Meet Sam Soholt, photographer and creator of Artemis, The Public Lands Bus.
Sam took a regular old school bus and turned it into one of the most awesome mobile hunting base camps known to man. If you’re not familiar with Soholt’s Bus Build, you’ve obviously not been following him on Instagram @SamSoholt. His Insta-stories over the summer have taken followers along on his journey of buying, converting, and now living out of his 1993 Bluebird Bus. Below is a brief sample Sam’s story, photos, and inspiration for this once yellow school bus turned mobile hunting camp.
If you’re into this kind of stuff, check out the Legendary R.U.T. (Recreational Utility Trailer) – a fully decked out hunting wagon, toy hauler, camper, and tailgate trailer all wrapped up into one. We’re currently in full-blown build mode and you can check it out here: deergear.com/rut
The original idea for the bus came from three of us sitting around talking about what the ultimate hunting base camp would be. It was in the spring, and we thought that getting a school bus and doing a multi-state, multi-species turkey tour would be something that no-one had ever seen and might make a splash in the hunting industry. But like most crazy ideas, we never did anything about it.
Fast forward to three years later. I couldn’t get the bus base camp idea out of my head, and with the current state of the union in regards to our public lands, it felt like it was the right time to create a project that people could rally behind and one I could help raise awareness about what is at stake if we were to lose public land access across the country. I think as a sportsman that grew up hunting and fishing public lands, I felt that is was a necessity to give something back to help protect this way of life for generations to come.
And so, the bus was born. I purchased Artemis (bus’s name) in Fort Lupton, Colorado for $3,500. It sat behind my brother’s backcountry hunting shop Gannett Ridge in Fort Collins for a couple months before I drove it to South Dakota to begin the build. I don’t have any formal building training, so between a few YouTube videos and a lot of trial and error, it started to come together.
It has been a long 8 months of planning and building, but the bus is currently off and running with the first few hunts happening on Public Lands in MT. I’ll be hunting public land all fall, and transitioning to fishing and other outdoor recreation next spring and summer. A year in a bus in the name of our Public Lands.
If anyone would like to help fund the fight for public land protection, I started a shirt company and $5 from every shirt sold will go to Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. Just check out publiclandtees.com.