Kinzer Knust

My name is Kinzer Knust. Here is my story on how I got involved with Giving Back Outdoors.

When I was in third grade, I had a house fire and my family lost a lot of our things. After the fire, I moved schools to Corydon. I first heard of Jeremy McCarty when he mentored some of my friends at my new school. I had always looked up to Jeremy even though I had never met him. I really liked the stuff he was doing. I enjoyed his hunting videos, and he inspired me to want to be like him.

One day, my friend, Dayton Jacobsen, asked me to tag along with him and Jeremy on a turkey hunt. I was super excited to go on my first turkey reap ever! Four of us boys stayed at camp with Jeremy. He bought us all supper and we went to bed dreaming about what was going to happen the next morning. After minimal amounts of sleep, we all got up and hit the woods. We all four connected with big gobblers.

From that point forward, I knew for a fact that I wanted to be like Jeremy, and I was hooked on turkey reaping. The next year, on the opening day of youth season, my buddy and I, Tyson Fogle, killed two gobblers. I sent a picture to Jeremy, and he congratulated us. A little bit later in the season, I tagged along with Dayton and Jeremy again. This time I videoed. Later that evening, I got to meet some awesome people at camp and enjoyed hanging around all of the guys. The following week, Jeremy hosted a veteran hunt. After school that week, I would come out and help. This is when I took my first Veteran hunting.

The first veteran I ever took out on a turkey reap, we crawled together behind the turkey reaper decoy and he killed one within 15 minutes. There were a lot of guys in camp that hadn’t killed a bird yet, so I took two more out that evening. My first day of guiding with the veterans went 3/3. After seeing the excitement on their face and experiencing that moment with others, I was hooked on helping others in the outdoors. These veterans do so much for our country and the least I could do is share my passion for the outdoors and help them achieve their goals. Since then, I have taken both veterans and kids hunting and fishing.

Every experience with each individual is different. I think it is important to share my passion with kids as well as veterans because if Jeremy hadn’t involved me, I would be nowhere near where I am today helping others and giving back. I am now 16 years old and continue spending as much time as I can to share my passion and love for the outdoors. Giving Back Outdoors has shaped me to be the person I am today. I don’t know where I would be without it. This is what Giving Back Outdoors means to me.

two young hunters with large deer
young hunter with rifle and dead deer
young person holding fish

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