I started filming my hunts in the beginning of High School. I only filmed my hunts for proof to my friends, showing my stories weren't fibs. I started filming my family and friends and became addicted to filming all of my hunts. Friends and family really added character to the hunts and I have made and will continue to make memories that will last a lifetime. Whitetails have been my primary target since I started hunting and watching a deer grow from an early age to full maturity is something words can't describe. Watching the bucks year after year and really figuring out their patterns and routines is just as rewarding as it is shooting the buck. Can't thank God, my family, and wife enough for supporting me through the years. As for the Team Radical guys, I'm truly thankful for the friendships made over the years. I consider them family!
I have now started traveling out of state in search of new experiences and critters. My goal is simple. I want to see and experience everything I can possibly afford. Lord willing, I will continue to travel across the U.S. and throughout the world after the species still on my list.
Jake Vancil - Secretary
Hunting has been an addiction of mine ever since my mom and dad introduced me when I was young. Ever since my fathers passing, I carry on the passion of hunting that we once shared. No matter if I am in front of or behind the camera I still get that adrenaline rush as if it was the first time! My experience with Team Radical has led me to new friends and places that most people will never get the chance to see and I feel blessed every day. I am currently 23 years old and a graduate of SIU Carbondale with a Bachelors in Forestry. Since I have such a passion for the outdoors, it only made sense to me to incorporate it into my work. I currently work for the state as a CREP (Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program) Resource Specialist. I also feel it is crucial to introduce kids, as well as new comers into the outdoors, just as my father introduced me to keep this great tradition alive.
Derek Brumleve - VP
Grew up in a small town of Teutopolis, Illinois.
While growing up, I was surrounded by the great outdoors and flooded with opportunity to hunt. My father started me out early and took me to the woods any chance he got. Dad played huge role in my motivation for hunting and my success. It all began with the Midwest whitetail. At the age of eleven, I took the hunter’s safety course and was able to pull a tag for the following year for the 1998 shotgun season at the age of 12. The Sunday of first season I passed up 6 does, knowing the bucks were close to follow and as luck would hold up, I ended up bagging an 8 pointer. From there on it’s been, not a part of life, but a way of life. Nothing has ever taken away from my passion for the outdoors, as I continued to explore the outdoors. After years and years of hunting the idea of producing film was brought up, it was time to take things to the next level. Team Radical Outdoors was formed and here we are. God has chosen a path and have no one to thank first besides him, but also need to thank my family and friends who have believed in myself and the team as well. Chasin’ turkeys in the spring to ruttin’ Midwest whitetails in the fall and all in between is a rush, but now capturing the moments on film is a dream come true and feels so right. It’s a lot of hard work and time but all worth it in the end. I like to stick by my saying, "Hunt Hard, or Stay Home." I encourage anyone, young, old, male, female, to get out and experience the outdoors. Good luck in all your future endeavors!
Hunt Hard or Stay Home,
Justin Roepke - Director of nothing
After my first harvest at age 10, I knew I was hooked for life. I continued my passion for the outdoors by attending SIU Carbondale and graduating with a bachelors degree in Forest Resource Management. Steve Niemerg and I partnered up and started our own businesses together which are "Roepke & Niemerg Tree & Conservation Service" and "www.WildlifeManagementTrees.com". Hunting and implementing habitat improvements on hunting properties throughout the state are everyday events for us. Hunting used to be a hobby, now it is a career.
Throughout the years, I have been able to witness whitetails reach their full potential and capture it all. Although I don't put a tag on a mature buck every year, I always have a wild ride and story worth documenting. Being able to watch and pattern deer is a true accomplishment in my opinion, and I love to film the hunts as much as actually shooting the mature bucks. I promise you will see my face on the blooper reels much more often than you see me sitting behind a giant trophy. However, I have excepted that viewers are laughing at me; not with me.
Steve Niemerg - WMT
Outdoor Enthusiast doesn't even begin to justify Steve Niemerg's love for the outdoors. Steve has been whitetail hunting for years, but also enjoys other hunting game that includes turkeys, gators, boars, and bears. Not only does he spend countless hours in the woods for recreation, but after exiting the United States Army he has also focused on improving habitat for wildlife through his tree planting businesses of Roepke and Niemerg Tree and Conservation Service www.WildlifeManagementTrees.com.
As I’ve grown, the outdoors has grown with me. Like a lot of young hunters, my dad was there as soon as I was old enough to start hunting to teach me the safe and legal way to hunt and harvest wild game. As my addiction set in, I would hunt before school and after school and any time in between. Whatever season was in, I would be out there after it. I would say turkey hunting would have to be my greatest addiction. From the morning gobblers singing in the tree, to when they’re right there at my feet, they get my heart a racing. With all the great hunts and memorable encounters I have had, getting back to the truck and describing the hunt to my family and friends has to be one of the best parts of hunting.
It was in high school when my good friend Kyle Heuerman came up with the idea to film each other to show our friends all the encounters that we’ve been having. Then the hunts became a lot more interesting with two people in the woods together rather than one. It started to become more than hunting to me, though, with all the humor and the camaraderie there was never a dull moment. The stories we tell and the footage we shoot are some of the best parts of being an outdoorsman. There are more hunting stories to make and big deer to put on the wall, so you know where I’ll be.
P.S. Hunt Safe
Thanks to my father, I started hunting the whitetail woods at the age of 10. Although the hunt is and never has been about the kill, the true adrenaline never really hit me until I harvested my first deer 3 years later. From that moment, I was hooked. Later in my hunting career, a good buddy of mine, Phil Ruholl, introduced me to what was soon to become my true passion, the spring turkey hunt. Around the same time, Phil and I bought a camera together and started filming hunts to capture every experience we encounter. The beginning of Team Radical was soon to follow.
Hunting is more than just a hobby for me, it's also critical for my livelihood. Along with my brother, I run a small-town archery retail storein the middle of south-central Illinois' whitetail hunting paradise. I also own a trucking company that is contracted with FedEx Ground. Both of these keep me pretty busy, but when hunting season is in, I sneak away as much as I can.
I mainly hunt whitetail and turkey in Illinois, but any time I get an opportunity to hunt somewhere different, I take it. What I love most about hunting is that each time it's a different experience. Although I love to take the game myself, I'm just as happy behind the camera. Either way, I do think I look pretty cool with face paint on.
All kidding aside, please hunt safe and encourage younger generations to get outside and enjoy this blessed land God has provided for us.
Chance Karhliker - Field Staff
As early as I can remember hunting has been a part of my life. My father and grandfather always made it a point to get me into the outdoors and spend some quality time together. It began with squirrels and doves, but today my true passion is hunting giant whitetails. I am a 22 year old student at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, which makes it tough to hunt as much as I would like but I make sure to get home on the weekends to chase critters. My involvement with Team Radical has brought great people into my life and has led me on awesome adventures. I hope to share and pass on the sport of hunting for each generation to come.
Jacob Pruiett - Field Staff
Hometown : Penfield, IL
I have been hunting pheasants, rabbits, and squirrels since I was old enough to carry a gun. As I grew older, I gained an interest in deer hunting through a couple of friends, and the fire was ignited. It started with gun hunting, transitioned to bow hunting, and is now an ongoing obsession, year-round. I specialize in hunting very small tracts for giant bucks. I have gained experience with this type of hunting through trial and error over the years, due to the general lack of large tracts in my area. In the past 3 years, I have attempted to self-film, and have also dedicated a big part of my hunting season to strictly videography.
Other interests include fishing, shed hunting, mushroom hunting, and turkey hunting. I have a bachelors degree in forestry through SIUC. I thoroughly enjoy the aspect of habitat management and improvement on both my own and other pieces of property in the area. I believe that a big part of hunting is not the harvesting of animals, but fellowship, camaraderie, and tradition that preserves this sport.
Mike Horchner - Field Staff
Home town: Reed City, MI.
I was born in the Mountains of Colorado and moved to Michigan with my family when I was 10 years old. My Dad started my hunting addiction by taking me Elk and mule deer hunting. I was hooked with the first stroke of face paint he smeared on my little face. Once we moved to Michigan I started shooting bows and when I was 12 my Dad and Grandpa took me out and I shot my first deer the first morning in the stand. To me it was the biggest most exiting thing in the world, I knew I was born to hunt. Once I was done with high school I followed my dream and went to guide school and bought a camera and became an elk hunting guide in Colorado. After I spent a year doing that I came back to Michigan and went to college to start my career in heating and cooling. Since then I have guided whitetail hunter's and filmed my hunts and also friends and family's. I am now married to the love of my life that puts up with my addiction 365 days a year and we have two great kids. I enjoy taking my son and daughter out hunting and fishing to teach them and to pass on the love of the outdoors as my Dad and Grandpa have taught me. Still today it is the most exiting thing in the world to be in front of or behind the camera; sharing the love of this sport.
Ricky Vandawater - Field Staff
Hometown: Reed city, Michigan. Hunting has been an addiction of mine since my father took me out whitetail hunting at the young age of ten. Since that first encounter, I've been hooked! Growing up on a farm and having all the opportunity in the world to enjoy the great outdoors was all I needed to get started. It was whitetail hunting at first, and pretty soon it was squirrels, turkey, pheasants, and anything to get me out hunting. Lately I've been to Wyoming, Montana, and Colorado to experience some of the best elk and mule deer hunting offered. All of these opportunities has driven me to want to sharemy experiences. That is why I started documenting my hunts by filming them. From the beginning to the end, every hunt has its own story, and I'd love to share mine with you.
Joel Eggers - Field Staff
At age 10, my uncle brought me to a local bow shop to setup my first bow. As for other gear, I just rounded up whatever I could; an arrow here, some camouflage there. I began hunting on weekends with my older cousins who taught me the basics and I harvested my first deer at age 11 by bow. I have come a long way since then, with 19 years of whitetail experience under my belt. A majority of my knowledge and successes came due to trial and error in previous hunts. My goal as a youth to spot a deer and kill a deer has evolved over time. I am now more interested in hunting mature 5 year-old plus bucks and take more pride in watching them grow over the years and developing a history with them than killing a young deer. For the last 10-12 years, I have taken an interest in land and land management coinciding with farming and work to create food plots and sanctuaries to create a healthier deer heard. Anymore, I appreciate watching the animals enjoy the land I managed for them and grow to an older age class, just as much as I enjoy the hunt itself.
My hard work and plentiful hours of land management, practicing shooting my bow, building and strategically placing deer stands/blinds, and running trail cameras has paid off. In 2007, I killed a giant 10-point typical by bow, which ranked as the biggest typical whitetail archery kill in North America that year. This hunt among others makes all of my dedication to farming and land management worth the labor. In more recent years, I have taken on a new challenge and now devote more time and effort to self-filming my hunts. I have caught multiple deer and turkey hunts on film and am learning how to take my videography to the next level by turning these clips into hunting films. I am appreciative of Team Radical for bringing me on to their team to help take my filming to the next level, while also allowing me to work side by side with men who share similar passions. I also thank my family for all of the time and help they have provided me to make all of my hunts possible and I thank my friends for the good times we’ve had together during some good hunts.
Evan Smith - Field Staff
Growing up in south Mississippi, being an outdoor enthusiast wasn’t a hobby, it was always a way of life. Fishing and turkey hunting have always been a passion of mine but managing for whitetail deer has always been the ultimate goal with the hopeful privilege to harvest mature whitetails.
Although being new to the state of Illinois, I’m not new to the hard work and dedication it takes to produce the best deer possible. I’m thrilled to join a group of men with the same passion and commitment, and look forward to sharing the memories on camera!
Hometown: Springfield, IL
I consider myself very fortunate to have been raised where hunting is a family tradition and passion that we all enjoy together. Growing up in central Illinois has allowed me to share many great hunting adventures with my entire family. Like many of the other Team Radical members, my father is the one who introduced me to hunting at a very young age. He surprisingly was introduced to hunting after meeting my mom who grew up hunting with her father, sister, and family friends. Their shared passion for hunting started the family hunting tradition, which was later passed down to my brother, Max Walker, cousin, Jake Vancil, and I. The three of us quickly became obsessed with hunting and went every chance we had. Once we were teenagers, we quickly became obsessed with archery and spent even more time in the woods hunting.
After many years of successful deer hunting, we agreed to start passing young bucks and only target mature bucks and does. Our management practices have allowed us to harvest a handful of impressive mature bucks, which has fueled our obsession with bow hunting mature whitetails even further. Jake has since convinced Max and I to start filming our hunting adventures. I'm excited to share our hunts and adventures with others who enjoy the outdoors and bow hunting as much as we do.
I began my filming as early as the age of 12 or 13 years old, back when video cameras still recorded to VHS tapes! My brother and I could not hunt with guns alone at that time so he and I would go hunt with our camera. I remember calling in several turkeys just to video them, thats where my love for videoing wildlife began! Since then I have filmed just mainly for memory sake and to show my memories to others. This team will give me even more of an opportunity to share my stories and memories with other people that share the same passion for hunting and filming as I do! Im excited to bring you guys my experiences through my camera lens.
I love hunting mature whitetails and bringing stories of certain deer to life. They are magestic magnificent animals and I cherish every moment that gives me the opportunity to build their life story! Turkey hunting is also a very big passion of mine and I hope to bring some incredible turkey footage to all of you! I’ve hunted turkeys all over the western and midwestern states, hopefully I can continue my success and bring all of it to the viewers of Team Radical! God bless everyone!
Hunting has always been my burning passion. At age 7 my Dad finally let me take my bow to the woods. When I shot my first deer that year I was hooked! The feeling of being so nervous I couldn't even climb down out of the tree and the excitement on my fathers face is something I will never forget. Hunting has brought me many life long friends. I started filming my hunts in high school then each year it became more serious and I caught myself investing more and more into hunting. I mainly hunt whitetail and turkeys in Northern Missouri but each year if life allows me I like to head out west chasing anything I can get a tag for. The mountains presents a different challenge for me which is what I love about hunting.
TRO gives me the opportunity to share these experiences with friends, family, and others. If you get a chance this year take someone hunting. The thrill of seeing the excitement behind the camera is just as rewarding as being the one drawing the string or pulling the trigger. Hunting is a great thing for many reason so get outdoors and enjoy!
Shane Rice. I was born on a farm. Grew up loving the outdoors. Hunting, fishing,trapping are my hobbies of choice. I work as a welder. I'm married to the best wife/mom ever. One child so far.