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Welcome to OWAA

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Born in the heart of New York, Bob Amendola grew up in the South Bronx. He first developed his interest in writing at a school that Hollywood portrayed as the toughest school in the country in the movie, “The Blackboard Jungle.” Attending Pace University for a year, Amendola taught martial arts after receiving his second black belt, formed the Pace Athletic Club and edited the college newspaper. Serving in the U.S. Army as a Green Beret “A Team Member,” Amendola refused a medical discharge after being wounded in Vietnam and went on to teach STS members precision archery upon joining the U.S. Air Force. After leaving government service with two honorable discharges, Amendola settled in Southeast Missouri and just published his first book, “Today’s Deer Hunting Handbook, The Complete Illustrated Guide for New and Experienced Hunters,” and is currently working on his next book. Amendola is an archery
expert, professional hunter, lecturer and writer and can be reached by his website, www.bobamendola.com.
Writer and ecologist Kirk Mantay was born and raised near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay in southeastern Virginia. An angler since age 5 and a hunter since age 17, Mantay relentlessly pursued greater knowledge and understanding of the American outdoors. He holds a master’s degree in environmental planning from Appalachian State University, and bachelor’s degrees in wildlife management and geography from Virginia Tech. Mantay wrote his first conservation press release as a wildlife technician in 1997, and writes regularly as a nonprofit conservation manager and college professor in Annapolis, Md. His outdoor-focused blog, “River Mud,” has been online since 2007, and features more than 600 posts on topics as diverse as waterfowl hunting, children in the outdoors, and urban gardening.
Trampas Swanson is originally from eastern North Carolina, where he served as a deputy sheriff and in a SWAT sniper unit. Swanson and his photographer wife Candace relocated to Jacksonville, Fla., in 2011, where he now works as a gunsmith, shooting instructor and writer, reviewing firearms, gear and ammo for magazines and websites. As a long-time hunter, like his father and grandfather, Trampas includes a lot of personal experiences in his writing, combining humor, history and family values. Being married to a chapter leader for The Well Armed Woman organization, Trampas spends a lot of his free time helping his wife educate and empower women in the shooting sports world through safety and marksmanship programs.
Steve Zakur lives and fishes in western Connecticut. Zakur writes about fly-fishing and related matters at sippingemergers.com and in short-form on Twitter. You can also find his essays and short-fiction in The Drake, The Flyfish Journal and the upcoming volume of Pulp Fly. Zakur is a recovering trout snob, whose mind has been poisoned by steelhead, stripers and kvichak rainbows, not to mention largemouth, smallmouth and bluegills. When not fishing he’s usually writing about the people, places and sport of fishing. He’s the spouse of the lovely, intelligent, and tolerant Ann, the father of two above-average boys and an executive for a large technology company during his spare time.
Rod Hamilton was raised in Beaverton, Ore., where his passion for fly-fishing began at the age of 12. After graduating from Oregon State University with a bachelor of science degree, he moved to British Columbia in 1976, ultimately creating and operating companies nationally recognized in the financial services industry. “Retired,” he is now able to focus his energies traveling and writing about his obsession with catching bonefish, permit and tarpon on the fly. His love for fly-fishing has led to a website, various magazine articles and the soon to be published book, “Do It Yourself Bonefishing.” Residing in Vancouver for 30 years, he and his wife recently moved to Vancouver Island, British Columbia where the pace may be a little slower, but is significantly closer to fly-fishing’s summer quarry of trout, salmon and steelhead.
Twenty years ago Richard Minich began a quest to catch the great musky. After accomplishing that goal, he still fishes and has interesting results — he recently caught a rare blue walleye. He has written three non-fiction books about musky fishing, available at www.richardminich.com. Switching to fiction, Minich created Joe Gaspe, a wild musky fisherman who knows everybody. He contracted Joe to the Department of Homeland Security. Chafing under the supervision of Radleigh Loonch, a young female intern, Joe and his eclectic network prevent bombings, rescue enslaved women, and save New York state in three novels: “Fireships and Brimstone,” “Girls Before Swine” and “Dread Upon the Waters.” Two newer books, “The Sollie Drake Story: Unsurpassed Among Men,” a fictional biography of the greatest musky guide in Wisconsin, and “Vengeance is Thine,” the fourth Joe Gaspe book, are featured in serial form on his website, www.richardminichwriter.com.
Bryce Bekar was born and raised in Canada’s arctic. Bekard was born in Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories of Canada and raised in “The Polar Bear Capital of the World” — Churchill, Manitoba, which presented many opportunities for outdoor adventures that are sometimes beyond belief. Being a lifetime Northerner has given Bekar the freedom to hunt, fish and spend time in a place people pay tens of thousands of dollars to visit. Bekar started hunting when he was 5 years old and is raising his daughters with the same love of the outdoors. They enjoy most activities as a family in the Yukon now, and represent a dwindling breed of people that feel it is more important than ever to get our children involved with the outdoors.
After nearly 10 years in the world of Fortune 500 corporate America, a lifelong passion for wildlife conservation finally brought Lynda Lambert to the Arizona Game and Fish Department where she swears she could not have written a more perfect job description for herself. She serves as the public information officer responsible for promoting endangered species conservation, wildlife research, safe wildlife-human interactions and nearly all other public relations involving nongame wildlife species. Raised in Michigan, she has been writing about the great species of the Southwest since 2006. She has a bachelor’s degree in natural resource management and a master’s degree in risk communication from Michigan State University that comes in handy during her work with endangered species and negative wildlife-human encounters. Married to an avid fly-fisherman, she and her husband enjoy living the motto “get outdoors” with their two young children and are always searching for their next outdoor learning adventure.
Judith Kohler is the public lands communications manager for the National Wildlife Federation based in Boulder, Colo. She is also part of the communications team for Sportsmen for Responsible Energy Development, a coalition led by National Wildlife Federation, Trout Unlimited and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. Before joining the National Wildlife Federation in August 2011, Kohler was a reporter with The Associated Press for 21 years in Colorado and Wyoming, where she covered politics, energy and the environment. She wrote about the lead-up to the restoration of the gray wolf to the Northern Rockies; grazing reforms on public lands; the natural gas boom in western Colorado; sportsmen’s concerns about energy development; and the restoration of lynx to Colorado. Before that, she was a reporter and editor on weekly and daily newspapers in Colorado and Nebraska. The Deadwood, S.D., native earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Colorado-Boulder.
Marie Majarov, a freelance photographer, writer and Virginia master naturalist, lives in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley on the edge of a historic woodland. There, she and her husband enjoy nature — especially gardening with native plants for butterflies and other pollinators, birding, hawk watching, and fishing when time permits. She’s passionate about lecturing and writing to increase awareness of the plight of the monarch butterfly, facilitated by her knowledge and appreciation of monarch biology and her in-depth photography of this majestic creature. Majarov studied with acclaimed photographers, biologists and naturalists Rob and Ann Simpson. Her features and photographs are seen regularly in Virginia Wildlife Magazine and have appeared in Zoogoer, a Smithsonian publication, BlueRidge Country, Hobby Farms’ Beekeeping, and various regional publications. Majarov is president of the Virginia Outdoor Writers Association and on the board of directors for the Mason Dixon Outdoor Writers Association.
Whitney Clark graduated from Virginia Tech in May 2013 with a degree in natural resource conservation and a minor in forestry. After graduation, she moved to Berkeley, Calif., to pursue a career in environmental resource conservation
in the Bay Area. She loves exploring the natural world around her through traveling, hiking, camping and especially wildlife watching as she’s always enjoyed being around animals. One of her favorite things is sharing her excitement about the outdoors with those around her by telling stories of all her adventures. Besides that, she enjoys reading, fishing, gardening, walking dogs, and is an avid NFL football fan.
Michael Hamilton is as passionate about writing and voice acting as he is about fly-fishing. He’s been doing all for more than 30 years. He frequently publishes in print and online for national and international fly-fishing, lifestyle and travel magazines. He is an active member of the Northwest Outdoor Writers Association. Prior to careers in freelance writing and voice acting, Hamilton spent 18 years in television and radio as reporter, anchor, editor, producer and news director. His career in broadcast took him from Vietnam to New York and back to Seattle. His awards include Associated Press and United Press International Reporter of the Year, and he is a three-time recipient of the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Broadcasting. Hamilton lives with his wife, public artist Pam Beyette, and his two cats, Cooper and Mini-Cooper, in Seattle. Please visit his website www.troutdogs.com.
Rick Fowler taught English in a Northern Michigan high school for 34 years before retiring in 2012. He has been a freelance outdoor writer for the past 23 years. He is currently a field editor for Hooks and Bullets magazine and a Michigan editor for Midwest Outdoors. He is a regular contributor to Woods ‘n Water, The Mackinaw Journal and The Good Life. He has won two Writer of the Year awards from Midwest Outdoors and a Michigan Outdoor Writers Association writing award from his peers. Fowler gleans numerous story ideas for articles on bird hunting and fishing at his residence in Northwest Michigan and his cottage on South Manistique Lake in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. He and his wife Sue are proud parents of two children who have also pursued educational careers.
Eva Shockey knows what it means to be part of the outdoor industry. Growing up with professional hunter and television personality Jim Shockey as her father, Eva Shockey was brought outdoors and in front of the camera at an early age. With a combined passion for conservation and adventure, Shockey is now a full-fledged Outdoor Channel and Wild TV personality and is quickly making a name for herself within the industry as a proud outdoors-woman. She spends more than 250 days per year traveling the world to co-host “Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventures,” as well as representing the Outdoor Channel as host for various TV specials and red carpet events. Shockey is linked with various well-known outdoor brands like Crosman, Mossy Oak and HunterCourse, writes for various magazines and publications and makes guest appearances at trade shows and fundraisers across Canada and the USA. Shockey has found a way to balance hunting, travel and family into what she calls the “best lifestyle in the world.”
Based in the Adirondack Mountains of northern New York, writer, photographer, and licensed guide Ed Kanze writes about the birds and the bees — which is to say he writes about nature, and the swirl of activity that makes the wild world go round. Kanze has published five books: “Notes From New Zealand,” “The World of John Burroughs,” “Wild Life,” “Kangaroo Dreaming: An Australian Wildlife Odyssey,” and “Over the Mountain and Home Again.” His latest book, an Adirondack Mountain memoir interwoven with family history and natural history, will be published in 2014. Kanze’s newspaper column, “All Things Natural,” has been published weekly since 1987. He also writes a column for the Adirondack Explorer and is a contributing editor at Bird Watcher’s Digest. Kanze has won the prestigious John Burroughs Association award for Outstanding Published Natural History Essay of 2004 and a gold medal at the International Regional Magazine Awards. Kanze is a former national park ranger and lives with his wife and two children.
John Allen, born and raised in south-central Pennsylvania, has been an outdoor writer and photographer since 2005. He has had a passion for the outdoors from a young age and has always enjoyed communicating it to anyone that would listen. He regularly appears in the Pennsylvania Angler & Boater magazine and Pennsylvania Outdoor News. His specialties are freshwater fishing, kayaking, white-tailed deer hunting and wild turkey hunting. Other interests include long-distance running, wild edible gathering, and vegetable gardening. He currently serves as the treasurer of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association. On a full-time basis, Allen is a certified public accountant with a regional accounting firm in south-central Pennsylvania. He resides in Carlisle, Pa., with his wife Maribeth and their dog, Remy.
Jessica McGlothlin is a freelance photojournalist and writer. Montana is home but she is a wanderer at heart; her most recent adventure took her above the Arctic Circle on the Kola Peninsula in Russia for six weeks. After a summer of documentary work on Montana’s Missouri River, she’s now in the greater Puget Sound area while researching her next adventure. She has written for a selection of publications in the U.S. and abroad, including American Cowboy,
Cowboys & Indians, Fly Fisherman, Fly Fusion, American Angler and The Big Sky Journal. She is on the team at Chi Wulff and grew up around the fly-fishing lifestyle. She is a member of the National Press Photographer’s Association and Lightstalkers, and was recently invited to spend a week with the U.S. military for a journalism training program. McGlothlin is working on relocating overseas in pursuit of new subjects to photograph. While her goal in journalism is to cover conflict, the outdoor world has provided some unexpected — and fascinating — adventures.
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