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Jesse Bussard is a cowgirl who grew up in south central Pennsylvania. After completing two agricultural degrees at land grant universities back East, she followed her dreams westward in the fall of 2012, finding herself most at home in the Rocky Mountain front of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Currently based in Bozeman, Mont., she provides writing, editing and digital media and marketing solutions to individuals and small businesses in the ranching, agricultural, food, and outdoors sporting communities, through her company, Cowpunch Creative. Her writing has appeared in many agricultural and American Western lifestyle publications including Beef Producer, Progressive Forage Grower, and American Cowboy. Bussard is working on expanding her outdoors writing portfolio in the realm of fly-fishing and recently joined the blogging team of DryftFishing.com. In addition, she is in the beginning stages of a book project focused on the culture and spirit of entrepreneurial women in the American West.
Drew Chicone is an author, outdoor writer, fly designer, photographer, lecturer, and materials expert whose passion for teaching the art of fly-tying has inspired numerous how-to articles and detailed instructional guides. His innovative patterns are sold in fly shops all over the world and his a rticles and photographs appear frequently in magazines and online publications such as Fly Fishing in Salt Waters Magazine, Fly Fisherman Magazine, Hatch Magazine, Fly & Light Tackle Angler and Florida Sportsman. Chicone partnered with Stackpole Books in 2013 to publish his fourth book; “Feather Brain: Developing, Testing & Improving Saltwater Fly Patterns.” His other titles include, “Snook Flies,” “Essential Bonefish Flies” and “Andros & Essential Permit Patterns.” He is the creator of the popular blog and website www.saltyflytying.com and he is widely known for his willingness to help fly-tiers young and old improve their skills at the vise.
Scott Morrison is the founder and president of Morrison Creative Company, Inc., a Cody, Wyo., based creative agency specializing in the design of advertising and marketing materials for the outdoor industry. Morrison is editor and designer of Wild Sheep and Gunwerk’s Long Range magazines. Morrison Creative also designs The Black Powder Cartridge News and The Counter Terrorist Magazine, in addition to serving its many design clients in the firearms, fishing and travel industry on a national and international basis. A fifth-generation Montanan, Morrison has worked as a big game hunting and fly-fishing guide, a fly-casting and fly-tying instructor, a competitive shooter, artist, photographer, designer, writer and illustrator and in many other occupations too numerous (and perhaps too scandalous) to mention. He is a father of two and resides with his wife, Gina, in Wyoming — and whenever possible — Belize. Visit his website at www.morrisoncreative.com.
Andrew J. Pegman is a tenured assistant professor of English at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio. He recently accepted an administrative position as director of teaching, learning and professional academic development at the college. Pegman received his bachelor’s in English from John Carroll University, his master’s in English from Cleveland State University, and a certificate in college teaching from Kent State University. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in community college leadership through National American University. In the past, he worked as a staff writer for Sun News. His work has appeared in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Sun News, Ohio Outdoor News, The Pedestal Magazine and other publications. He was recently accepted to Outdoor Writers of Ohio. He enjoys reading, writing, fishing, hiking and birding. He lives in Mayfield Heights, Ohio, with his wife Amy and corgi, Olive.
Johnny Sain can trace his love of outdoor writing back 30 years, to the days when his outdoor magazine collection numbered more than 2500 issues and sneaking copies of Field & Stream into algebra class was an everyday occurrence. A native of the Arkansas River Valley and southern Ozark Mountains of west Arkansas, Sain is a freelance writer, editor and photographer specializing in rural and natural heritage. Sain began his writing career in 2010 and decided to return to college that same year pursuing a degree in journalism, complemented by a minor in biology and an associate degree in Ozark culture studies. His website, aviewfromthebackroads.com, has won two Realtree Horizons awards. Sain has also written award winning magazine features. He lives in Dover, Ark., with his wife Christine and daughters Madison and Mackenzie.
Tom Seamons was raised near Soda Springs, Idaho, hunting, trapping, fishing and exploring the history-rich area located on the Oregon Trail. He started trapping muskrat and mink at age 10 and hunting at age 12. Unfortunately, the only camera available was a little box-like Brownie. After high school, he moved to St. Anthony, Idaho for summer work, attended Boise State University in the winter months and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He took several photography classes at ISU after returning to southeastern Idaho, and had opportunity to accompany a professional photographer to Australia and Papua New Guinea in 1990. His wife Kris introduced him to riding Missouri Fox Trotters eight years ago. This has opened up a new way to explore the magnificent Yellowstone, Teton, and Island Park country. He looks forward to sharing his photography and perhaps even an occasional story to go along with the images.
Kristen Schmitt writes articles on hunting, wildlife, nutrition, the environment and sustainable agriculture from her home in Vermont where she raises chickens, gardens and hopes to create a completely sustainable lifestyle. She writes for National Geographic and Deer & Deer Hunting magazine and her articles have also appeared in Mother Earth News, Utne Reader, Vermont’s Local Banquet and Urban Times. She has interviewed many leaders within the farming, food, sustainable agriculture, and hunting communities and completes her master’s degree in sustainable food systems from Green Mountain College in December 2014. Her next project will document learning archery and discuss female empowerment in relation to archery and bowhunting.
Joanie Straub has been working in marketing and communications for more than 18 years. Since April 2012, she has worked for the Missouri Department of Conservation as a regional media specialist, covering central and northeast Missouri. Raised in southwest Missouri with an appreciation of the outdoors, Straub is discovering nature on a fresh and exciting level as she gets up-close and personal and learns more about Missouri’s various animals, trees, plants, landscapes, etc. Her work for the department appears in local television, print and radio programs. Hiking, skiing, camping and canoeing are her favorite outdoor pursuits. Straub has a duel bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism and history from the University of Missouri and a master’s degree in technical communications from Colorado State University. Straub lives in Columbia, Mo., with her husband and two young sons.
Emily Stone was born to naturalist parents in the rolling hills and limestone bluffs of northeast Iowa. She devoured books as a kid, but ventured outdoors in college — majoring in outdoor education-natural history at Northland College in Ashland, Wis. From there, she traveled seasonally to naturalist jobs in Canyonlands National Park, Acadia National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Sandstone, Minn., and the redwoods of California. The poet Mary Oliver asks: “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Teaching kids of all ages about nature in beautiful places is Stone’s answer. After completing the field naturalist master’s program at the University of Vermont, Stone brought her enthusiasm for nature and education back to the Midwest. She is currently the naturalist/educator at the Cable Natural History Museum in Cable, Wis., where she writes a weekly natural connections column for several area newspapers. ♦