A Hunter’s Passion and Respect for the Outdoors

February 13, 2020 Updated: February 13, 2020
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Ever since he can remember, Chad Belding has possessed a profound passion and respect for the outdoors. His father Orville taught him and his two brothers the importance of conservation and living off the land.

Belding and his two brothers grew up in Reno, Nevada, and their father encouraged them to develop an appreciation for the outdoors, and much of their childhood consisted of camping, hunting, and fishing. They learned how to process fish and game, and how to cook them for their family and friends. They also cut down their own Christmas trees.

“He always taught us to respect the resources,” Belding said. “Whether it was a squirrel or a coyote, or a big game animal like a mule deer or a rocky mountain elk or a duck or a goose, they all deserve respect. They’re all part of our ecosystem, so we were always taught to never disrespect that resource.”

The Hunt

Belding was five years old when he went on his first hunt with his father. Belding carried a .410 shotgun as the two walked through the mountains, and his father taught him the importance of gun safety and how to interpret the terrain of the mountains and the conditions. Belding also learned how to read maps before there was GPS, how to build fires, how to call game, and hunting etiquette.

Belding vividly remembers his first deer hunt when he was 12, and learned that hunting was about more than just killing an animal. It was about enjoying the camp, the camaraderie, and the land.

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Chad Belding with his hunting dog. (Tom Rassuchine/The Fowl Life)

“A lot of it wasn’t about the kill. It was about learning all of the things that went into being a good provider,” Belding explained.

As Belding got older, he developed a passion for duck and waterfowl hunting and became talented at calling duck, geese, and other game. After he graduated from college with a degree in business in the late 1990s, he started his own video production and hunting gear company called Banded in 2008. Shortly after founding his own business, he started “The Fowl Life,” a television series that focused on duck and waterfowl hunting and aired in 2009. He also hosts “The Fowl Life” podcast.

Sharing the Passion

The business and television series grew quickly in popularity, and Belding has had many memorable experiences filming the show. He’s had the opportunity to hunt with acting director of national intelligence Admiral Joseph Maguire, special forces veterans, and professional athletes. He’s also hunted to raise funds and awareness for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House.

Belding also launched a podcast in 2018 entitled “This Life Ain’t for Everybody,” in which he interviews guests about a variety of different topics. The podcast goes beyond hunting, and focuses on the personal stories of its guests who may be veterans, musicians, celebrities, or business owners.

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Chad Belding calling for duck. (Tom Rassuchine/The Fowl Life)

“I think everybody has a story, and if I’m interested in them and they’re interested in being a part of it and I find common ground with them–I love having a wide, diverse selection of guests on there that our audience keeps tuning in for,” Belding explained.

Belding is also developing a new brand called The Provider, which will feature live, in-person workshops over three days on duck hunting, waterfowl hunting, hiding, concealment, calling, and decoying. The workshop will also include hunting dog training and how to become a better dog handler. Guests will also learn how to process their game and how to cook it, and Belding plans on writing a cookbook based on these experiences.

“I think that an organic lifestyle, growing a garden, living off the land, being a hunter, being a gatherer, learning how to butcher, and process, and prepare that wild game–that’s what The Provider mentality is about,” Belding explained.