Jamie Hartman has seemingly been one with nature in 2019, winning two Elite events before an eventful deer season that’s included the biggest buck of his life.
“It’s been awesome, just straight up awesome,” he said. “It was a good two months off.”
The Bassmaster pro from New York who recently moved to Arkansas has totaled five bucks — three in Texas and two in his new home state — while putting his girlfriend and her son on deer as well.
“We had to get another freezer,” he said. “That’s what I do it for, the venison. We eat the heck out of it throughout the year.”
Deer hunting is a pastime enjoyed by a number of B.A.S.S. anglers, and we’ll chronicle a number of pros and their successes in the coming weeks. Hartman said hunting is a great getaway from fishing, where he’s able to relax on a stand, clear his head and enjoy nature.
“It’s an escape for me. It’s a relaxation,” he said. “I love being out there, and I love deer.
“More so, it’s just down time. I parked the boat when I got back from St. Clair, let it dry out for two days then I covered it and have not touched it since. I hooked it up, and I’m dragging it down to Alabama. This is the first time I’ve touched it.”
Hartman was on the road heading for a lake in Alabama before the Elite preseason meeting in Birmingham this week. He also plans to get back into tournament fishing mode, pre-practicing on Lake Chickamauga for the 2020 Elite event there and on Lake Guntersville for the 50th anniversary Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk.
“I’m still trying to get to the lake this morning to get some fishing in. Just going to mess around do some video shoots, do some fun fishing,” he said.
Hartman has high hopes to pick up where he left off last season. While he started poorly, Hartman won Elite events at Lake Guntersville, climbing from 10th on the final day, and Cayuga Lake, where he rallied from 16th with 22-pound bags on the final two days. He finished 17th in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings, earning $276,000 in the 10 events and another $11,467 for finishing third in the Basspro.com Eastern Open on Oneida Lake in his home state.
“My goal this season is to do obviously the best I can do,” he said. “I want to have a really good season financially so I can go on more hunts next year.”
Texas trips yielded three of Hartman’s deer, including a new personal best.