Bill is a full-time outdoor writer and award-winning wildlife photographer whose works have appeared in every major outdoor magazine in North America. He is an archery columnist for Bowhunting World, the former editor of Bear Hunting Magazine, and has published over 1,000 articles and columns plus thousands of photographs on bowhunting, big-game hunting and freshwater fishing. He has also published three how-to hunting books: Successful Black Bear Hunting, 500 Deer Hunting Tips and Still-Hunting Trophy Whitetails.Vaznis graduated cum laude from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and later earned his MSW from Tulane University Graduate School in New Orleans. He now lives on a farm in upstate New York with Grizz, a 30-pound woodchuck with a voracious appetite for the neighbors’ gardens.
Bob has had articles and photographs appear in most major outdoor magazines for over three decades. A former editor of Fishing & Hunting News, Western Outdoor News, and Petersen’s Fishing, Bob was founding editor of Petersen’s Bowhunting Magazine. He is currently editor of both Whitetail Journal and Predator Xtreme magazines, as well as the author of 9 books on hunting, including The Field and Stream Bowhunting Handbook, and The Ultimate Guide to Elk Hunting.
Brad Fry was born and raised in Saskatchewan, Canada where he completed a Bachelors of Science degree in Land Use & Environmental Science from the University of Saskatchewan. After saying good-bye to the classroom for good and hello to the wilderness, he headed off to pursue his dream job as a professional hunting guide... and has never looked back.Over the past two decades Brad has continued to live out his dream guiding hunters in remote regions of Canada, like the McKenzie Mountains of the N.W.T., the Yukon Territory, northern British Columbia and of course in his home province of Saskatchewan, where he continues to guide Whitetail and Black Bear hunters through his outfitting business, Fry’s Canadian Outback Outfitters. www.hunttheoutback.com&Throughout Brad’s ongoing career, whether he is guiding a rugged horseback sheep hunt or trying to track down a wise old bear for himself, he remains passionate about filming his adventures in hopes of sharing even just a glimpse into the life of a hunting guide, and it is this passion that has become the foundation for his new Television series called, The Canadian Guide Life. www.theguidelife.com
Wade Nolan has had a love affair with bears since 1975 when he worked in Denali National Park, Alaska. His passion for bruins has taken him alongside guides and researchers from the hardwoods of the eastern United States to the rugged shores of Kodiak Island and the Alaska Peninsula pursuing both black and brown bears. As a professional photographer/videographer his work has been used by National Geographic and Animal Planet. Nolan has also taken a truckload of bears with his bow. Bears attacks are the topic of his latest book, “Death Dance".
Chad Schearer wears several hats in the outdoor industry besides his signature black western hat. Chad is the host of Shoot Straight with his wife Marsha who co-hosts the show. Shoot Straight airs on Sportsman Channel, Fox Sports South, and CBS Montana. Chad is also the former editor of Blackpowder Guns and Hunting magazine and a freelance outdoor writer and photographer. His work and or photos have been published in numerous outdoor magazines including Outdoor Life, Field & Stream, American Hunter, and Peterson’s Hunting.Chad conducts over 50 seminars a year at sport shows, Cabela’s and church Sportsmen’s dinners. During his career he has conducted over 700 seminars on hunting and fishing across the United States. Chad has also won every major elk calling competition in the world, including the 1997 Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation -- Pro Division World Elk Calling Champion. Wanting to get more people involved in the sport of elk calling, Chad hosts the Best of the West Elk Calling Competitions for the International Sportsmen’s Expositions.Besides being a Montana outfitter and guide Chad loves traveling to new destinations in search of adventure. Read More
Richard P. Smith
Richard P. Smith from Marquette, Michigan, has been hunting black bears for almost 50 years, using a variety of hunting methods. He shot his first bruin in 1965. His best bear scored 21 14/16 and is presently ranked second for North America in muzzleloading records. He’s bagged six book bears with muzzleloaders, including three entered in Boone and Crockett records, and also has four bears in Pope and Young Records.Smith’s most recent bear was shot October 7, 2011 on MI’s Upper Peninsula while hunting over bait with a muzzleloader. The bear had a live weight of 360 pounds and dressed out at 305. The bear’s skull officially scored 18 6/16.
Steve Sorensen is a frequent contributor to many national and regional outdoor magazines, and a popular speaker at sportsman’s banquets. He hunts mostly in his home state of Pennsylvania, but will jump at the chance to hunt deer, turkeys and bears wherever and whenever he can.His website, www.EverydayHunter.com, features award-winning writing and is a popular online destination.
Max Prasac was born and raised in sunny southern California, and spent more time in his local gun shop (the Lock, Stock n’ Barrel of San Gabriel, California) than was probably prudent given the direction his career has taken. But, the blame for his career trajectory lies squarely on the shoulders of his parents for having bought him his first Daisy BB gun (yes, a Red Ryder!) for his eighth Christmas. It was downhill from there, as the bird population (and a few windows I might add) was thinned considerably! The purchase of a Smith & Wesson CO2 pellet pistol left an indelible mark on Max and his love affair with handguns took root. Max’s father gave him his first revolver – actually he more or less lost custodyof it, when he was barely in high school. He joined the NRA as a juniormember in the early 1980s, and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at the tender age of seventeen. Max has a Bachelors degree from the George Washington University, and has been writing professionally since the mid-‘90s. Max also spent a number of years as a contractor performing disaster relief work overseas including demining, reconstruction, and running food convoys in war zones. Later he contracted in the security sector. Read More
Mike Bleech has been a full-time freelance writer/photographer since 1980 with more than 5,000 articles published in more than 100 publications. He is the outdoors columnist for the Erie Times-News and the Warren Times Observer. Bears in the backyard are a common occurrence at his home on the edge of the Allegheny National Forest. Mike has been a bear hunter for 50 years and has taken record-class black bears. William Clunie , registered Maine master guide, outdoor writer, and nature photographer, has spent a lifetime in the outdoors. He is presently “living the dream”, hunting and fishing from his home in the rugged mountains of Western Maine.
Lon Lauber, influenced by his father and older brother, became interested in archery at the age of six. While growing up in Spokane, WA, Lon used a fiberglass recurve bow and wooden arrows for target practice and to hunt scrap fish. “As long as I can remember, there’s been a hay-bale target butt in our family’s garage,” he said. “As a child, I used to practice until my fingers were blistered. When the blisters turned to calluses, I taped my bow onto the handle bar of my bike and rode 12 miles round trip to hunt suckers and carp. Archery and hunting are the only childhood activities I’m still interested in.”After a ten-year stint as a rifle hunter, Lon bought his first compound bow in 1981. That fall, while attending Syracuse University, he killed his first deer with a bow. “My tree stand was only twenty minutes from my apartment so after school and on my days off I went hunting,” he said. “Shooting that big whitetail doe at 18 yards with archery tackle was more thrilling than any hunting experience to date.” Lon has been strictly bowhunting big game for 32 years now. Read More
Judd Cooney was born and grew up in Luverne, Minnesota, a small farm community in the southwestern corner of Minnesota. He spent most of off school time hunting, fishing, bowhunting and trapping in this rural area. While in the seventh grade he made up his mind he wanted to spend his life in the outdoors and started working in that direction. He bowhunted the very first archery season held in Minnesota in 1954 and harvested his first whitetail buck, a huge non-typical during a South Dakota hunt at age 13.After graduating from Luverne High School in 1956 he attended South Dakota State College in Brookings, South Dakota on an athletic scholarship where he lettered in both football and track for three years. He majored in wildlife management and got a B.S. degree in 1960 after some debate about whether he should have a degree in the day or night course of wildlife, or be issued a degree in HUNTING, TRAPPING, and FISHING as that was what he was best educated in. During this period South Dakota’s pheasant and waterfowl, as well as, furbearer and small game populations were at an all time high and Judd spent as much time as possible taking advantage of this bounty.
Ed Hall started shooting both rifle and pistol at age 6, and began handloading when he was 16. Today hevis a fussy, precision shooter who’s second love is bearhounds, and beagles as well. He started running coonhounds when he was sixteen, and by the mid-70s, (a couple of years before telemetry), he was a regular part of a bearhound crew. Now, at 68, and with a bad back, he often don’t trek into distant trees anymore, but somebody has to stay with the truck anyway.He moved from Vermont to New York a few years ago (a move of 7 miles) to have a home where I could shoot at home. He converted the master bedroom into a shooting room, (my wife shoots also), built an indoor benchrest, and cut in a suitable window. The backyard is a 200-yard range, full of gongs, swinging targets and a set of .22 silhouettes. Tons of friends come to shoot, handload or work on guns. (He has an oldie but goodie South Bend lathe.)He was Chief Engineer of a power plant for 30 years, but began writing as a sideline soon after returning from Vietnam (Air Force EOD) in 1967. He has been Guns and Hunting Field Editor for Fur-Fish-Game magazine for 15 years, Gun Editor for Woods & Waters USA for 29 years, and have been with Bear Hunting Magazine for five years, now as Handgun Editor. Read More
Joe Blake was born and raised in Minnesota and started shooting and hunting with traditional bows when he was 11 years old. In 1987 he started writing for a variety of outdoor publications and has had hundreds of feature articles published, and currently holds staff positions at Bowhunter Magazine, Bow & Arrow Hunting Magazine, and Trad Archers World. In 2005 he began building and selling a limited edition line of custom longbows, and continues to hunt, write, and build bows from his home base in west-central MN where he lives with his wife Kim, his son Ryan, and his daughter Megan.
Dave Ehrig is an award-winning outdoor writer, author of six books; a Boone & Crockett scorer, chairman of the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Associations’ Longhunter Society. Dave is known as “Mr. Black Powder” due to his many programs that involve the use of muzzleloading guns in hunting. He is a Contributing Editor for PA Game News, Maryland Deer Hunting Guide, Cabela’s Outfitters Journal, Deer & Deer Hunting Muzzleloading, Bear Hunting, Muzzle Blasts and a correspondent for the Times/Shamrock Newspaper Group and Allentown Morning Call. An award-winning outdoor writer, Dave is a past president of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association. He is a member of the Mason/Dixon Outdoor Writers, Professional Outdoor Media Association.
Steve Carpenteri has been an outdoor writer, editor and photographer for over 40 years. He met his first black bear in Maine in 1962 and hasn’t stopped chasing them since!
Ted Nugent, with over 40 million albums sold and more media face-time than most active politicians, has earned his status as an American icon.Acclaimed for his bold, insightful commentary on issues ranging from the American Dream to bio-diversity, Nugent is a regular guest on top-rated radio and television programs nationwide. Nugent’s own Spirit of the Wild television show is a six time—and counting!—winner of the Golden Moose Award for programming excellence on the Outdoor Channel, where he serves as Ambassador for the network. Ted has been inducted into the National Bowhunters Hall of Fame, marking the pinnacle of recognition for Nugent as a bona fide Bowhunting Legend of the 21st Century. And Nugent was named Favorite Hunting Personality by the readers of Outdoors Magazine.A recipient of numerous commendations from state police, sheriff departments, FBI and police agencies nationwide, Nugent has been lauded for his Ted Nugent Kamp for Kids and Freedom’s Angels, along with work as a national spokesman for D.A.R.E. and as Ambassador for Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Pass It On Outdoor Mentors Program.He continues to fight for personal freedoms on the lecture circuit, and as an author. Read More
Gary Lewis is an outdoor writer, speaker, photographer and TV host who makes his home in Central Oregon. He has hunted and fished in seven countries and across the United States. Born andraised in the Pacific Northwest, he has been walking forest trails and running rivers for as long as he can remember. He is a past President of the Northwest Outdoor Writers Association (NOWA) and was recently presented with NOWA’s prestigious Enos Bradner Award.Lewis is a columnist for The Bend Bulletin, a Contributing Editor for Successful Hunter magazine and a humor columnist for Bear Hunting magazine and a regular contributor for many other magazines and newspapers.Lewis is host of Gary Lewis’ Adventure Journal, a TV show with an audience that draws from 4 million households in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska.He is also the author of 13 books, including: Gary Lewis’s Hunting Oregon, Oregon Lake Maps and Fishing Guide, Idaho River Maps and Fishing Guide, John Nosler – Going Ballistic, Deer Hunting Tactics for Today’s Big Game Hunter, Freshwater Fishing Oregon & Washington, Sun Publishing’s Hunting Oregon. With his wife Merrilee, he is co-author of Is He A Man Or Just Another Guy A girl’s guide to finding Mr. Right. Lewis contributed to the fifth edition of Fishing Central Oregon and Beyond. Read More
Vikki Trout is a full-time freelance writer and photographer from southern Indiana. She loves hunting bear, turkey, deer, and small game. When she’s not hunting, she loves capturing wildlife thru the lens of her camera. www.troutswildoutdoors.com
John Trout, Jr.
John Trout, Jr. is an Indiana hunter and a full-time freelance writer and photographer specializing in whitetail deer, wild turkey and black bear hunting. He has authored eight books and his work has appeared in nearly every publication of North America. www.troutswildoutdoors.com
Toby Bridges has been muzzleloader hunting since before the vast majority of states or Canadian provinces even had muzzleloader hunting seasons. He bought his first frontloader in 1964, at the age of 15, and that fall he took two 8-point bucks with the .45 caliber rifle. Since those days, he has authored more than 1,000 magazine articles and ten books on muzzleloading and muzzleloader hunting. Toby has also written four others books as well, two on hunting whitetails, another on hunting wild turkeys, and one on pronghorn hunting. He grew up in the Midwest, where he pursued those big ol' whitetail bucks. He now resides in Montana, half-way between the Bitterroot Mountains and the Rocky Mountains, where he still muzzleloads for deer, elk, bear and other big game. Today he owns and hosts two websites - North American Muzzleloader Hunting (www.namlhunt.com) and the No. 1 website that keeps the spotlight burning on the wolf issue in the Northern Rockies, LOBO WATCH (www.lobowatch.com).
Mike Melotik is an award-winning outdoor journalist and veteran bowhunter who resides in the bear-filled state of Minnesota. He’s been chasing black bears for nearly two decades, and dearly loves the challenge of hunting remote stretches of Canadian provinces where access is difficult, the bears grow big, and every hunt is a unique adventure. Mark is presently the Editor of Archery Business Magazine and Managing Editor for Bowhunting World Magazine.
Nick Hopkins comes from a family with a deep background and passion for hunting. After a few years of rifle hunting Nick decided to pursue the growing sport of archery. “My dad laughed at me a lot as I shot night after night, often spending several hours digging arrows out of our granary. It was my backstop”. After harvesting several Pope & Young animals including deer, elk, bear, mountain lions, and antelope with a bow he knew this was a lifelong passion. Upon graduating from high school in 1999 he left his home town of Soda Springs, Idaho where he took his next step and partnered with his brother launching a manufacturing business machining archery accessories and other gear for the hunting industry. In 2005 while pursuing his business degree he started his first archery pro shop. Since then Nick has involved himself working with archery clubs, Fish and Game Departments and other outdoor organizations to lend a helping hand. “I enjoy seeing the faces of new hunters and helping anyway I can”. Nick still lives in Idaho. He owns BoarMasters Wildlife Attractants and is involved with several outdoor organizations and companies as a pro staff member and as a volunteer.
Bills interest in the black bear is incredible to say the least. He was introduced to bear hunting in 1962 while deer hunting in northern Wisconsin. The then 12 year old watched a fellow hunter take a 150# bear on a deer drive. Back then your deer tag was also good for bear. As the years passed, his passion turned into an obsession. Bill has taken bear with all types of equipment including a self bow with stone heads. Applying all methods of hunting from bait sitting to dogs and spot and stalk, Wiesner has recently pioneered the method of using a bear decoy and vocalizations. He has traveled much of the United States and Canada to pursue his passion of bear hunting. Bill has done seminars, articles, produced videos and is writing a book on bear hunting. His web sight www.brothersofthebear.com offers all bear hunters insight into the black bear.
Ray is a professional guide and owner/operator of Malarkey Cabin Guiding Service specializing in big game hunting in New Brunswick Canada. He has been guiding professionally for twenty five years and writing professionally for forty years. Born and raised in New Brunswick, he is an avid, accomplished hunter and outdoorsman. Ray, who is also a former newspaper columnist, lecturer and best selling book author continues to write columns for various outdoor magazines and is an active member of the New England Outdoor Writers Association and Outdoor Writers of America Association. You can contact him by phone (506)363-2839