Occupation: Marketing Manager at First Lite, a Ketchum-based hunting clothing company
How did you become a sportsman?
I grew up doing trips in the Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana, which has the highest density grizzly population in the lower 48. I had a lot of opportunities—more than most people get—to watch the grizzlies do their thing. The cool thing about them is that they’re at the top of the food chain. When you watch them, especially the big old males, you get to watch an animal that can kick back and not be on high alert all the time.
I had a couple of good mentors along the way. I always tell people that if you grow up in Montana, you either become a guide, a lawyer, or a real estate agent—I became a guide. I lived out of my truck, guiding all over the place for a long time. Then I got the job offer to come down to Idaho and work for First Lite.
How do you enjoy the Boulder-White Clouds?
It’s all seasonal, so right now I’m hiking all over the place looking for shed antlers, which is really my excuse to go get in decent hiking shape again. Spring fishing is also good here: rainbow trout are spawning so you get a good opportunity to get bigger fish in the spring. The summer is long and hot and we’re busy at work, but I do a lot of mountain biking in the summer. In the fall I typically hunt antelope, archery antelope, archery elk, mule deer, and a little bit of grouse, chuckar, and waterfowl. If I get lucky and put meat in the freezer, then I go back to fishing in the fall. I like to sneak away in the middle of the week to fish steelhead outside Stanley.
How does the Boulder-White Clouds area help contribute to the local economy?
The company I work for, First Lite, makes high-end hunting apparel. The company was founded in the Boulder-White Clouds. My boss would hike in black merino wool shirts, and that’s how the idea was born. Without that big chunk of public ground right on the edge of town, there wouldn’t have been an incentive to go out there and figure out how to develop the product.
What’s your favorite memory of time spent in the Boulder-White Clouds?
I’ve spent a lot of time there, but one of my favorite days was when I was mule deer hunting with a couple of friends, and we were in some giant, awesome glacier country, with not a soul around. We had a mountain goat come check us out and follow us all day long. It just kept checking in on us, staying about 100 vertical feet above us, and it kept tabs on us the whole day.
What makes the Boulder-White Clouds so special?
It’s a truly beautiful place. There’s basically a road all the way around it, so if you’re not inclined to hike or mountain bike, you can even take a drive and get a decent feel for what it is. And because of the trail systems in place and the means of access in place, you can go as far as you want into them, and still have some seclusion.
The access to the Boulder-White Clouds is amazing. I can look at them through my office window. I just keep all my gear at the office and recreate right out of here. I go to the Boulder-White Clouds at least once a week in the spring, and up to three or five days a week in the fall.
I lived in Missoula for a lot of winters and springs, but it’s amazing how much time you waste just getting out of town. Here, you can legally hunt within about five minutes of the office.
Why should sportsmen support a Boulder-White Clouds National Monument?
It’s our best shot at preserving the means of access that make it a place that so many different people can enjoy. They’re not making any more of these places, and it’s going to feel a lot better to say that we helped preserve it, than to be in a situation thirty years down the road thinking, “We wish we would have done something.”