Editor’s Note: Twenty-two-year-old Travis Johnson has a TV show, “Travis Johnson Outdoors.” You may think Travis hasn’t lived, hunted or done television long enough to be a TV host. However, Travis has been raised in an outdoor television family. His grandfather, O’Neill Williams, hosts and produces “O’Neill Outdoors,” a TV show that has aired on many networks for many years. From the time he could walk, Travis was hunting, fishing and filming with his dad and his granddad. We at CVA wanted to know more about Travis and his show, “Travis Johnson Outdoors,” and what this young gun will be offering on his new show that’s now airing on CSS and the Fox Sports South channels.
CVA: Where can we see “Travis Johnson Outdoors TV show?”
Johnson: My show airs on Saturday mornings, on Comcast Sports South at 8:30 am EST and on Fox Sports South at 9:00 am EST.
CVA: What is the show about?
Johnson: I wanted to have a show where viewers could learn hunting techniques that have worked for me. Too, they can meet some of the best hunters in the nation and learn from these individuals as I have. I don’t try to teach viewers how they should hunt. I just show our audience what I’ve learned, what works for me, and what techniques I’ve learned from other hunters around the country. I hope to learn as much from doing my TV show as my viewers do watching it. Our show is a continuing-education program for me and our viewers to hunt more efficiently, more safely and more successfully, while enjoying ourselves afield.
CVA: How long have you been hunting and fishing?
Johnson: I tagged along with my dad and both my grandfathers on their hunting and fishing trips from the time I was 4-years old. When I was 7 or 8, I started squirrel hunting with .410 shotguns and .22 rifles. I began carrying a rifle on deer hunts when I was about 11 and started bowhunting for whitetails and hogs when I became 13. I did my first television show with my granddad, O’Neill Williams, probably when I was only 4-years old. So, I’ve been working in the outdoor-television business for almost 19 years, even though I’m only 22.
CVA: Why did you decide to have your own TV show?
Johnson: I’ve enjoyed hunting, fishing and television all of my life. I really like traveling around the country, meeting people and hunting for different animals. I decided to try and make a career of the two activities I like the most – the outdoors and televion. My granddad, O’Neill Williams, was teaching me the outdoor-television business even before I was aware of it. “Travis, anytime we’re around anybody, you be a yes-sir and yes-ma’am young man. Make sure your shirt is tucked in, and you look people in the eyes,” is what my granddad always taught me. Back then, I didn’t realize he was not only teaching me how to hunt, fish and run a video camera, he also was teaching me the etiquette of the outdoor business. Now that I have my own TV show, I’m realizing how much I’ve learned from my granddad. I’ve also learned how he’s dealt with sponsors and gone about the business of outdoor television.
CVA: When did you decide to dedicate your life to being a TV host and earning a living in the outdoors?
Johnson: I’ve been working odd jobs in the steel industry but realized I couldn’t build a future working odd these jobs. I wanted to have a better life. I finally realized there’s nothing I’d rather do than hunt, fish, learn about the outdoors and take my friends and viewers along with me. I realized my granddad had the kind of job I wanted. This year we shot many different shows, learning the kinds of outdoor TV shows viewers and sponsors like. Our goal was to improve with every show and each episode. We wanted to come up with new ideas that viewers might not have seen previously. So, “Travis Johnson Outdoors” is an evolving television show. We want to make every episode better and different. We want next year’s programs to be better than this year’s programs. We want to listen to our viewers and to our sponsors, to constantly improve and give viewers the programming they want to see week after week. Our show will be completely different and better in 5 years than it is this year.
By: John E. Phillips, Outdoor Writer