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    Eric Pickhartz

    Eric Pickhartz is the Editor in Chief of Wide Open Spaces, bringing a mix of a love of the outdoors and a journalism background to the site's content on a daily basis. His fishing experience began at a young age on Minnesota lakes, both frozen and thawed, and he has since used seasonal hunts and fishing trips as an excuse to become a better writer and editor. He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, two sons, and Chocolate Lab.

    David Schlake

    Hailing from Goochland, Virginia, David grew up on the James River with the Atlantic Coast only a couple hours away. While his proximity to prime waters resulted in a passion for both freshwater and saltwater fishing, he also enjoys upland and whitetail hunting. He graduated from West Virginia University with a degree in journalism before making his way to Austin, Texas, in 2016.

    Fahlon Brown

    Fahlon was born and raised in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. After graduating from East Carolina University in 2012, she headed out to Texas for a few years to begin her career and branch out on her own. Fahlon now resides back in her hometown and has started a family of her own. In her spare time, Fahlon loves fishing, hunting, riding horses, and hanging out with friends.

Senior Writers

    Travis Smola

    Travis Smola was born and raised in southwest Michigan and graduated Western Michigan University with a degree in journalism in 2013. He has been published in magazines and newspapers in Michigan, Wyoming, California, Nevada and Texas covering just about everything including local government, crime, sports and special features. A fisherman all his life, he has also been a hunter for almost 20 years. In 2005 he got into geocaching and has been an active member of the geocaching community in southwest Michigan ever since. He is currently writing a book detailing his adventures in the GPS-oriented hobby.

    Craig Raleigh

    Craig Raleigh grew up hunting and fishing in New York State and Ontario, Canada. He has fished from the Merritt Dam in Cherry County, Nebraska to the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee. His lifelong interest in everything outdoors garnered in him a deep respect and love for all things in nature. With a conservationist heart instilled in him by his father and grandfather, he lives for the chance to get outside and discover. He is a writer and author of two self-published books and has a keen photographic eye. He can sit in a tree from dawn to dusk, walk upstream for big Steelhead, hike the Niagara Gorge, or bike the St. Lawrence Seaway trail and tell you every detail.

    John McAdams

    John McAdams is a proficient blogger, long time hunter, experienced shooter, and veteran of combat tours with the US Army in Iraq & Afghanistan. In addition to his work for Wide Open Spaces, John also started The Big Game Hunting Blog and Big Game Hunting Adventures in order to share his hunting experiences with others and to help them fulfill their hunting dreams. Be sure to subscribe to his show: the Big Game Hunting Podcast.


    Staff Writer

    Wide Open Spaces is devoted to publishing engaging content in the hunting, fishing and outdoors areas that will both inform and entertain readers while cultivating a community of like-minded individuals gathering to discuss, share and interact.

    Justin Hoffman

    Justin Hoffman is a freelance outdoor writer and photographer, with a fishing specialty, based in Ottawa Ontario, Canada. He is a graduate of the North American School of Outdoor Writing and currently a field editor with Ontario OUT OF DOORS magazine. A well-established freelance writer since 1999, Justin has publishing credits in many North American magazines and web sites. His photographic stock work also appears regularly. An avid bass angler, he spends much of his time working the heavy cover and shallow water in his favourite eastern Ontario lakes. Wildlife and hunting photography are other passions that keep him returning to the forest and fields week after week - in search of that next image and outdoor adventure.

    David Smith

    While David has successfully worn a number of professional hats, one thing that has been a constant in his life has been a lifelong immersion in the outdoors, thanks to a father and extended family of hunters, anglers and woodsmen. He resides in Wisconsin, a region peppered with forests, lakes and rivers and all of the good things they offer. Combining his writing and culinary skills with an enduring passion for hunting, fishing and foraging lead him to create Creative Sustenance, a wild edibles blogsite. He also has a popular Facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors, where you can contact him.

    Brad Smith

    Brad Smith has been an avid outdoorsman all of his life. As a child, he started out fishing on the banks of the Eel and Tippecanoe Rivers in Northern Indiana to chasing muskies and other game fish all over the Midwest. During the winter, he spends every possible moment in a tree stand. His passion for hunting and fishing has led him to a life of being a lure designer, tournament angler, and an active member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America providing content for several publications and various websites. He also owns Walton Rods, a fly and traditional fishing rod company.

    Daryk Ganske

    Daryk Ganske, the Wide Open Spaces Social Media Manager, was born and raised in the small town of Brenham, Texas. His knowledge stems from countless hours in deer stands, as well as a corporate communications degree from The University of Texas at Austin. Daryk still lives in Austin, where he enjoys weekends filled with whitetail hunting and bass fishing in the Hill Country.

    Shannon Ratliff

    Shannon Ratliff comes from Maryland, but made her way to Texas Hill Country by way of Colorado. Growing up fly fishing, she enjoys all water-related activities, including water skiing even though she falls almost every time. Her love of grammar and nature led her to Wide Open Spaces where she now gleefully edits sentences about her favorite hobbies.

    Wide Open Spaces Recipes

    Wide Open Spaces is constantly striving to share the best wild game and fish recipes available to our loyal readers. If you have a recipe you'd like to share, send it to [email protected] for consideration!

    Pace Brothers

    Into the Wilderness is the product of the Pace Brothers, Byron and Darryl, who draw on their vastly different experiences to quench their thirst for adventure and the outdoors. In the first series Byron and Darryl will be traveling around the UK, wondering the remote corners, living off the land as they go. From free diving for shellfish, to trapping and hunting they will film each adventure without support. Their mantra is simple: Be at one with the wilderness around you - become the wilderness.