hunters taking a break
episode 88 | Oct 25, 2022
Hunting & Fishing

Ep. 88: The Curious Case of the MeatEater Gnome with Casey Braam

Casey Braam is a passionate hunter, angler, artist and conservtionist. Travis and Casey discuss the MeatEater gnome shirt, Fenn's treasure, hunting in Haida Gwaii, bear hunting tactics and some deeper topics about life, death and what it means to "work for a living".
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[00:00:00] Travis Bader: I'm Travis Bader and this, it's the Silvercore Podcast . Silvercore has been providing its members with a skills and knowledge necessary to be confident and proficient in the outdoors for over 20 years, and we make it easier for people to deepen their connection to the natural world. If you enjoy the positive and.

[00:00:30] Of content we provide. Please let others know by sharing, commenting and following so that you can join in on everything that Silvercore stands for. If you'd like to learn more about becoming a member of the Silvercore Club and community, visit our website at

[00:01:00] So I'm sitting down today with an extremely talented artist. He's a passionate hunter, passionate angler, conservationist, and even though some people may have not have heard his name, many people have probably seen his work somewhere in the hunting and angling world. Welcome to the Silvercore Club, Casey Braam, thank 

[00:01:20] Casey Braam: you very much.

[00:01:21] Good to be here. 

[00:01:22] Travis Bader: It's awesome to be here. We're in your studio right now. This place is fantastic. 

[00:01:25] Casey Braam: Yeah, we, uh, well we bought this house in the spring of last year and this was just studs when we got here, so this is all new and I got to make it this space. I needed it to be 

[00:01:37] Travis Bader: so. Well, when I mentioned at the beginning here that many people have probably seen your work, There's one very popular piece of work that I think a lot of people have probably seen, and that would be the meat eater Nome.

[00:01:49] Yeah. So I remember, um, when I first saw that like, this is, look at this cool. No, he's got a unicorn and his backpack. And I think meat eater used that as their main thing for a number of years when they first started, didn't they? Yeah. 

[00:02:01] Casey Braam: Kind of when they started becoming the brand they are now rather than just kind of the TV show and that kind of thing.

[00:02:07] But they're the big brand they are now. Um, it kind of just happened, you know, and it. Series of interesting events. You know, I was interested in their podcast for a long time. Right. And so I was, had had it on in the studio, um, and in 2018 I was doing a drawing a day every single day for the whole year.

[00:02:31] Right. 

[00:02:31] Travis Bader: I was gonna ask you about that one. Yeah. That's crazy by the way. Yeah. 

[00:02:34] Casey Braam: So it was a big undertaking, but it was kind of, You know, I'd heard of ink October where you're doing ink drawing every day for the month of October. It's kind of a thing on social media in the art world. So I thought, what if I take that and, you know, expand it over the whole year?

[00:02:48] I had heard people. Say that like in October really increased their skills or their confidence in that medium over a month. So I'm like, well, let's do it for a whole year, every single day, start to finish and then try to still do all my other stuff. But anyway, so I would have me eat your podcast on, in the background each day while I was doing that drawing.

[00:03:08] And it was just kind of like, you know, catching up on old episodes and whatever, and, and they talked. Steve Renell kind of painted this scene in the podcast. He said, if I was a painter, is how he kind of prefaced the story. Okay. And he said, I would create this image of. You know, a Turkey breathing and gobbling in the early morning and creating like the, the, the steam out of its mouth.

[00:03:31] And it kind described that in the way he does. Right, Right. Um, and so I hadn't started my ink drawing of the day and I'm like, Well that's an easy topic right there. So I tackled it and drew it and posted it on Instagram and me, or found it. Did you tag me? Yeah. I was just like, Hey, you. Listening to the media or podcast today, um, and drew this, whatever, and then it kind of just, they latched onto it.

[00:03:55] They said, Could they use it for their podcast tour poster? Um, and then, yeah, I got a call from Steve Vanilla one day saying, Hey, I have this really weird idea, you know, and. What do you think of a known packing out a unicorn? And it's like, okay, well that's weird, but let's, uh, let's figure it out, you know?

[00:04:12] And, and so that's kind of how it all started and then it snowballed into a thing and, and yeah, I've done a number of different images for them, including mostly the known and a bunch of a few other things as well, so that's crazy. Yeah. 

[00:04:24] Travis Bader: You know, I heard a, heard a rumor. I don't know there's truth to this, but I heard a rumor.

[00:04:28] Have you heard of? Finn's 

[00:04:30] Casey Braam: Treasure Forest Forest fan. Yeah. Yeah, that's right. 

[00:04:33] Travis Bader: Yeah. So the guy who found it said he was wearing his lucky mediator known T-shirt when he found it. That's crazy. Have you heard 

[00:04:39] Casey Braam: that? I've heard that, and I don't know if it's like true or whatever, but yeah. That's totally cool.

[00:04:44] Yeah, that's, 

[00:04:46] Travis Bader: that was what, like a $2 million treasure that this guy forced him. Oh yeah. Yeah. I'll just hide it in the woods somewhere. And then I, I guess when he was dying of cancer and then he got curative cancer, but he had already hid the, uh, hid this stuff. 

[00:04:58] Casey Braam: That's right. That's, yeah. And it's full of like all sorts of strange artifacts and, Right.

[00:05:03] Yeah. Anyway, so yeah. Interesting story. And I actually have another guy that's been sending me over the last like two years. Pictures of all the stuff he's accomplished in his known packing out a unicorn t-shirt cuz it's like his lucky shirt. And so he's like, sends me a picture of the big bull moose he got the first year he got the shirt.

[00:05:21] Oh, that's awesome. And like, Like he just sent me a picture. Today, I think of him with his first bison. He got the Copper River draw. Oh wow. And he got a bison and he's got his shirt on and it's just like, it's cool, you know? That is neat. Yeah. Yeah. It kind of impacted people and I didn't really expect that.

[00:05:36] I thought it's a goofy thing, you know? But we'll do it. So was Steve's idea 

[00:05:40] Travis Bader: originally the 

[00:05:41] Casey Braam: Noman? Totally. I think actually it was like his brother's idea. And he like kind of said like, Hey, what if we did this? And, and then it just snowballed and we created all these different images and yeah. See I always 

[00:05:51] Travis Bader: thought that was your idea that you just came up with this.

[00:05:52] No 

[00:05:53] Casey Braam: idea. No, it was interesting cuz it was like, you know, Yeah. He called me and it was interesting that it was him calling me cuz he just had this idea, you know, the company was a bit smaller then and uh, he had maybe a bit more control over that stuff. He was just like, you know, I have this idea of no packing out a unicorn.

[00:06:11] And we did a few different renditions of it. Few, few different versions, you know, sketches here and there. Right. Um, Yeah. And then we finally landed on what became the known. Yeah. Well, 

[00:06:22] Travis Bader: you just came back from ua. That's right. And you were there for how long? 

[00:06:26] Casey Braam: Uh, we were on the island for four days. 

[00:06:28] Travis Bader: Yeah. So you are, correct me if I'm wrong, you're a fourth 

[00:06:31] Casey Braam: generation hunter?

[00:06:33] Uh, I'm, I started hunting when I was 26 years old, I think. Okay. Or 27. Okay. So I was kind of a late onset if you would, Hunter. Sure. and it like hunting kind of happened in my family a little bit. Like my grandparents immigrated after World War II to to BC and like hunting wasn't really that structured here at that time.

[00:06:58] And you know, so like my grandpa shot a moose once and they can the whole thing. And that was hunting. That was the extent of hunting in their family, you know? And my dad hunted a little. Um, just kinda like grouse and stuff when, when we were kids, but then I kind of started getting really interested in it as I got older and was like, Hey, let's do this.

[00:07:16] And then when I started hunting, it felt like, you know, finding another limb that I didn't have. You know, it's like, this is, this is something so natural to me and feels like what I should be doing. So it was kind of one of those things in life where you just step into it and all of a sudden it's like, yeah, this works and this is how my brain works.

[00:07:32] And. 

[00:07:33] Travis Bader: Were you, cuz I'm, I'm looking around in your studio here, like, awesome pictures. We got a goat, we got owls, we got wolves, we got fish, we got bears, we got, uh, moose and cougar. I mean, very, very wildlife themed for a lot of this. Mm-hmm. . Uh, did that happen after the hunting or was that always kind of there?

[00:07:52] Casey Braam: It was always there. Growing up I was obsessed with animals and birds and, and, you know, My mom tells stories all the time of like when I was a kid, being able to, Id like tons of different birds and stuff, even when I was really young and uh, yeah, I was kind of late. Coming up as like, as far as reading and math, I was always really delayed in that stuff.

[00:08:12] Sure. Um, but I could like memorize all the different types of birds and, you know, it was good. Oh, I drawing pictures and that kind of stuff too. Right. You know, so I could, I had that kind of knowledge but was never good at, you know, the reading and math and that kind of thing. So, but that stuff's always been there, that interest in wildlife and, and it led me to go to, College for ecology, um, at one point.

[00:08:34] So then I worked in fisheries doing different fisheries work for private consulting companies, really First Nations for a while. And so then during that period, my. Was a lot of fish. Right. Cause that's just what I was doing. Right. Whether I wasn't fishing, I was working with fish hands on. Right. You know, and I would fish when I was, you know, lunch breaks and after work when I'm out in the field in all these awesome places.

[00:08:55] Right. So, um, I would fish like a hundred days a year or more because I'd be out there. Right. I'd be working out there. And then in the off season from, from work, I would still be fishing. So just living the dream. That's right. Yeah. And then honey kind of came into the picture and my art did change. Okay.

[00:09:11] The subject matter kind of changed a little bit. Um, and I started seeing a lot more of like game animals and that kind of stuff coming into it. Just as your interests change, you know, it's kind of like I'm super interested in fish and I did a ton of fish and I get a little obsessed with like certain subjects for a while, you know, And my wife will even be like, , are you only draw sheep now?

[00:09:33] Or, you know, , You know, like that kind of stuff. And I'll get into it for a little while and then I'll move on to, so, And that's just kind of how it 

[00:09:40] Travis Bader: rolls, so. Well, you've done some work for a number of different conservation groups too, 

[00:09:42] Casey Braam: haven't you? Yeah. Um, Wild Chief Society of bc. Right. Done a bunch of designs for them.

[00:09:48] Um, Rocky Mountain Goat Alliance, done some work for them. Um, yeah, so that kind of is meat eater kind of got me into all those realms as well. You know, I think there's kind of a door opening there from getting in with mediator. It's kinda like all of a sudden that world starts to see you a little bit. Mm.

[00:10:04] Um, But also just being a BC guy, getting on with different BC groups and seeing that I'm involved and interested in those things as well. 

[00:10:12] Travis Bader: So isn't it funny how one thing can open the door for you, like Meer meat eater can help open the doors to the different groups and right those connections in the same breath.

[00:10:21] Your artwork is opening the doors for other people. I mean that that known shirt and that artwork that you have, people have worn all over the world and people have struck up conversations and been introduced to mediator through your 

[00:10:34] Casey Braam: art. Yeah. It's kinda neat how it goes kind of full circle for sure. A little bit.

[00:10:38] Yeah. So 

[00:10:39] Travis Bader: tell me about how Duguay, 

[00:10:40] Casey Braam: Um, it's a special place in the world to meet. I mean, we always went. Growing up as kids, you know, for like summer holidays, we'd go there every once in a while. Okay. Um, and it's just a unique place because, well, for a lot of reasons. I guess it's an archipelago right off the west coast of pc.

[00:10:58] Um, And it's northern, but it also has really warm water going by it. Okay? So you get these really interesting weather patterns where you get like these, this totally unique to the, on the world, in the world climate, you know? And so you get just like the greenest forest you've ever seen and, and the thickest kind of jungley country you've ever imagined.

[00:11:20] And cool. And yeah, you get lots of cool wildlife encounters and giant bears. You know, they say don't hibernate. So there's just massive black bears there. Um, Really? Yeah. So we just got back from hunting there and I was just kind of recapping to a different hunter friend of mine. I'm like, You can't imagine who's also never been.

[00:11:39] I was kinda saying, you can't imagine the bears there. It's like, we went for four days and I probably saw. Well, we saw, I think six bears total. Of those six bears two were probably over 500 pounds. Whoa. And the rest were over 300 pounds. Whoa. So it's just like you don't see bear quality like that elsewhere.

[00:11:59] Like they're just big, healthy, robust bears with unique diets and Yeah. And really long season for them to be finding lots of 

[00:12:07] Travis Bader: food. So, Yeah. Friend of mine actually we're supposed to be up, Um, Hunting with him in the Yukon, but they weren't able to, They, they have a draw for, uh, Canadians that are non residency Yukon that have an accompaniment permit.

[00:12:19] Right? Yeah. Yeah. And so anyways, so weren't able to get that. , uh, we're gonna be floating down the P river and, uh, looking for some moose anyways, and just helping out mm-hmm. , even though you couldn't hunt it. And then he got called out, he was flying fire, putting out fires, and, uh, kind of kiboshed our trip, but he was talking about a HWI trip and the last one that he was on, and he says, you know, uh, his, his buddy was with him.

[00:12:43] He ended up just sleeping in his vehicle after day one. There's just so many bears everywhere. Oh 

[00:12:47] Casey Braam: yeah. And the bears are queued into what's going on. So if you don't know anything about Heide, Tons and tons of sickle, black tails here. Like they're everywhere. Um, the yearly bag limit is 15, right? You can have a possession of five.

[00:13:03] So there's just like a ton of deer and the management is. Get rid of them kind of thing. Possession of five deal. Five possession of, Yeah, possession of five. Okay. The, a limit of 15. Wow. So you can transport five. Wow. But you can get 15 in a year. Wow. Right. So that's kind of the setup. Um, Okay. But yeah, the idea is to get rid of deer, really.

[00:13:22] I mean, they're, they're, they're non-native. Introduced and they've changed the landscape. I mean, people have also changed the landscape there with Sure. Really extensive logging. But you know, the amount of deer there is, it's a little bit bo mind boggling. Like there's just tracks everywhere. Like you step into the forest and if there's a soft piece of ground, it has a deer track.

[00:13:46] Wow. Like you just can't avoid it. They're everywhere. And, uh, Yeah. So you kind of imagine this world where there's so many deer, but the bears are there also. And the bears are really queued into what's going on as far as tons of hunters coming. Local guys shoot lots of deer all the time. Mm. Um, and the bears have just got it figured out.

[00:14:08] They've got dialed in, they follow hunters around. Like we've had that before where we've had to scare off bears that would just follow us all day. Wow. Waiting for us to shoot something so they could come get a gut pile and. There's lots of stories like it's a ra. When you get an animal down, it's a race to get there.

[00:14:27] Like, you gotta make sure you don't leave animals to die long periods of time, right? Cause it'll never be yours. A bear will claim it first. Holy crow. So there's just a lot of bears and they've got it figured out. Um, like we are looking at, uh, you know, the poo piles from the bears. And it's like sauber, so it's all that Purplely blue.

[00:14:46] Yeah. Um, but it's just fuzzy. It looks like velvet antlers, you know, it's just like full of deer hair. Cause it'll just follow hunters around, eat the gut piles and eat up the whole hides and then, you know, move on to the next thing. So easy. Yeah, it's really interesting and it's just such an interesting dynamic and you probably don't get that anywhere else.

[00:15:03] You know? It's really unique. 

[00:15:05] Travis Bader: Um, I can't think of anywhere where I've seen that. And I've never 

[00:15:08] Casey Braam: been there though. Yeah, yeah. No, it's really interesting. Yeah, the size of bears. And we saw a lot of Martin on this trip. Um, so they also have Martin there. They're really big, but they don't grow the big coats, so no one really bothers, trapping 'em there, so they don't get their winter coat cause they don't get a hard winter, so.

[00:15:22] Right. But yeah, really interesting to see the Big Martin. And we saw like, usually there's Martin around but you don't see them. Um, but on this trip, again, in four days we probably saw six, you know, really. Huh? Yeah. They're just kind of out and about doing their thing. And we'd see 'em in the early morning.

[00:15:39] Yeah. And in the middle of the day, we saw one sleeping on top of a stump. So that's not usual. No . Like everything there is just a little bit backwards and it's, Yeah, it's really neat. Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:15:49] Travis Bader: So, and you were there with. Your father. 

[00:15:51] Casey Braam: Yeah, that's right. Yeah. The two of you? Yeah. Yeah, just the two of us. And um, yeah, we were just camping in a wall tent and yeah.

[00:15:59] Travis Bader: So with all the bears there, were you concerned about, We 

[00:16:03] Casey Braam: were camping kind of right in town in the campground. We had electric, you know, we had electricity and it was pretty, pretty, uh, chill. Um, that's not really my style of hunting, but you. To be able to spend that time with my dad and kind of be like, you know, let's just accommodate that a little bit, a little more comfort, you know, And we can just stay in town and we can go out and, you know, have our days and yeah.

[00:16:26] So 

[00:16:26] Travis Bader: what is your 

[00:16:27] Casey Braam: Stella hunting? I really like back country stuff. Um, well, it's hard to say cause I like back country stuff for like, you know, goat hunting and that kind of thing. But I also like do a lot of day trips just because of where I live. It's all right here, you know? Right. So I can still be like the dad that picks my kid up from school, but I've just been hunting all day, you know?

[00:16:48] So it's kind like . It's not too bad. You know, I can, I kind of balance these things a little bit. Um, Like this big bear, there's a big, great big skull right here. Yeah. Um, from a massive black bear. And you know, that bear was like, I put the kids to bed and was like, you know, let's go out hunting, take the dog for a walk, kind of thing, you know?

[00:17:05] And uh, yeah. It's just cool being right here. Like I can. Drive out my door and be in good bear hunting in like 15 minutes. That's 

[00:17:13] Travis Bader: a good sized 

[00:17:14] Casey Braam: skull too. Yeah, no, it's, it kind of falls into the Boon and Crockett 100 kind of list and, um, Yeah, no, it's a good sized skull. You got those great big cheekbones, and I don't think 

[00:17:24] Travis Bader: the camera's picking that one up.

[00:17:25] It's just gonna show us both looking at, with admiration at skull. Maybe 

[00:17:29] Casey Braam: I should, You wanna pick it up? Yeah, yeah, sure. Yeah. So yeah, it's a, it's a good skull and it's, These, uh, yeah, really good orbital bones and it has really good width so you can kind of see the width is really good. But he is a little short in the face, so it doesn't quite score fantastic, but it does pretty good.

[00:17:46] Travis Bader: So what was the story 

[00:17:48] Casey Braam: on that guy? Um, yeah, it was just like spring bear hunting around here is a big thing for me and a lot of people. Um, so it was like, Kids are in bed. It's seven o'clock, you know, seven 30 or whatever. I'll just go take the dog, we'll go for a little run. I'll throw the rifle on my back and we'll see what happens, you know?

[00:18:08] And ended. Finding a lot of fresh signs. So I got the wind right and then I, you know, my way to hunt spring bears is kind of like get in an area where there's tons of sign, right? Um, which is usually the hardest part. Just find an area with lots of good fresh, like super fresh that day sort of sign right?

[00:18:24] And then just slow walk into the wind. Kind of still hunt almost. And yeah, walked right up on this bear. Shot him at. L 15 yards max, um, and 15 yards on that guy. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. So he is, yeah, walked right up on him. I had my dog with me. She barked at him. He didn't care, you know, he was obvious like king of the mountain.

[00:18:46] Didn't care about who was there really, you know? He looked right at me, looked right at my dog, who's barking. Put his head back down and kept eating. I didn't care that we were there. Like, okay. Yeah. Took, took the bear. One shot, nice and close and rolled down a little hill and then it was. I think it was two o'clock in the morning when I was home.

[00:19:06] Cuz yeah, Big bears is a lot of, a lot of work. So it is a lot of work. Yeah. So especially by yourself and Spring Bear, not as much fat. Actually. It was amazing. So this bear had, I think I, looking at my, I try to keep track of all the yield from all my bears. Okay. So I had a lot of bears. So it's kind of like, I like to, I'm interested in, you know, how much yield I get.

[00:19:26] Right? So I think I got 186 pounds of lean, like bone out meat. Um, And almost 90 pounds of fat. Holy crew. Yeah. So, and that's on his spring bear. So he had, That's crazy. He had almost six inch, like, he probably had four inches at his shoulder and on his back end. He probably had close to six inches of fat on his back in the spring.

[00:19:48] I think. I 

[00:19:48] Travis Bader: know we're gonna become a first spring 

[00:19:49] Casey Braam: bear in the future. Yeah. Well, you know, I also get a lot of spring bear that are as lean as you could imagine, right? There's no extra fat. Like I got a decent bear this spring, but the body was small. And it had no extra fat and, you know, that sort of thing.

[00:20:03] So yeah, it's kind of a balance of, you know, where they're living and what they're doing. But this guy had something figured out. 

[00:20:09] Travis Bader: Yep. The, uh, the golden rule is be where the animals are and be when the animals are. 

[00:20:15] Casey Braam: And you're, you're good. Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. No, it worked out. And, uh, Yeah, he had a whole bunch of bird shot in his back end.

[00:20:22] Someone else had scared it away. He'd had some, he'd had some run ins. Yeah, he wasn't too far from humanity, so I think he was maybe visiting a few backyards. Okay. But, uh, how, How'd the meat taste? Awesome. Yeah. Fantastic Bear. Yeah. Yeah. It's a Bears always a favorite at our house. And, uh, I shoot two every year, um, often both in the spring.

[00:20:44] Um, I still hold one tank right now, so I'm looking for a fall bear coming up soon. But 

[00:20:49] Travis Bader: that's, so I do it as well. Our kids love 

[00:20:51] Casey Braam: bares. Yeah, yeah. Bear everything, you know, bear everything. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We do roasts and, you know, all the cool cuts like tongue and Yeah. And, uh, heart and all that fun stuff.

[00:21:02] So, 

[00:21:02] Travis Bader: So you say you're looking for a super fresh. What are you looking for? 

[00:21:06] Casey Braam: Um, like really crisp edge, edge tracks. Um, Fresh, uh, graze where you have no discoloration. Even lots of the times when they're grazing on like a heavy grass, there'll still be water actually wicking up the grass and just beating outta the end of the grass.

[00:21:23] Right. And if it's been hours, that won't be there. Right. You know? So it's like, okay, that's really fresh. And then there's like, yeah, scat that's super fresh, you know, like glossy and bugs are all on it still, and you know, all that stuff. So that's probably like the. First signs I'm looking for. There's other stuff like really fresh trails where the grass hasn't sprung back.

[00:21:42] But that's always like, you know, it's hard to say if that's yesterday or the day before. 

[00:21:47] Travis Bader: Yeah. Have you ever tried Googling, uh, how to age bear scat? 

[00:21:52] Casey Braam: No. I've always just kind of like gone by instinct, I think, you know, Cause we have a ton of bears. There's. Yeah, I bet . Yeah, I bet there is nothing. There really 

[00:22:01] Travis Bader: isn't.

[00:22:02] Maybe somebody better at Googling than myself can find stuff. But there isn't a heck of a lot of good information on, on aging bear scat. Like, is this an hour old? Is this four hours old? Is this a day old? Yeah, but what am I looking at here? 

[00:22:15] Casey Braam: Yeah, so I think for me it's looking at like, yeah, it depends on what they're eating, I guess.

[00:22:20] But yeah, in the spring it's all green, right? Um, so if it's not discolored, if it's literally still looks green, then it's probably fairly fresh. If it's really glossy and hasn't dried out, that's an easy one. I always step on every single one. I see. When I'm bear hunting. You're one of those guys? A hundred percent, yeah.

[00:22:36] First of all, I, That way, you know, that way I know if I, I'm coming out of the trail. Yeah, and there's a new one. If it doesn't have boot print in it, it happened while I was gone. Yeah. You know, there's that. Um, plus yeah. You see how soft it is when you, when you step on it. Right. If it's, if it's at all firm, it's old.

[00:22:52] Right. You know, if it's really soft and oozes out the sides, it's fresh and if water comes out of it, yes. It's really, really fresh, you know? And so, yeah, that's kind of how I've always learned to do it. And just being around bears, like if you're. seeing bears all the time or hunting bears a lot, you'll kind of just start figuring out, you know, okay, this is fresh and this is old.

[00:23:11] Right? And it's hard to describe it, but that's kind of how I work through it. As soon as 

[00:23:16] Travis Bader: Spring Bear hunt, I'm close to the lower mainland and was with another fellow and came up upon a pile. It was bright yellow. It looked like banana, looked like it just squished up banana inside there. Yeah, yeah. Cuz all the dandy lines had been eaten and, And he said, Holy crow.

[00:23:33] How fresh is this thing? Mm-hmm. , I'm looking at this like, I actually haven't seen it, that bright banana colored looking before. Oh yeah. But that's 

[00:23:41] Casey Braam: fresh, right? Yeah. That. 

[00:23:43] Travis Bader: anyways. Uh, and then we looked to her side and there's a bear. Yeah, yeah. Um, come back an hour later. It already started to turn brown.

[00:23:49] Casey Braam: That's right. Yeah. It doesn't, doesn't take long for the color to fade. Mm-hmm. . So, Yeah. Especially when they're on those greens or Yeah. Daniel lines and there's flowers out and Yeah. It just oxidizes and then it's done. You know, it changes. So, Yeah. 

[00:24:02] Travis Bader: So, With the artwork here, you're uh, I was looking at some, uh, great pictures of Steve McQueen that, uh, Fisher.

[00:24:09] Yeah. Brian, Brian Iska, the Skin of Spade Lodge. We've been doing some fishing there with him. Yeah. And, uh, his son's drawing some pictures of Steve McQueen and I guess, uh, he said that you 

[00:24:18] Casey Braam: taught him how to do that. Yeah, so, uh, yeah, Fisher's their son and he comes here for lessons. He's super interested in.

[00:24:26] And he, yeah, he just is really excited about it. So they actually pull him outta school every once in a while and he comes here once a week at least. And yeah, we, we just kind of try to work with what he's doing and try to teach him new things and how to see shape, um, young kids. The biggest thing about teaching art is like just teaching them how to see stuff, you know, Cuz if they.

[00:24:50] Anybody. When I'm at, I teach lessons at different age levels. I did a artist in the classroom program and I teach adult courses, but. It's teaching people how to see, to make it easier to draw. Cause if they can't see simple shapes, they just get overwhelmed by stuff. Mm. So yeah, it's when, when I'm teaching, it's about like, yeah, seeing simple shapes and being able to convert that into something else.

[00:25:13] So when I'm drawing or painting something, I don't try to just like imagine the whole thing happening. I. Little piece by little piece, simple shapes and then build from there. So to teach kids that is like, how to see those simple shapes and how to turn them into something else. That's, that's the basis 

[00:25:29] Travis Bader: of it.

[00:25:30] Yeah. Where'd you learn how to do that? 

[00:25:32] Casey Braam: Practice. Yeah. Just self-taught. Yeah. Yeah. So when I was a kid, I just drew all the time, you know, so if I wasn't outside doing something, um, you know, fishing or hunting a little bit or, you know, we did a lot of mushroom picking and blueberry picking and all that kind of stuff growing up, gardening and all that.

[00:25:49] So when I wasn't doing that kind of stuff, it was. I drew and I drew all the time and I re, I still remember like coming home from school drawing, you know, like all summer long. If it wasn't nice outside, I was drawing all day, you know, And I still have tubs of like stacks and stacks of all of paper kept, not all of it.

[00:26:06] It was like endless, endless. But like I got sketchbooks and stuff from when I was, you know, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 growing up and stuff and holy crap. Yeah. And it kind of faded in and out. Teenage years, you're kind of figuring out what you're actually interested in. But yeah, it always came back. 

[00:26:22] Travis Bader: Well, what kind of, uh, turned me on to you initially was actually Brian.

[00:26:28] Mm-hmm. . So he was on a previous podcast and he was talking about SP fishing and, and what it's all about. And I was, uh, I'm still pretty green at it. That, uh, was extremely green at that time, but I've been able. Over the last few years, at least kind of figure out a few of my different casts and get the line out there.

[00:26:44] And Right. Actually caught my first steel head this, uh, this summer. Oh, nice. Yeah. Excellent. Caught my first steel head on the Squamish and then caught another one and then, uh, caught into another one. The, uh, all on the same day. Yeah. Excellent. Yeah. Yeah. Cool. Not too bad, but, uh, we're driving to the airport and Brian says, You know, Travis, you really should talk.

[00:27:05] To this Casey guy. Huh? He says he's got a uh, he's got an eye for things. He's able to go out into nature and be able to see things in a way that other. Don't, and he's able to put that into, uh, into art in a way that he hasn't seen anybody else do. And he was just going on and on talking about that. And what really intrigued me was that whole concept of being able to go out into nature and be able to see things in a different way.

[00:27:29] Mm-hmm. . And you know, some people walk outside and they'll see a tree. Some people see a forest, some, some people see a part of it, but everyone looks at it a little bit differently. And it's that, uh, that connection with nature and being able to increase that connection that I thought would be a really interesting thing from an artist's perspective.

[00:27:47] Casey Braam: Totally. I think one of the things that I talk about in art and wildlife and whatever is. Like I was just talking about being able to see things, how they are. Mm-hmm. You know, and not letting your brain be lazy. So when I teach art, I, I constantly kind of have to hound people for not just filling in the gaps, looking at something and actually seeing it.

[00:28:14] Okay. Um, and cause you know, you use the example of a tree, you know, you walk. And you see a tree and your brain just says tree, Tree and is done right. And then it moves on to the next thing. Your brain's good at that and brains are super good at that. Yeah. And we wouldn't be able to function if we didn't have that, but Right.

[00:28:30] To be able to turn it into art, you need to be able to stop and actually see it for what it actually is and the pieces and the real colors that it is. And you know, like I look at this moose painting behind us, it's probably not in the camera, but it's all the whole thing. There's not a touch of green it.

[00:28:48] Three colors, you know, it's black, orange, and white. That's it. Wow. But somehow my IC is green. You look at it and you see the green and you see everything because your brain's just filling in the gaps, right? So to be able to just look at it and say, You know, those are trees and your brain's done. But really if you truly look at it, it's just all oranges and these awesome colors.

[00:29:10] But, Yeah, these kind of surreal colors actually, but your brain just sorts of fills it in. So to be able to go out in nature and see that, it's interesting and it's cool, fun to teach and show people that, um, it gives them a respect for what they're seeing, but also just an eye to see it. 

[00:29:25] Travis Bader: So you're one of these rare people who have become an artist as a full time profession.

[00:29:31] This is what you 

[00:29:31] Casey Braam: do full time is Yeah. I mean, sort of full time, I mean, It's my job. Okay. Like if I have to have a job that pays me money, this is it. Right? But I do a lot of other things to like you. Be my work, you know? Okay. So whether it's food acquisition in different ways, um, you know, gardening or um, hunting or fishing or picking mushrooms or whatever it is, like that's a big part of what I do.

[00:29:58] Right. Um, and you know, this house we bought, I do a ton of work on this house, so that's a part of my job. I do a lot of the dad duties. Sure. So, you know, that's a big part of my job. But yeah. This is my, my paying. Yeah, if you wanna put it that 

[00:30:13] Travis Bader: way, how you make your livelihood. That's right. I like that. It's a good way to be able to describe it.

[00:30:16] So many people, what do you do? Yeah. And they describe their job. That's 

[00:30:20] Casey Braam: right. Right. Well, yeah. 

[00:30:22] Travis Bader: Okay. That's maybe one portion of things that you do for money, but what are you about? 

[00:30:26] Casey Braam: Yeah, and I think for me, the food stuff, like getting food by other means is so important and it's a part of how I make a.

[00:30:33] you know? Right. It's not how I make my money, but it's how I make my living. Right. You know, And so that's really important to me. Um, and it's kind of something that I always grew up with. We always had a big garden and we always fished a lot, you know, And so that was always really, I. When I was a kid, it was kinda like annoying.

[00:30:51] So it was always a lot of work. You know, it's like we gotta go weed the garden or you know, all this kind of stuff. But as you get older, you kind of really appreciate that work. There's 

[00:30:58] Travis Bader: a zen quality to it. 

[00:31:00] Casey Braam: There is, and there's something so natural about it. And the food's better in the, you know, and there's some, that connection to food just changes your outlook in on the world.

[00:31:08] I think it's like, okay, well this stuff's important because that's where my food comes from, you know? But that disconnect that so many people have, like, you know, Here's my food and it's just there. Right. Right. And I'm not saying we don't buy food, we buy lots of food, but it's just different when a lot of your food is coming from something you've done with your hands, you know?

[00:31:27] You know, 

[00:31:28] Travis Bader: with our kids, we've done the same thing. We try and teach 'em an appreciation for the natural environment, appreciation for what it is that they're eating and consuming, whether they're wearing it or whatever it might be. Right. But like where it comes from. Mm-hmm. , because then you tend to. Not wasted as much.

[00:31:46] Yeah. Particularly as a child. Mm-hmm. , you enjoy it more if you've been in the garden, creating it and helping it grow and, and Yeah. Yeah. When they were, um, quite young actually, we took 'em to, uh, a, uh, a friend of a friend and they had a farm. We'd usually get a lot of our, uh, our meat from their farm. Okay.

[00:32:03] Yeah. And, uh, it was all, cuz we knew what happened with the meat and where it spanned. Right, right, right, right. And, uh, Anyways, he took him up there for, um, a brookshire pig and figured we'd slaughter it and butcher it up and have them a part of that process. Mm-hmm. , I took 'em around the corner for, for the slaughter, but, um, I figured, eh, maybe a little young, they don't need to be seeing this, but for the rest of it and, you know, hanging it and getting it out and butchering it up and Yeah.

[00:32:29] You know, just dragging it through the snow into the, uh, , the big, uh, trail at leaves. This is all a part of it. This was a pig. It was alive before and now it's dead. Yeah. Now we're gonna eat it. Yeah. And. Uh, it gives a far greater appreciation and now that they're getting older and they hunt and they fish and, um, I mean our son, when he turned 10, all he wanted to do was get his hunting license and, um, when he was 11, he got his first year.

[00:32:56] Mm-hmm. and every meal we had, we talk about that hunt and we talk about, and it is just a very different connection to. To your food and, and to the rest of your life 

[00:33:08] Casey Braam: actually. Mm-hmm. ? Yeah, I think so. And one thing that's really interesting to me is. , the whole death thing is really interesting to watch kids go through it, you know, whether it's, you know, we raised chickens here a little bit and you know, I grew up raising chickens and we go to my parents who live here and go, you know, help put your chickens and whatever.

[00:33:30] All that kind of stuff. And, and for kids that stuff is so normal until they're told it's not, you know? Right. I think so. Like, My daughter's six, she'll wanna stay home from school to help me butcher a bear, you know? Mm-hmm. . Cause that's like exciting and cool and she thinks it's really fun. Right. You know, and it's something you can do with dad and whatever, but she's just into it and thinks it's super interesting and, and like you said, when when the food's on the table you can be like, What bear is this from?

[00:33:56] Or, you know, like that kind of thing. And that's really cool. And you can see that whole story. She's come along on hunts and stuff before too, and been there for the whole. You know? Yeah. Like she watched the bear die. She, you know, was there to drag it out. I remember the first time she was on a bear hunt that was successful.

[00:34:13] It was like, you know, she was small and it was raining and it was all dead bracken in the spring. So it was super slippery and it was steep hill. And so I'm dragging a bear in one hand and holding her in the other hand and dragging it down the hill. And for me that's like such a cool memory, you know?

[00:34:28] She was just like, a lot of work. It's still a lot of work, but you know, she, she. Kind of saw all the work that goes into this food and how it all comes, you know, how, how it gets to the table. And I thought that that was so cool. Yeah. There seems to 

[00:34:41] Travis Bader: be a, a disconnect between life and death from mm-hmm. as time goes on and people just buy their food from the grocery store.

[00:34:49] Mm-hmm. , uh, when they co-op the responsibility of the actual killing of the animal to somebody. , but they still want to consume mm-hmm. the animal. Yeah. And you know, I, I've read some literature on it and I don't know how much of it's biased and how, but they, they talk about how death becomes a very closed door process.

[00:35:11] Mm-hmm. , uh, it used to be open caskets were, were, uh, quite common. Some cultures will have the, the body on a bed for X amount of days. Mm-hmm. and people will come by and view it and, and there's an understanding that we're alive. , we die that time in between. We try and make the most of it. Mm-hmm. , um, when we started closing those doors and that whole death process becomes such a taboo thing.

[00:35:37] Um, people are postulating that the value of life is diminished and people, people's value of other people's lives and other animals' lives is, becomes less because they don't, um, uh, They don't have that understanding in the same way that somebody growing up in a farm 

[00:35:58] Casey Braam: might. That's right. And I think, you know, I have other friends that have also gotten into hunting.

[00:36:03] Um, from even more of like a non-hunting background and having the background that I did, you know, where we, we, we butcher, I, I raised meat rabbits growing up as a kid and we raised chickens and all that kind of stuff and, and being there for that. I wasn't complacent to death, but I just understood that it was part of the process.

[00:36:23] Mm-hmm. , you know, and other people were coming in from a background that didn't even have that aspect of it. And they came into hunting and the whole death thing was new and a little bit uncomfortable. The only other death experiences they'd had was like people, family members or pets, you know? Right.

[00:36:41] Which is different because it's You have a family connection. Connection, exactly. So it's. Well this is, this is different. Mm. You know, this is very different from that. There's kind of a means to an end, right? Mm-hmm. , And I don't, I don't wanna say that that death of animals don't, doesn't impact me, cuz it definitely does.

[00:36:59] And as a hundred impacts me more now than it did. Um, . But yeah, there's just a certain understanding there where it feels natural. 

[00:37:10] Travis Bader: Right. What do you mean by that as a hundred now? It impacts you more than it did. Well, I 

[00:37:14] Casey Braam: think maybe it's just getting older too, and kind of understanding the, the finite life that we live here, you know?

[00:37:22] Mm-hmm. , this, this kind of like flesh and body form of us is not forever, you know? Right. And so for me it's kind of like, yeah, like there's this. Respect for the animal's life that I've gathered as I spend more time with them. Mm. You know, like on a spring bear hunt, I'll see a lot of bears, you know, and I'll spend a lot of time watching them or just looking at them doing their thing or, you know, that sort of stuff.

[00:37:50] So it's kind of like you, you grow this bigger and bigger connection. And as, as I've killed more bears too, you kind of see each bear and how individual it is. They are, you know, extremely. Each bear has, I mean, I look at the skulls around this. , you know, this one behind me, um, is missing half of its bottom jaw because it was in some scrap along the way, you know, and you know, this one over here has a broken orbital bone and different ones had tons of scars on their face or an ear missing, or you know, a toe missing.

[00:38:20] There's just stuff happens. Mm-hmm. . And so they're all like, they've lived their lives. And the more I think about that stuff, it's like, okay, well maybe I have a bit more. Emotional connection to the life and death. Interesting. Yeah. Yeah. So 

[00:38:34] Travis Bader: he had a, um, a friend one time, he was talking about how death is the only thing that gives life value.

[00:38:40] Mm-hmm. I said, How? What do you mean? Yeah, death's the only thing that gives life value. Right. And he, well, think of about it like money. Right? Right. If there's a finite amount of money, that money now has value. Yeah. If there's infinite amount of money, it would be worthless, right? That's right. 

[00:38:55] Casey Braam: Yeah. Ah, yeah.

[00:38:57] Good point. Yeah. And it kind of gives you a motivation to think about this life and what it means and, and yeah. Time spent here, you know? Totally. Totally. Yeah. 

[00:39:07] Travis Bader: So you. You know, I, I, I seem to recall you having some artwork in the airport. Yep. Yeah. Yeah. Um, you're working on a mural right now, Are 

[00:39:15] Casey Braam: you? Uh, I'm not, I'm not working on a mural right now.

[00:39:18] I'm planning a mural, um, always, I guess, planning a mural. Right. Um, so working towards, you know, what happens next summer. I don't have any big outdoor murals booked for next summer. Um, So I kind of don't know exactly what's happening there, but you know, there's, there's balls in the air, but nothing kind of nailed down for next year.

[00:39:38] Um, but yeah, I am working on another indoor mural coming up and yeah, murals are a fun and interesting project. But 

[00:39:46] Travis Bader: yeah, so, uh, a while back, it's going back a while now, actually a year maybe more, you created some, uh, custom artwork for, uh, for a Silvercore for a project that we've been working on for the last few years now, which is getting close to fruition.

[00:40:00] Oh. We'll be launching that hopefully soon, so people will be seeing your artwork in conjunction with some of the, uh, uh, the endeavor that we're doing for our club members. Mm-hmm. . And, uh, it's finally at a point where I can start talking a little bit openly about this. Oh, good. And realizing that it's, uh, we're just about there to, to unveil, so that'll be a lot of fun.

[00:40:21] Uh, but if people wanted to check out your artwork or purchase your. How would they do 

[00:40:26] Casey Braam: that? Um, well, currently I have a under construction website, so we'll just kind of forget that. That's, forget that, that's a thing. Um, but Instagram and Facebook right now are kind of, My biggest means of connection with people.

[00:40:40] Um, it's just kind of a natural place to show your work and for people to engage with it a little bit and that sort of thing. So yeah. 

[00:40:48] Travis Bader: Okay. Yeah, so if they wanted to purchase something there, it's gotta wait for the website to come back 

[00:40:53] Casey Braam: live. Yeah. Or send me a message, you know, there is kind of stuff posted for sale on Instagram and that sort of thing, so there's work available there.

[00:41:01] I do take commissions. I'm open for commissions right now. I kind of turn that on and. Um, but yeah, so that's kind of the main means right now. 

[00:41:10] Travis Bader: Awesome. Yeah. Is there anything that we should be talking about? I know we kind of, we talked briefly about UA there. You guys were obviously successful. You guys both 

[00:41:18] Casey Braam: limited out.

[00:41:19] Well, we didn't limit out. We took 70 year home. So you, we, uh, yeah, I got four and my dad had got three. Um, But yeah. Successful trip and, you know, good memories made and all that kind of stuff and meet in the freezer and, Okay. Yeah. 

[00:41:33] Travis Bader: Yeah. So you're, you know, I've talked to some people and they said, Ah, man, there's so many deer there.

[00:41:38] It just makes more sense. There's a guy on the island for 50 bucks, he'll dress 'em all out. Take care of your tear all for you. Oh, yeah. Um, that way you're back if you're on a limited timeframe here. Yeah. And you're back out hunting again. Yeah. Yeah. But I take it you guys 

[00:41:51] Casey Braam: took care of it all yourself.

[00:41:52] Yeah, we, I do everything, you know. From the field to the table. Yeah. Um, all my butchering, wrapping, everything happens here. So yeah, I just like being, I like the whole process. I agree. You know, when I'm out with my dad and my brother hunting or someone else, I'm usually the guy doing the most of the cutting.

[00:42:11] Because I just really enjoy it. I think it's really interesting. And oddly from an artist's perspective, it's also very educational. Um, Oh, it's interesting. Like DaVinci. Yeah. So you're kind of like seeing the way all the muscles connect and you know, the way, you know, things move around and Yeah, exactly.

[00:42:26] So it's kind of like you're breaking this thing apart and I, I am definitely taking mental notes of like, Hey, you know, maybe I've been drawing that wrong, You know, now that I peel the skin off, this does move different than I've been drawing it. Stuff like that. So I don't think about that all the time, but definitely I'll just kinda like happen upon something and be like, Oh yeah, you know, like, that's kind of cool.

[00:42:44] Travis Bader: But yeah, you see DaVinci's, uh, diagrams that is of like, just like insane. 

[00:42:49] Casey Braam: Yeah, that was, that was pretty. Standard protocol. I mean, that's how you used to learn how to draw people, you know? Oh, was, did they? Yeah. You'd get cadavers and you, there would be whole teams of artists that would gather around in Renaissance Times too.

[00:43:03] And like there's painting, Rembrandt has paintings of it happening. You know, you'd paint the whole crew. There would be a big group of artists and a couple doctors, and they'd, you know, take someone. Good Dutch artist. Yeah, that's right. Another good Dutch artist. Yeah. And so you kind of see that, you know, that's, that's a way of understanding your subject matter, but very cool.

[00:43:21] Yeah. Well, 

[00:43:22] Travis Bader: is there anything else you should be talking about before we look at wrapping things up here? 

[00:43:26] Casey Braam: Yeah, I don't know. I don't think there's anything really in particular, um, Yeah, no. Awesome. 

[00:43:34] Travis Bader: Well, uh, when your website's back up, we'll make sure we'll have links over to that so people can see it. We will have links to your social media, so they sounds great.

[00:43:41] They can follow everything along there. They can reach out to you. Yep. And, uh, they're gonna see some of your work on the Silvercore site in not too distant future 

[00:43:49] Casey Braam: as well. Excellent. Yeah, that was a fun project. Um, kind of a unique challenge of like, Hey, take on these things and Yeah, no really. Yeah.

[00:43:57] Awesome. Yeah. 

[00:43:58] Travis Bader: Casey, thank you very much for being on the Silvercore 

[00:44:00] Casey Braam: Podcast. Oh, it's been really good.

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