Gina Brunson didn’t grow up hunting, but starting wasn’t a big stretch.
“I was with my dad 24/7,” she said. “I grew up fishing and camping. I loved it so to start hunting was very natural.”
Still, when she expressed interest to her husband, Jon, he made sure she knew what she was getting into.
“He said, ‘You know, you’re going to be the only woman in camp,’” Gina remembered.
She was undeterred.
“It was a challenge,” she said. “I’m very competitive.”
Gina is still at it. Not only did she survive those early days about 20 years ago, she thrived. These days hunting is not just a hobby, it’s a job. She and Jon run several businesses, including owning and producing their own TV show, Addicted to the Outdoors. You can find the program on the Outdoor Channel, but that’s not the only outlet. The show is also available on iTunes — for free.
Gina said that when they got into shooting videos, they never wanted to sell DVDs. They wanted to put the episodes on iTunes to make them easily available to military members serving overseas.
“We wanted them to be able to download the shows,” she said.
The couple also took a different approach to the show itself. They shot and produced a number of shows, and then paid for airtime before even making a concerted effort to find backing sponsors. Jon was experienced in marketing and wanted to be able to show sponsors that the team had a good product.
Gina and Jon, who live in Florida, focus most of their episodes on whitetail hunting. It’s not that they don’t like the idea of traveling far and wide to pursue different species, but whitetail hunting allows them to stick closer to home and their kids. The couple have six children. Three are young adults. Then, after a big gap, there are three more kids, all teens.
Growing up, Gina and her sister spent most of their childhood in foster care, eventually adopted by the family who took Gina camping and fishing.
When she found out her older sister was expecting her first child — long after Gina’s kids had been born — Gina said she thought it would be great for that child to have a close-in-age cousin. Gina and Jon ended up having boy/girl twins, with another boy arriving a couple years later.
“My family is my priority,” she says, emphatically.
While the couple limits trade show travel, Gina said that kids are a priority when she does get out and about.
“I love talking to kids and seeing how excited they are about the outdoors,” she said.
It’s easy for her to relate because she knows the feeling.