Traverse City Record-Eagle

Northern Living

March 10, 2013

Gaylord teen making mark in hunting world

TRAVERSE CITY — Jada Johnson won’t have to go job hunting when she graduates from Gaylord High School in May. Hunting, making hunting videos and marketing will be her job.

Johnson, 17, is host of Big Boys Adventures, established five years ago with her future in mind. The company films and produces hunting videos for ABC, NBC and cable TV hunting shows in the United States and Canada.

Mostly hunting with a PSE Stiletto bow made for women hunters, Johnson is also featured in PSE and other hunting gear and product commercials.

It takes strength to shoot a bow. Johnson works out for an hour three days a week in a variety ways — lifting weights, cardio exercises, yoga and regular softball practice, which starts next week. She plays first base for the Gaylord High School girls’ softball team.

Though she occasionally does hunt with a Thompson Center .308 rifle, she prefers bow hunting.

“There’s more of a challenge to it,” she said.

Like her father, Kevin Johnson, owner of Johnson Oil, a retail propane and gasoline distributor in Gaylord, she also prefers hunting animals that answer calls, like elk, turkey and moose.

“‘Big Boys’ is not a reference to hunters,” noted Kevin Johnson. “It is the name hunters often give to the elusive game animals.

Jada attributes her love for hunting to her father. He began teaching and mentoring her when she was about 6 or 7 after she asked to go with him to his deer blind, a heated and comfortable shanty in Otsego County.

“Lots of old-timers think you have to take your kids into the woods and sit in the cold and suffer like we did,” he said. “But it’s a different world and we have to adapt if we want to spend times in the woods with our kids.

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