Daniel “Gun Doctor” Woodruff preservered a lot before having the opportunity to showcase his skills on national television.
August 24, 2021
Kyle Wade, Editor-in-Chief
“See, I think we should’ve pummeled before you had to shoot,” says Randy Couture as he steps up, pointing at Daniel’s target, “I mean look at that, that’s a great, really nice, tight group.” Daniel “Gun Doctor” Woodruff, a Navy veteran from Germantown, KY had just taken First Place in Surviving Mann’s Shooting Evolution 2 (unbeknownst to him at the time) and was standing tall next to his target staring at who he calls a “pioneer” in the mixed martial arts community.
Woodruff completed the 100- yard course of fire with a score of 155, edging out 32 contestants from all over the United States with a variety of backgrounds.
“I knew there were some top shooters there,” Woodruff said as he listed off contestants who are nationally acclaimed for marksmanship. “There were SWAT guys, Navy Seals, Army Ranger, and of course, Marines- those guys shoot, it’s what they do.”
The course began with all contestants facing down range from the 100-yard line. On command, the contestants would perform a three-shot drill. Once all shooters performed the drill, the contestants would advance two steps and perform the drill over again until they all reached the 7-yard line.
Woodruff says that he was completely unfamiliar with the Cobalt Kinetics rifle prior to the competition, “it just meshed with me.” When the competition began he said he put everything in his mind aside besides the “basic fundamentals”.
Basic fundamentals that Woodruff had applied his entire life.
“I grew up in Germantown, small town, two or three stop signs,” Woodruff said, “I grew up shooting, I had to hunt to help supplement our food for the winter because, ya know, like any other family just starting out, it’s rough.”
Gun Doctor says that his passion for guns is derived from his ventures hunting for his family and watching his father and grandfather do gunsmithing projects, “I just grew up hunting and loving guns, I knew I wanted to do something with guns.”
That ‘something’ turned out to be answering Uncle Sam’s call for Woodruff to join the Navy shortly after the events of September 11th.
An injury that Woodruff doesn’t talk about to this day cut that call short. While in the training pipeline to become an Aviation Ordnance Technician, a hunting incident on leave left him having to learn how to walk again.
“I got out of the Navy and thought I was concerned that I would be limping for the rest of my life. I was bound and determined to not let that happen so I just worked at it and worked some more and eventually I became a police officer, a mixed martial artist and then a Youtuber and here I am.” Woodruff said.
Woodruff would join the Manchester Police Department in Ohio, he graduated the academy at the top of his class and would become a sharpshooter for the regional Special Response Team.
The title, Sharpshooter, would stick with Woodruff as he transitioned from the police force into the world of mixed martial arts.
All the while Gun Doctor’s passion for firearms and mechanics never left him. According to Woodruff, one day, he was doing a gunsmithing project and decided to record it and put it on a YouTube channel that he had created for fun. He said that he had completely forgotten about it until three years later.
When Woodruff opened his channel, “I was shocked, I had like three-hundred and somethin’ views and like thirty likes. I was like, ‘this might be something’.”
It did turn out to be ‘something’. According to YouTube, GunDoctorT.V. has 16,900 subscribers over his 177 video span. Since October 2014, his page has been viewed 2,067,157 times.
GunDoctorT.V. would serve as a pathway to Woodruff competing in Surviving Mann, he says he got an email inviting him to send in an audition clip while he was at work.
“I went outside on break, and I did a 45 second video right there in front of my car and that was my audition video,” Woodruff says.
American Stories Entertainment emailed him the next day inviting him to be a part of the show.
On 30 days notice, Woodruff hit the ground running, “I was working ten-hour shifts on mandatory overtime, I would get home at four in the morning, kiss the wife and take off running, doing push-ups, anything that I could do to become stronger, faster.”
The father of two would continue exercising, training marksmanship and working 55 hour weeks up until he and his wife had to load up the car and hit the road from Brooksville, KY to the Front Sight Training Facility in Pahrump, NV near Las Vegas.
Woodruff says that he was still sore from training upon arriving for the show, “but I wasn’t going to let that ruin this opportunity.” The show is hosted by Don Mann, former member of Seal Team Six and according to Woodruff, “It was like hell week, it was pretty cool.”
With 3 episodes left to air of Surviving Mann, Woodruff says he will be working on future projects with American Stories Entertainment.
Woodruff has maintained his training regiment and since the show has been able to focus more on his YouTube channel, he hopes to one day establish his own firearms company.
“That’s why I’m always driving to do more because life’s short and you will miss every shot you don’t take.” said Woodruff.