Titan Straps Expands Ambassador Team to Include Hunter, Photographer Nick Trehearne
Story by Lizzy Scully, photos courtesy of Nick Trehearne.
We'd like to welcome wildlife and hunting photographer, Nick Trehearne, to the Titan Straps Ambassador Team!
The Hunting Life
Canadian Nick Trehearne lives and breathes the hunting lifestyle, and has since he started taking photos professionally just over a dozen years ago at age 26. He’s shot 100+ big game animals for himself and tens of thousands of photos for magazines, lodges, gear manufacturers, tourism agencies, you name it.
“Never in a million years did I think I’d be a photographer,” says the mustached, bookish looking 38-year-old. But after working as an electrician in an oil field for nine years, he needed to find something that would bring him more happiness. So he bought a camera, perused YouTube videos to figure out how to use it. And then spent his savings to travel for one year from Mexico to Alaska and everywhere in between to perfect his skills.
“From the day I picked up my first camera, I wanted to tell stories,” Nick explains on his website. “That's it - simple, right? I try to do this whether it's shooting a photo essay for a magazine, a product launch for a sunglasses company, or capturing a bear charging my way. When you are able to capture a story in a single image, that image is something that people can relate to. Something that people stop to look further into. Something that people engage with.”
It’s his ability to capture the story in an image and to get hundreds of solid shots each day that sets him apart from other photographers, he believes.
Photographers abound these days, he says. “But there aren’t many people who can [get the right shots] without staging them or asking people to go back and do that thing again, which just ruins the photo in my opinion. You want people to look natural.”
And Nick is able to get the perfect photo because he knows the lifestyle so well. “My years-long obsession definitely helps,” he says. “I am able to read the entire hunt four steps ahead of where I need to be before it happens, but without spooking the animal in the process.”
And because of this, hunting magazines and publications seek his expertise. And he has dozens of repeat customers for whom he does assignments year after year (often in the United States, which owns 85 percent of the hunting and fishing market).
He’s not the kind of guy who will get in the way of a hunt. He becomes a part of it, even insofar as he helps humps loads with the subjects of his photos.
After all, he says, it’s all hands on deck out there. “It’s always too much meat to carry out.”
Growing Up Outdoors
Nick spent his childhood camping, hiking, backpacking, skiing, snowboarding and doing other activities outdoors with his family. “As long as I could walk, I’ve been doing stuff outside.” But because his family wasn’t into guns, he didn’t find hunting until his teens.
However, once he did, he jumped in fully committed.
“I’m pretty much all in, sink or swim on everything I do,” he explains. Once his high school gym class instructor introduced him to archery, he quickly went out and bought his first compound bow and then spent six months honing his skills. From there, as a young teen, the older teens at the local archery shop started taking him hunting and fishing.
“And my first hour in the field I got my first deer, and I’ve been hooked ever since,” he says.
And right after that he ended up going to the Yukon to hunt at a horseback camp. From there it was a “very quick progression” to a full-time life of hunting.
What brings him back again and again.
“Every aspect of hunting,” he says. “The challenge, the people, the wildlife, the interaction of those things, and just the whole process.” Nick really likes learning about and understanding animal behavior because, he says, to be a really good hunter you must have these skills.
He also loves always being in new places and experiencing new cultures and meeting new people. “Hearing others’ life stories just never gets old,” he explains. “Even if I go back to the same lodge from year to year, it's just so different because all the people are different. There's just no redundancy and nothing ever gets stale.”
Lions and Tigers and Bears and… Deer?
Nick also thrives on the adrenaline rush of his lifestyle, whether taking wildlife photos or while on a hunt. Most of his most memorable experiences revolve around risky situations with wildlife. He has run-ins with dozens of bears every year. And grizzly bears have charged him between “20 and 30 times.”
He carries bear spray, but prefers not using it. “I’m not stupidly confident, but there are certain things I watch for that differentiate between a bluff charge and a real one.”
In 2021, he and some clients were packing out a mountain goat they had shot. “And there's obviously a lot of scent in the air when you have something dead–the meat, the blood, whatever,” he says. “That’s like a dinner bell, especially in coastal British Columbia, where there are very thick populations of grizzlies and you're basically not able to dodge them.”
They were hiking through thick undergrowth between two cliffs, with only one way to go. “And a bear was coming up toward us. It was the only way he could go. And it wasn’t like we could run anywhere with 100+-pound packs on and steep cliffs all around. He ended up charging us for around 30 minutes, to within five or six feet of us.” Ultimately it left them alone.
But... It Wasn't a Bear That Nearly Killed Nick!
But the closest Nick ever came to dying was actually when he got between a doe and a buck who were mating.
“There were a few smaller bucks trying to peel the doe away,” he explains. “It was in heat. So then this big buck just came running right over me to get to her. I wiped out as I was trying to get the hell out of the way, and I fell over backwards.” The buck then swooped his head and tried to scoop his antlers at Nick.
“If he would have been three inches lower," Nick explains, "they would have gone right under my rib cage.”
These experiences might scare the average person away from wilderness adventure. But they actually bring Nick back for more, he says.
“If I'm home for more than a week, I get really antsy to get back out there. I want to go somewhere and do something new. I find no comfort in being home for months.” He spends 300 days per year on the road, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
The Gear Hunting Photographer Nick Trehearne Relies On
So what enables Nick to lead this kind of lifestyle? His Nikon Camera, for one. “On shoots, I'm always running several cameras at a time, whether it's underwater housings, drones, telephoto… whatever it takes to create captivating imagery,” he says on his website. And he’s on retainer for a rifle manufacturer, a clothing company and a boot manufacturer, among others. He works with “one company in each category” for the gear he needs, he says.
Last but not least, he relies on his Titan Straps tension straps for many things.
“I started Titan Straps for shed hunting after seeing another photographer post about them on social media,” he explains. And from there he started using them for gravel and mountain bike adventures.
“And now I use them for everything!”
Want to learn more about our other ambassadors, meet container home builder and adventurer Steve "Doom" Fassbinder, Ultra bikepacking racer Liz Sampey, and Navajo Youth Cycling Advocate, Jon Yazzie!