May 11, 2016
By Mark Demko
Bowhunters can be found just about anywhere and often in some unexpected places. One of those is a former MLB catcher and current manager of the Kansas City Royals. You guessed it, "Ned" Yost is an avid bowhunter. Here's the scoop!
Q:Congratulations on the Royals winning the World Series. How soon after that big win were you able to go bowhunting?
A:It was about eight days. I stayed in Kansas City for a week and then drove straight to Pine Mountain, Georgia, and Jeff Foxworthy's lodge and we got to hunt for three or four days. I actually went deer hunting before I even went home.
Q: Over the years, you've had the opportunity to hunt with a number of athletes and celebrities including Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Foxworthy and several Major League players and coaches. What's your most memorable bowhunting experience?
A: It has to be the time we went elk hunting in New Mexico. I went with Jeff Foxworthy and Jeff's brother, Jay. It was just a fantastic time. We do a hunt at Jeff's farm every year — we call it hunt week — where we just lock the gate and it's just us there for a week. That is tremendous. We have hot dog night one night, we have steak night one night, and this year we had wild game night, where we had moose and elk. It's a ritual we've been doing for a number of years and we look forward to it.
Q: As a Major League manager, even in the off-season you have a variety of responsibilities and commitments. How do you find time to hunt?
A: I just do it. That's when I do my best thinking. After a long season I love to climb up in a tree and just be there alone, where I'm away from the phone. My general manager, Dayton (Moore), will call me, and I'll text him, "Hey, I'm 30 feet up in a tree. I'll call you when it gets dark." That's where you can really unwind, where you can really relax and enjoy yourself.
Q: Managing a professional baseball team obviously comes with a lot of pressure. What role does bowhunting play in your life?
A: That down time is so important. From the middle of February to the first of November, my mind is going all the time with baseball. I'm at the stadium at 10 in the morning and I generally don't leave until midnight. We play 162 games in 181 days, so during that time I'm 100 percent focused on our task at hand, which is our baseball team. When winter comes, my batteries are down and the way I recharge them is sitting in the woods, working on the farm, viewing our trail-cam pictures and hunting whitetails. I just love it; it's the best release I know.
Q: Baseball is a strategic game, where you're always looking to make the right move that will help get a hot batter out or seal a victory. What's the one move you'd suggest to a bowhunter who has seen a big buck a few times and just can't seem to get into bow range?
A: You have to really watch the wind and watch your point of entry into your stand, and you can't overhunt stands. We're kind of fighting that right now. We've got a big 10-pointer on our farm that my son has seen three times. He's had him within 20 yards in the brush where he couldn't get a shot. Have patience and don't try to push it, because if you do you're going to end up boogering it up.