What was the name of T.R.’s rustic retreat in the hills of Virginia?
Send your answers to email@example.com. We’ll send the winner a TRCP hat. Congratulations to Janice Aimaro for answering last month’s T.R.ivia question correctly. The question: How many animals did T.R. and his son take during their African safari? The answer: 512.
What is a favorite hunting or fishing memory?
When I was a kid my family rented a cabin for a long weekend in the mountains of western Maryland. My dad and I spent every day fishing out on the lake. We didn’t catch a lot, but those memories will stay with me forever. It was such a peaceful feeling to be out on the water, just my dad and I.
Tell us a little bit about your job at Minox. What are some things you like about the job and the company?
Minox has been around for 75 years and specializes in photography equipment, hunting optics and a wide range of binoculars. The company is not a large corporation and is privately owned; this gives us the ability to make good, solid and quick decisions. We have the ability to be very flexible and creative in adapting to the market. As a privately owned company, we are looking for long-term stability and are not solely focused on next quarter’s profits.
I’m responsible for all aspects of sales and marketing for hunting and outdoors products at Minox as they pertain to hunting and the outdoors. I do everything from managing our sales force and working on promotional items to working with the press.
How did you become passionate about the outdoors?
My parents were always taking me out fishing, hiking, exploring and sight-seeing. The great outdoors have been a part of my life since I was an infant. My parents would put me in the back of the Chevy, hook up the camper, and we would head out for an adventure. From the time I was little we would be out every weekend.
I went to college out West, and being out there shaped my passion for the outdoors immensely. My love and appreciation for the outdoors, hunting and fishing is such a huge part of why I do what I do today.
What role do you see the TRCP and Minox playing in the conservation arena?
Minox has always supported conservation issues both in Europe and the United States. We have an economic incentive to support conservation, but our interest in conservation goes beyond the economic bottom line. If we don’t invest in conservation, sportsmen won’t be able to hunt – they won’t have a place to go or game to harvest. If there are not any hunters, there won’t be a market for many of our products. At Minox, we believe that investments in conservation are not only the right thing to do, but they are of great importance to the overall economic stability in this country.
What do you think are the most important conservation issues facing sportsmen today?
Loss of access and degradation of habitat are two of the most concerning issues facing sportsmen today. When I lived in places like Utah, Wyoming and Montana I could basically walk out my door and go hunting or fishing. It is a lot harder to find these opportunities now. A lot of the hunting lands are tied up, and you can’t hunt on Sundays where I live in Pennsylvania. These factors severely hamper our outdoor traditions. A lot of people see these restrictions and just say, “Why bother anymore?”
This is a major issue because sportsmen fund our core conservation programs here in the United States. Fewer hunters means fewer dollars for conservation – and the economy. On top of that, the government is slashing funding for programs that work to promote access.
Wherever I’ve worked I’ve pushed to get involved in conservation because I really believe in it. Minox has been a great partner in this. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the partnership that we are building with the TRCP and we at Minox are looking forward to continuing that in 2012 and beyond.
When we halted for the evening meal we came near learning by practical experience how easy it is to start a prairie fire. We were camped by a dry creek on a broad bottom covered with a thick, short grass, as dry as so much tinder. We wished to burn a good circle clear for the campfire; lighting it, we stood around with branched to keep it under. While thus standing a puff of wind struck us; the fire roared like a wild beast as it darted up; and our hair and eyelashes were well singed before we had beaten it out.
I have been fishing and hunting out in the woods since I was a young boy and have been hunting since I was nine. I’ve hunted and fished in some truly beautiful places. The more I’m out there, the more I’ve realized that these places are beautiful because they haven’t been torn up or developed. Since I had that realization I’ve always had a desire to give back to these places.
What led you to a career in conservation writing?
I began writing fiction in my 20s and then started journalism in my early 30s. When you write full time, it’s often hard to find the motivation. I learned that the only way I could keep my energy up was by writing about things that were inspiring to me. Nature and the outdoors have always been fascinating to me, so it’s been a truly natural fit for me.
What role do you see TRCP and particularly Field & Stream playing in the conservation arena?
Field & Stream is a publication for people who care about fish and wildlife, while the TRCP is an organization working to advocate for fish and wildlife. The fit has been a natural one as the TRCP and Field & Stream both bring awareness to similar issues.
In order for both the TRCP and Field & Stream to move forward, there needs to be an irrefutable positive link made between fishing, hunting and conservation. By working together, we can ensure that conservation becomes an integral part of the American mindset.
What do you think are the most important issues facing sportsmen today, and how do you hope your writing will bring awareness to these issues?
Getting more young people involved in conservation and the outdoors is an issue of great concern to me. It is important to draw young people into a deeper connection with nature. And it’s not just children; people in general need to be more connected to the outdoor world. These connections bring a greater awareness of the importance of clean water, habitat and conservation. Our natural world is incredible, and we need to nourish what is left.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
CONSERVATION WORKS FOR AMERICA
In the last two years, policymakers have committed to significant investments in conservation, infrastructure, and reversing climate change. Hunters and anglers continue to be vocal about the opportunity to create conservation jobs, restore habitat, and boost fish and wildlife populations. Support solutions now.