Evans, of Marquette, Mich., is an avid hunter and angler, a motivational speaker, a social media personality and vice president of Hunters for Life, an organization he started with his father to help get people out into the field to hunt and fish.
“We are a nonprofit,” Evans said in an interview with The Topeka Capital-Journal. “Our mission is to make the great outdoors accessible to anyone and everyone, regardless of age limitation or disability. Simply, we take kids, veterans and disabled people hunting and fishing.”
Evans and his father, Mark, began the organization four years ago as a way to offer free outdoor experiences to those who were interested, and the group gained an enormous social media following in just a few years through its Instagram, @huntersforlifeusa. Today, the group has 112,000 followers — it once shot up by 50,000 followers in just six months, according to an article in the Detroit Free Press.
“I started this for my son to show him there are people out there with worse disabilities than he has, never thinking I would have trouble keeping up with him,” Mark Evans said. “We are making a difference!”
Scott Evans has a rare form of macular degeneration called stargardt macular degeneration, which he developed in 2007. Despite the diagnosis, he has never let his disability slow him down, and he still regularly enjoys hunting and fishing, which he has done since he was a toddler with his dad. He doesn’t require any specialized equipment — he uses regular glasses and binoculars to hunt.
“It hasn’t really (changed things),” said Scott, who also attends Northern Michigan University. “Just makes it a little more challenging.”
He takes that positive attitude with him when he speaks to others, saying he likes to inspire people to find and follow their passions. He also is working on a book, which he plans to release in the fall, called “The Ethical Outdoorsman” in response to negative opinions some have expressed about hunting and fishing.
“Mostly the criticism that the outdoors community has been receiving,” he said.
The money raised by the group through donations goes toward outfitting hunters and anglers and paying for guides if the group don’t have someone available to guide. He also donates all of the earnings from his YouTube channel Hunters for Life TV, which features many of the group’s hunting and fishing experiences, to the cause.
“He could go to medical school 100 percent paid by the government,” Mark Evans said. “He doesn’t want their money. He believes he was put on this planet to help people, and this is what he wants to do with the rest of his life.”
Among the popular uploads on the YouTube channel, which recently eclipsed 5,000 subscribers, are ice fishing videos for walleye, pike and other northern fish species, duck hunting videos and, more recently, videos from a trip he took with seven other hunters to Mound City, Mo., to hunt snow geese with Squaw Creek Hunting Club and Guide Service, an outfitter based out of Craig, Mo. As part of the conservation order extended season, hunters can shoot with unplugged guns and can keep an unlimited number of geese, meaning each hunter unloaded eight to 13 shots at the geese as huge flocks flew overhead.
“Best hunt of my life,” Scott said. “Saw a billion birds and shot our guns hundreds of times!”
For more information and to donate to Hunters for Life, visit http://www.huntersforlife.com/.