Kyle Green remembers his first deer hunt. “I was eight years old and hunting with my dad when I got my first – I shot it with my grandfather’s gun,” he says. “We cleaned it and I went through the whole process. I remember being overwhelmed with pride; truly, it put me in a different mindset about the natural world and our resources.” That early mindset didn’t include dreams of glory or trophies; it didn’t lead to a hunger for the thrill of the kill. It led to an understanding and a deep respect for nature and as he grew into an adult, Green refined his mindset into a mission of conservation and protection of wildlife and its habitat on Earth.
As a result, seven years ago, Green and a few longtime friends launched The Green Way Outdoors, a media company with the mission “to promote and protect outdoor heritage and conservation through educating, inspiring, entertaining and simplifying outdoor activities to increase participation for both novice and experienced outdoorsmen while demonstrating respect and wholesome values for the blessing and beauty of the natural world.” The team’s work has two main goals: to increase awareness of the troubles our natural resources are facing, such as overpopulation, invasive species, etc. and to increase participation of millennials and younger people in the utilization and maintenance of our resources.
“The number of fishing and hunting licenses that are being purchased is decreasing yearly,” Green reports. “The purchase of licenses funds conservation efforts throughout the States impacting sustainability, clean water, parks, anti-poaching measures, state land and maintenance. Of the licenses that are being sold, more than 60% are bought by white males over the age of 55. In 10-15 years, we could lose a majority of the funding for natural resource programs.” As hunters and outdoorsmen age out, the younger generation must carry the torch into the future to prevent this from happening. Our natural resources are precious. Everything in our world is connected and what we do (or don’t do) as humans causes chain reactions both good and bad in our fisheries, forests and plains.
In Michigan, one of the greatest states for sportsmen, we can see the effects of our actions in real time. For example, when our forefathers eliminated the natural predators of our deer population long ago, we quickly learned that we had to take up the mantle to avoid overpopulation. For years to follow, hunting season was treated as a holiday – factories and businesses shut down and families flocked to the woods to cull the herd. Today, this is no longer the case.
For the last 40 years, the number of hunters has fallen and as a result, the deer population has blossomed to nearly two million, the highest ever recorded. This growth, combined with urban sprawl, has caused an uptick in deer-related automobile accidents, crop devastation, and a sharp increase in cases of Lyme disease and tick population. The instances of bovine tuberculosis and wasting disease in deer have also increased. If participation in hunting does not increase, local governments will have to utilize other control measures to cull the herd such as a reintroduction of natural predators (wolves, cougars), forced sterilization, or trap and kill. None of these methods is easy and all are very expensive to implement.
How to increase participation of young people in the outdoors experience was the question “The Green Way Outdoors” was made to answer. Green and his friends started talking. “We asked each other what we needed to do to get them interested, how could we design the content we provide?” Green queried. “The most engaging content was in the style of a reality show. That’s what we decided on with a commitment to create ‘National Geographic-quality’ programming.” Using the best equipment available and their individual expertise, the group quickly made their vision a reality. Viewers of the show will be amazed to realize that the whole production is done by just a handful of friends working around the clock to make it happen. The quality is impressive and exactly the end result they wanted to achieve.
Every episode of “The Green Way Outdoors” consists of five components, each integral to the overall mission of increased conservation participation, awareness and education. The reality-show format and quality are there to bring the viewer into the world and to entertain. Each episode includes a message of conservation and facts about the land and subject species, often including talks with local guides or scientists. For the newcomer, beginner tactics for hunting or fishing each animal are provided along with a list of gear needed for successful results. The show also features a cooking segment showing the preparation and final result of a delicious recipe made from the show’s topic animal. To end everything on a positive note of hope and love, Green, a devout Christian, speaks briefly of the Creator and includes a Bible passage. To supplement each episode and to continue engaging their audience on social media, the team produces a video podcast and multiple how-to videos offered at thegreenwayoutdoors.com.
While watching an episode, it’s easy to see why the show is so appealing. The personalities of Green and his co-stars shine with the added bonus that Green’s co-stars are not experienced hunters themselves. They are learning right along with the audience to develop their skills and understanding. The knowledge provided about species and habitats is interesting for viewers of any age and the addition of regional experts adds authenticity to the show’s purpose.
“For one episode, we went to Maine to aid in hunting moose,” Green explains. “In the 1,600 square miles owned by a paper company, over 80% of moose are dying because of a winter tick infestation. The ticks are species-specific and according to top biologists we talked to, the only alternative was to hunt the moose, let the ticks die and then reintroduce moose to the area. It’s not always what people want to hear; but sometimes it’s necessary. If you want to save a species, often, you have to hunt it.”
“The Green Way Outdoors” has been steadily growing a loyal audience since its beginning. In September, the show debuted on The History Channel on Saturday mornings at 9am – a ten-episode deal that Green hopes will continue long into the future. At the time of this writing, it was the 5th most-watched series on the History Channel. “We are very grateful to the people at The History Channel,” he says. “We have been trying to launch on a major network for a long time. We’ve had a mountain of negative replies, and started seeing each ‘no’ as a badge of honor.” It is with hope that the show will reach, educate and inspire a whole new host of hunters and fishermen across the country.
It’s not always what people want to hear; but sometimes if you want to save a species, you have to hunt it.
Throughout the duration of the show, the guys at “The Green Way Outdoors” have taken their audience on a number of adventures. They have caught paddlefish in Oklahoma, went spearfishing in Hawaii, fished salmon in Alaska, hunted quail and ducks in Washington, elk in Colorado, moose in Maine, gators in Texas and much more. Even after every success, Green hasn’t forgotten the true purpose of it all. “We didn’t set out to do this to get rich,” he says. “We are doing this for conservation and to build awareness. Problems are out there and they are not being solved, especially without funding generated by license purchases and supporters.”
Kyle Green and his team hope to reverse the loss of sportsmen (and women) and to inspire anyone to pick up a rod, bow or gun to act in a way that adds to conservation and respects the beauty of nature. Green and team will continue to do what he loves and remain on their mission … with hopes that you join them.
Stay Green with “The Green Way Outdoors”!
“The Green Way Outdoors” is: Kyle Green (Host/Executive Producer), Jeff Hutchinson (Host/Chief Operating Officer), Aaron Beadle (Director), Ryan Parks (Producer), Kellen Crow (Public Relations Manager) and Joe Flanagan (Chief Legal Counsel).
Stream “The Green Way Outdoors” on the History Channel at History.com, Hulu, and by clicking on the “How to Watch” tab at thegreenwayoutdoors.com. Select episodes can also be viewed on YouTube.com.
Visit thegreenwayoutdoors.com for podcasts, huntcasts, recipes, how-to videos on a variety of outdoor topics, merchandise, info and to support the team in their mission.
To help support local and national conservation, please consider donating to and/or joining “The Green Way Outdoors” partners: Trout Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited, SCI First for Hunters, The National Wild Turkey Federation and Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Fund.
The crew would also like to thank their sponsors: Ram Trucks, Bass Pro Shops, Tracker Boats, Boss Shotshells, Tracker Off Road, Savage, Sea Doo, Nosler, Carlson’s, On X Hunt, EGD, Recteq, Rufus Teague, Wilderness Athlete, Quietcat, and Lem.