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Ryan Callaghan

Ryan Callaghan
By Carolanne Thompson 5 months ago 62854 Views 33 comments

We have reached the eighth and final week of our Pro-Staff Hunt Series, and could not think of a better way to finish off this series than by sitting down with Ryan Callaghan, Director of Conservation and Public Relations for First Lite. Ryan embodies the definition of a true outdoorsman and hunter, he is passionate about his craft, he gets involved with the hunting community, and he educates current and future hunters on the importance of Conservation. For Ryan, it is important to take action on conservation efforts, and his recent election to the National Board of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers will enable him to create positive change at a large scale. Continue reading to find out how Ryan Callaghan developed his passion for the outdoors.

Benchmade: When did you get your first knife? How?

Ryan Callaghan: I suppose this dates me, but my first knife was a swiss army pocket knife. Leather punch not the corkscrew. It was a gift my dad always had one and so did I. I had that knife in my pocket every day school days included and I rarely got you to use the pencil sharpener.

Benchmade: How did you get started hunting?

Ryan Callaghan: I was lucky enough to get the village approach to hunting. As in "it takes a village" I would latch on to anyone that did any form of hunting and get whatever knowledge I could from them. A group of my Dad and Uncles football coaches and teachers would waterfowl hunt. These hunts were multifaceted jump shooting strategies on the Flathead River in Western Montana. Lots of planning coordination dogs and boats. It was a definite team experience

Benchmade: What does hunting mean to you?

Ryan Callaghan: This is a tough one, I guess I just have had so many unique and meaningful experiences that have come out of hunting its just a part of me.

Benchmade: One tip for new hunters?

Ryan Callaghan: Time in the woods. It just comes down to time in the woods.

Benchmade: What 3 Benchmade knives are in your hunting gear? Why?

Ryan Callaghan:The smooth blade Emissary is my everyday carry and it has done a few field dressing jobs as well. Love the slim design and easy opening of this knife. I am never without it.

15008-ORG this guy is just a great all around blade design and something I'll pack along on truck hunts and horse packing trips. LOVE the handle and the utility of this piece.

Altitude with the Fusion Sheath is a great ultralight option I've done some great backpack hunts with this one, and you get to support public lands with every purchase. What's better than that?

Benchmade:Share a favorite hunting memory.

Ryan Callaghan: Recently I was in Texas running around in the ticks and heat. It was a semi guided hunt where the outfitter would strongly suggest I sit in a tree every day despite never having shot an arrow from a tree stand. One of my buddies I was hunting with explained that we were there to have fun and I just needed to focus on that. I shot my first Axis deer with my long bow from a hastily created ground blind while chatting with my two buddies on the ground. Had a ball and came home with meat.

Benchmade: How do you Stay Life Sharp?

Ryan Callaghan: My knives and broadheads are sharp but that may be about it. All I know is I need to balance the social times with time alone in the woods. If I stick to that I can stay happy and healthy.

After sitting down with Ryan Callaghan we can feel the passion through his words and are excited to see what positive impact his conservation efforts have for all those who enjoy the outdoors and hunting.


As mentioned earlier, the season is right around the corner and we want to help kick it off with a giveaway! For the next 8 weeks we will be posting a new blog entry from our Benchmade partners and all you need to do is simply comment within the blog to enter! Participants are able to enter once per email, per blog post. Meaning, with 8 blog posts, participants have the opportunity for a total of 8 entries into the contest. See official rules HERE. The grand prize includes: : (1) Grizzly Ridge, (1) Guided Field Sharpener, (1) Gray Tactical Hat, (1) Hunt T-shirt and (1) Benchmade water bottle.

In the comments below, tell us if hunting is a tradition in your family

Anthony Feldpausch 5 months ago at 10:03 AM
I've started taking my son (3 in Dec.) out with me to check trail cameras. He's gets so excited about small stuff, it's really great. We found a turkey feather a couple weeks ago and he couldn't wait to get home to show it to my wife!
Anthony 5 months ago at 10:08 AM
Somewhat, I like the fact that you highlighted the "village" approach to hunting
Ryan DeVries 5 months ago at 10:12 AM
Hunting has been a big part of my families life as my dad, uncles and grandpa would always go to South Dakota pheasant hunting as well as grouse hunting here in Michigan. I am the first to branch out and become a big game hunter and I’m hooked!
Matt bergman 5 months ago at 10:16 AM
Great concluder to the series. Loved all of the stories!
Luke McDonald 5 months ago at 10:17 AM
Yes it is a tradition.
Hunter 5 months ago at 10:19 AM
Great read. How the times have changed
Steve Minaudo 5 months ago at 10:29 AM
I wouldn't say that hunting is a huge tradition in my family, however I hope that starting with me it becomes more of a tradition that I pass to future generations.
Kurt Roley 5 months ago at 11:02 AM
Absolutely! I am at least 3rd generation hunter, and started a 4th with my son. Fall has been a tradition for many years. My son’s first year at college this season playing football and has put a bit of a different feeling on it for now. I’ll still be in a stand this fall just like my father and his father before him!
Oscar 5 months ago at 11:13 AM
Hunting more and more is becoming a family tradition for my son, my best friend, and me. My son lives and he is station in FL, my friend also lives in FL, and I live and retired from the military in GA. So, every year we plan and manage to get together in Oct for the rifle opener here in GA. We then get together in Nov and head out to SD, and we hunt pheasant, turkey & deer.
One thing I've taught my son, is that success is not measured by how many points a deer has. But by the quality time we spend together in the woods making those life time memories, we can always look back at. The deer we get is a bonus. LOL!!!

In previous years, before the season had ended, we were already discussing and planning the following year's season.
Angelo Suciu 5 months ago at 11:35 AM
Hunting is a relatively new thing in my family that I hope to pass on to my girls one day. They are only 1 year old twins right now but one day soon they will be out there with their daddy hunting ..I hope
jodan 5 months ago at 12:05 PM
I'm getting older and older but hunting is still part of my life.
JRMcB 5 months ago at 12:10 PM
Fishing, mainly in Canadian lakes and Mississippi River sloughs, is the family tradition, not hunting. A big dose of bush trekking goes with that. A good fixed blade knife and a folder are part of the kit and would be even if on a lake or river in Africa. You can’t go wrong carrying a good knife.
Joe Bierniak 5 months ago at 1:09 PM
Many thanks to Ryan for all he has done to fight for our public lands and our ability to get out and enjoy them, Cheers Brother!
Vernon Foster 5 months ago at 1:11 PM
Always love hearing these stories.
Robert Schroetlin 5 months ago at 1:24 PM
Always enjoy listening to Callaghan.
David Bush 5 months ago at 1:29 PM
Love listening to Ryan on meateater. Great champion for all things wildlife conservation
Jason garner 5 months ago at 2:23 PM
Great stuff
Colin Phillips 5 months ago at 4:21 PM
Thanks for the awesome series.
Arrin O 5 months ago at 7:17 PM
I as well would get in hunts with friends and neighbors just to get out in the woods and have learned a bunch from all the different perspectives. It’s an awsome experience to have fellow hunters that share the same passion.
Joe lyons 5 months ago at 7:22 PM
Hunting is a part of my family and gives 3xcuses for phone calls and seeing each other all year
Paul Peterson 5 months ago at 7:52 PM
Can’t wait for hunting season!
Peter Bovey 5 months ago at 12:01 AM
I grew up hunting birds mostly in the San Joaquin River Delta with my dad and brother, then later with neighborhood friends. On occasion we would join my dad’s business landlord on his ranches for duck and deer hunting. I have carried a pocket knife with me since I was 9 years old. I have 4 Benchmade knives for EDC, from a Pika to a 940 drop point. I have my Emmisary to my daughter for her EDC. She is a sous chef in a Los Angeles restaurant with lots of rural experiences.
Peter Bovey 5 months ago at 12:04 AM
“I gave my Emissary... not I have my Emissary...
ERIC MCGHEE 5 months ago at 4:39 AM
Another SAK first-timer! What a popular and underappreciated tool. Great knife choices for the field as well; everyone seems to like or want the new Altitude blade. Great post guys, and keep hunting traditions alive!
Wayne Cole 5 months ago at 4:42 AM
I was pleased to see that Ryan from First Lite was the subject of this final blog.
I love it that Benchmade,, a ("first quality") knife manufacturer had collaborated with First Lite,, the preeminent hunting clothing company in the hunting industry!!
Kyler Chaney 5 months ago at 4:49 AM
This was one of my favorite weeks!
Nick Kamplin 5 months ago at 6:41 AM
Hunting is or has just been a part of my life. I grew up hunting, and enjoying the outdoors. Now I really appreciate the time I get to spend as far away as I can. It almost seems like I can soak up the wilderness, and recharge.
George Newton 5 months ago at 12:17 PM
Love the advice of spending time in the woods as good hunting prep.
Bryant Tucker 5 months ago at 3:04 PM
Hunting has and always will be a Tradition in my family and my job is to pass it down to my kids. #leavethemalegacy
GWN 5 months ago at 10:26 AM
Really enjoyed the comments about keeping things in balance and being sharp where and when needed.
Wyatt 5 months ago at 8:27 PM
Callaghan is by far one of the most genuine hunters out there. Nothing but respect for this dude!
Reagan 5 months ago at 11:38 AM
Yes hunting is a tradition my family
Kyler Chaney 5 months ago at 3:08 PM
Love these stories! Sad that it’s over.