Kelly Gotch - Providing a modern perspective on our hunting and fishing traditions
By Tammy Sapp
Kelly Gotch, co-host of "Step Outside" on Outdoor Channel and host of "The Guide's Life" on the Pursuit Channel, bagged this gobbler in her home state of Michigan.
Though she is only in her twenties, Kelly Gotch's career accomplishments look like she's been knocking around the industry forever. However, it really wasn't that long ago her interest in television production took her to Central Michigan University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in broadcasting and cinematic arts. She used her educational background and experience as a hunter and angler to land a job co-hosting and associate producing "Michigan Out-of-Doors" TV. Kelly competed against more than a hundred other women for the job. While many of those women hunted and fished, few could match Kelly's abilities, which include producing, filming, editing and hosting.
Next, she joined the National Shooting Sports Foundation's Doug Painter as co-host of http://www.outdoorchannel.com/Shows/StepOutside.aspx
> "Step Outside," which airs on Outdoor Channel. And while the trend is for women to co-host with their husbands, Kelly is flying solo, hosting her own show, "The Guide's Life" on the Pursuit Channel. She also owns her own company, Gotcha Productions and is a member of the SHE Outdoor Apparel's pro/advisory staff. Plus, she is co-hosting the Total Outdoorsman Challenge on Outdoor Channel.
Kelly got her start catching frogs, tearing around the outdoors with her two brothers and hunting and fishing with her dad near the small Michigan town where she grew up. Though Kelly is an outdoor woman through and through, she's young enough to have grown up in the age of electronics. Her thumbs can fly across the teensy weensy keyboard of her cell phone, and she can edit digital video with the best of them.
Because she straddles the cyber and natural world, Kelly doesn't think they are mutually exclusive. But she does believe parents should make the effort to introduce their kids to the outdoors. While a recent study revealed kids now average 7 hours and 38 minutes a day consuming electronic media, Kelly said kids want to connect to nature, they just need a push. She made the point that it's easy to participate in social media and video games while getting outdoors takes more effort, which is why mentors are so important.
That's the goal of Step Outside TV and NSSF's http://www.stepoutside.org
/ > Step Outside program, to increase participation in hunting and target shooting by encouraging outdoor enthusiasts to mentor newcomers. Kelly is a firm believer in the power of mentoring and educational programs.
"Outdoor education programs are good and getting better. The more young people know about it, the more apt they are to get involved," Kelly said. "Kids are trained in school on computers so they know and are comfortable with that. If we educate them about the importance of the outdoors and the work of wildlife agencies and conservation groups, that additional knowledge can mean more participation."
Kelly said the very mediums we're concerned about now could be looked at as ways to reach young people. Social media sites such as CamoSpace and Facebook can spark interest in the outdoors. Young people may also find inspiration from the new crop of young outdoor TV show hosts. Kids are meant to be outdoors, and it may be the antidote to the stress young people report they are feeling these days, Kelly said.
She also predicts women will grow their presence in the outdoors. With more equipment and clothes for women as well as female role models on TV, Kelly believes even more women will become a part of the hunting and fishing community.
You can be sure Kelly will be doing her part to make that happen. She loves what she's doing now, but the sky is the limit for a young woman who has a passion for hunting and fishing and the skills to succeed.
You can catch up with Kelly at: