Ryan Bachor has had a passion for the outdoors since he can remember. He grew up camping and hiking with his family.
When his grandpa passed away, Ryan’s family was left with a couple of firearms. That’s when Ryan and his dad started target shooting together. He cherished those monthly trips to the range with his father where they would compete to see who was the better shot.
Now a father himself, Ryan wants to provide the same outdoor experience for his family, starting with his wife Katie.
Katie didn’t grow up around firearms. She tried her hand at target shooting for the first time when she was dating Ryan. Like any first-timer, she was nervous but eventually became more comfortable as time went on.
A big part of that was making sure she knew how to safely handle a firearm. She took Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s (TWRA) carry permit class and hunter education course, which opened her eyes to the possibilities of hunting.
“It’s kind of exciting when you’re both sitting in the blind and you see something,” said Katie. “You’ve been sitting there for hours and then you see something and think, ‘Oh, man. This is all worth it.’”
For Katie, hunting is a great way to spend the day outside and a fantastic resource we as Tennesseans have to enjoy.
“I wish I had done it earlier in life,” said Katie. “It’s something I want to make sure my boys have the experience of early on. They’ll have a hobby and something they can do their whole life.”
Getting a license and starting your next outdoor adventure is simple. “TWRA has made it very easy to get a license,” said Ryan. “They’ve taken down the entry barriers to hunting.”
For Ryan, exploring the outdoors is all about quality family time.
“I don’t see my family for eight hours a day while I’m working,” Ryan said. “If I did a hobby that I couldn’t share with my family it wouldn’t be as meaningful to me, but because I get to bring my family out here and do something with them, this is my favorite thing to do.”
The Federation and TWRA are strengthening their efforts to get more families engaged in hunting and fishing through training opportunities and outdoor experiences. This includes a campaign to reach those with the right skills, but who may have not applied them to hunting yet. Programs like the Federation’s Hunting and Fishing Academy are available to teach them what they need to know to go hunting on their own.
Hunters and anglers fund the majority of wildlife conservation in Tennessee. Learn more about Hunting and Fishing Academy at tnwf.org/academy