Beyond Seclusion started about 10 years ago. I was raised in Lincoln NE and my wife is from a farm in Utica NE. We were married in and lived in Lincoln where we both worked in the health care profession at the time. We spent a lot of time at a friends cabin on his farm in Pawnee County and decided we would like to have our own weekend getaway. We found our 120 acres and built a cabin on it and loved spending the weekend with the kids away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Over time, we got to know the community and were spending so much time down here we made the decision to build our home and live here. We never looked back.
I have always had a passion for the outdoors and love hunting and fishing. I also have a love of trees and nature. When we first purchased our 120, there was mostly cedar trees and prairie. I slowly started clearing the cedar trees and replacing them with more wildlife friendly trees such as nut and fruit trees. I also started planting bushes and anything that would produce food for wildlife as we mostly eat what we harvest on our property.
I started off working with the local NRD to get my trees and had a steep learning curve in the beginning. I discovered the wildlife didn’t want to wait for the trees and bushes to grow but preferred to eat them right away. After several years with little success at keeping anything or making any significant growth, I perfected my “tree guards” which prevented the wildlife from getting at them until they were about four feet tall at which point they were really off and going. I also learned that trees and bushes grown from seeds grow far quicker than trees purchased. Currently, I have about every kind of nut and fruit tree/bush that can grow in Nebraska. Soon these will be available for purchase.
My kids have become involved in 4-H and my wife loves animals so we started off with chickens and ducks. We love fresh eggs and watching the fowl run around in the fields mixing with the local wildlife. As time goes, we continued to add more animals to our “Zoo on the prairie” and started selling eggs to friends and family.
Another friend of mine has raised bees for many years and got me interested in having my own source of honey and the benefits to my trees and bushes. 2016 was our first hive and they did well over the winter and I have a second hive coming this spring. Honey is expected in the summer for purchase.
I have always been an avid fisherman. We built our house overlooking a pond we had built. I stocked it with fish that were not common in Nebraska (Smallmouth bass, Redear Sunfish, fresh water shrimp, etc.) just for something different to fish for. I had so much fun with this that I decided to get my Aquaculturist Permit so I could sell these rare fish (rare in NE) to others interested in doing the same.
Beyond Seclusion was the name a friend came up with when we were considering doing a Bed and Breakfast. We decided we valued our privacy more than the business opportunity and Beyond Seclusion was put on hold for several years. It was not until we started getting more and more animals, trees, plants, fish, and Bee’s that we made the decision to go back to Beyond Seclusion so that we could share our passion of the outdoors with others.
The business really started taking off after I started my YouTube Channel. The really funny thing is I started it as a way to share cooking receipts with friends. Tried doing a video on “shooting” and the views went way up. If it goes “BOOM” it got views. That was not a problem, LOVE shooting so the focus completely changed. We still sell chickens, honey, fish, etc. but the business focuses a lot on shooting, guns and ammo reviews.
The YouTube Channel opened many doors and provided the opportunity to work with companies such as Palmetto State Armory and Brownells to name a few. Things keep growing and excited to see where things go and the direction. In the mean time, I continue to teach leadership at the University.
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