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Northwoods Wildman is on the scene

SooToday catches up with a seven-year-old budding outdoor expert and social media influencer having a blast while educating and entertaining people in the northwoods

The Northwoods Wildman is a seven-year-old who just wants to get you to go outside and to watch, like and subscribe to his channel on YouTube.

Asher, The Northwoods Wildman, is in Grade 3 and he's got some very good advice for would-be YouTubers.

"Find a theme, get a name and start shooting," he said.

His name was easy for him to come up with, as was his theme. 

"I'm a real wildman and who wouldn't want to come out in the northwoods with us? It's awesome!" he said.

His dad, Jake agreed they were both great ideas, adding that the theme should be something you're interested in. Their family spends a lot of time outdoors in the woods so it was a natural fit when Asher picked the theme for the channel.

"We are mostly documenting (what we do)," Jake added.

Asher watched a lot of YouTube when he wasn't outside or in school and thought it looked like something he could do with his family so he asked his parents to help him start a channel. At first, they resisted but then dad, Jake, decided it would be a good project for them if there were some allowances for safety.

"We try to keep anything that could tell people who and where we are off the channel," he said. 

Jake is 100 per cent involved with the process but so is Asher. They work out what they're going to shoot together and try to find things that people will want to watch. Both of them are involved with creating the story together and Jake does most of the shooting and all the editing. Sometimes mom, Lana, will help with filming, too.

Jake said he is glad they are running the channel because it's a fun way for Asher to develop his story-telling abilities and improve his persistence while they spend time doing the things they love to do.

He said one of the biggest things he needs to do is remember to have fun.

They don't have to do a lot of retakes and Asher's vibrant Wildman ways shine through effortlessly so it's not hard to keep the filming from interfering with the fun.

At time of writing the channel had 47 subscribers but some of the shorts have hundreds of views. One, about a vintage toy truck, has over 2,000 views.

The first video he posted about six months ago was about dogsledding and featured the two of the family dogs. Since that time, the dog videos have taken on special meaning for them.

Unfortunately, they lost one of the dogs early this summer but the idea of sharing their dog's character and spirit with the world is a way to remember her and help them get over the loss. 

"Now she's memorialized in the videos and people can see her as she was," said Jake.

The secret to building a channel is making videos people like and posting regularly, Asher said, but sometimes it can be hard to predict what is going to catch on.

One video they did was an instructional video on lighting a campfire. They all thought it would be very popular but it got less than a dozen views. They said they believed YouTube didn't promote it for whatever reason.

"Maybe they didn't like kids lighting fires," Jake said. 

"Or using a knife," added Asher.

Northwoods Wildman would like to branch out to merchandise for the channel but dad says he will have to reach 100 subscribers for that to happen. 

Visit the channel and learn about sketch moves like substituting cotton balls dipped in Vaseline for char cloth, clearing trails, racing radio control cars and boats caring for four-wheelers and other off-road vehicles and scent training sled dogs. 

And, as the Northwoods Wildman says, 'Like and subscribe!' and maybe we'll see some hats in the future.

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Carol Martin

About the Author: Carol Martin

Carol has over 18-years experience in journalism, was raised in Sault Ste. Marie, and has also lived and worked in Constance Lake First Nation, Sudbury, and Kingston before returning to her hometown to join the SooToday team in 2004.
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