Nick Mundt actually looks forward to going to work every day. As co-host of some of the most popular shows on the Outdoor Channel, he works not behind a desk, but in front of a camera and out in the wilderness.
Since he was a boy, Mundt has loved the outdoors, and his work gives him the opportunity to travel across the United States (and the world) doing what he enjoys most. Though he originally hails from Spearfish, S.D., he will call the St. Croix Valley home as of next month, and he looks forward to exploring all Minnesota has to offer.
Mundt’s TV career sprang from his deep love of hunting. “I’m a barber by trade, and I was working about 30 miles from [home] in Sundance, Wyo., as a guide with Seven J Outfitters.” He worked there full time, guiding hunting trips for whitetail deer, mule deer, antelope and turkeys.
His habit of taking his video camera with him on trips served him well, as it led to his current gig. “I always videoed the hunts and videoed when I was scouting, and I just got really good with a video camera,” he says. Seven J Outfitters developed a strong reputation in the hunting world, catching the eye of the team from Realtree Outdoors—Bill Jordan, David Blanton and Michael Waddell. “At lunch on the first day, I showed them some of my footage, and they were impressed with my camera work. They asked me to come and work for Realtree, and of course I said ‘yes.’”
During his nine years there, Mundt developed a close friendship with Waddell, the host of Realtree Road Trips. He made several well-received appearances on the show, eventually becoming the co-host of that show and Bone Collector, a show about the camaraderie and spirit of a hunting trip. “Michael and I decided to branch off of Realtree Road Trips and start our own show—of course with the blessings of Realtree,” Mundt says. The rest, as they say, is history: Bone Collector is now in its 10th season, and Realtree Road Trips is still going strong with more than a dozen and a half seasons under its belt.
For Mundt, the most rewarding aspect of his work isn’t the fun and fame that comes with being on cable television, but rather the opportunity to embrace the outdoors and connect with others. “The best part for me is that I get to be outside and hunt for a living. Spending time in the woods is my passion,” he says. “I’m not really in it for the fame side of it or the spotlight side of it. I’m in it, because I really love to hunt. I love the animals that I hunt, and I love the conservation side of hunting, too.”
Mundt has big plans for the coming year. Although he is often on the road, he looks forward to being able to return to Minnesota after a long day (or week) at work. Next month, he will move to Marine on St. Croix with his partner, Mallory Kunz. “She’s pretty much 100 percent of the reason why,” he says. “After the first of the year, I’ll be a Minnesota resident. We have a new home near Lindstrom. We bought a farmhouse and renovated it, and we’re really excited.”
In the meantime, he will continue to host Realtree Road Trip and Bone Collector, in addition to a new show for the Outdoor Channel: Survival Science, which premiered this past summer. In the show, Mundt and his co-host, Minnesota's Laura Schara, put their wilderness survival skills to the test, showing audiences how to survive nearly any challenge Mother Nature puts forth, from bear attacks to blizzards.