What is the best shot you ever made, and we're not talking about alcohol?
I hunted stone sheep in my late twenties – which is the right age to hunt sheep, by the way – and we ran out of food the 7th day of a 10 day hunt. The blueberries were in season, however, so my guide and I opted to stay on the mountain to see if we could get one of the highly prized rams. I had lost 15 pounds on the trip by the end and the berries and snow melt were not giving me much in the way of energy to get through the day. I was light headed and semi-delirious when we spotted a full curl ram about two miles away. By the time that we got to it I was weak in the knees and was semi-incoherent. Nevertheless, I had the drive to want to get the ram so we stalked to within 300 yards of the ram. I rested the rifle on my pack, then squeezed the trigger slowly. I remember an enormous puff of dust from a rock just above the ram. The sheep ran downhill and I assumed that I missed. Just about the time that I was going to shoot again at the running ram it stumbled and fell over dead. Neither the guide nor I could believe it. When we examined the animal, the bullet had ricocheted off the rock behind the sheep and entered on the opposite side of the animal. My bank shot remains the luckiest (best) shot that I've ever made. Each time that I look at that ram on the wall, I think of just how unlucky he was and how lucky I was.
What is your history/heritage in the hunting/outdoor industry?
David Morris hired me out of college. Blame him.
How would you define your perfect hunting day, from start to finish? Money's no object. Where would you go, what would you take and what would you hunt?
No cell phones, a few old friends, lots of critters and no other sportsmen in the area…and, of course, a single malt or a robust red by a fire with the same people with which I shared the day.
For you, is it about the journey or the destination?
Destination…but I'm learning that the journey is the deal…
If you weren't a professional hunter/sportsman, what would you be doing?
Time, probably. Seriously, hunting and fishing isn't what I do…it's who I am. I'm afraid to imagine a world where I don't do that.
What's the craziest thing you've ever done?
Are you involved in any charitable organizations or causes?
I sit on a few boards of non-profits and help raise money for several others. Non-profits help make America unique and wonderful.
If you could play the leading role in any film, past or present, which film would it be and why?
Val Kilmer's role as Doc Holiday in Tombstone. For Val not to have ever been nominated for an academy award was the greatest travesty in the history of the award. Val, you were robbed!
After so many years in the field, what is it that keeps you going back?
The enduring elixir of wild country, close friends and family, and the need to answer the call of my DNA.
Is there a moment in history, a time, era that you are fascinated with? Why?
World War II because my father was a Bataan Death March survivor and Japanese POW all of the war. I think it's a quest to better understand my father who was a man of few words when it came to the emotion of his war time experiences. Those wounds are buried in shallow graves and I live in awe of those who serve America.
What are the life lessons you take away from hunting and apply every day?
Those who persist, win…it truly is about perspiration, not inspiration.
What was the last big ticket techie item you purchased? Do you like it?
Buy? I prefer barter.
Tell us about your family and what they mean to you.
Twin boys that are mini-mes…amazing. And I married up…way up…but don't tell anyone.
Can you recall the first time in your life that you truly understood what it meant to be an American?
When I woke up to the sound of my father having a nightmare from his war days. Casualties of war extend beyond the battlefield and so many have sacrificed to make this country what it is. We can't ever forget that.
Got any good jokes you can share with us? Keep 'em clean this time!
Have to think on that one…
Can you give us your best impression (a la Rich Little) of another Orion Pro Staffer?
We have the best team…what a great hunting camp it would be to have them all together…someday.
Have you been in a precarious situation that you were in where you weren't exactly sure of the outcome, hunting or otherwise?
Asking Holly Holm to the junior prom…nothing in life has petrified me more.
Do you have any sports teams that you follow religiously? And why those teams?
The Green Bay Packers are the real America's Team…sorry Dallas.
At the end of the day, what's it all about?
Family, faith, friends.