Ducks Unlimited Podcast

Hosts Chris Jennings and Dr. Mike Brasher are joined by Sydnie Wells, host of Barstool Outdoors. Wells explains how she became a part of Barstool, and discusses what her experiences have been hosting the show. Wells, an avid deer hunter also shares some of her best days afield, including hunting with her father, Tim Wells. As a strong advocate for conservation, Wells explains how others can create compelling content to engage with a broad audience from a hunter’s perspective.

Creators & Guests

Chris Jennings
Ducks Unlimited Podcast Outdoor Host
Mike Brasher
Ducks Unlimited Podcast Science Host

What is Ducks Unlimited Podcast?

Ducks Unlimited Podcast is a constant discussion of all things waterfowl; from in-depth hunting tips and tactics, to waterfowl biology, research, science, and habitat updates. The DU Podcast is the go-to resource for waterfowl hunters and conservationists. Ducks Unlimited is the world's leader in wetlands conservation.

00:00 Chris Jennings Hey everybody, welcome back to the Ducks limited podcast. I'm your host, Chris Jennings. Joining me in studio today is my co-host and Dr. Mike Brasher. How are you, Mike? I'm doing well, Chris. Good to see you. Good to see you. And also joining us is the host of Barstool Outdoors, Sydnie Wells. Sydnie, welcome to the DU podcast. Thanks guys. I'm so excited to be on, especially right before hunting season kicks in. The excitement is about to start. That's right. We are going to be kicking off dove season really soon and that's kind of the start for everybody. We've been doing the waterfowl numbers, the survey release numbers recently. I know Mike's been heavily involved in that, but that's kind of the start to fall. Everyone's pretty excited. But really, you know, I'm excited to have you on here and kind of just share your story about how you became a part of Barstool Outdoors, or actually the host of Barstool Outdoors. But before we do that, if you don't mind just kind of giving our audience just a little bit of introduction of who you are, where you're from, and how

00:53 Sydney Wells you got involved with Barstool. So my name is Sydnie Wells. Like they've already introduced me. Some people may know me as Tim Wells' daughter, one of the best bow hunters in the world. He's also quite known as a crazy man. Very true. I am from central Illinois, small town near Peoria, Illinois. And I have been hunting and fishing ever since I could walk. My dad had a television show called Relentless Pursuit TV on the sportsman's channel and also Tim Wells' bow hunter on YouTube. So growing up, I mean, he's done this for 26 years. I'm 25. So ever since I was born, I was in television. I was in front of a camera, so I was kind of groomed to do this. I actually didn't know I was going to be a part of Barstool sports. You know, I followed Barstool sports in college, followed Dave Portnoy, you know, some podcasts. I wasn't necessarily like a big stoolie. So if you follow Barstool sports, if you're like a diehard fan, you're called a stoolie. But I just knew, you know, a little bit above Barstool, I was a fan, you know, followed a bunch of different pages. And in college, I started getting, you know, more and more following on social media. So I didn't know that was going to be a career. My dad certainly wanted me to just be with him and film all the time because it was just fun for us to do. And we were lucky. We were successful. We were very fortunate for that on that end. But I graduated as a nurse, but had full intentions to be a nurse. My mom's like, you need to get your butt to the hospital. I wanted to be an ICU nurse to be exact. And my dad's like, nope, you're not going to the hospital. You need to be filming with me and doing content because you're good at it. And so I took my NCLEX pass, accepted a job and then called him back and said, I'm sorry, I got to pursue my passion in the outdoor industry. And then three months later, I was at deer camp with my parents, just shot a drop time buck. And Dave Portnoy put out a tweet that said, wanted host of Barstool Outdoors. And all of my buddies sent it to me because I didn't really follow much on Twitter. And I sent them an email that night. And it was so crazy because the day before, I was talking to my cousin like, I want to do something on my own. I don't know what it is. I've been praying about it. I just don't know what it's going to be. And then that happened. Sent an email. And then actually like a month and a half later, I got an email to meet with the guys and then

03:12 Chris Jennings I got hired. So pretty crazy. Yeah. That's awesome. That is awesome. Yeah. That's a quick switch going from an ICU nurse where you're almost accepting the position to then, hey, I'm going to run off and work for Barstool Outdoors. But super cool. I mean, what a great opportunity. What was that interview process like? These guys are so, a lot of the guys that you're referencing there, they're so forward facing. Everyone in the country or people following social media, you know who those guys are. Even if you're not really a stoolie per se, I mean, you're still watching videos with Dave and, you know, big cat and these guys. So like, you know, most people know who they are. What was that process like where you went in and just sat down with them and you're, I don't know, they don't really come off as outdoorsmen to me, but you know, you seem like 10 times more of an outdoorsman

03:58 Sydney Wells than them. This is the funniest thing. So yeah, I mean, they're not really outdoorsy to say. I was definitely a huge fan of Dave. So I was definitely a little nervous, but I knew I like, okay, I got to go on here and be confident. Otherwise he's a walk all over me. So I met with, oh, his name's Gaz. I met with Gaz and then we, and then I ended up meeting with Dave and he was actually late to my meeting because he was in a Jenga tournament. Which is funny. But it wasn't, it was just the best thing about Barstool is we are, what is the right word here? Barstool, everybody is themselves. Nobody tries to change anybody. So going into that, like, I guess, quote unquote, I guess, interview is more of a conversation, get to know who I am. He was just like, it sounds, you know, he liked everything that I said and he just wanted to get to know me. And he's like, all right, great. We want you to work for us. And so it was very quick. I think it was like a 10 minute ordeal, if that. And yeah, it was really, it was really great. It was really easy. It's just, at Barstool, it's not like a regular company where it's super like, okay, you have to send these formal emails. You got to be super formal. You really just, we're characters in a video game.

05:04 Chris Jennings You just have to deliver the numbers, right?

05:06 Sydney Wells Yeah, you're just going to be yourself and be passionate about your work and work hard. And that's pretty much what you got to do.

05:13 Mike Brasher And so Sydnie, how long ago was that, that you started for Barstool?

05:17 Sydney Wells I started in the year of February 2021.

05:22 Mike Brasher February 21. Well, that was sort of a crazy time to be traveling, right? Did that make it more difficult? I'm sure it did.

05:29 Sydney Wells So I think COVID was just, it was slowly starting to go away because I was able to travel to New York when I first started and see the office and get to know people around there. And then like, so it wasn't really super hard to travel. We still had to travel with masks, you know, on airplanes. But we're in the, I mean, being in the outdoors, if I wasn't going to be able to fly, I was going to drive, you know, I didn't have to like go inside a building to do my content. So it wasn't really that hard. And yeah, it was really easy. I mean, at first, they just throw you into it and you're like, okay, make, make content. And I'm like, okay. I was 20, 22 years old, 23 years old. And like, all right.

06:04 Mike Brasher And so when you started out, like, how did you go about identifying the content that you wanted to produce, the places you wanted to go, the hunts you wanted to go on? I'm sure your dad, through all the work that you did with your dad, you had a lot of ideas. You probably had a few connections. I suspect now you get all sorts of offers to come and come visit with us and hunt with us and fish with us. But kind of starting out, how did you, how did you kind of get into that?

06:30 Sydney Wells Yeah. So this is the best thing about Barstool is when you are getting, when you are hired, you know, they're not, they don't expect you to change. You are. So I got hired for a reason and they're not trying to form me into anybody else. I already had a lot of the connections. And honestly, it's just, I wanted to do the same things that I do every other month, every month is to hunt and fish. And I already had a lot of, you know, connections and friends and family. I feel like I'm the friends I have made over the years. They've been great friends that we like just enjoy the outdoors together. And the only difference is I was going to film every single wakey moment. It's different than, you know, the outdoor channel, the sportsman channel, when you only film 12 episodes a year, or you know, they come out live. This time it was every week. So it was a little intense, but I just, I was lucky enough, fortunate enough that I've been all over the country already. So I had some connections. My dad certainly has helped with his friends. But you know, all my friends and family, luckily all over the country, they're all outdoors. And so they have an idea or two of trips that I could go on.

07:31 Mike Brasher So another question kind of related to your experiences with your dad, you know, you said that you were behind the camera, you were probably in front of the camera a lot with growing up with your dad. But nowadays, the filming, the cameras you use, and some of the ways that you do it are different from from some of the, let's say more structured choreographed kind of productions of the past. Is that, what's that change been like for you? Is it easier now? Is it more pressure now? What's that change look like?

07:58 Sydney Wells I am fortunate enough to have a little bit of like camera work. I've like done a lot of self filming. Pressure, yeah, you got to be a little bit organized. You know, you got to, I've been booking my trips, you know, kind of allocating who's going on trips with me filming wise and editing wise. But it's not really pressure. It's, I'm going to make it work either way. I'm not too worried about it. I know how to run a camera. I have great editors back at Barstool, which are super superb. Everybody at Barstool is so helpful and great. Resources are great too. Yeah, I just think like my dad honestly films a bunch of my hunts. We are two peas in a pod. We still film, we film each other. I have a couple buddies, my friend Alex, he's a big YouTuber, we film each other. So they're not really pressure. Not a lot has really changed besides the fact that I'm filming every week. That's the biggest change is it's a passion. Yes, hunting and fishing, but it's also my job. You know, with any other YouTubers, everybody knows to like be successful and grow. You got to put out content. It's really, it's really a lot of work. And I think a lot of people don't understand how much work a lot of these YouTubers put into their jobs of, you know, producing the content that their audience and their fans are going to love. It's a lot of planning. It's a lot of travel. And it's a lot of your time because like you guys know, like I'm especially with the waterfowl, you never know when the ducks going to work. You never know when the deer is going to step out. So it's going to be frustrating. That's the biggest pressure is like when I'm on a trip and I'm filming, I want to get it done. And if I'm not going to get it done, the best thing about the outdoors is you can find another way of kind of doing content besides the

09:30 Chris Jennings actual hunt or the, you know, the harvest. Yeah, that's what I was going to say. You know, you know, mentioned that we had a hunt with you in January of this year and what a lot of the content that you guys were kicking out of it wasn't necessarily the hunt. A lot of it was around the lodge, kind of people telling jokes. And I think a lot of people that create content, maybe, you know, from a different perspective, they don't really think of it that way. You know, they kind of think of it like you said, you got to have the ducks there or the deer or catch fish or whatever. But just kind of spending a couple of days with you guys, I really noticed that a lot of that focus was really kind of on duck camp and the fun times and the jokes. The basketball game. The basketball, you know, things like that. Do you go into every trip knowing like, oh, hey, you know, if the fish aren't biting here, here's a spot where we can go and hang out. Like maybe it's a restaurant or maybe something like that.

10:19 Sydney Wells Yeah, we do do that. That's like a really good point because I think I learned that through Barstool because Barstool is such a, you know, content, content, content, and it's all about personality. And that's what I've learned from working here. Like I necessarily was a content machine when it came to hunting. I was like, oh my gosh, I have to get this. Oh my gosh, I have to get that. But at Barstool, yeah, we at Barstool Outdoors specifically, we do encapsulate everything, you know, when we're up north, the different environments, the different kind of people, the camaraderie, you know, there's so much to be shown of like hunting world in the outdoor industry. Because a lot of people who watch my videos too may have never hunted in their entire lives. So it's cool to like showcase that part of this, of it even just showing, oh, we have to get a license and be like, oh, this is what a license is. People don't understand that or we can only shoot or kill this many animals. Yeah, it's all like educational and also just showing the all behind the scenes. I think people love that because they want to know what we're doing

11:16 Chris Jennings besides going hunting or fishing. Yeah, absolutely. And it's based, you know, kind of on your personality. But one big thing that really jumps out, you know, a female hosting Barstool Outdoors, you know, with the females being the largest growing segment of outdoorsmen and women, you know, that's a growing number where everything else is declining. Is that something that you kind of take pride in that you're really, you know, on the leading edge of maybe introducing not only these, you know, where we've referenced, you know, some of these people are not outdoorsmen, but really kind of leading the charge for female hunters and anglers. You kind of feel like as you're maybe the face of that right now.

11:54 Sydney Wells I feel like I could particularly be one of the faces. I think there's a lot of really like awesome outdoors women, you know, out there, you know, you got Hannah Baron, you got Eva Schaake, you got a lot of really cool girls, you know, out west too. I think that like one thing I take pride in is I definitely like a big bow hunter, and I do a variety of things. I'm not really just into one thing. So yeah, I think I take a lot of, you know, pride in that. And I really want to showcase myself in the best way possible. And also, like I think I growing up, I was always so nervous because, you know, a lot of women, we get a bad rep nowadays, which I don't know, understand why people put each other down. Like, if you don't like somebody doing something, just kind of like brush it off and move on. It's not going to help anybody by putting another female down or you can, you know, message her, you know, on the side, even guys message them on the side and be like, Hey, you know, probably shouldn't have posted this because X, Y, and Z. I think that's the best way to go about it. I kind of stay in my own lane, my own circle, but I was, you know, also taught by the best. I think also we just have a lot of pressure of acting a certain way and being always nervous about what to say or how to act, which I have came out of that shell and been more myself because subbing into the rule, I was nervous. Let's say, okay, I got to play the part. I got to be the best. I can't show my mistakes. And now I'm just like, and my coworkers helped me play off of that because, you know, they mess up and script all the time and they showcase it and everybody makes fun of each other. But like some people can be rude, obviously, we're never going to get rid of that. But I think that's the best way to showcase yourself is show your mistakes and just be authentically yourself and not really care what other people say. Don't read the comments. Don't read the comments. And don't like go into them. If somebody's going to be rude or

13:34 Chris Jennings be a jerk about it, all you're going to do is block and delete. Dr. Mike Brasher, are you listening to this? What are you talking about? He will argue with people on Facebook, nonstop. And I can justify why I do it though. I'm glad you brought that up.

13:47 Mike Brasher I don't argue with people. What I do is sometimes I will reply to certain comments, not necessarily trying to change the mind of that person, but to give the other people that might come along and read that post something else to consider. That's the thing. That's just kind of my take on the situation. But whatever I like from my perspective, you know, my job is like science and helping to communicate some of that science. And when I see some, it's not a tax on individuals. In our case, necessarily, it's a tax on our organization, which would be analogous to what you're talking about, attacking the individual. And I don't do a whole lot of it. Chris thinks I do. That's not true. That's not true. But from my perspective, it is in some cases, just to give the other people that read those comments something else to think about and something else to consider. So, yeah, that's it.

14:42 Sydney Wells I think that's one other case, especially if somebody's arguing about more informational or like educational, like, no, this is a thing. But I will admit that sometimes I do get a bit sassy and I will go into it just for fun. Hey, if you don't care, be sassy. I mean, I've definitely commented back about some things and be like, what the heck? And then, you know, we take a laugh of it. My dad, when he gets comments, he comments back sarcastic and I know he's being sarcastic. But now I'm like, great, people are actually thinking he's being truthful to it when he's not, whatever. But that's another conversation.

15:20 Mike Brasher So, Sydnie, you started this conversation by introducing yourself, saying a lot of people might know you as Tim Wells' daughter. I would say that's probably changing. And how many times does your dad now introduce himself as Sydnie Wells' father?

15:35 Sydney Wells That is so funny. So that's the main reason why I'm like, I want to do something on my own. I love my dad. He's the best, but I'm tired of being Sydnie Wells, Tim Wells' daughter. I want to be Sydnie Wells. And I finally, you know, have had that happen for myself, which is great. But he didn't make a story. He's like, well, this is like really a year ago. He's like, well, I think he did it. I go, why? What do you mean? He goes, I was on a plane and somebody asked me if I was Sydnie Wells' dad. I love it. I love it. That's great. So he's super proud,

16:06 Mike Brasher very proud. Oh, I'm sure. And rightly so. Do you remember when we were in Arkansas, we went to Max Prairie Wing that one day and we were kind of taking bets as you and your dad were going in. The rest of us were back there saying, okay, who wants to bet? Who's going to get more people that come up to them and ask to have their picture taken with them or introduce them to you or your dad? And I think the count was really, really close because that was a little video that I think you all put out, or maybe Matt Harrison put it out. I think you might've won that.

16:34 Sydney Wells I don't even remember. I just know that there is a lot of people in there that were really excited that, especially my dad, my dad, I just brag on him all the time, but when my dad sees people, you know, he always has the running joke up and they're like, can we get a picture? And he's like

16:48 Mike Brasher $5. And some people think he's serious. And I'm like, you gotta tell them that you're not serious. Sydnie, I'm kind of wondering, you grew up hunting. You're obviously an avid archer.

17:01 Sydney Wells How much waterfowl hunting did you do growing up? So I shot my first wood duck. It was double banded, actually.

17:08 Chris Jennings No.

17:09 Sydney Wells Wow. Let's hear that story. Wait, wait, wait. Hold on. $100 reward on it. I was…

17:13 Mike Brasher Wait, whose backyard was this out of? Your dad put it on there. This was on our farm and flooded a corn and it was a single duck. It was me and him. The first duck you ever killed was double banded.

17:28 Sydney Wells With $100 reward.

17:30 Mike Brasher A wood duck. Wood duck. Unbelievable.

17:33 Sydney Wells Because typically duck season opens up on my birthday or right around it. So it was on my birthday that year and he's like, come on. Like he used to, you know, when I was a little girl, like I would like to hunt, but he would have to beg me sometimes. And so we went out and I remember came from the North and I held up my gun and shot it and he picked it up and he was freaking out and he's like, all right, it's time to go home.

17:59 Mike Brasher That's awesome. That's amazing. We were just talking to somebody yesterday about those situations where the first duck that someone kills is banded. I don't think I've ever heard of a person that's where the first duck they have ever killed is double banded and a wood duck at that. And they don't do that a lot in terms of those reward band studies. And most of them are on mallards, but I know they have done them with a few other species as well. That's incredible.

18:18 Chris Jennings I was on a hunt with a lady on the Texas coast. She was our public policy specialist in DC at the time. I can't remember her name, but she shot her first duck was a redhead and it was double banded. Wow. First duck she ever killed. And I was like, wow, pretty much you're done. It's kind of like killing the monster buck on the very first hunt. Yeah. You're kind of ruined.

18:37 Sydney Wells Well, I have a question for you guys. This is kind of off topic. You asked me if I waterfowl hunt a lot. Yes. The answer is I was able to shoot a mallard Drake out of a blind and there was like, I shot a banded duck and then the guy behind me shot a banded duck. How often does that happen

18:53 Mike Brasher when there's like a group and there's, you know, two couple bands in there? Well, I think I'd have to ask, do you know if the bands were in sequence? Well, number one, it doesn't happen very often. If however, the two bands were in sequence or relatively close, then it could be that those birds had been banded not too long before that. It could have banded somewhere nearby. Sort of depends on where it is. It's uncommon for sure, but there are some situations in which it'd be a

19:17 Chris Jennings little more likely to happen than others. I'd say it's a lot more common with Canada geese, at least as far as what I've heard. Now I grew up not too far from where you grew up, but just across the Indiana border and we had a pretty large residential Canada goose population. Yeah, you guys do too. But like we would shoot, you know, when I was in high school, we'd go out and hunt in the morning and we would shoot into a flock of seven to 10 geese and four or five of them would be banded. And what that is, that's more family groups. They were captured young and as part of a family group, they were banded together. And so that probably happens a lot more

19:54 Sydney Wells than ducks. That's pretty interesting. Where I'm from, there's a small little park that they've banned. So early season is pretty fun for everybody because they get a bunch of bands for their lanyard. But yeah, growing up, we duck hunted a lot. We shot a lot of Canada, especially with my grandpa and my dad and my brother and my mom. We didn't film as much. That was more of our hobby. We didn't film. It was more just the camaraderie. We wanted to just enjoy it and

20:21 Mike Brasher not be so stressed about getting the shots. Yeah. Sydnie, I will say that you earned some points in my mind right there with what you just said, where you correctly referred to them as Canada's. You know, a lot of people come on and well, not necessarily on the podcast, but we hear a lot of people who referred to them just in passing

20:59 Sydney Wells as Canadians, a lot of Canadian geese, you know, but you got it. Thanks. To be completely honest, I said that when I was younger and somebody corrected me on there. Well, at least you

21:09 Mike Brasher remembered though. Yeah. Yeah. Someone who studies those studies, these birds, that's

21:13 Chris Jennings one of the things that just gets you. Yeah. And to give you credit, people say it all the time around the building. So, you know, randomly, it gets me though. Yeah. National headquarters. You're like, why? Come on. That's right. No, it's okay. I try to correct myself. That's interesting. Now, central Illinois is a, you know, that's deer hunting capital. I mean, that's where people go or, you know, historically people have always gone for big deer, big white tails, I should say. But you, you know, you grew up in a very waterfowling, historically rich area right there in Peoria, right along the Illinois river. I mean, there's some fantastic places along there. Have you gotten the opportunity to spend some time at some of those, maybe some of those old clubs there along the river or anything like that? There's some cool ones up there.

21:57 Sydney Wells I got to be at a couple past the Peoria casino. I don't remember what it's called, but I was able to go with a couple of my friends from Presley's Outdoors, but primarily we just stay around our property. I mean, to be honest, we're focused on deer before we are ducks. Early season, we'll go shoot Canada's and then opening day, we'll shoot some ducks, usually wood ducks primarily. Yeah. And then if we have a good snow, if it's snowing, winds whipping, it's too windy for deer hunting, we'll go shoot ducks. If they're there, you know, we never know. It just depends with the weather and we don't have a split, which I wish we did, but it just gets cold when it ends, the very end of December. So unless I kill my big deer early, I'm chasing ducks.

22:43 Mike Brasher You've had the opportunity to hunt a lot of different animals in a lot of different ways to try to catch a lot of different fish, go a lot of different places. What, and this feels like a Matt Harrison question, you know, what's your favorite? Matt Harrison, our mutual friend, he works for us at Ducks Unlimited. Let me see, how can I ask this question? Over the past couple of years, what has been the most memorable experience, either from the way the trip, the fishing trip, hunting trip unfolded, or because it was something that you anticipated so much,

23:17 Sydney Wells what was your favorite or most memorable? Oh my gosh. I kind of say two. Sure. Yeah. Okay. Well, there's one for sure. I took my coworker, deer hunting, and he shot his first doe during gun season and watching his reaction was the best thing in the entire world. It was something that I'll never forget. He missed the first one. I told him to be patient because the sun was going down. They're going to get hungry. He shot it. He thought he missed it. I was like, no, you hit it. Ran up the hill and died about 70 yards away. And he was just like, on top of the world. It was the best thing that I ever seen. It was like a little kid shooting their first deer, but he's three, four. That's awesome. So that was the best ever. Oh my gosh. I'll never forget that. That was so great. Now he's obsessed. And then probably when I shot a deer, we named six pack. I mean, I've been all over the country and all over the world, but nothing will be a shooting a deer on your home property that you've been watching grow up. So he was about eight or nine and my dad was obsessed with them. We hunted him so hard and my dad filmed me in the tree and I had such an adrenaline rush that I almost threw up. I was going to pass out. It was crazy. It was such a good feeling. My dad and I, when we found him, we were just sitting there just together like, oh, we did this. We did it finally. And it was kind of sad because you get attached to the deer, which should never get attached, but we get really attached. And it was just such an amazing feeling and so exciting. Just all the hard work paid off and it's on Thanksgiving day and it was just awesome. So both of those experiences, family, friends, and deer. I think we know the secret for you. Yeah, definitely. I don't know. I've been so lucky. I'm only 25, but I've been to really cool places and got to bow hunt a lot of different animals. I think my favorite person to spend it with is my dad because we just do everything together and just the excitement from both of us and the hard work. It's just really exciting. We definitely fight too. So when you argue and then you're like, I'm sorry. We're just both. You're both a little bit competitive, right? We're competitive, but we both just want to get it done. So we butt heads, but we're there for the same reason. So it's just great though. I love deer hunting, as you can tell. I do like duck hunting though, because I could chill and relax and it's like everybody can talk. When you go into the Barstool office, how often do you go into the main offices? When I have time, when I'm home, because I'm gone a lot, filming nonstop. So I was just there a couple of weeks ago. I try to go in a couple of times a month, trying to film for my content around the office a little bit for 2024 because everybody just moved to Chicago. So we moved to the big office. A lot of people came to Chicago. We have a brand new office we're building. I'm really excited about it because there's going to be a lot of personalities in the city and they can come with me. I can go with them. We can do a bunch of different things. So my goal is to be in the office more because I do enjoy it. And when I'm with everybody, you can only imagine how great and fun it is.

26:31 Mike Brasher NASSER So kind of given some of those changes, and I guess this is, well, let me ask this first question. Do you think, is there any opportunity or are you thinking about expanding beyond just the hunting and fishing component for Barstool Outdoors? Or is that really where you want to continue to work?

26:48 Sydney Wells KAYLEE So we're successful for sure. So I continue wanting to do that. I want to do it to a point where I don't have to be gone as much because I do want to be in the office. I've done a couple podcasts with my friend Alex Perrick. We're really close. The podcasts have been successful, so I could see us doing that as well, doing a podcast for 2024. It's easy to do podcasts. It's fun. We enjoy it. Have a live on video so I could see myself expanding doing that. And then just like mini series, so I'm getting into, it's more fishing, but I'm getting into new things like fly fishing. I want to showcase me being a novice fly fisherman to trying to work my way up. So that's really going to be exciting to try new things that I haven't done and then be in the office more. So just be present in there and then work with some of my co-workers to come up with some new content that is completely outside of the outdoors because I do like other things besides hunting and fishing, which might surprise some people, but I do. And yeah, so continue to hunt and fish, do some mini series podcasts, and then just be doing some other things with my co-workers. So 2024 will be good. You'll see.

27:55 Chris Jennings That's awesome. When you mentioned the shift to Chicago, that kind of falls in line with something that was in the headlines a whole lot. The fact that Dave Portnoy got Barstool back,

28:07 Sydney Wells how does that impact you and what's the benefit of that for Barstool Outdoors? Yeah, so that was exciting. He came on, everybody was cheering. We were really happy because nothing against Penn either, but things were changing. We had to change a lot of things. I didn't know what that meant for the brand, what's going to be changed. But now we're back on the pirate ship where it's just Dave, which means that as long as we're working hard and doing what we do best, we're going to be good. Some people were uneasy because now we're under a corporation. It was more of a corporate and we didn't know what we needed to do to keep our jobs. Some people, you're uneasy because you don't know. We got a new boss. So now that Dave bought it back for a dollar, it's definitely great because he's back in charge. And again, we can be ourselves and not have to follow certain guidelines to an extent. It's good because we just have drop security, I'd say. It's certainly a unique workplace, right? Yeah, it's definitely unique. It's so fun. It's just funny because I love my out of office episodes, which I do five episodes a year where I bring different talent from Barstow on these trips. And every time I bring somebody new, I'm just laughing the whole time. It's just so funny to bring them out into this world that they have no idea about. And they all act completely different

29:30 Mike Brasher from one another. Sydnie, do you ever get to a point in those trips where it does feel more like work as opposed to the, I guess, normal fishing and hunting and you're doing it just… You're not doing it just… You're having to produce the content, right? But you're also wanting to enjoy the hunting and the fishing experience. Does it ever get to a point where it feels more like work than fun? Oh yeah. How do you manage that?

29:55 Sydney Wells And I feel like a lot of people can vouch for that too. Not just me in this kind of world. I definitely feel that way because sometimes it's like, oh my gosh, you're going to make a video. It's pressure. I have pressure on me. I got to get a video. I got to get a video. I have some great companies that we work with that want to be a part of my brand, which I want to do them justice and do the best I can with my production. I'm very picky. And I think that's great. I want to be picky. I don't want to just put something out to put it out. That's something that I don't like to do. I want it to be a little cinematic, a lot of personality, be very, not perfect, but close to it where it's great. Some other episodes, I'll just be like, okay, this is good. Let's just put it out. But I want to perform the best I can. And that means a lot of work and a lot of directing, producing, making sure everything goes well. And that can be a lot of pressure and it's work. Because sometimes the biggest thing with this job, which I cannot complain, I'm going all the time, travel a lot. Sometimes I miss out on a lot of things, my friends and my family. And I've only been home three times this summer at my parents' house and I miss my dog, Jack. So if anybody's listening to this that follows me, I love Jack. So it's fun, definitely. And I love that out of Office series because I bring these new people and it's more just enjoyable to watch them do their thing and experience those things. Because I've experienced a lot of this before. So that's so exciting. I love those things. I love bow hunting. So majority of times I'm like, this is great. Let's do it. Sometimes it's a grind and I'm like, I'm exhausted. This is a lot of work, but it's so worth it. And then, traveling gets me. But yeah, but that's the thing. I would never…

31:36 Mike Brasher Tanner Iskra I would imagine those episodes where you take a friend with you, they write themselves. You don't have to do as much, right? Because we know whenever you introduce a friend or someone new to either hunting or fishing, it writes itself.

31:52 Sydney Wells Nicole Govind Yeah, exactly. And then when it's just me, trying to get something done, usually it doesn't work out when the cameras come on. Cameras come out and never happens how you picture it in your head, but it's okay. That's part of my job. So I'm okay with it. I love it. Tanner Iskra

32:07 Chris Jennings Yeah, you have to. I mean, just for as much as you travel and produce and things like that. I mean, I've been a part of that like 10 years ago. I used to be a part of the DUTV show where I was kind of behind the scenes working on its planning, things like that. And they're like, hey, we want you to be on a show. And I went on one show, it was a snow goose hunt. And we had snow geese coming into the decoys. And they're like, all right, stop shooting. We have to shoot. I'm like, excuse me? Like, stop shooting? Like, no. They're like, no, we have to do this and go sit and do these. And I'm like, you just turned one of the better hunts I've ever been on my life into work. This is awful. I never did it again. I was like, nope. I'm never doing that again. It's terrible.

32:46 Sydney Wells Nicole Govind Yeah. So you get it. And it's stressful for everybody, you know, the editors, the videographers, the talent, we all work cohesively. And it's just so much time. Or the worst is when there's like an animal that comes out, but the camera's not on it yet, or it's not

33:01 Chris Jennings on yet. And it just walks off. Yeah, I think for me there, I think the producer said word for word, like, we have enough footage of these geese coming into the decoys. And I'm like, I'm not done watching them. Like, there's no way like, you know, you don't have enough footage. So yeah, that was my experience where it turned into work for sure. We've got a couple more questions for it. And then we'll get you out of here. Have you had any experience where people kind of reached out to you after you did like a fishing show or a hunting show where people are like, Hey, you know, I've followed Barstool, but not necessarily Barstool Outdoors. You've kind of opened my eyes to this. I'm going to try and get into fishing, you know, or somewhere that you went specifically. I think I remember seeing some clips maybe last year, last summer, where you were just literally walking around downtown Chicago, catching smallmouth. And like, some people wouldn't even know. I'm kind of from that region. So I'm aware that the fishing is pretty good around there. But you know, most people would not know that, you know, there's so many different opportunities to hunt and fish in different places that maybe they're watching your videos and they reach out and like,

34:02 Sydney Wells Hey, you really opened my eyes to this. Is that something you've experienced? Absolutely. Yeah. I've had a lot of people message me just asking about it. They want to know gear. They want to know who to go with. They want to know where to go with. You want to know how to start. And unfortunately, I can't get to everybody. I do get asked a lot of questions. And sometimes I don't see all of them, which is unfortunate, but I'm busy. Can't waste my phone. But that's why I think like in my videos, I try to showcase, especially if I'm going with a guide or a friend that knows more than me, to like, Hey, this is who you can contact or go with as well. And then this guide, I went snook fishing, for example, in Florida, Ryan Nitz, awesome guy. He knows his stuff and he, you know, breaks everything down from the gear to what we use to where we're at. Obviously we can't show where we're at all the time for some people, but yeah, I get a lot of questions and I love that. And I love showcasing that on my videos as well. And try to be as educational as I can be and as educational as my guide can be. I don't know everything. I'm young. I'm still doing things for the first time. So I try to ask as many questions as I can that I'm curious about to help

35:06 Chris Jennings the viewers get into the sport, no matter what that might be. Awesome. You got one more question? Not a question. Are you about, we about ready to wrap up? I was going to, yeah, I was going to ask one more thing. And this is, you know, in this day and age, everyone is a content creator. People on Instagram, you know, Facebook, you know, Twitter, these creators are doing different things. So many people, and a lot of outdoorsmen are doing it. They're filming hunts. They're sharing these hunts on different platforms. What is your advice to some of these, maybe younger people, maybe younger outdoorsmen and women who are creating this content, you know, what would you tell them as, you know, the face of Barstow Outdoors, you know, hey, if I were you, you know, here's the

35:45 Sydney Wells direction you could go or any advice that you may have. Kind of a loaded question. So let me think about this for a second. I want to say, right, I think like the biggest thing if they want to get into content creation is to definitely don't be molding into the way that people want you to be. Like be authentically yourself, showcase your personality on your social media. People want to get to know you. Yeah, you might do some really cool things, but personality is like the best because they can connect with you. They can feel like you're your friend even though they don't know you in person. And like, don't be rude to other people. That's a big thing. Some people can be super rude and just be kind. Like just be yourself. Have fun with it. Do it because you love it. Don't do it because of the monetary value that you come with it. Otherwise, it's just going to blow up in your face and it's not going to go well for you. And this world, like again, everybody's trying to be a content creator. Find your niche, step into it and just run with it. Don't give up. You're going to need to post, post, post. And you might not start to see that incline until post 100, but it's going to happen and it's going to be great. And that's pretty much what I got so far. I just, there's a lot I could talk about, but I just think the biggest thing is just to be kind and show yourself and be yourself and don't try to mold into what somebody else wants you to be. People are going to be mean and people are going to make fun of you, but who cares? You live once. This is your life, not theirs. And also read, especially in the outdoor world, if you're going to get into the outdoor industry, like the content creation outside, you really need to read up on your rules and regulations because there's a lot of things that people don't know are the law or some things that you might need, like licenses or what you can harvest and sizes. There's a ton. And these guys for sure definitely know more about like the ducks, what can be harvested, what can not be harvested, what type of the year. There's just so much laws. Look into it, call your local DNR office to be a questions. No, you don't want to get in trouble if you're going for the first time.

37:47 Mike Brasher That would not be fun. Yeah. And don't do it on video. Yes. Don't do it on video. Cindy, I just wanted to say, offer thanks to you for engaging with Ducks Unlimited, helping us promote our mission of conservation for waterfowl and wetlands. We had a great time with you guys both at DUX last year in 2022. You got to do some really cool stuff there, go around the track at Texas Motor Speedway. Matt Harrison did too, I believe. And then also The Hunt this past January had a great opportunity to visit with you and really just thank you for making your platform available for sharing that message. We did some little science snippets, which were really cool, I think.

38:31 Sydney Wells Got a laugh out of that. That was really interesting. Thank you because you were spitting some facts that people loved and those videos were doing so well. We got to get together

38:39 Mike Brasher and do some more of that. Well, and that was the other thing I was going to say. If you ever need any content on waterfowl, wetlands, conservation, any science related to that, we want to be the person to help provide that content. We want to be the organization that you go to. And we thank you for allowing us to do that and using your platform for that message. Shout out to our mutual friends, Matt Harrison, Mallory Murphy, who helped to make that connection. And yeah, definitely we look

39:05 Sydney Wells forward to getting up with you sometime in the future. Absolutely. I'm so happy we were able to do that. We learned a lot. You guys taught us a lot about the organization that we didn't know about and everybody was, we just all had a blast. And I'm pretty sure we're doing it all over again, early January. We are. We've got it on the books. That's awesome. I'm excited. You guys are awesome. It's so much fun being collaborative with you guys and just my friends now. So it's great. I love

39:31 Chris Jennings y'all. Cool. Same. Sydnie, this has been great. I appreciate you coming on, sharing your story, sharing information about Barstool and giving some advice to some people out there who may want to become a content creator. So yeah, this has just been a great conversation and really appreciate it. Yeah, of course. Anytime guys. I appreciate you guys. Thanks Sydnie. I'd like to thank my co-host, Dr. Mike Rager for joining us on this episode. I'd like to thank our guest, Sydnie Wells, the host of Barstool Outdoors for coming on the show and talking about all things Barstool and outdoors. I'd like to thank our producer, Chris Isaac, for putting the show together and getting it out to you. And I'd like to thank you, the listener, for joining us on the DU Podcast and supporting Welland's conservation.