Jana Waller was gracious enough to take a few minutes in between connecting flights over the holidays to chat about her successful show Skull Bound, and what it is that inspires her.
Jana began hunting with her father when she was “old enough to walk in the long grass without complaining”. She was enrolled in a hunters education class at the age of 12, and while attending college was inspired by a female bow hunter, thinking to herself, if she can do that, I can do that. Purchasing her first bow at 20, her passion for hunting has progressed in to a 22 year career that has spanned the entire globe and launched a successful hunting show, Skull Bound, on the Sportsman Channel.
Jana and her partner, Jim Kinsey, the Executive Producer at Skull Bound, are the “Two Man Band” as she calls it. They produce Skull Bound entirely on their own. Approached by a network several years ago, regarding Jana’s exquisite work with skulls they filmed a pilot that didn’t get picked up. Buoyed by the fact that a network was interested in filming, Jana and Jim decided to go it solo, and the two man crew is a hit.
By keeping their costs down, and the adventures up, it’s hard core hunting at it’s finest. 80% of the show is do it yourself without a guide. They eat everything they hunt, except the predators coyotes and wolves. Although she did mention she had heard Steven Rinella had cooked up coyote and was curious as to how it tasted.
I asked Jana who inspires her and her first response was Cameron Hanes, for being an incredible athlete and pushing himself to the limit. “He is an excellent back country bow-hunter, a friend and his passion is truly inspiring. He seems so serious all the time, but he is truly hilarious and fun to be around.” Larry Weishuhn made the list as “the epitome of class with excellent manners. I have worked shows with him and he stops whatever he is doing to talk to people that come up to him.” She describes him as having great character and a man who backs up his stories with experience as well as his background as a wild life biologist. Brenda Valentine, The First Lady of Hunting, is an icon for huntresses because she has paved the road for women hunters to stand tall and proud. Women who hunt are attacked and today, are fortunate to have a great support group with each other and the hunting community. It wasn’t always this way and Brenda had to weather the attacks on her own for a long time. She also admires the hard core huntresses that walk the walk. Meaning, the women who live the hunting lifestyle every day, those that set up their own tree stands, scout, hunt the back country and pack out their own game.
When I asked if there is a message she would like to convey her answer was passionate. “Hunters need to support each other. It doesn’t matter what method we are using, the anti-hunting groups have billions of dollars behind them and there is so much going on behind the scenes to take the hunting heritage away completely, that we need to be cohesive. If it’s legal, then we need to be supporting each other.”
Season III of Skull Bound is airing on the Sportsman Channel January through June and Jana and Jim have an impressive season lined up. You won’t want to miss it.
Note: I want to thank Jana Waller and Skull Bound TV for allowing me to utilize the photographs or this article.