About Hunt to Eat
Co-founders and brothers, Janis and Mahting Putelis, were raised in southwest Michigan where the green landscape laid the foundation for their paths to outdoor-oriented careers. Janis guided hunters and fishermen, ultimately becoming Executive Producer at Meateater Inc., while Mahting both guided mountain adventures and became an adventure photographer.
In 2013, we launched our first two Colorado-themed designs. From this state-themed beginning, other states have followed along with species-specific and landscape-inspired designs. Every shirt is developed with two ideas in mind: do we want to wear it, and does it create an opportunity to have a positive dialogue about hunting and conservation.
In late 2017, Janis left the company to dedicate his time to Meateater Inc., while Mahting continues to lead the creative development, build the Hunt To Eat community, and seeks to unify a larger community of people dedicated to conserving the only home we have.
Today, Hunt to Eat is built upon three pillars: community, real food, and conservation.
By community, we mean the folks that go outdoors, harvest wild meat, plants, or fungi, and take these things home to be cooked with care for themselves or their friends and family. The folks that see the importance of wild life and nature. The folks that take time out of their day to smell the flowers or admire a doe’s footsteps through a marsh, and to share these observations with others. This community is not defined by race, politics, education, wealth, or gender; it’s simply a human community. Hunting, fishing, foraging, and existing in nature are things that human beings have done to survive since the dawn of our evolution. Everyone who exists in nature is part of the Hunt to Eat community. And it can only grow from here.⠀
Thank you to everyone who has shown support for our community and company, and welcome to the new folks who’ve recently joined it. We are so excited to find modern, progressive, inclusive ways to continually support you and your adventures outdoors.
Yes, all food is “real.” But we have a focus on food you obtained yourself. Whether you shot a pronghorn with your bow in Wyoming, picked that morel you saw at the park, kept that stocker rainbow to fry it in a pan, or remembered to plant your tomatoes on time this year, you’re enriching your life with real food. You know where it came from. You know how it died. You know how the meat was handled. No pesticides, growth hormones, or added preservatives. Real food. Food you feel proud to consume and share with your family and friends.⠀
And we’re here to celebrate that food with you.
Conservation in North America has an ugly history. Genocide, war, and the over-harvesting of wildlife and other natural resources are realities that must be acknowledged and discussed when talking about modern conservation. The public lands we love today were stolen from the Indigenous peoples that populated this continent prior to colonialism. Historically, conservation was weaponized to remove Indigenous peoples from their homes, lands, histories, and cultures. To say “conservation” and ignore the word’s negative connotations will hinder diversity and inclusion in the outdoors. However, without conservation as we know it today, many of the wildlife species we love and admire would be extinct, their habitats developed for human use, fragmenting natural ecological processes or destroying them altogether.
While there is no good replacement word to use instead of “conservation” now, we hope someday there will be. Regardless of nomenclature, we will continue to do meaningful work towards increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the outdoors and supporting the ecological biodiversity and connectivity crucial to all the animals we eat.
When you wear Hunt to Eat, you’re representing thoughtful, ethical, and kind hunters and anglers that put community, real food, and conservation first.