Brett Smith: Here for the Long Haul
Living a Life Dedicated to Nature
Do early childhood experiences impact the adults we become? Brett Smith is a human case study for proving that they do. As a three-year-old, he would accompany his father on hunting trips in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Today, he owes everything he has to those little moments he experienced as a youngster. Smith says, “Everything I do revolves around hunting.”
It Starts With a Dream
Brett Smith is doing exactly what he should be doing. As the founder of Whitetail Land Management Services, a business he dreamt up to help landowners improve the design of their property toward the goal of fruitful hunting, he visits his clients at their home base, touring the property sometimes for several days at a time.
Waking Up With Nature
A massive part of Smith’s job — and one that often gets overlooked — is creating a better habitat for the animals. He cares deeply about nature and doing anything he can to improve its conditions, working hard to educate hunters on the importance of keeping their surrounding habitat thriving with
the goal of longevity, not just that one big catch. Smith tries to teach each of his clients how to create sustainability and a better hunting property for years to come.
Still, amid all the big-picture stuff, the hard work and motivation, and the blood, sweat and tears that come along with building a business from the soil up, Brett Smith still appreciates the little things.
“When I picture Livin’ the Land, I picture myself waking up with nature, being out in the woods and watching the sun rise, being a fly on the wall and watching a deer walk through the woods, hearing squirrels rustle through the leaves — those are all things I picture.”
These little moments, the ones he’s been experiencing since the age of three, are the source of his motivation, his raison d’être.
“The fact that I can give back to the animals that gave so much to me, that’s what it’s all about.”
Hunting at the Heart of it All
To generate his detailed reports, Smith must explore every inch of his clients’ land, using his Can-Am Defender Max XT to penetrate those hard-to-reach areas and taking full advantage of the vehicle’s lifted suspension to get him through ungroomed terrain.
Why ride a Can-Am vehicle? One simple reason: quality. Smith likes the way the brand positions itself as the industry leader and loves the way its machines back up that promise. “They talk the talk, and they walk the walk.”
Smith’s busy work season takes place from December through the summer, but he spends most of the year on his Can-Am Defender, which doubles as a hunting rig. He loves the machine’s versatility — “It’s kind of a jack of all trades,” — and admits that he puts a lot of stress on it. Yet, using the side-by-
side for hunting and work, the Defender rises to every challenge he puts in front of it.
For Smith, there are more challenges to come. He’s proud of the way he has built his passion into a living. While Whitetail won’t be hiring any time soon, its founder isn’t planning to rest on his laurels either. His unofficial company slogan is “Be satisfied with never being satisfied,” so you can be sure Smith wants to grow the business as much as possible.
Whatever comes next, hunting will always be at the core of Brett Smith’s life, the way it has been since he was three years old in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.
“There’s no way that I’d ever not do what I’m doing now.”