If only one person could be chosen as the face of the modern hunting industry, that person would likely be Michael Waddell. A veritable superstar in the outdoor world, Michael combines his hunting expertise with his easy-going personality, and entertains fans of all ages across the country.
Growing up in the “deep country,” Michael was taught traditional family values, and hunting was simply a way for him to spend more time with his father and grandfather in the fields near his childhood home. Growing up, hunting was never about the trophy animals or the glitz and glamour of working as a professional; it was about camaraderie and appreciating the special feeling that comes from spending quality time in the outdoors.
As he grew, Waddell continued to hunt and hone his turkey calling skills, but it was more of a hobby than an ambition. However, Michael began winning calling contests and his notoriety spread throughout the area. His success caught the attention of fellow Georgian Bill Jordan, who happened to own and operate the successful Realtree line of camouflage and hunting apparel. Immediately recognizing Michael’s talent, Bill offered him a position on his pro-staff and allowed him to work on the production of their hunting videos.
One day, when he was talking with Bill and some of the producers, Michael came up with the idea of a hunting show that was as much about the compelling footage as it was about the community of hunters. It was a new kind of hunting show that would focus on the entire life of a hunter, not just what viewers saw in the field. That idea eventually led to Realtree Road Trips, which premiered on Outdoor Channel several years ago and launched Michael Waddell into the spotlight. To date, Realtree Road Trips has won seven Golden Moose awards, including the coveted Fan Favorite Hunting Show in ’05, ’07, and ’08.
A busy 2008 saw Waddell selected as official celebrity spokesperson for Outdoor Channel, in addition to being chosen as the chair of National Hunting and Fishing Day. With his popularity and reputation soaring, he was also named official spokesperson for the National Wild Turkey Federation and took over hosting duties on Turkey Call TV on Outdoor Channel.
2009 brought his new show, Bone Collector, to Outdoor Channel, where Michael’s outgoing personality and passion for the outdoors continue to strike a chord with viewers across the country.