporting opportunities that aren’t considered “mainstream”. Originally intended to be a resource site to connect clients and outfitters, my sincere love for bowfishing and my purchase of a suitable boat led to re-purposing the website to support Obscure Adventures Guide Services.
Operating out of Wisconsin, we conducted 35-45 guided trips per season and introduced hundreds of new people to the sport of bowfishing. The business was growing steadily every year and really helped support my family and my passion, but it wasn’t my primary source of income and my “day” job paid my bills. So, when the opportunity came for a work promotion and a relocation to Missouri, I put my family first and accepted the offer.
Guiding was still a goal for me, but the unfamiliar waters of Missouri would require time and exploration before I would entertain clients willing to pay for an outstanding experience. As the move transpired and the realities of the new job set in, I didn’t get the time I was hoping for to establish a predictable pattern to guarantee success. I’m just starting to unlock the secrets of the local waters, most notably the Missouri River, and we’re starting to consistently see silver carp, grass carp, buffalo and gar in numbers that anyone would enjoy. I’m hoping to resurrect the guiding services in the near future.
In 2015, I set out to create a conduit for information related to bowfishing, as well as other unique sporting adventures. In January of that year I published the first issue of Obscure Adventures Magazine. It was a labor of love, with the potential for profit, but I decided to promote it for free and see where my reader’s interests lied. It was greeted with positive reviews and I pushed out 5 issues, 1 per month, leading up to the start of the guiding season. I sat at my PC late into the night, writing, editing and validating information until it stopped being fun and started to affect time with my family. The 6th issue sits, unfinished, as a reminder of the labor it takes to produce a quality product.
The cessation of the magazine, as well as my guide service were replaced by my commitment to the Bowfishing Association of America (BAA). A national organization that supports and promotes the sport, fights unnecessary regulations, educates the general public and maintains World, State and Youth records for the largest fish taken by bow and arrow. I stepped into the role of Secretary/Treasurer, as well as Records Manager as a way to give back. I enjoy interacting with bowfishers across the country and I’m confident that my skill set helps move the organization forward. I look forward to the progress we will continue to make as the BAA and the sport continues to grow.
Regarding records, the BAA recognized nearly 400 new records in 2018, where I’ve diligently updated both the BAA website, as well as the OA website. Why do both? The BAA only recognizes their record structure, while my Obscure Adventures site compiles BAA, State Fish and Wildlife and State Club records in an easy to read, easy to navigate format that will help any bowfisher quickly determine if the fish they just landed is a new record. If you haven’t seen the OA records page check it out here.
In addition to my computer-based activities, my son Logan and I have been traveling around the US partaking in bowfishing tournaments and fun shoots from coast to coast. We had quite a year in 2018 as we bowfished in 11 different states and Logan set 20 different BAA records in both the youth and adult categories. I even coaxed my wife Jody and daughter Allyson on the boat with me a couple of times. Logan will celebrate 2018 as the BAA Youth Bowfisher of the Year thanks to his dedication and successes.
Ultimately, Obscure Adventures has always intended to be more than bowfishing. Guiding has helped to spread my brand and the online magazine helped to highlight what it possible, but to truly bring Obscure Adventures to life I need to create a platform that works on my terms. This blog/vlog will allow me to control the timing of my content without any preconceived expectations around frequency. I will still be working diligently to produce educational, entertaining content that helps you experience what Obscure Adventures always intended to be. Who knows where this will go, but I’m back and ready to share what I consider to be the truly unique experiences that OA was founded upon. I hope you enjoy the ride with me!