Casey Woody’s mother had but two simple rules for him when he was growing up in Bakersville, N.C., and he’d spend the majority of his life defying them.
“She told me, ‘There’s two things that you’ll never do…hunt with a bow and race motorcycles,'” says Woody, laughing. “And from that point on, that was about all I ever did.”
While motorcross racing turned into more of a hobby for the 31-year-old, he turned his love of bowhunting into a career. After he graduated in 2005 with a degree in CALS, he wanted to pursue his love of hunting, but knew the white-tailed deer he coveted would lead him on expensive trips out West.
“Big-time hunts to hunt dear cost big money,” Woody says. “So I knew the only way to go was as a guide. I started to call outfitters and make lots of contacts.”
So Woody has been a hunting guide for the last nine years. He says that to be successful, a good guide needs to love hunting and know the terrain.
And the work gave Woody a chance to make friends with the guys on the camera crews who would come along and film some of the hunts for shows on television networks like the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel.
He became so enamored with what they do that he bought himself an HD camera and editing software and taught himself how to shoot video and put together DVDs of his own. That led him to executive produce shows such as Ironman Bowfishing, where hunters use bows to kill invasive fish species like Asian carp.
Though the videography work has given Woody another outlet in which to pursue his love, it’s the actual hunting that’s at the heart of what he does.
“I got to do what I love this morning,” Woody says over the phone from Wyoming, fresh off of a hunt. ” I got my hands bloodied, and I got to see a guy kill his first mule deer.”