By Andy Morales:
You may know Julie McQueen as a host of the Brotherhood Outdoors program offered by the Sportsman Channel or as a producer along with her husband at their production company called Backstage & Backroads, or as a professional card player or even as one of the most in demand fashion models in the world, before she retired from that industry.
McQueen is all that and more. From taking everyday people on hunting trips of their dreams to being a role model for young girls in a difficult world, McQueen has proven she is perfect for any job or obstacle that may come her way.
“The television show Brotherhood Outdoors is very different from many other shows out there,” explained McQueen. “We take real people on their dream hunting or fishing trips. People write to us and tell us why they want to be on the show. Sometimes it’s a moving story, and other times we just really want to take someone to do something that they’ve never done before.
” McQueen grew up on a “little Indian Reservation” in Oklahoma where her family loved the outdoors and let her explore the fishing ponds of her youth and kept her imagine alive through books, the outdoors and all the childhood mischief of growing up with three older brothers.
“I loved to fish the ponds that surrounded my little town and I’ve still got scars on my legs from the sticker bushes we had to walk through in the fields to get to the water,” said McQueen. “I kept a fishing pole in my car and, while the other kids were doing normal kid things, I would go pond hopping. My early life was typical small town, and I think that’s a nice way to grow up. Of course, I left town immediately after I graduated high school looking for adventure!” McQueen suggested that being the youngest (and a girl at that) made her “pretty tough” but her mother saw a different part of her and wanted her to explore her obvious beauty to help her expand her horizons.
“I believe I was around 12 or 13 when the modeling thing first started. Honestly, I think my Mom wanted to build my self-confidence more than anything, so she worked at getting me involved in the model industry,” explained McQueen.
“The kids at school bullied me because of my physical appearance, so in a way it was healthy for me to have that experience. As I grew older I worked all over the world, in print and retired from it when I turned 30.
” Although he wasn’t a hunter, her father introduced her
to guns instead of cars.” My Dad taught me how to shoot, handle and clean firearms, but he didn’t teach me how to hunt. When I turned 16, I asked my Dad for a shotgun instead of a car. He bought me a Remington 12 gauge, and I instantly became the happiest girl on Earth,” McQueen said. So she was off. A self-taught hunter, McQueen went out and hunted alone on her very first time and came back with a whitetail. “A lot of what I learned was from trial and error because I didn’t have much guidance,” said McQueen. “Now I’ve been able to hunt all around the world. I’m usually excited about whatever is in season at the moment! I love big game season but I also enjoy wing shooting. I still shoot a Remington just like when I was a little girl, but now I’ve moved up to a Versa Max instead of my original 12 gauge,” McQueen added.
Obviously, her parents are her true heroes along with her husband Daniel Lee but McQueen has also become a hero and role model to countless young girls who also like to have adventure and hunt without being judged as she was and, unfortunately, still is. “This is a sensitive topic right now,” explained McQueen. “When I was a young girl I was bullied in school. Just like a lot of kids. Now I hold two degrees in the arts and sciences of psychology, but that doesn’t make me immune. I still get bullied and harassed by people online because of what I do for a living. As I write this I’m dealing with cyber bullies who are threatening and harassing me. My advice is to rise above it. I don’t call people names, I don’t judge people based on their beliefs, and I try to do what makes me happy. “I want to be that support system for the future generations to lean on. I want to inspire them to go after their dreams just like I did.”