As part of our "Rethink Rural Meet the Author" series, Jim Mize interviews outdoor family experts and award-winning writers Corey and Philip Hunt on their outdoor-focused upbringing, how they got started writing, and their passion for passing on their love of the great outdoors to families and future generations.
Corey and Philip Hunt both grew up logging plenty of time outdoors.
Corey fished and hunted, often accompanied by an overweight Brittany spaniel she referred to as a “tater with legs.”
Philip and his older brother wore out the bass on the pond near their house and later added hunting pursuits to their outdoor excursions.
Today, Corey and Philip are both award-winning outdoor communicators. We recently had a chance to sit down and discuss how their experiences led them into outdoor communications.
RR: “How did you two get started writing?”
“My interest started in the 11th grade,” said Philip. “In English class, I wrote a duck-hunting story. The teacher put it on an overhead projector to show the class.” That bit of encouragement provided the initial nudge.
With a doctorate in physical therapy, Corey started a bit differently by writing in that field.
“My first article was for a local running magazine in Charleston,” she said. Corey and Philip lived in Charleston for a while, both students at the Medical University of South Carolina, where she got her degree in physical therapy, and he got his in dentistry. In their spare time, they fly-fished and kayaked in the coastal waters.
RR: “What appeals to you about the rural lifestyle?”
“For me,” said Philip, “it’s the versatility of the land you live on. You can hunt and do a lot of other things.”
“It’s a chance to be in the woods every day,” added Corey. “There’s a peace and tranquility that comes with that lifestyle.”
RR: “How did you come across Rethink Rural?”
They both laughed in unison, “We heard about it from you.”
Having written for Rethink Rural myself, I did introduce them to the site as it fit their writing and activities.
RR: “What are your favorite outdoor and rural activities?”
“Getting ready for hunting season is mine,” said Philip. “The anticipation is like looking forward to Christmas. It can be anything from ducks, deer, doves or turkeys to fishing, hiking or camping.”
Having just come off a good deer season, Corey, taking an eight-point buck with a bow, taking an eight-point buck with a bow added, “All but the ducks.” Fly-fishing, camping and hunting would be tops on her list.
RR: “What are your other passions besides writing?”
“Getting the kids outdoors,” said Corey. “It’s special to pass outdoor knowledge on to the next generation.”
Philip also likes teaching others about the outdoors and adds training dogs to his list.
RR: “How did the Two Dog Outdoors Blog come about? What’s your message to the blog’s readers?”
“People told us we needed a blog,” said Philip. “We used to brew beer and called it Two Dog Brews.” So Two Dog Outdoors seemed a logical extension.
“Our message,” said Corey, “is that it’s never too late to get started outdoors, and they are never too young to take with you.”
“We also want families to go outdoors with realistic expectations,” added Philip.
More than a few gummies have been consumed passing the time in a dove field, and on camping trips, their two dogs serve as heaters on cold nights.
RR: “What are your greatest accomplishments outdoors?”
Corey chuckles, “I haven’t had mine yet. But the buck on the bowhunt was special. The stars just aligned for that one.”
“Training dogs to retrieve ducks would be mine,” said Philip. “Every time they do what they’re supposed to is the best feeling. When Sage retrieved the banded mallard, that was the cream of the crop.”
RR: “And what were your greatest accomplishments writing?”
Here they talked about some awards they had both won but ultimately settled on the same thing.
“I grew up reading our state magazine, South Carolina Wildlife,” said Philip. “To finally be a part of it one day, that would have to be at the top.”
Corey agreed. Both of them have been published in the magazine they grew up reading.
RR: “So, what’s on your bucket list going forward?”
Corey didn’t hesitate with her answer. “Saltwater fly-fishing for bonefish.”
The fact that we were having this discussion mid-winter might have made a tropical destination rise to the top of her list.
“Second would be shooting upland birds in Scotland. . . with the queen.” She laughed and added, “It can be any queen as long as we get to hunt.”
“Archery hunting for elk or mule deer would be mine,” Philip said. Big game in mountain scenery with a bow offered a certain appeal.
RR: “What do you most want your readers to know?”
“I have experience in some areas, but I’m always learning,” said Philip. “My best lessons came from making mistakes.”
“Getting kids outdoors,” said Corey, “is a lot of effort, but what a gift. It’s different from anything else you can do.”
You can read more about the Two Dog Outdoors family and get a few family-friendly tips at twodogoutdoors.com.
For more articles written by Corey and Philip Hunt, check out:
- Camping with Toddlers: It's possible, Here's How
- 8 Tips to Introduce Kids to Hunting
- Planning a DIY Outdoor Family Vacation
- A Landowner's Guide to Conservation Easements
- Hiking With Kids: Mistakes To Avoid For Happier Trails