The great outdoors may seem like a young man's game, but it's not. It takes years of experience to not just master the wilderness but pass on wisdom to the ones who follow. These silver-haired studs, five of the most notable seniors in the outdoor industry, prove they still have what it takes to lead, succeed, and crush the competition. After decades of going strong in the outdoor industry, these guys still bring passion and forge a path for others to follow.
Jim Shockey has made his name in the outdoor industry through his work as a television show host, an outdoor writer, and a professional wilderness guide and outfitter. He owns several exclusive outfitting territories in Canada's wildlands, including the renowned Pacific Rim Guide Territory on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, and the famed 12,000-square mile Rogue River Outfitting in the Yukon Territory. His television productions have won 15 Golden Moose Awards from 2009-2017, and he is accomplished in archery, muzzleloader, and rifle hunting. In 2019 Shockey opened the Hand of Man Museum of Cultural Arts and Conservation on Vancouver Island, Canada.
Laird Hamberlin may have the least name recognition on this list, but his work is no less important. As CEO of Safari Club International, Hamberlin is tasked with the lofty mission of protecting the freedom to hunt and promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. Laird took the helm in 2019 but served in several leadership positions within the organization before that. He leads Safari Club International, which has approximately 200 chapters representing all 50 states in the nation and 106 other countries. Safari Club International approaches this mission by educating and influencing elected officials and policy decision-makers on the essential role of hunting in the science-based management of wildlife and habitat.
Mark and Terry Drury
Drury Outdoors, a name synonymous with the outdoors and fair chase hunting, would not exist without the Drury brothers Mark and Terry. The duo grew up in Missouri and had a deep love of hunting early on. The brothers founded Drury Outdoors in 1989, which became a staple in hunting videos before the popularization of the internet. Drury Outdoors has always been rooted in the ethics of hunting and high regard for safety in the woods. The Drury Outdoors name has been built on the concept of fair chase and true wild hunting.
The brands have seen significant growth since the brothers started Drury Outdoors. Drury Outdoors now has an app, a podcast, numerous sponsorships, a highly engaged following on social media, and a team of additional hunters nationwide. In addition to the core of Drury Outdoors, there are plentiful recorded hunting videos you can watch for education and motivation.
Bass Pro founder and CEO Johnny Morris is a billionaire businessman. Still, once upon a time, he was just a kid with big dreams. He grew his company from a small operation selling fishing equipment from his father's retail location to the gigantic hunting and fishing complex that it is today. The retail chain, Bass Pro Shops, has locations across the United States and Canada, but that is not all.
Morris opened the Wonders of Wildlife Museum & Aquarium in Springfield, Missouri, in 2017. USA TODAY voted it "America's Best New Attraction" that same year and named it "America's Best Aquarium" in 2018 and 2020.
Morris also founded Top of the Rock in Branson, Missouri, one of the country's largest private collections of Native American artifacts. It is a powerful tribute to America's first conservationists. It was developed in partnership with a council of tribal leaders across the country. The Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum celebrates the people, wildlife, and history of the Ozarks region.
That is still not all. Morris created Dogwood Canyon Nature Park, located in Missouri. The not-for-profit nature attraction serves as an outdoor playground that inspires visitors to get involved in wildlife conservation. The park includes towering bluffs, waterfalls, creek beds, handcrafted bridges, wildlife such as American bison, Rocky Mountain elk, and white-tailed deer. Dogwood Canyon's Conservation and Education Center is used to teach the importance of protecting and conserving the great outdoors with interactive nature-based education programs for all ages. In 2019 Morris was presented with the Audubon Medal in recognition of his conservation efforts.
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