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Tom Rowland Podcast

Nov 28, 2018

I had the honor of recording this podcast in Bozeman, Montana with my son, Turner Rowland, and his roommate, Brendan Smith. Turner and Brendan both moved to Bozeman after graduating High School in pursuit of their love for hunting and fishing.

Recently, Turner just finished his first season as an elk hunting guide. For training, Turner started in September this year, and over the course of a month, spent two weeks bow hunting, and then two weeks of rifle hunting. Turner is out at camp base six days a week, and loves every minute of it. He developed an interest in hunting at an early age, and after seeing some elk videos in the mountains, Turner knew he wanted to be a guide.

So I had to ask, “How did you find this opportunity and make it a reality?”

Turner responded that after taking a semester off from college, he knew that he still wanted to follow his dream of becoming a guide. While there were some guide schools available, Turner decided he wanted to be immediately submersed in the guiding business, rather than going to school for it. He contacted outfitters from different states and even Alberta, and found an outfitter that would let him use his horse experience to be a wrangler in exchange for interning as a guide. He continued to search for the right opportunity by acting on some advice that I gave him. He wrote 7 letters a week to outfitters, guides, and whoever else he could make contact and eventually opportunities began to emerge. Afterwards, with recommendations and some experience, Turner finally became an elk guide just north of Bozeman for Sage Peak Outfitters.

As a follow up question, I asked, “What did you learn and take away from this experience?”

Turner replied that patience and persistence is a key factor in becoming a successful elk guide. He says that being out in the mountains have allowed him to be in tune with the weather, wind patterns, and movement of the Elk.

On this trip, I was able to go on an elk hunt with Turner as my guide, and seeing him so happy and right where he is meant to be was an experience unlike anything else.

Afterwards, I turned to Turner’s roommate and good friend, Brendan Smith, who is an avid fisherman and currently a student at Montana State University. Brendan choose Montana State University because he has easy access to fishing and skiing, and said he felt the most at home in Bozeman. Brendan is currently studying computer science with a minor in music, and plans to work with artificial intelligence. With computer science, Brendan is able to work for a numerous amount of companies and can work from anywhere in the World. One thing Brendan fears the most is the progression of being disconnected with nature, since people are more likely to be attached to their phones and computers. However, with his major, he is able to appreciate the time he has outdoors, completely surrounded by nature.

Next semester, Brendan will be traveling to New Zealand to study abroad, and is eager to spend his time exploring and fishing in this scenic country.

We finished the podcast with one of my very favorite quotes. This quote came to mind because both Brendan and Turner are doing something different from the norm and get questions or criticism from others, additionally, they may even question their own decisions to venture into a life with no real road map. I shared my favorite quote by Theodore Roosevelt with them:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

-Theodore Roosevelt

I wish the best of luck to Brendan and Turner as they set out on their new adventures and am looking forward to hearing about all their new stories to come.

I would like to personally thank my listeners for their kind comments, suggestions on future guests. I look forward to getting feedback and your opinions and stories you share mean the world to me. Let me know who you think should be on the podcast next!

In the meantime, I have so many new books to share with you in my book club. Recently, we just finished reading Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth and is highly suggested.