Sean Considine is an avid deer hunter, duck hunter and angler from Illinois who recently retired from an eight-year NFL career. The 32-year-old ended his career on the highest note an NFL player can ask for. In 2013 his team, the Baltimore Ravens, beat the 49ers in the Super Bowl.
During Super Bowl XLVII, you might have seen the Ravens' special team player make an excellent block that allowed teammate Jacoby Jones to run for a 108-yard touchdown kickoff reception. In one of the best Super Bowls in years, the underdog Ravens beat Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers 34-31.
Considine retired soon after and didn't suit up for the 2014 season.
Where is he now?
Considine now lives in his hometown of Byron, Ill. with a team he'll be getting reacquainted with: his wife and five children, three of whom are triplets, age 2. The oldest is five, and the youngest is just a year old. You'll also find him in the deer stand, duck blind or bass boat when he otherwise would have been on the gridiron.
"Duck hunting actually reminds me a lot of sitting in the locker room in the NFL days when we'd joke around, hang out and enjoy each other's company," said Considine.
John Geiger, Gear Editor for Game & Fish/Sportsman magazines, recently shot greenheads on a frozen South Platte River reservoir with Considine and his long-time friend and fellow Iowa Hawkeye alum, Tim Anderson of Mossy Oak. Geiger interviewed Considine in the blind and at camp for this report.
Game & Fish/Sportsman: What is your favorite kind of hunting?
Sean Considine: Deer with a bow. It's a long season in Illinois, and it gave me opportunities to hunt, still be there for my family, and work around my football schedule when I was playing.
GF/Sportsman: Why bow?
SC: I struggle with the patience side of it, but I am the kind of guy who always enjoys challenges. Just like bow hunting, not everything about football is comfortable, as you could imagine! Well, in deer hunting with a bow, you sit in a stand and it's usually cold. You wait till the buck gets in closer, and that doesn't always happen. There are easier ways to hunt whitetail, but it's the challenge and reward that draws me to bow hunt whitetails.
Working Up an Appetite
Mossy Oak pro staff waterfowl guide Mike Miller served up lunch on an island in Sutherland Reservoir using a Camp Chef portable LP stove. Miller and Sean Hinson guided hunters Considine, John Geiger of Game & Fish/Sportsman, author Ron Spomer, photographers Tony Bynum and Buzz Hayes, Steve McGrath of Camp Chef, and Tim Anderson of Mossy Oak.
Although there was a lot of ice after days of single-digit temperatures, weather turned fair on the first day of the three-day hunt, which shutdown the flights and trading for the week. The camp scrapped for a few dozen greenheads. Still, hunting in ice takes a lot out of a man or beast, like Bandit here, despite a limited number of kills and retrieves.
Sean Considine earned his Super Bowl XLVII ring as a player on the Baltimore Ravens. The ring has 245 diamonds and was valued at $25,000. You might have seen number 37 make a textbook block that allowed teammate Jacoby Jones to run for a 108-yard touchdown on a kickoff reception. You'll also remember that the Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers 34-31.
After football, one of the things Considine likes to do best is hunt deer and waterfowl. He recently went duck hunting with friends on a South Platte reservoir in Nebraska. The camaraderie of hunt camp and the locker room are similar, said the football star.
Sharing Some Laughs
Considine said his number one priority now is spending time with family and friends. Considine shared laughs, memories and made new plans with long time friend and fellow Iowa Hawkeye alum, Tim Anderson.
GF/Sportsman: Do you have a favorite bow, gun or camo?
SC: Oh yeah. Mathews Z7 is smooth, quiet and accurate. I like a Browning Maxus, in Mossy Oak Duck Blind pattern for waterfowl. I use a Browning Silver for trap shooting and turkey hunting back home in Illinois. The gun cycles a wide range of ammo, from target loads to slugs. My favorite camo is Mossy Oak Breakup Infinity. It's an all-round versatile camo for where I hunt in Illinois in the early season and through fall when leaves are off. When I am duck hunting, I've always been a duck blind fan but the new Shadow Grass Blades is pretty cool, too.
GF/Sportsman: How about fishing? That can be a challenge, too, no doubt.
SC: I love to go to Canada for walleye, pike and muskie, and to fish central Illinois near my in-laws. That part of the state has strip mines where bass, bluegill and crappie grow big. My favorite kind of fishing is probably largemouth with a topwater. I love taking my kids, too, and I have as much fun watching a bobber with the kids as I do any kind of fishing. And there's nothing like having a fish fry at the end of the day with friends and family.
GF/Sportsman: Where do you do most of your hunting?
SC: My dad and I own a property in northern Illinois. It's our deer camp. We have a small cabin and there's not much to it. It's kind of like roughing it. We invite family and friends and enjoy their company and the hunts. I also like working the food plots and improving the habitat. Because of my football, I've had other opportunities to hunt places with trophy potential, but I love the family land and rather hunt there than other spots.
GF/Sportsman: We've had a great Mossy Oak hunt camp here in Nebraska, even if the ducks weren't flying as much as we hoped. What is your favorite part of duck hunting?
SC: I like hunting with a group and the camaraderie that develops. We're all after the same thing: a good day hunting, good gear and a good time. I like figuring out where to hunt each day, and all the time in the blind and chance to hang out with the guys. Duck hunting actually reminds me a lot of sitting in the locker room in the NFL days when we'd joke around, hang out and enjoy each other's company.
GF/Sportsman: Why did you retire from the NFL?
SC: I think my career was winding down because of my age, 32. Having five kids (three of them triplets), and the oldest son starting kindergarten, I really wanted to get back to my hometown. It was hard on the family picking up and moving to Arizona and then to Baltimore. It wasn't best for kids. After being on the Super Bowl-winning team, and a nice eight-year NFL career, it was time to concentrate on other things and focus on my family.
GF/Sportsman: Have you hunted with any NFL players?
SC: The closest friends I met in the NFL were always the guys who were outdoorsmen. I guess it's just easier for me to become close with people who share love for the outdoors. I've kept in touch with the guys who are hunters, guys like Kevin Kolb (Philadelphia Eagles, 2007-'10) who I still hunt with, Trent Cole (Eagles, 2005-present) who I used to hunt deer and turkey with in New Jersey when we were on the same team, and Jeff Lageman of the Jacksonville Jaguars. I did some great hunting with him in Florida.
GF/Sportsman: Do you miss football?
SC: Yes. There are a lot of things about football I miss. I played it for 22 years. It's always been a big part of my life. But mentally, I've had plenty of time to prepare myself for retiring. Fortunately my NFL career ended up going on and on many years longer than I thought it would. Life after football has been an easy transition. But on Sunday, when I watch the game, I get that feeling that I wish I were with my teammates again.
GF/Sportsman: Do you associate most with Ravens, Eagles, Jaguars or Cardinals?
SC: The Ravens. Winning the Super Bowl was an unbelievable experience. That team is full of great guys. I played with John Harbaugh (who was position coach under Andy Reid when Considine was drafted in 2005) when I was with Eagles, so it was great to play with him as head coach of the Ravens.
GF/Sportsman: A lot was made of the Ravens being a perfect storm of guts and determination. Were the 2013 Ravens really all that is said about them?
SC: Any team that wins the Super Bowl is the team that pulls it all together better than any other team in the league. I don't think that the 2012-13 Ravens will go down in history as most talented team that year, but we had a tremendous team that worked together for the good of the whole.
GF/Sportsman: What do people say when they see your ring?
SC: I always knew the Super Bowl was a big deal, but it wasn't until I was involved with it that I realized it's a very big deal! The ring is cool because I can share it with people, and it's a big thing to them. It's funny how they react to it when I let them try it on. I let people try it on and get their photos taken with it. I am OK with that. It's insured. It was also nice to bring it back to my hometown of 3,000 people. I hope it inspires kids that they can do anything they want to do and achieve goals and it gives them confidence in themselves.
GF/Sportsman: It's pretty fancy.
SC: It has 243 diamonds and is valued at more than $25k.
GF/Sportsman: What was it like being on the same team as Ray Lewis?
SC: Ray was one of the greatest teammates I ever had. He had an impact not only on the team, but on people in general. Sure he was a polarizing figure, but I got to spend a whole year with him and saw his huge impact. His leadership and influence wasn't second to anyone I've ever seen.
GF/Sportsman: Joe Flacco?
SC: Down-to-earth, a great teammate, too. I respect him. Here is a guy with a $100 million contract, the starting QB, but you've never met a guy who was as modest and humble. Seriously.
GF/Sportsman: Where will you watch this year's Super Bowl?
SC: I'll be hunting the week before with Kevin (Kolb) at his ranch in Texas. Then I plan to be at home in Byron and watch it with my wife, friends and family. And that's exactly where I want to be.
Sean Considine isn't the only pro football player we've had the chance to sit down with. The guys over at Petersen's HUNTING interviewed four-time Super Bowl winner, NFL kicker Adam Vinatieri. The guys over at Wildfowl went duck hunting with some players from the Cleveland Browns, and we even got to go bowhunting with New York Giant All-Pro defensive end Justin Tuck.