72: Tom Opre, Filmmaker, Documentarian & Conservationist


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“Don’t post grip and grin pictures. Especially of predators and iconic African zoo animals. I get it. People say ‘screw you’ and I get hate mail. But you have to understand, if we are going to change the hearts and minds of the people, we can’t go out and say ‘screw you.’ We have to say, there is a great story to be told about your deer. You don’t have to take your broadheads and put the logo out there, and chest bump and high five. Just don’t post those pictures.”

— Tom Opre

Today’s guest might ruffle some feathers. In fact, he’s been known to piss a few people off.

And, he’s not going to apologize for it.

Tom Opre is passionate. He loves wildlife, hunters, and the wilderness. And he has a deep understanding of what it means to be a consumer. And a conservationist.

What Tom is not is apologetic. He has a matter of fact way of delivering his views and the facts he’s acquired over the years. He’s not here to soft serve anything to you. I like this about Tom, maybe because I see some of that in myself.

Another thing you’ll quickly pick up on with Tom is his passion isn’t hard to find. It bubbles high near the surface, as some might say. I met him about 16 months ago right as I quit my job to take GoWild full time. He and I hopped on the phone for what I thought would be a 30 minute conversation. We talked for an hour and a half as I listened to Tom lay out his views of what the industry was getting right, and what it was getting wrong.

He has a really vibrant view of the state of conservation, being a steward of the land, and particularly, hunting. I’ve met some people or organizations that seem to think we have decades to figure out hunter recruitment and decline. Tom doesn’t. And as someone who sees a future he wants to change, he’s not an armchair conservationist, either. He’s dedicated himself and his work to putting a foot forward in finding a solution.

Wildlife Conservation Project

Shepherds of Wildlife Project

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