Travis “T-Bone” Turner Reflects on His Career and Life
Some people just have a gift for lifting others up and making a difference in this crazy world. T-Bone is one of those people. When you suddenly come across a key junction in your life, it’s natural to reflect on your experiences and the trajectory of it all. In the video below, Travis “T-Bone” Turner of the Brotherhood reflects on what got him started in this industry, some important moments along the way, and looking forward to what’s next. While archery may have been the thing that ignited his passion and set everything in motion, his life is about more than a bow.
T-Bone’s Early History
Travis Turner wasn’t always the comedic profile known as T-Bone. Before all that, he started bow hunting as a kid when he received his first recurve bow. It was a tough bow to use, and it didn’t exactly give him confidence in his archery skills. Nevertheless, he kept hunting and fishing through school. High school football and fishing pulled him away from archery for a while, but he found his way back to it after high school because some friends wanted to start an archery club. After struggling with the recurve bow, he didn’t have the belief that he could be very effective with a bow.
Despite that, Travis bought a compound bow to join his friends. Still having the notion that he couldn’t draw a heavy bow back (despite being a big and strong kid), the archery shop lowered the draw weight to 64 pounds. With hesitation, he tried to draw the bow and had no problem whatsoever hitting the back wall. From that point, his confidence began to build. He really got into practicing with his friend group, and they joined a bow-hunting class to build their skills together. To Travis’ surprise, he actually won the top score in their Bowhunter Novice class. After that, he was hooked and began shooting at archery tournaments wherever and whenever he could. He won his first state championship in 1990, the ASA world championship in 1991, and his archery skills began to shape his career aspirations. In 1994, Travis opened an archery shop with a friend, called Archery Unlimited, so that they could help other new bow hunters and archery tournament shooters along their paths.
After building a good reputation in the archery and hunting industries, his career took an important turn. David Blanton of Realtree reached out to him to see if he’d be interested in joining a comedic hunting show with Jeff Foxworthy. As part of that show, Travis coined his legendary “T-Bone” name. Through this experience, T-Bone began to make more connections in the industry, including two other well-known characters.
Michael Waddell and Nick Mundt both knew T-Bone through their Realtree connections and they had worked in some capacity with each other. Eventually, Michael asked the group if they wanted to do their own hunting show, which they both said yes to. With that decision, Bone Collector was born. The goal of the show was to document their experiences in the outdoors and entertain others along the way. It was a good decision.
Life Takes a Turn
Unfortunately, you never know what life will bring to you along the way. In 2021, T-Bone developed a cancer in his leg, which spread very quickly. Despite chemotherapy treatment, it had spread very aggressively in his leg, and they ultimately had to amputate it. Obviously, this was a tremendous life change in every aspect and would cause most people to spiral into depression. But not T-Bone.
As he says in the video, he can still work on bows, shoot bows, hunt, etc. – just in a different way. Besides that, he’s still around for his family and friends, which is even more important. He’s so happy and appreciative of everything in his life to this point. Sure, archery is a key facet of his life and career, and deeply intertwined into his character. But to T-Bone, life is about more than just a bow.