As Sole Adventure has grown I have found myself facing some questions that I never thought I would have to work through – questions regarding who I am willing to partner with, who I am willing to accept things from, and who I am willing to represent. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t have companies lining up outside my door every morning, or flooding my inbox every night, but I have had enough offers and potential deals that I feel the need to set the record straight.
First and foremost, I don’t think I am anyone special, and I don’t expect that anyone should use products because I say they should. I have always encouraged everyone to “Be Your Own Hunter“, as well as warned hunters to enjoy the hunt and not get caught up in gear. I don’t ever want to be the guy rattling off his list of sponsors, or touting his gear list as an ideal. If I ever have a massive lapse of judgment and become that guy, please feel free to shoot me. Seriously. As I have said from the beginning, the only reason I share a gear list is so that if someone has a question about something I use, then they know that they can ask about it.
Secondly, my initial reaction to partnerships was to say “no” to everyone in an attempt to remain independent. I held that position for quite some time, but then I really began to change my attitude when I realized a few things. I realized that there are actually several small companies that I truly did believe in – companies that weren’t run by “corporate” CEOs, but were actually run by everyday bowhunters with a dream. I realized that if I am genuinely happy with something, and truly excited about sharing it with others, then I should do just that. I realized that I can remain independent by only partnering with companies that I believe in, and not the companies that are offering the best deal. I have said “no” to at least as many companies that I have said “yes” to, and I have even turned down free product, only to turn around and pay full price for a competing product that I believe in more. (For example – After shooting numerous free broadheads for review, and receiving offers to partner with some of those companies, I still decided to go with a different broadhead that I didn’t receive, but paid full price for.)
I am not doing Sole Adventure to “make it”, nor am I doing it for the perks or freebies. I do it because I love it, and if that ever changes then Sole Adventure will cease to be.
The third thing I would like to mention is this – you won’t see a lot of bad reviews on Sole Adventure for a reason. I will only review a product that I am interested in, or that I would consider buying myself. Since I am very particular about what I would buy, I am also very particular about what I review. I have turned down several review opportunities simply because I didn’t think the product was up to my standards. Could I have taken the free product and given it an honestly critical review? Sure, I guess so, but that doesn’t appeal to me. In my reviews I will always point out what I don’t like about something, but chances are if I am reviewing it, then I will have some positive feelings about it.
Finally, I would like to mention that I have never and will never be paid to do a review. Never. Ever. Ever.
Hunting is and will always be about the hunt, and not about what gear is used on for that hunt. Gear is a tool; it isn’t a magic success maker. Hunt smart, hunt hard!